Artur Dalaloyan

Play-by-Play: Men's qualifications at the 2019 European Championships, Subdivision 3

Men's AA after 3.JPG

Rotation 1: The heaviest hitters, namely world champion Artur Dalaloyan and Nikita Nagornyy of Russia, are now on the floor. Here we go!

Artur Dalaloyan (RUS), FX: Front 2/1 to Randi, nice. Front layout to double front pike half out, stuck. Double doubl etuck, small hop. 2.5 to front 2/1, hop. 1.5 to Rudi. Love his attention to detail as well. Triple full, hop back. Claps his hands as he walks off. One done. 14.966.

Brinn Bevan (GBR), HB: Tak half, a tad overcooked, swings a little to the side. Kovacs, nice. Kolman, also good. Endos. Stalder. Hop full. Drills the double double layout into the ground. Nice stick for the 2018 British champion to begin his day.

Nikita Nagornyy (RUS), HB: Triple back, bounces out of bounds though with both feet I think. Double front pike half out, small hop back. Front 2/1 to double front. 2.5 to front 1/1 to front layout half. Double double tuck side pass, steps back and out of bounds again. Full out tucked last pass, making it look easy. Well, he won’t be pleased with the out of bounds, but lots of really hard gymnastics in that routine. 14.566. No floor final for him — Dalaloyan and Lankin are ahead of him.

Max Whitlock (GBR), HB: Yama. Hop 1.5. Endo. Stalder. Hop full. Quite meticulous work so far. Double double layout, ooh, has to take two big steps back to keep it on his feet. Welcome back to high bar, Max.

Alexander Shatilov (ISR)< HB: Kovacs. Tkatchev half. Tak half. Stalder. Full twisting double layout. 13.7.

Rayderley Zapata (ESP), FX: The man with the highest hurdles in gymnastics opens with a 1.5 to front double pike. Double front pike half out, stuck. Double front tuck half out, stuck again. Arabian double front half out. Stylish — middle splits to press hadnstand. 2.5 to front layout 1/1. The Spanish are coming alive. Pulls around his double layout to end. That is very worthy of a final. He’ll get it, too — 14.7.

Lukas Dauser (GER), PH: Hit routine for one of Germany’s sleekest gymnasts after an 8.933 disaster from teammate Felix Remuta just before him. This score will be considerably better.

Rotation 2:

Dominick Cunningham (GBR), FX: The 2018 European floor champ shows a stuck double double layout to beghin. Double front half out, terrific. 1.5 to front 2/1, no trouble. Double double tuck, small hop. 2.5 to Rudi side pass. Triple full, nearly stuck, tiny hop back. Impressive routine.

Nikita Nagornyy (RUS), PH: Powered through a clean set. 14.1.

Artur Dalaloyan (RUS), PH: Ditto. 14.066.

Casimir Schmidt (NED), VT: Very good Tsuk 2.5, just a small hop on landing.

Artem Dolgopyat (ISR), FX: Front double tuck with 1.5 twists, stuck. Front 1/1 to Randi. Double double tuck, great landing. 2.5 to front 2/1. 1.5 to Rudi, stuck. He’s cleaned up well on this event. Arabian double front half out, floats to the ground for another stuck landing. Final! 15.366 — lead!

Nick Klessing (GER), SR: Great routine until he overcooks his triple back dismount and sits down.

Alexander Shatilov (ISR), FX: : 2.5 to front 2/1. Double double tuck, stuck. 1.5 to front 1/1 to Rudi. Double full, stuck. Russians. Good full in to end. Maybe two finals for Israel on floor! Alexander claps after his final pass.

Oliver Hegi (SUI) has made some sort of mistake on high bar and will not defend his European title on this event.

Marios Georgiou (CYP), FX: Double double tuck. Front layout to front 2/1, really nice stick. 2.5 to Rudi. Double full. Stuck triple full. A very nice routine, though given what else we’ve seen on floor today it’s unlikely to make finals.

Rotation 3:

Brinn Bevan (GBR), PH: Hit routine! Good Busnari, flairs, pirouetting dismount. Hit routine for Brinn.

