Daria Varfolomeeva became the main discovery of the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Valencia. The athlete playing for the German national team won five gold medals out of a possible five. The last time Evgenia Kanaeva did it was in 2011. The 16-year-old native of Barnaul made herself known last year by taking first place in the clubs exercise. And in Spain, she managed to perform 12 times without losing objects and beat the favorites of the competition – Italian Sofia Raffaeli, Bulgarians Boryana Kalein and Stilian Nikolov.
For the second year in a row, the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships are held without Russian and Belarusian athletes, who are suspended from participation in competitions under the auspices of the FIG. In the absence of Lala Kramarenko and the Averin sisters, it was expected that the audience in Valencia would see a tough fight, and Italy and Bulgaria would share the gold medals.
But the dreams of the organizers were not destined to come true thanks to 16-year-old Daria Varfolomeeva, representing Germany. The girl won all five individual types of the program. The last time Evgenia Kanaeva did this was at the 2009 and 2011 World Cups. Bianka Panova, Alexandra Timoshenko, Oksana Kostina and Ekaterina Serebryanskaya also became absolute champions.
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The athlete was born in Barnaul and lived there until 2018. At the junior level, Varfolomeeva did not show outstanding results. According to her, the first time she managed not to drop an object in a competition was when she was 10 years old. It was difficult to count on getting into the national team with Irina Viner. Therefore, Daria’s mother, also a former gymnast, decided to send her to Germany to see the Belarusian specialist Yulia Raskina.
The coach liked the girl, and she moved to another country. As the athlete admits, at first it was very difficult for her alone in a boarding school and without knowing the language. But gradually she got used to everything. At the same time, Varfolomeeva had no problems with citizenship, because Daria’s grandfather on her mother’s side was German, and her granddaughter had the right to a second passport at birth. He and his grandmother visited Dasha, but did not come very often, because he lived 200 kilometers from his granddaughter’s school.
It is interesting that, having passed under the flag of Germany, Varfolomeeva did not win anything at the youth level. In 2019, at the Junior World Championships, she took 15th place in the qualification of exercises with clubs. However, at adult tournaments, she immediately made me talk about myself.
Last year, at the World Championships, the athlete won gold in her favorite clubs, and also took three silvers and a bronze. However, no one expected that this time she would be able to rise to the highest step of the podium five times. However, in Valencia, Daria was also helped by her rivals, who were very nervous and because of this they made a lot of mistakes.
So, the main competitor of the representative of Germany – Sofia Raffaeli could not qualify for the final with maces. She was also left without medals in the ribbon exercise: the Italian started her performance well, but then she dropped the object and, getting agitated because of this, made inaccuracies in the end.
The Bulgarian Stiliana Nikolova managed only the ball. With the hoop and maces, she let loose and looked a little confused. They expected a bright performance from Boryana Kalein, who sensationally won the European Championship. However, in Valencia, she did not succeed in turns, for which the judges constantly lowered the athlete’s marks. Nevertheless, the gymnast managed to win two silver medals.
Daria, unlike her rivals, performed the exercises cleanly and did not make blunders, so at first she calmly won four gold medals in individual events, and then showed her class in the all-around. Although everything here was not easy for Varflomeeva.
After the first two objects, Raffaeli was in the lead, since the native of Barnaul did not perform perfectly with the ribbon: she got confused with the object. However, the maces were not given to the Italian again. Sophia made a loss, and as a result let her opponent go forward, who did the last two exercises cleanly, putting a bright point with the composition with the ball.
“It was a wonderful experience that so far seems unreal. It’s just incredible. I never thought that I could win five gold medals, and the all-around title means everything to me, ”DTB quotes Varfolomeeva.
Was satisfied with the performance of the gymnast and the manager of the German rhythmic gymnastics team Isabelle Savade, noting the character and willpower of her ward.
“The all-around is always a very intense and exciting competition. So it was this time. Daria is the only gymnast who completed 12 exercises at this World Championships without loss. At the moment, her mental strength in this discipline is unique. I am extremely delighted with this achievement,” Sawade said.
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And the top three in the all-around was sensationally closed by Daria Atamanova from Israel, who had been recovering from an injury for almost a year. The gymnast is still not in the best shape. However, she performed better than both Bulgarians. Nikolova remained only fourth due to a loss in the ball exercise. Unsuccessfully with the given subject Kalain has acted also. But unlike her compatriot, she made many inaccuracies with the hoop, so she fell back to the sixth line.
As for other athletes with Russian roots, the bronze medal of the World Championship was won by 29-year-old Ekaterina Vedeneeva, who plays for Slovenia. Another representative of Germany, Margarita Kolosova, became fifth in the exercises with a hoop and eighth in the clubs. Polina Berezina was the hostess of the World Championship. So far, she has not been able to bring medals to Spain either.
And Varfolomeeva has already entered the history of German rhythmic gymnastics. Last year, she became the first in Germany to win a gold medal in individual exercises at the World Championships, and now the second winner of the all-around competition in the history of the country. But her main goal, of course, is the Olympics in Paris, where the athlete was selected last year.
However, in Russia, Daria’s successes are treated calmly. According to the head coach of the national team Irina Viner, this primarily indicates a drop in the level of the world championship.