ATHENS, Greece -- The Russians had to jump through some
hoops to win a gold medal -- literally.
The defending Olympic champions won another gold in group
rhythmic gymnastics Saturday, scoring 51.100 points to edge Italy
and Bulgaria in the colorful smorgasbord of tossing and twirling.
Eight teams of five women each vied for the championship. Each
had two turns on the mat -- one with five ribbons, the other with
three hoops and two balls.
The Russians also won a bronze in 1996, the year group rhythmic
was added to the games. Italy won its first Olympic medal in the
sport. Bulgaria, which won silver at the Atlanta Olympics, returned
to the medal stand after being shut out in 2000.