The Sports Examiner

GYMNASTICS Preview: Ashram headlines second Rhythmic World Challenge Cup in Romania

Israeli Rhythmic Gymnastics star Linoy Ashram

After dominating the first Rhythmic World Challenge Cup in Minsk (BLR) last week, Russia’s Averina sisters have the week off and Israel’s Linoy Ashram is the headliner for the second series event, this time in Cluj-Napoca (ROU) from Friday through Sunday.

The 6,930-seat BT Arena is the venue, with some quality entries expected:

● Linoy Ashram (ISR) ~ 2018 Worlds All-Around silver medalist
● Nicol Zelikman (ISR) ~ 2019 European Champs Hoop bronze medalist
● Daria Trubnikova (RUS) ~ 2018 Youth Olympic Games All-Around Champion
● Ekaterina Selezneva (RUS) ~ 2019 World University Games All-Around Champion
● Alexandra Agiurgiuculese (ITA) ~ 2018 Worlds Ball bronze medalist
Laura Zeng (USA) ~Five-time U.S. All-Around champ (2015-19)
Camilla Feeley (USA) ~ 2019 Pan Am Games All-Around silver medalist

While Ashram – a five-time World Championships medalist – is the most decorated entrant, don’t overlook Trubnikova, perhaps the next-generation Russian star. She’s just 16 and is coming off of a gold medal performance at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires last year.

Her Russian teammate Selezneva – now 24 – is also on a roll, having just won the Universiade All-Around title in Naples, Italy last month.

Zeng, the five-time U.S. All-Around champ, has won four career World Cup medals, but never a medal in a World Challenge Cup.

Prize money for the All-Around is CHF 750-550-450-300-250-200-150-100 and for the apparatus finals: 600-450-300-250-200-150-100. Look for results here.

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