Margarita Mamun Tops Kazan World Cup Ahead of Yana Kudryavtseva

Russian rhythmic gymnastics superstar Margarita Mamun shocked the home crowd after beating her team mate and Olympic gold favorite Yana Kudryavtseva at the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Kazan last weekend.

The two-time World All-around silver medalist displayed strong performances at the competition held on their home soil to finish ahead of her best friend and fellow athlete Kudryavtseva in the individual All-around event.

Margarita Mamun

The 20-year-old Mamun, who also won the Hoop title at the inaugural European Games in Baku last year, obtained an impressive score of 77.050 to finish with a comfortable margin ahead of the three-time World All-around champion Kudryavtseva, who could only manage to acquire 75.950 points.

Over the past three seasons, the two Russian gymnasts have been used to finishing 1-2 at the majority of the international competitions they both partake in, with Kudryavtseva leading among the two. However, this time in Kazan, Mamun proved that the tides can be turned, and it can also happen at the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio.

In her entire FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup career, it was only the fifth time that Mamun had successfully defeated the formidable Kudryavtseva.

“Overall, I am satisfied with the performance, of course, there were blots, defects that are normally not visible to the viewer, so on the whole I am satisfied. But there are mistakes, so we will work on them.”

Mamun has claimed the all-around titles at the past four World Cups she has participated in, but Kudryavtseva was not present at two of these competitions. Until now the two Russian rhythmic superstars have competed with each other only once this season, at the 32nd Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships in Israel, where Kudryavtseva successfully defended her European crown.

The recent success of Mamun in the FIG World Cup in Kazan poses a great challenge to the three-time World All-around champion Kudryavtseva, who’s considered as the strong favorite for the Olympic individual all-around gold medal. They are expected to display tough and exciting competition in August, if they will be selected as Olympic candidates.

Yana Kudryavtseva

The individual All-around podium was completed by another Russian gymnast, Aleksandra Soldatova. Korean rhythmic gymnast Son Yeon Jae barely missed the All-around podium despite of her record breaking performances.

Aside from the All-around title, Mamun also claimed the gold medals in the Clubs and Ribbon, while also obtaining the silver in the Ball and bronze in the Hoop. Kudryavtseva acquired the gold medals in the Ball and Hoops but missed out the podium on the Ribbon event final.

In the team competition, the Russian team, as expected, has won the Group All-around event. While they were beaten by the Bulgarian team in the Five Ribbons event, they immediately took revenge by claiming the gold in the Six Clubs and Two Hoops, beating Belarus and Italy.

The final series of the FIG World Cup this season will take place in Baku, Azerbaijan on July 22-24, 2016.

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