South African Rhythmic gymnast Grace Legote did SA proud at the 32nd World Gymnastics Championships in Kiev, Ukraine, placing 55th amid strong competition for a top-three Commonwealth finish. Photo: Supplied

South Africa recorded a graceful performance at the 32nd World Championships in Rhythmic Gymnastics in Kiev, Ukraine, from 28 August to 1 September 2013, with noteworthy results from South African Rhythmic gymnasts Grace Legote and Aimee van Rooyen.

17-year Aimee van Rooyen finished in a credible 79th position, and her performance adds depth to SA’s medal hopes at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014. Photo: SuppliedThe World Championships saw 98 Rhythmic gymnasts from 53 countries take part in the Individual category. Of these, the top 24 gymnasts progressed to the All-round finals, and the top eight for each apparatus progressed to the Apparatus Finals.

As with all World Championships, the competition was of the highest level. This event featured the very best rhythmic gymnasts in the world. The 24 gymnasts who were able to progress to the finals were 2 Americans, 3 Asians and 19 gymnasts from European countries.

The South African contestants, 21-year old Legote of the North West and 17-year old Van Rooyen from Gauteng, performed gracefully, placing 55th and 79th respectively, amid strong competition.

This result saw Legote placing the highest among gymnasts from the African continent, and third highest among the Commonwealth countries! In addition, she received two apparatus positions of under 50, meaning her standard of performances were of top 50 in the world.

One recalls the 11th African Gymnastics Championships held in South Africa in December 2012. Legote attained an Individual All-round Bronze medal, with Egyptians Sara Mohamed Rostom and Yasmine Mohamed Rostom winning Silver and Gold respectively.

The weekend’s World Championships saw Legote placing higher than her Egyptian counterparts who placed 66th and 72nd respectively. Additionally, among the Commonwealth countries, Legote placed second on Ribbon, and Van Rooyen approximately fifth on Ribbon.

The South African Gymnastics Federation is proud of the gymnasts’ performances. They represented South Africa well. These results should further stake the claim for selection onto the South African Team for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014, with even potential Commonwealth medals a possibility.


(With editing by gsport)