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British Women, Dutch Men Golden in Glasgow
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The British women and Dutch men combined for four golds Saturday in the finals of the Glasgow Grand Prix.

Marissa King topped qualification leader Enikö Korcsmaros (Hungary) on women's vault.

Beth Tweddle

Ukrainain Marina Kostyuchenko won the vault bronze, while former teammate Valeria Maksyuta (now representing Israel) finished sixth.

Romania's Steliana Nistor won the uneven bars title, after Beth Tweddle missed her bars dismount to finish seventh.

Russia's Lyudmila Yezhova won balance beam over Canada's Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs. Ukraine's Daria Zgoba, second on uneven bars, picked up the bronze.

Tweddle came back to win the floor exercise title over Czech Nicole Pechancova. Nistor fell on her opening double layout to tie teammate Daniela Druncea for third.

In the men's competition, four of the leaders from Friday's qualifications were again unstoppable: Daniel Popescu (Romania) on pommel horse, Yuri van Gelder (Netherlands) on still rings, Du Wei (China) on vault and Mitja Petkovsek (Slovenia) on parallel bars.

On floor exercise, Tomas Gonzales won Chile's first World Cup gold medal in history. On high bar, Epke Zonderland earned the second gold of the day for the Netherlands.

On Friday, Glasgow won its bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Great Britain will also play host to the 2009 World Championships in London, the 2010 European Championships in Birmingham and the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

"This Grand Prix has featured some terrific champions and future champions that we will see much more of in the Olympic cycle," said FIG judge Mircea Apolzan of Romania. "This cycle is very important for British gymnastics, as they are the first country in history to host four major artistic gymnastics competitions in one cycle."

Detailed women's commentary
by Amanda Muxlow


Marissa King has long been touted as a vaulting dynamo for team Great Britain, strong and powerful the 16 year old has been building her reputation with solid performances in Stuttgart at both the world championships and the recent DTB Cup. Having qualified in second, King knew this could be her chance at glory and she wasn't going to let it go. Performing an excellent Tsukahara 1 1/2 and a handspring piked front-1/2, King had the golden touch to score an average of 14.237 and with it her first Grand Prix title.

"This is my first gold in Grand Prix events and it's just fantastic," King said. "I raised my game in this event and just did it! On my second vault I wasn't sure I was gong to make it, but pulled it off and my first vault was fabulous!"

Top qualifier Eniko Korcsmaros of Hungary meanwhile reaffirmed her strength with a strong showing in finals. With an excellent ability to make maximum use of the gymnastics table, Korcmaros propelled off the gymnastics table like a fire strung rocket while performing a high Yurchenko 1 1/2 and round off-1/2 on tuck front somersault off to place second over Ukrainian Marina Kostyuchenko.

Vault is not regarded as one of the talented Ukrainians strengths, and while the difficulty of Kostyuchenko's first vault was low (Tsukahara straight) her second vault of handspring layout 1/2 projected a strong message that this newcomer on the Ukrainian team can vault! Teammate Sergiyenko demonstrated similar qualities, always renowned on bars and beam the team's vaulting was one of the reasons behind their disappointing ninth place in Stuttgart. Seeming to have gone back to the drawing board Sergiyenko's explosive Tsukahara 1 1/2 bodes well for the future as the talented team looks to regroup for 2008.

Uneven Bars

Chief bars commander Beth Tweddle sought to proclaim herself the golden leader of this pack with another dominant display on home turf. The reigning champion from last year though faced a strong contingent who were determined to take the scalp of the 2006 world bars champion, with the pressure rising, the heat was on. Who will strike for gold?

The first to try was Steliana Nistor. Working her new combination like a rehearsed general, Nistor effortlessly went through a jam packed exercise (giant 1/1 - giant 1 1/2 - high Tkatchev). With the scene set for a titanic battle, Nistor had to add a kip cast following her toe on Tkatchev rather than her subsequent Pak, opening the door slightly ajar for the gymnasts to follow (15.200).

Talented Daria Zgoba (15.050) and Krystina Palesova (15.000) brought flare and classic lines to the final. With fantastic flexibility and beautiful lines, the talented duo gave a master clinic in how to work in and out of the inside Stalder. Palesova in particular works with beautiful elegance and extension, every line and element performed to its maximum excellent inside Stalder - inside Stalder 1/2 Jaeger combination all performed with pointed toes! Excellent!

The scene was thus set for Beth Tweddle to take this final by storm!! With a golden glint in her eye Beth sort to proclaim her dominance. Working her routine with its renowned pace and amplitude, Tweddle worked all her combinations with meticulous ease, with the gold in her grasp Tweddle pushed for her closing sequence only to come up short on her toe on 1/1 before her dismount. Needing to employ a quick get out clause Tweddle worked tirelessly but the damage was done and quickly cemented when her full-twisting double fell to its knees. Beth ceded the gold to Nistor who won over Zgoba and Palesova.

"I went for broke with my a-bars routine as I wasn't happy with my qualifying routine," Tweddle said. "I know that I would have to be perfect if I want to get gold at the Olympics next year."

Balance Beam

Many gymnasts find it hard to reach the dizzy heights of international success after a break, not Lyudmila Yezhova Grebenkova. Maintaining her dominance from qualifying the Muscovite displayed excellent fluidity of movement alongside majestic combinations to crown herself the "Grand Dame" of this parade. Having made huge improvements since her return at the 2006 World Cup Final in Sao Paulo, Grebenkova worked a switch leap - full-twisting flick - Omelianchik (lovely split position held!) double spin and a stuck 2 1/2 dismount to outscore Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs (15.475 - 15.300)

The path to victory though wasn't plain sailing as Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs put up a fierce battle for the gold, with a routine which is highly original. Hopfner-Hibbs distances herself far away from the norm, working a wonderfully balanced programme Elyse hit her free cartwheel layout, layout, switch leap to free round off. Coach Carol-Angela Orchard's reaction was delightful to the crowd as Elyse easily worked herself into the medals.

