Hosts Bulgaria claimed the group all-around title at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Sofia ©Getty Images

Hosts Bulgaria claimed their first gold medal of the International Gymnastics Federation Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Sofia as they earned the group all-around title.

A steady performance with the five hoops merited a score of 33.800 points from the host nation, and they then excelled with the three ribbons and two balls, their score of 32.800 exactly two points better than the next best performers Israel in that part of the competition.

That ensured Bulgaria took gold with a total score of 66.600 at the Armeets Arena, followed by Israel in second with 64.650.

Sofia Ivanova, Kamelia Petrova, Rachel Stoyanov, Radina Tomova, Zhenina Trashlieva and Margarita Vasileva comprised the successful Bulgarian group.

Bronze went to Spain, who scored 33.450 with the five hoops and 29.750 with the three ribbons and two balls for a total of 63.200.

The three medallists each earned qualifying places for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Italy led the way with the five hoops as they notched 34.150, but their three ribbons and two balls routine was only worth 27.900, meaning they finished fourth overall with 62.050.

However, today's results ensured they were crowned team all-around champions, finishing with a score of 312.550 from the individual and group competitions.

Sofia Raffaeli, winner of three individual gold medals in Sofia, and Milena Baldassarri provided Italy's individual scores, while the group consisted of Martina Centofanti, Agnese Duranti, Alessia Maurelli, Daniela Mogurean, Laura Paris and Martina Santandrea.

Germany ranked second with 301.400, followed by Spain with 297.100.

Tomorrow is set to mark the penultimate day of the Championships, and features the individual all-around final.