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Grand Prix Begins in Glasgow
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Gymnasts from nine countries led the 10 events in qualification at the Glasgow Grand Prix, held Friday at Kelvin Hall.
Lyudmila Yezhova

Romania was the only nation to have two gymnasts on top of the leaderboard in qualification; Steliana Nistor was first on women's floor exercise and Daniel Popescu was first on pommel horse.

The host nation qualified gymnasts to five finals, with British superstar Beth Tweddle leading the way by placing first on uneven bars and third on floor exercise.

Russian veteran Lyudmila Yezhova (pictured at right at the recent DTB Cup) claimed the top spot on balance beam with the high score of the day for the women (15.725). The 25-year-old Muscovite also placed 11th on uneven bars (13.300) and 12th on floor exercise (13.025).

Other event leaders were Hungary's Eniko Korcsmaros (women's vault), Greece's Eleftherios Kosmidis (men's floor exercise), the Netherland's Yuri van Gelder (still rings), China's Du Wei (men's vault), Slovenia's Mitja Petkovsek (parallel bars) and Japan's Eiichi Sekiguchi on high bar.

Detailed competition commentary
by Amanda Muxlow

Star qualifty! A bright gymnastics trait exuded in the high-quality field which graced the winter wonderland of the Glasgow Grand Prix. With hopes high, the scene was set for an intriguing battle — who will set themselves apart? In this, the final World Cup of the 2007 season, gymnasts from 29 countries looked to finish their season in style by qualifying to tomorrow's Grand Prix finals.

2007 world all-around silver medallist Steliana Nistor of Romania was the most successful female gymnast, qualifying to three event finals: uneven bars (second), balance beam (third) and floor exercise (first). Performing with sublime ease, Nistor re-affirmed her status as one of the sports leading ladies, as she effortlessly negotiated her new bars sequence (Maloney, shoot 1/2 to handstand, Ray) alongside an exciting array of tricks on balance beam and floor exercise (double layout, full-twisting double and an immaculate triple spin for good measure).

British maestro Beth Tweddle qualified to two finals - bars and floor. Excelling on her forte, the 2006 world champion worked through her renowned set with style and pizzazz to take the top bars score of the day (15.600) before qualifying to floor finals in third place (1 1/2 through to double Arabian, piked double Arabian, 2 1/2 punch front layout-full out of bounds).

Tweddle was backed up by the impressive Marissa King, who qualified in second place on vault with two high-flying attempts (Tsukahara 1 1/2; handspring piked front 1/2) to finish just behind 2007 European vault finalist Eniko Korcsmaros of Hungary.

Lyudmila Yezhova Grebenkova (pictured at right at the recent DTB Cup) stamped one out for the veterans with a grand balance beam display, confirming her third place at the DTB cup was no fluke. Grebenkova, 25, performed with ease and aplomb as she worked her outstanding difficulty to qualify in first place over UCLA-bound Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs (Canada) who also sparkled on bars, where she placed third with a toe-on stoop Tkatchev, giant 1 1/2 to Khorkina.

The American contingent of Natasha Kelley and Grand Prix debutante Darlene Hill had a mixed afternoon at the office, qualifying to one event apiece. Starting on bars, Kelley missed her forward clear circle before rekipping and sitting down her double front dismount to finish in 13th place. Kelley, who recently committed to the University of Oklahoma, stormed back on balance beam (nailed Arabian, standing full-twisting somersault) to qualify in sixth.

Teammate Hill brought poise and exquisite quality, especially on floor exercise, with immaculate attention paid to every aspect of her work from the leaps, the tumbles and the presentation. Hill was most impressive performing a sky-high piked double Arabian and double front, though she sat down on her closing double Arabian to finish in ninth place. Hill will get a chance to shine in the bars competition where she qualified in sixth place (Hindorff, double front dismount).

