Dubai: Reigning Olympic Ryhthmic Gymnastics Champion Margarita Mamum has assured the UAE of her unwavering support and care in nurturing top-level gymnasts in the future.

Mamum, who won the overall gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, was in Dubai for the formal announcement of the First International Emirates Cup for Rhythmic Gymnastics to be held at the brand-new Al Habtoor Tennis Academy situated at the Al Habtoor City on May 12-13.

Born in 1995 in Moscow to a Bangladeshi father and Russian mother, Mamum was the all-around champion in Rio last year. The Russian competitor is the current record holder under the 20-point judging system with the highest all-around total of 77.50 points that she scored during the 2016 Baku World Cup. At the 2016 Rio Games, the 21-year-old won the all-around gold setting a new Olympic record under the 20-point judging system with a total of 76.483 points, surpassing the previous mark set by Evgenia Kanaeva.

Following her triumph last year, Mamum has taken it upon herself to assist in the development and spread of rhythmic gymnastics around the world — while choosing Dubai among her first destinations — thanks to close ally and former European champion Ksenia Dzhalagnia, the founder of Dubai Youth Olympic School School Ryhthmic Gym.

“It gives me great joy to be here and be part of this event. I am here to assure you of my support to the growth of this sport to make help in making rhythmic gymnastics a fundamental sport in the UAE,” Mamum said at the press conference.

“I am aware that it will be a lot of hard work in the future, but a substantial amount of hard work has already been put in, and I am convinced that there can be participation from UAE gymnasts at the international level in the future,” she added.

Among other things over the weekend, Mamum will conduct a Master Class at 6pm on May 13 with her coach Irina Zaripova assisting her. The inaugural International Emirates Cup has attracted 370 gymnasts from 25 nations across the world, of which 70 will represent four rhythmic clubs based in the UAE.

“I hope the Master Class will bring in a new element for the gymnasts here and help them take the next step for a future in the sport,” she added.

Organised by Brands & Trends and the Dubai Youth Olympic School School Ryhthmic Gym, the competition has been endorsed by the General Authority and Youth and Sports Welfare (GAYSW) and Dubai Sports Council (DSC). Organisers have already received entries from as far as Canada and Australia along with participants travelling from Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Slovakia, Egypt, Kuwait and Qatar.


What: First International Emirates Cup for Rhythmic Gymnastics

Where: Al Habtoor Tennis Academy, Al Habtoor City

When: May 12 and 13


May 12:

(8am to 1pm) Category ‘C’ (born before 2011)

(1.30pm) Opening Ceremony

(2 to 6.30pm) Category ‘B’ (born between 2001-2011)

May 13:

(8am to 2.30pm) Category ‘A’ (born between 2005-2011)

(2.30pm to 4.30pm) International Junior Category (born between 2002-2004)

4.30pm to 5.20pm) International Senior Category (open to invited gymnasts)

(5.20pm to 5.50pm) Group Competition

(5.50pm to 6.30pm) Master Class from Margarita Mamum