© Tom Theobald

IZMIR, Turkey, Sept. 27, 2014 — The USA’s rhythmic gymnastics group finished in 14th place in the group all-around finals at the 2014 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Izmir, Turkey. The World Championships conclude on Sunday with the group individual event finals, which will be carried live on the USA Gymnastics YouTube channel.

By finishing in the top 24, the USA’s group qualified to compete in the 2015 World Championships, which is the first of two opportunities to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games. It is the best finish for a U.S. group since 2002 where they placed 13th.

Earning a two-event total of 30.683, the U.S. group consists of Kiana Eide of Northbrook, Ill., Alisa Kano of Glencoe, Ill., Natalie McGiffert of Northbrook, Ill., Jennifer Rokhman of Northbrook, Ill., Monica Rokhman of Northbrook, Ill., and Kristen Shaldybin of Chicago, Ill., all of North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center. The USA started with its 3 balls/2 ribbons routine, marked with original choreography, to earn a 15.050. The group performed a strong in its 5 clubs routine, earning a 15.633.

Bulgaria won the group all-around title at 34.449, followed by Italy at 34.282 and Belarus with 34.133.

For group, the top 24 groups automatically qualified to the 2015 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. Based on rankings at the 2015 World Championships, the top 10 groups earn a ticket to the 2016 Olympic Games. Groups ranked 11 through 16 will advance to the Rio Olympic Test Event, where they will vie for the last four group berths to Rio.


USA Gymnastics carried more than 15 hours total of live web coverage of the finals at the World Rhythmic Championships. In addition to live coverage of the medal rounds, USA Gymnastics has posted archived coverage of Team USA’s routines from the individual qualification rounds.

Fans can also find live scoring, start lists and results at fig-gymnastics.com, as well as extensive U.S. coverage at usagym.org and on the USA Gymnastics Facebook page and twitter feed (@usagym). The FIG’s Twitter handle is @officialFIG, and additional videos will be posted to the FIG’s YouTube Channel.

Rhythmic gymnastics is characterized by grace, beauty and elegance combined with dance and acrobatic elements, while working with ribbons, balls, hoops, ropes and clubs in a choreographed routine to music. The choreography must cover the entire floor and contain a balance of jumps, leaps, pivots and balances. Only four of the apparatus are competed each quad, and the four for 2016 are hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon. Each movement involves a high degree of athletic skill. Physical abilities needed by a rhythmic gymnast include strength, power, flexibility, agility, dexterity, endurance and hand-eye coordination.