2011 World RG Championships Diary, Montpellier (FRA) - British Gymnastics

2011 World RG Championships Diary, Montpellier (FRA)

goodGORE_KeziahAA jam-packed Park & Suits Arena in Montpellier; frenzied crowds and 24 Groups fighting for 6 Olympic visas, or, at least the chance to compete in the Test event in London, next January, for the remaining four tickets to London 2012.

Sunday, 25/09 – Day 7- Groups Finals (CIII) - Last gold medals go to Russia and Bulgaria
2011 Group medallists - 5 balls:
Gold: Russia – 28.000
Silver: Italy – 27.000
Bronze: Bulgaria – 26.950
4. Belarus, 26.775 5. Japan, 26.575 6. Spain, 26.525 7. Germany, 26.500 8.France, 26.000

2011 Group medalliasts– 3 ribbons/2 hoops:
Gold: Bulgaria - 27.400
Silver: Italy- 26.725
Bronze: Israel- 26.675
4. Switzerland,25.850 5. Germany,25.575  6. Russia,25.000 7. Japan,24.500
8. China, 23.625

Saturday, 24/09 - Day 6 - Groups- All-around
Italy wins third consecutive title: 2009, 2010, 2011

Jam-packed Park & Suits Arena in Montpellier; frenzy crowds and 24 Groups fighting for 6 Olympic visas, or, at least the chance to compete in the Test event in London, next January, for the remaining four tickets to London 2012.

2011 World medallists in the all-around:
Gold: Italy- 55.150
Silver: Russia-54.850
Bronze: Bulgaria-54.125

4. Belarus-52.850 5. Japan-52.725 6.Germany-52.675 7. Ukraine- 51.850 8. Switzerland-51.825 9.France- 51.775 10.Israel- 51.700 11. Greece- 50.875 12. Spain- 50.500


Friday, 23/09 - Day 5-  Individual All-around Finals (CII)

 Evgenia Kanaeva equals the world record!

Evgenia Kanaeva (RUS), 2008 Olympic Champion and twice World Champion (in Mie, Japan 2009 and Moscow, Russia 2010) won her third consecutive world all-around title in Montpellier and became the third competitor – triple World Champion - in the history of Rhythmic Gymnastics.  The two Bulgarians Maria Guigova and Maria Petrova who held the record achievement until Friday, 23/09 had won their titles in 1969/71/73 and 1993/94/95 respectively.

1.    Evgenia Kanaeva (RUS)  116.650

2.    Daria Kondakova (RUS)  116.600

3.     Aliya Garaeva (AZE)  112.450

4.L. Charkashyna BLR, 112.200;  5. A. Maksymenko UKR, 111.575;6. M.Staniouta BLR,110.250; 7. S. Miteva BUL,110.225; 8. J. Mitrosz POL,109.000;  9. U. Trofimova UZB,108.375;10. N.Rivkin ISR,107.925; 11. SON Y. KOR, 107.750; 12. D. Ledoux FRA,107.525;13. DENG S. CHN 105.900; 14. J.Cantalouppi ITA, 105.575; 15. C. Weber AUT 105.500

A conformation by the FIG of the above 15 gymnasts/nations who gain the right to compete in London 2012 is expected on Saturday, 24/09. The gymnasts/nations ranked 16-24 on Friday will be invited to the second round of the Olympic qualification, to fight for further 5 Olympic visas at the Test event in London, in January 2012.

To see Alan Edwards' pictures of this event please go to www.f2images-gymnastics.co.uk


Thursday, 22/09 – Day 4 - Evening session- Finals (CIII) clubs and ribbon

Golden Kanaeva (RUS)- Silver Kondakova (RUS)- Bronze Miteva (BUL)- in a class of their own!


