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U.S. rhythmic gymnasts head to Portugal this week for Portimao International Tournament, Portimao World Challenge Cup
posted on 05/23/2022

PORTIMAO, Portugal, May 23, 2022 - Fresh off of last weekend's Pamplona World Challenge Cup, Olympians Evita Griskenas (Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center) and Lili Mizuno (Northbrook, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center) are headed to Portimao, Portugal for the second stop in the International Gymnastics Federation's 2022 series. They'll be joined May 27-29 in Portimao by the U.S. Senior National Group, which kicked off its international season last Friday in Spain. Junior National Team members Jaelyn Chin (Aventura, Fla./Bessonova's School), Megan Chu (San Diego, Calif./Emerald City Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics), Rin Keys (Porter Ranch, Calif./Burlo Gymnastics) and Erika Rusak (Auburn, Wash./Evergreen Rhythmics), and senior Sarah Mariotti (San Diego, Calif./Emerald City Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics) are set to compete in the 29th Portimao International Tournament earlier in the week.

Griskenas and Mizuno will represent the U.S. in the individual World Challenge Cup competition beginning Friday with the hoop and ball apparatus. The U.S. group comprised of Maria Bolkhovitinova (Northfield, Ill.), Isabella Ivanova (Kirkland, Wash.), Gergana Petkova (Barrington, Ill.), Katrine Sakhnov (Sammamish, Wash.), Karolina Saverino (Elk Grove Village, Ill.), Hana Starkman (Plantation, Fla.) and Emily Wilson (Brooklyn, N.Y.), which trains at North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, is set to take on five hoops on Day 1. The all-around will conclude Saturday with clubs and ribbon for individuals and three ribbons and two balls for groups.

So far this season, Griskenas, Mizuno and the U.S. Senior National Group have each accumulated at least one top-ten all-around finish on the world stage. Griskenas and Mizuno have also secured a finals berth in every international competition they've participated in in 2022.

Mizuno and Griskenas will compete as part of Group A, starting Friday at 6 a.m. ET and Saturday at 7:12 a.m. ET. The top-eight finishers on each apparatus will advance to Sunday's event finals. The group competition will open Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET with Saturday's session set to commence at 1:15 p.m. ET. The top-eight groups on each apparatus combination will qualify to the finals. The hoop, ball and five hoops finals will run Sunday from 10-11:55 a.m. ET. The remaining apparatus champions will be crowned from 12:20-2:15 p.m. ET.

The Portimao International Tournament, slated for May 24-25, leads off five days of elite rhythmic gymnastics competition at Portimao Arena. The individual all-around competition will take place Tuesday with event finals to follow Wednesday. Keys earned all-around bronze at the International Tournament Sofia Cup in April and added a silver medal at the International Tournament Ritam Cup earlier this month, while Chu notched bronze in Serbia. Chin, Chu and Keys also picked up the Ritam Cup junior team title and will look to extend an impressive streak of top-10 all-around performances. Mariotti, who delivered the Ritam Cup's sixth-highest senior all-around score, will also look to build on her early success in 2022.

The top-eight junior and senior gymnasts on each apparatus will advance to Wednesday's finals, though seniors will be limited to two athletes per country, while juniors may advance only one athlete per country. As in Ritam, a junior team title is also up for grabs. Teams will be comprised of between two and four members with the two highest scores on each apparatus contributing to the cumulative total.

Results will be available throughout the week on Ginastica Portugal's official website.