FIG Official Partner, Longines, awarded Aleksandra Soldatova (RUS) with “Prize for Elegance” last friday evening in Sofia.
Longines awarded with this prize for more than 20 years. Almudena Cid, Margarita Mamun, Yana Kudryavtseva, Daria Kondakova, Anna Rizatdinova, Alexandra Agiurgiuculese are some of the gymnasts that were recognized with this award.
The prize is given to the most remarkable grace and elegance course of All-Around individual final in World Championships.
This year’s jury was composed of Walter von Kaenel, President of Longines, FIG President Morinari Watanabe, Maria Petrova, 2018 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships Ambassador and Dmitri Dmitriev, Longines Regional Sales Manager for Bulgaria.
Soldatova recieved an exclusive timepiece as well as a bank check.
Kazan is the stage elected before World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, in September. Most of top Russian rhythmic gymnasts are competing in Kazan which makes the competition even more interesting such as Irina Annenkova, Dina and Arina Averina and Mariya Sergeeva.
Junior rising star, Daria Trubnikova, won All-Around competition ahead Yana Striga, who is one of the top juniors of the season. Trubnikova’s coach is former gymnast, Amina Zaripova, who was also coaching current the Olympic Champion, Margarita Mamun. Unfortunatly, Polina Shmatko and Anastasiya Sergeeva could not compete here due to health reasons. Anastasiya published on social media that she was suffering from appendicitis.
Startlist 2nd of June:
Alina Kabaeva’s festival celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.
“The festival is such a big show. There is no other show in Rhythmic Gymnastics like this in the whole world”
Different gymnasts from all around the world were reunited last weekend in Moscow. Italy, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Israel, were invited to this event. Rhythmic Gymnastics stars from Russia and current World Champions, Dina and Arina Averina starred the festival with a performance with swords and hoops. Russian team, Ekaterina Selezneva, Polina Shmatko…were also there in the show. Unfortunatly, Aleksandra Soldatova could not be there because of health issues.
Every year, the festival tells a different story to the audience.
“The festival is traditionally scheduled to the Children’s Day on June 1st. We will show how important it is to meet the right mentor, the person who will help you find your unique way in life. “
“Over the Limit” is about the story of Margarita Mamun, the Olympic Champion in 2016. This documentary paints an intimate portrait of a gymnast who can only reach success in her career if she gives up everything else. Its director is Marta Prus, a young film director from Poland. She was a gymnast and a ballerina. She also studied contemporary dance. Gymnastics became a part of her and that’s why she chose this sport as the main theme of the film.
“I wanted to make a film about Russian gymnasts because they’ve been unrivalled for years”
She was inspired both in rhythmic gymnastics and Russia.
“I grew up with a sense of Russia being a great country with limited freedoms. In Over the Limit, I wanted to talk about what freedom there is like today”.
Irina Viner-Usmanova is the head coach of Rhythmic Gymnastics in Russia. Currently, she is married to a billionare man in Russia. Marta Prus, met Irina Viner during Moscow Grand Prix in 2013. Viner wasn’t interested in talking to the director, not to mention being filmed. A week later, Marta travelled to the Novogorsk training centre for Olympic athletes in a suburb of Moscow. Prus lied to the soldier in the badge and told him she had a meeting with Viner.
She tried to convince Irina at Novogorsk but she was adamant. Irina Viner yelled at the woman that let “the stranger” walk in the hall. In that moment, Marta knew then that she would make this movie. After some competitions following Irina, she let this project start.
“Gymnasts in Russia are stars, wearing Gucci and riding in expensive cars. They’re worshipped in Russia, living a celebrity life of luxury and fame.”
A few scenes into the film, were interrupted after Irina Usmanova first watched it. She was upset because she was filmed telling a gymnast she was a piece of shit. But it was already too late. It was censored in Russia with “beep sounds” but in Amsterdam, it was screened without any censorship.
This short film named Marta Prus one of the ‘10 Europeans to watch in 2018’.
Source: Culture Poland. Translated from Polish by WK.
Just a few days after World Cup Guadalajara, F.I.G. uploaded the entry list of the gymnasts that are going to compete in the 2018 European Championships.
Guadalajara will hold the 34th UEG European Championships of Rhythmic Gymnastics from 1st to 3rd of June. This city wants to be a worldwide reference in rhythmic gymnastics with a huge fan base a and great project. It also aims to become the European Capital of Sport.
