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Competition Reports

Written by Amanda Turner    Wednesday, 11 March 2009 19:55    PDF Print
Golenkova, Zozulya Win Ukrainian Cup
(8 votes, average 3.75 out of 5)

Olympians Valentina Golenkova and Roman Zozulya won the Ukrainian Cup, held Wednesday at the Koncha-Zaspa training center.

2008 Olympian Golenkova, who turns 17 in May, won the women's all-around gold. Junior Yevgenia Cherniy and first-year senior Yana Demyanchuk tied for the silver.

Zozulya, a 2000 and 2004 Olympian, defeated Artyom Novoselov and Dmitry Girenko for the title. Zozulya turns 30 in June.

Valentina Golenkova (Ukraine)
Written by Amanda Turner    Tuesday, 10 March 2009 18:18    PDF Print
Mustafina, Ryazanov Win Russian Championships
(11 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Aliya Mustafina and Yuri Ryazanov claimed the all-around golds Tuesday at the Russian Championships in Bryansk.

Aliya Mustafina (Moscow)

Mustafina, 14, defeated world uneven bars champion Ksenia Semyonova to take the national championship. 2008 Junior European champion Tatiana Nabiyeva, 14, won the all-around bronze.

Top qualifier Ksenia Afanasyeva fell to sixth.

"I cannot say these results are unexpected for me," women's head coach Alexander Alexandrov said. "After the Olympic Games both Ksenias suffered injuries and could not train at full capacity, though they trained a lot. Therefore those errors they committed here were predictable. Nothing awful – it is all fixable. Ksushya Semyonova was in the overall lead after three events and erred only on floor exercise, and it was enough to drop her down to second place."

Three of the top four gymnasts were born in 1994, making them ineligible to compete at next month's European Championships in Milan.

"But here for me there is one important problem: We cannot enter the girls born in 1994 at the European Championship," Alexandrov said. "We have only two Olympians - Semyonova and Afanasyeva. [Kristina] Goryunova is slowly gaining momentum, but still not enough. [Yulia] Berger erred today. For this season will have to pick the team from who we have. It is not enough."

2008 Olympian Ryazanov, the top qualifier, easily defeated Vladimir Olennikov and Dmitry Barkalov for his first national title.

"Today it became clear that Yura Ryazanov is already almost ready to score 90 points," men's head coach Yevgeny Nikolko said. "The serious error he committed that prevented it was on his pommel horse dismount. Under the new rules, the skill was not credited, and, consequently, the overall result was below the level he needed. But by and large only Ryazanov is able to show such a high result."

Nikolko said he allowed Sergei Khorokhordin, third in Sunday's qualification, to sit out the competition because he was not feeling well. Two-time Olympian Maxim Devyatovsky, still recovering from the recent death of his mother, finished 25th.

"I am not ready to discuss who will be preparing for the European Championships," Nikolko said. "We will finally address it after the team competition tomorrow. But, as always, in addition to those who now compete on the national team we will train young people who are very well-received — Misha Bodnar, Dmitry Stolyarov, Emin Garibov. They all for one reason or another did not show what they are capable of in Bryansk. But these are the gymnasts we are eyeing for the Olympic Games in London."

Source: Russian Gymnastics Federation

2009 Russian Championships
March 10, Bryansk

Women's All-Around
1. Aliya Mustafina (Moscow) 58.550
2. Ksenia Semenova (Tula) 58.200
3. Tatiana Nabiyeva (Saint Petersburg) 56,900
4. Anna Dementyeva (Samara) 55.550
4. Kristina Goryunova (Novgorod) 55.550
6. Ksenia Afanasyeva (Tula) 55.200

Men's All-Around
1. Yuri Ryazanov (Vladimir) 88.225
2. Vladimir Olennikov (Moscow) 86.775
3. Dmitry Barkalov (Vladimir) 86.325
4. Andrei Likhovitsky (Rostov-on-Don) 85.825
5. Anton Neudakin (Vladimir) 85.000
6. Nikita Ignatyev (Leninsk-Kuznetsky) 84.400

Written by Amanda Turner    Monday, 09 March 2009 17:21    PDF Print
Belarus Best at 8th Stella Zakharova Cup
(8 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Belarus won both team titles and the women's all-around gold at the Stella Zakharova Cup, held Saturday and Sunday in Kiev.

