World class rhythm.jpg

World class rhythm

The Portimao multipurpose sports Arena is the venue for the IV Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup/XXIII Portimao International Tournament this weekend offering up a rare chance to see Olympic class performers from all over the globe first hand in the Algarve.

Until Sunday afternoon a combination of artistic interpretation and technique at the highest level see the likes of Russian Beijing gold medallist Eugenia Kanaeva, Olga Kapranova, Vera Sessina and Marina Spechkt compete against reigning Ukrainian World Champion Anna Bessonova for the first time this year. The home crowd will be cheering on Portugal’s only representative on this elevated stage, Ines Gomes, 17th in the International Gymnastics Federation rankings.

During the four days of competition around 250 athletes representing a total of 30 countries are striving for maximum points in various disciplines, with the highlights being the individual and team bow, cord and bow, and cord and ball finals at 9.30pm on Thursday, 2pm and 7pm on Friday (today), 1.30pm and 5pm on Saturday and 3.15pm, 4pm, 5pm and 5.45pm on Sunday. Parallel to the main event, which is covered live by RTP television, the Portimao International tournament features local girls Jessica Jardim and Carolina Martins taking on the top juniors in the sport in preparation for the forthcoming European Youth Championships and the Youth Olympics.

Entry to this fourth edition of a truly international occasion is free and an absolute ‘don’t miss’ for all lovers of grace and beauty in its most elegant competitive form.