Daria Zgoba finished a close third (15.200). Working the gymnastics leaps with exceptional quality and assurance, Zgoba had to count a broken connection between a high front somersault and the subsequent sheep jump which lowered her A score. China's Fan Ye had similar problems. Though she worked a beautiful routine (15.025), her medal chances were dashed by a low A score — 6.0 in comparison to the medalists 6.6, 6.7 and 6.5 for Grebenkova, Hopfner-Hibbs and Zgoba respectively.

Floor Exercise

The testament to a true champion often resides in working through the tough times and coming out the other side. No statement could better be used to describe Beth Tweddle, putting her bars mishap firmly to the gallows. Tweddle performed her ambitious tumbles well (1 1/2 through to double Arabian, piked double Arabian, 2 1/2 punch front layout full, NAILED!) to demolish the field by a colossal 0.900.

Nicole Pechancova finished second with a special quality in performance. Pechancova combined solid tumbling (double pike; triple twist) with exceptional dance (beautifully spun 3 1/2 spin) and interpretation to the music. With the Czech team been able to send only one athlete to Beijing, the battle is well and truly heating up as all three of their girls performed well here, and with Jana Komrskova at home.

Romanian duo Steliana Nistor and Dana Druncea tied for third. Nistor would have challenged more strongly put for a missed opening tumble (hands down on the double layout). Druncea, in her first world Grand Prix, took a medal with a routine which certainly worked the Code featuring six (yes, six!) tumbling passes to score 13.625.

2007 Glasgow Grand Prix
Nov. 10, Glasgow

Women's Vault
1. Marissa King GBR 14.237
2. Enikö Korcsmaros HUN 14.037
3. Marina Kostyuchenko UKR 13.825
4. Kim Bui GER 13.775
5. Marina Sergiyenko UKR 13.737
6. Valeria Maksyuta ISR 13.487
7. Paula Plichta POL 13.475
8. Nansy Damianova CAN 13.000

Uneven Bars
1. Steliana Nistor ROM 15.200
2. Daria Zgoba UKR 15.050
3. Krystina Palesova CZE 15.000
4. Darlene Hill USA 14.675
5. Jenny Brunner GER 14.525
6. Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs CAN 14.425
7. Beth Tweddle GBR 14.025
8. Jana Sikulova CZE 12.900

Balance Beam
1. Lyudmila Yezhova Grebenkova RUS 15.475
2. Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs CAN 15.300
3. Daria Zgoba UKR 15.200
4. Fan Ye CHN 15.025
5. Natasha Kelley USA 14.875
5. Steliana Nistor ROM 14.875
7. Zhou Zhuoru CHN 14.800
8. Sanne Wevers NED 14.500

Women's Floor Exercise
1. Beth Tweddle GBR 14.550
2. Nicole Pechancova CZE 13.650
3. Daniela Druncea ROM 13.625
3. Steliana Nistor ROM 13.625
5. Adela Sajn SLO 13.550
6. Kim Bui GER 13.250
7. Zhou Zhuoru CHN 13.075
8. Nansy Damianova CAN 12.975

Men's Floor Exercise
1. Tomas Gonazalez CHI 15.800
2. Eleftherios Kosmidis GRE 15.600
3. Kristian Thomas GBR 15.350
4. Vadim Kuvakin UKR 15.100
5. Filip Ude CRO 15.000
6. Samuel Piasecky SVK 14.750
7. Dmitry Gogotov RUS 14.725
8. Jeffrey Wammes NED 14.075

Pommel Horse
1. Daniel Popescu ROM 15.600
2. Louis Smith GBR 15.425
3. Saso Bertoncelj SLO 15.300
4. Vid Hidvegi HUN 15.200
5. Lu Bin CHN 15.100
6. Krisztian Berki HUN 15.000
7. Cosmin Popescu ROM 14.950
8. Filip Ude CRO 14.275

Still Rings
1. Yuri Van Gelder NED 16.400
2. Lu Bin CHN 16.175
3. Alexander Balandin RUS 15.900
4. Irodotos Giorgiallis CYP 15.700
5. Konstantin Pluzhnikov RUS 15.350
6. Danny Rodrigues FRA 15.100
7. Georgios Spanos CYP 14.775
8. Robert Stanescu ROM 14.600

Men's Vault
1. Du Wei CHN 16.237
2. Daniel Popescu ROM 15.937
3. Eleftherios Kosmidis GRE 15.800
4. Jeffrey Wammes NED 15.762
5. Raphael Wignanitz FRA 15.725
6. Tomas Sepulveda CHI 15.512
7. Tomi Tuuha FIN 15.500
8. Yevgeny Sapronenko LAT 15.362

Parallel Bars
1. Mitja Petkovsek SLO 16.250
2. Feng Zhe CHN 15.800
3. Samuel Piasecky SVK 15.650
4. Takehito Mori JPN 15.600
5. Epke Zonderland NED 15.200
6. Dmitry Gogotov RUS 14.875
6. Johan Mounard FRA 14.875
8. Sergei Khorokhordin RUS 14.600

High Bar
1. Epke Zonderland NED 15.675
2. Robert Weber GER 15.325
3. Brian Gladow GER 15.250
4. Dmitry Gogotov RUS 15.000
5. Eiichi Sekiguchi JPN 14.925
6. Samuel Piasecky SVK 14.625
7. Takehito Mori JPN 14.500
8. Aljaz Pegan SLO 14.175

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