The Crystal Rose tournament was held in Minsk – a kind of analogue of the European Championship, to which Russian and Belarusian gymnasts could not go due to suspension. The competitions were held according to the usual international rules and in accordance with the European Championship regulations. Unusual were only the marks that the Russian gymnasts received, and the loss of the Averin sisters. Dina and Arina failed the tournament and turned out to be weaker than not only the Belarusians, but also their teammate Lala Kramarenko.

Has the sisters’ dominance come to an end?

Traumatic approach

Even before the start of the tournament, an unpleasant incident occurred in the Russian team. During the testing of the carpet, Dina Averina twisted her leg, which is why she could not finish the program. The gymnast could not hold back her tears from pain. The medical staff of the national team examined the athlete and did not reveal serious injuries, so after some time Averina again went to the carpet. In subsequent workouts, Dina worked out with an ice compress on her leg.
Before the start of the tournament, the Russian woman assured that she was in good health, albeit laconic. “All thanks to God,” said Dina.

But after that, everything went wrong for Dina, and then for her sister Arina. At the start of the tournament, the Averins performed unsuccessfully in the personal all-around. The victory in this discipline was won by the bronze medalist of the Olympics Alina Gornosko – 145.550. The Belorussian was the best with all subjects except for the ribbon, with which Lala Kramarenko performed superbly. By the way, she won silver – 143,900. Arina Averina closed the top three with a score of 141.450. Dina Averina took only fifth place (140.700), losing to another Belarusian gymnast Anastasia Salos (141.250).

Arina Averina

Arina Averina

Photo: Dmitry Golubovich, Championship

“I’ll say one thing, Irina Alexandrovna is happy … Of course, I’m not at all happy with myself and I won’t comment,” Dina admitted.

However, Dina did not remain completely without gold medals. In the team all-around as part of the Russian-1 team, together with her sister and juniors Maria Borisova and Anna Popova, she won gold. The silver medalists were the team of Belarus, and the bronze medalists were the girls from Russia-2 (Lala Kramarenko, Anastasia Guzenkova, Diana Chugunikhina and Eva Kalinina).

Another incident happened there. During exercises with maces, Belarusian Margarita Timoshenko lost consciousness. A team of doctors quickly ran out to the athlete, and then the gymnast, who was bleeding from her nose, was taken off the carpet. Fortunately, Tymoshenko’s health is not in danger.

Dina Averina

Dina Averina

Photo: Dmitry Golubovich, Championship

Belarusian domination

In individual exercises, the Averins did not do well. The girls qualified for the finals in only two events: Dina in ball and ribbon, Arina in clubs and ball. For comparison, Lala Kramarenko performed in all exercises.

However, the scattering of medals did not work. Anastasia Salos won the exercises with a hoop. Lala Kramarenko lost only 0.50 points to her, and Alina Gornosko closed the top three. Arina Averina became only sixth with 30 points, but this was not surprising. The athlete made two losses, a bad catch of the object and errors on the turn.

Lala Kramarenko

Lala Kramarenko

Photo: Dmitry Golubovich, Championship

Belarusians also shone with the ball: Alina already won, and Anastasia became the second. The third step of the podium was taken by the Russian Dina Averina, who then won the first (and only) personal medal of the tournament. The Russian woman was let down by poor-quality catching of the object and centering on spins.

The next two species remained with the Russians. In clubs, Lala Kramarenko won, 0.400 Gornosko lost to her. Arina Averina became the third, however, with a gap of almost 4 points. This was affected by the loss made by the Russian woman – the mace simply slipped out of the gymnast’s hand during the steps – as well as several indents. In addition, during one of the throws, the mace hit Arina’s forehead, which caused the gymnast to have a bump.

In the ribbon, Lala Kramarenko also took gold, the Russian woman beat Salos by almost 2 points. The third was the Russian Maria Pobedushkina. Dina Averina took fourth place, seriously losing to her rivals (32.950). Initially, the athlete was generally given 29,950, but after the assessment was changed.

“They are used to playing with us”

After such performances, Dina completely unstuck and began to cry again, this time, talking with members of the team. And it is not at all surprising that the sisters refused to talk to reporters, and after that they did not perform at the gala show.

Irina Viner did not see any catastrophe in the results of the twins. She even clearly explained why the gymnasts lost.

Alina Gornosko

Alina Gornosko

Photo: Toru Hanai/Getty Images

“Dina and Arina showed their programs very well. There were some mistakes, they didn’t perform for a very long time, ”Wiener explained. “They used to perform in our palace, but here they were a little constrained. But they still did well. Belarusian gymnasts also performed brilliantly.”

Considering that the competitions were held according to the new international rules, it is clear why Gornosko and Kramarenko looked better. Both gymnasts work perfectly according to current standards, and are able to give such points in body difficulties that the Averins do not reach. Dina and Arina, already age-old athletes, do not have many things easy, especially considering the numerous injuries. And the holding of the tournament not in Russia showed that our gymnasts are not evaluated at home in a completely different way. According to Wiener, it was a really fair refereeing. Isn’t there a reason then to think that the Averins are no longer the leaders of world gymnastics?

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