Kristin Allen and Michael Rodrigues

WROCLAW, Poland, July 17, 2010 – 2009 World Games gold-medalists Kristin Allen and her mixed pair partner Michael Rodrigues, both of Livermore, Calif./West Coast Training Center, won the mixed-pair gold medal at the 2010 World Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships in Wroclaw, Poland. This is the USA’s sixth straight world medal in mixed pair.

"Michael and Kristin have worked so hard for this achievement," said Steve Penny, President of USA Gymnastics. "Their performance reflects their commitment and dedication, and we are thrilled for them."

Recording a score of 28.600 in their tango combined finals routine, 0.55 higher than their qualifying combined routine score, Allen and Rodrigues claimed the mixed-pair gold medal. Russian mixed pair Tatiana Okulova and Revaz Gurgenidze captured the silver with a 28.300.China’s Huang Yan and Zhang Shaolong took the bronze, posting a 27.858.

Allen and Rodrigues led qualifying with a total qualifying score of 84.810.Competing their first two qualifying routines on Friday, July 16, the duo posted a 28.410 in balance, 28.350 in dynamic, and a 28.050 in combined to reach the finals. In the finals, which were a new-life, zero score format, the top 8 pairs performed a combined routine.

Allen and Rodrigues are coached by Marie Annonson. Youri Vorobiev was the delegation head coach at the World Championships, Dr. Jay Binder the head of delegation, and Brandi Lewis was the team manager.

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.

2010 Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships
Wroclaw, Poland
July 17, 2010

Mixed Pair
1. United States, Kristin Allen and Michael Rodrigues, Livermore, Calif./West Coast Training Center, 28.600
2. Russia, Tatiana Okulova and Revaz Gurgenidze, 28.300
3. China, Huang Yan and Zhang Shaolong, 27.858
4. Belarus, Anzhalika Kashpanava and Yury Vaitsiakhouski, 27.120
5. Belgium, Nik De Roeck and Amber Van Wijk, 26.910
6. Lithuania, Ana Koklejeva and Dmitrj Sumilo, 26.900
7. Portugal, Oliveira Neves Norton Sarnebto and Alves Amorim Mariana Gradim, 26.22
8. Bulgaria, Mirela Ivanova and Zlatin Kirov, 25.480

Photos by Matt Jaskulski