Gymnastics Fireworks in the Dynamo Sports Hall

Nearly a decade ago at the 1974 World Championships in Varna, Nikolai Andrianov of the USSR was the first gymnast to dare a triple somersault dismount from high bar. The landing wasn't perfect back then, but the event went into the history book of world gymnastics.

Approximately 600 spectators witnessed another historic event, at the 20th dual meet between the GDR and the USSR in Berlin's Dynamo sports hall on May 6, 1984. For the first time an entire team dismounted high bar with a triple back somersault. Delegation head Andrianov said, "This is the train of events."

These were the six gymnasts who competed in this gala show: Mikhail Kokorin (born 1964/Dynamo Moscow), Sergei Gussev (1966/CSKA Moscow), Dmitri Beresner (1966/Dynamo Moscow), Lado Gogoladze (1966/Lok Tblissi), Valentin Mogilny (1965/Burevestnik Leninsk-Kuznetsk), Ravil Adeev (1968/Dynamo Cherkessk). And the show wasn't based only on the triple. Beresner did two Tkachevs; Adeev, a Deltchet-Tkachev combination from a one-arm giant; Gogoladze offered the same combination; Gussev also performed two Tkachevs; Mogilny did a Tkachev from a one-arm giant; while Kokorin offered the Jager and Deltchev as his flight elements. They all did flawless routines and landed their triples perfectly!

We could stop here, but doing so would prevent our readers from other blockbusters. For example.

* Kokorin, Gussev and Silvio Kroll attempted, with varying success, a double layout somersault on floor exercise.

* On pommel horse, world champion Bilozerchev will probably find his future successor on his own team. What junior European champion Adeev showed on the Berlin parquet bordered on magic, and his courage moved beyong the limits of accepted risk. His scissors showed wonderful flight and height, and at the beginning he did the move with a 360-degree rotation. Only a small slip in the middle of his routine barred the way for a 10, but with "only" 9.75 this exercise was still the highlight of the meet.

* Triple salto dismount on rings from Beresner, Gussev and Kokorin brought much applause.

* Special applause for the two world champion finalists Jensch and Kroll for perfect vaults, even though they had not started the competition very well.

* Kroll presented a new exercise on parallel bars, which was very reminiscent of Michael Nikolay. 9.80. He was not far behind Adeev, who started his routine with beautiful circles at the end of the bars.

* And then the gala show ended on high bar, where courageous Dynamo gymnast Sten Koplin-Fritsche also dismounted with a triple somersault, and Potsdamer Ralf Quast wish his release of the hands during a full-twisting giant swing at the top of the bar

For the statisticians, this 20th dual meet brought the GDR its seventh team victory..