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Romanians Lead European Championships Qualification
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Sandra Izbasa and Steliana Nistor led the Romanian team to the top spot in qualification Thursday at the Women's European Championships in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

Steliana Nistor in Thursday's podium training

Romania outscored second-place Russia by nearly five full points. Most of that margin was built on beam, where Romania tallied the day's highest event total with 47.075. Izbasa (15.875) and Nistor (15.800) were the two top qualifiers on beam.

Nistor earned the top all-around total, though the all-around will not be contested this year.

Romania, which competed with only four gymnasts, lost Cerasela Patrascu, who suffered a leg injury on bars and was forced to withdraw.

Russia earned the highest event total on bars (45.600) and the second highest on beam (44.475), but struggled on vault (42.775, seventh) and floor exercise (43.575, fifth).

2004 Olympian Anna Pavlova qualified third to the vault final and sixth to the floor exercise final. World uneven bars champion Ksenia Semyonova qualified second to the bars final and eighth to the beam final.

Defending team champions Italy, in third, earned the top team score on vault. Defending vault champion Carlotta Giovannini qualified second to the final behind Germany's Oksana Chusovitina. Reigning European champion Vanessa Ferrari qualified to the balance beam final only, and is first alternate to the floor final.

France, in fourth, scored the highest team total on floor, despite an injury to veteran Isabelle Severino in the warm-up. Severino, 28, suffered a torn Achilles' tendon on a full-in.

Beth Tweddle led Great Britain to third, with the highest score on uneven bars (15.925) and the second highest on floor (15.475). Teammate Becky Downie qualified to vault and uneven bars finals.

Chusovitina led Germany to sixth, and earned berths to both vault and floor exercise finals. On floor exercise, the 32-year-old four-time Olympian tumbled a full-twisting double layout.

Ukraine and the Netherlands rounded out the top eight teams that will compete in Saturday's team finals.

Competition continues Friday in Clermond-Ferrand with the Junior European Championships.

Click here to download detailed results

2008 European Championships
April 3, Clermond-Ferrand, France

Team Qualifications
1. Romania 181.350
2. Russia 176.425
3. Italy 175.450
4. France 174.600
5. Great Britain 174.050
6. Germany 173.650
7. Ukraine 173.375
8. Netherlands 165.425
9. Greece 163.150
10. Czech Republic 159.850
11. Switzerland 159.675
12. Poland 158.250
13. Hungary 155.925
14. Austria 154.900
15. Israel 152.900
16. Sweden 152.825
17. Belgium 152.375
18. Bulgaria 144.825
19. Norway 143.550
20. Cyprus 134.700
21. Ireland 132.750

Vault Finalists
1. Oksana Chusovitina GER 15.000
2. Carlotta Giovannini ITA 14.837
3. Anna Pavlova RUS 14.712
4. Francesca Benolli ITA 14.462
5. Ariella Käslin SUI 14.325
6. Becky Downie GBR 14.275
7. Enikoe Korcsmaros HUN 14.087
8. Anastasia Marachkovskaya BLR 14.075
R1. Verona van de Leur NED 14.050
R2. Marissa King GBR 14.050
R3. Valeria Maksyuta ISR 13.762

Uneven Bar Finalists
1. Beth Tweddle GBR 15.925
2. Ksenia Semyonova RUS 15.875
3. Anastasia Koval UKR 15.575
4. Becky Downie GBR 15.425
5. Steliana Nistor ROM 15.400
6. Daria Zgoba UKR 15.375
7. Lia Parolari ITA 15.250
8. Karina Myasnikova RUS 15.125
R1. Marie-Sophie Hindermann GER 14.850
R2. Kristina Palesova CZE 14.800
R3. Lichelle Wong NED 14.775

Balance Beam Finalists
1. Sandra Izbasa ROM 15.875
2. Steliana Nistor ROM 15.800
3. Pauline Morel FRA 15.475
4. Marina Proskurina UKR 15.300
5. Vanessa Ferrari ITA 15.225
6. Lenika de Simone ESP 15.200
7. Alina Kozich UKR 15.100
8. Ksenia Semyonova RUS 15.025
R1. Oksana Chusovitina GER 14.975
R2. Laura Jones GBR 14.900
R3. Marta Pihan POL 14.825

Floor Exercise Finalists
1. Sandra Izbasa ROM 15.700
2. Beth Tweddle GBR 15.475
3. Cassy Vericel FRA 15.325
4. Anamaria Tamarjan ROM 15.125
5. Oksana Chusovitina GER 15.000
6. Alina Kozich UKR 14.900
7. Anna Pavlova RUS 14.875
8. Marine Petit FRA 14.875
R1. Vanessa Ferrari ITA 14.850
R2. Lia Parolari ITA 14.750
R3. Suzanne Harmes NED 14.650

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