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Korean Rhythmic Gymnast Takes Home Silver at 2016 Moscow Grand Prix

Son Yeon-Jae, one of the most prominent Korean rhythmic gymnasts, established a great start in this Olympic season after acquiring the silver medal in the individual all-around event of the 2016 Moscow Rhythmic Gymnastics Grand Prix.

Her second-place finish has lifted the confidence of the Korean aspirants in the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics.

Last Sunday, at the Druzhbah Arena, the Korean athlete obtained 18.366 points at the club event and 18.166 at the ribbon event of the said competition.

Son Yeon-jae (Left, holding a silver medal)

Prior to that, she acquired 18.066 points in the hoop routine and 18.366 in the ball event on the previous day.

The 22-year-old rhythmic gymnasts surpassed the 18-point mark in each of the four events, acquiring a total of 72.964, which earned her the second place in the said competition.

The score she had acquired in the international competition outpaced her previous best score of 72.8 of which she had obtained at the FIG World Cup in Sofia, Bulgaria last August.

Son Yeon-Jae also broke her personal records in the ball and club event, surpassing her previous best scores from last year’s Sofia World Cup competition.

The individual all-around gold medal was acquired by the Russian gymnast Aleksandra Soldatova, after earning a score of 74.066. Meanwhile, the bronze medal was obtained by another Russian rhythmic gymnast, Arina Averina after finishing with a score of 72.682.

Son has been competing in the Moscow Grand Prix since 2011 except last year, but this was the very first time she acquired a medal in the said competition.

In her first Grand Prix participation, Son finished 19th place, but since then, she had seen her ranking climb. In 2012, she secured the 18th place in the individual all-around competition, then 10th place in 2013, and then 6th place in 2014.

The said competition, which is organized by the Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation has been regarded as more competitive compared to other similar competitions due to the reason that it doesn’t have a national quota for the number of competitors and thus draws more big names from Russia – a country which is known to be the habitat of the strongest rhythmic gymnasts.

Six Russian gymnasts participated in this year’s event, which includes Soldatova, Averina and Margarita Mamun.

Moscow Grand Prix 2016

Mamun, who is widely known as the world’s greatest rhythmic gymnast, finished fourth after obtaining a total score of 72.432.

The Moscow Grand Prix event was a very significant competition for Son, wherein she successfully surpassed the total score of Melitina Staniouta, a Belarusian gymnast she’s likely to fight again in the Summer Olympics. Staniouta finished fifth place after making a mistake on the ribbon event, finishing with a score of 72.249.

Ukrainian rhythmic gymnast Ganna Rizatdinova, who’s also a strong rival of Son Yeon-Jae, has not been able to attend the competition.

Throughout the course of the competition, Son displayed a new program here she executed her signature fouette pivot with a straight leg, earning her 0.2 extra points on technical difficulty. This event had further boosted her chances to challenge her two greatest rivals at the Rio Summer Games.

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