Ukranian gymnast Anna ready for Olympic gold

July 21st, 2008 - 2:48 pm ICT by IANS  

By Chen Yu
Beijing, July 21 (Xinhua) She is pretty, graceful, talented, and has a sports family behind her. Ukarnian Anna Bessonova seems to have everything needed to make a successful rhythmic gymnast at the Beijing Olympics. After numerous medals in continental and world rhythmic competitions, the 24-year-old is now ready for gold at the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games.

Anna was born July 29, 1984, in Kiev. Her professional football player father, Vladimir Bessonov, played for Dynamo Kiev and made it to the FIFA World Cup Final. Her mother, Viktoria, was a group rhythmic gymnast and won the World Championships twice. It was she who introduced young Anna to the world of rhythmic gymnastics.

Anna began training when she was only five. Instructed by Alina Deriugina and her daughter Irina Deriugina, a two-time world champion, she benefited a lot from excellent coaching and showed great talent at a young age.

With years of hard training, Anna showed incredible flexibility and entered her first international competition at age 10.

In 1999, Anna competed in group gymnastics and finished third in the World Championship in Osaka, Japan. Two years later, she clinched the bronze medal for individual all-round at the 2001 worlds in Madrid, Spain.

After winning more titles at the World and European championships, the rising star went to Athens, where she performed impressively to earn an Olympic bronze medal.

Anna was finally awarded a long-waited gold medal at the 2007 world championship in Patras and most recently executed a gold-medal routine at LA Lights 2008.

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