Qualifying rounds of the Gymnastics World Cup finish in Baku
The second and final day of the qualifying competitions before the finals of the tournament, which will be held tomorrow, finished today at the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku. These days the athletes from 19 countries competed for the right to compete in gymnastics and get to the podium in six male and four female disciplines.
Women competed in the floor exercise, balance beam exercises, exercises on horizontal bars and vault, men in the floor exercise, exercises on the horse, parallel bars, on the bar, on the rings and vault. According to the preliminary results, the Azerbaijani team will take part in nine of the ten finals, though all five athletes representing the Republic qualified.
Marina Nekrasova performed the best among the Azerbaijani athletes: today she went to the finals of the exercises on the balance beam and floor exercise. Maria Smirnova will defend the honor of Azerbaijan in the vault, Julia Inshina in exercises on horizontal bars.
Oleg Stepko passed only in the finals in the exercise on the rings yesterday, while today he demonstrated himself in all three qualifying events: vault, uneven bars and horizontal bar. Petro Pahnyuk qualified in the floor exercise.
The head coach of the men's team of Azerbaijan Gymnastics, Pavel Netreba, noted that today the athletes performed better than the day before. "It's a shame for yesterday's horse, of course. Oleg was very well prepared, he could have won, but that's sport. Today everything came together for him a little bit better. It's a pity for Petya, but, again, that is sport. He will work over the mistakes, we will improve. In general, I believe, Oleg got to four finals and Petya to one – five out of six finals is pretty good. Tomorrow everything will start from the very begining, serious rivals, so we will fight," he said.
Oleg Stepko also admitted that he could pass in all six finals. "In principle, I am pleased with what I did on the parallel bars and jumping. I was surprised to get to the rings with a bat. It could be a little faster to do everything, because I'm a little bit stretched, there's been a long pause, the body relaxes. I would like the regulation to be a little bit different. But everything is fine, everything is fine,’’ the gymnast said.
Julia Inshina in conversation with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza evaluated her performances as restrained. "I'm not very happy, but, in principle, it's not bad for a first start this year, I think more is better, there are many more events to come,’’ the Azerbaijani gymnast expressed confidence.
Good results were shown by the team of Turkey: its representatives got into all six men's finals. The best result was shown by Ahmet Onder, skilled in exercises on the horizontal bar, parallel bars, floor exercise and vault. Farhad Aridzhan went to the finals in exercises on horseback, Ibrahim Colak – on rings, Umit Samiloglu – on the bar. Thanks to performances of Tutti Yilmaz, Turkey will also be represented in the two women's finals of the World Cup in artistic gymnastics in Baku – the floor exercise and balance beam.
Three-time world champion, the only gymnast who has participated in six Olympics, Oksana Chusovitina (Uzbekistan), took places in three of the four possible finals: vault, floor exercise and balance beam exercises.
The individual finals begin tomorrow with the men's floor exercise at 11:00 MSK. Then, from 11:30 to 12:30 MSK the men will compete in the exercises on the horse, and women in the vault. The next hour will be devoted to the final performances on rings for men and uneven bars for women.
After the award ceremony in these disciplines the tournament will resume at 15:00 MSK: the men will have to determine the best in the vault, and women on the balance beam. Then the men will compete in exercises on the parallel bars, the women in the floor exercise. The last discipline of the Gymnastics World Cup in Baku – exercises on the bar among men – will begin at 17:00 MSK.