British teams win twice at Maia Acrobatic World Cup10/03/2014
Gymnasts from four nations were golden at the Maia Acrobatic World Cup, held over the weekend in Maia (POR).
The young British team, prepping for what they hope will be a multi-medal winning performance at this summer's World Acrobatic Championships in Paris-Levallois (FRA), won two of the five golds handed out in the in the senior division in Maia. 2013 World Games silver medallists Georgia Lancaster, Elise Matthews and Millie Spalding easily topped the standings in the Women's Group category, besting teammates Jennifer Bailey, Cicely Irwin and Josephine Russell, 28.480-27.975 points. Russia's Natalya Lavrukhina, Natalia Solodinina and Viktoria Sukhareva stayed solid for the bronze (27.870).
In Mixed Pairs, Americans Kiley Boynton and Ryan Ward upset reigning World Games and European champions Alice Upcott and Dominic Smith (GBR) for the title. The U.S. pair tallied 30.765, outscoring Upcott and Smith (29.880) in Difficulty, Execution and Artistry. It is the second World Cup gold in as many years for the young American pair, who were also victorious at the Sofia World Cup in 2013. World Cup medallists Eleanor Franks and Christopher Rogers (GBR) added another medal for Britian, finishing third with 28.800.
High difficulty and artistry scores helped Eline De Smedt and Nikki Snel (BEL), take gold in the Women's Paris, in spite of an 0.3 penalty incurred during their final performance. With 28.070, De Smedt and Snel topped Belarus's Marharyta Bartashevich and Viktoria Mikhnovich (27.210), leaving 2012 Worlds finalists Elizaveta Dubrovina and Valentina Kim (RUS) to settle for bronze (27.100).
Russia fared better in Men's Pair, where a high level of difficulty helped Dmitry and Maxim Ivanov capture gold, ahead of Daniyar Muslimov and Sultanbek Naisbeyev (KAZ), 28.205-27.650. Yauheni Novikau and Ilya Rybinksi (BLR) won the bronze (27.440).
As the only team to compete in the Men's Group category, Connor Bartlett, Daniel Cook, Gareth Wood and George Wood were the de-facto winners, giving Britain a second gold.
The Maia World Cup is the first of three Acro World Cups that will be held in 2014. The next World Cup in Aalen (GER) will take place in May.
Competition website: http://goo.gl/sF15Po
Photo gallery: http://goo.gl/dChRXb
Q and A with Rosy Taeymans, FIG Acrobatic Technical Committee President: http://goo.gl/4y5gwY
About the 2014 FIG Acrobatic Gymnastics World Cup series:
The 2014 international season in Acrobatic Gymnastics includes three FIG World Cup competitions, taking place on March 7 - 8 in Maia (POR), on April 24 – 26, in Aalen (GER) and in Stoke-on-Trent (GBR) November 15 - 16. All events are category B tournaments and will feature Qualifying rounds and Finals in Men’s and Women’s Pairs, Mixed Pairs as well as Men’s and Women’s Groups.
The world ranking points collected by the competitors during the circuit will add up to a total with all points counting and the top scorers in each discipline being crowned the winner of the overall series at the final event in Stoke-on-Trent.
For more details, please consult the World Cup Rules 2014 for Acrobatic Gymnastics: http://goo.gl/DPyE9a