What a great weekend: More than eight hours of excellent rhythmic gymnastics – non-stop & live! Saturday and Sunday, the last and final Grand Prix competition of the season was held in Berlin. I really enjoyed the all around yesterday as well as todays event finals though there weren´t any surprises concerning the scores. The atmosphere was great, all of the 15 competing gymnasts were very good and expressive and the show program was entertaining!
the all-around placing: 1. Kanaeva, Evgenia (RUS) 115.213; 2. Kondakova, Daria (RUS) 112.297; 3. Staniouta, Melitina (BLR) 110.163; 4. Risenzon, Irina (ISR) 109.381; 5. Gurbanova, Anna (AZE) 106.931; 6. Miteva, Silvia (BUL) 106.573; 7. Garaeva, Aliya (AZE) 106.565; 8. Rivkin, Neta (ISR) 106.130- as I said: no surprise
and the event finals:
ROPE 1. Evgenia Kanaeva RUS 29,066; 2. Daria Kondakova RUS 28,107; 3. Melitina Staniouta BLR 27,491; 4. Irina Risenson ISR 26,966; 5. Aliya Garayeva AZE 26,866; 6. Anna Gurbanova AZE 26,733; 7. Neta Rivkin ISR 26,357; 8. Marina Petrakova KAZ 25,933
HOOP 1. Evgenia Kanaeva RUS 29,032; 2. Melitina Staniouta BLR 28,0253; 3. Irina Risenson ISR 27,516; 4. Silvia Miteva BUL 27,483; 5. Anna Gurbanova AZE 27,316; 6. Daria Kondakova RUS 27,258; 7. Aliya Garaeva AZE 27,158; 8. Marina Petrakova KAZ 26,108
BALL 1. Evgenia Kanaeva RUS 28,849; 2. Daria Kondakova RUS 28,300; 3. Irina Risenson ISR 27,633; 4. Melitina Staniouta BLR 27,408; 5. Anna Gurbanova AZE 27,075; 6. Neta Rivkin ISR 27,049; 7. Silvia Miteva BUL 26,950; 8. Aliya Garaeva AZE 26,083
RIBBON 1. Evgeniya Kanaeva RUS 29,149; 2. Melitina Staniouta BLR 27,941; 3. Daria Kondakova RUS 27,899; 4. Silvia Miteva BUL 27,725; 5. Aliya Garayeva AZE 27,574; 6. Neta Rivkin ISR 27,083; 7. Anna Gurbanova AZE 26,941; 8. Irina Risenson ISR 26,432
detailed results: (all-around & event finals)
Evgenia Kanaeva and her teammate Daria Kondakova dominated the event with their Russian-style gymnastics. Evgenias position in the world of rhythmic gymnastics is definitly justified. She is capable of doing perfect routines again and again and again. When every other gymnast wouldn´t have reached the wrongly thrown ball or hoop anymore, she stretches her fingertips a little bit more and finishes her routine elegant and confident as if nothing had happend. Melitina Staniouta showed the same style but unfortunately she couldn´t always catch her apparatus in the qualifications as well as in the finals. Nevertheless the judges loved her (she is only 16 and got the 4th place at the Olympics)…
Irina Risenson warmed the audience´s hearts with her smile. In my opinion she shows her personality and her passion for the sport the most. In the press conference the day before she answered the question how she started rhythmic gymnastics: “It happend by accident. A trainer told me: You have a pretty smile but you are small and fat, it won´t work for you. Well, even trainer can err…!” (my translation) I also really like her teammate Neta Rivkin who is very exact and sharp in her body positions. She could be a very good artistic gymnast, because she doesn´t take many steps to catch her apparatus and finishes her turns and jumps very clean.
Silvia Miteva performed her routines to classic, elegant and calm music (a nice alternation compared to all the beats which especially the Azerbaijan mix into their music choices), she was very consistent.
I have so much respect for the rhythmic gymnasts because – in contrast to artistic gymnastics – they are always totally alone on the competition floor. They have nothing but their apparatus and all eyes are on them. If you can´t sell your routine, if you haven´t got the personality, grace and expression, if you haven´t got the passion, if you don´t know how to showcase your skills, you are lost. Everybody recognizes the slightest mistake.
But the audience was great. A lot of young girls cheered for every gymnast. Okay, Irina Risenson who also won the audience prize to be “Miss Turnier” (“Miss Tournament”) got the loudest claps but nevertheless every safe catch was celebrated by the very supporting fans. And I think this is one of the few events in Berlin where you see all the Russians who live here together at one place. They really love the sport and in contrast to artistic gymnastics it´s still their domain. No Chinese, Romanian or American girl has any chance to win a title in rhythmic gymnastics.