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Hat-trick heroine: Magnificent Melnikova bags bronze in the floor exercise as gymnastics star takes third medal of Tokyo Olympics

Hat-trick heroine: Magnificent Melnikova bags bronze in the floor exercise as gymnastics star takes third medal of Tokyo Olympics
Super-supple sensation Angelina Melnikova has secured a hat-trick of medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, winning a bronze in the floor exercise gymnastics competition under the Russian Olympic Committee banner.

Melnikova achieved the feat with a result of 14.166 points, while another ROC representative, Viktoriia Listunova, finished eighth on 12.400.

Local competitor Mai Murakami, of Japan, also matched Melnikova's score, ensuring that she also took bronze for her efforts.  

Gold was scooped by Team USA ace Jade Carey – cheered from the sidelines by Simone Biles as she scored 14.366 points – with silver going to Vanessa Ferrari, on 14.200 points.

A two-time European Games champion and four-time European Championships gold medalist, Melnikova achieved gold in the team competition after Biles pulled out for Team USA at late notice.

She also won another bronze in the all-round, finishing behind champion Suni Lee and Brazil's Rebeca Andrade finished runner-up.

Meliknova took home silver in the team competition in Rio five years ago, and has been trying to keep the less experienced members of the member calm alongside teammate Lilya Akhaimova.

"I admire them," she told the ROC last week, branding her compatriots "heroines".

"Of course, I see when they are worried. I once experienced the same. Lilya and I are trying to amuse them and make them laugh in order to defuse the situation."

Melnikova was also probed on whether she had ever suffered the same issues Biles has encountered at the Games.

"Probably not very much because I don't have such wild popularity," she answered.

"I can imagine the pressure that fell on her. I even wrote her words of support. It's really hard. I saw how she got lost on the vault.

"I know how that is – you do not understand what you are doing. I had similar problems as a child, and it can only be fixed with time. I hope Biles recovers quickly."

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