Russian rhythmic superstar will miss the all-around final after unthinkable ribbon routine

The spell has been broken for Russia’s Arina Averina on the fourth day of competition at the 2018 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Russian superstar is the reigning European champion and defending World silver medallist in the all-around.

But disaster – and bad luck – struck in the middle of her ribbon routine during the qualifications round at the global championships. The defending World champion with ribbon found her apparatus knotted during a difficult backwards spin.

She paused for a moment, examining her ribbon and attempting to untie the knot. Seconds later, she discarded her ribbon and picked up the auxiliary apparatus.

The pause cost the Russian not only a mandatory deduction for an unusable apparatus but also for use of the auxiliary ribbon.

Despite the panic caused by the knot, Averina recovered quickly with the replacement ribbon only to suffer another mishap just 30 seconds later. As she attempted a toss of the apparatus, the new ribbon broke.

For the second time in one routine, Averina was forced to grab a ribbon off the sidelines. She finished her routine as well as she could given the circumstances.

But, the damage had been done.

After a 13.800 score, she will finish as the third best Russian – behind sister Dina and teammate Aleksandra Soldatova – and will not advance to the all-around final. Russia will also only have one competitor in the ribbon final, an event where the Russians have won two medals at each of the last three World Championships.

Averina, who won a bronze in the hoop final, has one more chance for a medal in the clubs final.

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