Zeturidze and Gogoladze Win in Riga


Moscow News, No. 15, 1985   Eka Zeturidze, 17, a schoolgirl, and Vladimir Gogoladze, a higher school student, both from the capital of the Georgian Republic, won the overall titles at the international gymnastics tournament Riga-85.  For three days over 100 gymnasts from 28 countries vied for the prizes, including the "amber beam" and the "amber pommel horse" which are given to the winners of the combined exercises.

Eka is no novice in gymnastics, but this was her first victory at such a prestigious tournament.  At last year's national championships she was the runner-up in the floor exercises.

Soviet girls Irina Baraksanova and Natalya Laschenova came second and third overall.  Natalya is only 11, so she surprised even the veteran coaches by her high result.  Chen Cuiting (PRC) who came fourth was the best of the guests.

Gogoladze, 21, was also good.  In Moscow, vying for the MN Prize he was behind the victor by a mere 0.1 point, but won on three separate apparatuses.  The young, elegant gymnast excelled himself once again in Riga.  He was followed by Radion Gabitov and  Oleg Kapetov (both USSR).  Fourth place was shared by Li Cher Hen (DPRK) and Guo Lingsheng (PRC).

The winners in separate exercises in Riga were: women -- Zeturidze in the vault; Baraksanova on the asymmetric bars; Laschenova on the beam, and Chen Cuiting in the floor exercises.  The men's prizes were won by: Gabitov on the pommel horse; Gabitov and Li Cher Hen on the parallel bars; Yevgeny Koryakov (USSR) on the rings; Albert Haschar (West Germany) on the long horse; Huang Wofu (PRC) in the floor exercises, and Kim Chel Nam (DPRK) on the horizontal bar. 

Judging by the high appraisals of specialists the two international competitions held in Moscow and Riga provided a good opportunity to check on the course of training for the season, to get to know new names and to test new elements in competition.

The next major event for Soviet men and women gymnasts will be the national championships scheduled for the second half of April in Alma-Ata.  The candidates for the European championships (held once every two years) will be selected in keeping with its results.  Just to remind our readers -- the 1983 overall European champions were Muscovites Olga Bicherova and Dmitry Bilozerchev.


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