Six golden girls, six
3rd August 1996- MARCA Sports Journal, by Javier
Spain got yesterday the first title of rhythmic groups
for the first time in the Games
Spanish gymnastics, always in unequal fight with
the Western countries, had two opportunities for getting the Glory. Lost
the first, that corresponded to Jesús Carballo at the bar final.
Failing for two times would have been tragical and unjust. Its rhythmic
group, the most precious jewel of the crown, didn't and proclaimed Olympic
The title of the music of their hoops routine "Hoping
in America" was premonitory.
Marta Baldó, Estela Giménez, Nuria
Cabanillas, Estíbaliz Martínez and Lorena Guréndez
played the lead in the most important success in the history of Spanish
gymnastics. They aren't multimillionaire professionals, just teenagers
of between 15 and 17 years old, who train eight hours per day, live far
away from their homes and have sacrificed one year of their studies for
making real a dream.
They came with unsurpassable references, three consecutive
second places at World Championships, but rhythmics is a world of hierarchies
difficult to change and the most recent record appointed Bulgaria like
In a final at where the judges didn't give neither
steal nothing to nobody, the Spanish team worked on the title eagerly.
It got the first place at the first rotation, with the five hoops routine
that was made for charming not only the judges, the home crowd, too. Two
minimum inaccuracies didn't alterate the score of 10 that it's composition
deserved and deserved a total score of 19.483, only 0.017 more than Russia.
Bulgaria, with some errors, was behind them. The half of the job was made.
The occasion was ideal because the second rotation
corresponded to the 3 balls and two ribbons routines, with which one the
Spanish got the two last World titles. Bulgaria increased the pressure
with a routine of small risk, but well executed (19.450). The national
group, that didn't know it's privileged situation, was worthy of the occasion
and made the best of it's four performances. A stick, that touched the
floor, subtracted very worthy thousandths (19.450) that finally were not
necessary. Because nerves stiffened a Russian gymnast and lost the ball,
that on it's rolls carried with it all her hopes.
Without knowing their triumph, the six gymnasts
waited in the dressing room the end of the competition and the emotion
made them cry on the podium while they were cheered with olés.