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Canadian Rhythmic Gymnasts look to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games at 2018 World Championships

In the group competition, 2017 World Championship veterans Elizabet Belittchenko, Vanessa Panov, Anastasia Shanko, and Alexandra Udachina, will be joined by newcomer Alexandra Zilyuk as they look to qualify a quota spot for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo (the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) ranked 1st to 3rd from the group all-around will qualify a quota spot for Tokyo). The group must also finish in the top-24 in the group all-around competition in order to qualify for the 2019 World Championships which will act as the second qualifying opportunity for groups for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Three to four gymnasts per country are invited to the individual and team competition. For Crane, the 2018 Canadian Champion and 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist with clubs, this will be her first appearance at a World Championships. For Whelan, the 2017 Canadian Champion, and for Uchida, the 2018 Commonwealth Games silver all-around medallist, these will be their third World Championships. The 2019 World Championships, 2020 World Cup series, and the 2020 Continental Championships will decide the individual qualifications to Tokyo.

“The team’s goals for Worlds are to perform exceptionally clean routines focusing on the best execution possible, said Teresa Orr, National Team Director for rhythmic gymnastics at Gymnastics Canada. “It has been a busy summer of final preparations for these athletes which has included training camps, routine evaluations, a control competition, and nutrition and mental performance sessions – all leading to one final test at the World Challenge Cup in Minsk from August 17 to 19. Competition toughness is an acquired skill and they need to believe in themselves and just go out there and perform.”

What: 36th FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships
Where: Sofia, Bulgaria
When: September 10-16 2018
Social: @rgwch2018sofia #rgwch2018sofia 


Individual Athletes

  • Carmen Whelan, Aurora, ON – Silhouettes of York
  • Katherine Uchida, Toronto, ON – Jusco RG
  • Sophie Crane, Toronto, ON – Jusco RG

Group Athletes

  • Elizabet Belittchenko, Toronto, ON – Salut RG
  • Vanessa Panov, Toronto, ON – Finesse RG
  • Anastasia Shanko, Toronto, ON – Trillium RG
  • Alexandra Udachina, Toronto, ON – Trillium RG
  • Alexandra Zilyuk, Toronto, ON – Salut RG 
  • Sept 10: Individual Qualifications – Hoop & Ball
  • Sept 11: Individual Qualifications – Hoop & Ball; Finals – Hoop & Ball
  • Sept 12: Individual Qualifications – Clubs & Ribbon
  • Sept 13: Individual Qualifications – Clubs & Ribbon; Finals – Clubs & Ribbon
  • Sept 14: Individual All-Around Final (24 athletes)
  • Sept 15: Group Qualifications – 5 Hoops & 3 Balls/2 Ropes – All-Around Competition
  • Sept 16: Group Finals – 5 Hoops & 3 Balls/2 Ropes


First established in 1969, Gymnastics Canada is the national governing body for the sport of gymnastics in Canada. Gymnastics Canada works closely with the twelve provincial and territorial federations and the 700 local clubs to provide a broad range of programs and services to meet the needs of our over 325,000 participants. From athlete development, to coach and judge education, Gymnastics Canada sets the operating standards and practices for the sport in Canada. Our mandate is to promote and provide positive and diverse gymnastics experience through the delivery of quality and safe gymnastics programming. Visit for more information, or follow us @CDNgymnastics


For more information, contact:

Julie Forget
Director, Communications and Marketing
Gymnastics Canada
Phone: 613.748.5637 Ext. 233
Cell: 819.210.2064


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