The Sports Examiner

GYMNASTICS Preview: Worlds All-Around silver winner Ashram in Rhythmic World Cup in Sofia

Israeli Rhythmic Gymnastics star Linoy Ashram

After a demonstration of dominance by Russia’s Averina sisters at the FIG Rhythmic World Cup opener in Pesaro (ITA) last week, their primary challenger will open her 2019 World Cup schedule this week in Sofia (BUL).

That would be Israel’s Linoy Ashram, who won the 2018 Worlds silver in the All-Around and Hoop and a bronze in the Ribbon. She also won 10 World Cup medals last year, and will be in competition with Russia’s Aleksandra Soldatova, who won World Cup All-Arounds in 2018 in Sofia (Ashram third) and Tashkent (UZB), with Ashram second. The top entries:

● Aleksandra Soldatova (RUS) ~ 2015-18 Worlds Team gold; 2018 All-Around bronze
● Ekaterina Selezneva (RUS) ~ 2018 Sofia World Cup All-Around silver medalist
● Alina Harnasko (BLR) ~ 2017 European Champs Ball bronze medalist
● Neviana Vladinova (BUL) ~ 2018 Worlds Team silver; 2018 Ball bronze
● Katrin Taseva (BUL) ~ 2018 Worlds Team silver medalist
● Linoy Ashram (ISR) ~ 2018 Worlds All-Around & Hoop silvers
● Nikol Zelikman (ISR) ~ 2018 Portimao World Challenge Cup Ball winner
● Milena Baldassari (ITA) ~ 2018 Worlds Team bronze & Ribbon silver
● Alexandra Aguirgiuculese (ITA) ~ 2018 Worlds Team bronze medalist

The U.S. has two entries, led by two-time Nationals All-Around silver medalist Evita Griskenas, who competed last week in Pesaro (ITA) and finished sixth in the All-Around. Camilla Feeley, third in the U.S. All-Around in 2017 and 2018, returns to Sofia for the fourth time; she competed in the 2017 and 2018 World Cups there and was a member of last year’s U.S. team that finished seventh at the World Championships.

Prize money of CHF 2,000-1,500-1,000-500-400-300-200-100 is available to the top eight placers in the All-Around, and CHF 1,000-750-500-300-250-200-150-100 for each apparatus. Look for results here.

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