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Keys earns junior all-around bronze, four U.S. gymnasts advance to apparatus finals on Day 2 of 2022 International Tournament Sofia Cup
posted on 04/02/2022

SOFIA, Bulgaria, April 2, 2022 - Rin Keys (Porter Ranch, Calif./Burlo Gymnastics) captured all-around bronze in the junior division Saturday at the 2022 International Tournament Sofia Cup in Bulgaria. Megan Chu (San Diego, Calif./Emerald City Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics) was fifth, while senior teammates Daria Merkulova (Grayslake, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center) and Jenna Zhao (Hinsdale, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center) also delivered top-ten all-around finishes. Chu, Keys, Merkulova and senior Lily Avila (Highland Park, Ill./Vitrychenko Academy) will be back in action Sunday at the Sofia Sports Hall as the competition wraps with apparatus finals.

Keys' combined 112.650 was bested only by Poland's Lilana Lewinska (115.500) and Bulgaria's Elvira Krasnobaeva (113.050), who finished first and second. Bulgaria's Nikol Todorova (110.800) just edged Chu (110.600) for fourth. Keys posted the day's high score on ribbon with a 28.250. She previously earned a spot in Sunday's ball final. Chu, who will also compete in the hoop final, advanced on clubs in the second position with a 28.550. Lewinska topped the clubs field with a 29.850. While only the two highest-scoring athletes per country were counted in the official standings, Jaelyn Chin (Aventura, Fla./Bessonova's School) earned the ninth-highest junior all-around score of the competition with a 102.100.

In the senior division, Merkulova finished eighth with a 101.150 followed by Zhao in 10th with a 100.200. Like Chin, Avila was not counted in the final standings due to the two-athlete-per-country limit, but her 99.550 would have placed her 17th. Merkulova (26.800) and Avila (26.750) each advanced to Sunday's clubs final. Merkulova's 25.700 also earned her a place in the ribbon final. Bulgaria's Stiliana Nikolova (125.050) and Boryana Kaleyn (123.650) finished one-two in the all-around, while Australia's Lidiia Iakovleva (112.450) rounded out the podium. Nikolova led the way on clubs with a 33.250. Her teammate Eva Brezalieva notched the top score on ribbon with a 29.900.

Junior apparatus finals kick off Sunday at 7 a.m. ET. Seniors will follow at 9:40 a.m. ET.