'Moscow Nights' saves Russia's day in Rio

Mustafina came in with a total of 58.665 points, miles away from Americans Simone Biles and Aly Raisman, but a terrific score when compared with her unfortunate Russian compatriot Seda Tutkhalian, who tumbled down the standings from fifth to third last after a horror show on the floor.

Aliya Mustafina of Russia competes on the balance beam during the Women's Individual All Around Final.   -  Getty Images

Russian Aliya Mustafina's graceful floor routine to the tune of “Moscow Nights” saved the day for the former gymnastics powerhouse by landing her a bronze medal at the all-around women's finals on Thursday.

Mustafina came in with a total of 58.665 points, miles away from Americans Simone Biles and Aly Raisman, but a terrific score when compared with her unfortunate Russian compatriot Seda Tutkhalian, who tumbled down the standings from fifth to third last after a horror show on the floor.

Long resigned to the fact no one would beat the sensational Biles, Mustafina instead rejoiced in her bronze — the same medal she collected in London 2012.

“I'm happy with this day. I feel proud for my country,” a smiling Mustafina told reporters through an interpreter in reference to her Russian-accented choreography.

While Biles and Raisman wow with their athletic prowess and sky-high whirls, Mustafina fits the more traditional Soviet-era mould of dancer-like gaits and moves.

The Soviet Union won eight successive women's team golds between 1952 and 1980, but in recent years Russians has slipped off the podiums as American gymnasts have taken a stranglehold of the sport.

Still, Russia's women's team pocketed silver at the team finals on Tuesday.

Mustafina, who turns 22 next month, was coy about whether she would be aiming for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“I will think about it when I have a rest after these Olympics, I'll go to the gym and I will think,” she said, wearing her Russian team sweatshirt.

Error-prone team mate Tutkhalian, for her part, lamented thinking too much after falling off the beam.

“I had been thinking about it and I was upset,” said Tutkhalian.

“And on the floor I have fallen because I was upset after my fall on the beam. During the floor exercise, I don't know, I didn't have the strength any more. I don't understand why.”

In a gasp-inducing floor routine, Tutkhalian sat down and fell on her back following her first tumble, stumbled on her spin and then bumped her head on her third tumbling pass.

Still, Tutkhalian, a 1 metre 42 dynamo who only just turned 17, has plenty of days ahead to represent Russia.

“I feel very sad that she made these mistakes on her last two apparatus, but she is very young and she has everything in front of her,” said Mustafina.