SPORTS


Belgian gymnasts win three golds at FIG Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships

Baku, March 12, AZERTAC

Gymnasts from Belgium earned a hat trick of golds as finals got underway Friday at the FIG Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships in Baku. Of the six titles up for grabs on the first day of finals, Belgian gymnasts accounted for three.

Belgium captured the team title Friday afternoon, setting the stage for success as the first finals — for the Combined routine in Women’s and Men’s Pairs, Mixed Pair, and Women’s and Men’s Groups — unfolded Friday night.

Kim Bergmans, Bo Hollebosch, and Lise de Meyst claimed gold in Women’s Group with 29.820 points, more than a point over silver medallists Barbara da Silva Sequeira, Beatriz Carneiro, and Francisca Maia (POR).

The Portuguese pulled out all the stops in difficulty, executing a rare triple back pike throw, the only one in the competition. But execution and artistry scores favored the Belgians, a team literally anchored by Bergmans and de Meyst.

With bronze, Victoria Blante, Eily Corbett, and Cassidy Cu (USA) gave the U.S. its first World medal in Women’s Group.

While the Women’s Group were favorites for the title, Mixed Pair Bram Roettger and Helena Heijens’s gold came as a surprise, even to them. The expressive Mixed Pair upset more seasoned duos with a routine to Virginie Marine’s rendition of Serge Lamas’s “Je Suis Malade”.

Silver was won by Natasha Hutchinson and Dylan Howells (GBR), who improved from ninth at the last World Championships.

After mistakes in the early rounds, 2021 silver medallists Pia Schuetze and Daniel Blintsov (GER) were thrilled to hit their Combined routine for bronze.

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