At the World Gymnastic Championships in Texas, Russian gymnast Nelli Kim withstood a spirited challenge by the East German Maxi Gnauck to win her first all around gold medal completing a Russian sweep of the individual titles.
GV INTERIOR Russian Gymnast Nelli Kim commences routine on bars and lands: walks off platform
GV Gnauck (RDA) routine on bars, dismounts and waves to crowd and runs off platform
GV Melita Ruhn (Rumania) completes her performances
GV Nelli Kim (Russia) performing beam exercise
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Background: At the World Gymnastic Championships in Texas, Russian gymnast Nelli Kim withstood a spirited challenge by the East German Maxi Gnauck to win her first all around gold medal completing a Russian sweep of the individual titles. Melita Ruhn of Rumania won the bronze.
SYNOPSIS: In her routine on the bars Kim scored bine point eighty-five points bringing her total for all the events to seventy-eighty point six-five. Fellow Russian Maria Filatova, who like Maxi Gnauck is only a little over four feet tall, had moved into contention for a medal only to fall of the balance beam and ship into fourth place with a total of seventy-seven point nine-five. Kim, went through her routine safely.
The points she won for the beam routine all but clinched the title even though she had the floor exercises to go. She fought off a strong challenge from Maxi Gnauck who finished with a score of seventy-eighty point three-seven-five. Kim admitted that she took few chances in her routines, despite her narrow lead over the East German going into the all-around finals. Gnauck seemed happy with her performance and wave to the crowds as she ran from the platform.
The Rumanian, Milita Ruhn, finished her performances with a total of seventy-eight point three tow five points. The women's events were overshadowed by the absence of champion gymnast, Nadia Comaneci who underwent surgery on her hand in a Texas hospital. Nelli Kim expressed disappointment at not being able to compete against her through to the finals but doctors said Nadia's operation should not affect her chances at Moscow Olympic Games next year.
It's the first time the world gymnastics championships have been held outside Europe. They serve as Olympic qualifying trials with the top twelve teams in the women's and men's competitions earning a trip to the Moscow games. More than six hundred athletes from 33 nations have taken part. China was represented at the titles for the fir the first time since 1962 when it withdraw from most international sports. Crowds had flocked to the Tarrant County convention Centre in Texas for the Championships and about ten thousand people turned out to watch the women's individual events. The four sections were the uneven bars, the floor exercise, vaulting and the balance beam. Margins for error in the beam itself which is just under four inches wide. This year's champion Nelli Kim, who was a silver medallist in last year's championships, scored nine point eight-five for this event.