Five Nations Split Senior Apparatus Titles at Euros

Robert Tvorogal

The competition concluded at the men’s European Championships today with apparatus finals for both the seniors and the juniors, and it was another history-making day, with five countries splitting the six titles in the senior meet.

The floor gold went to Artem Dolgopyat of Israel, who was excellent from start to finish, landing a couple of his passes just a little short, but his full-in double front half-out was excellent, as was his front double full, and he had a strong arabian double front half-out with a small balance check to finish for a 15.0 to easily secure his win.

Aurel Benovic of Croatia really wowed me with his routine, where he had a great piked double front half-out, front double full to double front, front 2½, and gorgeous stuck triple full, earning a well-deserved 14.6 for silver, while Yahor Sharamkou of Belarus won the bronze with a 14.533, nearly sticking his opening triple back, but stepping forward out-of-bounds on his front double full to double front, costing him a tenth.

We also saw fantastic work from Ahmet Önder of Turkey, who had clean execution throughout, but was just a little too low in terms of his difficulty to factor into the medals, and he wound up fourth with a 14.066, followed by Vladyslav Hryko of Ukraine in fifth with a 13.966, Krisztofer Meszarof of Hungary in sixth with a 13.966, Alexander Benda of Austria in seventh with a 13.166, and Petro Pakhniuk of Ukraine in eighth with an 11.933 after he landed his front full to front 2½ a bit low and then sat his 2½ to front double full.

The Albanian Matvei Petrov got a narrow win in a super tight pommels final, taking the gold with a 14.566 to come out just a hair ahead of Filip Ude of Croatia, who won the silver with a 14.533, while Ferhat Arican of Turkey was just a tenth behind him to get the bronze with a 14.433.

I actually think Ude had the stronger routine. He had a big, aggressive, clean swing throughout, just getting a little rushed near the dismount, but overall he was excellent, and got an 8.933 E score. Petrov was a bit messier and muscled near the end, but in the end, having the highest difficulty score in the pack saved him, and even when Ude submitted an inquiry to get his own difficulty score bumped up, it wasn’t quite enough to come out on top.

As a whole, this was one of the better pommels finals, and the next four guys outside of the top three all finished within three tenths of the podium, which was incredible. Robert Seligman of Croatia was fourth with a 14.366, starting out a bit messy, but pulling it back together to finish strong, Yevgen Yudenkov of Ukraine was fifth with a 14.266, Meszaros was sixth with a 14.166, Pakhniuk was seventh with a 14.166 (his E score was four tenths lower than Meszaros’), and David Vecsernyes of Hungary was eighth with a 13.6.

Ibrahim Colak was thrilled to win the gold on rings with a brilliant routine at home. Going up first, he had to wait through several strong routines following his own, but in the end he came out on top, getting a 9.0 E score to earn a 15.0 total with his Maltese to inverted hang up to planche a highlight, and he also stuck a gorgeous piked double front dismount.

I was also excited to see the silver go to Vinzenz Höck of Austria, who had a really strong maltese pressed right up to planche, and his full-twisting double layout dismount just had a small hop, getting a 14.800, while Igor Radivilov, perhaps the biggest threat for gold, ended up with a 14.766 for bronze.

Turkey’s Abdelrahman Elgamal was fourth here with a 14.433, Yudenkov was fifth with a 13.8, Hristos Marinov of Bulgaria was sixth with a 13.533, Joonas Kukkonen of Finland was seventh with a 13.333, and Razvan Marc of Romania was eighth with a 13.166.

Radivilov won the second individual European title of his career – and his first since 2013 – on vault, where he competed a double front pike half-out and a tsuk double pike to average a 14.733. Though his landing was quite low on the first vault, with a huge hop forward, and though he had a large step back on the second, his pike shape was excellent on both, giving him just the edge he needed to take the gold.

His score was just a third of a tenth higher than that of Sharamkou, who won the silver with a 14.7 average, with vaults that were vastly superior overall, though his difficulty was much lower. He had a clean Kaz 1½ with just a small hop, and then followed it up with a nice Dragulescu, also stepping back to control the landing, getting E scores of 9.4 and 9.2, respectively.

Dolgopyat got his second medal of the day with the bronze here, showing a Kaz double full with some leg separation early in his attempt and then a handspring double front, a bit cowboyed with a hop forward, to average a 14.483, two tenths ahead of Marian Dragulescu of Romania, who first competed a Yurchenko half-on front double full for his first vault, landing it basically sideways to get it downgraded in addition to taking a ton of deductions for his messy legs throughout, though his eponymous vault was solid and stuck, landing just a little low, to average a 14.283.

