November 15, 2008

DTB - Men's Competition

We promised to provide you with some details on the men's competition in Stuttgart. Well, as far as the German media were concerned, it was all a great Fabian Hambüchen fest ("The Hambüchen festival goes on," read the headline of the Frankfurter Allgemeine, Germany's largest newspaper). This was all the more remarkable since Hambüchen was - you've guessed it - injured. Reportedly the injury in the little finger on his left hand which caused him such trouble in Beijing has flared up again, causing him to skip vault in Stuttgart (although he will reportedly do vault in today's all-around competition). He will undergo more medical examinations in a few days to determine whether the finger needs surgery.

After his victory on high bar, Hambüchen raised a victorious fist to the crowd and proudly accepted the "Fabi, Fabi" cheers. "I did well and enjoyed the atmosphere, so I allowed myself to get a little emotional," the German was quoted as saying by the Stuttgarter Zeitung. "I was having fun again." What a change from Beijing, where he had tears in his eyes after the high bar final...

Fabian Hambüchen (photo: Reuters)

China's new stars also did well, claiming half of the men's titles between them: pommel horse (Zhang Hongtao), parallel bars (Feng Zhe) and still rings (Yan Mingyong).

By now the complete results have been posted on IG. We're just going to add a few notes, courtesy (once more) of the DTB site.

Fabian Hambüchen stepped out of bounds on his layout double-double, but hit the rest of his difficult routine and so emerged victorious. Britain's Kristian Thomas was awarded the silver for a twist-abundant routine that started with a 2.5 twist to front-half and ended with a double Arabian. Alexander Shatilov had to settle for the bronze after taking steps on his second multiple twisting pass and triple twist dismount. Diego Hypolito faltered on his press to handstand, then threw in the towel, finishing with a simple double twist dismount. Way to give up, son.

Zhang Hongtao (photo: Daniel Maurer/AP Photo)

Pommel horse
Exciting new kid on the block Zhang Hongtao nailed a very hard routine: 6.8 start value, 9.500 for execution! It was the highest execution score in the entire competition. Australia's Prashanth Sellathurai was fast and clean for the silver, while Armenia's Harutyum Merdinyan took a surprise bronze.

Yan Mingyong (photo: Daniel Maurer/AP Photos)

China's Yan Mingyong and Holland's Yuri van Gelder tied for the gold with exactly the same start values and execution scores. Van Gelder hit his usual deep inverted crosses but piked down his layout full-in dismount; Yan hit his dismount for a share of the gold. Alexander Vorobyov showed excellent strength parts and a piked double front dismount for the bronze.

Thomas Bouhail (photo: Reuters)

Thomas Bouhail was unbeatable here (he's been doing very well for himself lately), hitting a powerful Tsukahara piked double back (small step backward) and a handspring double front. Holland's Jeffrey Wammes hit a 2.5-twisting Yurchenko with a step backward, then took a step on his handspring double-twisting front (silver). Germany's Matthias Fahrig, who had qualified in first place, sat down on his handspring piked double front but hit his 1.5-twisting Kasamatsu for the bronze. Diego Hypolito hit his 1.5-twisting Kasamatsu but was a bit off on his handspring 1.5-twisting front. The Hypolitos were disappointing in Stuttgart. Diego's sister Daniele wasn't very impressive either.

Feng Zhe (photo: Daniel Maurer/AP Photo)

Parallel bars
China's Feng Zhe took a clear step backward on his dismount, but his clean lines and 7.0 start value helped to offset that. Yann Cucherat showed a clean set, but had to settle for silver after taking a deep landing on his dismount. Fabian Hambüchen placed third after taking a few steps in his handstand after his Healy. For his part, Vasileios Tsolakidis hit a good piked double front for fourth, while Phil Rizzo, who was a bit off center on his piked Belle, placed fifth.

Fabian Hambüchen (photo: Reuters)

High bar
Fabian Hambüchen nailed his 7.1 routine: layout Kovacs, Kolman, Ribalko, Markelov, layout Tkatchev, rock-solid double-double dismount. Wow! Aljaz Pegan put up a good fight (good Pegan straight into 1.5 turn, triple back dismount) but came up short on a half turn and had to make do with the silver. Phil Rizzo hit his Markelov and Def, but took a step backward on his double-double (bronze). Epke Zonderland came off on his spectacular Kovacs-Kolman combo.

To be continued tomorrow with all-around results.