And yes, “under every cloud there is a silver lining”- what seemed to be disastrous Championships for Ukraine last Sunday (Godunko’s leg-injury and losing a Team medal), finished as a triumph! Fully deserved! Bessonova fought for this title as a real Gladiator (the music for her Clubs routine), and in the end, was received the standing ovations, with tears in her eyes.
The Silver went to Vera Sessina (RUS),73.900, and the Bronze to the 2005 Champion Olga Kapranova, 70.700.
4. Zhukova (BLR), 69.175 5. Garayeva (AZE), 68.450 6. Yussupova (KAZ), 67.875 7. Risenson (ISR), 66.225 8. Charkashyna (BLR), 66.050 (the 24 highest scorers in the Qualifications competed in this Final)
The list of the top 20 gymnasts who won the Olympic visas for Beijing (for their countries), is also, finally clear. The nations, which will be represented by two gymnasts in 2008 are: Russia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Israel, Azerbaijan and Ukraine while Canada, Spain, Greece, Korea, Uzbekistan, Austria, Estonia and Poland will be represented by one gymnast in the Individual event.
Three more places will be designated by the FIG and one by the IOC.
The visas were at stake until the last minute of the competition, and sadly, Ulyana Trofimova (UZB), Johanna Gabor (GER), XIAO Yiming (CHN) and M. Samukashvili (GEO) had to say Goodbye to their 2008 Olympic dreams.
Many gymnasts, including the defending champion and leader in the Qualification round, Olga Kapranova (RUS), fell victim of the extreme stress of the day. She dropped her hoop and did four steps to re-catch it in her opening routine (17.075). This was followed by a drop of one of her Clubs in her second routine (18.125) and finally, by stumbling in the rope and going out of the boundaries in her last routine (17.400).
Given the chance, Vera Sessina (RUS) and Anna Bessonova (UKR) fought fiercely for the Gold, but it obviously was Bessonova’s day! At last! This is the first World All-around title for the 2004 Olympic Bronze medallist!
Almudena Cid Tostado (ESP), 27, has achieved a record, fourth Olympic Qualification (65.650), 11th place.
Russia keep firm the first position in the Medal table with 5 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals, followed by Ukraine- 1 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze, Belarus - 2 silver and 1 bronze, and Azerbaijan- 1 bronze.
There are three more sets of medals to be distributed; for the Groups All-around (Saturday, 22/09) and Groups Finals (one exercise with 5 ropes and another, with 3 Hoops and 2 pairs of Clubs, on the last day of these Championships, Sunday, 23/09).
Judging by the Podium training, hottest challengers for the medals and a place in the Finals are Russia, Italy, Bulgaria, Belarus, Spain, France, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, China and Japan/VA.
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS