Son off to tough start at world championship

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Son off to tough start at world championship

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Son Yeon-jae

Son Yeon-jae failed to earn a medal on the first day of the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Kiev, Ukraine, on Wednesday. She finished seventh in the hoop final and the ball final.

Son, who is bidding to become the first Korean to win any medal at the worlds, received 16.658 points in the ball final. She was ahead of Bulgaria’s Katsiaryna Halkina (16.500), but she came short of standing on the podium, which was filled by those with more than 18 points.

Margarita Mamun of Russia won a gold medal with 18.516 points, followed by her countrywoman, Yana Kudryavtseva, at 18.350 and Melitina Staniouta of Bulgaria at 18.166. Son had a higher score in the hoop final, 17.158 points, but she beat only Deng Senyue of China (16.933) among the eight final contenders. Ganna Rizatdinova (18.266) earned a top spot on the podium in hoop, while Kudryavtseva (18.250) and Mamun (18.233) finished second and third, respectively.

The all-around qualifications started with hoop and ball on the first day, and Son placed sixth among 25 athletes with 34.950 points - 17.550 with hoop and 17.400 with ball. Mamun led halfway through with 36.633, while Kudryavtseva (36.633) and Rizatdinova (36.250) came in second and third, respectively.


BY MOON GWANG-LIP [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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