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Group Event

Diane Simpson's excellent expression through movement has enabled her to become highly regarded internationally. (USGF photo Š 1986 by Dave Black)

medals. Diane Simpson from the USA was fourth . (36.475) and, had it not been for a disaster in the club event, would have finished third. Marina Kunyavsky, who also had difficulty with her club routine, finished in 11th place, and Irina Rubinshtein, who performed consistently throughout, was 13th. Highlights for the USA team occurred in the event finals. Kunyavsky, who was second in the rope event going into the finals, performed with fire

and beauty to maintain her position and capture the silver medal. Simpson also performed without a flaw with her rope to win the bronze medal. Simpson, in fourth place going into the ball final behind China's Xiaomin He, confidently demonstrated her ability by overcoming the .175 lead, and moved into third place for the bronze medal. Moving into the ribbon final, Simpson was in second place, but had some tangle problems and had to settle for another bronze medal.

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The group eventsix gymnasts working with six pieces of hand apparatus, in this case three balls and three hoops - is the most difficult of the rhythmic gymnastics events for both the gymnasts and the coach. It is truly the only "team" event that gymnastics, both artistic and rhythmic, knows. Alexandra Feldman, Joanne Heineman, Laura Howell, Somona Soloveychik, Kim Stiles, Eugenia Yuan, and alternates Jeannie Masse, Xandi Byrd, and Mary Baker, as well as their coach AlIa Svirsky, were the members of the USA team. It was obvious that the groups from China, Japan and Canada had more experience, more difficulty, and more technical ability than the group from the USA; but throughout the three days of competition, the USA team did not have one major break! Again, this was a first for a USA group in international competition, and was a great personal victory for all involved.

Profile for USA Gymnastics

USA Gymnastics - January/February 1987  

USA Gymnastics - January/February 1987