GYMNASTICS Preview: Russians Soldatova and Selezneva headline World Challenge Cup in Guadalajara

Russia's Rhythmic star Aleksandra Soldatova

The FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup series has concluded and the World Challenge Cup – a second-tier series – is beginning this weekend in Guadalajara (ESP) with All-Around and Apparatus finals. The level of competition is usually not as good as in the World Cups, but there are three World Championships medal winners on the entry list; the headliners:

● Alexandra Agiurgiuculese (ITA) ~ 2018 Worlds Ball bronze
● Milena Baldassari (ITA) ~ 2018 Worlds Ribbon silver
● Aleksandra Soldatova (RUS) ~ 2018 World Championships bronze & Ribbon gold
● Ekaterina Selezneva (RUS) ~ Sofia World Cup Ball gold, Hoop silver
Laura Zeng (USA) ~ 2018 Worlds All-Around eighth placer; six career World Cup medals

The prize money is less than for the World Cup events: CHF 875-690-565-375-315-250-190-125 for the top eight in the All-Around and then 600-450-300-200-150-100-100-100 for each apparatus.

There will be five World Challenge Cup events, but this is the only one until August; the last four will be held between 16 August and 8 September. Look for results from Guadalajara here.