Artur Dalaloyan (RUS), SR: Maltese, quite good. Iron cross. Piked Yama, tucked Yama, roll to cross. Pull to planche. Full twisting double layout, basically stuck. Great stuff. 14.566.

Max Whitlock (GBR), PH: Scissor to handstand, circles, Russians on a pommel, Busnari, traveling flairs, Magyar, traveling Russian across the horse. Russians on the end. pirouetting dismount. It’s like, every hard thing you can do on pommel horse, done one after the other. Respect. 15.033 takes him into the lead.

Casimir Schmidt (NED), PB: Solid set with double front dismount, small hop. 13.366.

Epke Zonderland (NED), PB: Diamidov with extra spin, inside Diamadov. Front somie catch with his hands. Double pike with a small hop back. 14.366. That’s good for seventh, so he might squeak into the final.

Nick Klessing (GER), VT: Roche with a huge step forward.

Out of the corner of my eye, caught a stuck double front from newcomer Mustafa Arca of Turkey. Every country has their pet event — the British have pommel, the Russians have floor, the Americans like high bar. Turkey’s is definitely p-bars.

Nikita Nagornyy (RUS), SR: Maltese, excellent — so good he does it twice. Iron cross. Piked Yama, tucked Yama, roll to cross. Planche. Double double tuck, stuck. Great routine there too.

Felix Remuta (GER), VT: Roche with a hop and Tsuk 2.5 with a hop/step.

Petro Pakhniuk (GER), VT: Rolls backward out of his Tsuk double full. Oops.

Benjamin Gischard (SUI), FX: The final gymnast in this rotation has everyone’s attention, and keeps it by sticking most of his tumbling passes. Very nice routine, and he’s delighted with it too, clapping right after he salutes.

Rotation 4:

Andrey Likhovitskiy (BLR), FX: Front 2/1. 1.5 to front 1/1. Roundoff, layout. Double full. 2.5 to end. Everything very clean if not terribly difficult. Likhovitskiy, who lives and trains in Germany, is likely doing this to get an all-around score — that’ll be his ticket to Tokyo come this fall.

Nikita Nagornyy (NED), VT: Jogs into a fantastic Dragulescu, just a small hop. Fantastic. 14.833. Tsuk double pike, also excellent. 14.799 average.

Epke Zonderland (NED), HB: Cassina to Kovacs, nice. Kolman, great. Stalder 1.5. Tak half. Stalder. Hop full for good measure. And stuck double double layout. We’ve seen this routine or a slight variation of it for years now, and what’s stunning is how down to a science he’s got it, and how easy he makes it look. The only guy here combining Kovacs releases, and it puts us on the floor as always. 14.533 moves him into the lead ahead of Tin Sbric.

Artur Dalaloyan (RUS), VT: Casual Yurchenko triple full with a hop back. As he does. 14.8. Second vault is a casual handspring front double pike, with just a little hop on the landing. 14.866 average. The vault final is going to be wild. If it were possible, Russia could go 1-2-3-4 in Europe on men’s vault.

Marcel Nguyen (GER), PB: Clips one of his feet on a rail on his first element but it doesn’t deter him.

Lukas Dauser (GER), PB: Terrific control on this routine from Germany’s p-bar Picasso. Beautiful work all the way through. Double front half out landed a little low, and he hopped the landing, but the rest was superb. 14.533 is his score following an accepted inquiry.

Courtney Tulloch (GBR), SR: Good interior, step on his full twisting double layout with a hop.

Yahor Sharamkou (BLR), FX: Opens by nearly sticking a triple back tuck, closes by sitting down an Arabian double front. Ah, gymnastics…

Petro Pakhniuk (UKR), PB: 15.0 for a smashingly good routine. Moves into second on p-bars at this point.

Cyril Tommasone (FRA), PH: Leg separation on Russians the only flaw in an otherwise hit routine.

Rotation 5:

Casimir Schmidt (NED), FX: Double front half out. Front double pike, stuck. Front 2/1, front 1/1. 2.5 to front layout half. Russians. Roundoff, Arabian double front half out. Triple full, small hop. Casimir’s happy with that. 14.233.

