Japan’s five-woman team won two bronze medals for their ball, hoop and club routines at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships on Sunday, the final day of the International Federation of Gymnastics competition.

In the five balls event final, the team of Sayuri Sugimoto, Rie Matsubara, Ayuka Suzuki, Rinako Inaki and Rina Imaoka finished behind the Russian team, which led the field with 46.000 points and runner-up Italy, which combined for 45.600 points.

Japan’s rhythmic gymnastics team, nicknamed Fairy Japan, had won the group five balls gold medal in Baku in 2019.

Japan bagged another bronze later in the routine, performing with three hoops and two sets of clubs. Italy won with 42.275 points.

“I was nervous competing in my first worlds but it was nice to get a boost from a cheering crowd and be able to dance four times (in the individual and group events). I want to qualify for the Paris Olympics and win a medal,” Imaoka said.

Olympic champion Bulgaria withdrew from the Oct. 27 to 31 event after one of its gymnasts suffered an injury during a training session.

Due to sports sanctions against Russia, the country’s gymnasts participated in the international tournament in Japan as Team RGF (Russian Gymnastics Federation).

The 2021 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships were held at West Japan General Exhibition Center Annex in Kitakyushu. The city also hosted the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships on Oct. 18-24.

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