© Tom Theobald

SOFIA, Bulgaria, Sept. 11, 2018 – After two of four event qualification rounds, Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, is ranked 10th in the all-around the 2018 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, which concludes on Sept. 16 at the Arena Armeec in Sofia, Bulgaria. Competition continues with the qualification rounds for clubs and ribbon for the next two days. The top 24, maximum two per country, will advance to the individual all-around finals on Sept. 14.

Zeng posted an all-around score of 37.150, after earning an 18.650 for hoop and an 18.500 for ball. Evita Griskenas of Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, has a 33.500 all-around total (17.300, hoop; 16.200, ball), which currently has her in 28th in the all-around without adjusting for two per country. Russia has posted the top three all-around scores after two events: Aleksandra Soldatova, 40.375; Dina Averina, 40.300; and Arina Averina, 40.250.

In the team competition, the USA is in seventh place (105.250). Camilla Feeley of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, competed on both hoop and ball as part of the team score, and her event scores were 17.500 for hoop and 17.100 for ball. The team score also includes those of Zeng and Griskenas. The team competition counts eight of the 10 routine scores in the qualification rounds. Russia (120.925) is first in the team rankings after two events, followed by Bulgaria (112.700) and Israel (110.500).

Dina Averina won both the hoop and ball titles.

The U.S. gymnasts compete in clubs on Sept. 12 and ribbon on Sept. 13. The finals for 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 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 individual 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.