Dubai International Rhythmic Gymnastics DuGym Cup

Denzil Pinto 10/12/2016

Cape Olympia will have every reason to be smiling when they fly back to South Africa after winning four medals in their first overseas competition – the Dubai International Rhythmic Gymnastics DuGym Cup Saturday.

With international stars Maria Matteva, Dora Vass and Rio bronze medalist Anna Rizatdinova in attendance at Al Manara Sports Hall, the stars of tomorrow from 21 countries took to the carpet with their sights of claiming a medal.

Before yesterday, Cape Olympia Rhythmic Gymnastics Club only had experience of national competitions. But in Dubai, they showed no signs of nerves and instead relished the opportunity, taking home one gold and three bronzes.

Melanie Dutoit added to her medal collection, reigning supreme in the Year 2000 category and the 16-year-old was delighted to win outside South African soil.

“I think I’ve won around 30 medals so far so it’s always good to win another one,” she said. “The competition was really tough but it’s good because that is the only way you can become better as an athlete.”

While her team-mate Alina Galukhin claimed bronze in the Year 2003 group, coach Mislue Galukhina had nothing but praise.

“We very happy to have come here as the competition level was very strong,” he said.

Other winners included Romania’s Verdes Andreea and Kazakhstan’s Anna Afuxenidi, who both scored 65.78 in the Year 2000 A category. There was something to smile for the UAE as Shaikha Saeed took gold in the All-Round 2004 B category with a score of 24.98.

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