PESARO, Italy, April 9, 2017 – 2016 Olympian Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, won the bronze medals for hoop and clubs today at the Pesaro (Italy) World Cup. The medal is Zeng’s third and fourth career World Cup medals, respectively. She is the only U.S. competitor ever to win rhythmic medals in the World Cup series.

Zeng picked up the bronze medal in hoop, the first of the four finals to which she qualified, performing to songs by Michael Jackson. Her 17.150 gave her the bronze medal, behind Russia’s Aleksandra Soldatova (18.050) and Dina Averina (18.000). Soldatova is the reigning World silver medalist for hoop.

In the ball final, Zeng posted a 16.700 to finish seventh. Averina and Soldatova posted 18.350 and 17.900, respectively, to take the gold and silver medals. Belarus’ Katsiaryna Halkina was third with 17.850. Zeng’s elegant ball routine, set to Si Un Jour by Natasha Marsh, includes an intricate mastery where she passes the ball from one foot to the other while performing a front walkover.

Zeng’s clubs routine, set to the theme from the television show Game of Thrones, earned her a 16.900 to finish with the bronze. Averina was first with a 19.100, and Halkina took the silver, scoring 17.300.

In the ribbon final, Zeng finished her competition out with a 15.150 to finish seventh. Averina and Soldatova once again took the top two spots, with Italy’s Alexandra Agiurgiuculese winning the bronze.

The U.S. senior group of Dasha Baltovick of Highland Park, Ill.; Natalie Bourand of Burr Ridge, Ill.; Ugne Dragunas of Darien, Ill.; Connie Du of Deerfield, Ill.; Yelyzaveta Merenzon of Buffalo Grove, Ill.; Nicole Sladkov of Vernon Hills, Ill.; and Kristina Sobolevskaya of Deerfield, Ill., competed in both finals today. Their 16.300 for five hoops gave them a seventh place finish. For three balls/two ropes, the group earned an 17.000 for a share of fifth place.