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thiago_simoes, December 25, 2018 in Gymnastics - Rhythmic
2019 can be a very important year for rhythmic gymnastics. In 2018, countries like France, Finland and especially Estonia and Mexico showed that there's a new era in rhythmic gymnastics where non-powerhouse nations can finally achieve success with the open ended code of points introduced last year. These nations should keep momentum in 2019 and we might see some interesting results at the World Championships. Still, Russia, Italy, Bulgaria and Israel are the nations to watch, with Belarus, Japan and Ukraine trying hard to keep in the mix for important medals. Slovenia can realistically snatch a medal at the World Cup/World Challenge Cup circuit for the first time ever, and nations like China, Canada, the United States, Brazil, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Spain will also try hard to snatch medals in important meets. Greece and Cyprus are big question marks: there's hope for improvement in their programs, but it's not going to be easy to earn medals in important events since the rest of the world keeps improving more and more. The European Games, Pan American Games, Universiade, Asian Championships, Grand Prix and World Cup circuit should offer enough excitement before the World Championships. Could this be the year for smaller nations to shine? We shall see.
The first big event of the year, the Moscow Grand Prix, is over. To no one's surprise, Russian gymnasts dominated the individual competition, winning gold and silver in everything (and bronze in the all-around). The bronze medalists were fortunately from a wide range of nations: Japan, Bulgaria, Belarus and Georgia. Ukrainian and Italian gymnasts were not present, but at least it is very exciting to see Salome Pazhava of Georgia (my favorite gymnast) presenting competitive performances (and earning a medal!) after so many injuries.
The group competition had weird results. On the first day, Russia received unbelievably high scores for a couple of half-baked routines with lots of tiny mistakes. Uzbekistan surprisingly won a bronze medal. This is probably the first time the country won a medal in a group competition with some of the best groups on the planet present. Very surprising. On the second day Japan killed it and earned two gold medals, and Russia finally received lower scores for the hot messes they showed (but still got two bronze medals, ugh). Israel won two silver medals.
I reached to see just few minutes ago some interessing routine from the "2019 Miss Valentine", a very nice international meeting in Tartu, Estonia.
The russian Mariia Sergeeva won the all-around event with 73.150 ahead the other russian Karina Kuztesova (73.100 with a great 20.250 in the hoop exercises!) and the expert greek Eleni Kelaiditi (71.00).
I was very excited to see the russian Eleonora Romanova, but she do a very disappointed exercises with the ball and the clubs
At the 17:00 local time, 18:00 CET, apparatus individual final will be streamed on youtube.
Surprising result for Lithuania at the Corbeil-Essonnes tournament in France. Brigita Budginas won a bronze medal on ribbon ahead of gymnasts from USA, Belarus, Russia, France, and Italy.
"The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Council has changed the format of the Rhythmic Gymnastic World Championships to make the event shorter. Participation in the Rhythmic Gymnastic World Championships will be limited to 105 gymnasts in individual events, with quotas distributed between the five continents.
The results of the Continental Championships will determine the allocation of places to each federation.
There will be a limit of three gymnasts per nation.
For the group competition, participation will remain open to one group per federation in 2021 and 2022, and will be limited to a maximum of 30 groups for the 2023 World Championships.
The number of days of competition will therefore be reduced to five, against seven for the 2018 worlds.
Another change concerns the Team competition. This will take into account both the results of gymnasts in the Individual competition (the two scores on each of the four apparatus during the qualification competitions) and the Group competition (the scores of the two different exercises).
The final of the individual All-Around competition will be reserved for the 18 best qualifiers (maximum of two per country) instead of the best 24 at the moment, while there is no change regarding the finals per apparatus with 8 gymnasts".
@thiago_simoes and everyone who has interest, this year's Panamerican Junior Rhythmic Gymnastics championships can be watched here, starting tomorrow
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