Swiss star Giulia vaults to gold a day after turning 22
March 25 2016 11:34 PM
Winners pose with Qatar Olympic Committee Secretary-General Dr Thani al-Kuwari and other offiicials at Aspire Dome yesterday.

By Sahan Bidappa/Doha

A day after she turned 22, Giulia Steingruber gave herself a birthday present as she clinched the Vault gold medal at the 9th Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series here yesterday.
The Swiss had a successful campaign in Doha last year, winning two gold and one silver medals. After yesterday’s performance at the Aspire Dome, Steingruber looks set to repeat the feat. On the final day of the event, today, Steingruber will be in action in the Beam and Floor Exercise finals.
In vault, European champion Steingruber jumped and landed to perfection to tally 14,712 points for a comfortable victory. Teja Belak of Slovenia was second with 14.337, while her compatriot Tjasa Kysselef was third with 14,087 points.
Sweden’s Jonna Adlerteg bagged the Uneven Bars gold. Adlerteg had topped the qualifying sheets on the opening day and she continued to impress by finishing with 14,925 points. Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade (14,250) and Portugal’s Filipa Martins finished second and third respectively.
Qatar’s Farah Tariq Mehmoud, who had received a wild card into the final, finished ninth and last. The 18-year-old, to her credit, was not overawed by the vociferous support she got from the crowd. Farah began well, flipping nonchalantly over the bars on few occasions, but faltered towards the end of her routine. She tallied 10.025 points but the experience will serve her good in future.
In the men’s competition, 2005 World Champion Diego Hypolito clinched gold in the Floor Exercise. The 29-year-old Brazilian performed with precision to score 15, 175 points, ahead of Slovenia’s  Rok Klavora, who came second with 15,000 points. Sam Oldham of Great Britain was third,.075 points behind Klavora
Meanwhile, 2015 World Championship bronze medallist Harutyun Merdinyan of Armenia won the Pommel Horse event. The 31-year-old had to fight off stiff competition from Robert Seligman of Croatia and defending champion Oleg Stepko of Azerbaijan.
Merdinyan was just about better in the night as he scored 15,675 points, ahead of Seligman (15,300) and Stepko (15,000), who took silver and bronze respectively.
Qatar’s Ahmed al-Dayani who had impressed on Thursday by qualifying for the finals, finished seventh out of eight competitors.
The Qatari, who had made it to the final in 2014 too, got off to a good start but slipped mid-way through, falling off the apparatus .
In the final event of the night, Greece’s Eleftherios Petrounias took the gold medal in the men’s Rings scored 15,875 points, to finish ahead of Vahagn Davtyan of Armenia (15,800) and his compatriot Artur Tovmasyan (15,7750
Today, on the final day of the competition, as many as six titles will be decided. All eyes will be on three-time Olympic champion Catalina Ponor, who be performing in the balance Beam. The Romanian is making her comeback to international competition in Doha this week.
Ponor retired from gymnastics following the London Olympics, where she bagged silver on Floor and bronze with the team. The 28-year-old was the most decorated gymnast at the Athens 2004 Olympics, winning gold in the team event — on Floor and on Balance Beam.
At the qualifying, Ponor topped the sheets ahead of  Steingruber and their face-off in the final should make for interesting viewing.  
Finals Results
Men’s Floor:
1. Diego Hypolito (Brazil) 15, 175 points
2. Rok Klavora (Slovenia) 15,000
3. Sam Oldham (Great Britain) 14,925=
 Men’s Pommel Horse
1. Harutyun Merdinyan (Armenia) 15,675
2. Robert Seligman (Croatia) 15,300
3. Oleg Stepko (Azerbaijan) 15,000
 Men’s Rings
1. Eleftherios Petrounias (Greece) 15,875
2. Vahagn Davtyan (Armenia) 15,800 points
3. Artur Tovmasyan (Armenia)15,775
 Women’s Vault
1. Giulia Steingruber (Switzerland) 14,712
2. Teja Belak (Slovenia) 14.337
3. Tjasa Kysselef (Slovenia) 14,087
 Women’s Uneven Bars
1. Jonna Adlerteg (Sweden) 14,925
2. Rebeca Andrade (Brazil) 14,250
3. Filipa Martins (Portugal) 13,625

Last updated: March 25 2016 11:36 PM

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