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Russian Kanaeva clinches gold

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Grace personified: Russian Evgeniya Kanaeva, who won the won gold in the rhythmic gymnastics individual all-around competition.
Grace personified: Russian Evgeniya Kanaeva, who won the won gold in the rhythmic gymnastics individual all-around competition.

BEIJING: Evgeniya Kanaeva triumphed in the rhythmic gymnastics individual all-around competition on Saturday. She won gold posting the high score in all four rotations of the event.

Clad in bright pink with a matching ribbon, the Russian athlete got identical scores of 18.850 on her rope and hoop routines before wowing the judges with a club routine that earned her a finals-high 18.950.

The routine included a nifty move that involved balancing a club on her ankle while rotating her body around on the mat.

She finished the competition with a routine that gave her a total of 75.500 and the convincing win, while Inna Zhukova of Belarus scored 71.925 points for the silver and Anna Bessonova of Ukraine had 71.875 for her second straight bronze.

“It’s a pity for me not to get the gold medal, but I’m not too sad to get the silver,” Zhukova said.

‘In recent years I have attended a lot of competitions and the best result for me has been fourth place. It’s beyond my expectation to get the silver meal.”

The other Russian Olga Kapranova looked headed for silver after finishing second in the opening two rounds. Instead she lost her balance and later dropped a club in the third portion of the event for a score of 16.950 and eventually a fourth-place finish.

The Ukrainian said she fed off the encouragement of the crowd. “They could really appreciate my performance,” she said. “For me, the spectators are the real judges. Because of them, I performed better with the ribbon.” — AP

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