The World Games in Wroclaw is a great event. The first gold medals have already been bestowed to Russia, Korea and Spain.
In the wake of Rio Olympic stars Margarita Mamun and Yana Kudryavtseva (the former on hiatus, the latter retired), identical twins Dina and Arina Averina have emerged as Russia’s Rhythmic heirs apparent. On the World Cup circuit this spring, both achieved success, but on Friday, it was Arina who emerged victorious with both the Hoop and the Ball. Who was her biggest rival? It was the familiar face of Dina, who earned silver with both apparatus?
By taking bronze with the Hoop and Ball, respectively, newcomer Linoy Ashram of Israel and Belarusian veteran Katsiaryna Halkina also got a first taste of medal at The World Games.
After reigning World champions Michela Castoldi and Davide Donati were eliminated in the qualification round, the Spanish duo of Sara Moreno and Vicente Lli seized their opportunity to take a second World Games gold in Aerobic Mixed Pairs. The only returners among the four couples who tied for the title at The World Games 2013, Lli and Moreno’s moment has been a long time coming. The two-time World champions (2010 and 2012) were poised to pick up the 2016 World title last year, but a mistake in the final left them heartbroken in eighth.
Hungary’s Dora Hegyi and Daniel Bali earned silver to go with their silver from the 2016 Worlds, while veterans Andreea Bogati and Dacian Barna assured a Romanian presence on the medal podium for a country traditionally strong in Aerobic Gymnastics.
A year ago, South Korea’s Aerobic Dance team (Han Jae Hyun, Kim Hanjin, Kim Yu Hwan, Kwon Tae Yun, Lee Jon Gu, Park Hyunmin, Ryu Jusun and Song Sungkyu) conjured its first ever World title with a routine that contained an unlikely combination of symphony and hip-hop. The Koreans arrived in Poland with a new exercise riffing on the golden original. The remix proved as much of a hit, giving Korea its second consecutive major title in the category, ahead of Russia and Hungary.