Two-time Ukrainian Olympian Alina Kozich is now representing Uzbekistan.

Junior Galina Ivanets won the women's all-around over Marina Kostyuchenko, the sole female representing Ukraine. Belarusian Alina Sotnikova finished third.

Israeli Olympian Alexander Shatilov won the men's all-around over 2008 Italian Olympic alternate Paolo Ottavi and Belarusian Artyom Bykov.

Kostyuchenko shared the women's event finals with her former Ukrainian teammates Alina Kozich, now representing Uzbekistan, and Valeria Maksyuta, now representing Israel.

The competition, organized by 1980 Olympic gold medalist Stella Zakharova, was held independently of the Ukrainian Gymnastics Federation. Last fall, UGF President Viktor Korzh announced the federation would not sanction the competition. Korzh wrote in a letter to Zakharova that the federation instead prefered to support a competition in May in honor of the late Boris Shakhlin.

After Zakharova took the issue to the media, Korzh released an open letter — signed by Ukrainian gymnasts, judges and coaches — asking Zakharova to stop her "aggressive" campaign against Ukrainian gymnastics.

Despite the ongoing controversy, Zakharova told IG she was very pleased with the competition, which was funded by private sponsors.

"I am very happy with the tournament and I feel that everything went well," she told IG Monday. "The tournament was held at a high level according to visitors and participants. I am very glad we've succeeded in the hard fight against Viktor Korzh, who used his best efforts to try to prevent us from holding the tournament. The most awful part is that he forbade coaches, judges and gymnasts from participating in the Stella Zakharova Cup."

Zakharova said she fears Ukrainians who took part in the tournament may be blacklisted.

"The Ukrainian gymnast Marina Kostyuchenko at her own risk filled out her own application form to participate in the tournament, where she won three medals," Zakharova said. "She personally made it to have an opportunity to practice on a good podium, to test herself against other athletes."

Qualified coaches and gymnasts like Kozich and Maksyuta are leaving because of the crisis in Ukrainian gymnastics, Zakharova said.

"Coaches do not attend courses, athletes stay home because they do not have the possibility to train normally," she said. "What will be even more terrible to consider is that soon in Ukraine there will only be memories of gymnastics, and people can see gymnasts and competitions only on TV. We ask the International Gymnastics Federation to pay attention to this situation, to help Ukrainian gymnasts and coaches. Their situation is a terrible pity to me: They do not live, but merely survive."

External Link: Stella Zakharova Cup

8th Stella Zakharova Cup
March 7-8, 2009, Kiev

Women's Team
1. Belarus 1 105.500
2. Belarus 2 101.800
3. Hungary 98.250

Men's Team
1. Belarus 1 171.950
2. Italy 170.350
3. Hungary 164.000
4. Israel 163.400
5. Ukraine 1 161.400
6. Spain 161.400
7. Ukraine 2 156.200
8. Israel 2 140.950
9. Belarus 2 138.100

Women's All-Around
1. Galina Ivanets BLR 53.550
2. Marina Kostyuchenko UKR 53.100
3. Alina Sotnikova BLR 51.950
4. Anastasia Zaitseva BLR 51.100
5. Laura Gombas HUN 49.600
6. Olga Mokhovtsova BLR 49.200
7. Valeria Maksyuta ISR 48.900
8. Ildiko Farkas HUN 48.650
9. Lilia Khoang BLR 48.650
10. Diana Karimdzhanova UZB 47.800
11. Anastasia Marachkovskaya BLR 47.600
12. Dilnoza Abdusalimova UZB 46.700
13. Ermina Abduvaliyeva UZB 44.850
14. Irina Deniskina UZB 43.550
15. Alina Kozich UZB 41.900 (three events only)
16. Yulia Goreva UZB 41.800
17. Anastasia Kaduk UZB 41.200

