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Bezzoubenko bounces back at rhythmic gymnastics world championships

In the fourth and final event of the qualification round Bezzoubenko came up with a personal best score of 17.116 points in her clubs routine for 21st place, boosting her to 31st all-around in a field of 114 competitors.

Although she fell short of the top 24 needed to qualify for the all-around final, Bezzoubenko’s clutch performance clinched a spot in the final qualification event for the 2016 Olympics to be held in April.

Russian gymnasts swept the top-three spots in the all-around qualification with defending world champion Yana Kudryavtseva in first with 56.883 points. Margarita Mamun placed second with a score of 55.708 and Aleksandra Soldatova was third at 55.549.

In their first world championship appearance Carmen Whelan of Toronto competed in all four events and placed 60th all-around while Katherine Uchida, also of Toronto, competed in two events, placing 83rd in clubs and 106th in ribbon.

Bezzoubenko’s longtime coach Svetlana Joukova of Toronto said she was impressed by her star pupil’s ability to bounce back from one of her weakest international performances in Wednesday’s ribbon event to a best-ever performance in clubs a day later.

“After her ribbon routine she was very upset,” said Joukova. “I think she was putting too much pressure on herself because she really wanted to finish in the top 24 and qualify for the final.”

“But she pulled herself together and got the job done. This is a good lesson for her and hopefully she can focus now on getting ready for the last Olympic qualification event.”

The top 15 in the all around qualification at this year’s world championships earned one spot for their country at the Games while the next 23 highest ranked competitors, including Bezzoubenko, go on to battle for the remaining six spots up for grabs at the final Olympic qualifier.

“From here everything starts from the beginning,” says Joukova. “Patricia has a chance to qualify. She knows she can do better and she has to focus and have confidence.”

Competition continues Friday at the world championships with the all-around final, followed by the competition in the group event on the weekend.

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