Italy's silver is first in sport

Updated: August 28, 2004, 12:08 PM ET
Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece -- The Russians had to jump through some hoops to win a gold medal -- literally.

The defending Olympic champions won another gold in group rhythmic gymnastics Saturday, scoring 51.100 points to edge Italy and Bulgaria in the colorful smorgasbord of tossing and twirling.

Eight teams of five women each vied for the championship. Each had two turns on the mat -- one with five ribbons, the other with three hoops and two balls.

The Russians also won a bronze in 1996, the year group rhythmic was added to the games. Italy won its first Olympic medal in the sport. Bulgaria, which won silver at the Atlanta Olympics, returned to the medal stand after being shut out in 2000.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press