Mohedano & Her Teammates Give Spain Its First Rhythmic Gymnastics Medal in 20 Years

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22 Aug 2016 | Olimpíadas

2016 Rio Games

Lourdes Mohedano has helped bring Spain back into the medal circle in rhythmic gymnastics…

The 21-year-old Spanish group rhythmic gymnast and her teammates claimed the silver in the Women’s Team All-Around at the 2016 Rio Games, putting Spain back on the medal podium after a 20 year absence.

Lourdes Mohedano at Spain's Rhythmic Gymnastics Team

Trailing overnight, Russia outperformed their rivals on Sunday to claim a fifth straight Olympic gold, pushing Spain into silver and Bulgaria into bronze.

The Spaniards eventually returned to the podium for the first time since 1996 with a silver.

Russia’s two-round total of 36.233 was good enough to survive a serious scare from Spain, which led qualifying on Saturday and was on top again after ribbons. Spain, which won the first Olympic gold awarded in the sport when it was introduced at the 1996 Atlanta Games, was hardly complaining about the outcome.

Four years ago the Spanish were a close fourth.

Lourdes Mohedano at Spain's Rhythmic Gymnastics Team

A medal of any color would have been fine, though even they were taken aback when they found themselves on top of the leaderboard during qualifying.

“Yesterday came as a surprise to us,” Alejandra Quereda said. “Of course we worked toward a medal but we didn’t expect things to happen like that. For us, a silver medal tastes like gold to us.”

It also raised the stakes heading toward the 2020 Tokyo Games. Russia remains on top, though the gap may finally be closing.

“Nobody is undefeatable,” Quereda said. “We could see that yesterday. Yes, Russia is strong in rhythmic gymnastics but we’re getting there.”


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