Key Dates: Aug. 11, individual finals; Aug. 12, group finals Venue: Wembley Arena Big story: Rhythmic group competition was added in 1996, and it has been dominated by the Russians, who have won three of the four gold medals. But the Russians are being pushed by Italy, which won gold at the 2011 world championships, its third worlds in a row. Russia's Yevgenia Kanayeva, 22, is the strong favorite to win her second consecutive individual gold medal. Top U.S. prospects: The U.S. failed to qualify as a group. Julie Zetlin is the first U.S. individual to qualify since Athens. Zetlin, 22, from Bethesda, Md., earned her spot based on results of the 2011 world championships. Others to watch: Eastern Europeans should dominate the medal stand. Russia's Aleksandra Merkulova, Aliya Garayeva of Azerbaijan and Lyubov Cherkashina of Belarus are contenders. Little-known fact: The ribbon used in rhythmic gymnastics must be six meters (or nearly 20 feet) long.
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