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Kanayeva Keeps Rhythmic Gold With Russia
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Yevgenia Kanayeva (Russia)

Yevgenia Kanayeva kept the Olympic rhythmic crown with Russia on Saturday, winning the individual all-around final in Beijing.

Kanayeva earned the top score on each of the four apparatus, to top Belarus' Inna Zhukova 75.500-71.925.

Though her name is nearly the same as 2004 champion Alina Kabayeva, Kanayeva is more on par with 2004 silver medalist Irina Chaschina. Both hail from the city of Omsk, where they were coached by Vera Shtelbaums.

Zhukova, who has many times finished fourth behind two Russians and a Ukrainian, earned Belarus' best finish since Yulia Raskina finished second in 2000.

World champion Anna Bessonova of Ukraine won her second Olympic bronze, just .050 behind Zhukova.

2005 world champion Olga Kapranova of Russia, second in qualification, botched her clubs routine in the third rotation. She was in bronze medal position until Bessonova's strong closing routine with the ribbon.

Audience favorite Bessonova said she fed off the crowd in her final routine.

"They could really appreciate my performance," Bessonova said. "For me, the spectators are the real judges "Because of them, I performed better with the ribbon than the other three apparatus.

"The Olympic Games bring together different Gymnastics heroes, but only three gymnasts can make it to the medal podium. One time every four years, you can win an Olympic medal, so for me even another bronze medal makes me happy."

Spanish veteran Almudena Cid finished eighth in her fourth Olympic Games.

Rhythmic competition concludes Sunday with the group final.

Results: Individual All-Around Final

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