22. March 2003  
Cottbus / GER  
Artistic Gymnastics

First final Day in Cottbus: First Hungarian success on Floor

The first day of finals in Cottbus has ended now and a lot of high-quality performances were presented to the audience in the venue “Lausitzhalle”. In the men`s floor final Hungary`s Robert Gal managed to take the lead in front of Roman Zozulia (UKR) who thrilled the audience with his extraordinary routine.
On pommel horse Marius Urzica (ROM) as expected present a brilliant routine and won this final. Also on rings the favourite Jordan Jovtchev (BUL) came up to the expectations and won this final in which Roman Zozulia earned another second place.
In the women`s vault final the experienced Oksana Chussovitina (UZB) added another gold medal from Cottbus to her already large collection of the previous years. On uneven bars Great Britain`s star on this apparatus Elizabeth Tweddle presented a brilliant routine which secured her the victory.

Ioan Sucio (ROM)

The popular Winners Finals, in which the two best participants of the finals compete against each other again, will be presented in Cottbus again . This year the winner receives 816 EUR and 12 World cup points, the second ranked gymnast 680 EUR (10 points). For the 8th ranked finalist remain 2 points and 125 EUR.

Gorbatchev: Highlights: layout Tsukhara, Thomas-combination, RO – whip - salto bw. 1 1/2 turns - salto fw. 1 1/2 turns.
Campos: first acrobatic series: salto fw. full turn followed by double salto fw.; he then fell in the second acrobatic series at his salto bw. 1 1/2 turns.
Xing: layout Tsukahara; Russian wendeswing and Thomas-combination; split-leg salto sidewards; as usually with a good technical execution
Gal: dismount: salto bw., 2 1/2 twists, salto fw., salto fw. full turn; last series double twist;
Sucio: 2nd series: salto bw. 2 1/2 turns, followed by salto fw., 1 1/2 salto fw. rolled out; slight problems with the Swiss handstand; dismount: tucked Tsukahara;
Zozulia: he starts with a layout Thomas, 2nd series salto fw. full turn, double salto fw.; dismount: double salto bw.; he competes in the German gymnastics league for the club SC Cottbus and earns a lot of cheers from the audience;
Vyoral: at the beginning problems with the salto bw. with 1 1/2 turns; 2nd series: salto bw. 2 1/2 turns, followed by salto fw., 1 1/2 salto fw. rolled out; at the end double twist and he stickes the landing.
Sapronenko: the title holder of last year also has the combination salto bw. 2 1/2 turns followed by salto fw. 1 1/2 turns rolled out; layout Thomas, major problems with one handstand, therefore he can`t defend his title.
Ziesmer: the gymnast from Cottbus is welcomed cheerfully by his home crowd, he starts with 2 1/2 twists, salto fw., salto fw. full turn; Swiss handstand – also he has problems here; altogether a solid performance.

While Robert Gal only made one small step to secure the landing of his first acrobatic series, Roman Zozulia fell on his double salto fw. Through this the gold medal went to Robert Gal and he was celebrated by the about 1,400 spectators in Cottbus.

Oksana Chusovitina (UZB)

Monica Rosu from Romania is the first competitor in the women`s field today. She starts with two good, although not totally perfect executed vaults (Yurchenko double twist and layout Tsukahara 11/2 twists).
Oksana Chussovitina (UZB) starts with a very good handspring – salto fw. piked full turn and also the second vault layout Tsukahara 11/2 turns is well presented.
Anna Pavlova (RUS) presents a good Yurchenko double twist which earns her the score of 9,387, she then also sticks the landing of her second vault RO 1/2 turn on – layout 1/2 turn.
The elegant Alina Kozich (UKR) has problems to stick the landing of her RO 1/1 turn on – salto bw. piked off and again some slight problems with her RO 1/1 turn on – salto bw. piked.
Betty Dupin from France presents to solid vaults. She starts with RO 1/1 turn on – salto bw. piked off, her second vault Yurchenko 1/1 turn lacks a bit of difficulty.
Yvonne Musik (GER) has to make several steps in order to secure the landing of her first vault RO 1/1 turn on – salto bw. piked off. Also with her second vault handspring - salto fw. piked 1/2 turn she has some problems.
Nikolina Tankoucheva from Bulgaria starts with RO 1/1 turn on – salto bw. piked off which she presents solidly but not perfectly executed. Her second vault is Tsukahara 1/1 turns which she shows solidly.
Brazil`s gymnastics star Daniele Hypolito starts with RO 1/2 turn – salto fw. piked 1/2 turn which she presents well. Also on her second vault handspring – salto fw. piked 1/2 turn she sticks the landing.

