BY | August 12, 2012

Evgeniya Kanaeva is on top of the world. She has won Individual All-Around Rhythmic Gymnastics in Olympics 2012 where Russia almost swept the competition (video)

Russia’s Evgeniya Kanaeva defended her Olympic all-around rhythmic gymnastics title on Saturday to establish her position as the most dominant in the sport.

The Russian gymnast drove wild the crowd at the Wembley Arena with her imaginative choreography and complex manoeuvres.

Kanaeva has become the first gymnast to win two individual rhythmic gymnastics titles at the Olympics. Kanaeva dazzled in her club routine and posted the highest score in three of the four events on Saturday scoring 116.90 points, which put her ahead of her teammate Daria Dmitrieva by more than two points.

Liubou Charkashnya of Belarus scored 111.700 to clinch the bronze medal.

Even before the competition could start, Kanaeva was the favourite and there was never a doubt on her near perfect capabilities. Kanaeva won the last three all-around world titles and especially the world championships last year, winning all the individual events. No one could come even remotely close to pose her a challenge since she won the gold at the Beijing Olympics.

The hoop routine seemed like a problem area on Thursday, but she made sure nothing goes wrong during her final performance.

The final of the individual all-around rhythmic gymnastics had 10 gymnasts compete with four apparatus in total. The 22-year-old Kanaeva topped three of the four routines – hoop, ball and clubs. Her win has managed to keep Russia comfortably on the top position at the Olympics since 2000. First, it was Yulia Barsukova, and then Alina Kabaeva in 2004.

Kanaeva trailed her teammate Dmitrieva due to a very a rare mistake on the first day of qualifying, but during the finals on Saturday, it became evident that no one has the slightest chance to get past her scores.

The Russian gymnast performs each routine with so much excellence that any apparatus looks like a part of her body and moving according to her will. Whether it is ribbons, balls or hoops, she gives them a life of their own for the moment. Her club routine was the best. Her eyes never left the trail of the clubs however high they went. She turned and twisted her body like elastic in between, but just when it was time for a club to hit gravity, she showed the perfect timing.

The 19-year-old Dmitrieva, who took the silver for Russia looked overjoyed, probably because this was the best bonus she could ever get. She got into the Russian team for the Olympics after Alexandra Merkulova had to withdraw due to an injury. Dmitrieva ensured the silver by getting the highest score in the ribbon routine with 29.100.

Charkashyna from Belarus was the most excited of all and in utter disbelief. She said that her bronze was as good as gold to her. True, competing with gymnasts like Kabaeva and winning a medal is no mean feat.

After the spectacular win on Saturday, Kanaeva was asked if she will again compete at the Rio Olympics in 2016. The Russian gymnast answered through her translator that she might. She added that the hard work that goes behind keeping her on top is beyond imagination. She sure knows the best.


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