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Artemev Aiming for Consistency, History
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Though Sasha Artemev has removed some of his more risky skills, he has at least one major trick planned for this week's U.S. Championships: a triple-twisting Yurchenko vault.
Sasha Artemev

If he's successful, Artemev will likely be the first gymnast in history to land the skill in competition.

Artemev attempted the triple-twisting Yurchenko at the U.S. Men's Qualifier in June, but rolled out of it. He still managed to score a 15.750 on the vault, which has a 7.0 A-Panel value.

At the U.S. Qualifier, Artemev finished seventh after the first day with multiple falls. He said he decided to scratch the second day of competition after suffering a slight injury on parallel bars. He's since made the decision to remove some of the skills to improve his consistency.

"My routines were stacked [with tricks]," he told IG. "A lot of skills I couldn't handle."

At the 2006 U.S. Championships, Artemev won the senior men's title over Jonathan Horton and Guillermo Alvarez.

"I went 11 for 12 last year and this year hopefully I'll hit 12 for 12," he said.

Artemev had a rough competition at the 2006 World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, finishing 22nd all-around and 13th with the U.S. team. In finals he rebounded to win the bronze medal on pommel horse.

Artemev says some of the skills he's removed from his planned routines include a double front pass on floor exercise, a Wu travel on pommel horse, a piked Belle on parallel bars and a Weiler kip and Stalder-Rybalko combination on high bar.

"My routines are easier for me and I'm confident," said Artemev, who will turn 22 on Aug. 29. "I'm not competing on the edge."

Artemev, a native of Minsk, Belarus, says he has been training the triple-twisting Yurchenko seriously for a few months.

"It's one of those vaults that's on and off," he said. "If I get a good block and I stall it then I can land it. I have stuck a couple in the gym and it's like, whoa. But just landing it, even with a step, I'll be happy."

Artemev pointed to both Horton and Alvarez, as well as Justin Spring and Sean Townsend, as his main competition for this year's all-around title.

"There's a lot of great guys competing tomorrow," he said.

IG Online's live coverage of the U.S. National Championships begins Wednesday at 1 p.m. PST.

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