Thi Ha Thanh Phan (centre) of Vietnam celebrates her gold medal in the women’s vault final on day two of the 6th FIG World Challenge Cup with Romania’s Larisa Andreea (left) Swizterland’s Steingruber Giulia at Aspire Academy in Doha yesterday. RIGHT: Gold medal winner in the men’s pommel horse competition Hungary’s Berki Krisztian (centre) is seen with silver medallist Japan’s Jumpei Oka and Hungary’s Vid Hidvegi who picked up the bronze. PICTURES: SALIM MATRAMKOT
BY AZMAT HAROON
Doha: Olympic champions Krisztian Berki and Arthur Nabarrete Zanetti won hearts with their top-notch performances last evening, collecting gold medals on day two of the 6th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup.
Brazil’s Zanetti produced a tally of 15.700, edging out China’s Qiuhua Liao (15.425) on the rings, while Hungary’s Berki, who is currently ranked the best pommel horse worker of all time by FIG, topped with a tally of 15.450.
Jumpei Oka of Japan picked up the silver medal on rings with a tally of 15.125, while Hungary’s Hidvegi Vid won the bronze medal (15.100).
In women’s uneven bars final, Jiaxin Tan of China won gold with a score of 14.850.
Britain’s Ruby Harrold and Gabrielle Jupp picked up silver and bronze medals with scores of 14.500 and 13.925 respectively.
Vietnam’s Phan Thi Ha Thanh pushed London Olympic champion Larisa Anrea of Romania to the second spot with a gold medal in the women’s vault final, producing a tally of 14.852.
Zanetti, who was competing in the first event of 2013, said that the win was an important feat at the start of the new season.
“This is my first competition of the year and this win is very important for me,” the 22-year-old said, adding that he working on his routine with an eye on the world championships later this year.
“My score is good so far, but I think it needs a little more improvement. Maybe I’ll change my routine slightly, but I’m not sure,” Zanetti, who was competing in Qatar for the first time, said.
Hungary’s star sportsman, meanwhile, said that he plans to stick with the same routine.
Speaking about the difficulty level of his routine, Berki said that raising performances each time was tough.
“You need at least six months to learn a new skill. You have to approach it from a different aspect, and try it with different combination in each routine. Raising the difficulty each time is really hard,” Berki said.
Berki and Vid noted that working with a good coach is of utmost importance for a gymnast.
“Berki and his coach started working together at least 20 years ago. I have been working with my coach for the past 18 years now. What I can tell you from my experience is that a good relationship with your coach is very necessary,” Vid explained.
Hungary’s Sportsman of the Year also said that he was impressed with the performance of local gymnasts, five of whom went to Hungary for training.
“Qatari gymnasts are very friendly. We were together for training in Hungary. I can see that every year, their performances are getting better. They are very young now so they have time,” Berki said. The event continues with finals in five disciplines at Aspire Academy today.