Boryana Kaleyn's Modern Style 2017 Routines

Boryana Kaleyn has already built a reputation as one of the most promising young Bulgarian gymnasts. As a junior, Boryana won the bronze with ball at the Junior European Championship in 2014. Needless to say, Boryana's dream is to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Last year Boryana already showed 3 new routines. She has worked on mastering new skills as she is now in action with the senior gymnasts. Her coaches have decided to use music with lyrics for 2 routines, which is a  bold choice. But the changes to her style and the distinct music with lyrics may be happening too fast. I agree with some of the Spanish fans comments in YouTube which say that sometimes music with lyrics may feel more appropriate for a gala, rather than a competition routine.

Sometimes the unusual music will somewhat distract the judges from the difficulty and the purity of the elements performed and, may, in some sense, take away from the gymnast's personal presence.

Still, the routines are interesting and "catchy" because of more than just the catches! So I am posting them below for more fans to see and hope Boryana will shine in 2017.

ball: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVodn1gHsxw
hoop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzV8BuMyi3Q
ribbons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCkuu-rOXWA


Melitina Staniouta Announces Retirement

The star of team Belarus in recent years, Melitina Staniouta has decided to retire from competition. Melitina was born on November 15, 1993. She is the great granddaughter of the famous actress Stefaniya Staniouta was was rumored to have been able to do a split when she was well into her 70s. Melitina was discovered for gymnastics at a very early age when a coach saw her at a bus stop and determined "gymnastics was just in her."

Melitina was known for her leaps and an extremely difficult pivot: a cossack turn starting on the floor that develops into a full penchee turn. At her debut in the 2009 World Championships in Mie, Melitina won silver with her team and bronze with hoop. She has collected multiple silver and bronze medals from apparatus finals in world events and won the all around silver medal at the European Championship in Baku in 2014. In 2015 Melitina won the gold with ribbon at the Summer Universiade in Gwandju. She finished 5th at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Melitina will also be remembered for very risky catches with hoop, wonderful work with rope, and, very recently, an elegant gala routine with an open-back purple leotard and two ribbons. Melitina has appeared in various fashion shoots and commercials including the commercial for  the bottled water Bon Aqua which featured various gymnasts from Belarus.


Bulgarian Group Olympic Medalist Lubomira Kazanova Retires from Competition

The bronze medalist  with the Bulgarian group from the Rio Olympics, the gymnast who took the place of Tsvetelina Stoyanova, has announced her retirement. Lubomira has explained that she competed with an ankle injury which did not heal properly and that she is finding it very difficult and dangerous from a health perspective to continue with a competitive career. 

Lubomira also feels that she "does not fit well" in the new group after he distinguished colleagues, world champions Mihaela Maevska, Reneta Kamberova, Hristiana Todorova and Tsvetelina Naidenova also retired.

Lubomira's retirement, according to some, marks a new page in the development of the Bulgarian team, as a brand new team will follow into the steps of the former Olympic bronze medalists.

Some fans feel that the national team coaches and the federation should have taken better care of Lubomira in terms of allowing her to compete with what appears to be a serious injury.

Still other have commented that the ankle problem is not the actual reason behind the retirement decision so much as the fact that Lubomira really felt a sense of belonging to the old team and would simply like to move on to new ventures now that everyone else on the team has left. While Lubomira has fulfilled her Olympic dream and played a pivotal role for the team as a whole after the Stoyanova incident, perhaps her retirement is a wise decision to end her career on the most positive note. Lubomira retires as a true hero, and all fans will remember her as taking the team to the medals both at the European Championship and at the Olympics.

While Lubomira will be very much missed, I am also hopeful that the new team will take an even better approach towards preparing for the next season especially in terms of the choreography and originality of their routines as well as their general conditioning and ballet training. We have yet to see whether the Bulgarian team will also undergo substantial coaching changes.