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Written by dwight normile    Saturday, 22 April 2017 20:04    PDF Print
Oklahoma Claims Third Straight Men's NCAA Title; Modi Wins All-Around
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

When Sooner senior Allan Bower opened the meet on floor exercise, he stuck just about every landing. It was a trend that carried over for the rest of the evening at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. Oklahoma easily had more dismount sticks than any other team, and each perfect landing was rewarded with up to 0.20 bonus.

Allan Bower (Oklahoma)

To be fair, OU did not have a perfect meet. Defending all-around champion Yul Moldauer spun off the pommel horse while attempting a flared spindle, freshman Matt Wenske put a hand down on his Lopez vault (Kasamatsu-double twist) and Bower broke on high bar. The errors from Moldauer and Bower cost them a shot at the all-around title, which went to Stanford senior Akash Modi, who tallied 87.90. Moldauer placed second with 87.60 and Bower was third with 87.30.

Moldauer did win event titles on floor and rings, but that was never the goal. Oklahoma was on a mission to win its third consecutive NCAA team title. Illinois held the lead after two events, with the Sooners in second. Then Oklahoma started hitting routines on rings and sticking dismounts. Senior Thao Hoang stuck a full-twisting double layout, and both Moldauer and Bower stuck tucked double-doubles.

Oklahoma expanded its lead in the second half of the meet and won its 11th NCAA title, scoring 431.950. Ohio State grabbed second with 423.700, and Illinois finished third with 422.100. Stanford, runner-up to OU last year, dropped to fourth with 421.500.

These scores indicate that Oklahoma, which hasn't lost a meet since the 2014 NCAAs, is clearly in a class of its own. This victory pushed OU past Illinois, which has 10 titles, and next year the Sooners can catch Penn State, which leads all schools with 12 NCAA victories.

Minnesota, which was in sixth place for much of the night, probably hoped for better than fifth (414.200). But the Golden Gophers started slow on high bar but finished well on parallel bars.

Nebraska, which posted the highest floor total of all six teams (71.500), was holding onto fifth place until its last event, pommel horse. That's where the Cornhuskers struggled and posted their lowest event total of the night (66.55). Still, it was the first time Nebraska had qualified to the team finals in quite a while.

Other event champions: Stephen Nedoroscik (Penn State) won pommel horse; Anthony McCallum (Michigan) successfully defended his 2016 vault with a high Tsukahara-double pike; Modi defended his title on parallel bars, sticking his full-out dismount; and Robert Neff (Stanford) won high bar.

Read complete coverage of the men's NCAA Championships in the May issue of International Gymnast magazine.

Written by John Crumlish    Saturday, 22 April 2017 13:40    PDF Print
Five Countries Divide Titles On First Day of European Finals
(4 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

In spite of his collection of previously earned Olympic, world and European championships medals, Marian Drăgulescu said the gold he won on floor exercise in Saturday's apparatus finals at the European Championships in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, shines the brightest. Pictured: Uneven bars champion Nina Derwael (Belgium) with silver medalist Yelena Yeryomina (Russia) and bronze medalists Ellie Downie (Great Britain) and Elisabeth Seitz (Germany)

In spite of his collection of previously earned Olympic, world and European championships medals, Marian Drăgulescu said the gold he won on floor exercise in Saturday's apparatus finals at the European Championships in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, shines the brightest.

"It feels good to compete in my home country, with so many Romanian people who came here to cheer for me and for us," said the 36-year-old Drăgulescu, who won his first European title 17 years ago. "I think it's the most important medal in my life."

In the other men's finals on Saturday, Russia's David Belyavsky won pommel horse and Greece's Eleftherios Petrounias earned his third consecutive European rings title. 2012 Olympic champion Krisztián Berki lost the pommel horse title after he was hit with a .3 deduction for exceeding the 30-second limit before he started his routine. The Hungarian Gymnastics Federation appealed the deduction unsuccessfully.

Coline Devillard of France placed first on women's vault, a result that caught her off-guard.

