By Anna Rose Johnson

The latest news on the World Cup scene comes from Birmingham, England, where a talented field of eight women gave amazing performances as they battled for the prestigious gold medal.

Feature Photo by Grace Chiu

Angelina Melnikova secured the victory for Russia with a remarkable performance, scoring 54.465 in the all-around. Kicking off her meet with a powerful double-twisting Yurchenko on vault, Melnikova also hit a solid bars routine but incurred some deductions on handstands and pirouettes. Almost falling on her back layout series on beam, Melnikova made an amazing save to keep the routine alive and earn a 12.666. The reigning European floor champion, she showcased her incredible blend of power and artistic precision on her best event of the day. (Her full-twisting double layout mount was particularly brilliant!) Despite low landings on her second and third passes, Melnikova received the highest score on floor exercise (13.500) to claim the gold.

USA’s Margzetta Frazier, in her first international meet, performed beautifully to win the silver medal with a 53.932. In warm-ups, Frazier hit a beautiful DTY vault, but a low landing in the competition yielded only a 14.166. She excelled on her signature event, uneven bars, hitting high, clean releases and nailing her double layout dismount. With a few wobbles on balance beam, Frazier scored a 12.133, but her floor routine was one of the highlights of the meet. With plenty of power in her tumbling and flexibility in her dance elements and leaps, Frazier scored a 13.433 to finish second overall.

Alice Kinsella of GBR rounded out the medalists with a 53.099, less than a point away from the silver medal. One of the most consistent gymnasts in Birmingham today, Kinsella vaulted a high DTY with great distance from the table, and she sailed through her uneven bars routine with seamless elegance. On beam, Kinsella showcased her innovation and steadiness to receive a 12.600, and she ended floor exercise with a double pike after falling out of her double Y turn. Bronze is a statement fitness for the British up-and-comer who served as Claudia Fragapane’s replacement (injury).

Other notable performances of the meet included Sarah Voss’ powerful DTY and Vera Van Pol’s fluid bars routine, both of which were delightful to watch. Voss (GER) led the competition after the first rotation but placed eighth after some unfortunate falls. Jade Chrobok of Canada finished fourth with a 51.366, while Japan’s Hitomi Hatakeda was fifth with a strong floor routine. Van Pol (NED) placed sixth, and China’s Jieyu Liu finished seventh. (NOTE: GBR’s Amy Tinkler withdrew from the competition due to an injury.)

Congratulations to all of the talented competitors! What a fantastic meet! The full results can be found here.

Anna Rose Johnson writes about women’s artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. She loves Whippets, brownies, and full-twisting double layouts. Her writing portfolio can be viewed at: https://annarosejohnson.contently.com