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Kanaeva, Russia top qualifiers in rhythmic gymnastics

London, England (Sports Network) - Russia held onto its top spot in the group all-around standings in rhythmic gymnastics after the second and final day of qualifying, while Russians Evgeniya Kanaeva and Daria Dmitrieva switched positions in the individual all-around.

Dmitrieva led the individual standings after the first day with a score of 57.800, but finished third in the clubs routine and second in the ribbon to give her a total score of 114.525. That dropped her 1.475 points behind Kanaeva, who held the second-highest score coming in, but posted the top qualifying score at 116.000 thanks to event-leading marks in Friday's two routines.

Kanaeva, a three-time world champion, is trying to become the first rhythmic gymnast to win two Olympic gold medals in the all-around after also taking the title at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Belarus' Liubou Charkashyna fell to fifth after struggling in her two routines, passed by both Aliya Garayeva of Azerbaijan and Bulgaria's Silviya Miteva.

The top-8 qualifiers all advanced to Saturday's final. That field won't include American Julie Zetlin or Great Britain's Francesca Jones as they finished 21st and 24th, respectively.

Russia closed Thursday's qualifying with the top group all-around score and maintained its hold on the spot after logging the top score in the three ribbons and two hoops event. The Russians posted a 28.000 mark and led all qualifiers with a score of 56.375.

Russia has won gold at the past three Olympics and finished 0.575 points up on second-place Italy, which has won each of the last three world titles.

Great Britain and Canada occupied the last two positions in the standings and did not advance to the eight-team final slated for Sunday.

08/10 11:27:08 ET


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