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Five Up to Challenge at Tournament of Masters
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Gymnasts from five nations were golden Sunday as the 38th Tournament of Masters, an FIG World Challenge Cup, came to a close in Cottbus, Germany. Pictured: Germany's Andreas Bretschneider defended his title on high bar.

Gymnasts from five nations were golden Sunday as the 38th Tournament of Masters, an FIG World Challenge Cup, came to a close in Cottbus, Germany.

The top qualifiers from Friday all failed to win titles on Sunday and only one managed to win a medal — bronze — across the five apparatus finals.

Hungarian Noémi Makra — who trains under the same coaches as Olympic gold medalist Henrietta Onodi — used a gorgeous Onodi of her own into a front aerial, side aerial series en route to the balance beam gold medal. Makra, who won the bronze medal on uneven bars in Saturday's final, also impressed with excellent flexibility, toepoint and relevé.

Russian first-year senior Maria Kharenkova, a first-year senior,landed solidly on her high ff, ff, two-foot layout combination, but small wobbles kept her behind Makra. Kharenkova turns 16 on Oct. 29.

Romanian Andreea Munteanu, the top qualifier on balance beam and floor exercise on Friday, succumbed to the pressure and fell off on her ff, full twist. The first-year senior still managed the bronze medal in the fall-filled final.

Munteanu also fell on her 2 1/2 twist on floor exercise, where Polish Olympian Marta Pihan-Kulezsa won the title. German veteran Kim Bui, who was second on vault, took another silver medal on floor ahead of Kharenkova.

The top qualifiers in the men's competition — Russia's Denis Ablyazin, Ukraine's Oleg Vernyayev (parallel bars) and the USA's Chris Brooks (high bar) — all walked away without a medal.

Ablyazin, who won gold on floor exercise and still rings on Saturday, couldn't landed his second vault of Yurchenko-half on, Randi off on Sunday and finished fourth. Vernyayev, who technically tied Ablyazin on vault on Friday, crashed his Dragulescu and then did a simple Tsukahara second vault.

2010 European champion Tomi Tuuha (Finland) instead grabbed gold, with small steps on his Tsukahara 2 1/2 and double-twisting handspring front. Brazilian Olympian Diego Hypolito, third on floor Saturday, used the same vaults as Tuuha to win silver over Spanish newcomer Rayderley Zapata.

Vernyayev crashed heavily on parallel bars but managed to finish his routine. The title instead went to Japanese world team member Koji Uematsu, who was near flawless for 15.550. Great Britain's Frank Baines, the 2012 Junior European all-around champion, took second over two-time world champion Mitja Petkovšek. Petkovšek, who turned 37 on Feb. 6, was the oldest competitor in Cottbus.

Brooks, meanwhile, broke on high bar, and Andreas Bretschneider ended the competition with a gold for Germany. Bretschneider, who trains a double-twisting Kovacs, defended his title from the 2013 tournament.

Petrix Barbosa finished second to bring a third medal for Brazil. Oliver Hegi won the bronze on high bar, joining floor runner-up Claudio Capelli in taking medals back to neighboring Switzerland.

The FIG's World Challenge Cup series continues March 26-28 in Doha, Qatar.

External Link: Official Website

38th Tournament of Masters/FIG World Challenge Cup
March 16, 2014, Cottbus, Germany

Balance Beam FinalDENDScore
1. Noémi Makra 5.6 8.325 13.925
2. Maria Kharenkova 5.9 7.950 13.850
3. Andreea Munteanu 6.1 7.650 13.750
4. Sophie Scheder 5.3 7.950 13.250
5. Katarzyna Jurkowska 5.2 7.975 0.1 13.075
6. Cagla Akyol 5.7 7.350 13.050
7. Aleeza Yu 5.8 7.025 12.825
8. Natalie Vaculik 5.6 6.875 12.475

Women's Floor Exercise FinalDENDScore
1. Marta Pihan-Kulezsa 5.5 8.450 13.950
2. Kim Bui 5.6 8.325 13.925
3. Maria Kharenkova 5.6 8.250 0.1 13.750
4. Saša Golob 5.4 7.850 13.250
5. Andreea Munteanu 5.6 7.550 13.150
6. Cagla Akyol 5.2 7.725 0.1 12.825
7. Aleeza Yu 5.4 6.675 12.075
8. Kirsten Beckett 5.2 5.875 0.1 10.975

5.65.85.26.25.25.26.03.6
Men's Vault FinalDENDScoreAverage
1.Tomi Tuuha5.69.42515.02515.000
5.69.37514.975
2.Diego Hypolito5.69.30014.90014.850
5.89.00014.800
3.Rayderley Zapata6.09.25015.25014.662
5.28.9750.114.075
4.Denis Ablyazin6.09.22515.22514.575
6.28.0250.313.925
5.Michael Fussenegger5.69.12514.72514.525
5.29.12514.325
6.Andreas Toba5.69.35014.95014.462
5.28.77513.975
7.Igor Radivilov6.08.8500.114.75014.412
6.08.3750.314.075
8.Oleg Vernyayev6.07.9750.113.87513.062
3.68.7500.112.250

Parallel Bars FinalDENDScore
1. Koji Uematsu 6.7 8.850 15.550
2. Frank Baines 6.6 8.900 15.500
3. Mitja Petkovšek 6.2 9.200 15.400
4. Hamilton Sabot 6.7 8.525 15.225
5. Chris Brooks 6.4 8.575 14.975
6. Vasileios Tsolakidis 6.5 8.475 14.975
7. Cyril Tommasone 6.2 8.550 14.750
8. Oleg Vernyayev 6.6 7.975 14.575

High Bar FinalDENDScore
1. Andreas Bretschneider 6.7 8.475 15.175
2. Pétrix Barbosa 6.4 8.525 14.925
3. Oliver Hegi 6.2 8.650 14.850
4. Chris Brooks 6.6 8.075 14.675
5. Joshua Dixon 6.2 8.250 14.450
6. Dan Keatings 6.2 8.150 14.350
7. Oleg Vernyayev 6.2 7.425 13.625
8. Andreas Toba 6.5 7.025 13.525
International Gymnast magazine's recent coverage of Cottbus competitors includes:
Kim Bui interview (April 2013)
"No Turning Back" - Claudio Capelli profile (June 2011)
Dan Keatings interview and two-page center poster (June 2009)
"Parallel Lives" - Marta Pihan-Kulesza profile (April 2010)
"Fearless Finn" - Tomi Tuuha interview (December 2012)
"Front and Centered" - Oleg Vernyayev interview (January/February 2014)
"Hope for Hong Kong" - Angel Wong profile (January/February 2011)

To subscribe or order back issues, click here.

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