21. March 2003  
Cottbus / GER  
Artistic Gymnastics

Qualification at the World Cup in Cottbus

The qualification at the 27th Tournament of Masters in Cottbus has ended now. Most of the participants – altogether 44 - started on pommel horse, the least participants started on women’s vault (21). This qualification on vault was won by Oksana Chussovitina.
Elizabeth Tweddle (GBR) took the lead on uneven bars in the qualification.
As expected, the pommel horse World and Olympic champion Marius Urzica (ROM) has reached the first place in the qualification on his specialist apparatus (9.712) followed by fellow gymnast Ioan Suciu and Stephan Zapf (GER). Roman Zozulia (UKR) on floor and Jordan Jovchev on rings will go into tomorrow’s finals as best gymnasts on floor and rings each.

Qualification men
Qualification women

Opening ceremony of the 27th Tournament of Masters

Women -vault and uneven bars
Already at the beginning it became interesting for the audience: Olympic champion Yelena Zamolodchikova (RUS) – she fell on her first vault. For a while Daniele Hypolito from Brazil took the lead. Title holder Elizabeth Tweddle (GB) presented her uneven bars routine very well and Junior European champion Anna Pavlova from Russia showed a technically brilliant and beautiful uneven bars routine. She reminded the audience a bit of the legend on this apparatus Maxi Gnauck.
One of the best apparatus of Oksana Chussovitina (UZB) is vault, the experienced gymnast performed her vaults with a lot of power. Right after her started Anna Pavlova and it was interesting to compare those two different kinds of gymnasts. Anna had won the vault final at the World Cup in Paris, she certainly is one of the future stars of gymnastics.

Xing Aowei (CHN) - 4th of qualification on floor

Men - vault, parallel bars, high bars
In the second part of the qualification several high-quality vaults could be seen in the men`s qualification. The Polish World championships silver-medallist Leszek Blanik tried the very difficult handspring- double salto fw. piked and secured himself the first place. As usually with a lot of speed and quick rotations Kanukai Jackson from Great Britain once again pleased the audience with his very clean handspring- double salto fw. tucked. After the first successes of Egypt on rings could already be seen in recent years, here in Cottbus Raouf Abdel Karim Ali surprisingly reached the final with two clean vaults (handspring- double salto fw. tucked and Tsukahara double twist).
On parallel bars Yernar Yerimbetov from Kazachstan secured himself the first place with a difficult and clean routine. Also Mitja Petkovsek from Slovenia and Marius Urzica from Romania presented good routines and reached the ranks 2 and 3.
In the high bar qualification many falls from the apparatus could be seen. Aliaz Pegan from Slovenia, however, presented his beautiful and difficult routine very well, including his “Pegan” and a triple salto dismount. For this routine he received the score of 9.675 and reached the first place. France once again presented itself as a nation with very good high bar gymnasts, Cédric Guille and Yann Cucherat ended up on rank 2 and 3. With a solid and well-presented routine Germany´s Stephan Zapf reached the final on rank 4.

Ludivine Furnon (FRA)