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20 Sep, 2010 16:20

Russia hosts its first rhythmic gymnasts world championships

Russian rhythmic gymnasts have been a dominating force on the global arena since the turn of the century, but it's only now that the country has been given its first-ever world championships.

A spectacular opening ceremony was in order at the Olympijsky arena on Monday.

56 countries are taking part in the tournament, which is being held for the 30th time.

The hosts enter the championships as red hot favorites, and will be aiming to bounce back from their bronze-medal finish in the group all-around event in Japan two years ago.

Italy are the defending champions, but Russia had triumphed at the five previous outings.