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Khonina and Bravikova Owned 22nd Deriugina Cup

On March 17 to 19, Ukraine’s capital hosted in its Palace of Sports the 2017 Grand Prix in Kiev or also known as the 22nd Deriugina Cup after a five-year break. The break was due to the security considerations the war that has been going on in the country has brought, and although this year the war has not ended, International Gymnastics Federation decided to allow Kiev to hold this year’s competitions.

The Deriugina Cup is one of the brightest and most ambitious sports events for rhythmic gymnastics. This spring, the said tournament was perfectly timed to the anniversary of the legendary coach of the Hero of Ukraine, the President of the Gymnastics Federation of Ukraine—Albina Deriugina, who is now eighty-five years old.

The organizers has prepared a lot of surprises but what is probably the most shocking one, also unplanned, was the competition withdrawal of the bronze medalist from Rio Olympics 2016, Ukranian Anna Rizatdinova after her hoop performance that received a rather high score of 17.600 despite blots. For the remaining three kinds of qualifying competitions in All-Around, Rizatdinova has not performed and even her coach Irish Blokhin could not explain the reason for the Olympian’s disappearance. It was only later in the evening it became known the reason for Rizatdinova’s withdrawal.

Anna Rizatdinova

According to a press release of the organizing committee in Kiev, “Anna Rizatdinova had to stop participating in the qualifying competitions [of the] Deriugina Cup Grand Prix. After the first performance with a hoop, the bronze medalist of the Olympics in Rio could not continue to participate in the competitions due to the aggravation of the long trauma of the foot.”

Later on in another interview, Rizatdinova, who was also named best athlete of the month by the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine, said that she did not leave the gymnasium. When asked about the injury, she said, “Now the main thing is to recover. And then we'll see. Recovery time? We need to cure the trauma so that there are no problems, and then we'll see. The main thing is to be cured.”

Competition Proper

Now without a team leader, the Ukrainian gymnasts seemed to have lost heart as they did not win much of the awards that are up for grabs. The best of this team was Viktoria Mazur, who was on an equal footing with Russia’s Yulia Bravikova at the first part of the competition. However, the poorly executed ribbon routine put Mazur to the third place, and then after all the events were done, two more athletes went ahead of her, eventually leaving her at fifth All-Around with a score of 63.150.

The Russians once again dominated another Grand Prix, much like the previous 2017 Grand Prix in Moscow, when Polina Khonina and Yulia Bravikova took the gold and silver in the All-Around respectively. Khonina scored a 68.800, three points confidently ahead of her teammate Bravikova with a 65.580. Awarded with bronze was Israel’s Victoria Filanovsky, who was the All-Around Champion at the recently concluded Baltic Hoop 2017, with 65.800 points, and on fourth was Bulgaria’s Katrin Taseva who scored 63.600.

2017 Grand Prix in Kiev, 22nd Deriugina Cup

Although third at the All-Around, at the senior event finals for individual apparatus Filanovsky won one gold and three bronze on the hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon respectively. Tied with her on ribbons was Ukraine’s Olena Diachenko. Her team mate Mazur only won bronze in hoop, while Bulgaria’s Taseva won gold in ball. The rest of the individual apparatus awards were taken by the Russians. Bravikova was silver on hoop and gold on both clubs and ribbons. On the other hand, Khonina was silver on ball, clubs and ribbon.

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