China's Zhou Zhuoru brought a touch of artistry and beauty to proceedings, excelling on floor exercise with a beautiful performance which would have befitted a top class dance company. The expressive and stylish Zhou qualified to floor finals in second place (immaculate triple spin) and beam (seventh). 2003 world balance beam champion Fan Ye also made a welcome return to international competition qualifying to beam finals, (exceptional full spin with leg at head and acrobatic series of free walkover, tuck back, Korbut flick). Although she fell twice on floor exercise, Fan's smile and presentation would charm the coldest of hearts.

The mens competition lived up to the high standard set by there female counterparts with a display of class and high difficulty. Slovenian golden duo Mitja Petkovsek and Aljaz Pegan once again set the Kelvin Hall alight with eye catching displays. Petkovsek dazzled with an impressive peach full to open before nailing a double pike dismount to score 16.150 for first place. Pegan hit his acclaimed "Pegan" release and triple back dismount to qualify in second place.

World vault silver medallist Daniel Popescu (Romania) added to his growing international standing by qualifying first on pommel horse and third on vault (Kasamatsu double twist; handspring Randi). Powerful and explosive, Popescu will look for a better landing on his second vault in finals to propel him up the rankings.

British success was once again apparent with the men's team as Louis Smith and Kristian Thomas qualified to one final each: Smith on pommels (second) and Thomas floor (third). Representing the lynch pin of the British effort, the men's team continues to make positive strides forward. With the 2009 Worlds and the 2012 Olympics being held in London, it will be interesting to see if the team can take this motivation and improve still further.

Greece's Eleftherios Kosmidis sparkled on floor exercise with a dynamic blend of exceptional tumbling and lightness of touch to qualify in first place (beautiful double layout; nailed double-twisting double tuck). Performing with style and assurance, Eleftherios finished ahead of the notable Croatian Olympic qualifier Filip Ude.

Key world players China and Japan also came to town and produced some noteworthy performances. Worryingly though for their world counterparts, none of the gymnasts here featured on either team's world championships squad. Even so, China's Du Wei and Japan's Eiichi Sekiguchi eclipsed the field on vault and high bar, respectively.

Meanwhile Yuri van Gelder (Netherlands) retained his iron-man reputation by crushing the field. His margin of victory in the qualification round was a colossal 0.6. With commando-like style, van Gelder worked through a Yamawaki-whippet combination and a nailed double layout dismount to score 16.275.

2007 Glasgow Grand Prix
Nov. 9, Glasgow

Women's Vault
1. Eniko Korcsmaros HUN 13.988
2. Marissa King GBR 13.863
3. Marina Sergiyenko UKR 13.800
4. Kim Bui GER 13.738
5. Nansy Damianova CAN 13.688
6. Marina Kostyuchenko UKR 13.562
7. Paula Plichta POL 13.525
8. Valeria Maksyuta ISR 13.450
9. Jana Sikulova CZE 13.312
10. Julia Hanel GER 13.213
11. Annika Urvikko FIN 13.150

Uneven Bars
1. Beth Tweddle GBR 15.600
2. Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs CAN 15.300
3. Steliana Nistor ROM 15.225
4. Krystina Palesova CZE 15.125
5. Daria Zgoba UKR 14.875
6. Darlene Hill USA 14.650
7. Jenny Brunner GER 14.600
8. Jana Sikulova CZE 14.200
9. Zhou Zhuoru CHN 13.925
10. Marissa King GBR 13.675
11. Lyudmila Yezhova Grebenkova RUS 13.300
12. Daniela Druncea ROM 13.250
13. Natasha Kelley USA 13.150
14. Annika Urvikko FIN 12.725
15. Kim Bui GER 12.100
16. Marina Kostyuchenko UKR 12.050
17. Sanne Wevers NED 11.100
18. Fanni Helminen FIN 10.850

