China win three out of four golds in Sofia

November 11, 2017 08:41 AM
Chinese trampoline team

Punjab News Express/Balbir Singh
SOFIA (BUL): The first day of finals at the 2017 Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships was a golden one for China, whose teams took three of the first four titles at stake -  in men's and women Trampoline and in women's Tumbling. Russia collected the other gold, in men's Double Mini-trampoline, reports FIG.
With their stellar trio of 2012 Olympic champion Dong Dong, Tu Xiao and Gao Lei - World champions respectively in 2013, 2014 and 2015 - the Chinese team (with also Xiao Jinyu) went into the final tagged as the clear favorites. However the way to gold was not so smooth thanks to a tough challenge from their Russian rivals (Dmitrii Ushakov, Sergei Azarian, Andrey Yudin, and Mikhail Melnik).
As he did in qualification the day before, Ushakov ended up with the best score of the evening, putting huge pressure on Gao Lei who was the last competitor. However, the reigning World champion resisted the challenge and by a final margin of less than 0.3 points, China reclaimed the team world title they had lost to Belarus in 2015. With the bronze medal, Japan (Daiki Kishi, Masaki Ito, Ryosuke Sakai and Ginga Munetomo) completed the podium. As for Belarus, a team led by 2016 Olympic champion Uladzislau Hancharou fell out of the running in the race for the podium after an early mistake from Aleh Rabtsau.
This latest gold medal was a wonderful consolation for Dong and Tu, who had missed the chance to maintain their winning streak in Synchronised Trampoline after a rare mistake from the three-time Olympic medallist in qualification earlier in the day.
  And Chinese women still flying
Led by the 2014 champion Liu Lingling and Youth Olympic champion Zhu Xueying, China (also Zhong Xingping and Zhu Shouli) produced a real show of class to finish on the first step of the podium. Even more than their male counterparts, the Chinese women have gold as their standard currency: this was a straightforward success for the team as they banked their second title in a row and sixth overall since 2005 and sixth overall since 2005. However, it was Tatsiana Piatrenia who performed the best routine of the day, allowing the Belarusians (also Hanna Harchonak, Maryia Makharynskaya and Anhelina Khatsian) to collect silver as at the last Worlds. Great Britain (Laura Gallagher, Isabelle Songhurst and Katherine Driscoll) took the bronze medal, finding a place back on the podium for the first time since their title at the 2013 World Championships ... in Sofia.
Four in a row for China
With the hardest tumbling pass, three­time individual World champion Jia Fangfangsecured China's fourth consecutive World team title in Tumbling. Jia, Chen Ling, Chen Lingxi and Zhu Shouli climbed on to the top of podium with a 3.5 point lead over the British team (Lucie Colebeck, Rachel Davies, Yasmin Taite and Ashleigh Long), who took silver as in 2015. The failure of the first Russian representative, who suffered a loss of rhythm, put the team out of contention for a podium finish. Instead the French women (Lauriane Lamperim, Marie Deloge, Léa Callon and Emilie Wambote) held their nerve and their solid performance enabled them to take bronze, six years after their previous medal.
Russia retain title
Mikhail Zalomin began the day by confirming he would be the man to beat in the men's Double Mini-trampoline final after the two-time individual World champion dominated the qualification round thanks to his two clean passes. A few hours later, Zalomin then brought a close to his team's gold-medal effort with a perfect landing to bring Russia (also featuring Aleksandr Odintsov, Vasilii Makarskii and Andrei Gladenkov) their second world title in a row by a golden margin of 4.5 points. The United States (Carter Rhoades, Austin Nacey, Alexander Renkert and Matthew Hawkins) took silver, climbing one step on the podium compared to the last Worlds. Australia (Jack Petrie, Dominic Clarke, Ryan Hatfield and Jarrod Spear) won the tight battle for third place against Argentina, the surprise package of the event, who were competing in their first final.  

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