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Updated: October 13, 2010 00:28 IST

India finishes fifth; Australia's all-round show earns it the gold

Y. B. Sarangi
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India's Akshata Sanjay Shete, in action at the Commonwealth Games rhythmic gymnastics team competition. Photo: K. Murali Kumar
India's Akshata Sanjay Shete, in action at the Commonwealth Games rhythmic gymnastics team competition. Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Indian gymnasts showed promise but could not match the standards of the top sides and finished fifth in the Commonwealth Games rhythmic gymnastics team competition at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium here on Tuesday.

The home team garnered a total of 174.85 points to end up last. The team scored 53.2 in rope, 50.25 in hoop, 54.1 in ball and 49.8 in ribbon.

The Australian gymnasts' all-round showing deservedly earned them the team gold with a total score of 235.775 points.

Silver for Canada

Canada won silver with 224.775, while England bagged the bronze with 220.475.

The only consolation for the Indian team was the qualification of Pooja Surve, for the individual all-around competition to be held on Wednesday.

The highlight of the host's performance was Akshata Shete's above-18 scores in rope and ball events.

Pooja Surve also touched the 18-point mark in ball. Because of their choice of classical music and drum beats, the Indians stood out in the ribbon event.

“The performance of our team is much better than that in the Melbourne Games. Considering that rhythmic gymnastics is new in our country, getting 18-plus scores is a good achievement,” said Indian team coach Krupali Patel.

Need to improve

Krupali agreed that the gymnasts need to improve their ‘difficulty' level in order to go beyond the 20-point mark. “We are good in execution, it has improved. But we are lacking in difficulty, which can be compensated with more exposure and training by foreign coaches,” she said.

Training stint helped

Krupali said the recent month-long training stint in Moscow had benefitted the gymnasts. “It helped the girls, but they need longer stints of training to prepare for such a big event,” she said.

Pooja, who switched from artistic to rhythmic gymnastics, was delighted that she gave her best despite the pressure of performing for the first time in front of the home crowd.

“All of us were under pressure. But the crowd support was great,” said the 20-year-old Mumbai girl, who is also a Kathak dancer.

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