Saturday, June 23, 2018

Yekaterinburg's Belyavskiy wins men's all-around gymnastics title

David Belyavskiy, a 19-year-old from Yekaterinburg, won the men's all-around gymnastics title on Thursday at the Russian Cup in Penza.

Belyavskiy improved on his qualification competition on Tuesday by close to two points. On Tuesday, Belyavskiy balked on a vault by performing a single Tsukahara instead of a double pike. Despite crashing his vault in the final, Belyavskiy comfortably won over Sergei Khorokhordin of Barnaul by a score of 89.131 to 87.997, International Gymnast Magazine reports.

Khorokhordin, who competed in the 2008 Olympics, edged out Igor Pakhomenko of Leninsk-Kuznetsky by the narrow margin of 87.997 to 87.932 for the silver. Because only two slots are considered open for the five gymnast Olympic squad, the all-around medalists at Thursday's Russian Cup will fight it out for a chance to compete in London.

"The guys who topped the individual all-around final are the main contenders for the remaining spots on the Olympic team," Andrei Rodionenko, the coach of Russia's gymnastics team, said, according to All Sport. "We are approaching it this way: five people form the core team, and two will be alternates. And even after the team leaves for London, the alternates for both the men's and women's teams will continue to train at Round Lake for the Olympics. In case someone is forced out, they will be ready to step up."

Emin Garibov, the defending champion who is considered a lock for the squad, sat out the competition on his coaches' advice. Denis Ablyazin and Alexander Balandin are also thought to be locks for the team.