Men's All-Around
1. Alexander Shatilov ISR 87.400
2. Paolo Ottavi ITA 85.250
3. Artyom Bykov BLR 85.200
4. Andrea Cingolani ITA 82.750
5. Paolo Principi ITA 82.050
6. Artur Kuzmin BLR 81.750
7. Alexander Demchikhin BLR 81.200
8. Peter Marjan HUN 81.200
9. Zoltan Kallai HUN 80.400
10. Oleg Shakirov UKR 79.850
11. Csaba Nyers HUN 79.800
12. Ignacio Losantos 79.400
13. Maxim Semyankov UKR 79.000
14. Ruben Lopez ESP 78.600
15. Andrei Senichkin UKR 77.300
16. Felix Aranovich ISR 75.850
17. Ilya Zelutin UKR 75.050

Women's Vault
1. Marina Kostyuchenko UKR (5.4/4.6) 14.037
2. Anastasia Zaitseva BLR (5.0/4.6) 13.587
3. Alina Sotnikova BLR (4.6/4.6) 13.462
4. Laura Gombas HUN (4.6/4.6) 13.450
5. Ildiko Farkas HUN (4.6/4.6) 13.450
6. Valeria Maksyuta ISR (5.3/5.4) 13.325
7. Diana Karimdzhanova UZB (4.4/4.6) 13.062
8. Dilnoza Abdusalimova UZB (4.7/4.4) 12.575

Uneven Bars
1. Marina Kostyuchenko UKR (5.8) 13.925
2. Lilia Khoang BLR (4.9) 12.775
3. Valeria Maksyuta ISR (5.5) 12.200
4. Galina Ivanets BLR (5.4) 11.875
5. Ildiko Farkas HUN (4.2) 10.900
6. Diana Karimdzhanova UZB (4.9) 10.600
7. Laura Gombas HUN (5.2) 10.250
8. Dilnoza Abdusalimova (4.0) 9.375

Balance Beam
1. Valeria Maksuta ISR (5.7) 14.150
2. Alina Kozich UZB (5.1) 13.625
3. Galina Ivanets BLR (5.2) 13.300
4. Diana Karimdzhanova UZB (5.2) 12.800
5. Anastasia Zaitseva BLR (4.5) 12.625
6. Laura Gombas HUN (4.6) 11.900
7. Ildiko Farkas HUN (4.3) 11.15

Women's Floor Exercise
1. Alina Kozich UZB (5.2) 13.750
2. Valeria Maksyuta ISR (5.0) 13.350
3. Laura Gombas HUN (5.2) 13.225
4. Alina Sotnikova BLR (5.0) 13.050
5. Anastasia Zaitseva BLR (4.8) 12.850
6. Ermina Abdulayeva UZB (5.0) 12.375
7. Marina Kostyuchenko UKR (4.6) 12.175
8. Ildiko Farkas HUN (4.7) 12.175

Men's Floor Exercise
1. Alexander Shatilov ISR (6.0) 15.000
2. Paolo Principi ITA (5.9) 14.275
3. Peter Marjan HUN (5.4) 14.250
4. Ponomarev UKR (5.4) 14.000
5. Andrea Cingolani ITA (5.8) 13.850
6. Ruben Lopez ESP (5.5) 13.250
7. Csaba Nyers HUN (5.1) 13.075
8. Oleg Shakirov UKR (4.9) 11.175

Pommel Horse
1. Zoltan Kallai HUN (6.0) 14.700
2. Alexander Koltakov UKR (6.5) 14.225
3. Paolo Ottavi ITA (4.9) 13.875
4. Alexander Tsarevich BLR (5.5) 13.550
5. Artyom Bykov BLR (5.3) 13.125

