Radivilov, Kovtun, Pakhniuk, Yudenkov Named to Ukraine’s Olympic Team

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Illia Kovtun

While there was no announcement from Ukraine’s gymnastics federation, the Ukrainian Olympic Committee announced the full lineup of all athletes set to compete in Tokyo later this month, which included the complete men’s gymnastics team.

Two-time Olympian Igor Radivilov leads the team, which also includes 2021 European parallel bars silver medalist Petro Pakhniuk, 2020 European team gold medalist Yevgen Yudenkov, and 2019 junior world championships and 2021 European Championships all-around bronze medalist Illia Kovtun, who is currently in his first year of senior competition.

Even without 2016 Olympic medalist Oleg Verniaiev, who received a four year doping ban causing him to miss out on competition over the past year, the team has a strong shot at reaching the final, especially thanks to the strengths of Kovtun, who is a remarkably talented and well-balanced all-arounder. Kovtun is also capable of making a few individual finals, like pommel horse and parallel bars in addition to the all-around final, while Pakhniuk will be looking to make the parallel bars and all-around finals, and Radivilov should be a strong contender for both rings and vault.

While the women’s team did not qualify to Tokyo, Diana Varinska reached the Games as an individual athlete, and will hope to reach the all-around and bars finals.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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