Linoy Ashram Makes History With First Ever Israeli RG Olympic Gold; Bulgaria Breaks 20-year Russian Group Streak

olympics 2020 champions Linoy Ashram and Bulgarian group

The results are in and it was quite a wait, Israel’s Linoy Ashram ruled in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in an impressive display of rhythmic gymnastics prowess, effectively beating 25 of the best rhythmic gymnasts in the world. This is Israel’s first ever RG Olympic gold, and it followed their first ever men’s artistic gymnastic gold from her compatriot Artem Dolgopyat.

Only .150 points behind Ashram is Russian Dina Averina. Although competing under the Russian Olympic Committee flag due to a country-wide doping ban, Dina fought tooth and nail in hopes to take the gold just like she has done with the other huge competitions before, but in the end was able to take silver instead despite being consistent with her routines.

Not far behind Dina is probably one of the shocks of the competition, as Alina Harnasko, just having recovered from an intense injury that took her out of competitions for more of the four-year season, resolves Belarus’ dry spell by coming in from behind and stealing the bronze from Dina’s twin, Arina Averina who was bumped to 4th place.

Meanwhile in the group competition, Bulgaria are Golden Girls once again as they are hailed Olympic Games 2020 Champion, breaking Russia’s 20-year gold medal run. Russian Olympic Committee takes another silver and Italy’s butterflies being home a bronze medal that eluded their individual counterparts.

Held at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre located in the northern part of Tokyo’s Ariake district, RG competitions ran from August 6 to August 8, 2021, beginning with the all-around individual qualifiers and finishing with group finals.


Here is the complete list of individual winners at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games:

  1. Linoy Ashram | 107.800
  2. Dina Averina | 107.650
  3. Alina Harnasko | 102.700
  4. Arina Averina | 102.100
  5. Boryana Kaleyn | 100.625
  6. Milena Baldassarri | 99.625
  7. Nicol Zelikman | 95.600
  8. Anastasiia Salos | 95.175
  9. Khrystyna Pohranychna | 95.100
  10. Viktoriia Onopriienko | 93.350

Groups winners:

  1. Bulgaria | 92.100
  2. Russian Olympic Committee | 90.700
  3. Italy | 87.700
  4. People's Republic of China | 84.550
  5. Belarus | 84.050
  6. Israel | 83.850
  7. Ukraine | 77.600
  8. Japan | 72.500


Months before the Games, enthusiasts raved for their favorite RG giants. Aside from the Averinas of Russia, the new European All-Around Champion and 2021 World Cup Champion from Israel, Linoy Ashram, accompanied by teammate Nicol Zelikman, was vetted to finish the 20-year Gold streak of Russia.

Some names also on the run for the medals were: Bulgarians, Boryana Kaleyn and Katrin Taseva, Anastasia Salos and Alina Harnasko from Belarus, Viktoriia Onopriienko and Khrystyna Pohranychna from Ukraine, Japan’s Kita Sumire and Chisaki Oiwa, Italians Alexandra Agiurgiuculese and Milena Baldassarri, Georgia’s two-time Olympian Salome Pazhava, US’s Laura Zeng (on her second Olympic Games) and Evita Griskenas, Slovenia’s Ekaterina Vedeneeva, AZE’s Zohra Aghamirova, HUN’s Fanni Pigniczki, Kazakhstan’s Alina Adilkhanova, MEX’s Castillo Galindo Rut, AUS’s Lidiia Iakovleva, UZB’s Ekaterina Fetisova, Egypt’s Habiba Marzouk, and from tripartite quota, Cape Verde’s Marcia Alves Lopes.

For groups, must watched were Russia, Bulgaria, Italy, Ukraine, Israel, China, Japan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, USA, Brazil, Egypt, and Australia.


It all started in 1940, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or USSR developed rhythmic gymnastics, and since then, the art and beauty of the sport flourished. However, it was recognized as “Modern Gymnastics.” It wasn’t until 1975 that the name was changed and divided into Artistic and Rhythmic Gymnastics.

It wasn’t long after that individual’s event was fully included in the Olympic Games in 1984. Therefore, the two have a not-so-long relationship even though both sports were introduced and birthed in Greece. But, the 1984 Olympic Games held in Los Angeles as boycotted by the Soviet and Bulgarian gymnasts paved the way for other former Soviet nations and the Russian teams to dominate and seize the medals. Since then, Russia has been the team to beat for their years of the gold streak.

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