The World Cup series of Rhythmic Gymnastics is not a game of “if you can do it, I can do it as well”, but the Russian stars Margarita Mamun and Yana Kudryavtseva are certainly making it appear just like that.
Exactly a week after the gold medal sweep of the three-time World all-around champion Yana Kudryavtseva at the World Cup in Tashkent, her Russian compatriot Margarita Mamun – largely recognized as the toughest rival of Kudryavtseva for the Olympic gold medal — made her own sweep of World Cup titles at the BSB Bank World Cup in Minsk. The competition in Tashkent was the 5th World Cup title sweep of Yana Kudryavtseva’s sparkling career, while the Minsk World Cup is the third sweep of Mamun, after Kazan and Tashkent last year.
Kudryavtseva, widely recognized as the “Queen of Rhythmic Gymnastics”, acquired some of her career-high scores at the World Cup in Tashkent. Not to be outdone, the two-time World All-around silver medalist, did just the same in the World Cup in Minsk. Her sky-high score in the individual All-around event (75.700) included scores higher than 19 points, the benchmark for excellence in Rhythmic Gymnastics.
Similar to what Kudryavtseva did in Tashkent, Mamun demoted her colleague Aleksandra Soldatova to the second place on the podium in the All-around competition as well as the three apparatus event finals (Balls, Clubs and Ribbon).
Proudly representing the host country, the Belarussian rhythmic gymnast Melitina Staniouta could only manage to acquire bronze medals in the individual all-around and with the Ball and Clubs.
The emerging Belarussian rhythmic team produced better results at the Minsk World Cup, acquiring the gold medal in the Group all-around event, outscoring the World Champion Russia by 0.20 points. The two strongest countries split the gold medals in the event finals. Belarus acquired the gold in the Two Hoops and Six Clubs event, while Russia obtained the gold in the 5 Ribbons event.
American individual rhythmic gymnast Laura Zeng made a history in the sport of rhythmic gymnastics after acquiring the first two World Cup medals for the USA (bronze medals in the Hoop and Ribbon event). In an interview published last week, Zeng expressed her intention of showing the American public the beauty of rhythmic gymnastics. If she hasn’t yet accomplished her goal, she has at least assured that her name will forever be marked in the rhythmic gymnastics history.
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