Last week I spent some hours watching the 31st Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships which took place in Montpellier via live streaming. It has been a fantastic event, not only gymnastics-wise but also organisation-wise. And now I really wish for an Artistic World Championship to take place in France. Everything from the first promotional video to the theme colour pink to the podium and to the award ceremony looked so nice, well-thought and just perfect (at least on screen, that’s all I can say). I especially liked the boys (instead of the usual girls) with their hats who brought the medals and flowers; it would be nice to see something similar for women’s artistic gymnastics. Plus, the FIG did an excellent job with the live scoring, their website updates and especially with all the excellent videos. Check out their channel on YouTube if you haven’t already.
The gymnasts were at their best, too. It has been one of two qualification events for the Olympics. So congratulation to Evgenia Kanaeva (who won everything she could), Daria Kondakova (both RUS), Aliya Garaeva (AZE), Liubou Charkashyna (BLR), Alina Maksymenko (UKR), Melitina Staniouta (BLR), Silviya Miteva (BUL), Joanna Mitrosz (POL), Ulyana Trofimova (UZB), Neta Rivkin (ISR), Yeon Jae Son (KOR), Delphine Ledoux (FRA), Senyue Deng (CHN), Julieta Cantaluppi (ITA) and Caroline Weber (AUT). All of them qualified for London 2012.
Here are my favourite routines of each apparatus. Of course, I could embed every routine from Kanaeva, but to mix it up a little bit I chose different gymnasts.
Alina Maksymenko is the first Ukrainian gymnast after Anna Bessonova (who is the 2007 AA World Champion) who has chances to bring home some medals again. The opening of her hoop routine left me speechless. She does a split leap and three rolls before she catches the hoop again with her right foot. Her artistry is great and she really knows how to use her beautiful doll-face.
Daria Kondakova had to take home silver – again. It must be frustrating for her to always come second even when Kanaeva does some serious mistakes. I love her passionate character which she shows very well in her routines. Here she is with the most difficult apparatus, the ribbon – it always has to be in motion in order to look good. And not everyone can master a music which is as fast as hers.
Daria Dmitrieva didn’t catch the ball twice in this routine (the second time it even rolled of the podium) but it’s still an extremely well choreographed routine with an, let’s say, “special” music, her execution and interpretation is excellent and entertaining to watch.
And finally Evgenia Kanaeva with another flawless clubs routine. Nothing more to say.
The groups were all on a very high level, too. Italy, Russia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Japan and Germany qualified directly to the Olympics.
Bulgaria presented an excellent balls routine which brought them the bronze medal. It’s not easy to pull off such a dramatic/heroic music.
And here we have Italy at its best with 3 ribbons and two hoops. Enjoy.