Marcel Nguyen (GER), HB: Tak full. Tak half to Kovacs. Kolman, caught close to the bar and has to kip out of it. One armed giant…double double layout with a small step back. 13.166.

Lukas Dauser (GER), HB: Tak full to Yama. Kovacs. Tkatchev. Hop 1.5. One armed giant. Tak full. Full twisting double layout with a pretty big step forward, alas. Otherwise a nice routine.

Alexander Shatilov (ISR), VT: DTY, hop back.

Artur Dalaloyan (RUS), PB: Fantastic routine capped with double front pike half out dismount!

Petro Pakhniuk (UKR), HB: German giant to stalder. Tkatchev. Tkatchev half. Tak full. Tak half. Hop full. Full twisting double layout with a step.

Nikita Nagornyy (RUS), PB: 15.133 after a fabulous routine. He takes the lead on this event. His duel with Dalaloyan for the AA title is going to be something else.

The rotation ends with an unfortunate injury to Britain’s Dominick Cunningham on vault on a roundoff, half on, front double full off. Cunningham seemed to get lost in the air, bailed out and landed on a straight leg on the mat. He signaled for help immediately and was assisted on the mat by medics, who eventually wheeled him out on a stretcher.

Rotation 6:

Felix Remuta (GER), FX: Lands double double tuck on his hands and knees. Cool point in his routine is his back pike to prone position. Dismounts with triple full with a large step back. 13.266.

Marcel Nguyen (GER), FX: Double double layout, just a little hop forward. Front double pike half out, a little low. The rest was clean. 14.1.

Nikita Nagornyy (RUS), HB: Tak full, swings the wrong way, oops. Tak half. Tkatchev. Tkatchev half. One armed giant. Stalder. Double double layout with a hop back. For all their tumbling/vaulting prowess, the Russian guys often swing high bar a bit…gingerly. This was a good routine, but no exception. 13.933.

Artur Dalaloyan (RUS), HB: Cassina. PIke Kovacs. Layout Tkatchev half. Layout Tkatchev. Endo. Yamawaki. Stalder. Full twisting double layout, stuck. Fantastic day for the world champion! 14.666 puts him first on high bar as well. 87.930 all-around total today.

Krisztofer Meszaros (HUN), FX: At every Euros there’s a young guy who doesn’t look old enough to be a senior, and here in Szczecin, Meszaros is it. Double front, well done. Front 2/1. Randi. 2.5 to front 1/1. Triple full to end. He may be young, but he’s got the skills.

2019 World Cup preview - Men

Sam Mikulak of the USA.

Sam Mikulak of the USA.

There’s one big question to be answered at this weekend’s Tokyo World Cup: can Sam Mikulak put it all together?

Despite his fifth place all-around finish at last October’s World Championships, the highest of eight-gymnast field at this world cup event, Mikulak isn’t necessarily favored to take the title at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza Sunday. With the competition in the 2020 Olympic host city, the Japanese approach Tokyo as an omen of things to come next summer. To that end they’ve tapped 22-year-old star Kenzo Shirai as their primary starter.

But the bigger picture involves Mikulak and what he is or isn’t capable of. After years of almosts, the talented 26-year-old finally broke through with an individual world medal -- bronze on high bar -- last fall. (He also participated in five individual finals, the most of anyone except world champion Artur Dalaloyan and bronze medalist Nikita Nagornyy of Russia.) The question isn’t whether he’s capable. It’s whether he can do it when it counts.

At last month’s American Cup, Mikulak came out roaring, beginning his competition with maybe the best floor routine of his entire career, then gave the competition away to U.S. no. 2 Yul Moldauer after errors on parallel bars and high bar. So Mikulak comes to Tokyo fighting not just against the rest of the field, but the reputation for inconsistency that precedes him.

Tokyo is more than Shirai vs. Mikulak -- 2012 Olympic alternate Nikita Ignatyev, 2014 Youth Olympic star Giarnni Regini-Moran, Japan’s Wataru Tanegawa, Korea’s Bae Ga-ram and veterans Bart Deurloo of the Netherlands and Nestor Abad of Spain are also jockeying for the podium. Here’s my prediction for the top five.

