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European Championships 2018: Russian gymnasts qualify to team final in convincing style ahead of Gre

The men’s gymnastics qualification competition concluded at The SSE Hydro Arena, with Russia scoring an emphatic 259.427 ahead of Great Britain, who lie second with 252.496.

It was a shaky start for Russia on the high bar, with a fall from David BELYAVSKIY, but they rallied with superb exercises on floor. Two of their gymnasts, Dmitrii LANKIN and Nikita NAGORNYY, showed perfectly executed triple somersaults – a rarity in the sport.

Russia proceeded to dominate the rest of the competition and qualified gymnasts to every final except high bar, with David BELYAVSKIY recording the highest score of the day – 15.533 – on parallel bars.

“I think we did everything we needed, not less, not more,” said Nikolai KUKSENKOV. “Tomorrow we train and then we have the final.”

Great Britain showed consistency across most of their routines, marred by a slight error from Max WHITLOCK on floor which left him in 23rd position and cost him a place in that apparatus final.

However, WHITLOCK scored well on pommel horse with 14.9 to make that final in third place, setting up the fascinating prospect of a three-way battle between defending champion BELYAVSKIY and top scorer Rhys McCLENAGAN (IRL) in Sunday’s final.

Another final to relish will be the duel between Eleftherios PETROUNIAS (GRE), who tops qualification on rings ahead of Britain’s Courtney TULLOCH by a mere 0.033 points.

“I can’t wait to get there and do a good routine, but first we have the team final and I need to do my job there,” TULLOCH said.

Germany came third with a team total of 246.094, some distance behind the British team due to a fall and other small errors at the high bar. They qualified gymnasts to three finals – floor, rings and parallel bars. The final is rounded out by Switzerland, Turkey, France, Spain and Italy.

The gymnastics competition continues on Friday with the junior team, all-around and qualification for apparatus finals. Great Britain will be attempting to win their sixth consecutive team title.

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