PESARO, ITALY – Kaho Minagawa earned the bronze medal in the individual hoop competition at the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships Wednesday, becoming the first Japanese in 42 years to make a podium finish in an individual event.
Minagawa, who didn’t advance to the 10-woman all-around final at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics after finishing 16th in the qualification round, received 17.700 points for her routine in the hoop final at Adriatic Arena.
Russia’s Dina Averina claimed the gold medal with a score of 19.100 and her twin sister Arina Averina took silver with a 19.000.
“I’m surprised and very happy,” the 20-year-old Minagawa said. “I’m finally able to show at a competition what I have been practicing. This is the first time for me to get a medal at the world championships, and it’s very heavy.”
In 1975, Mitsuru Hiraguchi collected the gold in the individual hoop final.