Marbella is one of the stages for Grand Prix Series that include other cities as Kiev, Holon, Tartu, Brno, Thiais and Moscow. Last year this Grand Prix was cancelled due to COVID-19 health problem.
This week Andalusian Gymnastics Federation already confirmed that Grand Prix Marbella 2021 will take part in San Pedro de Alcantara on the 17th and 18th of October.
This could be one of the biggest competitions of 2021 in Spain. The tournament consists in 2-competitions-in-one: Grand Prix Senior and International Junior competition, which is called “Andalucia Cup”
Russian delegation already confirmed their participants: Lala Kramarenko, Arina Averina and Dina Averina. The next confirmation will be from Belarus, who already won the 3rd position in Olympic Games with Alina Harnasko.
Tickets will be available soon. All official statements will be provided by Andalucian Gymnastics Federation. Marbella celebrates its 6th International Rhythmic Gymnastics Grand Prix.
Some Rhythmic Gymnastics Stars in Marbella Grand Prix last editions:
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 byrathen 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.”
Dina and Arina Averina were the top favorites for becoming Olympic Champions in Tokyo 2020. However, Linoy Ashram from Israel made history winning the first gold medal for this country in Rhythmic Gymnastics.
What do fans mean to you?
When we came back from Japan, a lot of fans were cheering us up in the airport. They are an important support, they write message to us after competitions, even poems. – Dina Averina said
Do you want to continue to Paris (Olympic Games) 2024?
First of all we need to rest, but who knows, we need a “revenge”. – Arina Averina said
Dina, how do you feel towards your results in Tokyo?
I feel sad, I wanted to become Olympic Champion. Linoy Ashram had a mistake with ribbon and I felt that I had an opportunity for gold. For the first moment, I think the judges were giving me low scores. My ribbon routine was clear and unfortunately it was not possible to win.
Dina, do you think that the gold medal should have been yours?
I think that my four exercises were without big mistakes. My consciencie is clear, I should have been the winner. After the last performance, the judges took more than usual to give my score. I understood that they didn’t want me to win this competition.
What were your words in the kiss and cry?
Dina asked to me if they were going to give me the gold. I just said “no”. – Arina Averina said
Do you have any injuries?
In 2020 I had a serious spine injury. I talked to my doctors and they said to continue for a few months. Anyway the solution was about surgery and I flatly said no. I didn’t want to miss the Olympic Games. This injury is very painful, even when I walk. When I start to warm up I feel pins and needles. – Dina said
Do you think about retirement?
If both of us had won Olympic Medals, 100% we would have retired. Maybe we would continue until World Championships (October 2021). Arina doesn’t want to continue and I have a serious injury in my back. We still need to think about it.
Do you think that other gymnasts are happy of these results?
We felt that judges were against us. They are tired of our victories. We have a cordial relationship with other gymnasts, but we felt that some of them were happy about this result.
Dina, do you think that the scores were fair?
I feel hurt, the scores were really low for both of us. The gold was for a gymnast who made a mistake with ribbon (drop). This was not fair at all. I just could not understand the scores. This time, I wasn’t paying attention to the total scores. Irina Viner Usmanova (head coach) said to me just before the last exercises: “Dina you have to fight until the end, you have still chances to win. Show how the real rhythmic gymnastics is.”
“Unfortunately, the miracle has not happened”
You were training for five years looking forward Olympic Medals. What are you going to do in the future, after these results?
We are not going to make a hasty decision. We need to think about our future. When you are dissapointed, you should not think about the future. We should wait and then, think about the future.
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)
“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)
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)
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.
SILVER: ROC (Russia)
With Anastasiia Bliznyuk, Olympians Anastasiia Tatareva and Anastasiia Maksimenko from Russia, earned their second medal.
Linoy Ashram makes history and becomes the first non-Russian European Champion in the all-around senior individual final. Ashram, has won numerous medals in recent years and is seen as one of the country’s leading hopes in the Olympic Games in Tokyo, delayed from 2020 to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.Back in 1997 Elena Vitrichenko from Ukraine was the last non Russian to win this championship. The battle for gold displayed between Israel’s Linoy Ashram and Belarussian Alina Harnasko, who was in the last seasons recovering from ACL (knee) double surgery. About the bronze medal, several gymnasts were in contention before the fourth and last routine. Boryana Kaleyn from Bulgaria and Anastasiia Salos from Belarus were fighting for the podium, but after a drop in Boryana’s clubs routine, Salos got the medal.
Both Alina Harnasko and Linoy Ashram scored 100,900 but as the tie breaking rules state, the total execution is firstly compared. The technical deductions also moved Linoy into the lead ahead of Alina. This could gave the gold medal to Linoy Ashram from Israel.
