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Russian Men Defend European Team Title
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)



Russia defeated Great Britain to defend its senior team title on Saturday as the 2016 Men's European Championships continued in Bern, Switzerland. Pictured: Russians Nikolai Kuksenkov, David Belyavsky, Nikita Nagornyy, Denis Ablyazin and Nikita Ignatyev

Russia defeated Great Britain to defend its senior team title on Saturday as the 2016 Men's European Championships continued in Bern, Switzerland.

Russia delivered an impressive performance, correcting mistakes from qualification to score 271.378 to Great Britain's 268.427. Switzerland won the bronze with 263.278.

The Russians came out fighting and put up the top scores on four of the events — floor exercise, pommel horse, vault and parallel bars, and the second-best totals on still rings and high bar. Nikita Nagornyy and David Belyavsky were the team MVPs with five events each. Nagornyy, who has brought tremendous athleticism and enthusiasm to the Russian men's squad, knocked out a 15.500 on floor exercise, 15.250 on rings, 15.300 on vault and 15.466 on parallel bars. On pommel horse, he rebounded from his fall in qualification to hit cleanly for 14.600, keeping Russia's momentum going after their stellar start on floor exercise.

Belyavsky did everything but rings, and contributed clutch routines on pommel horse (15.433) and high bar (15.933). Like Nagornyy, he also corrected his fall from qualification on vault, this time standing up his Tsukahara double pike for 15.233. Teammate Denis Ablyazin hit three routines, capped off with the high score of the night on vault, 15.666. Russia led Great Britain by more than 3 points going into the final rotation on high bar, which is Russia's weakest event. Nikita Ignatyev (14.333), Nikolai Kuksenkov (14.200) and Belyavsky (14.733) all delivered to tie up the title for the delighted Russian squad.

Great Britain sorely felt the absence of Max Whitlock, who was forced to withdraw from the competition after falling ill with a virus. The British nevertheless made a push for the title and turned in huge scores from Louis Smith on pommel horse (15.966) and Courtney Tulloch on still rings (15.766), and as a team outscored the field on rings and high bar. Nile Wilson competed all events, topped by a 15.966 (7.0D) on parallel bars. Just like in qualification, the British hit every routine, and were thrilled with their performance, even if they were not able to overcome Russia to recapture their title from 2012.

"It's incredible and means a lot to me personally to have won the silver medal with these guys," Smith said. "For us to have completed 18 clean routines in qualifying and the final shows we are on track. This is very much a build-up event to Rio and we all still have more to give, which is a huge positive."

Host Switzerland won the bronze, its first senior European team medal. The team brought its best performance on parallel bars, where the team was less than .2 behind Russia. The team finished five points back from Great Britain but nearly six points ahead of Ukraine (257.696), which was unable to put up a strong third routine on each event. Oleg Vernyayev once again competed six events and earned the highest score of the day, 16.100, with his routine on parallel bars.

2010 champion Germany, sixth in qualification, pulled ahead of France to place fifth. Italy, seventh, and Spain, eighth, rounded out the teams.

Competition concludes Sunday in Bern with the senior and junior apparatus finals. The women's European championships begin June 1.

External Link: Official Website

2016 Men's European Championships
May 28, Bern, Switzerland

Senior Team FinalFXPHSRVTPBHBTotal
1.  Russia45.866(1)45.099(1)45.283(2)46.199(1)45.665(1)43.266(2)271.378
Denis Ablyazin7.015.2006.815.2006.415.666
David Belyavsky6.515.1666.615.4336.015.2336.915.9336.314.733
Nikita Ignatyev6.414.8336.814.333
Nikolai Kuksenkov6.115.0666.214.2666.514.200
Nikita Nagornyy6.815.5006.014.6006.515.2506.015.3006.815.466
2.  Great Britain 45.132(2)44.566(2)45.499(1)44.899(2)44.966(3)43.365(1)268.427
Dan Purvis6.415.0666.114.5006.114.6335.614.8666.314.7005.914.166
Louis Smith6.915.966
Kristian Thomas6.215.1666.015.4006.514.233
Courtney Tulloch6.915.7666.414.300
Nile Wilson6.314.9005.514.1006.415.1005.614.6337.015.9666.914.966
3.  Switzerland 44.832(3)43.566(4)43.566(6)43.316(6)45.532(2)42.466(3)263.278
Christian Baumann6.214.1005.514.4336.415.3006.114.333
Pablo Brägger6.515.1335.613.3006.515.2667.014.633
Benjamin Gischard6.415.0665.814.2006.114.5006.015.200
Oliver Hegi6.515.2666.613.500
Eddy Yusof6.314.6336.114.6336.014.8166.414.966
4.  Ukraine 42.298(4)43.233(5)44.333(3)44.466(3)43.300(6)40.066(5)257.696
Vladyslav Hryko6.214.1005.913.933
Igor Radivilov6.915.2006.015.1004.811.800
Maksym Semiankiv5.914.2665.814.6006.313.500
Oleg Vernyayev6.814.0666.715.0006.615.2006.015.4007.116.1006.514.766
Ilya Yehorov6.213.9666.214.1335.213.9665.612.600
5.  Germany 41.599(7)44.165(3)43.966(5)42.800(8)44.749(4)39.132(7)256.411
Waldemar Eichorn5.714.0336.615.066
Philipp Herder6.014.4006.014.4005.214.1006.414.866
Sebastian Krimmer5.413.1666.414.8665.214.1006.114.7835.612.166
Marcel Nguyen6.414.9337.015.1006.712.933
Andreas Toba5.714.2336.414.6335.614.6006.814.033
6.  France 40.799(8)42.299(6)44.166(4)44.233(4)43.332(5)39.216(6)254.045
Samir Aït Saïd5.714.2006.715.5005.614.600
Julien Gobaux6.212.9665.213.1006.014.2335.614.2336.213.9665.713.700
Zachari Hrimèche6.313.6336.015.4005.112.433
Danny Pinheiro-Rodrigues5.013.6666.814.4335.414.2664.713.083
Cyril Tommasone6.915.5336.215.100
7.  Italy 41.766(6)41.082(7)43.399(7)43.798(5)41.700(7)41.632(4)253.377
Andrea Cingolani6.214.0666.614.6005.614.9665.413.900
Ludovico Edalli5.013.3335.914.2006.313.500
Enrico Pozzo5.513.4005.213.5665.513.6006.214.166
Paolo Principi6.014.3005.714.1835.513.8665.214.1666.313.966
Marco Lodadio6.614.9335.614.666
8.  Spain 42.066(5)40.199(8)42.700(8)43.198(7)38.199(8)38.333(8)244.695
Nestor Abad5.212.6006.014.5005.614.8665.712.8336.012.800
Joel Plata6.013.0005.413.7665.712.1335.711.800
Alberto Tallón5.813.8336.014.4005.613.2665.613.233
Adrià Vera6.314.4335.513.8005.615.0665.813.733
Rayderley Zapata7.014.633
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