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  • Writer's pictureCaitlin Shipsides

Top tier aerobic gymnasts just days away from Plovdiv Cup

Are you ready? 490 gymnasts, from 20 nations, are undertaking their final preparations before the 14th Plovdiv Cup Aerobics Open. The event, being held from the 6th-8th of October, comes at a perfect time with both the Pan American and European Championships scheduled in November. We will see a variety of established gymnasts using Plovdiv Cup as practise in the lead up to their continental events, along with up and coming gymnasts gaining competition experience.

Ivan Veloz (MEX), former World Champion and 2021 recipient of the Maria Mineva Trophy, will return to Plovdiv with what we expect to be a show stopping performance. Other names to watch for in the Individual Men category include Rui Cansado (POR) and Vladimir Dolmatov (AZE) after presenting strong routines in last year’s World Championships. The graceful Nea Kivelae, World Bronze Medalist, will feature in the Individual Women category along with Thais Fernandez, Charlotte Densch and Bulgaria’s own Borislava Ivanova. The Mixed Pair category will see Ivanova team up with Hristo Manolov for their second year in the senior category.

The National Development, Age Group and Junior categories boast a very high number of entries, and we are excited to see many young and talented gymnasts take to the stage. Keep an eye out for Sampo Nousiainen (FIN), World Junior Silver Medalist, and his creative choreography. Nousiainen will also feature in a Mixed Pair with Jade Sirvio.

Australia is bringing their largest team to date, featuring 16 athletes, 3 coaches and 2 judges. This team will include the return of Olivia Feaver, 2019 Plovdiv Cup Individual Women finalist and Trio bronze medalist with her teammates Grace Kepplich and Carissa Uno. This year, Mercedes McIntyre with join Kepplich and Uno in the Senior Trio category. Alice Stooke, Australia’s Head of Delegation and Secretary General of Oceania Gymnastics, speaks highly of the support they’ve had from Bulgarian aerobic legend, Antonio Papazov, and their desire to increase participation in the sport. ‘We’ve formed a strong connection with Papazov since his visit to Australia and New Zealand. We’re excited to compete in his hometown and are grateful for his support. Developing Aerobic Gymnastics in Oceania is a priority for us, and we are proud to say every Member Federation has now established a program. We hope to have other Oceania Member Federations join Australia and New Zealand to attend events like Plovdiv in the future.’

MeloGym is looking forward to seeing the competition in action and wishes the best of luck to all gymnasts and officials.

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