France, Russia & Ukraine Top Paris World Challenge Cup

After two days of jam-packed competition at the 2019 FIG Paris World Challenge Cup, Russia led the medal count with six, followed by France and Ukraine. Other countries that earned medals include Croatia, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Spain, and Taiwan/Chinese Taipei.

Qualifications took place Sept. 14, with all finals occurring on Sept. 15. The first set of finals included women's vault, uneven bars, men's floor, pommel horse, and still rings.

Uzbekistan's Oksana Chusovitina continued to be legendary as she won the women's vault title with a score of 14.300. Hungary's Sara Peter and Chile's Franchesca Santi rounded out the podium with average scores of 13.900 and 13.750, respectively. On uneven bars, the final was competitive with seven of the eight finalists scoring above 13.000 and four scoring above 14.000. French star Melanie de Jesus dos Santos hit a beautiful routine for the gold with a score of 14.650. Russia's Anastasia Agafonova and Hungary's Zsofia Kovacs earned silver and bronze with scores of 14.600 and 14.200, respectively.

The first men's final was floor exercise, where Japan's Kazuki Minami posted the only score in the 15.000 range of the day. Minami won with a 15.100, followed by Israel's Artem Dolgopyat with a 14.9000 and Russia's Kirill Prokopev with a 14.850. After winning in Szombathely, Great Britain's Joshua Nathan won his second straight World Challenge Cup pommel horse title with his 14.600 score. Prokopev also medaled on vault with a 14.500 for silver while Canada's Thierry Pellerin earned bronze with a 14.450. 

Ali Zahran of Egypt and Amir Ait Said of France both scored a 14.950 with the same execution score to win and tie for the still rings title. There was another tie in the rings final as Kentaro Yunoki of Japan and Vinzenz Hoeck of Austria both earned a 14.600, but Yunoki's 8.700 execution score gave him the bronze medal over Hoeck's 8.400.

The second set of women's finals began with a close competition on balance beam where Russia and Ukraine reigned supreme. Agafanova won the gold with a 13.400 while Ukrainian teammates Anastasia Bachynska and Diana Varinska earned silver and bronze with a 13.300 and 13.200, respectively. The women concluded on floor where Varinska won another medal. This time she won gold with a 13.450. Marine Boyer of France earned silver with 13.400, and Aneta Holasova of Czech Republic got bronze with 13.100.

The final half of men's finals started with vault, which Europeans swept. Loris Frasca of France won the vault title on his home turf with an average of 14.850. Jake Jarman of Great Britain averaged 14.375 for silver, and Adria Vera of Spain averaged 14.050 for the bronze. 

On parallel bars, Japan's Kaito Sugimoto competed a very clean routine with a 9.100 execution score to finish on top with a 15.300, several tenths and even points ahead of the rest of the podium. Russia's Sergei Eltcov earned silver with a 14.850, while Hungary's Ryan Macleod Sheppard earned bronze with a 13.950.

Last, but not least, was high bar, where all eight men scored a 13.300 or higher, six scored in the 14.000 range, and only 0.350 separated the gold and bronze medalists. Tin Srbic of Croatia won the title with a 14.900. Eltcov won another medal with a 14.700 on high bar for silver, and Tang Chia-Hung of Chinese Taipei scored 14.550 for bronze, his first major medal of the year. 

Official full results for the 2019 FIG Paris World Challenge Cup can be found on France Promo Gym here.

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