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Patricia Bezzoubenko of Canada lights up Rhythmic Gymnastics to win 5 Gold Medals

Feature

Canada, inspired by a spectacular Patricia Bezzoubenko (CAN), led the way in a riveting Rhythmic Gymnastics competition at the Hydro.

Canada took Gold in the Team Event, with the peerless Bezzoubenko also claiming four individual Golds and a Bronze medal. Francesca Jones (WAL), who will retire after the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, won five Silver medals and one Gold medal to deny Bezzoubenko a clean sweep.

Canada topped the medal table in rhythmic gymnastics with five Gold medals and one Bronze, while Wales won the most medals: eight in total (a solitary Gold, five Silver and two Bronze).

The Rhythmic Gymnastics competition started with the Team Final on Thursday, which included the qualification for the Individual All-Around Final and Apparatus Finals. From the qualifications, the 16 highest-ranked gymnasts qualified for the All-Around and the best eight gymnasts on each apparatus advanced to the Apparatus Finals. A maximum of two gymnasts per Commonwealth Games Association (CGA) were allowed to participate in each final.

Team

In the Team event, Bezzoubenko led the Canadian Team to rhythmic gymnastics Gold. The 17-year-old performed four solid routines, posting the highest scores of the day in the Hoop, Ball and Clubs. Her Teammates Annabelle Kovacs and MARIA Kitkarska also performed without any major faults.

Canada scored 141.450 to win the title. The Canadians finished well ahead of Wales, who clinched a Silver medal. It was Wales' first medal in the Team Competition at a Commonwealth Games.

Welsh veteran Jones had a flawless day to help her Team secure the Silver medal with 136.625. Her teammates Laura Halford (WAL) and Nikara Jenkins (WAL) turned in two solid performances and turned in a duo of clean routines.

Malaysia failed to challenge Wales for second place after some Malaysian gymnasts' made minor mistakes in their last performances. Fatin Zakirah Zain Jalany (MAS), Wong Poh San (MAS) and Amy Dict Weng Kwan (MAS) won the Bronze medal to ensure that Malaysia remained on the medal table in Rhythmic Gymnastics Team Competition, having previously won the gold medal at Kuala Lumpur 1998 and the Silver at Melbourne 2006. Malaysia finished the day with 135.825.

England, who were considered outsiders for a medal, finished in fourth place with 132.100, ahead of defending champions Australia, who were fifth with 126.725.

Each gymnast performed a total of four routines (Ribbon, Ball, Hoop and Clubs). The gymnasts completed a total of 12 routines and the top 10 scores were added together for the final Team result.

Individual all-around

In the individual all-around final, Bezzoubenko, once again, showed off her high-level routines to take the Gold. She scored 59.175 points in the final on Friday to become the fourth Canadian gymnast to win the individual all-around title.

She finished ahead of Welsh gymnasts Jones and Halford, who secured the country's first medals in the individual all-around competition at a Commonwealth Games. Halford clinched the Bronze, scoring just ahead of Poh San (MAS), who missed the podium spot after struggling with her clubs routine, for which she scored only a 13.400. The Malaysian scored 14.475 during the qualifications in the Clubs Event.

Grace Legote (RSA) is one to watch out for in the future. She performed some difficult routines in the Hoop and Ball Events, but struggled with her clubs, where she scored a low 10.750. During qualifications, the judges awarded Legote 14.000 points in the same event. In the final on Friday, she dropped the apparatus twice and had to use the spare equipment at the side of the floor mat as she threw one of her clubs quite far out of the competition area.

Legote looked devastated after her clubs routine. Sitting in the kiss-and-cry area (zone where gymnasts and coaches wait for marks to be announced), she had her head between her knees. The South African ended up in 10th place in the individual all-around.

Individual apparatus finals

Bezzoubenko was looking for a clean sweep in the rhythmic gymnastics competition after winning the gold in the Team Event and the individual all-around final.

Hoop

The apparatus finals started with the hoop, in which Bezzoubenko secured her third Gold medal. A .05 deduction in Jones' routine resulted in her losing out on a Gold medal in the Hoop Event. Poh San settled for the Bronze.

Ball

In the Ball Final, Bezzoubenko continued her winning streak, outscoring Jones by more than half a point. Halford had to settle for the Bronze medal. Jones and Halford became Wales' first-ever medallists in the Ball Event.

Clubs

After the Clubs Event, Bezzoubenko had secured her fifth Gold medal with an impressive score of 15.350 that kept her on track for a possible clean sweep. Again it was Jones who finished in second, with Themida Christodoulidou (CYP) finishing in third place.

Ribbon

Jones ended Bezzoubenko 's hopes of a clean sweep in the Ribbon Final. Jones, who performed the last routine of her career, scored 14.500. Poh San, who qualified in first place for the Ribbon Final, failed to maintain her momentum and took the Silver medal with 14.250.

Bezzoubenko had problems with her routine when her ribbon became knotted halfway through her performance.

After seeing her mark, 13.800 on the scoreboard, her coach Svetlana Joukova (CAN) submitted an enquiry because of her low d-score, the difficulty rating. The judges rejected the inquiry and Bezzoubenko had to settle for the Bronze medal.

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