Dina Averina wins Clubs title for golden hat-trick and history at 2021 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships

In a dramatic second day of action, Dina Averina claimed a record breaking 14th individual world championship medal but fell short of tying for greatest of all time after Alina Harnasko snatched gold in the Ribbon final in Kitakyushu.

By Chloe Merrell
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Dina Averina of the Russian Gymnastics Federation (RGF) prevailed once again on the second day of the 2021 FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships, in Kitakyushu.

The 23-year-old soared to gold in the Clubs final on Thursday (28th October) and with it, clinched a slice of history.

Having won two titles on the first day of competition in Japan, the Clubs win took Dina Averina to a total of 14 individual titles, the most individual golds at the world championships of any rhythmic gymnast ever. Her compatriot Evgeniya Kanaeva previously held the honour.

However, it was not a day entirely devoted to Averina.

Alina Harnasko of Belarus stopped her going one step further and tying for the most successful world championship rhythmic gymnast of all time after she took gold in the Ribbon final.

Despite several inquiries by the RGF team, during an intense battle for the crown in the second final of day two, Averina will have to wait a little bit longer for a chance to etch her name in the annals of history.

Dina Averina competes in Ribbon qualification
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Dina Averina takes Club final and title number 14

The Clubs final unfolded to be a test of nerve.

When top qualifier Averina posted a score 1.350 marks down from qualification, there was a sense that the door had been opened to her competitors; the RSF star's final score of 27.100 was a rare and reachable target.

Fortunately for Averina’s quest to make history, none of her rivals seemed prepared to seize the opportunity. Routine after routine, the gymnasts seemed unable to tame the apparatus in their favour.

Seventh and eighth in the running order Harnasko and Arina Averina, who posted higher scores in qualification than Dina’s final score, looked poised to snatch the crown.

However, like the rest of the field, both faltered, all but handing Dina her 14th individual gold medal.

Coming in behind her on the podium her twin, Arina, with a score of 26.750, while Anastasia Salas of Belarus bagged the bronze.

Alina Harnasko
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Alina Harnasko: first individual world champion not from Russia since 2013

The Ribbon final proved to be no less dramatic.

Third place qualifier Harnasko upset the world order by orchestrating a stunning ribbon routine that saw her difficulty score rise from qualifying.

As Arina Averina’s routine followed, an inquiry was submitted into the Belarusian’s new D score, but the challenge was unsuccessful and the score unchanged.

Next out was Dina, who walked onto the carpet with a look of steely determination; with Harnasko’s improved difficulty, Dina had to better her own qualifying score if she was to claim the top spot for her own.

However, just as sister Arina, the 2019 champion came up short.

Despite two additional inquiries into both Arina and Dina’s own difficulty scores, nothing changed, giving Harnasko the title and the honour of becoming the first Belarusian in 25 years to win an individual World Championship crown.

How to watch the 2021 World Rhythmic Gymnastic Championships

Competition continues on Friday (October 29) with the group all-around competition.

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.

For a round-up of day one click here.


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