We can definitely call it a sensation: Austria, represented by a team from Austria’s Sports Association ASVÖ, finished fifth at the AEON Cup in Tokyo. The three gymnasts Nicol Ruprecht, Natascha Wegscheider and junior Anastasia Potemkina claimed the best result ever in the “Worldwide RG Club Championships”, as the inofficial Club Worlds are officially called.
Among 34 elite gymnasts Nicol Ruprecht placed an excellent 9th, Wegscheider, who also performed flawlessly, finished on rank 15. In the junior group, Anastasia Potemkina reached rank 9 of 17. Thereby, the trio made it to quarter finals, where they showed flawless routines again. However, Minsk, a later finalist, was too strong a competiton for the ASVÖ team.
”My excellent performance gives me additional self-confidence for next week’s Austrian National Championships – and most of all it is a great motivation for the Grand Prix Final in Innsbruck, Tyrol, where I will meet the world’s top gymnasts again”, Tyrolean Nicol Ruprecht said.
The team’s strong performance was rewarded with a fixed invitation to next year’s Aeon Cup, an honor that only the best five clubs receive. The top RG nations regard this invitation tournament primarily as a prestige project, the clubs are almost identical with the national teams, full of European and World Championships medalists.
For the third time in a row, the AEON Cup was won by Gazprom Moscow with world champions Yana Kudryavtseva and Margarita Mamun, followed by Dynamo Minsk (BLR), Derjugina RG School (UKR) and Oraq Sports Club (AZE).
Heide Bruneder, RG Europe president and vice president of the Austrian Gymnastics Association, who headed the Austrian delegation, was more than happy with the result. ”17 clubs with their national teams came here. And we did indeed give our best!”
For Petra Gabrielli, organisation chair of the Grand Prix Final, the AEON Cup was proof that the protagonists in the Grand Prix series are still in excellent shape, even when the season is drawing to an end. Rhythmic gymnastics fans can expect a star-studded competition in Innsbruck.