particularly enjoy this routine because the music is so lively and
blissful. It totally fits Alina as a junior, portraying her charisma
as well as the joy of rhythmic gymnastics. Her difficulty in this
routine (in 1997) has shown her great potential when she competes as a
the music begins, Kabaeva skillfully tucks the ball on her stomach,
allowing it to drop on the floor and bounce up. Holding the ball, she
performs perfect attitude spins into back catch pivots. When she
performs pivots, it alw ays seems so free and easy. Alina adds a little
bit of touch to the light music by bouncing the ball up with her right
the main theme of the background music is introduced, Kabaeva releases
the ball for a throw, catching it confidently in a double stag ring
leap position. Following the throw, she displays her back flexibility
and combined dexterity as she allows the ball to roll down her hands
(at the back) and stopping it with her back. She performs a large roll
of the ball as she raises her free leg.
second throw is simple but beautiful. She throws the ball as she
executes a 180 degrees flexibility jump and catches the ball
effortlessly. The next consecutive throw requires precise timing.
Releasing the ball, Kabaeva does an illusion turn. As the ball drops
on the floor and bounces back, she bounces once again the ball with
her knees and catches the ball finally. This throw is in fact
considerably risky. Here, she continues with a beautiful back catch
pose, displaying her back flexibility.
to be outdone, she unleashes a fourth large throw, catching the ball
after a fast Ralenkova. Considering the fact that Kabaeva is only a
junior, a throw into a Ralenkova is definitely spectacular. Of course,
she includes her difficulty in it, for example her perfectly
controlled triple leg up pivots.
the middle of the routine, Kabaeva pauses slightly, frolicking with
the ball, showing some cute movements.
the main theme returns, Kabaeva once more creates the atmosphere with
her style. First, she bounces the ball as she performs a side split.
Almost immediately after, she executes a back catch pivot, stopping at
a scale balance. Subsequently, she shows her trademark combination.
Rolling the ball vertically away, she effects a variation walkover to
roll the ball back with her left leg and gets up with a body wave.
must agree her last section is the most exciting part. Throwing the
ball, she catches it while doing a split ring leap. A second later,
she releases the ball again while she executes a double stag ring
jump. Sitting down, she catches the ball tightly under her legs.
Tucking the ball tightly, she displays her favourite acrobatic
combination (one that she uses till now) Her ending throw, a clever
one, is commonly done by her as well. After throwing the ball, she
splits her legs on the floor, tuck them straight together right above
the falling ball and catches it with a back bend. Of course, Kabaeva
always add some humour by turning her body 90 degrees in the same
position, popping her head out when the final music sounds!
Alina awes all audiences again.