Four nations golden as Acrobatic World Cup season gets underway in Portugal06/03/2017
A strong new generation of gymnasts from Belgium, Russia, Belarus and Israel flexed their muscles at the Maia Acro World Cup March 3-5 in Portugal, the first of four stops on the 2017 FIG Acrobatic World Cup calendar. With this summer’s The World Games 2017 in view, hopefuls are using the World Cups to round into form for the “Olympic Games for non-Olympic disciplines” in Poland in July.
Israel vs. Great Britain, the rematch
In the absence of other nations, the Men’s Group competition was a rematch between the silver and bronze medallists from the 2016 World Championships in Putian (CHN). As in China 11 months ago, the gymnasts from Israel had the upper hand, leading the British throughout the three rounds of competition. Despite a strong challenge from two groups from Great Britain, the Belarusian Women’s Group, bronze medallists at the 2016 Worlds, turned in three solid performances to finish atop the standings.
Belgium best in Men’s and Women’s Pairs
As the only Women’s Pair registered to compete in Maia, Belgium’s Noemie Lammertyn and Lore Vanden Berghe topped the standings by default. Not so their teammates Robin Casse and Kilian Goffaux, who shot to the top of the leaderboard after a smash Combined routine in the medal round, putting them ahead of Germany’s Michail Kraft and Tim Sebastian. A number of mistakes from Belarus’s Artsiom Yashchanka and Aliaksei Zayats, the leaders throughout the first two rounds, dropped them to fourth in the final.
Russians continue Mixed Pair dominance
Like the Belgians in Men’s Pair, Russians Ivan Nesterenko and Elena Murashko saved the best for last, capturing their first World Cup title in Mixed Pairs on the strength of their lyrical Combined routine. Countrymen Kirill Startsev and Viktoria Aksenova, in their first World Cup appearance, sailed to silver, relegating host country favorites Joao Martins and his new partner Carolina Dias to bronze. Since World champions Georgy Pataraya and Marina Chernova did compete in Maia, the Russians have pairs to spare, but to the delight of the home crowd, it was Martins and Dias who were in first place through the second round.
The Maia Acrobatic World Cup is the first of four Acrobatic World Cup events on the 2017 FIG calendar. After Newark, the action turns to Puurs (BEL) April 7-9, followed by Geneva (SUI) May 25-27. The series concludes September 8-10 in Lisbon (POR).
Results - FIG Acrobatic World Cup in Maia (POR)
1. Robin Casse/Kilian Goffaux, BEL
2. Michail Kraft/Tim Sebastian, GER
3. Maksim Ivanov/Dmitrii Ivanov, RUS
1. Noemie Lammertyn/Lore Vanden Berghe, BEL
1. Ivan Nesterenko/Elena Murashko, RUS
2. Kirill Startsev/Victoria Aksenova, RUS
3. Joao Martins/Carolina Dias, POR
1. Karina Sandovich/Veranika Nabokina/Julia Ivonchyk, BLR
2. Ilisha Boardman/Isabel Haigh/Emily Hancock, GBR
3. Jennifer Bailey/Gabrielle Potter/Roxanna Parker, GBR
1. Daniel Uralevitch/Efi Sach/Lidar Dana/Yannay Kalfa, ISR
2. Lewis Watts/Conor Sawenko/Charlie Tate/Adam Upcott, GBR
Full results from the Maia Acro World Cup can be found here: www.acroteam.org/miac17.