RICHMOND, B.C., Canada, April 12, 2014 – The USA won 16 medals, including six gold, in the rhythmic gymnastics at the 2014 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships at the Richmond (B.C., Canada) Olympic Oval. The event gold medalists are: Ekatherina Kapitonova of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora (hoop, ball, ribbon); Aliya Protto of Culver City, Calif./California Rhythms (hoop); Cindy Lu of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora (ball); and Nastasya Generalova of Los Angeles, Calif./California Rhythms (clubs). For the entire rhythmic competition, the USA won 24 medals (seven gold, 10 silver and 7 bronze).
“The consistency and quality of the team performance over three days of competition is a credit to the athletes and coaches working hard and working together,” said Caroline Hunt, USA Gymnastics director of rhythmic gymnastics. “We are very proud of our gymnasts and for representing our country at this level."
For the seniors, Protto captured the gold medal for hoop in a tie with Canada’s Patricia Bezzoubenko with a 15.200. Valeriya Sharipova of Livingston, N.J./Independent, rounded out the top three at 13.800.
Lu was first in the ball rotation and scored a 15.750, which also reaped the gold medal. Protto was right behind her at 15.650 for the silver, and Canada’s Bezzoubenko was third with 15.550.
Bezzoubenko’s 16.450 in clubs ensured the gold. Lu posted a 15.450 for the silver medal, followed by Protto at 15.150 and the bronze.
Bezzoubenko also scored a 16.250 for the ribbon gold. Lu’s 15.600 secured the silver, and Protto’s 15.100 yielded the bronze.
In the junior competition, Kapitonova tied for the gold in ball with China’s Zhao Yating at 14.000. Generalova claimed the bronze medal at 13.650.
Kapitanova and Zhao also tied in hoop at 14.000 and first place. Brigita Budginas of Agoura Hills, Calif./Platinum Gymnastics Academy, scored a 13.750 to snare the bronze.
The USA took the top two spots in ribbon and clubs. Kapitonova earned a 14.600 for the ribbon top spot, and Generalova at 14.450 nabbed the silver. Zhao finished in third at 13.300. For clubs, Generalova garnered a 14.850 for the gold, and Budginas was second at 13.900. Zhao was third at 13.050.
Earlier in the competition, the USA won the team gold medal, four silvers (junior group all-around, 10 clubs, and junior and senior all-around) and three bronze (5 hoops, and junior and senior all-around).
In addition to the United States, the countries participating are: Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Philippines and Singapore.
The 2014 Pacific Rim Championships are hosted by Gymnastics Canada and Gymnastics BC. The Pacific Rim Championships (known as the Pacific Alliance Championship until 2008) were last held in Canada in 2002 in Burnaby. Recent hosts include Honolulu in 2004 and 2006; San Jose, Calif., in 2008; Melbourne, Australia, in 2010; and Everett, Wash., in 2012. At the past four summer Olympics, Pacific Rim countries have combined for a total of 101 gymnastics Olympic medals including 37 gold. For more detailed information, go to www.pacificrimchamps.com.
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