Boryana Kaleyn could not win a medal this time and finished fourth ahead of Nicol Zelikman (ISR), who made four clear routines and Yeva Meleshchuk (UKR).
On day two, there was a tight battle between groups, were Ukraine overtook bronze, finishing before Estonia. Ukraine won team competition just 0.250 points ahead Israel. Ukrainian junior star, Melaniia Tur, got the highest score of the junior qualification round.
Due to the worldwide health crisis, many federations withdrawn from European Championships that are going to be held in Kiev, Ukraine in a few days. A group that was among the favorites was Belarus. Today, Belarusian Senior Group withdrawn from the list.
On the other hand, 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.
This competition will not qualify for Olympic Games, as it was planned before the health crisis.
Due to the current Covid19 crisis all over Europe, FIG will be asked to inform the IOC that Olympic Qualification is not possible at European Championships this year. These organizations don’t want to pressure Federations to travel to an event since the current situation is not appropiate for such an important decision.
Current Ukrainian Champion, Vlada Nikolchenko recently talked to European Gymnastics Website about her Rhythmic Gymnastics career.
Just three weeks left to go to until the Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships kick off!
Last week, several countries declined their participation at this event, including one of the favorite team, Italy. At the end of September, Russia also confirmed they won’t compete at European Championships this year due to the health crisis. Russia was already qualified for Olympic Games
“For us, the pandemic is affecting both physically and emotionally. Many competitions were cancelled. We are still training, went to a training camp this summer and got fit for the competitions. We are glad Irina Ivanovna Deriugina could manage to hold the Deriugina Cup last September.”
“The worldwide health crisis is affecting us both physically and emotionally”
“After everything was closed because of the lockdown in March, we had three months to prepare for competitions. The situation in the country remained difficult even at the beggining of the summer. At the moment, we are intensively preparing for the main date of this year – the European Championships. It is very important for us, the athletes to feel the spirit of the high level competition. We believe that everything will work out, despite all the hard times and the latest news.”
“My aim is to to compete at Olympic Games and win a medal. Right now I am also studying to become a coach, looking forward the future.”
“Many fans wrote us and supported us during quarantine, when everybody in Europe was at home. We were also asked to shoot some videos as an inspiration and support for all the gymnasts, who couldn’t train. In Instagram, they are creating groups to support us and fanpages. I have 30 thousand subscribers on my Instagram fan page. In Ukraine, we have a Telegram channel of the national team, but the interest for rhythmic gymnastics never subsides.”
Kiev host the European Championships with the absence of the spectators in the stands.
1 For each additional or missing second on the time of the exercise – 0.05
Irina Annenkova (RUS)
2 For music not conforming to regulations 0.50
Vlada Nikolchenko (UKR)
3 For each additional music with words 1.00
Katsiaryna Halkina (BLR)
4 For each crossing of the boundary of the floor area by the apparatus or one or two feet or by any part of the body touching the ground outside the specified area or any apparatus leaving the floor area and returning by itself -0.30
Ekaterina Selezneva (RUS)
5 For any use of non-conforming apparatus (Individual and Group exercises) – 0.50
Aleksandra Soldatova (RUS)
6 For using any apparatus not previously placed 0.50
Anastasiya Salos (BLR)
7 For excessive delays in routine preparation which delay the competition 0.50
Dina Averina (RUS)
8 For unauthorized retrieval of the apparatus 0.50
Arina Averina (RUS)
9 For an unauthorized use of replacement apparatus (original apparatus still in the floor area) 0.50
Linoy Ashram (ISR)
10 Dress of the Individual and Group gymnast not confirming to the regulations (one time per exercise) 0.30
Lala Kramarenko (RUS)
11 For emblem or publicity not conforming to official norms 0.30
Natalia Garcia (ESP)
12 Bandages or support pieces not confirming to the regulations 0.30
Neviana Vladinova (BUL)
13 For early or late presentation by the gymnast(s) 0.50
Katrin Taseva (BUL)
14 For gymnast(s) warming up in the competition hall 0.50
Viktoriia Onopriienko (UKR)
15 For Group gymnasts communicating verbally with each other during the exercise 0.50
Aleksandra Agiurgiuculese (ITA)
16 Entry of the group to the floor area is not confirming to the rules 0.50
17 For coach communication with the gymnast(s), musician, or judges during the exercise 0.50
18 Wrong apparatus chosen according to start order; penalty deducted one time from the final score of the exercise performed in the wrong order 0.50
19 For Group gymnast leaving the Group during the exercise 0.30
Daria Trubnikova (RUS)
20 For “use of a new gymnast” if a gymnast leaves a group for valid reason 0.50