Two victories for Russia in gymnastics

By Lu Wenao Source:Global Times Published: 2014-8-28 1:03:01

Convincing shows bring wins in both individual and group events

The Russian rhythmic gymnastics team perform during the girls' group all-around event at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing on Wednesday. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

Russia won two gold medals in the ­rhythmic gymnastics at the Youth ­Olympic Games in Nanjing, East ­China's ­Jiangsu Province on Wednesday through their convincing shows both in individual and group all-around contest.

At the group all-around final at the Gymnasium of the Nanjing Olympic Sports Center, the Russians were the top competitors in both rounds. They scored 14.700 points in the club-show and 14.850 in the hoop-performance, finishing the event with 29.550 points.

Bulgaria were runners-up on 27.050 points while Kazakhstan pocketed the bronze medal with 25.050 points.

Russia were the defending champions in rhythmic gymnastics at the Youth Olympic Games. Alexandra Merkulova helped Russia claim the inaugural Youth Olympic title and the Russian team won the team competition in Singapore.

The 2014 final featured each team composed of five athletes rather than four, as it was four years ago.

The current Russia team, composed of Daria Anenkova, Daria Dubova, ­Victoria Ilina, Natalia Safonova and Sofya Skomorokh, topped the difficulty score in both rounds on Wednesday night.

However, Russia were not only the convincing winners in the group event.

Irina Annenkova, who represented Russia in the individual all-around of rhythmic gymnastics, outperformed her rivals in the event by a 1.625-point lead with 58.575 points ahead of second-placed Maryia Trubach of Belarus. ­Laura Zeng of the US claimed the bronze ­medal with 56.750 points.

Annenkova topped the contestants list in hoop, ball and club, only conceded a place to Ana Luiza Filiorianu of ­Romania in the ribbon show, becoming the first to win after leading the competition from the start.

But the 15-year-old is expecting more from her performance after the win by saying she wanted to reach 16 points.

Even as she took a dominant lead, Annenkova did not let herself relax.

"It was the opposite," she said. "In the end I wanted to show everything I could to get a few reserve points just in case."

Speaking about representing Russia in the individual event, Annenkova, who started training in rhythmic gymnastics when she was 7 years old, considered the main thing is to do everything right rather than worry about the place she will finish.

"The main thing is to come out and do everything right," said Annenkova. "Thinking about a place or the score or that you are defending your country, that comes later."

The Russian gymnasts have trained together for two years, and said that their goal is to also compete at the Summer Olympic Games together as a team.

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