Maia: one World Cup, five fights for Gold!
5 March 2018
Maia hosted once again an acrobatic gymnastics World Cup, and what a World Cup it was!
The World Cup circuit is known for having its ups and downs in terms of competition quality, which is why I was pleasantly surprised by the high standard presented at Maia this year.
In women’s pairs the top two spots were disputed by Lore Van der Berghe / Noémie Lammertyn and the Russians Salakhova and Tukhvatullina. The belgians, who had a clear edge in balance elements, ended up with gold scoring 29.510.
The mixed pairs competition was a masterclass in itself, with the top 5 pairs scoring over 28 points. Three pairs are new to the senior ranks, both pairs from Azerbaijan and the Belgians, but all three transitioned seamlessly and ended up fighting for bronze alongside the belarussians. Gold was indisputably russian and ended up in the hands of Kirill Startsev and Viktoria Aksenova, who had a stellar performance that earned them 30.280, closely followed by that of their countrymen Ivan Nesterenko and Elena Murashko.
Men’s pairs were also dominated by belgian gymnasts, Robin Casse and Kilian Goffaux, who have dominated the World Cup circuit the past year. World Games winners Tim Sebastian and Michail Kraft bounced back from a fifth place in qualifications to win bronze.
In women’s groups it didn’t rain man but the russian trio, Plastinina, Zagoskina and Chebulanka, sure made us believe it might, even with a deduction of 0.3 they outscored the belarussians and won gold.
In men’s groups, the portuguese had a costly mistake in one of the balance elements, which took away the first place they had been holding until then. Henrique Silva, Henrique Piqueiro, João Pereira and Miguel Silva were thus left with a bronze medal, behind the belgians and the germans.