© Ricardo Bufolin

CALI, Colombia, December 5, 2021 – Sarah Mariotti of San Diego, Calif./Emerald City Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics and Nayenne Pollini Ashenaffi of Reseda, Calif./Rhythmic Academy of Los Angeles each secured gold on the final day of gymnastics competition at the 2021 Junior Pan American Games Sunday at the Coliseo El Pueblo in Cali, Colombia. In all, U.S. gymnasts claimed six medals during rhythmic apparatus finals, bringing the American total to 29 across the artistic, trampoline and rhythmic gymnastics disciplines.

Pollini Ashenaffi took the top spot on the hoop apparatus with a 21.050, edging Brazil’s Maria Eduarda Alexandre (21.000) and Mariotti who earned bronze with a 19.400. Mariotti finished with three medals on the day, adding gold on ribbon (18.750) and silver on clubs (20.500) to accompany the all-around bronze medal she captured Saturday. She also finished fifth on ball with a 19.350. Eduarda Alexandre followed up her all-around title with high scores on ball (20.850) and clubs (22.800). Pollini Ashenaffi – the all-around silver medalist – was fourth on ball (20.150) and clubs (19.200) and sixth on ribbon (16.650).

In the group competition, the U.S. earned bronze in the five balls and five ribbons finals. Group members Irina Fesyun of Aventura, Fla., Sophia Miller of Aventura, Fla., Angelina Mirer of Hollywood, Fla., Natalia Ortigosa of Hollywood, Fla., and Alexandra Rykova of Hollywood, Fla., all of IK School of Gymnastics, posted a 30.650 on five balls and 17.650 on five ribbons to claim their second and third medals of the competition following yesterday’s group all-around bronze. Mexico (33.650) took gold over Brazil (33.650) in the five balls category via the tie break. Brazil (25.250) led the way on five ribbons, while the group from Mexico (19.650) was forced to settle for the silver.