The United States’ Senior Rhythmic Gymnastics National Group team recently returned from the World Championships in Mie, Japan, after the country’s best group performance since 2002. “World championships in Japan was by far the best experience I ever had,” said Marlee Shape, a member of USA Gymnastics’ senior national group. ”We gave it everything we had. We were very happy about how we performed, and we hope to keep doing well."
Competing for the USA was North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center’s Stephanie Flaksman of Northbrook, Ill.; Megan Frohlich of Marysville, Wash.; Kristin Kaye of Northbrook, Ill.; Sydney Sachs of Deerfield, Ill.; Sofya Roytburg of Buffalo Grove, Ill.; and Marlee Shape of Buffalo Grove, Ill. The USA finished 16th all-around with a score of 44.325. Italy earned the all-around title, followed by Belarus and Russia.
“Being in Japan, competing in that huge arena, along with all those other countries, was one of the great moments in my entire life,” said USA group member Megan Frohlich.
North Shore Rhythmics’ Ava Gehringer, who decisively won the all-around gold medal and every individual gold medal at the Visa National Championships in August, represented the United States at the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Mie, Japan, in September. “Japan was quite an experience,” says Gehringer. “The moment we got off the bus from the airport, we were greeted by a long line of preschool-age Japanese children, who gave us handmade fans as good-luck presents.”
Ava placed 34th in the all-around rankings with a score of 70.975. “The actual competition went about as well as I could ask for,” says Gehringer. “I trained all year for it, and it paid off well in the end.”
Immediately after the World Championships, Ava started her freshman year at New York University.
For more information about the World Championships, see www.usa-gymnastics.org/rhythmic <http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/rhythmic> .