"I was just satisfied with my two vaults because I had to stick them to be satisfied with myself," she said. "When I saw I was the winner, it was very, very fast, so I didn't even know what to think."

Nina Derwael of Belgium made history for her country as its first European gymnastics champion, and the second medalist ever after compatriot Aagje Vanwalleghem's bronze on vault in 2005. She credited her gold medal-winning performance on uneven bars to blocking out the performances of her seven rivals.

"I think I just focused on myself," she said. "I didn't watch any other routines or scores of those who went before me, so it was just my routine and I. That really helped me."

Derwael said she is still processing the significance of her newly acquired title.

"I'm not quite sure yet because it needs to sink in," she told IG. "But I think that once I realize I'm the European champion on bars, it will be amazing."

Competition concludes Sunday with the remaining apparatus finals: balance beam and floor exercise for the women, and vault, parallel bars and high bar for the men.

International Gymnast magazine is on hand in Cluj-Napoca, so check back for daily updates on IG Online. Read full coverage in the May 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine; and exclusive behind-the-scenes profiles on various 2017 Europeans competitors in upcoming issues. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions, click here.

External Link: Official Website

2017 European Gymnastics Championships
April 22, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Women's Vault FinalDENDScoreAverage
1.Coline Devillard5.88.83314.63314.467
2.Ellie Downie5.49.00014.40014.350
3.Boglárka Dévai5.49.00014.40014.317
4.Maria Paseka5.28.83314.03314.283
5.Tisha Volleman5.49.00014.40014.250
6.Zsófia Kovács5.49.16614.56614.200
7.Teja Belak5.48.90014.30014.183
8.Angelina Melnikova5.49.00014.40014.000

Uneven Bars FinalDENDScore
1.Nina Derwael6.18.53314.633
2.Yelena Yeryomina6.08.30014.300
3.Ellie Downie5.98.23314.133
3.Elisabeth Seitz5.98.23314.133
5.Kim Bui6.07.90013.900
6.Zsófia Kovács5.87.30013.100
7.Becky Downie5.58.0000.513.000
8.Mélanie De Jesus Dos Santos4.96.80011.700

Men's Floor Exercise FinalDENDScore
1.Marian Drăgulescu6.28.30014.500
2.Dmitry Lankin6.48.06614.466
3.Alexander Shatilov6.08.40014.400
4.Artem Dolgopyat6.38.1330.114.333
5.Dominick Cunningham6.08.30014.300
6.Rayderley Zapata6.38.00014.300
7.Oleg Vernyayev5.78.33314.033
8.Pavel Bulavsky6.17.66613.766

Pommel Horse FinalDENDScore
1.David Belyavsky6.28.90015.100
2.Krisztián Berki6.29.0000.314.900
3.Harutyun Merdinyan6.18.73314.833
4.Robert Seligman5.98.86614.766
5.Oliver Hegi6.08.70014.700
6.Sašo Bertoncelj5.48.03313.433
7.Oleg Vernyayev5.97.30013.200
8.Ferhat Arıcan5.97.06612.966

Still Rings FinalDENDScore
1.Eleftherios Petrounias6.39.13315.433
2.Courtney Tulloch6.48.66615.066
3.Igor Radivilov6.38.73315.033
4.Vahagn Davtyan6.18.75814.858
5.İbrahim Çolak6.28.63314.833
6.Konstantinos Konstantinidis6.08.66614.666
7.Artur Tovmasyan6.28.46614.666
8.Dmitry Lankin5.98.56614.466
Written by dwight normile    Friday, 21 April 2017 21:22    PDF Print
Oklahoma, Illinois, Minnesota Complete the Field for Men's NCAA Championships
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

Top-ranked Oklahoma, which hasn't lost a meet since the 2014 NCAA Championships, posted the highest qualifying score (430.600) in the second of two sessions at West Point, N.Y., Friday evening. Starting on floor exercise, the Sooners exceeded 70 points on every event, topping out at 73.60 on vault. They also posted the highest totals on every event from both sessions combined.

Yul Moldauer (Oklahoma)

Defending all-around champion Yul Moldauer (pictured) and Colin Van Wicklen, both from OU, competed on four events, the most among their teammates.