GOLD - Kenzo Shirai, Japan. No less a gymnast than Kohei Uchimura anointed Shirai his successor after the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and with good reason: Shirai has superhuman capabilities on floor and vault. But is he a true all-around gymnast? He’s comparatively weak on pommel horse and rings but compensates for it with those exceptionally high scores on vault and floor. Mistakes on either of his best events could open the door for someone else, but on the bouncy Japanese equipment, that seems unlikely.

SILVER - Sam Mikulak, USA. Gymnasts like to say that their biggest competition is themselves, and that seems especially true of Mikulak, who has been defeated by his own head at several prominent international events. He changed up his training and his mindset last year, and it looked for a while like it was paying off. But the American Cup loss grates, and leaves Mikulak something of an underdog for gold at this meet.

BRONZE - Wataru Tanigawa, Japan. Capable of brilliance on rings, parallel bars and vault but also somewhat inconsistent, this two-time world team member is nevertheless one of the heaviest hitters in this field. Competing at home should help rather than hurt him.

4. Nikita Ignatyev, Russia. The 2012 Olympic team alternate dropped off the radar for several years before reappearing at this year’s Russian Championships, where he won all-around bronze amidst a very talented field. He looked strong and prepared at the DTB Pokal Team Challenge just afterward, so the sky’s the limit for him here.

5. Bart Deurloo, Netherlands. The Dutch team’s top all-arounder has gotten better and better since the American Cup. With a strong finish on high bar, his best event, a top five finish is totally possible for him.

World champion Artur Dalaloyan is engaged!

Talk about a proposal on fire!

World all-around champion Artur Dalaoyan of Russia is spoken for for good: The elegant 22-year-old posted a photo on Instagram showing him on bended knee holding a ring box out to girlfriend Olenka Borodina as a sentence (“Will you marry me?” perhaps) blazed behind him in the snowy landscape.

“She said YES,” Dalaloyan captioned the post, adding a ring emoji and the hashtag #happiness.

Doing wonderful things for the lady in his life has obviously been preoccupying Dalaloyan’s thoughts lately. Ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, he posted a photo of himself snowboarding with Borodina, and asked followers what the best thing they’ve ever done for the women in their lives.

After his runaway victory at the Stuttgart World Cup two weeks ago, Dalaloyan will be heavily favored to win the men’s all-around title at next month’s European Championships in Szczecin, Poland. He finished second to Ukraine’s Oleg Verniaiev in 2017, the last time the men’s all-around was contested at Euros, and won five medals at the 2018 World Championships, including Russia’s first men’s all-around gold since Nikolay Kryukov in 1999.

Quick hits: Stuttgart World Cup, Men's All-around final

Artur Dalaloyan. Credit: Instagram/real_artur

Artur Dalaloyan. Credit: Instagram/real_artur

Rotation 1:

Akash Modi (USA), FX: Front double pike, hop forward. 2.5 to front 1/1 layout. Front 2/1 to front layout half. Randi, small hop. Double full, stuck. Triple full with a small hop forward to end. Good start for Akash, smiling in the kiss & cry. 13.433.

Frank Baines (GBR), FX: Lonnnng wait beside the floor for Modi's score. Front 2/1 to front layout half, stuck. Double front pike, stuck. Beautiful double double tuck, tiny hop. 2.5 to front layout. Double full, tiny hop. Arabian double, tiny hop. Great routine. 14.166.

Eddy Yusof (SUI), FX: Double front tuck half, step back. Open double double tuck. Front 2/1 to front half. 1.5 to front 1/1. Not as precise in his landings as the first two, but sticks double tuck. Ends the exercise as he starts it: full in with a step back. 13.366.

Marcel Nguyen (GER), FX: Double front pike half out, steps. Double layout 1/1, stuck. OOB on third pass. Lots of applause and encouragement from the GER crowd, and interestingly, a respectful silence during his press handstand. Full in, bounces back and just OOB again. 13.433.

Teppei Miwa (JPN), floor: The 18-year-old some sweet encouragement from his coach before he stepped into the corner. Double front pike, small hop. 3.5 twist. 1.5 to front 2/1. Double full, small hop. 2.5 to front layout half, stuck. Triple full, small hop forward. Classic JPN. 13.8.

