Margarita Mamun Claims Olympic Gold Ahead of Yana Kudryavtseva

After four years of living behind the shadows of the three-time World gold medalist Yana Kudryavtseva, the two-time World silver medalist Margarita Mamun finally dominated the sport of rhythmic gymnastics, clinching the Olympic gold medal at the competition in Rio.

In the individual all-around final, the Russian rhythmic athlete acquired a total score of 76.483, which consists of four scores over 19 – the golden benchmark in the rhythmic gymnastics – to climb the top of the podium, beating her Russian teammate Kudryavtseva, who has been her greatest friend and rival.

Margarita Mamun Olympic Gold Medal

Prior to the Rio Olympic Games, 20-year-old Mamun had long lived in the shadow of her best friend, Yana Kudryavtseva. Despite owning a total of seven World titles, she arrived in Rio never having won an all-around gold medal against the three of her rival Kudryavtseva.

But the tables seem to have turned in the Rio Olympic Arena.

During the individual all-around finals, the three-time World All-around champion appeared as the strong favorite to win the Olympic gold in Rio. And as expected, she has led the first half of the competition, but eventually missed the lead after making a disappointing mistake at the end of her Clubs performance.

Everything was going well at the beginning, and her routine was almost a flawless performance. She threw the club high into the air; she rolled over on the floor ready to catch the apparatus as she strikes her final pose, only to have the apparatus land beyond her reach.

Instead of getting a score over 19, which she needed to keep the gold within her reach, Kudryavtseva only settled with a score of 17.883.

It was the only mistake she made that night, but that was serious enough to take the gold beyond her reach. She only managed to take the silver medal with a total score of 75.608 points, which was far behind the champion’s score of 76.483.

Margarita Mamun had no idea at first that she had overtaken her greatest rival in the individual all-around. “It was quite unexpected for me to win the gold medal because all of the competitions like today, Yana Kudryavtseva used to win. That’s why I wasn’t thinking about winning the gold medal. I wasn’t aware of her mistakes because we were in different places at that time. I was changing my costume and Yana was performing. I only got the chance to see the scores after we had both done our ribbon routine.”

Rio 2016 Olympic Gold Medalists

Ukraine’s Rizatdinova Thrilled with Olympic Medal

The intense fight between the two Russian contenders left just one podium spot up for grabs, and the three strongest competitors for bronze – Ukraine’s Ganna Rizatdinova, Korea’s Son Yeon Jae and Belarus’s Melitina Staniouta – gave their best shot in the competition.

It was Ukraine’s Ganna Rizatdinova who took the bronze medal ahead of Son, who only settled for the fourth place. Rizatdinova described the pressure she went through while performing her final routine. “When I was going into my last routine with the ribbon I realized that there was a high chance that I could be in third place. I know that if I would have dropped the ribbon once, I would have not won a bronze medal. I let go of the situation, just did my job and I’m glad I succeeded. Believe it or not, even if you win a silver or bronze, it still means gold to the person who wins it.”

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