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South Korean rhythmic gymnast qualifies for all-around final

South Korean rhythmic gymnast Son Yeon-jae has qualified for the individual all-around final at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Son ranked fifth among 10 qualifiers with 71.956 points earned from her four apparatuses on Friday.

Son scored 18.358 points in clubs, 18.266 points in ball,17.866 points in ribbon and 17.466 points in hoop.

Margarita Mamun of Russia led all qualifiers with 74.838 points total. She led all gymnasts in ribbon (19.050), ball (19.000) and hoop (18.833).

Yana Kudryavtseva, also of Russia, finished second with 73.998 points. The two are considered the strongest gold medal contenders.

Son is trying to become the first South Korean to win an Olympic medal in rhythmic gymnastics. One of the country's most popular athletes, Son finished fifth at the 2012 London Games.

Son's total on Friday fell nearly three full points shy of her personal best, set during the FIG World Cup season. Judges are known to be more stringent for the Olympics than for World Cup events, and even the top-ranked gymnasts who usually reach the 19s settled for marks in the 18s on Friday.

Son began her qualification with a fairly clean routine with ball. Son struggled through a mistake-filled hoop routine, and had a shaky ribbon program.

Son finished her qualification with 18.358 points with her clubs, the highest of her scores on Friday. (Yonhap)

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