2008 Beijing gold medallist Evgeniya Kanaeva thrilled an estimated 10,000 Portimão Arena spectators during the four-day Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup meeting which ended on Sunday evening.
The Russian star took the individual titles in the ribbon, cord and ball categories, leaving only the rings event to her Ukrainian rival and reigning world champion Anna Bessonova. In the team competition the girls from Belarus and Japan caused a major surprise, upsetting odds-on favourites Russia in finishing top in four disciplines.
Local fans also had something to cheer as Portugal’s only performer at this elite level, Inês Gomes, delivered the best result of her blossoming career.
The only 19-year-old FIG world No17 took eighth and ninth places respectively in the rings and ribbon finals to secure 19th position overall, a great improvement on her 35th placing last year. In the international junior tournament taking place simultaneously, Portimão prospects Sara Caetano and Jessica Jardim achieved commendable 35th and 39th places behind their vastly more experienced Russian counterparts.