The AGF Trophy has been recently held in Baku. Catalina Ponor took the first places at both Balance Beam and Floor Exercise. The Triple Olympic gold medallist proved that she is a tip to follow.
Ponor was one of four Olympic champions to qualify in first place for this weekend’s finals. In his first international outing of the year, Rio Still Rings champion Eleftherios Petrounias howed a precise exercise on his specialty for the top score. 2012 Olympic Pommel Horse champion Krisztian Berki also successfully swung a complicated set to dust his competition.
Three months shy of her 42nd birthday, the eternally young Oksana Chusovitina, whose Olympic gold came with the Unified Team in 1992, was up to her usual standard on Vault where she too qualified first. Chusovitina did not attempt the demanding Produnova vault that she showed at last summer’s Olympics, and she didn't need to - her go-to vaults were more than enough to put her above the rest of the field.
France’s Zachari Hrimeche and Edgar Boulet, two of the up-and-coming generation of French gymnasts, rose to the top of the scoreboard on Men’s Vault and Horizontal Bar, respectively, while first-year senior Diana Varinska of Ukraine was the best on Uneven Bars. China’s Liu Rongbing took top honours on Parallel Bars.
In a coup for the host country, Azerbaijan’s Murad Agharzayev qualified first on Floor Exercise in only his second World Cup appearance. Agharzayev isn’t the only Azerbaijani in medal contention: Marina Nekrasova finished second in the Women’s Floor Exercise behind Ponor, and third on Vault.
Like it? Tell your friends