DUBAI – Following a successful debut last year, the Dubai International Rhythmic Gymnastics - DuGym Cup is back, promising a bigger and better show this weekend.
Organised by DuGym Rhythmic Gymnastics, UAE’s first club of its sort, and supported by the Dubai Sports Council, the second edition of the tournament, which had attracted 285 gymnasts from 21 countries last year, will be held at the Al Manara Sports Hall in Jumeirah from December 7-9.
The DuGym Cup 2017 is set to raise the benchmark further this weekend with more than 450 participants, aged 5 to 16, from 17 countries, including 62 teams – five of which are from the UAE – competing for 48 gold medals in the individual categories and 12 in team disciplines.
The event has attracted a world-renowned panel of judges as well, including Russian legend Yevgeniya Kanayeva, the only individual rhythmic gymnast in history to win two Olympic all-around gold medals – at the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2012 London Olympics. She has also won 17 World titles and 13 European championships.
“Last year, we saw 285 international gymnasts from 21 countries compete here, while stars like the Rio 2016 Olympic Bronze Medallist Anna Rizatdinova of Ukraine, Dora Vass of Hungary and Bulgaria’s Maria Mateva were in attendance as well,” said Ghazi Al Madani, Manager of Sports Tourism at Dubai Sports Council.
“This year, we have almost double the number of participants and, of course, we will be graced by the presence of one of the biggest stars of the sport – Yevgeniya Kanayeva. She is the only individual rhythmic gymnast in history to win two Olympic all-around gold medals, and she has also won 17 World titles.
“So, personally, I am really looking forward to watching a legend of the sport mentoring promising young talents here, and I am sure these sentiments are shared by every lover of this elegant sport.”
With competitions to be held at an individual and group level; participants will have varied options in skill display that include Free Hand, Rope, Ball, Hoop; as well as styles of their choice.
The participants will also have the opportunity to attend a Masterclass on December 10 and 11, where Elena Karpushenko, personal coach of three-time world all round champion and world record holder Yana Kudryavtseva, and Salome Pazhava, all round bronze medallist at the 2016 FIG World Cup series, will share their experience.
Speaking about the competition, Angel Ilgaz, director and head coach of DuGym RG, said: “Rhythmic gymnastics is an aesthetic amalgamation of sports and art.
“We at DuGym RG thought that it was essential to create a platform where not just our home-groomed gymnasts, but participants from world over would be able to display their competitive form.
“The debut chapter of this event witnessed stupendous success. To keep the momentum going, this year’s competition will be organised at a grander level with world renowned panel of judges and an increase in number of international participants.”