At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the bronze-medal winning team from the 2016 Olympics, Bulgaria, defeated the gold-medal favourite Russian Olympic Committee in the group all-around rhythmic gymnastics competition.
Bulgaria Upsets ROC in Group Rhythmic Gymnastics Final
Bulgaria’s first-round performance on five balls was the highest of any team, with a score of 47.550. In the subsequent hoops and clubs routine, the nation scored 44.550, bringing its total score to 92.100.
Last to perform, ROC required a score of 45.900 or higher on their hoops and clubs routine to surpass Bulgaria for first place, but only 41.500 or higher to secure silver. Rotation 1 saw ROC place second with a score of 46.200, and Rotation 2 saw them drop to second place with a score of 44.200 and an overall score of 90.700.
After receiving a score of 44.200 on Rotation 2, the ROC submitted an enquiry to have its score reconsidered, however this was not enough to get it closer to the podium.
With a final score of 87.700, Italy won the bronze medal (44.850 in Rotation 1 and 42.850 in Rotation 2).
Russian athletes, who had won the individual and team gold medals for the previous five Olympics in a row, finished second in both categories at the Tokyo Games (the group discipline was added to the Olympic lineup in 1996 and Spain won the first edition). To win the individual championship, Linoy Ashram of Israel defeated Dina Averina of Russia, a three-time world all-around champion.
With a qualifying position of 11th, the American rhythmic group did not make it to the final round.
With a final score of 90.700, ROC had to settle for silver after losing the gold medal game by 1.4 points (2000-2016).
At the same time, Italy took home bronze, their third Olympic medal overall and first in rhythmic gymnastics after winning silver in Athens in 2004 and bronze in London in 2012.
“That’s hugely significant. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it, since we accomplished a lot in those five years. Although we expected this day would come, it still feels surreal “As Kiryakova put it.
“That’s so unbelievable, we have to keep reminding ourselves it’s not true. I’m at a loss for words. It’s impossible to be happier than right now.”
“In my opinion, we made the finest effort possible. For the sake of our country, our gymnastics, our teammates, and our coaches, we gave it our all in every competition.”
Along with this, Alessia Maurelli of Italy’s squad gave a statement.
“The years we spent exercising for this medal mean everything to us.
“The joy we feel right now is unbelievable. Our joy is contagious, and we want the same for all the fans of the competition.