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Hatakeda, Vernyayev Win Gander Memorial
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Japan's Hitomi Hatakeda and Ukraine's Oleg Vernyayev captured the 34th Arthur Gander Memorial, held Wednesday in Morges, Switzerland.

Japan's Hitomi Hatakeda and Ukraine's Oleg Vernyayev captured the 34th Arthur Gander Memorial, held Wednesday in Morges, Switzerland.

The Arthur Gander Memorial, which alternates each year between the cities of Morges and Chiasso, attracted a strong field a few weeks after the world championships. The competition format allowed gymnasts to compete an abbreviated all-around, with the women doing any three events and the men any four.

First held in 1984, the annual competition honors the legendary Arthur Gander, the former president of the International Gymnastics Federation. Gander, a native of Bern, was a considerable influence on the development of gymnastics. He organized the first international judging course and created the first official Code of Points.

Vernyayev captured his fourth consecutive title at the competition, while Hatakeda became the first Japanese female to win the event.

2014 Youth Olympic champion Giarnni Regini-Moran (Great Britain) was forced to withdraw after injuring his ankle in training. Regini-Moran had been slated to return to international competition after suffering a major knee injury last summer. He shared a photo of himself on crutches and a boot on Instagram, commenting, "Nothing will stop me, NOTHING..."

Vernyayev, who opted to skip floor exercise and high bar, totaled 58.050 to win by more than a point. The Olympic champion earned the high score of the day, 15.400 on parallel bars (6.7D). German veteran Marcel Nguyen (56.750) was the only other gymnast to score 15, earning 15.150 on parallel bars.

Dutch gymnast Bart Deurloo won the bronze (56.300) over two-time Olympian Nikolai Kuksenkov of Russia (56.050). Pablo Brägger, who won the 2013 competition, placed fifth (55.700) for Switzerland.

Japan's Wataru Tanigawa (55.100), Ukraine's Igor Radivilov (54.600), Switzerland's Eddy Yusof (54.300), Romania's Marian Drăgulescu (54.050), France's Zachari Hrimèche (52.200), and Canada's Zachary Clay (47.650) rounded out the men's field.

Hitomi Hatakeda, who turned 16 on September 1, skipped beam en route to 40.100 for first place in the women's competition. French Olympian Marine Boyer equalled her 40.100 but was bumped to second via tie-break based on higher Execution scores.

Hatakeda is the daughter of 1992 Olympian Yoshiaki Hatakeda, who was a member of Japan's bronze medal-winning team in Barcelona and won three silver medals at the 1995 Worlds in Sabae (team, pommel horse, parallel bars). Her younger sister, Chiaki Hatakeda (born 2004), is one of Japan's top junior hopes for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Hitomi Hatakeda, along with new world floor exercise champion Mai Murakami, has been picked to compete at the upcoming Toyota International.

Boyer impressed on beam where she took the highest score (13.700/6.1). Ukraine's Diana Varinska (39.950) finished a close third. Varinska, a finalist on uneven bars at the recent world championships, had the top mark on that event (13.500).

Three-time Romanian Olympian Cătălina Ponor finished fourth (39.200). After a disappointing finish at the world championships in Montreal, the 30-year-old Ponor announced her plans to retire this year. She has withdrawn from the Mexican Open later this month.

German duo Amélie Föllinger (38.550) and Michelle Timm (37.500) finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Switzerland's Ilaria Käslin (36.350), Great Britain's Charlie Fellows (35.050), and Switzerland's Thea Brogli (34.500) followed in the rankings.

Russian Olympian Daria Spiridonova, the 2014 women's champion, finished 10th (22.850) after competing only two events.

Hatakeda and Vernyayev also won the special trophies as the top scorers on women's floor exercise and men's parallel bars, respectively. The two events are singled out each year.

Most of the field heads to Zurich for the mixed-pairs Swiss Cup. Swiss star Giulia Steingruber, who decided to withdraw from the Gander Memorial because of nagging injury, is still slated to compete in Zurich.

External Link: Official Website

34th Arthur Gander Memorial
November 1, 2017, Morges, Switzerland

Women's All-Around (3)VTUBBBFXTotal
1. Hitomi Hatakeda 4.8 13.600 5.4 13.450 5.2 13.050 40.100
2. Marine Boyer 4.6 13.500 6.1 13.700 4.8 12.900 40.100
3. Diana Varinska 4.6 13.500 5.8 13.500 5.1 12.950 39.950
4. Cătălina Ponor 4.0 13.100 5.6 13.350 5.0 12.750 39.200
5. Amélie Föllinger 4.6 13.600 5.3 12.300 5.0 12.650 38.550
6. Michelle Timm 4.6 13.700 4.8 12.950 5.1 10.850 37.500
7. Ilaria Käslin 4.6 13.000 5.2 12.450 4.4 10.900 36.350
8. Charlie Fellows 4.6 13.150 5.0 11.450 4.8 10.450 35.050
9. Thea Brogli 4.6 13.050 4.7 9.850 4.5 11.600 34.500
10. Daria Spiridonova 5.1 12.400 4.4 10.450 22.850

Men's All-Around (4)FXPHSRVTPBHBTotal
1. Oleg Vernyayev 6.6 13.850 6.1 13.950 5.6 14.850 6.7 15.400 58.050
2. Marcel Nguyen 5.9 13.750 4.8 14.250 6.5 15.150 5.6 13.600 56.750
3. Bart Deurloo 5.5 13.700 5.6 13.700 5.2 14.400 6.1 14.500 56.300
4. Nikolai Kuksenkov 5.7 13.900 5.2 14.400 5.7 14.050 5.8 13.700 56.050
5. Pablo Brägger 5.5 13.900 4.8 14.200 6.1 13.200 6.2 14.400 55.700
6. Wataru Tanigawa 6.0 13.550 5.8 13.350 5.6 13.600 6.0 14.600 55.100
7. Igor Radivilov 4.9 12.600 6.0 14.500 5.6 14.950 5.1 12.550 54.600
8. Eddy Yusof 5.0 13.150 4.9 13.450 5.1 13.500 5.5 14.200 54.300
9. Marian Drăgulescu 5.1 13.550 4.7 12.700 5.4 14.600 5.1 13.200 54.050
10. Zachari Hrimèche 5.8 13.550 5.1 12.800 5.6 13.550 5.1 12.300 52.200
11. Zachary Clay 5.0 11.500 5.5 12.350 5.4 12.650 5.2 11.150 47.650

Prix Spécial Arthur Gander

Women: Floor Exercise
1. Hitomi Hatakeda 5.2 13.050
Men: Parallel Bars
1. Oleg Vernyayev 6.7 15.400
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