Balance Beam
1. Lyudmila Yezhova Grebenkova RUS 15.725
2. Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs CAN 15.425
3. Steliana Nistor ROM 15.400
4. Daria Zgoba UKR 15.075
5. Sanne Wevers NED 14.950
6. Natasha Kelley USA 14.925
7. Zhou Zhuoru CHN 14.875
8. Fan Ye CHN 14.825
9. Marina Sergiyenko UKR 14.625
10. Adela Sajn SLO 14.550
11. Hannah Clowes GBR 14.450
12. Paula Plichta POL 14.375
13. Kayleigh Cooke GBR 14.125
14. Eniko Korcsmaros HUN 13.725
15. Nicole Pechancova CZE 13.400
16. Tina Erceg CRO 13.300
17. Krystina Palesova CZE 13.025
18. Jenny Brunner GER 12.650
19. Nansy Damianova CAN 12.450
20. Annika Urvikko FIN 12.275
21. Valeria Maksyuta ISR 11.525

Women's Floor Exercise
1. Steliana Nistor ROM 14.400
2. Zhou Zhuoru CHN 14.100
3. Beth Tweddle GBR 14.025
4. Daniela Druncea ROM 13.950
5. Nicole Pechancova CZE 13.900
6. Kim Bui GER 13.675
7. Adela Sajn SLO 13.650
8. Nansy Damianova CAN 13.625
9. Darlene Hill USA 13.150
10. Marina Sergiyenko UKR 13.100
11. Tina Erceg CRO 13.025
12. Lyudmila Yezhova Grebenkova RUS 13.025
13. Kayleigh Cooke GBR 12.775
14. Annika Urvikko FIN 12.600
15. Valeria Maksyuta ISR 12.300
16. Fan Ye CHN 12.000
17. Julia Hanel GER 11.400

Men's Floor Exercise
1. Eleftherios Kosmidis GRE 15.400
2. Filip Ude CRO 15.075
3. Kristian Thomas GBR 15.050
4. Dmitry Gogotov RUS 15.050
5. Jeffrey Wammes NED 14.950
6. Tomas Sepulveda CHI 14.900
7. Vadim Kuvakin UKR 14.875
8. Samuel Piasecky SVK 14.625
9. Sascha Palgen LUX 14.500
10. Tomislav Markovic CRO 14.400
11. Constantinos Aristotelous CYP 14.325
12. Alexander Suprun UKR 14.250
13. Konstantinos Barmpakis GRE 14.100
14. Kieran Behan GBR 13.600
15. Espen Jansen NOR 13.500
16. Tomi Tuuha FIN 13.475
17. Marco Mayr AUT 13.150
18. Alexander Benko SVK 12.675
19. Javier Gomez ESP 12.450

Pommel Horse
1. Daniel Popescu ROM 15.575
2. Louis Smith GBR 15.575
3. Krisztian Berki HUN 15.350
4. Lu Bin CHN 15.275
5. Vid Hidvegi HUN 15.275
6. Cosmin Popescu ROM 15.150
7. Saso Bertoncelj SLO 15.075
8. Filip Ude CRO 14.975
9. Alexander Suprun UKR 14.950
10. Takehito Mori JPN 14.650
11. Daniel Keatings GBR 14.600
12. Robert Seligman CRO 14.075
13. Alexander Benko SVK 14.025
14. Marco Baldauf AUT 14.000
15. Jani Tanskanen FIN 13.925
16. Ziga Britovsek SLO 13.925
17. Vitaly Nakonechny UKR 13.900
18. Donna-Donny Truyens BEL 13.850
19. Koen Van Damme BEL 13.850
20. Dmitry Trefilovs LAT 13.775
21. Robert Weber GER 13.700
22. Du Wei CHN 13.675
23. Eichi Sekiguchi JPN 13.400
24. Sascha Palgen LUX 13.350
25. Charalampos Kailidis GRE 13.250
26. Brian Gladow GER 13.150
27. Samuel Piasecky SVK 13.075
28. Arkditz Garcia ESP 12.300

