Rhythmic gymnastics: Russia's Mamun wins individual all-around gold

Sat Aug 20, 2016 6:00pm EDT
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By Pritha Sarkar

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A display full of grace and elegance allowed Margarita Mamun to capture the individual all-around gold on Saturday and stretch Russia's dominance in rhythmic gymnastics into a fifth straight Olympics.

A total score of 76.483 carried Mamun to the top of the podium after three-time world champion Yana Kudryavtseva surrendered her title hopes when her twirling act with the clubs went horribly wrong in its dying seconds.

Throwing the club high into the air, she rolled over on the floor ready to catch it as she went to strike her final pose, only to have the apparatus land beyond her reach.

That error knocked a distraught Kudryavtseva, who was leading at the halfway point of the competition, off the top and she settled for silver with a total of 75.608.

Ukraine's Ganna Rizatdinova edged out South Korea's Son Yeon-jae for the bronze.

Saturday's result meant former Soviet states have won every individual Olympic medal, 18 in total, in the event since 1996.

Despite owning a haul of seven world titles, the 20-year-old Mamun had long lived in the shadow of her younger rival as she had arrived in Rio never having won a world all-around title.

At the halfway point of the competition it appeared as if that trend would continue as Kudryavtseva, dubbed the "Angel with iron wings", fluttered above the rest of the field thanks to exquisite displays with the hoop and ball.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Rhythmic Gymnastics - Final - Individual All-Around Final - Rotation 4 - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 20/08/2016. Margarita Mamun (RUS) of Russia competes using the ribbon. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich