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Russia Takes Control of Rhythmic Worlds
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Russia's Olga Kapranova and Vera Sesina (right) each won two titles in the event finals at the 28th Rhythmic World Championships, taking place in Patras, Greece.

Kapranova, the 2005 world all-around champion, won the gold medal with hoop and the silver medal with rope on Monday. Sesina won the gold medal with rope and the the silver medal with hoop.

Kapranova added her second gold with the clubs on Wednesday. Sesina won the ribbon title and bronze with the clubs.

Ukraine's Anna Bessonova picked up silver medals with the ribbon and clubs and the bronze medal with hoop. Inna Zhukova of Belarus won the bronze medal with the rope and 2004 Olympic champion Alina Kabayeva won the brone medal with the ribbon.

Canada's Alexandra Orlando was the only gymnast from North America to qualify for the finals. Orlando, winner of six gold medals at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, finished seventh with hoop.

The all-around final will take place Friday, and group finals will take place Sunday.

Kapranova, Sesina, Bessonova and Zhukova are among the leading contenders for the all-around title in Patras.

Kabayeva, 24, won the all-around title at both the 1999 Worlds in Osaka and the 2003 Worlds in Budapest. (She also won the title in 2001 but was stripped of her gold medal for testing positive for diuretics at an earlier competition.)

Kapranova, a 19-year-old from Moscow, dominated the 2005 World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. In addition to winning the all-around gold medal in Baku, she placed first with ball, clubs and rope.

Sesina, 21, won the ribbon event at the 2005 Worlds. She placed first all-around at the 2006 European Championships in Moscow, and won four individual medals (including the gold with clubs) at the 2007 Europeans in Baku.

Bessonova, 23, won five silver medals at the 2005 Worlds. She was third all-around at the 2001 Worlds in Madrid; second all-around, and first with clubs and hoop, at the 2003 Worlds in Budapest; and third all-around at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Zhukova, who turned 21 on September 6, placed sixth all-around and third with ball at the 2005 Worlds. She was sixth all-around at the 2001 Worlds; fourth all-around at the 2003 Worlds; and seventh all-around at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

The top 20 gymnasts in Friday's all-around final will earn qualification slots for their nations at the 2008 Olympic Games. Four more gymnasts will be selected by name.

External Link: Official Web Site

2007 World Championships of Rhythmic Gymnastics
September 17-19, Patras, Greece

Rope Final
1. Vera Sesina RUS 18.600
2. Olga Kapranova RUS 18.500
3. Inna Zhukova BLR 17.900
4. Aliya Garayeva AZE 17.675
5. Anna Bessonova UKR 17.325
6. Simona Peycheva BUL 16.975
7. Lyubov Charkashyna BLR 16.550
8. Irina Risenson ISR 16.525

Hoop Final
1. Olga Kapranova RUS 18.450
2. Vera Sesina RUS 18.250
3. Anna Bessonova UKR 18.175
4. Aliya Garayeva AZE 16.900
5. Simona Peycheva BUL 16.700
6. Aliya Yusupova KAZ 16.450
7. Alexandra Orlando CAN 16.350
8. Inna Zhukova BLR 16.100

Ribbon Final
1. Vera Sesina RUS 18.650
2. Anna Bessonova UKR 18.350
3. Alina Kabayeva RUS 17.225
4. Aliya Yusupova KAZ 17.175
5. Inna Zhukova BLR 16.950
6. Natalia Godunko UKR 16.775
7. Irina Risenson ISR 16.650
8. Dinara Gimatova AZE 16.650

Clubs Final
1. Olga Kapranova RUS 18.650
2. Anna Bessonova UKR 18.400
3. Vera Sesina RUS 18.325
4. Inna Zhukova BLR 17.675
5. Aliya Garayeva AZE 17.425
6. Irina Risenson ISR 16.675
7. Aliya Yusupova KAZ 16.625
8. Lyubov Charkashyna BLR 16.500

International Gymnast Magazine Related Features
Kabayeva on cover (February 2001)
"Bent on Stardom" - Kabayeva interview (April 2000)
Kapranova on cover, 2005 World Championships coverage (December 2005)
"Hoop Dreams" - Peycheva profile
"Catching Up With...Maria Petrova" (November 2004)
Yusupova on cover (November 2004)
"Zhukova Renews Olympic Vow" - profile (April 2005)
"A New Leap for Belarus" - Zhukova profile (May 2002)

IG Online Related Features
Spotlight: Vera Sesina (August/September 2005)
Interview: Lisa Wang (USA)

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