Preview: Russia, Canada, Australia Star in Session 7
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Russia takes the floor along with Commonwealth powers Australia and Canada in the seventh session of men's qualification Monday at the 2011 World Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo.


David Belyavsky (Russia)

Mixed Group 19: Floor Exercise

Mixed Group 19 includes Cyprus and Israel. Alexander Shatilov is a strong all-arounder and should qualify as an individual to the Olympics via the test event, but would much prefer to clinch a second Olympic berth by winning a medal on floor in Tokyo. He will need to nail his routine Monday; world champion Eleftherios Kosmidis still sits in eighth with 15.366.

Mixed Group 1: Pommel Horse

Mixed Group 1 includes Albania, Denmark and Turkey. Denmark's Helge Vammen is the most successful of the group, finishing 19th all-around at the 2009 Europeans. He and Portuguese-Danish teammate Joao Fuglsig will be be attempting two vaults in the hope of making it to the final.

Canada: Still Rings

Canada was 14th at the 2010 Worlds in Rotterdam, where Olympian Nathan Gafuik finished 17th all-around. The Canadians will need a perfect effort to get back into the team final as they did at the 2006 Worlds.

Mixed Group 24: Vault

Mixed Group 24 includes Bangladesh, Namibia and New Zealand. New Zealand's hopes rest on Commonwealth Games competitors Patrick Peng and Misha Koudinov. The Russian-born Koudinov, who trains under Rustam Sharipov at Ohio State University, is now a veteran of four world championships at age 20.

Australia: Parallel Bars

Australia would have loved to compete in Tokyo with three-time Japanese Olympian Naoya Tsukahara, who had the highest score at Australian nationals, but Tsukahara failed to gain citizenship in time. The team will be expecting a big score on pommel horse from Prashanth Sellathurai, who owns three world medals already. The Aussies were 18th in 2010 and will need a big lift to finish in the top 16 in Tokyo.

Russia: High Bar

The once-dominant Russian men have not medaled as a team since 2006, when they beat out Japan for the silver behind China. The fresh new team includes three 19 year olds. Newcomers Emin Garibov, the 2011 Russian Cup champion, and Nikita Ignatyev, 19, will be put to the test. The talented David Belyavsky, 19, will want to improve on his inconsistent performance in Rotterdam, and the steady if not spectacular Sergei Khorokhordin should pace the team. Denis Ablyazin and Anton Golotsutskov will be gunning for spots in the floor and vault finals.

Next Up in Subdivision 8: The qualification competition ends with world and Olympic champion China taking the floor!

Follow IG Publisher Paul Ziert's live commentary from Yoyogi Stadium, broadcast simultaneously on IG's official Facebook Page and Twitter account.

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