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Rhythmic gymnastics makes a return

Fri March 23

Rhythmic gymnastics makes a return to the Commonwealth Games lineup starting on Friday, when Team Canada begins its quest for medals.

Carly Orava and Alexandra Orlando (both of Toronto ON) and Yana Tsikaridze (Montreal, QC) will compete in the team competition on Friday. During the event, they'll also be aiming to qualify for Saturday's all-around competition, as well as the apparatus finals on Sunday.

“We're the first-ranked team coming in so we really have high expectations,” says Orlando, who is expected to challenge for medals in all six events.
“But there are so many good teams here. We just want to go out, do our best and hope that it all works out.”

Rhythmic gymnastics was last included in Commonwealth Games in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The sport was also part of the 1990 Games in Auckland, New Zealand, and the 1994 event in Victoria, B.C.

“I've always wanted to go to the Commonwealth Games,” says Orlando. “It's so great to have rhythmic gymnastics back in – great for the sport in general and for our country.”

Canada has been a powerhouse in rhythmic gymnastics at the Games, winning seven medals in 1998, eight in 1994 and nine in 1990. In Kuala Lumpur eight years ago, Erika Leigh Stirton of Toronto captured six medals, five of them gold.