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Brute strength and artistry: Greece’s rings champion Eleftherios Petrounias faces challenge fr

The apparatus which most tests the mettle of male gymnasts is undoubtedly the rings, in which athletes must combine supreme strength with poise and artistry, as well as master the swinging motion of the rings.

Every move is registered by sensors embedded in the apparatus, monitoring and timing their routines with precision.

One gymnast reigns supreme in this event: Olympic, twice world and three times European champion, Eleftherios PETROUNIAS (GRE), who competes for his fourth consecutive European rings title at The SSE Hydro on Sunday.

The 27-year-old will be tested all the way by rising rings star Courtney TULLOCH (GBR).

European silver medallist behind PETROUNIAS last year, and Commonwealth Games rings champion this year, the 22-year-old plans to reveal a new and extremely difficult element on the rings here in Glasgow. If successful, it will earn him valuable bonus points and will be named after him.

His message to PETROUNIAS is diplomatic: “I’d tell him, ‘All the best, good luck, just go out and I hope you smash it’,” TULLOCH said, adding, “But yeah, I don’t want him to get that fourth gold in a row. I don’t want it to go to plan for him.”

PETROUNIAS is similarly diplomatic: “Always, my message for everyone is may the best man win,” he said.

But he is confident that it will be very difficult for TULLOCH to overtake him.

“I think he knows it,” PETROUNIAS said with a smile. “He knows my past, what I have done the last few years, so he knows what he has to deal with. But he’s younger – every year I see a new Courtney, so now I’m waiting to see what he has prepared.”

It will be a fascinating contest but both gymnasts must first qualify for the final, which, if they perform to their usual calibre, should be a formality. And there will be six other gymnasts in the final all hoping to topple them both.

The men’s qualifications take place on Thursday, with Greece starting at 10:00 and Great Britain at 18.30. The apparatus finals start on Sunday at 14.30.

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