1 Evgenia Kanaeva (RUS) 29.600

2 Daria Kondakova (RUS) 29.300

3 Silvia Miteva (BUL) 28.300


1. Evgenia Kanaeva (RUS) 29.400

2.Daria Kondakova (RUS) 29.250

3.Silvia Miteva (BUL) 28.300


    Thursday, 22/09 – Day 4 - Qualifications (CI)
    The GBR gymnasts performed their last routine, with clubs, in the first session of the Qualification round on Thursday, once again, immediately after the leaders in the current ranking, Russia, and before Belarus (in second). Their scores were visibly higher compared to the previous three days:  

    Mimi Cezar      20.475 (D 6.125, A 7.500, E 7.050, time penalty 0.200)  

    Kezi Gore        22.900 (D 7.500, A 7.850, E 7.700, time penalty 0.150

    Frankie Jones     23.825, the highest achieved by her over the four days of competition! (D 7.475, A 8.200, E 8.200, time penalty 0.050)

    Frankie:  “I was pleased with today’s performance, my strongest Clubs routine this year in competition”.





    kezi gore ribbon small_“All in all a good World Championships for the team and an increase in the team score from the 2010 World Championships, Moscow to Montpellier, 224.725 to 226.175.

     Mimi, our youngest team member gave determined performances showing both focus and maturity at her first major Championships as senior, performances which will serve her well in the next cycle.  Keziah gave consistent performances throughout ending the Championships with her three highest scores, 67.900.  Frankie improved from day 1 and ended the Championships with her best clubs performance this year for a total of 71.175 and is the highest ranked Briton beating her score from Moscow. We had some challenges as a team but I do not think we could have expected too much more. I am pleased with the end result from a relatively young team and I am excited for 2012, the Olympic Games and the next cycle”, said Steve Green, HOD.


    Final Team Ranking:
    1.    Russia- 290.275
    2.    Belarus- 272.500
    3.    Ukraine- 269.675
    GBR in 27th 226.150

    Top 3 in the Individual ranking in CI:
    1  KANAEVA Evgenia RUS - 87.775
    2  KONDAKOVA Daria RUS - 87.400
    3 GARAYEVA Aliya AZE - 84.100

    Only Russia, Belarus and Ukraine have qualified two gymnasts each for the Individual all-around final of the top 24 gymnasts (CII) event which will take place on Friday, 23/09.  It will be a “make it or break it “competition for all of them because only the top 15 gymnasts will secure 2012 Olympic visas for their respective nations in Montpellier.


    Wednesday, 21/09 – Day 3- Qualifications (CI), clubs and ribbon

    GBR move one position ahead

    “Sandwiched” between the very best in the world, the teams of Russia and Belarus, the British gymnasts Mimi Cesar (16), Keziah Gore (16) and Frankie Jones (20) didn’t look neither out of place, nor out of date in the third day of these World Championships.

    In spite of a few small mistakes, their performances with ribbon were much more confident compared to the ball and hoop routines in the previous two days, and also, all the three were well received by the audience whose number increases by the day.

    With only clubs left to perform in the final day of the Qualification round (CI) on Thursday, 22/09, the team has the chance to improve their final standing.


    Ribbon scores:

    Mimi Cesar  20.700 (D 5.950, A 7.250, E 7.500)

    Keziah Gore  21.500 (D 6.800, A 7.350, E 7.400)

    Frankie Jones  23.550 (D 7.300, A 8.150, E 8.100)

    Frankie Jones:  “I am reasonably pleased with my performance except for the lack of amplitude in one of my leaps. It was a much stronger performance today!”

    Steve Green, Head of Delegation:   “For me Day 3 was always going to test the nerve of the team- the third apparatus being essential for banking the three highest scores to set up the final individual ranking.  The highest scorer for the team so far is Frankie, 70.000 pts. - similar to what she achieved last year at the World Championships in Moscow (RUS).  If she delivers a good final routine with clubs tomorrow, she could improve on her score and ranking.”

