Spain got the highest score in the first rotation of group qualification, with 35.749 points achieving the best result so far. In the 3 Clubs and two hoops routine the Spaniards ended in the first position, and with the ribbons, they took the second place, and the Russian Federation earned the first position.
Russia, the biggest competitor, have won the gold medal in the group competitions linked to rhythmic gymnastics in most Olympics but this year the Spaniards represented a new challenge.
However, today in the Group All-Around Final Rotation the Russian Federation achieved the first position beating the Spanish team in the first and second rotation. The surprise was Bulgaria, who took the bronze medal in this discipline, leaving Italy out.
Spain earned the second position with a 35.766 score, but it was not enough to get the gold. Russia ended with 36.233. Vera Biryukova, Anastasia Bliznyuk, Maria Tolkacheva, Anastasia Tatareva and Anastasia Maksimova, the Russian athletes were happy to be part of the award-winning history in rhythmic gymnastics of their country.
About the rhythmic gymnastics group
In the Olympics, the group all-around qualifications are based on competitions on rhythmic gymnastics, a discipline that combines ballet, dancing, and traditional gymnastic skills either in solo performance or using apparatus like ribbons, hoops, and clubs, while music guides the rhythm of their movements.
In Rio 2016, rhythmic gymnastic teams can use only one song with lyrics in their performance while the rest of the music used must be instrumental music. This discipline exists in the Olympics since 1984 where athletes competed individually, and since 1996 in group competitions.
There are several competitions besides the Olympics in this discipline, like the Rhythmic Gymnastic World Championship, the World Cup and the European Championship of Rhythmic Gymnastics. The Féderation Internationale de Gymnastique (French for International Federation of Gymnastics) is the organization that creates the international standards for the discipline and hosts the major competitions.
Qualified teams in the Group All-Around Rotation
Israel, Italy, Japan, Bulgaria, Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Belarus and Spain qualified for the next stage and will compete in the finals. Spain and Russia in the top 2, were followed by Belarus with 35.433 points, Italy in the fourth place with 35.349, Japan in the 5th place with 35.149, Israel earned 34.883 and Bulgaria and Ukraine in the last two spots with 34.182 and 33.816.
Sandra Aguilar, Artemis Gavezou, Elena López, Lourdes Mohedano and Alejandra Quereda are the athletes in the Spanish team.
The United States were briefly back in the game
The last time the U.S. Olympics team had a group competing in the rhythmic gymnastics group qualification was in 1996, at the Atlanta Games. Rio 2016 had an American team, where Alisa Kano, Natalia McGiffert, Monica Rokhman, Kiana Eide and Kristen Shaldybin earned the right to represent the country.
This team finished in the 13th place in the world championship last year. In that competition, all winners were either from Europe or Asia, so the U.S. team won the highest-place representing the Americas.
However, their performance in Rio 2016 left them behind, and their overall score was not enough to qualify them to the next level, considering ribbons, clubs, and hoops were they ended in the 14th position.
Source: NBC Olympics