Shelgunova Sweeps Again in Belarus

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It’s the second sweep thus far in 2016 for 18-year-old Evgeniya Shelgunova, who earned a 57.35 all-around to win the title at the Antonia Koshel Cup held in Minsk, Belarus.

Shelgunova, who only a week ago swept the competition at the Igor Vihrov Cup in Latvia, looked to be on fire once again. This time she did have some blunders on bars and floor, though it was nothing major, and she rebounded with a great DTY and an excellent and difficult beam set, earning a 15.25 to post the highest score there by nearly three points. She was confident and clear-minded throughout her entire performance here in Minsk, and I can’t wait until she returns home to Russia following this victory tour to hopefully continue on kicking butt all season.

Second to Shelgunova was Angelina Kysla of the Ukraine, who is likely to be her country’s Olympic representative this year should she qualify at the Test Event next month. Kysla had a 51.9 in the all-around, including second-best scores of 12.9 on bars and 13.4 on floor as well as the third-best score of 12.3 on beam. Her vault was a little weak, surprisingly, as she typically looks strong there, but overall she did some nice work and looks ready to impress the judges in Rio.

In third place was local gymnast Anastasia Baranova of Belarus with a 48.8, including a personal high of 12.8 on floor, the third-best there yesterday. Her teammates Diana Gromko and Yuliya Shishkova placed fourth and fifth with scores of 48.35 and 47.75, respectively, to round out the top five. Gromko had the third-best scores on bars and beam while Shishkova was second-best on beam with a 12.5.

Also adding top three scores in the senior division was Tatsiana Tsatsokha of Belarus with a 14.2 for the second-best on vault and Magda Robakidze of Georgia with a 13.5 on vault for the third-best score. Other competitors included Agata Vostruchovaite of Lithuania, Elizaveta Naplekova of Belarus, Anastasia Dubova of Latvia, Maria Kaminskaya of Belarus, Kristina Nosova of Belarus, Margarita Aleksandrova of Latvia, Natalia Malaeva of Belarus, and Gabriele Blazyte of Lithuania.

The junior division saw a similar domination, this time by the young Diana Varinska of Ukraine, who posted a huge 55.85 with four promising routines to topple the podium by a whopping five and a half points. With scores of 14.2 on vault, 13.3 on bars, 14.05 on beam, and 14.3 on floor, Varinska – who first rose to prominence at least year’s European Youth Olympic Festival – managed to edge out any other gold medal hopefuls to sweep all titles yesterday.

A group of Belarusians rounded out the top five, including Diana Kirikovich in second with a 50.3, Volha Mikhalap in third with a 49.7, Anastasiya Alistratava in fourth with a 49.15, and Mariya Lastouskaya in fifth with a 48.8. Kirkovich had the third-best score on floor, Alistratova was second-best on beam, and Lastovskaya was third-best on beam.

Vault saw a three-way tie for second between Diana Tishkovets and Aliaksandra Varabyova of Belarus in addition to Kristina Morchadze of Georgia. Hanna Traukova of Belarus was second-best on bars with a 12.3, and Angelina Shishko was second-best on floor with a 12.9. Bronze medals went to Alexandra Artyukh of Belarus on bars and both Travkova and Maria Butskikh of Georgia shared the third-best score of 12.8 on floor. Other junior competitors in the field included Natalia Bondarenko of Belarus, Karina Titova of Latvia, Valeria Zakharova of Belarus, Daria Ovsyannikova of Belarus, Elge Stalinkeviciute of Lithuania, Daria Kurova of Belarus, Ganna Metelitsa of Belarus, Austeja Dauskurdyte of Lithuania, and Angelina Baranova of Belarus.

Full results from the competition are available here.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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