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Russia, Ukraine Divide Zakharova Cup
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The Russian women and Ukrainian men split the gold medals at the 11th Stella Zakharova Cup, which drew gymnasts from 12 nations for Saturday's competition in Kiev. Pictured: All-around champion Kristina Goryunova (Russia)

The Russian women and Ukrainian men split the team and all-around titles Saturday at the 11th Stella Zakharova Cup, which drew gymnasts from 12 nations to Kiev.

Veteran Kristina Goryunova led the Russian women to victory in the team competition over two squads from Ukraine. Goryunova had the top marks on balance beam and floor exercise to take the all-around title over Ukrainians Yevgenia Cherniy and Maria Livchikova.

The promising Livchikova is returning from a knee injury suffered in training at last fall's world championships in Tokyo, where the Ukrainian women finished a disastrous 19th without her. Igor Korobchinsky, two-time Olympian and 1989 world champion, resigned as head coach of the women's team following the worst result ever for Ukraine. Oksana Slyusarchuk, who coached Valeria Maksyuta before she emigrated to Israel, is the interim head coach for Ukraine.

Slyusarchuk spoke positively of the Ukrainian gymnasts' performance.

"The Zakharova Cup was a warm-up before the European championships in Brussels in May," Slyusarchuk said. "It's especially needed for our juniors, who don't have any experience competing on podium. But the juniors at Europeans will compete four per apparatus with three scores counting, whereas the seniors will have a much more complicated system of three up, three count."

Continued Slyusarchuk, "I'm glad that all the girls competed well on floor exercise. We vault simple vaults, but they're stable. The new combinations on uneven bars, as you saw here, are not yet 100 percent ready. But the main problem is beam. In training the gymnasts do five combinations without falling, but they haven't yet learned how to to cope with the stress in competition."

The annual competition is organized by 1980 Olympic gold medalist Stella Zakharova, former president of the Ukrainian Gymnastics Federation. Zakharova noted the instability in Ukrainian gymnastics today compared with the Soviet era.

"When I competed we employed a huge number of people: psychologists, masseurs, photographers (especially so we were not scared of the flashes)," Zakharova said. "Psychological training of the gymnasts is even more important than the physical preparation. Indeed, the Russians — the winners of the team competition — looked collected. All their gymnasts demonstrated brilliant acrobatics."

2010 Youth Olympic gold medalist Oleg Stepko won the men's all-around title and led Ukraine to the team title over squads from Spain and France.

Stepko, who won the silver medal on parallel bars at the Cottbus Challenger Cup on March 25, said he is staying healthy despite two competitions in one week.

"My shoulder and knee have mini-injuries but nothing to worry about," he said. "I had a hard time only the first three days after returning from Cottbus. I came to this competition in Kiev in good condition thanks to my coaches properly formulating my training. Actually, it was my second all-around competition of the season after the Ukrainian Cup, which was only six weeks ago, but the difference is striking. Today I felt much more confident. Of course, I'm not in the best condition compared with last year's national championships and world championships. But, as my coach said, we need to slowly increase the intensity to be at a good level at the European championship in May."

External Link: Official Website

11th Stella Zakharova Cup
March 31, 2012, Kiev, Ukraine

Women's TeamVTUBBBFXTotal
1.Russia27.60028.45027.70027.850111.600
2.Ukraine27.55026.95027.05027.500109.050
3.Ukraine 227.15024.30027.55025.000104.000
4.Belarus27.35024.10026.05025.600103.100
5.Brazil27.05022.55023.75024.45097.800
6.Slovenia27.15021.95023.75023.45096.300
7.Lithuania24.10022.50021.55021.00089.150

Men's TeamFXPHSRVTPBHBTotal
1.Ukraine29.40029.45028.70031.85029.70026.700175.800
2.Spain28.50027.85028.60031.20027.80029.500173.450
3.France26.40027.35026.90030.20028.05028.800167.700
4.Ukraine 227.00026.85025.25028.60026.95024.900159.550
5.Hungary 26.35024.70024.90028.50026.55025.300156.300
6.Belarus26.30022.75027.50028.60025.85023.700154.700
7.Lithuania25.45023.30024.70029.20025.25026.150154.050
8.Egypt24.90025.40023.30027.20025.05022.100147.950
9.Poland22.60022.20021.80027.45024.30022.900141.250