Sun Wei (CHN), FX: Front double pike, hop. Wonderful double layout, like he's flying. Hands down on 2.5 to front layout half, mistimed. Oops. Front 1/1 to Rudi. A little too long in the corner before his triple full last pass, looked like he was conserving energy. 12.266.

Petro Pakhniuk (UKR), FX: Double double tuck, stumbles backward, saves it. Randi. Front 2/1 to front tuck half. 2.5 to front tuck 1/1. He manages to get to his feet though sometimes he looks like he's not going to. Triple full. Sigh of relief. 13.133.

Bart Deurloo (NED), FX: Double front tuck half out, stumbles back and out of bounds. Whoops. 1.5 to front 2/1. 2.5 to front 1/1 (I think). Great stuck Arabian double front to end though. Saved the best for last! 13.6.

Artur Dalaloyan (RUS), FX: The Germans love Artur Dalaloyan, and introduce him as "King Artur." Front 2/1 to Randi. Front layout to double front pike half out. Double double tuck, hop. 2.5 to front 2/1, small hop. 1.5 to Rudi. Triple full. Not quite as precise as he might be, but that was a very good routine. Not easy, either. 14.366.

Rotation 2:

Sun Wei (CHN), PH: 14.4 for a hit set. Sun Wei on the upswing after that fall on floor. 14.4.

Petro Pakhniuk (UKR), PH: Long and complex routine with a non-dismount. Gets through the majority well, gets a little tired on his last Russian travel and takes some leg form. All in all positive, though. Petro seems to think so too - big smile! 14.333.

Eddy Yusof (SUI), PH: Efficient routine, swung fast. Just a little struggle going up to handstand on the dismount, but he acquitted himself well overall. 13.366 -- fair, not that much difficulty in it.

Akash Modi (USA), PH: Another very long, very complex set. Well swung until the end -- he was tired, had trouble getting to the handstand on his dismount and then didn't finish the pirouette. He gives a thumbs up anyway and gets some extra encouragement from the crowd. 13.466.

Marcel Nguyen (GER), PH: A bit low on his one pommel work, but maybe the applause of the crowd helped him through it. Survived without a fall on an event that he doesn't really look like he enjoys. Looks relieved in the kiss and cry. 13.066.

Bart Deurloo (NED), PH: Clean routine from Bart. Highlight was the travelling Russian across the horse. He sits down next to Petro Pakhniuk, who is still obviously delighted about his routine, and grinning broadly. 13.833.

Tippei Miwa (JPN), PH: Like Modi, it was great right up until the dismount, when he just ran out of gas and couldn't complete it. His coach seems quite nurturing with him, and seemed to reassure him as he walked off. 12.166.

Frank Baines (GBR), PH: Hit routine! Amazing Busnari with two pirouettes (most guys only do one) traveling across the horse. The rest was clean. Good for him! 13.433.

Artur Dalaloyan (RUS), PH: Oh yes! Impressive hit routine with tons of variety. Scissors, Busnari, flairs, circle travels, the kitchen sink, all very well delivered. 14.066. Seeing the score finally gets a reaction from him, and he breaks into a big smile.

Rotation 3:

Teppei Miwa (JPN), SR: Once again, the dismount does him in. The interior of the routine was very good -- correct strength parts, correct delivery. But takes several steps back on double double tuck, though he did save it. 13.066.

Marcel Nguyen (GER), SR: The 31-year-old puts on a show for the home crowd on one of his best events, topping things off with a stuck full twisting double layout. 14.4 incites a spontaneous round of applause. 14.4.

Sun Wei (CHN), SR: A lot of beauty in all his routines, not just technical precision. Kicks out of his double double tuck dismount, finds the floor and sticks it cold. 12.966. Apparently I liked it more than the judges.

Akash Modi (USA), SR: Hit set, holds on for the stick on the double double tuck dismount. Akash is really pleased with that routine, plays to the crowd a little bit as he heads to the kiss and cry! 13.966.

13.766 on rings gives Bart Deurloo the lead at this point. A much happier outing for him so far in Stuttgart compared to the American Cup two weeks ago.

