High Jewish medal haul at gymnastics championships

Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva won a remarkable six gold medals in her six events – one more than last year. Photo: Peter Haskin

SPECTACULAR action and amazing results were the hallmarks of the second and final week of the 2019 Australian Gymnastics Championships at Melbourne Arena, where 16 Jewish gymnasts across rhythmic, trampoline, aerobic and acrobatic disciplines won a total of 17 medals.


IT proved fitting that Alexandra “Sasha” Kiroi-Bogatyreva’s chosen song for her rhythmic gymnastics senior international ribbon apparatus routine at last week’s national championships was Survivor by Destiny’s Child.

As the words “I’m gonna work harder” burst out of the speakers at Melbourne Arena, the two-time 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist lived up to them, and then some, in a powerhouse performance to win gold.

The King David School student finished the championships with a remarkable gold medal tally of six from her six events.

She was the all-around senior international champion by a country mile, scoring 67.000 to beat runner-up Lidiia Iakovleva from Queensland by almost 13 points.

The hard-working, goal-driven 17-year-old then won the hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon individual finals, breaking the sought after 18.000 score level for both hoop (18.450) and clubs (18.400) with flawless and fluent displays, despite choosing routines with very high difficulty levels.

Alisa Gimgina in her ball routine at the 2019 Australian Gymnastics Championships at Melbourne Arena last week. Photo: Peter Haskin

She also teamed up with Jewish Victorian and Prahran Rhythmic Gymnastics Club teammate Alisa Gimgina – who came fourth in the all-round competition – and non-Jewish teammates Ashari Gill, Thu Luu and Chloe Hay, to win gold in the senior international teams event, ahead of New Zealand and NSW.

Joking that she could now enjoy some “rest time” during her upcoming year 12 half-yearly exams, the energetic Kiroi-Bogatyreva said she feels “absolutely thrilled” to have won the “clean sweep”.

“I worked very hard for my title and [I was] very happy to pull [off] four more clean routines on the third day,” she said.

“Thank you to my coaches Kateryna Logachova and Alicia Regula for the prepara- tion … and all who supported me, especially to my family.”

To add icing to the cake, Gimgina was named for the first time in Australia’s senior rhythmic gymnastics team, alongside Kiroi-Bogatyreva.

Deborah Greenbaum. Photo: Peter Haskin

Adding to the Jewish medal haul for team Victoria were Prahran’s Amber Goldberg and Hillai Yemini, who joined forces to win gold in the sub-junior teams event, while coming 14th and 16th respectively in the all-around individual competition.

Then, in the pre-junior group final, Goldberg and Yemini helped Victoria win silver on 19.800 points, just 0.150 behind winners NSW.

Both youngsters qualified for the nationals by making Victoria’s top six list at both levels, following a series of state and district tournaments.

Eva Gordienko (Prahran) and Jessica Weintraub (Glen Iris) combined with Victorian teammate Miyabi Akiya to win gold in the pre-junior teams final by 1.130 points over runners-up Queensland.

In the all-around competition, Gordienko came fifth, and Weintraub eighth – the latter going on to win silver in the hoop final after scoring 11.150, just short of Akiya’s 12.500.

Glen Iris club rep Jessica Tseitlin, in her Australian Championships debut, came 26th overall, and eighth in the hoop apparatus final, in the level 10 national division.

Completing the Jewish medal total was Prahran gymnast Ashley Kolomoisky, who helped Victoria win silver in the junior international groups final.

Hillai Yemini (on left) and Amber Goldberg wearing their medals.


TWO individual and two team medal wins were the fruits of the efforts of Jewish aerobic gymnastics athletes Deborah Greenbaum and Taya Bergman at the national championships.

NSW representative Greenbaum, the Australian Aerobic Gymnast of the Year, demonstrated resilience to overcome an injury suffered during training.

The 21-year-old was only cleared to compete three days before her first event on May 30, on the condition she reduce the difficulty level of her senior international individual routine to avoid the risk of further injury.

She won silver in that event, showing great execution and control to score 19.700 to finish second out of eight, just 0.67 behind Victorian, and fellow Australian squad teammate, Olivia Feaver.

Greenbaum was also part of the NSW team that won gold in the senior international group and trio events.

Describing her overall results at the nationals as “slightly bittersweet”, Greenbaum said she was proud to score highly in the circumstances.

“I achieved not quite a hat-trick [of gold medals], but it was an excellent outcome all the same,” she said.

Victorian Taya Bergman, 17, excelled in the level 8 senior individual competition, winning bronze with a score of 16.600.

The Mount Scopus College student finished within 0.5 of a point behind runner-up, Queenslander Maddy Arthur, and was awarded the highest score for execution.

Three Jewish Victorians competed in acrobatic gymnastics events, all finishing in the top 10.

Dana Dexter came 5th overall as part of a trio team at national level 7, while Mia Reitberger and Chloe Auslender were in a trio team that came eighth at national level 6.

James Mann-Segal. Photo: Peter Haskin


AFTER representing Victoria for the last seven years, Israeli- born teenager Guy Rotenberg enjoyed a golden farewell to the national championships in trampoline gymnastics, while his Cheltenham Youth Club teammates James Mann-Segal and Joseph Zadirevich were also full of bounce against Australasia’s best.

Rotenberg, who The AJN understands will move with his family to Spain later this year, teamed up with fellow Victorian Mason Rimmer to win gold in the national level 6 synchronised trampoline final, scoring 81.830 to edge WA by 2.58 points.

He also impressed in the individual trampoline final, coming sixth.

At just 10, Mann-Segal was the youngest of 10 competitors in the U13 individual trampoline, and pushed the winner – Victorian Brock Batty, 11 – all the way.

Mann-Segal scored highly in eight of the 10 required skill sets, earning 46.480 points, just enough to secure silver ahead of New Zealander Flynn Gunther (46.180).

The talented youngster came fourth in the U13 mini double trampoline, and fifth in synchronised trampoline.

Zadirevich competed in three U17 events, his best result being fifth overall (and third best Australian) in the double mini trampoline final, scoring 64.100, just 4.5 points behind the winner, New Zealand’s Nathan Monkton.