Still Rings
1. Yuri van Gelder NED 16.275
2. Konstantin Pluzhnikov RUS 15.625
3. Danny Rodrigues FRA 15.475
4. Alexander Balandin RUS 15.325
5. Irodotos Giorgiallis CYP 15.150
6. Lu Bin CHN 15.075
7. Georgios Spanos CYP 14.750
8. Robert Stanescu ROM 14.650
9. Koen Van Damme BEL 14.450
10. Sascha Palgen LUX 14.425
11. Kristian Thomas GBR 14.250
12. Olli Torkkel FIN 13.725
13. Robert Weber GER 13.500
14. Sebastijan Straus SLO 13.400
15. Christian Guillen ESP 13.200
16. Tomi Tuuha FIN 13.150
17. Marco Mayr AUT 12.850
18. Alexander Benko SVK 11.625
19. Espen Jansen NOR 1.975

Men's Vault
1. Du Wei CHN 16.150
2. Jeffrey Wammes NED 16.025
3. Daniel Popescu ROM 15.800
4. Raphael Wignanitz FRA 15.800
5. Yevgeny Sapronenko LAT 15.688
6. Tomi Tuuha FIN 15.600
7. Eleftherios Kosmidis GRE 15.450
8. Tomas Sepulveda CHI 15.363
9. Arkditz Garcia ESP 15.287
10. Konstantinos Barmpakis GRE 15.200
11. Takehito Mori JPN 15.050
12. Georgios Spanos CYP 14.750
13. Marco Mayr AUT 14.737
14. Kristian Thomas GBR 14.250
15. Vadim Kuvakin UKR 14.000
16. Christian Guillen ESP 13.963

Parallel Bars
1. Mitja Petkovsek SLO 16.150
2. Feng Zhe CHN 16.025
3. Takehito Mori JPN 15.675
4. Sergei Khorokhordin RUS 15.575
5. Samuel Piasecky SVK 15.300
6. Dmitry Gogotov RUS 15.250
7. Epke Zonderland NED 15.050
8. Johan Mounard FRA 14.975
9. Brian Gladow GER 14.950
10. Daniel Keatings GBR 14.925
11. Robert Stanescu ROM 14.775
12. Adam Cox GBR 14.725
13. Robert Weber GER 14.700
14. Kamil Hulbuj POL 14.625
15. Cosmin Popescu ROM 14.475
16. Vadym Kuvakin UKR 14.450
17. Danny Rodrigues FRA 14.400
18. Sebastijan Straus SLO 13.850
19. Javier Gomez ESP 13.775
20. Vid Hidvegi HUN 13.675
21. Espen Jansen NOR 13.075
22. Arkditz Garcia ESP 13.050
23. Dmitry Trefilovs LAT 12.975

High Bar
1. Eiichi Sekiguchi JPN 15.575
2. Aljaz Pegan SLO 15.350
3. Robert Weber GER 15.025
4. Takehito Mori JPN 14.850
5. Epke Zonderland NED 14.800
6. Samuel Piasecky SVK 14.750
7. Brian Gladow GER 14.600
8. Dmitry Gogotov RUS 14.475
9. Jeffrey Wammes NED 14.325
10. Marco Baldauf AUT 14.250
11. Adam Cox GBR 14.250
12. Javier Gomez ESP 14.000
13. Vitaly Nakonechny UKR 14.000
14. Sergei Khorokhordin RUS 14.000
15. Espen Jansen NOR 13.900
16. Dmitry Trefilovs LAT 13.775
17. Christian Guillen ESP 13.600
18. Jani Tanskanen FIN 13.550
19. Alexander Suprun UKR 13.325
20. Kamil Hulbuj POL 13.075
21. Charalampos Kailidis GRE 13.050
22. Raphael Wignanitz FRA 12.975
23. Lu Bin CHN 12.475
24. Johan Mounard FRA 12.175
25. Constantinos Aristotelous CYP 10.775

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