Acrobatic gymnastics has it all, except Olympic recognition and a big fan base. That’s why I’m getting you hooked on this sport with 10 World Championships routines that you can’t resist.
The most difficult
Mixed pair Marina Chernova and Georgii Pataraia basically compete in a league of their own. Their difficulty (and execution) is so high that other pairs can only watch as they throw triple pikes and double twisting double layouts around.
In the men’s groups, the two Chinese teams really set themselves apart with D-scores that are 0.5 to 1.7 points higher than their fellow competitors, which makes them the most spectacular athletes to watch.
Put this item on your bucket list: watch Adam Upcott and Charlie Tate perform live. Adam is a born performer (watch his facial expressions!) and their combined routine is on fire.
Ukraine’s women’s pair won the hearts of the audience with their upbeat combined routine, which has a fun circus vibe to it.
The most surprising
Aussies Jillian Connor, Sarah Hemmings and Madeline Romero didn’t make it to the women’s group finals, but their choreography was one of the best. Both their emotional ‘medicine’ routine (balance) and their ‘wild animal’ routine (combined) stood out to me from the beginning.
Another team that blew me away was Azerbaijan’s mixed pair. Ruhidil Gurbanli and Abdulla Al-Mashaykhi boasted the second highest difficulty scores, earning them fourth place both in qualifications and finals. One thing that holds them back is their height difference, for which they receive a 0.5 penalty. Fingers crossed they can keep improving (and growing ;-)).
Nothing better than four Belgian men acting silly on stage and pulling it off.
The most touching
Their teammates Marte Snoeck and Bram Röttger created a whole other atmosphere as they performed the immortal story of Romeo and Juliet. In finals, the mixed pair put their hearts and souls into it, and won the bronze medal amid the deafening roar of the home crowd.
The most artistic
The highest A-scores of the World Championships went to the Israeli men’s four. They scored 9.500 twice (!) and 9.350 twice. Have one look at this balance routine and you’ll know why.
The most unique
I’m rounding off this list with the skill that wowed every single person watching it: Russia’s men’s group handstand. How can you not love this?