London, England – Russian Evgeniya Kanaeva became the first rhythmic gymnast to win two individual all-around gold medals after successfully defending her title Saturday at the London Games.
A three-time world champion, Kanaeva posted a winning score of 116.900 after recording the highest mark after two days of qualifying. The 2008 Beijing Games champion had the highest score in three of the four events -- hoop, ball and clubs -- while notching the second-highest score in the ribbon.
Kanaeva's success, which also includes three world individual all-around gold medals, already has her considered as one of the best rhythmic gymnasts of all-time.
"I am not necessarily so far above everybody. It's hard to be a leader. I do it because I like it," said the history-making 22-year-old. "It was not my target to be a legend, but I do like the sound of it. I love gymnastics and I want the audience to remember me."
Fellow Russian Daria Dmitrieva was the only one to better Kanaeva in the ribbon and was also second in the other three routines. She earned a silver medal with a score of 114.500.
Belarus' Liubou Charkashyna earned a bronze with a score of 111.700, just 0.125 points ahead of Aliya Garayeva of Azerbaijan. South Korea's Son Yeon Jae was also part of a tight battle for bronze, and finished only 0.100 points back of Garayeva.
The all-around team competition will be held Sunday and Russia was the top qualifier for that event.