Still Rings
1. Valery Dumanenko UKR (5.9) 14.850
2. Paolo Ottavi ITA (5.8) 14.675
3. Alexander Demchikhin (5.2) 14.275
4. Eduard Golub ISR (6.5) 14.275
5. Pavel Bulavsky BLR (5.3) 14.225
6. Ruban Lopez ESP (5.4) 14.175
7. Maxim Semyankov UKR (4.9) 13.525
8. Ignacio Losantos ESP (6.0) 13.350

Men's Vault
1. Toni Simonen SWE (6.0/6.4) 15.562
2. Andrea Cingolani ITA (6.2/6.2) 15.287
3. Peter Marjan HUN (6.2/5.4) 15.100
4. Arkaitz Garcia ESP (6.6/5.0) 14.825
5. Pavel Bulavsky BLR (6.6/4.6) 14.737
6. Paolo Principi ITA (6.2/6.2) 14.512
7. Csaba Nyers HUN (5.8/4.2) 13.862
8. Nier Katz ISR (4.6) 6.337

Parallel Bars
1. Paolo Ottavi ITA (5.5) 14.250
2. Artyom Bykov BLR (5.3) 14.175
3. Andrei Senichkin UKR (5.1) 13.725
4. Alexander Tsarevich BLR (5.7) 13.500
5. Paolo Principi ITA (4.9) 13.400
6. Oleg Shakirov UKR (4.6) 13.325
7. Peter Marjan HUN (4.4) 13.225
8. Csaba Nyers HUN (4.6) 13.225

High Bar
1. Alexander Tsarevich BLR (6.4) 14.300
2. Ignacio Losantos ESP (5.7) 14.200
3. Paolo Ottavi ITA (5.3) 13.975
4. Csaba Nyers HUN (5.5) 13.875
5. Artyom Bykov BLR (5.0) 13.775
6. Paolo Princhipi ITA (5.3) 13.600
7. Zoltan Kallai HUN (5.4) 13.525
8. Maxim Semyankov UKR (3.9) 11.650

Written by Amanda Turner    Monday, 09 March 2009 14:39    PDF Print
Tula Twosome Lead Russian Championships
(15 votes, average 4.87 out of 5)

Tula training partners Ksenia Afanasyeva and Ksenia Semyonova went 1-2 in the all-around qualifications at the Russian Championships, held Monday in Bryansk.

Ksenia Semyonova (Russia)

Afanasyeva topped her 2008 Olympic teammate by six tenths of a point. Olympic alternate Kristina Goryunova of Novgorod placed third.

Moscow was the top team to qualify to Thursday's team final.

New women's head coach Alexander Alexandrov, who returned to Russia in November after 14 years in the United States, said he was pleased with the results.

"I am happy this afternoon," he said. "Everything I wished to see, I saw. I am thrilled the girls showed high enough consistency — in the top six there were no falls at all. So I will say again, the day was successful. Though, of course, we still have lot of work to do. The main thing we need is to increase the difficulty of the routines."

Alexandrov praised Afanasyeva and Semyonova, both of whom are coached by Marina Nazarova.

"As of today they are the absolute leaders," he said. "Though, of course, their injuries are still affecting them. But I am very happy with their spirit: they do not ache, as it happens with a sick patient, they are very motivated to win."

Alexandrov said he was unsure the other gymnasts from the 2008 Olympic team would be able to recover from their injuries. Two-time Olympian Anna Pavlova suffered a torn ACL in November, while Svetlana Klyukina competed only two events in Bryansk.

"On the other hand, we know all about the young ones — all of them have trained for a long time at Round Lake," Alexandrov said. "And already among the top gymnasts there are girls born in 1994 — Aliya Mustafina and Tanya Nabiyeva. The other question is that this year we cannot enter them into senior international competitions. They do not meet the age requirements. However, before it was impossible for Goryunova and Berger to hit, but they at last have proved themselves. Goryunova it turns out is quite the all-arounder, and Berger is good on two events — vault and floor exercise."

