Who Came, Discovered
April 8, 1978 The final competition in events was held yesterday at the international gymnastics tournament Riga-78.
The gymnastics finals were a concert where only the soloists competed. The best masters of each apparatus were on display. And if not everyone can hope for an all-around medal, then in their favorite events the gymnasts prepared interesting combinations, adorned with complex elements. Eight gymnasts took part in each final, with no more than two competitors per country. Because of this, there were a lot of representatives: female gymnasts from 11 countries, and male gymnasts from 12 countries.
Floor exercise: Only one Soviet gymnast, Natalia Yurchenko, qualified for the final. She began her routine with a double salto piked and ended with a double salto tucked. Her score of 9.65 said that everything was done very well. Only one of her competitors, Bulgarian Diliana Glucheva - included a double salto in her routine.
In the men's final, no one could reach the boy from Rostov, V. Tikhonov, although all finalists showed good acrobatic preparations. For example, K. Gushiken (JPN) after a double salto executed a flip-flip and salto with 360-degree twist. Complex elements were performed by J. Cuervo (CUB) and G. Kramarics (HUN).
Pommel Horse: Winner Jim Hartung (USA) demonstrated a good combination of a circle on one arm. V. Tikhonov was unlucky. He fell off the pommel horse, although his new routine included original travels.
Balance beam: The owner of the "amber beam," V. Zhidunova, demonstrated that the 9.6 she received for her beam exercise in the all-around competition wasn't a fluke. She received the same score in finals.
Rings: Korean gymnasts Kim Gwang Din and Kan Gwan Suk possessed strong elements. Both performed the "Azaryan Cross" at the beginning of their routines. Kim Gwang Din ended with a double salto and 720-degree twist. However, Tikhonov won by conquering the judges with a rare element.
Vault: N. Tereshchenko beat her rivals with a handspring 1 1/2 salto forwards and a layout Tsukahara. R. Schwandt did the same vaults, but her execution was not as good.
The men showed complex vaults. A. Atakhanov won. He executed a layout Tsukahara and a Tsukahara tucked with 360-degree twist. Both vaults are novelties. Jorge Cavlo (ESP) gave good performances. At Moscow News 1978 he had amazed the specialists with his Tsukahara tucked with 360-degree twist, but today he committed an error when landing his handpsring 1 1/2 salto forwards and finished in 4th place.
Uneven bars: Zhidunova earned her second gold medal with an excellent performance of the "Korbut Loop" with 360-degree twist. She conquered the spectators and judges with this beautiful and complex combination. The battle on this event was sharp, because all the competitors showed interesting combinations.
Parallel bars: Tikhonov celebrated his third victory. He had the best preliminary score and also the best score in finals. This is the most "conservative" of the men's apparatus. Gushiken showed a new series and pretty combinations but didn't do anything too complex.
Horizontal bar: For the second time in the Riga tournament (the first was in 1976) Japanese qualified two gymnasts to this final but didn't win a medal, even though Gushiken had the highest preliminary score. There were 2 winners: Atakhanov and P. Stout (USA). Both performed a front salto to hang after a front giant, which gave them additional risk. Atakhanov touched a hand to the mat after his triple salto dismount, so he had to share his victory.
International gymnastics tournament Riga-78. Final competition in the individual events.
Vault: 1. N. Tereshchenko (USSR) 19.375; 2. R. Schwandt (USA) 18.875; 3. J. Lucke (GDR) 18.525
Uneven bars: 1. V. Zhidunova (USSR) 19.15; 2. S. Hindorff (GDR) 19.1; 3. N. Tereshchenko 18.9
Balance beam: 1. V. Zhidunova 19.2; 2. N. Tereshchenko 18.7; 3. Dong Han Suk (PRK) 18.45
Floor exercise: 1. N. Yurchenko (USSR) 19.25; 2. S. Hindorff 18.75; 3. M. Chapman (USA) 18.6
Floor exercise: 1. V. Tikhonov (USSR) 19.2; 2. K. Gushiken (JPN) 19.1; 3. G. Kramarics (HUN) 18.9
Pommel horse: 1. J. Hartung (USA) 18.7; 2. S. Shirashi (JPN) 18.3; 3. K. Gushiken 18.25
Rings: 1. V. Tikhonov 19.25; 2. Kim Gwang Din (PRK) and T. Nishiki (JPN) 19.1
Vault: 1. A. Atakhanov (USSR) 19.025; 2. S. Sedov (USSR) 18.875; 3. J. Robel (GDR) 18.825
Parallel bars: 1. V. Tikhonov 19.15; 2. T. Nishiki 18.85; 3. K. Gushiken 18.8
Horizontal bar: 1. P. Stout (USA) and A. Atakhanov 18.65; 3. A. Hirsch (GDR) 18.55
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