Five Gymnasts Who Can Define and Change Rhythmic Gymnastics Today

So, now that we discussed the gymnasts who did not make the final but one day will be very powerful, how about the ones who shine brightly in the top spots? Who are they and what could they do better?

1. Ganna Rizatdinova, Ukraine - her fierce look, long legs, ability to interpret any music, the speed of her pivots. Everything speaks of a winner and she can win this Olympics. But, as you may see on the picture, her hands are often free while the apparatus is on the floor or held in one spot. If she changed this, she would be unstoppable.

2. Margarita Mamun, Russia - Rita may not be as famous as her illustrious teammate Kudryavtseva, but she is more diverse and interesting to watch, more expressive. She should just focus and believe in herself. Physically, she is ready to take the world's gymnastics throne. Mentally, she is centimeters away.

3. Yana Kudryavtseva, Russia - a triple world champion at age 19 and a true innovator who creates new element and style, glides effortlessly on the carpet and just appears to look in control about 101% of the time. Of course she can win. My pet peeve: her leaps. Leaps are one of the most impressive and "superhero" moves in gymnastics and without them, routines just don't look as masterful to me.

4. Son Yeon- Jae - incapable of making a move that fails to look elegant in a classical ballet sense, Son has the most beautiful arm and head movements in the world. She is very clean and stable during most events and performs with real joy.  On this first picture, she looks as though she is a bit surprised the ball is there. This is what can change for the better: like Rizatdinova, she could add more risk and apparatus difficulty.

5. Neviana Vladinova, Bulgaria - so refreshing to see a gymnast who does not remind you of anyone else but herself; with a truly original style including very innovative moves such as elements from break-dancing in her routines, she is both statuesque and fragile, and strong and dynamic. Poised to make grand contributions to the future of our favorite sport, Neviana can work on her pirouettes and the overall fluidity of going from one element to another. It will take time, but she has made a giant leap into world class quality and has brought a lot of excitement to the Rio audience. I tried to capture the moment of her coach kissing her when the Olympic rings suddenly showed up on my screen, so here are Brani and Nevi in the sparkle of great success!

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