Dina Averina lands double gold at 2021 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships 

The defending all-round gold medallist laid her Tokyo 2020 demons to rest with scintillating performances in the ball and hoop finals on day one of the 2021 FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships.

By Chloe Merrell
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Dina Averina was unstoppable on day one of the 2021 FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan.

The 23-year-old, representing the Russian Gymnastics Federation team, took golds in both the individual hoop and ball apparatus finals – growing her individual world title tally to an astonishing 13.

After being stunned into silver at Tokyo 2020 by Israel’s Linoy Ashram - who is not competing at the 2021 World Championships - eyes were on Averina to see how she would respond.

And respond she did.

Showing total mastery over the day’s apparatuses with performances tightly packed with difficulty, Averina soared to the top of both podiums.

Dina’s twin sister Arina Averina meanwhile, had a mixed first day of competition at the West Japan Exhibition Center Annex.

The fourth-place finisher at Tokyo 2020 faltered early on in her routine during the hoop final, which resulted in a sixth place finish.

But the 2019 world champion rebounded in the ball final to secure second place and guarantee an Averina top-two finish.

Dina dominant in individual apparatus finals

While it was largely expected that the defending world all-around champion from 2017, 2018 and 2019 would excel at worlds, what was perhaps less obvious was the manner in which she would conquer her competitors.

In the hoop competition, where her twin sister dropped the apparatus early to drop out of medal contention, Dina (27.750) finished 1.8 marks clear of second-place finisher Alina Harnasko of Belarus (25.950).

The 2020 Olympic all-around bronze medallist pipped world championship rookie Sofia Raffaeli of Italy (25.850), who finished with bronze.

A similar pattern emerged in the ball final.

Top in qualifying, Dina’s final routine was rewarded with an even greater D score by judges than in qualifying, making her final score of 29.125 an almost impossible target for the chasing pack to overcome.

Arina, who came second in qualifying, finished the competition with a score of 27.675, while Harnasko (27.300) added to her medal collection for the day with bronze.

How to watch the 2021 World Rhythmic Gymnastic Championships

Competition continues tomorrow (October 28) with individual qualification in the clubs and ribbon apparatuses in the morning. The top eight finishers will then progress to the finals later on in the evening.

The World Championships are being broadcast by the FIG's media partners, and also on the FIG's YouTube channel.

To find out more about who is competing, which stars to watch out for and for schedule details see our preview here.


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