Top gymnasts to light up Dubai
4th Dubai International Rhythmic Gymnastics DuGymCup will be held in Dubai
A stellar cast of former Olympians will be in Dubai this weekend to give a masterclass in rhythmic gymnastics. Dubai International Rhythmic Gymnastics DuGymCup returns for a fourth season with more than 500 young gymnasts from 60 clubs and representing 20 countries competing for honours.
Supported by Dubai Sports Council and organised by DuGymRhythmic Gymnastics, the 4th Dubai International Rhythmic Gymnastics DuGymCup will be held at the Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum Al Maktoum Sports Hall in the Al Wasl area of Jumeirah from December 5-8.
Five former Olympians - Marina Durunda of Azerbaijan, Melitina Staniouta of Belarus, Ukraine's Natalia Godunko, Spaniard Carolina Rodriguez, and Neviana Vladinova of Bulgaria - have flown in for the competition and they will be among a world-renowned panel of judges who will evaluate the participants as they display their varied skills, including Free Hand, Rope, Ball, Hoop and Ribbon, both in individual as well as group categories.
On the fourth and final day of the competition, December 8, the Olympians will perform live and give a Grand Masterclass, which is expected to be attended by more than 250 gymnasts and coaches from around the world.
Speaking about the competition, director and head coach of DuGym Rhythmic Gymnastics and FIG (Internationale Federation of Gymnastics) Judge, Angel Ebru Ilgaz said: "With Rhythmic Gymnastics being an Olympic sport of international stature, we at DuGym RG thought that it was essential to create a platform where not just our home-groomed gymnasts but participants from world over would be able to display their competitive form.
"The first three editions of this event witnessed stupendous success. To keep the momentum going; this year's competition will be organized at a grander level with world renowned panel of judges and more than 500 international participants, and, of course, five Olympians."
Vladinova, 25, who represented Bulgaria at the 2016 Rio Olympics and has won a World Championship silver and bronze, will also be competing in the DuGym Cup 2019.
Durunda, 22, represented Azerbaijan at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and won a bronze medal at the 2015 European Championship in Minsk, and a silver at the inaugural 2015 European Games in Baku.
Staniouta, 25, is a three-time (2015, 2013, 2010) World Championship all-around bronze medallist, the 2015 European Games all-around bronze medallist, the 2014 European Championships all-around silver medallist, and 2009 Grand Prix Final all-around bronze medallist.
Godunko, meanwhile, is a winner of two World Championship gold medals and was the 2004 Grand Prix Final all-around champion, while Rodriguez, 33, has represented Spain at three Olympic Games - 2004 Athens, 2012 London and 2016 Rio.
Angel Ebru Ilgaz added: "The DuGymCup, a non-profit event, was founded to emphasis the vision of DuGym Rhythmic Gymnastics Club, which is to create awareness and interest in Rhythmic Gymnastics, one of the wonderful Olympic sporting events.
"Dubai being the hosting city of such an International event, has given greater motivation to gymnasts from UAE and also given them a chance to be accustomed with the best practices in rhythmic gymnastics during international competitions."
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