Israel’s Ashram claims individual gym gold

An Olympic medal event since 1984, rhythmic gymnastics sees athletes perform exquisite contortions and manoeuvres to music while using hoops, balls, clubs or ribbons.

Ashram top-scored in the first three apparatus rounds, surprising the favourites, Russian twins Dina and Arina Averina.

The Israeli ended the competition with 107.800 points to narrowly beat three-time all-around world champion Dina Averina, who took the silver with 107.650, and Belarus’ Alina Harnasko who bagged bronze with 102.700.

During qualification on Friday, she fumbled her hoop and was docked points.

On Saturday, however, she returned with a vengeance, tumbling and leaping with impeccable control, to win the first rotation with 27.550 points and kissing her hoop as she walked off the mat.

Ashram’s start held her in good stead. Her strongest performance came with the clubs as she scored 28.650.

Her final rotation was a mixed bag – she dropped the six-metre ribbon once but her otherwise stellar performance scored her 23.3 points as she snaked and spiralled to ‘Hava Nagila’, which had the Arike Gymnastics Centre clapping along.

Read the article by Richa Naidu in the Bega District News.