Venue: Wembley Arena
Dates: Thursday 9th – Sunday 12th August
Competing Athletes: 96 (all women)
Medal Events: 2
One of just two women-only disciplines in the Olympic Games (the other is Synchronised Swimming), Rhythmic Gymnastics is a combination of gymnastics and dance. Competitors perform short routines to music using hand apparatus – a ball, clubs, a hoop and a ribbon – on a floor area measuring 13m by 13m. Scores are awarded in three categories: difficulty, artistry and execution.
- Ball: Made of rubber or soft plastic, the balls used in Rhythmic Gymnastics must have a diameter of 18-20cm and must weigh at least 400g.
- Clubs: Gymnasts work with two bottle-shaped clubs of equal length (40-50cm), each weighing at least 150g.
- Hoop: Hoops may be made from wood or plastic, and must have an inner diameter of 80-90cm and must weigh at least 300g.
- Performance area: Gymnasts perform on a square competition area, measuring 13m by 13m.
- Ribbon: Made from satin or a similar material, ribbons used in Rhythmic Gymnastics must be 7m long, and are attached to a short cane (50-60cm) made from wood, bamboo, fibreglass or plastic.
Anna Bessonova in action with the ribbon at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games