It's been great to see all the competitors enthusiastic here, but nobody is having a better time than Petro Pakhniuk, who came away from the rings podium pumping his fists and smiling from ear to ear. 13.2 puts him fourth right now.

Artur Dalaloyan (RUS), SR: More gorgeous work. Wonderful angles, great precision. Full twisting double layout dismount, stuck. 14.5 will keep him in the lead.

Rotation 4:

Teppei Miwa (JPN), VT: Tsuk triple with a hop. Catlike landing. Nicely done. 14.733.

Sun Wei (CHN), VT: An even better Tsuk triple. Wonderful. 15.000.

Eddy Yusof (SUI), VT: Tsuk double pike, a bit tucked in the air but very nice, small step back. 14.366.

Frank Baines (GBR), vault: Handspring Rudi. 4.8 D, not difficult compared to some of the vaults in this field, but very well done. Gets above 9 in execution, which gives him 14.033.

Petro Pakhniuk (UKR), vault: Tsuk 2.5, hop forward. Another fist pump. What a happy competitor! 14.266 puts him in the lead at the moment.

Akash Modi (USA), VT: Tsuk 2.5 with a hop forward. Landed a little bit offline -- right foot over the white line. 14.1 gives him 54.965, and he takes the lead with three competitors still to come...

Marcel Nguyen (GER), VT: A handspring double front that could not be more cowboyed, but he gets it to his feet. Nearly lands lock-legged but not quite, fortunately. 13.922.

Bart Deurloo (NED), VT: Tsuk 2.5, great in the air and nearly stuck, just a small step back, finally. 14.4 puts him first at the moment.

Artur Dalaloyan (RUS), VT: Piked Dragulescu! Some leg form (bent and separated), a bit of a stumble on landing, but still. Piked Dragulescu! 14.766.

Rotation 5:

Teppei Miwa (JPN), PB: Underbalances a handstand right before his double pike dismount, has to bend arms. That throws off his concentration, and then he sits the double pike. Too bad! The rest was great. Learning experience. 13.433.

Sun Wei (CHN): Peach half, peach. Giant. Uprise front straddle somie. Clips his foot a little on a swinging skill but no big deal. Belle. Inside Diamadov. Double front half out tucked, hop back. 14.5.

Frank Baines (GBR), PB: English handstand. Diamadov. Little struggle on one handstand. Double pike dismount with a step back. Maybe his roughest routine of the day so far, but he survived. 13.8.

Marcel Nguyen (GER), PB: His teammates, sitting in the stands, are coaching him through this routine. Impressive as ever from the 2012 Olympic silver medalist on this event, ending with full twisting double tuck dismount (just a hop). 14.666.

Eddy Yusof (SUI), PB: Takes a dramatic, gasp-inducing fall off the parallel bars on either a Belle or a Bhavsar. Lays there as if dead for a good five seconds before getting up. Appreciative applause from the audience as he finishes.

Petro Pakhniuk (UKR), PB: Another excellent routine from Pakhniuk. Double front with a half twist. 14.833. Pakhniuk adds a salute to his fist bumps here. His Yul Moldauer impression, perhaps?

Akash Modi (USA), PB: Great routine interior but lands on all fours on his full twisting double tuck dismount. That's a shame -- 13.233 that puts him fifth at this point.

Bart Deurloo (NED), PB: Basically falls attempting a Diamadov into handstand on one rail, an extremely hard skill. Covers it up by doing a half pirouette and kipping off, but the crowd (and likely the judges) are not fooled. 12.2.

Artur Dalaloyan (RUS), PB: Clear hip mount. Diamadov. Stutz. Tippelt. Bhavsar. Front straddle somie. Inside Diamadov. Uprise to double front pike dismount! 15.066.

One of the many cool things about Artur Dalaloyan is that he's innovative. He isn't doing the same skills as everyone else. That, combined with his excellent presentation, sets him apart even further.

Rotation 6:

Eddy Yusof (SUI), HB: Lots of Tkatchev variations, Tak half way out of handstand. Nearly sticks his double double layout, but finally has to step back. 13.733.

Teppei Miwa (JPN), HB: Cassina. Kolman. Layout Tkatchev half. Layout Tkatchev to Tkatchev. Hop 1.5. Double double layout, tiny hop. The Germans, who love high bar more than any other apparatus, adore this routine. 14.466.