Illinois placed second in the evening session with 421.300, struggling a bit on high bar but scoring 70.90 on floor, 71.90 on rings and 71.10 on vault.

Minnesota grabbed the final berth to tomorrow night's finals with a score of 420.100. Like the Illini, the Golden Gophers covered a low high bar total (66.20) with at least 70 points on the other five events, their best effort coming on vault (72.75).

Iowa placed a distant fourth (412.500), Navy was fifth (400.650) and California placed sixth (400.250).

Tomorrow's finals begin at 6:00 p.m. EST, and will crown team, all-around and event champions.

Written by John Crumlish    Friday, 21 April 2017 15:01    PDF Print
Downie Overtakes Kovács For European All-Around Gold
(9 votes, average 4.44 out of 5)

Great Britain's Ellie Downie said focus and determination guided her to gold in the women's all-around final at the European Championships in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, on Friday evening. Pictured: Downie with runner-up Zsófia Kovács (Hungary) and bronze medalist Mélanie De Jesus Dos Santos (France)

Great Britain's Ellie Downie said focus and determination guided her to gold in the women's all-around final at the European Championships in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, on Friday evening.

"Normally I like to know what's going on, but today I felt the pressure quite a bit," said Downie, the 2015 Europeans all-around bronze medalist and top finisher in Thursday's qualifications. "Obviously (having) qualified in first was hard. I knew I had to keep my head down and keep focused, and not worry what other people were doing."

Ellie Downie (Great Britain), 2017 European all-around champion

Second to Hungary's Zsófia Kovács after three rotations, Downie pulled ahead on floor exercise in the last rotation to finish first with 55.765 points. Downie earned a higher total in qualifications, but fought to save a double turn on balance beam and landed short on her second tumbling pass on floor exercise in the final.

Downie is the first British gymnast, male or female, to win the all-around at a senior European Championships. Her all-around bronze medal in 2015 was the first European all-around medal for a British female.

Kovács, who scored 55.432 points for silver, earned the Hungarian women's second Europeans all-around medal following Henrietta Onodi's bronze at the 1990 Europeans in Athens.

Kovács said she was proud of her silver.

"I'm very content," she said. "Second place is a very good result for me and my country."

Kovács said she is confident of more success on Saturday during the event finals.

"I think I will do better in the apparatus finals because I get a chance to rest," Kovács said.

France's Mélanie De Jesus Dos Santos took the bronze medal with 55.065 points, the first European all-around medal for France since Marine Debauve won in 2005. Fourth after three events, De Jesus Dos Santos pulled up into the medals with a clean double-twisting Yurchenko on vault.

2016 European junior all-around champion Yelena Yeryomina of Russia placed fourth (54.266) after falling on her beam mount and going out of bounds on floor exercise. Kim Bui of Germany was fifth with 53.499 points, and Martina Maggio of Italy was sixth with 53.199 points.

Germany's Tabea Alt, third in qualification, was forced to scratch the competition because of illness, and was replaced by teammate Pauline Schäfer, who finished 20th.

The competition continues Saturday afternoon with the first day of apparatus finals, featuring women's vault and uneven bars, and men's floor exercise, pommel horse and rings.

International Gymnast magazine is on hand in Cluj-Napoca, so check back for daily updates on IG Online. Read full coverage in the May 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine; and exclusive behind-the-scenes profiles on various 2017 Europeans competitors in upcoming issues. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions, click here.

