October 30, 2008

Hambüchen and Izbaşa Win Arthur Gander Memorial

Sandra Izbaşa has won the first of the five competitions in which she is slated to compete this post-Olympic season: the Arthur Gander Memorial, an annual event held in Chiasso, Switzerland. The Gander Memorial has a unique format: female gymnasts only compete on three events of their choice, while male competitors get to pick their four favorite events.

Photo: Harry How/Getty Images

Competing on vault (14.000), beam (15.1000) and floor (15.200), Izbaşa amassed 44.300 points in Chiasso, holding off German über-veteran Oksana Chusovitina, who competed on the same three events and obtained 15.000 on vault, 14.800 on beam, and 14.200 on floor for a 44.000 total. He Ning of China placed third with a 43.550 total which included a rather sloppy bar routine (by Chinese standards). Rounding out the field were Ariella Kaeslin, Ksenia Afanasyeva, Yasmin Zimmermann, and Lia Parolari.

According to the DTB site, Germany's Marie-Sophie Hindermann had to withdraw from the competition due to an Achilles tendon injury which will also prevent her from competing before a home crowd at the DTB Cup.

The men's title went to Fabian Hambüchen, the first German to win the competition. Aside from the overall title, the high bar specialist obtained the highest scores on each of the individual events on which he chose to compete: high bar (16.000), floor (15.250), vault (16.150) and parallel bars (15.600). According to the DTB site, Hambüchen unveiled a new routine on high bar featuring both a layout and a tucked Kovacs (7.1 start value).

Photo: picture-alliance/dpa

As in the ladies' competition, the men's all-around silver went to a veteran: Bulgarian Jordan Jovchev (61.450). Russia's Maksim Devyatovsky ranked third with a 60.650 total.

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