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Russians near-perfect as they retain women’s gymnastics team title

Angelina MELNIKOVA expressed her delight after spearheading the Russian women’s gymnastics team to a successful defence of their title at the SSE Hydro on Saturday.

The Russians produced an almost flawless performance as they won the gold medal with a total of 165.195 points.

With that score they easily beat first-place qualifiers France (161.131).

“The team was very united and today we managed to overcome all our difficulties,” MELNIKOVA said. “We are happy and have no words to express our feelings.”

The French girls were not able to repeat their excellent performance during qualification on Thursday. Lorette CHARPY (FRA) fell on floor exercise and Marine BOYER (FRA) stumbled on balance beam.

“We knew we had to have a perfect competition and that the Russians would have to make mistakes if we were to win gold, but we are happy to win a medal anyway,” Juliette BOSSU (FRA) said.

The Netherlands took the bronze medal. Despite a fall by Vera VAN POL off the balance beam the Dutch scored 159.563 points to win their first European team medal since 2002.

“This morning we all woke up knowing the possibilities of winning a medal, but we didn’t really talk about it. But when it then really happens, it is just amazing,” Sanne WEVERS (NED) said.

WEVERS was the last gymnast to finish the competition, on the uneven bars.

“I told my team-mates that I thought it was much more scary and difficult than my Olympic final on balance beam [in 2016, when she won gold].

“To compete as the last gymnast and to compete for the team was very exciting. To come away with a bronze medal is just amazing.”

The British team finished fourth (157.263) after a couple of mistakes on balance beam. Ukraine finished fifth with 152.129 points.

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