Five nations golden at Varna Acro World Cup in Bulgaria11/05/2015
Gymnasts from five nations, including host Bulgaria, were among the winners at the Varna Acrobatic World Cup this past weekend, held in conjunction with the Varna Artistic World Challenge Cup at the Palace of Culture and Sport.
Golden in Varna: Americans Kiley Boynton and Ryan Ward (top) won the Mixed Pairs title, while the host Bulgarian Men's Group took an "easy" World Cup gold, partly by dint of being the only Men's Group entered in the competition.
Russia continued its dominance in Men's Pairs, where it boasts not only reigning World champions Konstantin Pilipchuk and Alexei Dudchenko but up-and-comers Alexander Krasov and Andrei Charikov. The duo have been untouchable on the World Cup scene so far this year, winning in Varna by nearly a point over two-time Worlds veterans Sultanbek Naisbayev and Daniyar Muslimov (KAZ). 2014 World silver medallists Yauheni Novikau and Ilya Rybinski (BLR) finished third.
For Viktoryia Mikhnovich and Marharyta Bartashevich (BLR), disappointment at last year's Worlds has only seemed to make them stronger. The elegant duo finished just off the podium in Levallois, but came back in Varna to win their first World Cup title of the year, over Darina Kriuchkova and Dina Vikhryanova (RUS). Newcomers Jessica Renteria and Maren Merwarth (USA) won the bronze.
The ambitious Emily Langenmayr and Diana Dierich (GER), sixth in the final, nevertheless topped the field with their 9.950 Difficulty score, but a 0.6 penalty and lower Artistic and Execution scores left them trailing the leaders.
Reigning World bronze medallists Kiley Boynton and Ryan Ward (USA) finished atop the podium in Mixed Pairs after three stylish routines, including a hit set in finals. Their combined routine placed them ahead of British Junior champions Isabelle Montagna and Lewis Walker, who have newly joined the senior ranks, as well as British pair Ryan Bartlett and Hannah Baughn, who surprised for the bronze.
After sitting out the Maia World Cup due to an injury, Belgian Women's Trio Kaat Dumarey, Ineke van Schoor and Julie van Gelder radiated elegance and style in every routine to take gold. The Russian women's Trio, including 2014 World silver medallist Valeriia Belkina and new partners Zhanna Parkhometc and Yulia Nikitina, earned silver, while Belarus's Karina Sandovich, Veranika Nabokina and Katsiaryna Barysevich won bronze.
In the absence of other Men's Groups, Bulgaria's own Venelin Parvanov, Hristo Dimitrov, Borislav Borisov and Dennis Andreev took the title. The Bulgarian men finished fourth at the 2014 World Championships in Levallois (FRA).
1. Alexander Krasov and Andrei Charikov, RUS, 28.690
2. Daniyar Muslimov and Sultanbek Naisbayev, KAZ, 27.770
3. Yauheni Novikau and Ilya Rybinski, BLR, 27.730
1. Viktoryia Mikhnovich and Marharyta Bartashevich, BLR, 28.350
2. Darina Kriuchkova and Dina Vikhryanova, RUS, 27.460
3. Jessica Renteria and Maren Merwarth, USA, 26.260
1. Kiley Boynton and Ryan Ward, USA, 28.930
2. Lewis Walker and Isabelle Montagna, GBR, 28.180
3. Ryan Bartlett and Hannah Baughn, GBR, 27.980
1. Kaat Dumarey, Ineke van Schoor and Julie van Gelder, BEL, 28.910
2. Zhanna Parkhometc, Yulia Nikitina and Valeriia Belkina, RUS, 28.450
3. Karina Sandovich, Veranika Nabokina and Katsiaryna Barysevich, BLR, 27.830
1. Venelin Parvanov, Hristo Dimitrov, Borislav Borisov and Dennis Andreev, BUL, 27.540
Related: Full results: http://varnaworldcup2015.com/downloads