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Bulgaria win Groups All-Around at Rhythmic Gymnastics Worlds

Bulgaria clinched the Groups All-Around title following two superb routines at the 2014 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships on Saturday.

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The quintet of Reneta Kamberova, Mihaela Maevska-Velichkova, Tsvetelina Naydenova, Tsvetelina Stoyanova and Hristiana Todorova starred in the five clubs, and three balls and two ribbons disciplines to top the standings on the penultimate day of action in Izmir.

Scores of 17.133 in the five clubs and 17.316 in the three balls and two ribbons amounted to a winning total of 34.449 and their first triumph in the Groups All-Around since 1996.

Italy were winners of the event three years in a row between 2009 and 2011, but they were forced to settle for a runners-up berth for the second year running with a score of 34.282.

Belarus, who won the event in Kiev in 2013, came third with a score of 34.133 across the two routines.

Russia had looked on course to take the title after scoring a superb field-leading score of 17.816 in the three balls and two ribbons, yet they had to settle for fourth after a poor showing with the clubs.

The top 24 groups from the competition qualify for the 2015 World Championships in Stuttgart and from there the top 10 qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

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