With the amended Code prohibiting piked and
tucked versions of the same release skill, parallel
bars began its return to a watchable event. Swing
actually matters again, and France’s Yann
Cucherat edged p-bar god Mitja Petkovsek
(Slovenia) for the gold, 15.825-15.800. Both
had 6. 5 D-scores, but Cucherat (peach, peach-half, piked Belle; Tippelt; straddled front- 11⁄ 4)
stuck his double pike and Petkovsek (peach-full,
peach, peach-half; front- 11⁄ 4; Tippelt) did not.
Hambüchen, the only other p-bar finalist with
a 6. 5 D-score, was well behind with 15.375 for
the bronze. He opened with a peach-half (low) to
peach and later threw a Dmitrienko (front uprise
immediate double back to upper arms) and a
Morisue (from support, double tuck to upper
Second a year ago on high bar, Greece’s
Vlasios Maras won rather easily in Milan. He and
runner-up Cucherat both had 6. 7 D-scores, but
Maras, a two-time world high bar champion, was
cleaner (Pegan; Takemoto-Yamawaki; Stalder-Rybalko; layout double-double; 15.375).
Cucherat ( 15.250) was a bit sloppy on his
Kovacs, but threw a Kolman and showed a rare
Yann Cucherat (left) of France won parallel bars
and placed second on high bar to Greece’s
Vlasios Maras (right). Germany’s Philipp Boy
(below) finished fourth AA.
was given a 6. 9 D-score in prelims, was rated
only a 6. 7 in final.
Vault produced the correct winner in Thomas
Bouhail of France, who did two legitimate 7.0
vaults: piked double Tsukahara (hop) and a
Dragulescu (barely completed). Romania’s
Flavius Koczi played the Code cleverly to win the
silver, since his two ‘different’ 7.0- vaults—a
Lopez (Kasamatsu-double twist) and a Yeo 2
(handspring-front with 21⁄2 twists)—are basically
variations of each other. If you can do one, you
can surely do the other.
Fahrig vaulted a Dragulescu (hop back) and a
Kasamatsu- 11⁄2 for the bronze. Potential medalist
Dmitry Kasperovich (Belarus) had planned to do
a Dragulescu, but he lost his steps and did a double front to his rear. He did not execute a second
vault and placed eighth.
“After the retirement of some of my opponents, I proved that I was the best at the 2008
World Cup Final,” Bouhail, a vault silver medalist at the Olympics, told Ouest-France. “I
showed that once again today.”
Takemoto to undergrips (instead of the usual
Ukraine’s Nikolay Kuksenkov won the bronze
( 6. 4 D-score), opening with a half Takemoto, followed by giants to a Kovacs. Nothing unusual set
him apart, and he dismounted with a full-twisting
Top high bar qualifier Igor Cassina of Italy certainly hoped for a better showing at home, but
the 2004 Olympic champion missed two
Kolmans and finished last.
The overall medal standings for men and
women combined showed Russia and Germany
both with six, followed by Great Britain (five),
Ukraine (four) and France and Romania, both
with three. The Russian women and German
men are in position to rule the continent, but
Great Britain might work its way into the mix on
both sides in the coming years. Romania, which
won the European women’s team gold in 2008,
remains a question mark, but its rich tradition
could help to keep it a contender through 2012.