PERSONAL VICTORIES AT THE FOUR CONTINENTS CHAMPIONSHIPS By Nora Hitzel Rhythmic Program Administrator
he 1986 Four Continents Championships in Rhythmic Sportive Gymnastics was the most prestigious RSG event ever hosted by the Australian Gymnastics Federation. This major competition is ranked fifth in the world during the four-year Olympic cycle and corresponds to the European Championships. In 1977, at the FIG Congress in Basel, Switzerland, a proposal was put forward to conduct a RSG championships for the countries not on the European continent . (North America, South America, Asia, and Au- Still beaming is 1986 USA Rythmic National stralia). In 1978, the first Champion Marina Kunyavsky after her strong Four Continents Cham- performance in the Four Continents. (USGF pionships was held in photo ÂŠ 1986 by Dave Black) Toronto, Canada. Since that time, the Champion- the award ceremonies. petitions would be more ships has grown in both Even though the Cana- tightly contested. Twenty-four senior status and strength. dian national anthem The 1986 Four Con- was the only one heard gymnasts, 17 junior gymtinents Championships in the arena, recognizing nasts, and seven groups in Melbourne was a suc- 1984 Olympic champion from eight countries cess for the United Lori Fung as the continu- (Japan, China, Brazil , States' RSG team. For ing queen of rhythmic Canada, USA, Australia, the first time in the his- gymnastics from the four Argentina and New Zeatory of the sport, the continent countries, the land) competed in the 5th United States flag was participants were all well Four Continents Chamraised four times during aware that future com- pionships.
Junior Division The gymnasts in the junior division, a new demension to the Championships, only competed in three events , but clearly demonstrated what the future will hold. Mary Fuzesi from Canada, and Kaori Ishimi from Japan, tied as junior all-around champions (26.25), with Canadian Susan Cushman winning the bronze medal (25.60). USA's junior champion Cindy Mount followed closely in fourth place (25.40), with teammate Molly Krause placing fifth (25.05). Kristl Alt, the third member of the junior contingent and the youngest competitor in the Championships, ended in 11th place (24.30).
Senior Division The senior competition was dominated by Lori Fung of Canada who won the all-around gold medal (38.20) and the gold in each of the four individual event finals. In the all-around, two Chinese gymnasts, Yanfei Xia (36.975) and Xiaomin He (36.825), won the silver and bronze