Kristin Allen and Michael Rodrigues
© Champion Images

GLASGOW, Scotland, Oct. 10, 2008 – Kristin Allen and Michael Rodrigues, both of Livermore, Calif./West Coast Training Center, are in fourth place in mixed pairs after performing their balance routine on the first day of competition at the 2008 Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships, held at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow, Scotland. The duo will compete its dynamic and combined routines tomorrow, and the total score from the three routines determines who advances to the finals on Sunday.

Allen and Rodrigues posted strong artistry and execution scores of 9.250 and 9.050, respectively, along with a difficulty score of 9.780. Their total score of 28.080 is three hundredths of a point behind the 28.100 of Belarus’ Sergei Bykhavtsov and Anastasia Zharnasek, who are currently in third place. Russia holds the top two spots with Olga Sviridova and Stanislav Babarykin in first with a 29.115, and Anastasia Gorbatyuk and Alexander Barleben in second with a 28.803.

The gymnasts only compete a combined routine in finals, and scores from the qualification round do not carry forward.

The 2008 Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships features competition in five events: men’s, women’s and mixed pairs (two gymnasts); women’s group (three gymnasts); and men’s group (four gymnasts). For complete results from the first day of competition, click here.

Acrobatic gymnastics, previously referred to as sport acrobatics, combines the beauty of dance with the strength and agility of acrobatics. Gymnastics skills add excitement to the routines, while intense acrobatic balances show grace, strength and flexibility. Routines are choreographed to music and consist of dance, tumbling, and partner skills. At the elite level, each pair or group performs a balance, dynamic and combined routine. Pyramids and partner holds characterize the balance routine, while synchronized tumbling and intricate flight elements define the dynamic routine. The combined routine unites elements of balance and dynamic.

An acrobatic gymnastics pair consists of a base and a top. A women’s group is comprised of a base, middle and top partner, while a men’s group has a base, two middle partners and one top partner. Bases generally are older athletes who display strength and balance and top partners generally are younger athletes who display flexibility and agility. Middle partners often are required to show a combination of all attributes.