Bart Deurloo (NED), HB: Tak half. Cassina. Kovacs to Kolman. Tak full (angle) to Yama. Double double layout with a hop. 14.2.

Akash Modi (USA), HB: Tkatchev, layout Tkatchev, Tkatchev half, has to muscle a handstand...layout Tkatchev half. Double double layout, tiny hop. 13.9.

Frank Baines (GBR), HB: Tkatchev. Tkatchev half. Falls on Tak full, which would have been beautiful had he not fallen on it. Floats and sticks his full twisting double layout dismount. 12.166.

Sun Wei (CHN), HB: Layout Tkatchev to Tkatchev half. Layout Tkatchev half. Bit of originality with hop to mixed grip to Yama, not bothering to try a Tak. Double double layout with a small hop. Nice routine. 14.333.

Marcel Nguyen (GER), HB: Complete respectful silence in the hall as Marcel performs -- except from his teammates, who can't stop shouting their support at him. Tkatchevs, a Kovacs, a Kolman, a double double layout with a hop. Marcel takes a bow. 13.366.

Petro Pakhniuk (UKR), HB: Second coming into this rotation. German giants. Tkatchev. Tkatchev half. Tak variations, half and full. Full twisting double layout with a step back. 13.566. He looks just delighted. This is his day!

Artur Dalaloyan (RUS), HB: The first thing he does is come off on his Cassina. And it was going so, so well! Kovacs. Layout Tkatchev half. Tak half. Off again on layout Tkatchev! Ooooooo....

The upshot: Despite two falls on high bar on his last event, Artur Dalaloyan wins the Stuttgart World Cup with a 84.497 total, ahead of Sun Wei and Petro Pakhniuk. Rough ending for the world champ, but high bar shouldn't overshadow his other 5 events, which were excellent with a capital E.

Results

1 - Artur Dalaloyan, Russia, 84.497
2 - Sun Wei, China, 83.465
3 - Petro Pakhniuk, Ukraine, 83.331
4 - Marcel Nguyen, Germany, 82.864
5 - Akash Modi, USA, 82.098
6 - Bart Deurloo, Netherlands, 81.999
7 - Teppei Miwa, Japan, 81.664
8 - Eddy Yusof, Switzerland, 80.697
9 - Frank Baines, Great Britain, 80.631

Notes from Podium Training at the Stuttgart World Cup

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STUTTGART - To watch women’s podium training is like watching an extended preview of the next episode of your favorite TV drama. While it doesn’t give away the ending, you glean all sorts of details about the goings-on of your favorite characters. There are few secrets in women’s training at meets like the Stuttgart World Cup: If someone has an exciting new beam series or has changed their floor choreography or is thinking about maybe potentially throwing a Produnova vault, it shows up in training, clear as day.

By comparison, men’s podium training is extremely relaxed. The guys stretch, shake out their muscles, windmill their arms, swing bent-legged giants on high bar, cast to handstand on parallel bars and stay there for a bit, also with bent legs, and run down the vault runway and execute tremendously explosive front handspring vaults, the kind you see from level fives, only way, way better. Those things being accomplished, they often seem to retire for the night. Most of the time, the observer learns next to nothing.

It was worth it to come anyway, I thought, to see Artur Dalaloyan. The reigning world champion who was so convincing in his five-medal haul last fall in Doha finished in the neighborhood of seventeenth at last week’s Russian Championships. (Granted, he was sick and unprepared.) I was curious as to whether watching him train will give an indication of how much of that mid-70s all-around score he got in Penza was sickness and how much was being unprepared.

The first thing to notice about Dalaloyan’s technique is that it’s really, really beautiful. Russian technique in general is excellent; Dalaloyan surpasses excellence. Although short and muscular, he moves like a lynx, and everything is perfectly extended. That was clear. What wasn’t was where he really is physically -- he did a few circles on pommel horse, a few moves on rings and basic stuff on parallel bars; nothing close to a full routine. He dropped off rings rather than hold an iron cross at one point. His problem, if he’s going to have one Saturday, is likely to be endurance, not individual skills.