    Top 3 teams after Day 3:

    1. Russia- 257.950

    2. Belarus- 241.900

    3. Ukraine- 240.475

    GBR in 27th position (200.125) out of 31 teams

    Frankie Jones- in 75th (70.000), Keziah Gore- in 97th (66.500), Mimi Cesar- in 101st (63.625) out of 127 gymnasts

    The scene is set for a very exciting final day of the team competition in Montpellier.


    Tuesday, 20/09 – Day 2 - Finals (CIII) hoop and ball - Kanaeva and Kondakova double their Gold and Silver


    1.    Evgenia Kanaeva (RUS) 29.300

    2.    Daria Kondakova (RUS) 29.050 

    3.    Neta Rivkin (ISR)          28.000   


    1. Evgenia Kanaeva (RUS)      29.600

    2. Daria Kondakova (RUS)      29.375

    3. Liubov Charkashina (BLR)    28.450



    The first two Apparatus Finals of these Championships turned into a top class display of the beauty and the high technical standards of Rhythmic Gymnastics. They have been marked by Kanaeva’s record high 10.00 points for body movement difficulty (D1) for both her hoop and ball routine.   Her final score on ball of 29.600 was also the highest in the competition so far.

    Should the deafening decibels in the arena be taken as an indication of the audience’s approval, then Kondakova’s hoop routine and the ball exercise of Sylvia Miteva (BUL) have also to be included in the list of the most memorable performances of the night. (Miteva ended in fourth in both the Finals)

    Tuesday, 20/09 – Day 2 - Qualifications (CI), hoop and ball and Finals (CIII) hoop and ball
    In spite of the fact that all the three British gymnasts had to compete with hoop at the very beginning of the morning session (Mimi being the first gymnast on the floor for the day), they gave far better impressions on day two, more in keeping with what they are each capable of, altough generally the scores appeared to be relatively low (artistry in particular).

    However, the team delivered far happier performances which hopefully will impact positively on the team ranking by the end of the day's proceeding and the half way stage.

     Mimi Cesar- 21.575 (D 6.425; A 7.000; E 7.450)
     Kezi Gore- 22.900 (D 7.200; A 7.850; E 7.850)
     Frankie Jones-23.800 (D 7.500; A 8.150; E 8.150)

    kezi frankie mimi smallTim Jones, BG Olympic Performance Director:
    “This World Championships is an important milestone in the lead to the 2012 Olympic games, and the experience all our girls will gain here will stand them in good state in their quest for qualification. It is good to see their growing confidence as the competition progresses. I will look forward to seeing some positive performances with the remaining two apparatus, clubs and ribbon”.

    Steve Green, Head of Delegation in Montpellier:
    “I am much happier with today’s performances. Day one seemed to be the day for the nerves but it is over now.  Today we have started to find our rhythm- the mood in the camp is upbeat and we hope to build on ball and hoop.”

    Savina Gancheva, coach of Frankie Jones in the last few weeks of preparation:
    “Definitely improved performance of Frankie today and I must say, I expected to see a higher score for her artistry with the hoop…”

    Anni Ahmavaara, personal coach of Kezi Gore:
    “Kezi has done a great job considering her less than ideal preparation due to an injury. Ball was a bit nervous yesterday but hoop today was much more confident and performed with good pirouettes.”

    On Wednesday, 21/09 the British will perform with ribbon late in the afternoon and by midday on Thursday, 22/09 they will finish the Individual Qualification round with their performances with clubs. 

    Top 3 Teams after Day 2:
    1.    Russia        170.875
    2.    Belarus        163.300
    3.    Ukraine    159.875
    Great Britain - in 28th (134.375) out of 31 full Teams

    Top 3 Individuals after Day 2:
    1.    Evgenia Kanaeva (RUS)    58.575
    2.    Daria Kondakova (RUS)    58.250
    3.    Aliya Garaeva      (AZE)    56.125

    Francesca Jones – in 82nd (46.450), Kezi Gore – in 94th (45.00) and Mimi Cesar- in 109th (42.925) out of  126 individuals taking part.

