Ukraine Wins Swiss Cup Title

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The Ukrainian team of Angelina Kysla and Oleg Vernaiev won this year’s mixed pairs title at the annual Swiss Cup event, a thrilling victory after the two placed second by only three tenths one year ago.

Kysla and Verniaiev qualified second going into the final, with Verniaiev leading the way thanks to scores of 15.5 on pommel horse in round one, 15.65 on parallel bars in round two, and 15.1 on rings in the semifinal. Kysla also had some strong work, earning a 13.35 on floor and a 13.75 on vault in the preliminary rounds, but posting just a 12.3 on bars in semifinals.

But the two brought it in the final round, with Verniaiev earning a huge 16.05 for his flawless p-bars routine, while Kysla stuck with her trusty FTY to earn a 13.875, helping them to a 29.925 finals score, edging out the Romanians by less than a tenth.

Larisa Iordache worked with teammate Marius Berbecar, looking fantastic in the preliminary and semifinal rounds with scores of 15.05 on beam, 14.7 on floor, and 14.5 on bars. Berbecar, meanwhile, seemed to struggle on vault and high bar for scores of 13.025 and 13.05, respectively, though he did manage a 14.9 on p-bars to help them qualify third into the final. In the final round, the two were on the same level, with Iordache posting a 14.9 on beam and Berbecar posting a 14.95 on p-bars, totaling a 29.85 for silver.

The German team of Pauline Schäfer and Andreas Bretschneider placed third. While the two led the way by nearly two points going into the final, both lost steam when it counted, finishing with a total of 28.25. Schäfer notched a 14.2 on beam and a 14.25 on floor in prelims before hitting vault for a 14.125 in the semifinal round, while Bretschneider earned a steady 14.95 across the board on rings, high bar, and p-bars in the early rounds. Schäfer didn’t do her best work on beam in the final, earning a 14.25, while Bretschneider also bumped down his score quite a bit, posting a 14.0 on his strongest event, high bar.

Finishing in fourth among the finalists were Ilaria Käslin and Pablo Brägger of Switzerland. The pair was last going into the final after Käslin had some uncharacteristic struggles, which she continued into the final round, earning just a 12.8 for her normally beautiful beam routine. Brägger also lost his way in the final, posting a 14.2 on high bar, a huge blow after the 15.65 he earned on the same event in the second round of competition. The Swiss gymnasts’ combined total was a 27.0, leaving them off the podium by over a point.

The semifinalists included Yuki Uchiyama and Kazuma Kaya of Japan, Laura Schulte and Claudio Capelli of Switzerland, the joint venture of Canada’s Victoria-Kayen Woo and Great Britain’s Courtney Tulloch, and then Alexa Moreno and Daniel Corral of Mexico. All performed well for the most part, though were unable to match those who ended up in the final round. Notable routines here include Kaya’s pommels routine, Capelli on floor, Woo’s consistent sets on bars and beam, and Moreno’s excellent vault.

Those unable to make it past prelims were Elisabeth Seitz and Sebastian Krimmer of Germany and Camille Bahl and Julien Gobaux of France. Seitz started out well in round one with a 14.55 on bars, but had multiple issues on floor, earning just an 11.4 there, while Krimmer posted scores of 14.5 on both high bar and p-bars. The French, meanwhile, just didn’t have the difficulty or consistency to keep up with the other teams on hand.

Full results for the annual Swiss Cup competition are available here.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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