Ablyazin and Nagornyy lead Russian medal haul on final day of European Championships
Russia ended the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships with an impressive haul of 15 medals including seven gold in Szczecin, Poland.
Denis Ablyazin and Nikita Nagornyy each claimed a gold on the final day, with compatriot Artur Dalaloyan also clinching two more bronze medals.
Melanie de Jesus dos Santos successfully defended her floor crown for France, who finished second in the overall standings with 6 medals in total.
Also on the last day, Alice Kinsella won Great Britain's first European title in beam.
Epke Zonderland of the Netherlands followed up on his high bar world title with a third European gold.
Ablyazin claims vault crown
Denis Ablyazin clinched the vault title for Russia.
The London 2012 and Rio 2016 silver medallist produced two solid performances to top the podium with a score of 14.950 points.
It was enough for Ablyazin's third vault European title, having won before in 2013 and 2014.
Andrey Medvedev of Israel took silver with Ablyazin's compatriot Artur Dalaloyan completing the podium.
Newly crowned floor champion and all-around runner-up Dalaloyan was the top qualifier, but had to settle for bronze after touching the mat while landing his second vault.
He finished with 14.533 points, behind Medvedev (14.699), who had his scored corrected by judges and was moved up from fourth to second position.
Earlier this week, 26-year-old Ablyazin won gold in the rings apparatus:
"This second medal (this week) shows that I can win, that I can fight and compete with contestants from all over the world, not just from Russia - he said after the competition - I think I will bring my full set of jumps to the World Championships, where we will fight for the gold medals." he told Olympic Channel after the event.
"These European Championships showed that nobody could outjump or outscore me." - Denis Ablyazin to Olympic Channel
History for Britain
Alice Kinsella became the first British gymnast to win European gold in beam.
The 2018 Commonwealth champion scored 13.566 points finishing in front of France's Melanie De Jesus do Santos (13.466) and Lorette Charpy (12.900).
"It feels absolutely amazing, that means a lot to me, I'm speechless" - Alice Kinsella to Olympic Channel
De Jesus dos Santos continued her fairy-tale championships by adding the floor title to her accomplishments at the meet.
With 13.883 points, the newly crowned all-around champion successfully defended her gold from Glasgow, by outscoring Eythora Thorsdottir from the Netherlands (13.666), while Russia’s Angelina Melnikova was third with 13.466 points.
"I’m so happy and proud of me. I was eager to compete and also excited to show my moves." said the 19-year-old, who ended the competition as the most decorated athlete of these championships with two golds and one silver
"Gold medal in floor was my number one goal because it’s my favourite apparatus, but my all-around medal was the most significant." she added in her post-event interview with Olympic Channel.
The Martinique-born gymnast said she's now chasing a medal at the next World Championships and is ready to challenge the best:
"My goal will be try to tickle, maybe bother Simone Biles a bit! To beat her would be complicated, but I’ll do my best to be on the podium." - Melanie de Jesus dos Santos to Olympic Channel
More golds for Russia!
All-around European Champion Nikita Nagornyy also became European champion on parallel bars.
The Russian scored 15.466 points, ahead of Ukraine's Petro Pakhniuk (15.333) and Ferhat Arican (15.033) from Turkey.
World bronze medallist and defending European champion Dalaloyan was fourth with 14.966 points.
Rio 2016 gold medallist Oleg Verniaiev didn't perform at his best and finished last in the final (13.133).
"Our main goal is to perform as a team, showing the unbeatable result that no one can compete with" Nagornyy told Olympic Channel, "Our main rivals are China and Japan."
Dutch fans in Zonderland
Reigning world champion Epke Zonderland won his third European title in the high bar event.
The 32-year-old Flying Dutchman out-classed the competition with a score of 15.266 points.
Silver went to Tin Srbic from Croatia (14.900), with Dalaloyan claiming his second bronze of the day.
"This wins means a lot because I’m also realizing that I’m getting a little bit older" The 32-year-old said after the event.
"This is one of my best routines ever so it’s really nice that I’m still getting better" - Epke Zonderland to Olympic Channel
The London 2012 Olympic champion is already setting his sights on the next major event:
"The biggest goal is the world championships, not only because it’s the world championships but because we can qualify for the Olympics and we really want to qualify as a team."
The next European Championships take place in 2020, with the women's event in Paris, France (29th April to 3rd May 2020), and then men's in Baku, Azerbaijan (27th to 31st May 2020).
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