     Monday, 19/09- Day 1- Qualifications (CI) for individuals, hoop and ball

    Not the best day for the three British girls on ball at the opening day of the Championships... 
    Mimi Cesar was visibly nervous by the time of the competition but got through her routine scoring 21.350. 
    Kezi Gore, known as excellent performer with this apparatus did well but in the finishing part of her routine let the ball roll out of the floor – 22.100.
    Frankie Jones also suffered a few wobbles until nearly the end of her exercise when she dropped the ball outside the border line to lose 0.20pts – final score of 22.650.

    The current ranking in the end of the first day showed no surprises: Evgenia Kanaeva (RUS), the 2008 Olympic and twice World Champion in the lead, 29.275 (ball), followed by her teammate Daria Kondakova, 29.000 (ball) and Alija Garaeva (AZE), 28.175 (hoop). Russia in top position in the Team contest (83.525, ball); Belarus in second (82.525, ball) and Azerbaidjan in third (79.126, hoop).

    Sunday, 18/09 - Preview

    The fact that these 31st World Championships for Individuals and Groups will also serve as the first round for the London 2012 Olympic Qualification explains well, why, the atmosphere will be charged with ambition and nerves.

    The competition, involving representatives of 54 National Federations starts on Monday 19 September and by the end of the week we will see the new champions and also the 15 Individuals and 6 Groups who will leave France with their Olympic visas.

    For the rest of the world’s elite there will be one last chance, the Pre-Olympic Test Event in London, in January 2012 to gain the remaining 5 individual and 4 Groups’ Olympic places.

    The Championships will also serve as the qualification for the World Games in Cali (COL) in 2013.

    Great Britain is represented in Montpellier in the Individual contest, by the top three British Rhythmic gymnasts:

    -    Francesca (Frankie) Jones (City of Birmingham)-5 time British Champion and Commonwealth Games hoop silver medallist;
    -    Keziah (Kezi) Gore (City of Canterbury)-2011 British clubs and ribbon Champion and
    -    Mimi Cesar (City of Birmingham), first year senior, who, like Kezi is making her World Championships debut.

    In the toughest of the tough concurrence of the world’s best gymnasts their target will be clean and steady performances. The name of the highest ranked British gymnast in the Qualification stage of the event (CI) will be submitted to the BOA for ratification and she will also compete at the Test Event at the North Greenwich Arena, London in January 2012.

    Starting with the ball on Monday, 19 September GBR hope to begin the team and individual Championships with strong performances and look to better the team score achieved by the British team at the 2010 World Championships, Moscow – 224.725pts.  By Thursday we will know how well GBR have fared on the Rhythmic world scene.

    It was announced that the British judge Nia Thomas, will undertake the Judge’s Oath at the Opening Ceremony on Monday afternoon – a huge honour for the British delegation!

    While the Russians (led by the 2008 Olympic and twice World Champion Evgenia Kanaeva) are the clear favourites to reach the top positions in the team, individual all-around and apparatus finals events, the situation in the Groups’ competition seems much more unpredictable. Here the Russians will meet fierce opposition from the defending champions Italy; plus Bulgaria and Belarus who have long stood on the World and European rostrums and Israel who shows the capacity to break through to the medals.

    Competition Programme:

    Monday, 19/09    Qualifications (CI) for individuals, hoop and ball
    Tuesday, 20/09    Qualifications (CI), hoop and ball and Finals (CIII) hoop and ball
    Wednesday, 21/09    Qualifications (CI), clubs and ribbon
    Thursday, 22/09    Qualifications (CI) and Finals (CIII) clubs and ribbon
    Friday, 23/09        Individual All-around Finals (CII)
    Saturday, 24/09    Groups- Qualifications (CI) - 5 balls and 3 ribbons +2 hoops
    Sunday, 25/09    Groups- Finals (CIII) – 5 balls and 3 ribbons +2 hoops