DOHA, March 28, 2015-Switzerland’s Giulia Steingruber capped off a successful campaign at the eighth edition of the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup, winning a gold and silver on the final day at Aspire Zone yesterday.
Steingruber, who had won gold in Vault on Thursday, clinched another one in Floor Exercise and took silver in Beam.
The 21-year-old European champion was in her element once again as she enthralled the 3000-plus crowd with her dazzling display. In Floor Exercise, Steingruber finished way ahead of her rivals as she tallied 14.550. The silver medal went to 16-year-old Romanian Laura Jurca (13.800), who aggregated 0.050 points more than Ilaria Kaeslin of Switzerland (13.750).
Steingruber was on the verge of making it a hat-trick of gold medals, but missed it by a whisker. In the Beam event, the Swiss scored 14.125 points, which was 0.075 points lesser than Thi Ha Thanh Phan of Vietnam. Steingruber had qualified in sixth place, so it was much better performance from her.
Phan, who had come second to Steingruber on the first day in vault, made clean exercises and won more points for execution.
It was a fierce contest as Diana Bulimar of Romania, too, was not far off for gold, with 14.025 points, but had to settle for bronze. It was important result for Bulimar, who took part in her first official competition in nine months, after she had twisted her knee here in August last year.
Despite a rich haul, Steingruber was not too satisfied with her performance. “I could have done better. I made few mistakes in Beam, which cost me gold. Otherwise I had a good outing here. Now I need to get back to training and practice more as the European championship is coming up in April. I am the defending champion there, so there will be lot of expectations from me,” she said.
Armenian Artur Davtyan defended his Vault title in Doha, winning the gold easily. Davtyan tallied 15.025 with two exceptional jumps, to finish ahead of Diego Hypolito of Brazil (14.662) and Vitalijs Kardasovs of Latvia (15.200). Davtyan had also topped in qualifications with an average of 14.950.
There was no surprise in Parallel Bars as favourite Azerbaijan’s Oleg Stepko, the 2013 European champion, took first place with aggregate score of 15.750, 0.100 better than the qualification score. Colombia’s Jossimar Calvo (6.9 Difficulty) was second (15.750). Romanian’s Andrei Muntean, who had qualified fifth place in qualifications, put in a much better effort to take home bronze with 15.550.
In the final event of the competition, Nicolas Cordoba of Argentina grabbed gold in the Horizontal Bars, where many finalists had tumbled to the ground. However, Cordoba pulled off an excellent routine to aggregate 15.250 points. The silver went to Japanese Kazuyuki Takeda, who was leading for most part with14.900 effort, until Cordoba dashed his hopes. Danell Leyva of USA took bronze.