Posts Tagged ‘Krisztian Berki’

2010 Apparatus World Champions, Part 2

Thursday, January 20th, 2011



The men’s finals showcased the specialists on each apparatus, and indeed none of the winners even participated in the all-around final. The results didn’t change much from the qualification round to the finals; vault champion Thomas Bouhail of France was the only one who did not enter the final as the leader.

Eleftherios Kosmidis stuck both his opening layout double-double and his full-in dismount on his way to the top of the podium. He managed to stave off recently crowned all-around champion Kohei Uchimura, who suffered from low landings in this final. Greek fans will find this win reminiscent of Ioannis Melissanidis’s winning performance at the 1996 Olympic Games.

1. Eleftherios Kosmidis (GRE) 15.700, 2. Kohei Uchimura (JPN) 15.533, 3. Daniel Purvis (GBR) 15.366

Eleftherios Kosmidis (GRE), Floor Exercise Gold, 2010 World Championships

Krisztian Berki took advantage of the absence of Chinese superstars Xiao Qin and Zhang Hongtao to claim his first World title on his specialty. His routine starts off right with some scissors that demonstrate tremendous amplitude, accentuated by his long lines.

1. Krisztian Berki (HUN) 15.833, 2. Louis Smith (GBR) 15.733, 3. Prashanth Sellathurai (AUS) 15.566

Krisztian Berki (HUN), Pommel Horse Gold, 2010 World Championships

Chen Yibing’s medal collection just keeps growing! The 2008 Olympic Champ on rings claimed his third World title in Rotterdam. His lines, toepoint and flaired full-twisting double layout sealed the deal for this veteran.

1. Chen Yibing (CHN) 15.900, 2. Yan Mingyong (CHN) 15.700, 3. Matteo Morandi (ITA) 15.666

Chen Yibing (CHN), Rings Gold, 2010 World Championships (routine from Team Finals)

Thomas Bouhail managed to upstage prelims leader Anton Golotsutskov (RUS) when it mattered most, and ended up with his first title at a World Championships. The Frenchman was no stranger to the international scene, having won the silver medal on the same apparatus at the 2008 Olympic Games and the gold medal at last year’s European Championships. He landed his opening piked double Tsukahara with just a hop, and came close to sticking his Dragulescu.

1. Thomas Bouhail (FRA) 16.499, 2. Anton Golotsutskov (RUS) 16.366, 3. Dzmitry Kaspiarovich (BLR) 16.316

Thomas Bouhail (FRA), Vault Gold, 2010 World Championships

Feng Zhe performed his three double backs and high straddled front well, but it was the solid double pike dismount and his 7.0 D-score that really earned him the gold in what turned out to be one of the most competitive finals of the Championships.

1. Feng Zhe (CHN) 15.966, 2. Teng Haibin (CHN) 15.616, 3. Kohei Uchimura (JPN) 15. 500

Feng Zhe (CHN), Parallel Bars Gold, 2010 World Championships (routine from Team Finals)

Zhang Chenglong flew high above the bar with his layout Tkatchev, straddled Tkatchev-half, layout Jaeger, Yamawaki and layout double-double dismount. The releases, in addition to his pirouetting skills, allowed Zhang to grab the gold over Epke Zonderland, who retained his silver medal position from last year’s Worlds. Zonderland displayed a difficult set with a Kovacs-Kolman combination, a Gaylord 2 and a Yamawaki and a nice stuck layout double double.

1. Zhang Chenglong (CHN) 16.166, 2. Epke Zonderland (NED) 16.033, 3. Fabian Hambüchen (GER) 15.966

Zhang Chenglong (CHN), High Bar Gold, 2010 World Championships (routine from 2010 Nationals)

Good News for Silver Medalists!

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

I was pleased to read that the FIG has decided to allow all three World apparatus medalists in a pre-Olympic year to be automatically guaranteed a spot in the Games. In the most recent Olympic cycle, Krizstian Berki (HUN), Yuri van Gelder (NED), and Aljaz Pegan (SLO) all had the “misfortune” of winning the silver medals on their specialties at the 2007 World Championships. Clearly contenders for Olympic gold, they were denied the opportunity to attend the Games in Beijing simply because they had not won the event and because they were not so fortunate as to represent a Top 12 team that automatically qualified 6 gymnasts.

Berki, van Gelder and Pegan were unsuccessful in obtaining the Wild Card despite their best efforts to secure one. They had the disadvantage of hailing from gymnast-rich Europe, knowing that the Wild Card would most likely be given to a gymnast from an underrepresented continent. Pegan had the additional disadvantage of Slovenia having already claimed an individual spot when Mitja Petkovsek won on Parallel Bars at the 2007 World Championships.

In the end, the Wild Card was awarded to a gymnast from…Yemen. Now don’t get me wrong; I am all for the participation of a variety of gymnasts from around the world, and I’m happy for Nashwan Al-Harazi in what must have been one of the most exciting moments of his life. It’s interesting (and usually very impressive) to see what sorts of skills the gymnasts from countries like Yemen can do, but surely not at the expense of three gold medal contenders.

