Patricia Bezzoubenko struggles at rhythmic gymnastics worlds

Canadian Olympic hopeful Patricia Bezzoubenko had a rough day at the 2015 rhythmic gymnastics world championships in Stuttgart, Germany on Tuesday, tumbling to 27th overall out of 86 competitors.

Toronto native needs top-15 finish to qualify for Rio Olympics

Canada's Patricia Bezzoubenko, seen here competing at the 2015 Pan Am Games, sits a disappointing 27th after two events at the rhythmic gymnastics world championships Monday in Germany. (Gregory Bull/Associated Press)

Canadian Olympic hopeful Patricia Bezzoubenko had a rough day at the 2015 rhythmic gymnastics world championships in Stuttgart, Germany on Tuesday, tumbling to 27th overall out of 86 competitors.

The Toronto native sat in 22nd place after the ball event on Monday, but finished 42nd in her hoop routine on Tuesday. The two events gave her a combined score of 32.582 and she sits just outside of a top 24-spot needed to qualify for the all around final.

Ukrainian Ganna Rizatdinova is ranked first halfway through the tournament, after third-place finishes in both the ball and hoop routines with a combined a score of 36.332 points.

Toronto-native Carmen Whelan, who is participating at her first world championships, has a score of 30.916 through two events, placing her 43rd overall.

"Patricia has had some difficulty with her hoop routine this year but she also was very steady at the last World Cup before worlds," said Canadian national team director Teresa Orr of Toronto. 

"All her routines are more difficult this year than at the last world championships. If she's consistent and does what she can do with her clubs and ribbon routines over the next two days, hopefully she'll be in that top 24."

Bezzoubenko, who recently won a silver and bronze medal, respectively, at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, qualified for the all around final for the first time last year and went on to finish 24th. 

But this year's world championships has more at stake, as it is the first of two qualification meets for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The top 15 all around in Stuttgart will qualify directly for the Rio Games, while the next 23 highest ranked all around athletes will advance to a final Olympic qualification meet in April.

Qualification for the all around final continues on Wednesday and Thursday with the clubs and ribbon events.

With files from Gymnastics Canada


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