Ukraine Wins 9 Medals At Szombathely World Challenge Cup

More than 10 different countries saw its gymnasts stand atop the medal stand at the 2019 FIG Szombathely World Challenge Cup, but Ukraine led the way, claiming nine medals. Other countries that earned multiple medals include Great Britain, Israel, Japan, host country Hungary, Slovenia, and Spain.

The first day of finals on Sept. 7 had Ukraine on almost every apparatus podium. The men's floor exercise final saw eight good floor routines score 13.566 or higher. Israel's Artem Dolgopyat took the floor gold with a big 14.866, while Ukraine took silver and gold as Oleg Verniaiev and Petro Pahkniuk scored 14.300 and 14.233, respectively. Verniaiev also medaled on pommel horse. The Ukrainian superstar earned silver behind Great Britain's Joshua Nathan and ahead of Slovenia's Saso Bertoncelj

Ukraine finally got the gold during the still rings final as Igor Radivilov nailed his signature event with a score of 14.733. Egypt's Ali Zahran won silver with a 14.700, and Austria's Vinzenz Hoeck won bronze with a 14.566.

On the women's side, Ukraine had a medalist in only one of the two finals of the day. In the vault final, Marina Nekrasova of Azerbaijan competed two vaults with execution scores of 9.000 or higher to win the vault title with a score of 14.183. Teja Belak gave Slovenia its second medal of the competition with silver after her vaults put her just behind Nekrasova with a 14.166. Angelina Radivilova of Ukraine added to her country's medal haul with bronze from her 13.916 average.

In the uneven bars final, Caitlin Rooskrantz of South Africa won gold, her country's only medal of the meet. Phoebe Jakubczyk of Great Britain won silver, and Roxana Popa won bronze in her first international meet in years.

Sept. 8 was the final day of competition at the Szombathely Challenge Cup, where Ukraine won four more medals. Petro Pahkniuk led the way with silver on parallel bars and another silver on high bar. Pahkniuk's fellow Ukrainian, Verniaiev, won the parallel bars title, while Bulgaria's Yordan Aleksandrov won bronze. Hungary's David Vecsernyes came out on top for high bar, and Israel's Alexander Myankin earned bronze.

Radivilova won another medal for Ukraine when she took bronze on floor with a 12.833. She actually earned the same score as Great Britain's Emily Thomas but was awarded bronze because Thomas had a higher execution score. Marina Gonzalez of Spain won gold with a 12.866 to give Spain its second medal in Szombathely.

While the Ukrainian men failed to medal on vault, the Japanese men easily took the top two spots. Hinedobu Yonekura and Kitaro Okaubo won gold and silver with scores of 15.049 and 14.416, respectively. Norway's Sofus Heggemsnes got a 14.266 to beat out Verniaiev and Radivilov and win his country its first medal of the Challenge Cup. 

The balance beam final saw Canada's first medal of the meet with Emma Spence taking the bronze with a 12.433. Noemi Makra of Hungary won the event on home soil with a 13.200 while Belak won silver with a 12.466.

Final results from the meet for the first day of women's finals can be found on the Hungarian Gymnastics Federation's website here while the women's results for the last day can be found here. Men's day 1 results are posted here, and day 2 results are here.

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