Ondrej Kalny was fifth with a 14.199 for his strong Kaz 1½ and Yurchenko double, Arican was sixth with a 14.149 for his clean Kaz 1½ and handspring double front with a low landing and big hop, Dimitar Dimitrov of Bulgaria was seventh with a 14.083 for his slightly soft Kaz 1½ and handspring Rudi, which just had a step back, and Önder was eighth with a 13.733, hitting his Kaz 1½ with some bent knees and piked hips, but then putting his hands down as he overcorrected a short landing on his handspring double front.

After getting the pommels bronze earlier in the day, Arican came back to win the gold on ‘his’ event, parallel bars, with a 15.1. He actually looked a bit rushed and sloppy on many of his early elements, coming up short on a one-armed pirouette, walking out of a subsequent handstand, and then arching over on a single-rail transition, but he calmed down a bit near the end of his set, and stuck the double front half-out at the end, so I think it was the latter half and his high difficulty that saved him here.

The closest contender was Pakhniuk, who came in at a D score four tenths lower, but he also had some adjustments and small mistakes throughout his routine, so he wasn’t able to take advantage of Arican’s errors to overcome the gap, and he wound up with a 14.766 for silver. The bronze then went to Robert Tvorogal of Lithuania, who earned a 14.5, also looking slightly messy throughout, but he had some good transitions and a stuck double front dismount.

Colak placed fourth with the cleanest routine, earning a 14.366, Meszaros was fifth with a 14.1, Severin Kranzlmüller of Austria had a beautiful set with lovely pirouette work and a stuck double pike for a 13.6 for sixth place, Benedek Tomcsanyi of Hungary was seventh with a 13.5, and David Huddleston of Bulgaria was eighth with a 12.866, muscling a few elements, arching over a handstand, and sitting his double front dismount.

Finally, I was thrilled to see Tvorogal get his second medal of the day and a huge surprise upset win on high bar, where he took the gold with a 14.8, defeating 2017 world champion Tin Srbic by two tenths. Tvorogal had a lovely Endo full, a huge Yamawaki, three connected Tkachev elements followed by a solo layout Tkachev to mixed grip, a solid Rybalko, and a strong landing on his double layout full-out, performing the highest level of difficulty in the field – at a 6.4 – with mostly excellent precision and control.

Srbic was equally good in his own routine, connecting four Tkachevs in a row in addition to a layout Tkachev to mixed grip, and he had just a small bounce back on his full-twisting double layout. His E score of 8.4 matched Tvorogal’s, but with his D score two tenths behind, his total of 14.6 meant he would sit back in the silver medal position.

We also saw a big surprise for bronze, as Alexander Myakinin just barely edged out Elgamal with a 14.2 to Elgamal’s 14.166 thanks to his E score coming in at 0.033 higher. I would have loved to see these two tie, because they were both excellent, and it was a bummer to see Elgamal walk away with no individual medals after such an incredible qualifications performance, but alas.

Myakinin showed great flight on his Cassina, Kovacs, and Kolman, and then also performed a Gaylord II before dismounting with a slightly low full-twisting double layout with a hop, while Elgamal had several solo Tkachev elements throughout his routine, and basically stuck his own full-twisting double layout.

I was hoping Vecsernyes would be a medalist here, and he did get close, but ultimately placed fifth with a 14.033, which probably would have wound up on the podium if he had better catches on his Cassina and Kolman, both of which looked a bit off, as did his stoop half. He also had a hop forward on his dismount, a full-twisting layout over the high bar.

Yordan Aleksandrov of Bulgaria was sixth with a 13.7, showing good Tkachev elements and a stuck full-twisting double layout, Pakhniuk had the cleanest routine in the field to finish seventh with a 13.333, and Önder fell on the Cassina early in his set to finish eighth with a 12.1.

Junior all-around champion Illia Kovtun of Ukraine dominated the apparatus finals as well, winning gold on pommels with a 14.233, on rings with a 13.266, and on parallel bars with a 14.6, in addition to the silver on vault with a 14.033 average. Ukraine also got the silver medal on floor from Ivan Sevruk, the silver on rings and the bronze on high bar from Volodymyr Kostiuk, and the silver on p-bars from Mykyta Melnykov.

Gytis Chasazyrovas of Lithuania won the gold on floor with a 13.733 and the silver on pommels with a 13.366, Gabriel Burtanete of Romania won the vault title with a 14.283 average, and Krisztian Balazs of Hungary won the high bar title with a 13.366. Botond Molnar of Hungary got the bronze on floor with a 13.4, Eyal Indig of Israel tied for pommels silver with a 13.366, Bora Tarhan of Turkey got the bronze on rings with a 13.0 and on vault with a 14.016, and Mert Efe Kilicer of Turkey got the silver on high bar with a 12.933 and the bronze on p-bars with a 13.266.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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