Bulgarian Senior Group “Golden Girls” retire

Olympic Champions, Bulgarian Senior Group, announced their retirement last month in a special event that was celebrated in Sofia. The “Golden Girls” are Simona Dyankova, Madlen Radukanova, Stefani Kiryakova, Laura Traets and Erika Zafirova.

Their last competition before their retirement was suposed to be World Championships in Japan, but just a few days before, a member of the group, Laura Traets recalled a cervical pain that forced her to stop training at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Kitakyushu. So that this condition made Laura stopped on 25 October and ended her sporting career a few days earlier than expected. The origin of her pain was in her back. She was not able to move her right arm.

Laura Traets (BUL)

After becoming Olympic Champions, all fans were expecting to see them again at World Championships in October. It was their last chance to also win World Championships. The group had no choice but to withdraw from the competition. “Laura’s health is more important than medals’. We are Olympic champions! We have been a real team since the beginning.” – said the group.

Elena Bineva, who was part of the group until the end of 2018, was also in the Gala-Show in honour of the Group.

Rhythmic Gymnastics Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

Summer Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were full of surprises. The top favorites for winning a medal were Dina and Arina Averina (RUS) and Linoy Ashram from Israel. Ashram could have never managed to win a major All-Around against the Russian twins, who seemed to be unbeatable. In spite of being third at the all-around qualification, Linoy beat Dina Averina in her last performance. Dina could not reach the score of 24.151 needed for gold medal.

GOLD: Linoy Ashram (ISR)

SILVER: Dina Averina (RUS)

BRONZE: Alina Harnasko (BLR)

Linoy Ashram (ISR)

“I just said to myself, ‘it’s a new day. What happened yesterday happened, just go to the carpet and do your best. I tried not to think about anything. I knew I could win a medal but I didn’t know which colour. Now it’s gold.”

Linoy Ashram (ISR)
Alina Harnasko (BLR)

The bronze medal went for Alina Harnasko (BLR).

“Overall, I’m happy about my performance, the last two days were very difficult for me […] and the finals were very emotional.”

These results generate a big discussion in Rhythmic Gymnastics social media, since some followers think that Dina Averina should have won the gold medal.

“I wasn’t expecting gold, but I was working hard. I knew I had a chance. I knew that if I did my Ribbon routine without any mistakes, I would be able to get a high score. But it didn’t happen.”

Dina Averina (RUS)
Dina Averina (RUS)

On the other hand, Bulgaria its first Olympic Gold Medal in Rhythmic Gymnastics. Since 2000, Russia were the reigning champions in groups. This is Bulgaria’s fourth Olympic Group medal in Rhythmic Gymnastics, (they won silver in 1996 and bronzes in 2004 and 2016). Only Russia and Spain are the only nations to have won gold in Group.

Russian gymnast, Anastasiia Bliznyuk made history, becoming the most decorated Rhythmic athlete. This is her third Olympic medal after Group golds in 2012 and 2016, and silver in Tokyo 2020.

Bulgarian Senior Group

GOLD: Bulgaria

SILVER: ROC (Russia)


With Anastasiia Bliznyuk, Olympians Anastasiia Tatareva and Anastasiia Maksimenko from Russia, earned their second medal.

Anastasiia Bliznyuk

Interview to Stiliana Nikolova

Stiliana Nikolova (BUL)

Stiliana Nikolova is a promising rhythmic gymnasts from Bulgaria. She is the current 2020 European Junior champion with ribbon and silver medalist with ball. This year, she is already competing in senior level, looking forward to qualify for Tokyo Olympic Games.

When did you start doing rhythmic gymnastics?.

My mother is a coach, so I grow up in the gym. I was always playing around with apparatus and looking to the other girls as they were stars. My mum is my inspiration and I would like to be like her. She is twice world European Champion.. I started doing gymnastics at four years old.

How do you calm down before competitions?

I get really nervous before competitions, but I need to manage all this stress. I even cry before competitions. I try to open to myself but sometimes it doesn’t work.

My mother was twice European Champion and World Champion

Which is your favorite apparatus?

I like all my routines, but my favorite one is clubs, especially my clubs 2021 exercise.

Do you like the current code of points in rhythmic gymnastics?

Not really, if I could do it, I’ll change all those throwing and catching. I would rather prefer to have more artistic and body difficulty. I feel like we are in the circus right now. I would also add more rhythmic steps.

Is your family living with you?

I was born in Cairo, Egypt, and my family is living over there. I have a lot of friends from Egypt and even if they are not living in Bulgaria, I feel that they close to me.

Stiliana Nikolova at Kiev European Championships 2020

Bulgarian Senior Group will not participate at European Championships

Laura Traets and Erika Zafirova

Bulgarian Senior group recently confirmed that they withdrawn from European Championships in Kiev from November 26 to 29 since a member of the team, Erika Zafirova, tested positive for coronavirus.

Local news reported that the team will be on quarantine for ten days and they will not be able to train either compete.

Bulgaria 5 Balls 2020

Bulgarian Senior Group will no longer travel to the Kiev 

This group has been in top 5 positions since 2014 and they clearly were favorites.

The situation right now is really unstable due to the Covid crisis in the whole Europe. Irina Deriugina confirmed this week that their intention is to still organize the event under strict conditions and with no audience.

Bulgarian Senior Group in 2019

On the other hand, Boryana Kaleyn and Katrin Taseva, will represent Bulgaria in the individual competition.

Boryana Kaleyn
Katrin Taseva

Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships Budapest 2017: Official Trainings Photos II

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Neviana Vladinova (BUL)

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Katrin Taseva (BUL)


Liubov Cherkashyna (BLR)


Katrin Taseva (BUL)


Junior Group Belarus


Bulgarian Junior Group

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Arina Averina (RUS)


Neviana Vladinova (BUL)

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Neviana Vladinova (BUL)

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Dina Averina (RUS)

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Jouki Tikkanen (FIN)

Bulgarian Group will change their two routine for Olympic Games in Rio


Bulgaria 5 Ribbons World Championships Stuttgart 2015


Ina Ananieva, head coach of the Bulgarian Senior Group wants to change both exercises looking forward Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“Since I became the head coach of this group we changed each year our compositions. Bulgaria will not  go to the Olympic with old routines. We need to show something different, so that we will have both routines” – said Ina.

World Championships in Stuttgart were really successful for Bulgarian Group. They got bronze medal in hoops and clubs final and silver medal in All-Around competition.

“Bulgarian group deserves a medal in Rio Olympics” – said their coach Ina Ananieva

“I really want these girls yo succeed in the Olimpic Games. They truly deserve it” – said Ananiega in a recently interview

Bulgaria will start working on the next season on 10th of October.