The usual suspects — including Fabian Hambuchen, Yuri van Gelder and Nikolai Kryukov — all did very well during team qualifications at the Men’s European Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland, International Gymnast Magazine reports.
Going into team finals, the picture looks like this:
1. Russia 273.175
2. Germany 268.000
3. Ukraine 267.025
4. Romania 266.275
5. Belarus 265.150
6. Switzerland 264.800
7. France 263.300
8. Italy 262.950
Russia seems likely to win the team title, but some good races are shaping up for event finals, particularly on rings, where would-be Olympic rings contender van Gelder will go up against Jordan Jovtchev. 2007 World high bar champion Hambuchen will go up against 2001 World high bar champion Vlasios Maras of Greece in event finals as well.
Some surprises though: Veteran among veterans Kryukov is leading on parallel bars and pommel horse. I think of Kryukov as the veteran among veterans not because he’s 28, but more because he’s been around since 1996, when at 16 he was the youngest member of the gold-medal winning Russian team in Atlanta.
The best male gymnasts of the past 10 years — Li Xiaoshaung, Alexei Nemov, Ivan Ivankov, Alexei Bondarenko, Li Xiaopeng, Yang Wei, Yevgeny Podgorny, Rustam Sharipov, Marian Dragulescu, Hiroyuki Tomita, Paul Hamm — Kryukov’s gone up against all of them. And the 1999 World Champion has proven that he’s among the best too.
In other news, the Russians appear to have let Maxim Devyatovsky back onto the team after his stint of bad behavior at the 2007 World Championships.
Devyatovsky competed all six events and was the top individual, though the all-around will not be contested in Lausanne.
Tags: Alexei Bondarenko, Alexei Nemov, Fabian Hambuchen, Hiroyuki Tomita, Ivan Ivankov, Jordan Jovtchev, Li Xiaopeng, Li Xioashaung, Marian Dragulescu, Maxim Devyatovsky, Nikolai Kryukov, Paul Hamm, Rustam Sharipov, Vlasios Maras, Yang Wei, Yevgeny Podgorny, Yuri van Gelder