I hope in the future we will be able to see gymnasts like Al-Harazi compete alongside gymnasts like Berki, van Gelder and Pegan. Of course, even with the new rule, there will always be the fourth-place gymnast who might not earn a spot to the Olympic Games, but at least this is a step in the right direction.

Krisztian Berki (HUN), 2007 World Championships, Pommel Horse

Yuri van Gelder (NED), 2007 World Championships, Still Rings

Aljaz Pegan (SLO), 2007 World Championships, High Bar

And just for fun, here are Nashwan Al-Harazi’s floor routine and his Rudi vault. He’s a great twister!

Nashwan Al-Harazi (YEM), 2010 MAC Open, Floor Exercise

Nashwan Al-Harazi (YEM), 2010 MAC Open, Vault

2010 Montreal World Cup

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

“Shusuke Kikuchi!”…”Jad Mazahreh!”…the announcer put on some great accents as he presented the gymnasts at the second annual Montreal World Cup. Although the field was a bit sparse, there was some great gymnastics on display.

The class of the field on floor exercise was Japanese Shusuke Kikuchi, who won by 0.65 over teammate Kyoichi Watanabe and Canadian Kevin Lytwyn. His routine included three double layouts: layout Arabian double front, layout half-in half-out to punch front-1 1/4, and a double layout dismount. Throw in three more twisting passes, and there’s your winner!

Shusuke Kikuchi (JPN), Floor Exercise, 2010 Montreal World Cup

Jordanian Ali Al Asi showed some interesting skills as well, starting with a double-twisting double layout, showing off a really low planche hold, and ending with a double layout (hands down).

Ali Al Asi (JOR), Floor Exercise, 2010 Montreal World Cup

The Finns had two young gymnasts in the floor final, Sakari Vekki (who qualified in second place behind Kikuchi) and Tomi Tuuha. The Austrians also had two gymnasts at the Montreal World Cup: Marco Mayr, who qualified to most of the event finals, and Julian Egermann, who ended up only competing on vault. He was set to perform in the floor final as well, but he suffered a scary fall to his back during the general warm up and appeared to have the wind knocked out of him.

The crowd was treated to one of the international stars on pommel horse. Krisztian Berki of Hungary displayed superb extension and a lengthy routine on his way to the gold medal, 1.15 points over silver medallist Canadian Ken Ikeda.

Krisztian Berki (HUN), Pommel Horse, 2010 Montreal World Cup

Kevin Lytwyn gave the home crowd something to cheer for with his rings routine. He defeated Ali Al Asi, who led the field in qualifications, with steady iron crosses and a stick on his layout full-out dismount.

Kevin Lytwyn (CAN), Rings, 2010 Montreal World Cup (and Maria Karpova’s beam!)

Nathan Gafuik provided the other gold medal for the Canadian team on vault with his Yurchenko-2.5 (stuck!) and his tucked double front (just about stuck!). Kikuchi and Tomi Tuuha (FIN) were both close on Gafuik’s heels, each with a Kasamatsu-2.5 and a layout Rudi.

Nathan Gafuik (CAN), Vault 2, 2010 Montreal World Cup

Tomi Tuuha (FIN), Vault 1, 2010 Montreal World Cup

Kyoichi Watanabe showed a lightness in his clean work on parallel bars to win the title on this event. The two Canadians placed second and third, and they were the only gymnasts to perform double backs between the bars (a Belle for Ikeda and a Morisue for Lytwyn). Tomi Tuuha dismounted with a not-often-seen layout front full.

Kyoichi Watanabe (JPN), Parallel Bars, 2010 Montreal World Cup

Ken Ikeda (CAN), Parallel Bars, 2010 Montreal World Cup

High bar was as exciting as always, with a field that included Slovenian Aljaz Pegan performing his signature release skill. It’s funny to see Pegan in training with his legs everywhere, but then in competition he showed the Montreal crowd the routine and the excellent form that has won him so many medals. This time he lost the title by just 0.1 despite putting his hands down on his triple back dismount.

Topping the field was Kohei Kameyama, bringing home the third gold of this competition to his native Japan. The highlight of his routine for me was not so much his super Kolman or the layout full-out dismount, but his exquisite toepoint! It’s hard to see with his competition socks on, but I have never seen a male gymnast with such a great toepoint before. It was reminiscent of Lilia Podkopayeva and the Fraguas sisters! Canadian Jackson Payne grabbed the bronze medal despite a fall after an Endo-full to layout Jaeger. He ended with a stuck double twisting double layout.

Kohei Kameyama (JPN), High Bar, 2010 Montreal World Cup

Aljaz Pegan (SLO), High Bar, 2010 Montreal World Cup

Jackson Payne (CAN), High Bar, 2010 Montreal World Cup

And there you have it…. This is only the second time this city has hosted the Montreal World Cup event, and I’m looking forward to attending in years to come. Last year the women’s side had a very small field and it was cancelled altogether this time around, but hopefully in the years to come this meet will develop into a competition as great as the DTB Cup and the Glasgow Grand Prix.