Women's All-AroundVTUBBBFXTotal
1.Kristina Goryunova5.013.9505.714.0505.714.4005.814.30056.700
2.Yevgenia Cherniy5.013.7005.313.9505.314.3005.013.75055.700
3.Maria Livchikova5.013.8505.413.0006.012.7505.313.75053.350
4.Yulia Tipayeva5.013.6505.112.5505.313.3005.013.55053.050
5.Anastasia Marchuk5.013.4505.914.4005.312.1005.311.80051.750
6.Yelena Vasilyeva5.013.4505.712.4005.714.0505.211.65051.550
7.Daria Kloptsova4.412.8505.211.5505.113.5005.012.85050.750
8.Daria Matveyeva5.013.7005.611.9005.712.5004.912.15050.250
9.Anastasia Ilnitskaya4.413.2004.210.6005.012.9504.913.40050.150
10.Alina Fomenko5.313.1505.212.4003.610.6505.113.75049.950
11.Harumy de Freitas5.013.4004.310.9504.912.4004.813.15049.900
12.Alina Sotnikova5.013.9003.98.9005.713.8505.113.10049.750
13.Anastasia Miklashevich4.612.4505.312.5004.812.2005.112.50049.650
14.Carmen Horvat4.813.4503.611.6004.512.4003.811.85049.300
15.Ana Silva5.013.6003.411.4004.811.3505.010.90047.250
16.Anastasia Yekimenko4.613.4504.811.6004.511.6004.610.60047.250
17.Mariana De Oliveira5.013.4503.711.1504.810.7004.611.30046.600
18.Tina Ribič4.413.7002.610.3502.510.2504.411.35045.650
19.Ana Koniuchovaite4.212.2003.411.2004.710.8503.710.85045.100
20.Rebeka Šarec4.412.4501.98.9504.311.3504.811.60044.350
21.Melita Cesnaviciute 4.211.9003.311.3003.810.7003.310.15044.050
22.Kaja Mljač3.811.6003.910.75022.350
23.Olesya Sazonova4.912.90012.900
24.Saša Golob4.612.80012.800

Men's All-AroundFXPHSRVTPBHBTotal
1.Oleg Stepko6.215.1005.914.7005.613.8007.016.0006.415.2005.613.15087.950
2.Fabian Ganzalez6.314.6505.914.8505.413.3006.615.9505.613.6007.115.10087.450
3.Petro Pakhnyuk6.214.3006.414.7506.414.6006.215.3506.014.1006.013.55086.650
4.Javier Gomez6.113.8505.613.0006.214.3006.615.2506.214.2005.914.40085.000
5.Oleg Vernyayev6.614.0506.312.0506.614.1007.015.8506.814.5006.113.10083.650
6.Arnaud Willig 5.913.9505.313.0005.913.7006.614.0006.214.2006.514.00082.850
7.Axel Augis5.011.8005.914.3505.013.0006.615.1506.412.7506.114.80081.850
8.Illya Egorov4.913.3505.613.1004.712.9505.414.1505.214.2504.712.50080.300
9.Yevgeny Izmodenov4.613.0005.311.9504.812.4005.414.7004.913.0505.113.75078.850
10.Pavel Bulavsky5.913.5004.611.8505.914.4007.014.7505.012.3004.412.00078.800
11.Eduard Ermakov5.213.5005.212.7004.913.0005.413.5505.213.3504.312.30078.400
12.Levente Vagner5.313.7504.911.5005.212.5005.414.1005.113.3004.912.50077.650
13.Jim Zona6.112.4504.412.0505.013.2006.215.0505.613.8504.610.85077.450
14.Yevgeny Yudenkov5.213.4005.513.7503.911.8005.813.3005.612.5004.712.40077.150
15.Vladimir Gribuk5.013.6004.112.0004.312.3006.614.4504.412.7004.011.90076.950
16.Norbert Dudas4.012.6005.113.2004.612.4004.612.3504.913.2504.612.35076.150
17.Alexander Petrenko4.812.8004.712.6003.410.2005.414.6004.012.3505.013.45076.000
18.Vladislav Esaulov3.912.4504.511.3504.512.3005.414.5004.012.2003.812.40075.200
19.Vladislav Kotsyuban4.912.1504.612.3004.511.9005.413.9504.913.1504.011.40074.850
20.Amr Asser Sherif4.112.3005.013.0004.312.0004.613.2504.712.4003.411.55074.500
21.Stanislav Yezhov4.712.8004.710.9005.413.1005.413.0004.712.9504.211.70074.450
22.David Schweigert4.811.4504.512.5004.512.3005.414.4004.611.7003.812.05074.400
23.Botond Kardos4.711.9504.511.3003.811.1005.414.4004.312.5504.212.80074.100
24.Omar Magdy Mohamed4.412.6004.81195.0003.511.0504.613.5504.412.6503.010.55072.350
25.Pawel Serdynski4.711.4504.110.5004.311.3004.613.8003.912.3504.311.30070.700
26.Patryk Rabstajn4.311.1504.511.7003.910.4004.613.6503.911.9503.011.60070.450
27.Karim Amr Zouelfakar3.611.7004.412.4004.511.3004.613.6503.211.6502.99.30070.000
28.Alexander Doronin5.011.0004.410.7005.013.1006.613.8505.312.90061.550
29.Kfir Weiss6.011.8504.08.0004.911.4006.615.2504.912.25058.750
30.Ruben Lopez5.612.3006.514.3005.814.55041.150
31.Konrad Kacprzyk4.18.9504.310.50019.450
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