© Tom Theobald

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 9, 2018 – On Sept. 10, Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, Evita Griskenas of Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, and Camilla Feeley of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, take the floor on the first day of qualifications at the 2018 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships at the Arena Armeec in Sofia, Bulgaria, which concludes on Sept. 16. More than 350 gymnasts from 61 countries are vying for World titles in individual and group rhythmic gymnastics.

The U.S. gymnasts are competing in group B, and they compete in ball on Sept. 10, hoop on Sept. 11, clubs on Sept. 12 and ribbon on Sept. 13. The finals for hoop and ball are Sept. 11 at 8 p.m., and clubs and ribbon, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. The team competition awards are also presented on Sept. 13. The all-around final has two sessions on Sept. 14, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. All times are local to Sofia; when it is midnight in New York City, it is 7 a.m. in Sofia. The finals will be streamed live on the Olympic Channel app and olympicchannel.com.

Rhythmic gymnastics group competition begins on Sept. 15 with the all-around (five hoops and three balls/two ropes) beginning at 1 p.m., and the USA is in Group B. The five hoops and three balls/two ropes event titles will be determined on Sept. 16, beginning at 3 p.m. All times are local to Sofia.

The U.S. senior rhythmic group, which trains at North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, includes Dasha Baltovick of Highland Park, Ill.; Isabelle Connor of Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Ugne Dragunas of Darien, Ill.; Connie Du of Deerfield, Ill.; Elizaveta Pletneva of Caldwell, N.J.; and Nicole Sladkov of Vernon Hills, Ill. Kristina Sobolevskaya of Deerfield, Ill., is the alternate.

The 2018 World Championships will award medals for the team, all-around and four events, and the group all-around and both events. The World Championships is the first opportunity for the countries of the top three groups to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in group rhythmic gymnastics.

Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. The organization is committed to creating a culture that empowers and supports its athletes and focuses on its highest priority, the safety and well-being of the athletes. USA Gymnastics has already taken specific, concrete steps to strengthen its safe sport policies and procedures. The organization’s disciplines include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and gymnastics for all (formerly known as group gymnastics). For more complete information, log on to usagym.org.