The Passion of Maria Filatova
April 6, 1979 At the international gymnastics competition "Riga-79" the women's competition has ended. The traditional prize of the competition -- the amber beam -- was won by Maria Filatova.
Besides the victor, Soviet gymnastics was represented by Muscovite E. Gurina, G. Glushchenko (Rostov), E. Nikolaentseva (Frunze), G. Ionas (Tallin), two girls from Alma-Ata -- N. Ilienko and I. Breigina, and also M. Kozlovskaya, S. Shvarts, M. Zarkevich and L. Smirnova. Fifty-two gymnasts competed in two sessions.
In the first session the battle was between the GDR and Poland. Kozlovskaya had the highest score after the end of the first session -- 36.9, which allowed her to finish in 8th place only.
In the second session it was clear that the fight for the amber beam would be among our girls, who began on vault, and the Romanian gymnasts, who began on floor. Filatova immediately took the lead, scoring 9.7 for a Tsukahara. On uneven bars Maria erred, hitting her heel on the bar during a giant swing to salto. It was a skill she began to learn a month earlier and already decided to attempt. Her novelty -- an original interpretation of the Deltchev salto.
Gurina was good on beam. For her interesting routine she received 9.6. Winner on the beam was Filatova (9.7). The rest of our girls fell -- Nikolaentseva twice. Romania was exact on beam. A. Kish took second place and her teammate D. Turner was third.
Filatova's victory was never in doubt. She performed her new floor exercise with substantial passion and was honored with the highest score of the competition -- 9.8. Glushchenko's routine was well performed for 9.7. The Romanians didn't tremble on beam.
International Tournament "Riga-79", women's all-around: 1. M. Filatova (USSR) - 38.6; 2. A. Kish (Romania) - 37.75; 3-4. G. Glushchenko (USSR) and D. Turner (Romania) - 37.5; 5. G. Ionas (USSR) - 37.2; 6. N. Ilienko (USSR) - 37.1.
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