Russian gymnast Kudryavtseva retires aged 19

MOSCOW (AP) Russian rhythmic gymnast Yana Kudryavtseva has retired from competition aged just 19 following a brief but dazzling career.

Kudryavtseva won 13 world championships from 2013 to 2015, making her the early favorite for the all-around gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, but a foot fracture disrupted her preparations. She had to settle for silver in Rio behind fellow Russian and friend Margarita Mamun following a rare mistake on her club routine.

The International Gymnastics Federation says her retirement, which follows numerous injury struggles, ends ''one of the most glittering careers in rhythmic history.''

Kudryavtseva was the latest in a long line of world-class rhythmic gymnasts from Russia, which has won every Olympic gold medal in the discipline since 2000 with stars such as Alina Kabaeva and Evgeniya Kanaeva.

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