Kiroi-Bogatyreva, Iakovleva and Gill Shine for Australia

The 37th FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships took place in Baku, Azerbaijan from 16 September to 22 September 2019. 

Australia was represented by three of its National Squad members in Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva, Lidiia Iakovleva and Ashari Gill along with the officials who travelled alongside the team. 

“To be able to compete with the world’s best gymnasts and finish the competition strongly was rewarding,” Kiroi-Bogatyreva said.

“Also being in the competition with the support of family and friends from Australia gave me lots of energy and pride to wear the green and gold.”

Overall, the team had great success and displayed some incredible routines receiving some of Australia’s best ever international scores. For Iakovleva, her Clubs routine was one of the highlights for Team Australia. 

“My favourite moment of the World Championships was definitely completing my Clubs routine and receiving a personal best of 17.700.

“This was the highest score any individual Australian Rhythmic gymnast has received at a World Championship or FIG Competition under the new Code of Points.

“As my expectations were only to surpass the mark of 16.000, I was delighted to receive such score and this allowed me to end the 2019 on a real high note, providing me with great confidences in my skills and ability and to further improve and achieve better personal best results in coming years.”

On the first day of competition, Hoop was the first apparatus that saw Kiroi-Bogatreva receive 15.250 and Iakovleva with 14.600 the following day saw Team Australia only improve their performances. Kiroi-Bogatyreva received an incredibly high score for her Ball routine with 17.250 while Iakovleva also impressed with 16.550. 

Day three welcomed Gill to the competition floor for the first time with her Clubs routine, Gill received a score of 13.350. While Kiroi-Bogatyreva received a spectacular score of 17.450 impressing many in the crowd. The final day of competition for Australia involved all three athletes performing their Ribbon routines. Kiroi-Bogatyreva (16.050), Gill (13.650) and Iakovleva (11.700).

Gill couldn’t more proud for the opportunity to compete and represent Australia. 

“It was a real honour to represent Australia and it was awesome being able to watch and learn from the best in the world,” Gill said. 

“It was also extremely nerve wracking because we wanted to do Australia proud but overall it was an enjoyable experience.”

With far too many moments that stand out for Kiroi-Bogatreva, she pin points the best highlights.

“Each day was different and we prepared for hours in lead up  1.5 minute routine. 

“I breathed in every moment of these competition days as they were all different and exciting in their own ways. 

“Also catching up with gymnasts from other countries who I made friends is always a highlight, because we all share same passion for Rhythmic Gymnastics.”

Iakovleva too felt blessed to be able to experience this World Championships for her first time as a senior. 

“Competing on such a big stage with the world’s best gymnasts, gave me indescribable emotions.

“Seeing top countries train up close was an eye opener into a gymnastic world which I have not witnessed before and displayed what it takes to be the best. “

With the 2019 competition season finished for these gymnasts, they are all looking on towards what’s next for them.

“Number one task is catching up on school work as I have year 12 final exams to prepare for,” Kiroi-Bogatyreva said.

“In the gym it will be work, work and more work. Of course a little rest to recharge mentally and physically, but in reality we never stop working towards our goals if you want to achieve them. Entering a final year of Olympic cycle, my key priority will be to prepare for the Continental Championship and Olympics qualification.”

“I plan to work on some new routines hopefully and continue to work on consistency and managing my nerves,” Gills said. 

“Once I am back in Australia I am going to be preparing straight away for the next season and get my new routines ready,” Iakovleva said.

“I like to freshen up my routines every year in order to make the training and competition process interesting. 

After these fantastic results at the World Championships it was announced by the International Federation of Gymnastics that Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva qualified for the World Games in 2021 and in addition to this Lidiia Iakovleva was named the reserve. 

With no World Championships in 2020, the Australian Rhythmic gymnasts now switch their focus onto the Road to Tokyo.