Women's All-AroundVTUBBBFXTotal
1.Ellie Downie5.414.5665.914.3005.313.0665.513.83355.765
2.Zsófia Kovács5.414.6006.014.3335.113.4664.913.03355.432
3.Mélanie De Jesus Dos Santos5.414.3665.814.1005.813.8334.912.76655.065
4.Yelena Yeryomina5.413.9666.014.3005.712.7005.213.30054.266
5.Kim Bui4.613.5336.014.0334.912.5335.213.40053.499
6.Martina Maggio5.414.1005.213.2665.112.9004.712.93353.199
7.Nina Derwael4.613.5335.913.6005.112.7334.712.96652.832
8.Filipa Martins4.613.4665.513.2005.413.1664.913.00052.832
9.Natalia Kapitonova4.613.6006.114.1005.311.9005.113.16652.766
10.Alice Kinsella4.613.4665.112.4005.413.4335.012.80052.099
11.Tisha Volleman5.414.2334.512.7334.212.0665.112.96651.998
12.Eythora Thorsdottir5.414.1005.412.3665.511.9665.413.53351.965
13.Ana Pérez4.613.6005.813.7004.911.5335.012.50051.333
14.Ilaria Käslin4.613.2665.011.9005.413.0334.913.06651.265
15.Lynn Genhart4.613.2005.112.5665.212.8334.812.66651.265
16.Marine Boyer4.613.7664.711.4335.913.1335.112.90051.232
17.Barbora Mokošová4.613.6334.712.7004.712.2664.412.46651.065
18.Ioana Crişan4.613.3664.913.0005.411.5664.913.10051.032
19.Cintia Rodríguez4.012.8004.812.7004.712.7004.612.80051.000
20.Pauline Schäfer5.013.7334.711.5665.413.7665.011.93350.998
21.Giada Grisetti5.413.9335.513.5335.311.7004.911.53350.699
22.Vendula Měrková3.712.3004.612.3335.112.9004.512.63350.166
23.Olivia Cîmpian5.414.2664.810.5415.212.3665.112.93350.106
24.Boglárka Dévai5.414.2334.812.0664.011.1335.111.76649.198
Written by dwight normile    Friday, 21 April 2017 14:45    PDF Print
Stanford, Ohio State, Nebraska Advance to Men's NCAA Championships
(4 votes, average 3.50 out of 5)

As expected, No. 2-ranked Stanford easily won the first of two NCAA Championship qualifiers at West Point, N.Y. The Cardinal were not flawless in the all-scores-count format, which features five gymnasts per event. But they still posted a 420.450. Led by 2017 Nissen-Emery Award recipient Akash Modi, Stanford exceeded 70 points on every event but high bar (69.20). Top-ranked all-arounder Modi had a few mistakes but still tallied the leading score (85.950). On parallel bars his legs hit the bars on a Tippelt-type skill and he went the wrong way on a Takemoto on high bar.

Akash Modi (Oklahoma)

Mourning the loss of former Buckeye gymnast Larry Mayer, who passed away on April 17, Ohio State placed second with 414.650. There is room for improvement. The Buckeyes amassed their lowest total in the first rotation on floor (67.75) and gave away at least three points on pommel horse in the second rotation. Ohio State topped 70 only on vault (70.75). Look for the 2017 Big Ten champions to improve tomorrow night.

Nebraska earned the third and final spot in Saturday's finals with a 413.050. The Cornhuskers are the only team to win five consecutive team titles (1979-83) and have been trending upward in recent years. In 2015 they placed fifth in their qualifying session and fourth last year. Nebraska had an excellent fourth rotation on floor, where its 71.15 led the six-team field. It followed that event with a third-best 69.10 on pommels. As a team, Nebraska placed second on vault with 71.10.

Penn State placed fourth with 410.500, scoring only 65.70 on high bar. Michigan, which won back-to-back championships in 2013-14, placed fifth with 406.950. The Wolverines are definitely in a rebuilding phase with plenty of freshman and sophomores. The team did win vault, however, helped my Anthony McCallum's piked double Tsukahara (14.90).

Air Force placed sixth with 403.800. The Falcons fell behind early on high bar, where it posted the lowest score of the field (65.40). Vault (70.55) and parallel bars (69.70) were the team's best results.

The team, all-around and event champions will be crowned during Saturday's team finals. Bonus points are also available for stuck dismounts on every event but pommel horse. A 'C' dismount can earn 0.10, and a 'D' or above can add 0.20. Any stuck vault earns 0.10 regardless of its value.

The second qualifier, featuring No. 1 Oklahoma, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, California and Navy, starts at 7:00 p.m. EST.


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