In the winners final two different generations of gymnasts compete against each other, the experienced Oksana Chussovitina from Uzbekistan and the young Russian gymnast Anna Pavlova.
Chussovitina again presents the handspring – salto fw. piked full turn even better but then has to make a step to secure the landing of her second vault. Anna Pavlova starts well with only slight problems of the landing of her double twisting Yurchenko but she then fells on her second vault. That was the decision in the first women`s final in Cottbus this year. The audience in Cottbus celebrates the victory of Oksana Chussovitina in this final.

Marius Urzica (ROM)

Sucio:dismount through handstand from flanks on one pommel with full turn.
Liang: a very good and technically brilliant routine.
Beresh:good work on one pommel but at this early date in the year not back in his usual form.
Urzica: The pommel horse specialist begins with Sivado-combinations and also the rest of the routine is perfect as usual – the audience is thrilled.
Fekete: a good routine but slight problems on the handstand at his dismount.
Zapf: the German participant in this final presents a solid routine but it is not enough to reach the winners final.
Berki: a good routine but his flanks are not presented with the same speed and quality as can be seen in the routines of the best gymnasts.
Gorbatchev: he falls from the apparatus.

Winners Final:
After the Chinese gymnast falls from the apparatus the victory for the pommel horse star Marius Urzica is easily secured.

Elizabeth Tweddle (GBR)

Daiane Dos Santos starts this final with a lot of power and speed, including some full turns on the upper bar and a straddled Jaeger, she has however slight problems with the form of her legs sometimes and with one handstand on the lower bar.
China`s Tiantian Wan starts well with a good piked Jaeger but then falls of the apparatus on a giant.
The young Ukrainian Alina Kozich will certainly belong to the stars on this apparatus in future. She pleases the crowd with a perfectly and beautiful routine including straddled Jaeger, Stalder, a full-turn on one arm on the upper bar and a double-double dismount (with a sticked landing).
Oksana Chussovitina again has a full program in Cottbus. Uneven bars is not her specialist apparatus but she presents a good routine without mistakes, including eagle swing, Tkatchev and a double-double dismount.
Elizabeth Tweddle (GBR) showes once again that she belongs to the best gymnasts of the World on this apparatus. She presents her difficult routine including a very good Gienger, Markelov and a one-armed giant very well and sticks the landing of her Tsukahara dismount.
Maria Teresa Gargano from Italy goes into her routine with a lot of speed but not with that much difficulty for the start value. However, she presents it well (straddled Jaeger, Tkatchev) and sticks the landing of her tucked Tsukahara.
Elena Gomez goes into this final with a very good presentation of the qualification. Today however she has slight problems with a Stalder but manages to continue the routine well and shows a good and high Tkatchev and straddled Jaeger. She sticks the landing of her triple twist dismount but has slight problems to finish the third rotation.
Ye Fan from China has more luck than her teammate before. She stays on the apparatus and presents a good and difficult routine including a few Stalders, piked Jaeger and a Tsukahara dismount.
Birgit Schweigert has reached this final with a wildcard as ninth participant. Today she didn`t have much luck on her usually best apparatus. She falls during her usually safely presented Shaposhnikova and has another break in her routine during one giant.

Alina Kozich took the break caused by a show performance after the final to recover well and started with full power into her routine in the winners final. She again presents a technically brilliant routine with a lot of speed with only slight problems on one handstand on the lower bar. Also Elizabeth Tweddle has enough strength to present her routine again with the full program including 2 flight elements and a one-armed giant. She shows it faultlessly until a perfectly sticked landing and this secures her the victory on uneven bars today.

Jordan Jovtchev (BUL)

Kasparovich: With all strenght elements which are necessary but not with the same sovereignty as in the routines of the rings-specialists.
Tambakos: Asarjan to cross hang, and also the rest of the difficult routine is very well presented. He then sticks the landing of his double layout dismount.
Jovtchev: As expected a brilliant routine with great strength elements, he also sticks the landing of his Tsukahara dismount.
Kurbanbaev: a good routine but he has to slightly correct a few elements.
Zapf: the German finalist presents a solid routine, he has to secure the landing of his double layout dismount with a small step.
Mezentsev: another good routine in this high-quality final.
Berczes:his strenght elements are not yet sovereign enough and he has to secure the landing of his double layout dismount with a step.
Zozulia: his interesting and well-presented combinations secure him a spot in the winners final.

Winners Final
Zozulia presented another strong routine but Jovtchevs strength element have been even better in the winners final than in the final. This finally brought him the victory.