December 14, 2008

Bundesliga Finals a Close-Run Thing

According to the DTB site, a sell-out 4,000-strong crowd in the German city of Heidelberg witnessed the mostr exciting Bundesliga Final in years on Saturday, December 13. Both the men's and the women's finals were thrillers. In the highly anticipated men's final (featuring two teams whose members had to face their opposite numbers from the other team in direct battles, after which the team score was calculated on the basis of the margin by which each athlete defeated his direct rival), title defenders SC Cottbus surprisingly beat red hot favorites KTV Straubenhardt by 36 to 31. Cottbus' victory was largely due to the fact that it beat Straubenhardt on pommel horse, 14-0. Straubenhardt leader Fabian Hambüchen, who declined a World Cup Final invitation to compete in Heidelberg instead, had a weak meet, falling from both pommel horse and horizontal bar. After the competition, Hambüchen said, "I knew in advance that it was going to be a close-run thing. We all made small mistakes here and there. In the end it was the complete package which wasn't enough today."

Fabian Hambüchen's floor exercise from the Bundesliga Final can be seen here (good routine, bad image quality).

Kim Bui (photo: Jasmin Schneebeli-Wochner/Gymbox)

In the women's final, which featured four teams and followed "regular" competition rules, TuS Chemnitz beat EnBW TT Stuttgart by 0.30. Chemnitz, represented by German national team members Joeline Moebius, Susann Herbst, and Jenny Brunner (among other people), scored 206.80, while Stuttgart, whose leader Kim Bui (who also declined a World Cup Final invitation in order to compete in Heidelberg) posted the highest AA total, amassed 206.50. Hoffnungsthal finished third (193.55), easily holding off fourth-place Cologne, which had to compete without injured Oksana Chusovitina (185.10).

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