Son Yeon-jae Strikes Again at Sofia World Cup with Bronze in Hoop

Son Yeon-jae performs in a hoop event at an FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup series in Sofia, Bulgaria. /Courtesy of IB Worldwide Son Yeon-jae performs in a hoop event at an FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup series in Sofia, Bulgaria. /Courtesy of IB Worldwide

Rhythmic gymnast Son Yeon-jae won a bronze medal in the hoop final at an FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup series in Sofia, Bulgaria on Sunday after finishing with 17.800 points. This marks her fourth medal in international competitions this season.

She had high expectations for the hoop final as she finished first in the discipline in the preliminaries on the previous day.

Son finished seventh in club with 17.100 points, and eighth in ball with 16.200 points after losing control of the ball and letting it stray outside of the mat.

She also placed fifth in ball with 17.550 points, fourth in club with 17.400 points, third in ribbon with 17.850 points to finish fourth overall in the individual all-around with a combined score of 70.600 point. This matches her fourth-place finish in the all-around at a World Cup event in Penza, Russia, in April last year, her best result to date.

In Sofia, she qualified for the finals of all four disciplines for the third time in her career and the first time this season. The top eight finishers of each discipline advance to the finals. Yana Kudryavtseva of Russia won both the individual all-around with 72.150 points and hoop with 18.250 points.

The latest results are likely to serve as a crucial confidence booster ahead of a busy calendar of events that will see her compete at the Asian Championship in June, the Universiad in July, and the World Championship in August.

Son will return to Korea on Tuesday for tryouts with the national team on Friday, after which she will leave immediately for her training base in Russia to prepare for another World Cup series event in Minsk, Belarus, which starts on May 17.

englishnews@chosun.com / May 06, 2013 11:01 KST