The "Tournament of Hopes" callisthenics competition, an activity now usually referred to as rhythmic gymnastics, was held in the Soviet Union early this month (2-4 October).
GV PAN The Palace of Sports of the central Army Club in Moscow, USSR.
SV Maya Taskova of Yugoslavia performing with skipping rope.
CU Girls in audience applaud.
SV Dana Grafova of Czechoslovakia dancing with hoop.
CU Spectators. (3 SHOTS)
SV Svetlana Kudinova of USSR dancing with ribbon.
SPORT: CALLISTHENICS (RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS)
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Background: The "Tournament of Hopes" callisthenics competition, an activity now usually referred to as rhythmic gymnastics, was held in the Soviet Union early this month (2-4 October). Thirty-six sportswomen from the capitals of five socialist countries participated in the annual event. They came from Warsaw, Budapest, Prague, Sofia and Moscow.
SYNOPSIS: Held at Moscow's Central Sports Army Club Palace of Sports, the tournament is open to competitors up to the age of 16. That means, in effect, contestants could be regarded as Olympic reserve national teams. One of the stars of the Yugoslav contingent from Sofia, Maya Taskova, managed a second place in the finals of the skipping rope exercises with this routine. And her performance was also a major contribution towards Sofia's second place in the team competition.
Taskova may have been beaten out of first place with the rope, but she made certain of the hoop exercise, beating all-comers, including this girl, 16-year-old Dana Grafova of Prague. Grafova made an impressive showing with an interesting and complicated routine.
It was a performance such as this which won her the "Golden Hoop" title at the 1979 contest. But for this year, the competition was too strong.
But the girl who impressed judges to the exclusion of all others was a 13-year-old Muscovite, Svetlana Kudinova. her performance combined to secure her first places in the individual exercises with the ribbon and skipping rope; and second in exercises with maces and a hoop. Moscow won the team prize, followed by Sofia and Prague in second and third. The Soviet bloc, currently dominating world class women's events such as this, believes performances like Kudinova's will maintain their lead up to and beyond the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, for which Rhythmic Gymnastics is now an accepted event.