Other small observations:

Japan’s Teppei Miwa got lots of support from his coach, who clapped at everything he did, even if he fell, as though to say, “Hey, gymnastics is hard. You almost caught that bar -- you’ll get there!”

Great Britain’s Frank Baines, the 2012 junior European all-around champion, was the guy working the hardest on the eve of this World Cup. He was all over the gym, doing full sets on almost everything.

The Netherlands’s Bart Deurloo was also building up quite a sweat coming off a not amazing day at the American Cup two weeks ago. The one who snuck out early? That was Ukraine’s Petro Pakhnyuk.

Sun Wei, part of China’s world championship team last year, continues to show great form on all events. It’s not next level a la Dalaloyan, but it is extremely easy to watch.

Akash Modi’s first warmup turn on high bar included some giants and a big stuck double double layout. The last thing Modi did was a sweet multiple-combination release sequence on high bar, meriting a fist bump from his coach. Which just goes to show, if you wait around a bit, the guys do do real gymnastics -- it just takes them awhile to get going.

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Nagornyy nets six gold at Russian Championships

Nikita Nagornyy topped six out of seven podiums at the Russian Championships in Penza this past weekend. Here, the parallel bars podium. Photo: Elena Mikhailovna/sportgymrus.ru

Nikita Nagornyy topped six out of seven podiums at the Russian Championships in Penza this past weekend. Here, the parallel bars podium. Photo: Elena Mikhailovna/sportgymrus.ru

Nikita Nagornyy reigned over the men’s competition at the Russian Championships, cruising to his first Russian all-around title Friday in Penza.

Illness prevented 2018 world all-around champion Artur Dalaloyan from defending his 2018 title, clearing the field for Nagornyy, who accumulated 173.296 points over two days of competition, well ahead of Vladyslav Polyshov (166.730) and 2012 Olympic team alternate Nikita Ignatyev (165.230).

Earlier in the week, Nagornyy led his Moscow team, which included Dalaloyan, Lankin, Alexey Kosyanov, Stanislav Khegai and Nikolai Kishkilev to silver in the team competition. The less-favored Central Federal District (2016 Olympian Ivan Stretovich, Polyashov, Sergey Krivunets, Alexey Rostov, Ilya Kibartas and Kirill Prokopyev) won the title by just over a point. The Siberian Federal District, including Ignatyev and 2016 Olympian Oleg Stepko, won the bronze.

Despite his margin of victory, Nagornyy, who took bronze in the all-around behind Dalaloyan and Xiao Ruoteng at the 2018 World Championships, found plenty to critique about his performance in Penza. “Unfortunately, I failed to accomplish what I set out to do today,” he said. “There were mistakes in the exercises on the horse, on the rings and on the parallel bars.”

All the same, Nagornyy was clearly the class of the field, and proved it during Saturday and Sunday’s event finals, where he went five for six, winning everything except floor exercise, where he took silver.

Despite being criticized for lack of preparation in the press by Russian head coach Andrei Rodionenko, the talented Dalaloyan’s chances of competing at next month’s European Championships remain intact. The world champion is scheduled to take part in this weekend’s Stuttgart World Cup, where he’ll have another chance to show what he’s capable of.

Russian Championships - Men’s Event Finals

Floor exercise

1 - Dmitry Lankin, 14.3
2 - Nikita Nagornyy, 14.1
3 - Kirill Prokopyev,  14.033

Pommel Horse

1 - Nikita Nagornyy, 14.366
2 - Sergey Eltsov, 14.233
3 - Kirill Prokopyev, 14.2 

Still Rings

1 - Nikita Nagornyy, 14.266
2 - Ilya Kibartas, Denis Ablyazin and Nikita Ignatiev, 14.133

Vault

1 - Nikita Nagornyy, 14.683
2 - Artur Dalaloyan, 14.516
3 - Oleg Stepko, 14.233

Parallel Bars

1 - Nikita Nagornyy, 15.0
2 - Dmitry Lankin, 14.533
3 - Nikita Ignatiev, 13.9

High Bar

1 - Nikita Nagornyy, 13.733
2 - Nikita Ignatiev, 13.7
3 - Ivan Stretovich, 13.5