Daria Kondakova (inset)
came within .05 of the all-around gold, which went to compatriot Yevgenia Kanayeva for
the third consecutive year.
Chaschina (the eternal silver girl at the beginning of
the 2000s) was, once again, on the agenda, this
time with Kanayeva and Kondakova. Many pundits
in Montpellier argued that Kondakova should have
taken at least two of the apparatus gold medals
(hoop and clubs). To be fair, the judges were prepared to give her a chance in the all-around final.
Daria took the lead after the first rotation (hoop) but
lost nearly a point in the second round when she
staggered at the end of a multiple pirouette with her
ball. Given Kanayeva’s steady performances with
the remaining two apparatus, there was no chance
left for Daria to strike again.