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Yana Kudryavtseva is Still the Queen of Rhythmic Gymnastics

With just a few months to go before the Summer Olympic Games, three-time World individual all-around champion Yana Kudryavtseva once again proved herself as the best rhythmic gymnast in front of her compatriot and toughest rival for the Olympic title, Margarita Mamun, at the third FIG World Cup in Pesaro, Italy this weekend.

In the 2016 World Cup Pesaro, the 18-year-old gymnast grabbed the title for the second straight year, taking the lead in three of the four individual apparatus, and was only outshined in the hoop by her teammate Margarita Mamun.

Yana Kudryavtseva

With the competition being the first World Cup appearance of the two Russian gymnasts, the hierarchy that has been in place throughout the quadrennium still holds.

Ukrainian rhythmic gymnast Ganna Rizatdinova, one of the few athletes who can match the level of Mamun and Kudryavtseva, took the third place ahead of the South Korean gymnast Son Yeon Jae, who managed to acquire a career-high score despite missing the podium.

After proving her dominance in the individual all-around, the Angel with Iron Wings decided to withdraw from the apparatus finals in order to minimize the risk of being injured again, giving Mamun and Rizatdinova the chance to take the top spot. Russia’s Margarita Mamun grabbed the gold medals in both the Clubs and the Hoop, while Rizatdinova, who finished behind Mamun in the Clubs, grabbed the title in the Ball and the Ribbon.

2015 World All-around bronze medalist Melitina Staniouta (BLR), only managed to win a medal once, which is the silver in the Ball event.

As disappointing as this may sound, but we might not witness a duel between Kudryavtseva and Mamun at the upcoming Rio Test Event on April 21-22. Despite being both invited to compete at the event, Kudryavtseva has decided to back out in order to fully recover from her injury.

Kudryavtseva

The Italian rhythmic group impressed their audiences by grabbing all three golds available. The Farfalle (Butterflies), as they are nicknamed, took the absence of the champion Russian team as a perfect opportunity to dominate in Pesaro. Italy finished on the top spot ahead of Bulgaria and Israel in the All-around event. They also took the gold medals in the 5 Ribbons ahead of Israel and Bulgaria, then ahead of Belarus and Israel at the 6 Clubs/2 Hoops.

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