Cape Olympia fly the SA flag high

Sport360 - - REGIONAL - @denz_360 den­[email protected] By Den­zil Pinto

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 yesterday.

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.

All smiles: Cape Olympia team with Rio medal­ist Anna Rizat­di­nova (cen­tre).

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