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Sui, Feng Win Chinese Championships
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World championships medalists Sui Lu and Feng Zhe won the all-around titles at the Chinese Championships, which concluded Sunday in Xiantao. Newcomer Huang Huidan (pictured) won bronze medals in the women's all-around and floor exercise.

Sui Lu and Feng Zhe won the all-around titles at China's spring national championships, which concluded Sunday in Xiantao, Hubei province.

Shanghai's Sui claimed her first national all-around title, defeating 15-year-old Wu Liufang (Guangdong) and 14-year-old Huang Huidan (Zhejiang).

Sui, 18, took her top marks on floor exercise (14.600) and balance beam (15.200). She performed an elegant floor routine to Spanish music (whip-triple twist mount) and her beam routine included unusual skills and combinations (piked front, ff, Korbut; front tuck half; front aerial, ff, back pike; full turn with leg up to immediate full turn).

"I never thought I could win before the meet," said Sui, the bronze medalist on floor exercise at the 2009 World Championships. "I just wanted to compete as well as I could, because I am not a particularly strong all-around gymnast. My vault and uneven bars are still relatively weak, so I must rely on my strength on balance beam and floor exercise while my weak events slowly catch up."

Pre-meet favorite Deng Linlin — one of three gymnasts from the 2008 Olympic gold medal-winning women's team competing in Xiantao — finished out of the medals. Deng, the 2009 world champion on balance beam, took the highest score on that event (piked front; ff ff two-foot layout; Korbut; front aerial, back tuck, sheep jump; switch leap, Rueda; ff ff double pike; 15.200). However, a fall on her 1 1/2 to front layout full on floor exercise resulted in a 12.550 and fifth place.

2008 Olympic all-around bronze medalist Yang Yilin competed vault and uneven bars only, showing a new double front dismount on bars.

The 22-year-old Feng, the 2009 world runner-up on parallel bars, topped Liao Qiuhua (Guangdong) and Zhang Chenglong (Shandong) for the men's all-around gold medal.

2008 Olympic still rings champion Chen Yibing (Tianjin) finished sixth after a disastrous routine on parallel bars. He scratched the still rings final to prepare for the upcoming World Cup competition in Portugal.

In the event finals, world and Olympic champion He Kexin took the uneven bars title with ease, scoring a meet-high 16.225 (7.4 D-score). The decorated He acknowledged that her top competitor at each meet seems to be herself.

"Since my start value is relatively high, as long as I hit, taking the title should be no problem," she said.

He is on track to win the one title she does not yet own — gold at the quadrennial Asian Games — the 16th edition of which takes place in November in Guangzhou. But she said she remains motivated to train beyond 2010 "because I have not reached my target — my goal is to finish at the Olympic Games in London!"


2010 Chinese national champion Sui Lu

Women's head coach Lu Shanzhen said he watched the vault and uneven bars finals "in two different worlds." He wrote on his blog that he was thrilled with the performances on bars but dismayed by the competitive level on vault, where the winning score was a low 13.987.

"Among the eight finalists, only the top three gymnasts had two decent attempts," he wrote.

Three-time world vault champion Cheng Fei is still recovering from a torn ACL while she debates a run for her third Olympics. 2008 Olympian Jiang Yuyuan, also a strong vaulter, suffered a recent injury at an event in Hong Kong.

Despite the weak performance on vault in Xiantao, Lu said, "it is still too early to talk about Cheng Fei coming back."

"This year the coaching staff carried out targeted measures taken to establish new training methods," he said. "They established a prominent group of vaulters on the national team to carry out targeted training, and this is showing initial success."

Deng redeemed herself in the balance beam final, landing a layout full twist to take the title. Sui won a second gold on floor exercise.

Feng Zhe picked up an additional title on parallel bars. World champions Zhang Hongtao (pommel horse) and Yan Mingyong (still rings) won their respective specialties as well.

Newcomer Huang Yuguo won golds on floor exercise and vault.

"This is my first trip to Xiantao, and I did not expect to take two gold medals. I'm very happy!" Huang said.

China will hold a second national championships in September, as the teams prepare for the fall's world championships and Asian Games.

"The competition will certainly be more intense then," Lu Shanzhen said.

External Link: Chinese Gymnastics Association

2010 Chinese Spring National Championships
May 27-30, Xiantao

Women's All-Around Final
1. Sui Lu 56.300
2. Wu Liufang 55.550
3. Huang Huidan 55.350

Men's All-Around Final
1. Feng Zhe 89.300
2. Liao Qiuhua 89.050
3. Zhang Chenglong 88.900

Women's Vault Final
1. Jiang Tong 13.987
2. Li Ting 13.912
3. Zhang Linzi 13.412

Uneven Bars Final
1. He Kexin 16.225
2. Huang Huidan 14.750
3. Wu Liufang 14.700

Balance Beam Final
1. Deng Linlin 15.050
2. Sui Lu 14.900
3. Zeng Siqi 14.525

Women's Floor Exercise Final
1. Sui Lu 14.250
2. Jiang Tong 13.450
3. Huang Huidan 13.400

Mens' Floor Exercise Final
1. Huang Yuguo 15.525
2. Zhang Chenglong 15.425
3. Tong Yingjie 15.175

Pommel Horse Final
1. Zhang Hongtao 16.150
2. Yu Fu 15.350
3. Hong Chen 15.225

Still Rings Final
1. Yan Mingyong 15.900
2. Yong Taozhu 15.425
3. Lu Bo 15.400

Men's Vault Final
1. Huang Yuguo 16.050
2. Du Wei 15.887
3. Zhang Chenglong 15.837

Parallel Bars Final
1. Feng Zhe 15.950
2. Peng Liuzhan 14.925
2. Liang Mingsheng 14.925

High Bar Final
1. Chen Zhang 15.700
2. Zhang Chenglong 15.400
3. Feng Zhe 15.250

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