Rio 2016: Ukraine's bronze medal is worth its weight in gold
Ukraine’s Anna Rizatdinova brought Ukraine a bronze medal in the individual all-around; Russians Margarita Mamun and Yana Kudryavtseva have left her behind
Anna Rizatdinova’s round score for performing four exercises was 73.583 (the silver medalist earned some two points more). Rythmic gymnastics is a very subjective sport, and the authority of the Russian school is so high that sometimes judges forgive Russian women their mistakes. That is why Anna took the second place, even though she made no mistakes during her four performances (unlike the Russian competitors).
Anna Rizatdinova and her coach Irisha Blokhina during the announcement of the Olympic Games results
Anna Rizatdinova was born in 1993 in Simferopol (Crimea, Ukraine). Anna started to train gymnastics in Simferopol and was coached by her mother Oksana Rizatdinova. In 2008, she was part of the Ukraine Team that won bronze in All-around at the 2008 European Junior Championships in Torino. Rizatdinova had a successful World Cup series at the Deriugina Cup in Kyiv, she won the bronze in the all-around, a bronze in the hoop final, silver medal for the Ball and Clubs final. She then competed at the 2012 European Championships and finished 8th in the all-around. She represented Ukraine with teammate Alina Maksymenko in the individual all-around event at the 2012 Summer Olympics, where she placed 10th in the finals.
In 2014, Rizatdinova moved to Kyiv before the Crimean events, her family left on the peninsula. Soon after the annexation, there were rumors that Rizatdinova would join Russian national team, but the gymnast denied these rumors. In her interview, she stressed that the rivalry between the Russian and Ukrainian schools of gymnastics has always been strong, and after Crimean events, the competitiveness of our athletes only increased.
Anna is 23 years old, and it is quite a mature age for rhythmic gymnastics. In her interviews, Rizatdinova noted that she has doubts about her professional plans after the Olympic Games in Rio. She did not tell about the end of her career though. However, we cannot say for sure whether we will see Anna at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
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