Team Australia take out inaugural RG Australia Cup





The inaugural Rhythmic Gymnastics (RG) Australia Cup was held on the Gold Coast last month, giving gymnastics fans a tantalising preview of the sport before the main event – the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) – kicks off in just 26 days' time.

The RG Australia Cup not only served as an operational test event for the GC2018 Gymnastics team at the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre, but also as Gymnastics Australia’s final nomination event for the Australian Rhythmic Gymnastics Commonwealth Games Team.  Five talented Australian athletes in the Commonwealth Games Shadow Squad – Ashari Gill (VIC), Kiroi-Bogatyreva (VIC), Danielle Prince (NSW), Enid Sung (NSW) and Michaela Whitehouse (NSW) – need to be whittled down to three for the main event.

With teams from New Zealand and Singapore also joining the competition, the event was classified as a sanctioned international event by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).

2016 Olympian – Australia’s Danielle Prince - was by far the most experience competitor in the field, with Prince aiming to make her third Commonwealth Games team this April.  If she is successful, she will become the first Australian female gymnast to achieve such a feat, across any discipline.

It was therefore no surprise that Prince took out the All-Around crown, with a final score of 48.500, as well as three individual apparatus medals.

Prince – a Brisbane girl who relocated to Sydney just over a year ago – said she loved competing back in her home state.

“It’s fantastic to compete in this venue,” she reiterated.  “It’s such a great advantage…the crowd was just amazing.  I said to my coach after the first routine…it feels like such a friendly environment [in here] and you just know that everyone is here to support you and wants the best for you, and that’s just the most amazing environment to want to perform your best in.”

All in all, Prince added that she was satisfied with her final tilt at making her third Commonwealth Games team.

“I had a really strong hoop and ball,” she said of her competition, “[and] ribbon as well.  Clubs had a small mistake but that’s my sport, and I’m definitely looking to fix those up for – hopefully - Commonwealth Games!”

Prince’s current training partner – Enid Sung – took out the Silver Medal in the All-Around competition, with a score of 47.100; a remarkable achievement for the 2010 Commonwealth Games reserve, who has recently had a horror run with injury.

“I didn’t really have the best preparation coming back from injury,” Sung explained, “so just to be here was such an honour in a way.  I honestly didn’t know if I’d get the opportunity again to come off the floor after doing four pretty decent routines, so it’s just a phenomenal feeling.”

Fifteen-year-old Victorian, Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva, rounded out a clean sweep for the Australians on the All-Around podium, securing the Bronze just 0.2 behind Sung, with a score of 46.900.  In her first year competing at the Senior International level, Kiroi-Bogatyreva impressed with body and apparatus skills showing maturity as an athlete beyond her years.

“There’s a lot to work on definitely [but] overall I’m very happy with how I went,” Kiroi-Bogatyreva said.  “[But] it’s back to training now!”

With fellow Australian’s Michaela Whitehouse and Ashari Gill finishing fourth (45.050) and sixth (41.750) in the All-Around competition respectively, unsurprisingly Team Australia took out the inaugural Australia Cup, with a team score of 140.450.  Team New Zealand finished second (118.500) whilst Team Singapore were third (102.250).

Full results can be found below:

Team
1. Australia (140.450)
2. New Zealand (118.500)
3. Singapore (102.250)

All-Around

1. Danielle Prince AUS (48.500)
2. Enid Sung AUS (47.100)
3. Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva AUS (46.900)

Hoop
1. Danielle Prince AUS (13.750)
2. Enid Sung AUS (12.700)
3. Michaela Whitehouse AUS (11.900)

Ball

1. Danielle Prince AUS (12.250)
2. Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva AUS (11.950)
3. Michaela Whitehouse AUS (11.900)

Clubs
1. Stella Ebert NZL (12.200)
2. Enid Sung AUS (12.050)
3. Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva AUS (11.850)

Ribbon
1. Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva AUS (11.600)
2. Danielle Prince AUS (11.550)
3. Enid Sung AUS (11.450)