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  • Historic moment for Raffaeli as she wins first individual All-Around Gold for Italy


    History was made today as Sofia Raffaeli became the first Italian to win gold in the women’s individual all-around at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships. The event also doubled as the first Olympic qualification opportunity for the rhythmic individual all-around event where the top three athletes qualified their nation to the games. The 2022 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships are currently being held in Sofia, Bulgaria from September 14th to September 18th 2022.


    The qualification round was topped by Italy’s Sofia Raffaeli whom finished with a total of 98.850. In the qualification round only the three best apparatus scores are counted towards your overall total. Raffaeli was the top performer in the ball and ribbon. The top performer in the hoop and clubs was Bulgaria’s Stiliana Nikolova whom finished just behind Raffaeli with a score of 98.200. The pair had an over 2-point gap ahead of third place Darja Varfolomeev of Germany.


    In the final, all four apparatus performances are counted towards your total, meaning there was no room for error. The top three from the qualification round continue to be the best performers. After the first two rotations Varfolomeev held a 1.050 lead over Nikolova and Raffaeli. However, a poor ribbon by Nikolova essentially knocked her out of contention for gold leaving Varfolomeev and Raffaeli to battle for gold in the final rotation. Varfolomeev held a 1.000 lead and had to compete in the ribbon while Raffaeli’s final apparatus was the ball.


    Varfolomeev had a 32.450 performance in the ribbon, but Raffaeli was able to counter with a 34.250 on the ball, allowing her to win gold with a total score of 133.250. She finished first in the hoop, ball and ribbon. Varfolomeev finished in the silver medal position by winning the clubs and finishing with a total score of 132.450. Bronze and the final Olympic quota went to Nikolova who finished with a total of 128.800.


    Raffaeli had a breakout season in 2022 where she won gold in the individual all-around at 3/5 World Cup events. She also added many apparatus medals to her collection including three golds (hoop, ball & ribbon) and one bronze (clubs) at this World Championships.


    The next Olympic opportunity for nations to qualify in this event will be at the 2023 World Championships.


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