The Belarusian squad has returned with 3 medals (1 gold and 2 silver) in adult group exercises, and 5 silver medals in junior events. Marina Goncharova, Anastasia Ivankova, Natalia Leshchik, Alexandra Narkevich, Ksenia Sankovich and Alina Tumilovich took gold for their exercise with 3 ribbons and hoops, earning 28,000 points. Those from Bulgaria came second while bronze went to Italy. Our squad came second in the exercise with 5 balls (28,050) behind only Russia (28,800), while Bulgaria claimed bronze (28,000).
Another silver medal in group exercises was earned by the Belarusian squad in the all-round event on the first day of the European Championships — June 1st. The Belarusian team earned 56,325 points after two events (28,300+28,025). The gold in the all-round (an Olympic discipline) went to the hosts of the European Championship while the girls from Italy came third. In total, teams from 17 countries performed group exercises.
In the individual exercises, medals were only given in the Olympic all-round (as is traditional in even years). Unfortunately, we had to be content with fourth place from Lyubov Cherkashina (112,700 points for hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon exercises) and sixth from Melitina Stanyuta (111,900 points) among 19 entrants.
Yevgenia Kanayeva of Russia became the all-round European champion. She took gold at the Beijing Games in 2008 and was European champion in the all-round in 2008 and 2010, also boasting three victories in all-round events at World Championships (in 2009, 2010 and 2011). Russian Alexandra Merkulova came second while bronze went to Aliya Garayeva of Azerbaijan.
In the junior events (under 15) our gymnasts earned five silver medals, with four claimed in the finals of separate exercises during the individual competition. Belarusian Yelena Bolotina took silver for her hoop exercise (behind Diana Borisova of Russia) while bronze went to Nilufar Niftaliyeva of Azerbaijan. Yekaterina Galkina won silver in two exercises (ball and ribbon) while Russian Yana Kudryavtseva took gold and Ukrainian Anastasia Mulmina claimed bronze. Alexandra Soldatova of Russia claimed gold for the ribbon while bronze went to Gulsum Shafizada of Azerbaijan. Maria Kadobina of Belarus took silver in the clubs, behind Russian Yulia Sinitsyna, while bronze went to Gabriela Khvedelidze of Georgia.
The Belarusian juniors took another silver medal on June 2nd, during a team tournament. After four exercises, the Belarusian squad had earned 106,550 points, while Yekaterina Galkina came second with the ball, Yelena Bolotina with the hoop, Maria Kadobina with the clubs and Yekaterina Galkina with the ribbon. Russia took gold (Diana Borisova, Yana Kudryavtseva, Yulia Sinitsyna and Alexandra Soldatova) and Georgia claimed bronze (Gabriela Kvedelidze, Salome Phajava and Sophio Pharulava). An impressive 34 states took part in junior competitions, while 35 countries participated in the 28th European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship.