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Team USA Names Its Rhythmic Gymnastics Squad for Rio Olympics

As the 2016 USA Gymnastics Championships in Providence, Rhode Island concludes, the five female athletes who will compete for the United States in the rhythmic gymnastics group competition of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio were also determined.

The athletes that were chosen to represent the United States are Alisa Kano, Kiana Eide, Kristen Shaldybin, Monica Rokhman and Natalie McGiffert. Monica’s twin sister, Jennifer Rokhman, has been selected as the replacement athlete for the team.

Gymnasts to Represent USA at the Rio Olympics

The six female rhythmic gymnasts have achieved historic achievements as a group the past two seasons. Last year they managed to earn the first rhythmic gymnastics group Olympic spot for the United States after achieving the thirteenth place at the 2015 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, which qualified the U.S. rhythmic group as the highest finishing country outside of Europe and Asia.

Team USA’s qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics will be the first time in 20 years that the U.S. has qualified for the Olympic Games. The U.S. sent a team to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, acquiring a quota spot as the host country.

The historic performance at the World Championships was coupled with a strong execution at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, where they obtained the six clubs and two hoops title, which is the Team USA’s first-ever Rhythmic Group gold at the Pan American Games. They also managed to win the silver in the Group All-around and Five Ribbons competition.

This season, the female athletes chosen for the Rio Olympics have also participated at three World Cup events. They attained the most success at the most recent competition, at the Minsk World Cup in Belarus, where they achieved a fifth-place finish. At the 2014 Pan American Games in Toronto, they also acquired the gold in Team and silver in the All-around and Five Clubs. Among the team, McGiffert has the most experience, having competed in a total of seven World Cups since 2013.

Team USA

One of the U.S. team members, the 21-year-old Kano, had been born in the year that the U.S. managed to make its appearance in the rhythmic group competition in the Olympic Games. Team member Shaldybin will celebrate her 19th birthday in Rio. The youngest among the rhythmic group is Eide, who is only 17 years old.

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