Francesca and Keziah win Bronze
Twice British Champion Francesca Jones won all the available Bronze medals (in the All-around, Rope, Hoop, Clubs and Ribbon) at the LG Rhythmic Gymnastics International at Fenton Manor, Stoke on Trent, 5/6 April.
No other gymnast from the eight participating countries other than the 17-year old from Nene Valley could come close to the two famous Bulgarian stars Simona Peycheva and Elizabeth Paisieva, who clearly dominated the field and helped bring the event to a truly world-class standard.
Peycheva, who was 6th in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and many times World and European medallist, swept all five Gold medals, while Paisieva (also World medallist) took all the Silver awards.
Next to this outstanding "trio", in fourth, came Katrien Morbee from Belgium (All-around and Clubs), the Scottish Magalie Mackay (Rope), the Canadian Brihana Mosienko (Hoop) and the Czech Martina Illchova (Ribbon).
Bulgaria’s best Juniors Tsvetelina Stoyanova (winner in the All around and with the Ribbon), and Gabriela Kirova (Gold medallist with the Rope, Hoop and Ball), were also difficult to match, but the battle to join them on the rostrum was much hotter and dispersed
In this respect, Keziah Gore’s Bronze medal with the Ball was a huge success and a timely demonstration of potential before the upcoming European Championships in Turin (ITA), in June.
The Belgians Amber Heidens (Silver with Ribbon) and Lieslotte Diels (Bronze in the All-around), along with the German Sarah Radman, who won the Bronze medals with Rope and Hoop, rounded up the list of the medallist in the event which will be remembered for the hugely improved technical level of performance of the British competitors, and some truly outstanding routines from the medallists.
"The most encouraging thing in this event was, that our Champion Francesca Jones didn’t seem out of place performing alongside some of the best gymnasts in the world, neither did our Juniors. The II LG International has turned into an event of a high calibre and we hope that the experience gained in it will help our gymnasts to improve further", said the TC Chair Joan Black.
Photos - Alan Edwards.