A botched ribbon toss – a miscue that ended with one of Russia's streamers briefly laying on the Rio Olympic Arena floor – put the overwhelming favourites in the rhythmic gymnastics group final in an unfamiliar spot after the first of two rotations on Sunday (21 August).
The Russians found themselves in third place behind Spain and Bulgaria. Rather than panic, Russia went the other way.
"It just boosted us," Anastasiia Tatareva said. "It forced us to pull ourselves together and do the best and not to give any chance to our opponents."
There usually never is when the Russians are on their game. The five-woman team responded to the mini-crisis with a brilliant finish during the second rotation – an intricate set of dancing and gymnastics that included tossing clubs and hoops with precision that would look right at home in Cirque Du Soleil – to claim a fifth straight Olympic gold.
photos Janos Schmidt