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Ablyazin Takes Third Gold as Russian Nationals End
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Rising star Denis Ablyazin won a third gold medal Thursday as the Russian championships concluded in Penza. Pictured: Ukrainian Olympian Nikolai Kuksenkov, who received Russian citizenship at the end of last year, won the gold medal on high bar.

Rising star Denis Ablyazin won a third gold medal Thursday as the Russian championships concluded in Penza.

Ablyazin, 20, added the vault gold medal to go with his floor and still rings titles from Wednesday. The Penza native picked up a silver on vault and bronze on floor exercise at last summer's Olympics in London.

New Russian all-around champion David Belyavsky won parallel bars, and Ukrainian Olympian Nikolai Kuksenkov claimed high bar. Kuksenkov, who received Russian citizenship at the end of last year, plans to represent Russia from now on.

First-year senior Yevgenia Shelgunova won the balance beam title with few wobbles but fewer valuable connections (ro two-foot layout; side aerial; front aerial; sheep jump; tuck front; ff, ff, double pike). Two-time Olympian Ksenia Afanasyeva, the reigning world floor exercise champion, took the title on her best event.

Superstar Aliya Mustafina skipped the last day of competition to rest her knee. On Sunday, the world and Olympic champion defended her Russian all-around title.

The 2013 European Championships take place April 17-21 in Moscow, where senior all-around and apparatus medals will be up for grabs. Russian coach Valentina Rodionenko said three gymnasts have secured their spots after the competition in Penza: Mustafina, Anastasia Grishina, the all-around silver medalist and uneven bars champion; and vault champion Maria Paseka.

Shelgunova, the all-around bronze medalist, is a contender for the fourth spot along with Afanasyeva and 2011 European all-around champion Anna Dementyeva, Rodionenko said.

Moscow city officials, meanwhile, announced they would contribute an additional 97 million rubles ($3 million) toward the organization of the European championships.

Read "Fresh Start," an interview with Anastasia Grishina, in the current issue of International Gymnast Magazine. To subscribe or order back issues, click here.

External Link: Russian Gymnastics Federation

2013 Russian Championships
March 7, Penza

Balance Beam FinalTotal
1.Yevgenia ShelgunovaCentral/Volga14.050
2.Polina FyodorovaVolga13.900
3.Ksenia AfanasyevaCentral13.775
4.Anna DementyevaCentral/Volga13.400
5.Anna PavlovaCentral13.275
6.Kristina GoryunovaNorthwest13.275
7.Yekaterina KramarenkoSt. Petersburg12.800
8.Alyona PolyanVolga11.725

Women's Floor Exercise FinalTotal
1.Ksenia AfanasyevaCentral13.600
2.Kristina GoryunovaNorthwest13.525
3.Alyona PolyanVolga13.075
4.Anna PavlovaCentral13.000
5.Yevgenia ShelgunovaCentral/Volga12.900
6.Anna DementyevaCentral/Volga12.625
7.Maria SmirnovaVolga11.950
8.Polina FyodorovaVolga11.800

Men's Vault FinalTotal
1.Denis AblyazinVolga/Moscow14.075
2.Mikhail KudashovUrals13.525
3.Pavel PavlovVolga13.125
4.Vladislav KozinSt. Petersburg12.075
5.Dmitry YakubovskyMoscow12.000
6.Alexei BykovSouth11.850
7.Andrei CherkasovSiberia11.075
8.Roman SuetinUrals10.475

Parallel Bars FinalTotal
1.David BelyavskyUrals15.025
2.Alexander BalandinNorthwest/Central14.800
3.Nikolai KuksenkovCentral14.700
4.Andrei CherkasovSiberia14.700
5.Nikita IgnatyevSiberia14.675
6.Dmitry StolyarovMoscow14.500
7.Dmitry GogotovSt. Petersburg14.450
8.Kirill IgnatenkovCentral/Northwest12.900

High Bar FinalTotal
1.Nikolai KuksenkovCentral14.950
2.Nikita IgnatyevSiberia14.850
3.Danyl KazachkovSiberia14.100
4.Vladislav KozinSt. Petersburg14.025
5.Pavel RussinyakVolga13.700
6.Emin GaribovMoscow13.025
7.Igor PakhomenkoSiberia12.500

International Gymnast Magazine's coverage of Russian gymnastics includes:

March 2013 - Grishina interview
January/February 2013 - Mustafina center poster
September 2012 - Olympic Games special issue
July/August 2012 - Mustafina and Komova on cover photo collage, Olympic Games preview
May 2012 - "Up for the Challenge" (Komova interview)
January/February 2012 - "Poised for Perfection (Afanasyeva cover photo and interview)
December 2011 - World Championships special issue
June 2011 - "Russian Intensity" (Nabiyeva interview)
May 2011 - Dementyeva and Mustafina on cover (May 2011)
January/February 2011 - "The Mustafina Mystique" (Mustafina profile)
December 2010 - Mustafina on cover, World Championships special issue
October 2010 - Komova on cover, World Championships preview
July/August 2010 - Komova on cover photo collage
June 2010 - Komova on cover

To subscribe or order back issues, click here.

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