ECh MAG Lausanne: 6 titles, 6 countries

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ECh MAG Lausanne: 6 titles, 6 countries

May 11, 2008

Six countries shared the six titles of the apparatus finals. The favourites won: Golotsutskov (floor), Berki (pommel horse), Van Gelder (rings), Blanik (vault), Petkovsek (parallel bars) and Hambüchen (high bar).

 

Floor
 
The 8 qualified gymnasts come from 7 different countries: RUS, ITA, ROU, GER, POR, BLR, GBR.
The starting order for the final is drawn and the scores start again from zero. From the medallists of last year in Amsterdam, only the Italian Enrico Pozzo (6th) and the Russian Anton Golotsutskov 5th are in the finals. The latter was in the lead after the qualifications on Thursday, just in front of Fabian Hambüchen GER (gap of 0.025 points) and Dorin Selariu ROU. One trio stands out immediately with Dorian Selariu ROU (15.650), Hambüchen (15.375) and Maxim Deviatovski RUS (15.150). At the dismount of the apparatus Golotsutskov and his coach seem very pleased with his performance. They are not deceived as the Russian takes the lead with 15.700 and wins his second title after 2006.
  
 
Pommel horse
 
Good surprise in this final, the discovery among the finalists, the presence of the Armenian Harutyum Merdinyan (5th). Another curiosity, the absence of the second of last year, the English Keatings, but who finished 1st… in junior’s this morning! The Russian Nikolai Kryukov was leading after the qualification. Unfortunately for him, he had to interrupt his exercise at this apparatus. Greatly appreciated Gymnast by the public, he is wildly encouraged but the hope of winning an European title was gone. The title holder has emerged once again with an advance of 0.400 points in front of the two Croats Filip Ude and Robert Seligman, the latter with a gap of 0.075 to his compatriot.
  
 
Rings
 
Magnificent finale at the rings which, compared to the team competition where different exercises take place at the same time, give the public time to admire the elements of strength performed by the competitors. Nice mix with finalists representing Israel, Russia (2), Netherlands, Cyprus, Ukraine, Bulgaria and France; of the younger and older generation. 
A trio of favourites stands out with Yuri Van Gelder, Jordan Jovtchev and the French Danny Rodrigues, who had dominated the qualifications. The Dutch impresses not only because of his muscles but above all because of his strength and impeccable mastery from the fingertips till the toes. All this for an exercise that contains an exceptional difficulty (A score) of 7.30! Jordan Jovtchev, who is 35 years old and is undoubtedly reaching the end of his career, has also increased his level of difficulty. He is credited with 16.200 (A score 7.20) with which he obtains the silver medal like last year. The conclusion of the final belongs to the French Danny Rodriguez who snatches the bronze medal with an exercise for which he obtains an A score of 7.10.
  
 
Vault
 
The competitors perform two different jumps whose average gives the final score. 
Leading in the qualifications, there were Blanik POL, Golotsutskov RUS and Kaspiarovitch BLR. They were closely followed by Wammes (NED), Popescu and Selariu (ROU). The difference between the first and sixth classified was smaller than four tenths. 
 
The verdict of this final is the victory of the Polish Blanik, who was the first to successfully complete a triple somersault (the Roche) and who now gets the title again after a few more discreet years. Kaspiarovich follows with 16.400 preceding the Romanian Ilie Popescu (16.350). 
 
Behind comes Golotsutskov (4th with 16.175) followed by 3 gymnasts in the 5th place.
 
   
 
Parallel bars
  
7 countries are represented: RUS (2) UKR, GRE, FRA, BLR, GER, SLO. Kryukov and Petkovsek Goncharov led after the qualification. The latter is the title holder. 
Until the passage of Cucherat, Kryukov led the competition with 15.875. The French had a little messed up the qualification, still managing to qualify. Today he performed on his usual level (16.000) and took the lead. Suspense for the composition of the podium, because the passage of the last competitor, world champion and European champion, Mitja Petkovsek (SLO), had to be awaited. He keeps his crown, beating Cucherat for 0.025 points.
   
 
High bar
 
A staff of 32 persons, 4 big trucks campions of equipment to install a studio – that’s the investment of the German channel ZDF for one single exercise; the one of Hambüchen at the high bar! The countries represented are GER (2), ITA, SLO, GRE, TUR, POL, NED.
 
Hambüchen - Maras – Samiloglu: this was the leading trio after the qualifications. 
The fist to pass, Robert Weber, no. 2 in Germany, falls and obtains only 14.225. He is followed by the Olympic champion of Athens, Igor Cassina (ITA), who can also not avoid a fall (14.500). Outstanding programme of Aljaz Pegan, who unfortunately will not be at the Olympics, as his country did not obtain a team qualification. Second of the WCh of Stuttgart, he does not benefit of a world champion title either, which would have opened the door to the Games. Despite a big unbalance, he takes the lead with 15.300. With one victory to his credit (World Cup) and the 7th rank in Amsterdam, the Turkish Samiloglu (28 years old) is a little bit a surprise guest in this final. He obtains the same total then Pegan and shares the second provisional place. The Polish Kulesza falls during his passage. Admirable Hambüchen, who despite the pressure that rests on his shoulders in his country, has kept his nerves and wins the desired European title. He is the only one presenting an A score of 7.00 and performs an exercise of 7.20, respectively 7.30 for Beijing. Last one to pass, the Dutch Wammes who finishes 5th.
  
Thus end the 28th European Championships in men’s artistic gymnastics in Lausanne. 
 
We will see again most medallists at the Olympic Games in Beijing. The superb closing ceremony, that wears again the signature of Patricia Hediger, preceded six medal ceremonies. Then the flag of the UEG was handed over from Switzerland to Italy, the city of Milan organizing the 3rd European individual championships in 2009. From July 10th to 16th 2011, the city of Lausanne will receive some 25’000 gymnasts from the World Gymnaestrada.
  
 
D.Duchoud / UEG
The podium of the high bar. Photos: Volker MInkus, UEG