Russia qualified in first position for the ribbon final, in addition to winning all-round gold ©Getty Images

A superb performance in the ribbon section of the group ribbon event helped secure European Games rhythmic gymnastics all-around gold for Russia here today.

Their team of Anastasiia Makisimova, Sofya Skomorokh, Anastasiia Tatareva, Maria Tolkacheva and Diana Borisova received a score of 18.000 from the judges in the ribbon section of the competition to enjoy a comfortable advantage heading into the clubs and hoops discipline.

Israel and Spain were hoping to be their nearest challengers having both secured a total of 17.350 from their ribbon routines, but the Spanish team dropped out of contention with an under-par routine in the second half of the event.

Instead, it was Belarus, who initially led the way after their score of 17.900 catapulted them from also-rans to medal contenders, as well as seeing them qualify in first place for the clubs and hoops final, which will is due to place on Sunday (June 21).

Their combined total of 34.850 was proving difficult for teams to beat until Israel’s 17.700 elevated them above the Belarusian team and set a new benchmark of 35.050.

With France and Switzerland, who were among the three remaining three teams left to compete, only Russia could prevent Israel from earning their first gold medal of Baku 2015, but they were left with the achievable target of 17.050 in the final discipline to assume top spot.

Russia have now won all three gold medals awarded so far in the National Gymnastics Centre
Russia have now won all three gold medals awarded so far in the National Gymnastics Centre ©Getty Images

The five-woman team comfortably surpassed that mark with their score of 17.300 giving them and overall score of 35.300, leaving Israel to settle for silver, while Belarus held on for the bronze medal.

Russia’s scores also saw them easily qualify for the both the ribbon final, in which they topped the qualification, and the clubs and hoops final.

There was more success for Russia in the acrobatic gymnastics qualification as in the mixed pair balance and dynamic events their pairing of Marina Chernova and Georgy Pataraya progressed in first place, while Valeriia Belkina, Yulia Nikitina and Zhanna Parkhometc finished top of the leaderboard in the women’s dynamic event.

In each of those three qualifying events Azerbaijan secured the sixth and final qualification spot, but they went one better in the women’s balance event by moving into the final in fifth place.

However the field were left looking up to Belgium’s trio of Kaat Dumarey, Julie van Gelder and Inekevan Schoor, who scored 29.090, to qualify ahead of Belarus.

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