Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Star, European and World Champion finished second in Tokyo Olympic Games 2020, behind Linoy Ashram. This was the first time in 20 years that Russia didn’t win gold in Rhythmic Gymnastics in Olympic Games, both in individuals and groups.
This results were noticed as a “scandal and corruption” by the Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation. On the other hand, International Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation carried out an evaluation of the scoring system in the past Olympic Games. This consisted on a post-review evaluation components in all the phases of Tokyo 2020. The conclusion was the confirmation that no bias or irregularities were identified in the judging panels.
Therefore, FIG published a statement about that the rankings and results of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games competitions in Rhythmic Gymnastics for both Individuals and Groups were fair and impartial.
Many judges received hateful messages through their social media, that were described as “utterly unacceptable” by International Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation.
Just a few weeks before Tokyo Olympic Games announced her retirement.
I started doing rhythmic gymnastics when I was only four years old. I was a gymnast for twenty years. And now, the day has come: I am free. I don’t have to go to the gym for trainings.Katsiaryna Halkina (BLR)
Katsiaryna is performing this routine with a love song by the Belarusian composer, M.Tchaikovskaya. The song is about a girl that asks her lover to take her away and all of her memories.
Natalia Garcia Timofeeva is a Spanish rhythmic gymnast who was born in Barcelona but her roots are Russian. Natalia Garcia and Polina Berezina were the gymnasts selected by Spanish National Federation to represent Spain in the World Cup Series. They mission was get a spot for Olympic Games in Tokyo, which was not possible.
Both Polina and Natalia declared that they were in the last months training non-stop. This season was really hard.
“I think I would not repeat this in my whole life. It was really hard for me. I don’t wish this to anyone. You can’t image how difficult this path to Olympics was. I tried to be on my best physical condition for European Championships. The day after the EC, I couldn’t even move, I was in too much pain. In my case, I needed to show that I was on top, many gymnasts were fighting to represent Spain in the international competitions.”
Natalia suffered from a few injuries during her gymnastics career. For the last years, she needed to adapt her trainings and warm-ups and decrease the level of her daily trainings. She underwent twice surgery (double hip) in 2017. After this, she got injured again.
“I felt really alone. In the past, I had a team working for me and now, I don’t. My whole team suddenly changed. That’s why I use social media to promote and publish brands, because of money. I lived alone in Barcelona, my family lives in French Guyana, really far from me. My parents could not help me so I have learned to get by rathen than how to work, simply making a living.“
I describe myself as a fighter.
“It is really easy to give opinions of an athlete, but the only ones that know the truth are family, coaches and team. People on social media was quite mean to me. Instagram is not my real life, it is just a tool to publish the best of yourself and what you really want to show of your privacy. I just use this app to get money”
Natalia spent last year some months in Russia for improve their exercises. My mother and grandmother were successful sportswomen in Russia and helped me to train with great coaches from this country. We were working from them since 2018. They are Ekaterina Pankova and Ekaterina Dementyeva.
Ekaterina Pankova was focused on her daily work and Dementyeva on her artistic exercises and choreographies. Monica Viñals, who was also her first coach, is now working with Natalia.
Natalia also designs her own leotards.
“I am inspired of high couture designs or even dresses that I see on the red carpet. Then, I speak with the people that is going to sew it and my coaches, who advise me.”
Natalia Garcia wants to retire this year and wants to finish her gymnastics career in Spain.
“I feel really tired and I think my body needs to stop doing rhythmic gymnastics. Anyway I plan to do masterclasses and I have many projects related to rhythmic gymnastics.”
Source: Podcast on Spotify “La Zancada”
Israel’s top rhythmic gymnast made history for her country becoming the first Olympic Champion in Rhythmic Gymnastics. She is also the first sportswoman that has won a medal in Olympic Games for Israel.
Linoy Ashram told to the press in Tokyo that she worked a lot with her coach for becoming a champion. She couldn’t be happier for this gold medal.
“I was just focused on a good execution of my routines. I tried to do my best. I was not thinking about the scores, positions or even medals. I wanted to show all of my work”.
Linoy had a mistake during her last routine (ribbon). This drop gave a chance to other gymnast, like Dina Averina, to win the Olympic gold medal. This fact, built a big controversy around the scores and the judgement during the Olympic final. Russian press also have labeled the judgement as unfair.
“I had a mistake with ribbon. I think it was because I knew this was my last routine and I was nervous. After this routine, I started crying with my coach. We were really happy, since we knew I would have a medal. My coach was really proud of me. This moment was so emotional”
Ashram didn’t confirm to the press if she will continue her sports career. She will take a break for holidays and then, think about the future.
The International Gymnastics Federation confirmed after the conclusion of World Cup Series the participants for Olympic Games. Ekaterina Vedeneeva (Serbia) and Sabina Tashkenbaeva (Uzbekistan) are qualified via the World Cup Series. Their spot is a nominative quota. Japan, has got also a non-nominative spot.
There is still place for an European, Asian, Oceanian and American gymnasts, which are yet to decide. Africa already confirmed the gymnast qualified via African Championships, Habiba Marzouk from Egypt. The Olympic Committe already released that Marcia Alves Lopes from Cape Verde should go to Olympic Games.
The countries that already qualified for the Olympics Games, regarding Individual Senior Gymnasts are:
- Russia with two spots. They will compete as “Russian Olympic Committee”.
- Israel with two spots.
- Bulgaria with two spots.
- Ukraine with two spots.
- Italy with two spots.
- United Stated with two spots.
- Belarys with two spots.
- Azerbaijan one spot.
- Japan with two spots.
- Ekaterina Vedeeneva from Serbia.
- Sabina Tashkenbaeva from Uzbekistan.
- Habiba Marzouk from Egypt.
At the moment, only six places are open:
- One from Europe
- One from Oceania
- One from Asia
- One from America
- Reallocated spot from host country.
- Tripartite invitation place
The spot from the host country at the moment goes from Salome Pazhava (GEO) and, the one from Tripartire invitation rolls to Marcia Alves Lopes from Cape Verde.
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.
Here you can find some of the top exercises of 2020, in some cases there are included two exercises of the same gymnasts. Choose your favorites before February 1st!
Irina Viner-Usmanova, president of the Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation, received the Prize of Russia prize in the “Coach of the Year” in Russia at a ceremony held by the Russian Ministry of Sports. The National Sports Award was founded by the government of the Russian Federation in 2010.
The winners are awarded with this title of laureate win a prize of 1 million rubles. Eleven people were nominated for this award. Team Russia did participate in the 2020 European Championships. European Championships of Kiev was not a part of the Olympic Qualification Proccess. Russia was already qualified.
Source: TASS Agency
The 3rd INTERNATIONAL ONLINE RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS TOURNAMENT is a competition through livestream that will be for senior and junior individuals and both senior and junior groups.
The countries that will take part in this competition are SUI, UZB, RUS, ITA BUL, SRB, FRA, LAT and FIN.
Some of the most popular gymnasts of the world are confirmed for this tournament such as Dina Averina, Arina Averina, Ekaterina Selezneva, Katrin Taseva, Milena Baldassarri and Alexandra Agiurgiuculese among others. Boryana Kaleyn finally withdrawn from the competition because of temperature.
Schedule (Moscow Timing)