Only just two individual senior gymnasts were allowed to represent each of the top qualified countries. In some cases, it was not clear which gymnasts would compete in European Championships.
Ukraine’s just revealed their two participants, Yeva Meleshchuk and Vlada Nikolchenko. These are the second European Championships for Meleshchuk. A young 15-year-old Vlada Nikolchenko claims to be the top gymnast from Ukraine, winning several medals since the beggining of the season. The former promise of Ukrainian team, Olena Dyachenko, is not going to compete in the European Championships since she did not get good results in the last competitions.
Likewise, Bulgarian choice was not an easy one. National Champion, Neviana Vladinova got injured and missed the chance to participate in a few competitions to prepare for the European Championships. Katrin Taseva and Boryana Kaleyn were representing Bulgaria the whole season, but Neviana is back as a head gymnast of team BUL. Vladinova and Taseva are the ones chosen by their National Federation.
Belarus is going to be represented by Katsiaryna Halkina and Anastasiya Salos, who is the new rising star from BLR. European Championships medalist, Alina Harnasko can’t compete since she is recovering from a knee surgery. Harnasko underwent surgery a few months ago in Germany.
The toughest decision was made by Russia. World Cup Guadalajara was the place for Arina Averina and Aleksandra Soldatova, since it was clear that Dina Averina was already chosen to compete in European Championships. In the end, head coach of Russian Federation, Irina Viner-Usmanova decided to give the opportunity to Arina Averina. As such, the Averina twins (Dina and Arina) will compete in the European Championships.
Who’s going to miss this competition?
Aleksandra Soldatova, who was fighting for a place in the European Championships representing Russia.
Alina Harnasko, from Belarus, who is in the proccess of recovery from two different knee surgeries.
Ukraine’s young rhythmic gymnastics star, Olena Dyachenko, who was not chosen by Irina Deryugina to represent with Vlada Nikolchenko, UKR in European Championships.
Natalia García, from Spain, who is still recovering from a double hip surgery which requires a gently course of physical therapy. The gymnast who is going to represent the host country is Polina Berezina
It’s been a while since Anna Rizatdinova announced retirement in 2017, a year after her most beloved year in her career as a gymnast. She won medals at European Championships, World Championships and she is the current bronze Olympic medalist.
In early 2017 she stops professional sports career, she flashed everyone in Pesaro World Championships showing off she was clearly pregnant. She gave birth to her son, Roman in Barcelona, Spain.
A few months after becoming mother, she is already fit and nearly eith the same weight she had during Olympic Games (just two kilos of difference.
“I worked out during the whole pregnancy, but the last month was tough. Now I feel fit again”
Anna’s aim is to open a School of Rhythmic Gymnastics under her name. By now, she’s showing up all her rhythmic gymnastics skills on her Masterclass World tour, were she already visited Spain, Poland, France and Ukraine.
Life as a gymnast
Rizatdinova explained that life as a professional sportswoman is not as easy as it looks. “My life was only focused in rhythmic gymnastics. My body and mind was all about sports. It is very difficult to be always ready to compete. I remember I had really difficult times.” In 2014, Ukraine was involved in a political conflict so that Deriugina School was forced to change its location.
“Nowadays I feel plenty happy. My life totally changed after I became a mom. I really focused on my baby, every single decision is made thinking about Roman.”
Anna Rizatdinova’s next Masterclass stage is in Puebla, Mexico this July.
According to Russian Sports Press, Dina and Arina Averina entered the preliminary team of Russia at the European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, which will be held the first weekend of June in Spain.
The deadline for applications from the National Federations expired on May 4th. World Cup Guadalajara is the framework to place face to face Arina Averina and Aleksandra Soldatova, since it was clear that Dina Averina deserves to go to European Championships.
Russian press confirms that finaly is Arina who will take the position with her sister Dina.
Last European Championships were held in Budapest and became the first major start for the 19-year-old Averina sisters at a high level. Dina won gold in team competition and in exercises with hoop and ribbon and silver in the exercise with clubs. Arina Averina also got gold medals: team competition and clubs and ball.
In the other hand, Aleksandra Soldatova got second place this weekend in Guadalajara WC just behind Linoy Ashram (ISR) and ahead Arina Averina (RUS)