Competition continues Tuesday with the men's all-around final.

Source: Russian Gymnastics Federation

2009 Russian Championships
March 9, Bryansk

Women's Qualification
1. Ksenia Afanasyeva (Tula) 59.600
2. Ksenia Semyonova (Tula) 59.000
3. Kristina Goryunova (Novgorod) 58.350
4. Aliya Mustafina (Moscow) 58.050
5. Tatiana Nabiyeva (Saint Petersburg) 56.650
6. Yulia Berger (Moscow) 55.400

Written by Amanda Turner    Sunday, 08 March 2009 21:09    PDF Print
Larson Takes Two Titles at Gymnix World Cup
(19 votes, average 4.05 out of 5)

First-year senior Mattie Larson (U.S.) won both women's titles Sunday as the Gymnix World Cup concluded in Montreal.

Mattie Larson (U.S.)

The Los Angeles native took gold medals on balance beam and floor exercise at the first World Cup event of the year.

Charlotte Mackie placed third on balance beam and second on floor exercise to claim two more medals for Canada.

"Before I was just trying to get as many big skills in my routine as possible, but now I'm really focusing on doing them well with better technique," said Mackie, who is now training at Surrey Gymnastics with David Kenwright, coach of two-time Olympian Kate Richardson.

Sydney Sawa, a last-minute replacement for the injured Brittany Rogers, won her second bronze medal of the competition with third place on floor exercise.

"It definitely pumps you up a lot, especially on floor," Sawa said of the crowd support at the Claude Robillard Sports Centre. "It gives you energy to hear them cheer after each tumbling line."

Romania's Daniel Popescu won the title on men's vault. Poland's Adam Kierzkowski won parallel bars and Croatia's Marijo Moznik won high bar.

The Japanese men, who had led four of the six events during Friday's qualification round, picked up three silver medals Sunday.

2008 Olympian Nathan Gafuik, second on floor exercise Saturday, won his second medal of the meet by placing third on vault.

“I wasn’t expecting to be in the running for a medal on vault at this stage of the season,” Gafuik said. “I had some troubles in the qualifying round but I went for the landing a little harder in the final."

2009 Gymnix World Cup
March 8, Montreal

Balance Beam
1. Mattie Larson USA 14.650
2. Marine Petit FRA 14.150
3. Charlotte Mackie CAN 14.050
4. Marie-Carmen Rivera PUR 12.450
5. Sydney Sawa CAN 11.750

Women's Floor Exercise
1. Mattie Larson USA 14.950
2. Charlotte Mackie CAN 14.500
3. Sydney Sawa CAN 14.300
4. Marine Petit FRA 14.100

Men's Vault
1. Daniel Popescu ROM 15.900
2. Koji Yamamuro JPN 15.700
3. Nathan Gafuik CAN 15.687
4. Marius Berbecar ROM 15.525
5. Samir Ait Said FRA 15.412
6. Alen Dimic SLO 14.925
7. Marek Lyszczarz POL 14.887
8. Rok Klavora SLO 14.587

Parallel Bars
1. Adam Kierzkowski POL 15.225
2. Kenya Kobayashi JPN 15.200
3. Yosuke Hoshi JPN 15.100
4. Tim McNeill USA 14.950
5. Marius Berbecar ROM 14.825
6. Cyril Tommasone FRA 14.275
7. Robert Stanescu ROM 14.000
8. Hamilton Sabot FRA 13.550

High Bar
1. Marijo Moznik CRO 15.475
2. Yosuke Hoshi JPN 15.400
3. Hamilton Sabot FRA 15.225
4. Danell Leyva USA 15.150
5. Ryosuke Baba JPN 14.550
6. Jackson Payne CAN 14.275
7. Roman Kulesza POL 12.850


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