Son Yeon-jae finishes 4th at all-around in Bulgaria

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Son Yeon-jae finishes 4th at all-around in Bulgaria

Korean rhythmic gymnast Son Yeon-jae finished fourth in the all-around competition at the World Cup competition in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Saturday, her best all-around result this season.

Son received 70.600 points in total, only 0.8 point behind the bronze medal winner Margarita Mamun of Russia. Yana Kudryavtseva of Russia won a gold medal with 72.150 points, while Silviya Miteva of Bulgaria finished second with 71.550 points.

It was the best all-around result Son has had at a Category A event. She had a fourth all-around finish at a World Cup in Penza, Russia, in April 2012, but that was a Category B competition.

The Category A competition features only the representatives from countries that produced the top 18 gymnasts at the previous world championships.

Those countries can send up to two gymnasts to Category A competitions. There are eight World Cup events this year, and the Sofia event is the only Category A.

Son received the fifth-most qualification points or better in each of the four disciplines, advancing to the finals in each individual event slated to be held late last night Korean time. It is the first time this season that she advanced to the finals in all four disciplines.

In particular, she received the most qualification points among the 21 competitors in hoop with 17.800, the first time she has done so at a World Cup event.

She finished third in the clubs qualification event, fourth in the ribbon qualification and the fifth in the ball qualification. Eight top qualifiers compete in the finals.

Son competed in all four finals in Penza in April 2012 but only managed a podium finish in hoop at third place. The other World Cup event where she competed in all four finals was in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in May, which was also a Category B event. Son failed to earn a medal there.

She earned a silver medal in ribbon at the World Cup event in Pesaro last Sunday, the first time a Korean athlete has won a silver medal in any discipline for rhythmic gymnastic at such a competition.

By Moon Gwang-lip []
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