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U.S. rhythmic gymnasts build momentum for World Championships at Cluj-Napoca World Challenge Cup
posted on 08/27/2022

© John Cheng

CLUJ-NAPOCA, Romania (August 27, 2022) - After two days of competition at the Cluj-Napoca World Challenge Cup, U.S. rhythmic gymnasts Evita Griskenas (Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center) and Lili Mizuno (Northbrook, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center) were 16th and 17th in the individual all-around, while the U.S. Senior National Group landed 12th. The event served as a final tune-up for the upcoming 2022 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships slated to run September 14-18 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The individual and group all-around competitions concluded Saturday at the BTarena. Griskenas' combined 120.550 placed her just ahead of fellow 2020 Olympian Mizuno, who finished with a 119.950. The U.S. group, which trains at North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center and for this event featured Gergana Petkova (Barrington, Ill.), Katrine Sakhnov (Glencoe, Ill.), Karolina Saverino (Elk Grove Village, Ill.), Hana Starkman (Deerfield, Ill.) and Emily Wilson (Brooklyn, N.Y.), delivered a 53.800 - their highest all-around score of the season.

Griskenas earned top-12 showings on ball (31.000) and ribbon (29.500). The 2022 U.S. all-around champion was also 13th on hoop (31.900) and 24th on clubs (28.150). Mizuno took 16th on hoop (31.100), 21st on ball (29.200), 15th on clubs (30.150) and 13th on ribbon (29.500). Italy's Sofia Raffaeli dominated the all-around with a 141.600 and set the bar on all apparatus, eclipsing the 36-point mark on hoop and ball and posting high scores of 35.650 on clubs and 33.750 on ribbon.

In the group competition, the U.S. unit garnered season-high marks of 28.600 on five hoops and 25.200 on three ribbons and two balls, slotting in 14th and 12th, respectively. Bulgaria claimed the all-around (66.200) title and topped the scoresheet on three ribbons and two balls (30.800). Israel's 36.450 paced the field on five hoops.