Alexandra Timoshenko, a Ukrainian competing for the Commonwealth of Independent States, approached perfection when she won the Olympic gold medal in rhythmic gymnastics Saturday.
Timoshenko had marks of 9.95 in three of the four events and added a 9.7 to score 39.55 in the second phase of the competition. Her total of 59.037 points enabled her to turn back Carolina Gracia of Spain, who got the silver at 58.10.
World champion Oksana Skaldina, another Ukrainian, took the bronze with 57.912.
Timoshenko had 9.95 in the optional phases of the rope, ring and clubs portions of the event. The 9.7 came in the ball phase.
The 20-year-old Kiev student won the world title in 1989 but lost to Skaldina in 1991.
Timoshenko had won all four apparatus golds in last year’s World Championships at Athens, but just lost out to Skaldina for the individual overall title.
However, the Olympics ended in tears for Skaldina, who wept on the shoulders of her coach after a poor performance with the clubs in the final event gave her only 9.750 and relegated her to the bronze medal.
Hilgers Scores Twice as Germany Wins Gold
Center-forward Michael Hilgers scored twice to give Germany a 2-1 victory over Australia for the gold medal in men’s field hockey.
Pakistan defeated the Netherlands, 4-3, for the bronze.
Germany took a 1-0 lead when Hilgers scored 90 seconds into the game, then used a tough defense to keep the Australians away from the net.
The Germans, gold medalists in 1972 and silver medalists in the last two Olympics and the 1991 European Cup champions, dominated the second half with steals, interceptions and accurate passing.
Hilgers scored his second goal in the 59th minute, firing the ball from a tight angle past goalkeeper Damon Diletti from Michael Metz’s center.
Hilgers, a member of the silver medal team in the 1988 Olympics but often used as a substitute, started at center-forward because Michael Waldhauser is recovering from hepatitis.
Australia began to break through more often in the second half and scored four minutes from the end of the match when substitute Greg Corbitt flicked in a shot from a penalty corner.
With their discipline, Germany swept through the Olympics, winning every game apart from a 1-1 draw with Australia in a pool match.
After the game, the German team carried Hilgers around the artificial field before a cheering crowd of about 10,000.
The victory meant that Germany, the pre-Olympic favorite, had shattered a jinx in men’s field hockey.
Germany won the 1992 Champions’ Trophy among the top six teams. No country had ever won that trophy and then gone on to Olympic gold.
CIS, South Korea Win in Men’s, Women’s Finals
The Commonwealth of Independent States’ men and South Korea’s women won gold medals in team handball.
Iouri Gavrilov scored five goals to lead the CIS to a 22-20 victory over Sweden in the gold-medal game. France downed Iceland, 24-20, for the bronze.
The CIS took the lead for good 8 1/2 minutes into the match on a goal by Mikhail Iakimovitch and held off repeated Swedish challenges.
Erik Hajas scored seven goals for Sweden.
Defending champion South Korea defeated Norway, 28-21, in the women’s gold-medal game. The CIS beat Germany, 24-20, for the bronze.
South Korea led, 16-8, at halftime, and Norway, the 1988 silver medalist, could get no closer than within five the rest of the way.
GOLD: Alexandra Timoshenko (CIS)
SILVER: Carolina Gracia (Spain)
BRONZE: Oksana Skaldina (CIS)
GOLD: South Korea