Whitlock wins pommel horse gold as Dalaloyan leads Russian dominance at European gymnastics Championships

Olympic champion Max Whitlock retook the title after five years, while Russia won the other four golds on Saturday in Szczecin, Poland.

Double Olympic gold medallist Max Whitlock from Great Britain, and 2018 World all-around champion Artur Dalaloyan of Russia, clinched titles at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships on Saturday (13th April 2019).

Dalaloyan's victory in the men's floor event was the first of four gold's for a Russian team who dominated on the penultimate day of competition in Szczecin, Poland.

Whitlock claims fourth European title

Max Whitlock and Elissa Downie
Max Whitlock and Elissa DownieMax Whitlock and Elissa Downie

Reigning Olympic pommel horse champion Max Whitlock claimed his fourth European title with a score of 15.533.

He finished in front of Cyril Tommasone of France (14.800) and Vladislav Poliashov of Russia (14.600) adding to his Rio 2016 crown and two world titles in the discipline.

Whitlock retook the title he last won at the European championships five years ago in Sofia, Bulgaria. He also won European golds in 2012 (Montpellier) and 2013 (Moscow).

After this win in Szczecin, the Briton told Olympic Channel how happy he was to win the title following a disappointing seventh-placed finish last year, saying "It's a great feeling for me, obviously last year every interview was about not getting the gold medal, which was difficult"

"The build-up hasn't been plain sailing. It's been a bit of a different one, [after] just becoming a dad. It's been a learning experience for me, but one that I can feel very, very proud of." - Max Whitlock to Olympic Channel.

The 26-year-old Brit is a five-time Olympic medallist, having also won floor gold at Rio 2016, as well as three bronze medals. He also told Olympic Channel recently that he'd love to compete in two more Olympics.

Dalaloyan bags second of possible five medals in Poland

Dalaloyan won the men's floor gold, after finishing third last year in Glasgow.

The 22-year-old scored 15.100 points, with fellow Russian Dmitrii Lankin third on 14.800, just behind top qualifier Artem Dolgopyat of Israel, who took silver with 14.900.

It's the second medal of the championships for Dalaloyan, who claimed silver in the all-around on Friday.

"I am pleased with this gold. Unfortunately, I had to go back to my previous program. The good part: I did everything clean." were the 22-year-old's first words after sealing his second podium finish of the event.

Dalaloyan could add three more medals to his haul from these Euros, with finals in the vault, parallel bars, and high bar still to come on Sunday.

The Russian, who made his international debut only two years ago, told Olympic Channel in the lead-up to the Euros that his improved performances had been thanks to a new mental attitude.

Artur Dalaloyan finds peace and success on journey to Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Artur Dalaloyan finds peace and success on journey to Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Russian dominance

Russia's Maria Paseka is Vault European champion for the second time after winning gold in Montpellier four years ago.

The Rio 2016 silver medallist edged Coline Devillard of France by 0.066 points.

Newly crowned all-around runner-up Elissa Downie from Great Britain finished in third, 0.2 points behind the winner.

Maria Paseka
Maria PasekaMaria Paseka

Russia also reigned supreme in the rings thanks to Denis Ablyazin.

The now seven-time European champion finished with the same score (14.966) as Marco Lodadio from Italy, but won thanks to his higher execution score (8.866 vs 8.666).

Vahagn Davtyan from Armenia completed the podium with 14.933 points.

Denis Ablyazin
Denis AblyazinDenis Ablyazin

And Anastasiya Iliankova added to Russia's haul at the meet with victory in the uneven bars.

The 18-year-old claimed her first European gold scoring 14.833 points, finishing in front of compatriot Angelina Melnikova, who finished third in the all-around.

Italy's Alice D'Amato, at her senior debut at the Euros, was third with 14.400 points

The European Championships conclude on Sunday (14th April), with medals being decided in five events:

  • Men's vault,
  • Men's parallel bars,
  • Men's high bar,
  • Women's beam,
  • Women's floor.

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