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Bezzoubenko wins three gold medals at Commonwealth Games

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According to the Canadian Press, Patricia Bezzoubenko of Vancouver, British Columbia won three gold medals in rhythmic gymnastics at the 2014 Commonwealth Games on Saturday. Bezzoubenko won the gold medal in the hoop, ball and clubs competitions.

Bezzoubenko, who has been living in Russia since she was four years of age and trains with the Russian national team, beat Francesca Jones of Wales to win her three gold medals. Bezzoubenko also won a bronze medal in the ribbon competition.

In the ball event, Bezzoubenko registered a score of 15.25 points, with Jones next at 14.875 points and Laura Halford of Wales winning bronze at 14.55 points. Bezzoubenko's point total in the clubs competition was 15.35 points, followed by Jones at 14.8 points. Themida Christodoulidou of Cyprus won the bronze medal with 14.3 points.

In the hoop event, Bezzoubenko made an early mistake, but rebounded with a strong finish to register a winning total of 14.8 points to beat Jones by a narrow five one-hundredths of a point. Wong Poh San of Malaysia won the bronze medal with a total of 14.65 points. Jones at 14.5 points and San at 14.25 points then beat Bezzoubenko in the ribbon competition, with Bezzoubenko registering a total of 13.8 points.

Interestingly though even though Bezzoubenko won five Commonwealth Games gold medals in Glasgow (also won gold in the team event on Thursday and the individual all-around on Friday), she does not have the Canadian record for the most gold medals won by a Canadian rhythmic gymnast at a single Commonwealth Games. At the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Alexandra Orlando of Toronto won six gold medals.

Even though Bezzoubenko came away with five gold medals in Glasgow, she is not yet a medal contender in rhythmic gymnastics at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Bezzoubenko only finished 25th at the 2013 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Kiev, Ukraine. None of the 24 rhythmic gymnasts who finished ahead of Bezzoubenko were part of a Commonwealth nation. The bottom line is that eastern European nations dominate the sport of rhythmic gymnastics, giving Bezzoubenko a minimal chance to step on to the Olympic podium in two years.

Team Canada won three more medals on Saturday. James Paton of White Rock, British Columbia and Desmond Vamplew of Toronto won the silver medal in the Queen's prize pairs shooting competition. Canada also won a silver medal in the women's 4x200m freestyle swimming relay and a bronze medal by Ana Laura Portuondo-Isasi of La Prairie, Quebec in the women's 78kg judo competition.

Team Canada now has 16 medals--seven gold medals, three silver medals and six bronze medals. Canada sits in sixth place in the overall medal standings behind Australia at 52 medals, England at 45 medals, Scotland at 25 medals and Wales and India with 17 medals each.

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