Dina Averina won her fourth consecutive individual all-around gold at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships ©Getty Images

Dina Averina has become the most successful athlete of all time at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships after winning gold in the individual all-around final in Kitakyushu in Japan.

Competing for the Russian Gymnastics Federation (RGF) in Japan, it was Averina's 18th overall gold medal since her first appearance at the event in 2017.

The 23-year-old showed her superiority throughout the final to score 108.400.

She ranked highest on the hoop, ball and clubs events before recording the second best score in the ribbon.

Belarusian Alina Harnasko claimed her second silver of the competition after posting a score of 105.300.

The winner's sister, Arina Averina, scraped into third place on 103.200 ahead of Bulgarian Boryana Kaleyn on 102.450 despite dropping a club in her final routine.

Dina Averina's staggering gold medal haul means that she has eclipsed compatriot Evgeniya Kanaeva's record which has stood for a decade.

Kanaeva, who won her medals in the competition between 2007 and 2011, was watching on in the crowd.

She was sharing footage of the event on social media and celebrating when Averina was crowned champion.

The 31-year-old praised RGF team coach Irina Viner-Usmanova and posted a picture of herself with the Averina twins and other members of the squad.

Averina also entered the history books as the first person to win the individual all-around World Championships title for a fourth consecutive year.

"I believe that this World Championship should be named after Dina Averina – there can be no other options because she showed a phenomenal performance," said former world champion Yana Batyrshina of Uzbekistan, as reported by TASS.

"It is also important to note that she is the only gymnast who was in the competition for all three days and did not make a single visible mistake.

"She performed like a champion, no options and questions.

"Could someone else be in her place?

"No, because it was her competition."