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Maria Petrova (rhythmic gymnast)

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Title: Maria Petrova (rhythmic gymnast)  
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Subject: World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, Gymnastics at the 1996 Summer Olympics – Women's rhythmic qualification, Yevgeniya Kanayeva, Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships, Maria Petrova
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Maria Petrova (rhythmic gymnast)

Maria Petrova
— Gymnast —
Personal information
Country represented  Bulgaria
Born (1975-11-13) November 13, 1975
Discipline Rhythmic gymnastics
Club Levski
Head coach(es) Neshka Robeva, Natalia Muravenova

Maria Petrova (Bulgarian: Мария Петрова) (born November 13, 1975 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria) is a Bulgarian rhythmic gymnast. She is a three-time (1993, 1994, 1995) World All-around champion and a three-time (1992, 1993, 1994) European All-around champion.


  • Career 1
  • Personal life 2
  • Vital statistics 3
  • Achievements 4
  • Routine music information 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Petrova began her training at the age of five at Trakia Plovdiv Club in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, coached by Natalia Moravenova. By 1991, she was coached by Neshka Robeva at the Levski Sofia Club. In her first World Championship appearance, Petrova placed second in the team competition after a hoop drop.

Petrova was one of the favorites to win gold but found herself finishing in fifth in the all-around finals at the Barcelona Olympics after a penalty of .20 was imposed due to the zipper on the back of her leotard that had broken during her hoop exercise. A few months later, at the World Championships, Petrova took second place behind Russia's Oxana Kostina and ahead of Belarusian Larissa Lukyanenko.

Petrova (3rd from left) at the 1996 World Championships

In 1993, Petrova performed with her Panovaesque ball to an Indian melody. She also competed in a ribbon exercise, and a small-toss filled clubs routine to Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner". Her final performance to Carmina Burana caused a great crowd ovation. She went on to win the all-around World title, as well as three more gold medals (ball, hoop, ribbon) and a bronze medal (clubs).

She went on to win one more European title and two more world titles (shared in 1995 with Yekaterina Serebrianskaya), tying her with countrywoman Maria Gigova for the most wins in the latter category.

Competing in her second Olympics, Petrova was one of the front runner to win the gold at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, however a series of mistakes left her finishing in 6th place in the All-around Finals behind Russia's Amina Zaripova.

Although she had tried to retire several times after her first World title, Petrova continued competing as a favor to the Bulgarian national team, which was in a rebuilding phase after the Eastern European Communist collapse.

Petrova shares the world record for most individual world all-around rhythmic gymnastics titles with Maria Gigova and Evgenia Kanaeva. Petrova's three titles were earned in 1993, 1994, and 1995 (shared).

She is currently a judge in rhythmic gymnastics.

Personal life

In 1998, Petrova married Bulgarian footballer Borislav Mikhailov.

Vital statistics

  • Height: 1.73 m (5' 8")
  • Weight: 108 lb (49 kg)


Routine music information

Year Apparatus Music title [2]
1996 Ball She is Dead music from Leon (The Professional) by Eric Serra
Rope ?
Clubs Habanera, Scene music from The Carmen Ballet by Rodion Shchedrin / Bizet
Ribbon La Zarzamora by Paco de Lucia
1995 Ball Dreaming Strings by Gheorge Zamfir
Rope ?
Clubs Wedding Celebration / The Bottle Dance music from Fiddler on the Roof by Jerry Bock
Ribbon La Zarzamora by Paco de Lucia
1994 Ball Dreaming Strings by Gheorge Zamfir
Hoop Carmina Burana music from Synthétiseur 6 by Synthesizer
Clubs Wedding Celebration / The Bottle Dance music from Fiddler on the Roof by Jerry Bock
Ribbon The Lark by Balogh Kalman
1993 Ball Toni / Making Music by Zakir Hussain
Hoop Carmina Burana music from Synthétiseur 6 by Synthesizer
Clubs Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega/DNA
Ribbon The Lark by Balogh Kalman
1992 Ball Toni / Making Music by Zakir Hussain
Hoop Duet Improvisation (Part 1) and Duet Improvisation (Part 2) by Chick Corea Trio Music
Clubs Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega/DNA
Rope Amazonas by Strunz & Farah
1991 Ball The First Garden from The Secret Life of Plants by Stevie Wonder
Hoop he Feeling Begins music from The Last Temptation of Christ by Peter Gabriel
Clubs Camptown Races
Rope ?


  1. ^ Knapp, Gwen (April 21, 1997). "Timing is of the essence for gymnast". Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  2. ^ "Petrova RG music list". rgforum. 

External links

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