Bulgaria's Ex Golden Girls Coach Elected Federation Head
Bulgaria's rhythmic gymnastics coach Iliyana Raeva unexpectedly submitted her resignation in the middle of September, exactly one month after the final day of 2012 Olympic Games. Photo by BGNES
Bulgaria's former rhythmic gymnastics coach Iliyana Raeva, who unexpectedly quit two months ago, has been elected president of the country's federation.
This emerged on Wednesday when the federation convened at an extraordinary meeting.
Raeva was the only candidate for the post and was picked with an overwhelming majority – 40 out of 47 club representatives cast a vote for her.
Raeva will replace Maria Gigova, who has made it clear she will not run for another term at the prestigious post and who was frequently and harshly criticized by her successor.
Bulgaria's rhythmic gymnastics coach Iliyana Raeva unexpectedly submitted her resignation in the middle of September, exactly one month after the final day of 2012 Olympic Games.
The girls, who headed for London to grab gold medals after making spectacular performances at the World Cup tournament, ranked at the disappointing sixth spot in the Olympic finals, saying the pressure was huge and they just could not cope with it.
Raeva however said her decision to drop the curtain on her coaching career, which features many fabulous moments, has nothing to do with the failure at the Olympic Games.
"I did my best, but I am not leaving because of the unsatisfactory Olympic ranking. I just want to do something new in my professional life."
Raeva was replaced by Ina Ananieva, who worked so far as her deputy.
Iliana Raeva, herself one of the Golden Girls of Bulgaria that dominated Rhythmic Gymnastics in 1980's, competed in modern rhythmic gymnastics for her country from 1978 to 1982.
She relied on style and artistry, rather than excessively complex moves, with her 1980 ribbon routine to Zorba the Greek and clubs routine to Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, which remain outstanding examples of the sport.
After retiring from active competition she married Bulgarian world cup footballer Nasko Sirakov.
She was appointed head coach of the Bulgarian national rhythmic gymnastics team in 2008.
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