Russia produced an almost flawless performance as they successfully defended their women’s artistic gymnastics team title at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships here today.
The Russians won the gold medal with a total of 165.195 points at the SSE Hydro, easily beating top qualifiers France who registered 161.131.
Teenager Angelina Melnikova, the one remaining member of the team that won the title in Swiss city Bern in 2016, inspired her youthful Russian compatriots to victory.
Melnikova, 18, was joined on the team by Liliia Akhaimova, the eldest member at 21, as well as Angelina Simakova, Irina Alexeeva and Uliana Perebinosova, aged 15, 16 and 17 respectively.
"The team was very united and today we managed to overcome all our difficulties," Melnikova said.
"We are happy and have no words to express our feelings."
The French team were not able to repeat their excellent performance from qualification on Thursday (August 2).
Lorette Charpy fell on the floor exercise and Marine Boyer stumbled on the balance beam.
"We knew we had to have a perfect competition and that the Russians would have to make mistakes if we were to win gold, but we are happy to win a medal anyway," team-mate Juliette Bossu said.
The Netherlands took the bronze medal with 159.563 points, securing their first European team podium finish since 2002.
This was, despite, a fall by Vera van Pol on the balance beam.
"This morning we all woke up knowing the possibilities of winning a medal, but we didn't really talk about it," The Netherlands’ Sanne Wevers, the balance beam Olympic gold medallist at Rio 2016, said.
"But when it then really happens, it is just amazing."
Wevers was the last gymnast to finish the competition, on the uneven bars.
"I told my team-mates that I thought it was much more scary and difficult than my Olympic final on balance beam," she added.
"To compete as the last gymnast and to compete for the team was very exciting.
"To come away with a bronze medal is just amazing."
Great Britain finished fourth with 157.263 points after a couple of mistakes on the balance beam.
Ukraine came fifth with 152.129 points.
Artistic gymnastics action at Glasgow 2018 is due to continue tomorrow with the women's individual apparatus finals.