Commonwealth Games: Marfa Ekimova takes rhythmic gymnastics gold for England

2022 Commonwealth Games
Hosts: Birmingham Dates: 28 July to 8 August
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV with extra streams on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport mobile app; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live and Sports Extra; live text and clips online.

Marfa Ekimova made history for England by winning their first ever gold medal in the rhythmic gymnastics individual all-around final at the Commonwealth Games, scoring 112.300 overall.

The 17-year-old led from the start, top-scoring in the hoop and clubs.

An exciting final went to the wire with Cyprus' Anna Sokolova chasing Ekimova's score until the final discipline.

"It's amazing, incredible, it's a dream come true. Anything a gymnast could ever wish for," said Ekimova.

The triumph comes after she won team bronze on Thursday with compatriots Saffron Severn and Alice Leaper.

"It was madness, a roaring crowd - I didn't know what the scores were going to be, I just knew I did the best I could do. I wanted to make my country proud and my family at home," Ekimova added.

"I hope to inspire the kids in the crowd, I want them to be rhythmic gymnasts and this sport to carry on through the generations."

Marfa Ekimova
Ekimova qualified for the all-around in fourth from the team event

Ekimova was 0.700 points ahead going into the final discipline, the ribbon, where she posted a score of 27.100, putting her top and securing a medal before she had to watch two more gymnasts perform to find out which colour it would be.

Sokolova needed 27.800 points to win but managed 27.600, which earned her silver, while Australia's Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva took bronze.

England's last medal in the individual all-around was in 1994 when Debbie Southwick won bronze in Canada, with the last rhythmic gymnastics medal coming in 2010 - a bronze in the team event.

Ekimova's compatriot Leaper finished 11th, while Scotland's Louise Christie finished 10th and Wales' Elizabeth Popova and Gemma Frizelle finished 12th and 13th respectively.

The British champion will also feature in the ball, hoop and ribbon individual finals on Sunday.

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