© John Cheng

PORTIMAO, Portugal, Sept. 7, 2019 – PORTIMAO, Portugal, Sept. 7, 2019 – Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics, finished sixth in the all-around and qualified for the hoop, ball and clubs finals at the Portimao (Portugal) World Challenge Cup at the Portimao Arena. Camilla Feeley of Deerfield, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, placed eighth in the all-around and advanced to the ribbon final. The U.S. group advanced to both the 5 balls and 3 hoops/2 pairs of clubs finals, as well as finished sixth in the all-around. Competition concludes tomorrow with event finals at 3 p.m. local time, which is five hours ahead of U.S. Eastern time. The World Challenge Cup is the final tune-up to next week’s World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. Gymnastics Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. OlympicChannel.com.

In the all-around, Zeng’s sixth-place finish came via her 78.100 total, and Feeley’s 74.850 put her two places back in eighth. Their event scores were: Zeng – 20.300/hoop (7), 20.250/ball (6), 19.750/clubs (6) and 17.800/ribbon (10; second reserve); and Feeley – 19.150,hoop (9; first reserve), 19.250/ball (11; third reserve), 17.850/clubs (16) and 18.600/ribbon (4). Russia’s Aleksandra Soldatova won the all-around title with her 85.150. Italy’s Milena Baldassari grabbed the all-around silver at 84.250, and Belarus’ Alina Harnasko claimed the bronze at 81.150.

The U.S. group earned a 24.100 for 3 hoops/2 pairs of clubs for eighth in the qualification round. Italy posted a 28.700 for first, with Belarus at 27.8000, and Japan at 27.800. In the all-around, Italy was first (58.050), with Japan and Belarus finishing second (56.150) and third (55.100). The USA was sixth at 48.700, that also included a 24.600 for 5 balls (seventh place).

The members of the U.S. group, which is based at North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, are: Isabelle Connor, Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Connie Du, Deerfield, Ill.; Yelyzaveta Merenzon, Buffalo Grove, Ill.; Elizaveta Pletneva, Deerfield, Ill.; Nicole Sladkov, Vernon Hills, Ill.; and Kristina Sobolevskaya, Chicago.