14. March 2010  
Portimao, Portugal  
Rhythmic Gymnastics

5th World Cup in Portimao was a very good test before the Europeans

Started on Thursday, March 11, the 5th Portimao FIG World Cup of Rhythmic Gymnastics, and the already traditional Portimao International Tournament for junior gymnast in its 24th edition finished at Sunday.
After Montreal and Debrecen it was the third event of the young season 2010, already! This is definitely one of the biggest meetings before the European Championships in Bremen (GER) in April and so 58 senior gymnast from 22 countries, 45 juniors from 21 countries and 15 groups presented their new choreographies with the new modified code of points. The junior competition is being held following the UEG system that will be also the ones used in Bremen, with the team competition and apparatus finals. Olympic Champion Evgenia Kanaeva was without mistakes but won three of the four finals.
In the group competition Belarus beat the Russians (5 hoops) and Italy won gold with ropes/ribbons ...

The venue in Portimao, before starting the events
* Gymmedia correspondent Esther Teijeira (photos & text) reporting from Portimao

Jana Berezko-Marggrander (GER), surprised at the 1st day ...!

The groups competition started today with the expected result of Russia taking the leadership with a big difference with the second team, Italy. Both of them performed without any important mistake and so they were able to open a gap with the followers. Israel is in a surprising third place, after making a flawless routine, which gave them the chance to be in advantage with Belarus, which is in the fourth place, with a nice routine, but unfortunately not free of some failures.
The unlucky team of the evening was Ukraine, with a lot of problems during their performance, and even a hoop running out the carpet.

Lauda Jung, Jana Brezko-Marggrander (GER)

** SATURDAY, March 13
Individual all-around:
As expected Olympic Champion Evgeniya Kanaeva’s placing second after two routines on Friday wouldn’t last more than one day. 
On second day she showed all her experience and artistry and won with clean routines over her teammate Daria Kondakova who had some little mistakes with ball.
Kanaeva conquered the first place with 114,675 points - only 0,325 points ahead of Kondakova – what might mean that Kondakova could take over the leadership of the Russian team in no time.
** SUNDAY, March 14
Elite's Individual Finals
After four long days full of great sport at the 5th Portimao World Cup came to an end. At today’s senior finals, the gymnasts seamed to be already a little bit tired and made more mistakes than usual.

* R o p e  
In rope final the podium was as expected winning Evgeniya Kanaeva in front of Daria Kondakova (both from Russia) and Aliya Garaeva from Aserbaidshan who already won medals at European Championships in 2007 and 2009.
      >> Detailed Results

* H o o p
Russia’s Kanaeva missed for the first time in years a final, concretely the hoop final, due to her unlucky performance in the all-around, so her teammate Daria Kondakova took the gold medal ahead of Daria Dimitrieva (RUS) and Silviya Miteva from Bulgaria.
            >> Detailed Results
* Group's Finals
* 5 H o o p s
Byelorussian girls
won with a faultless exercise in front of Italy who only had a small drop and Russia that had a big drop out of the carpet.
The German group didn’t qualify for this final, as the second non-eastern european country Switzerland could make it into the final with five hoops and placed 7th with a clean and well-choreographed routine. 
      >> Detailed Results

* 2 R o p e s / 3 Ri b b o n s
The group final with ribbons & ropes was a complete desaster for the Russian and Byelorussian groups, both having countless drops and even knots. Thereby the Italian girls took their chance and won ahead of Russia and Israel.
The German group showed a good exercise and placed on a fantastic 5th place.       >> Detailed Results

Alina Maxymenko (UKR), Irina Risenzon (ISR)