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Szombathely World Challenge Cup: Brilliant tally for Romania, as Ponor, Dragulescu stride to gold & silver

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Romanian gymnasts Catalina Ponor and Marian Dragulescu won on Sunday gold in the women's balance beam and men's vault event, respectively, at the Szombathely World Challenge Cup.

On the same day, Ponor also claimed the silver in the women's floor event. The scores of both athletes prove they made progress as regards the difficulty and accuracy of their routines.

Marian Dragulescu almost vaulted to perfection with the salto named after him and which earned him 9.400 points for execution and a total score of 15.000; he scored 14.566 points for his second vault, so that with an average of 14.783 he easily landed the first spot.

Catalina Ponor won gold in women's balance beam with a score of 13.933 (difficulty 5.6, execution 8.333), and finished second in the floor event (13.566) after Canada's Brooklyn Moors.

The other Romanian athletes also performed well in the second day of the finals: Maria Holbura was 4th in the balance beam event with 12.266 p; Vlad Cotuna - 4th in men's parallel bars with 14.400 p.; Cristian Bataga ended 5th in men's vault with 13.933.

On Saturday, on the first day of the finals, Marian Dragulescu won the silver in the men's floor event, scoring 14.200 points (difficulty 6.5, execution 7.7).

Fuya Maeno of Japan came in first, also with 14.200 points, but as per the tiebreaker rule, the execution mark was the decider, with the Asian athlete scoring 8.4 (difficulty 5.8). Turkey's Ahmed Onder was third with 13.933 points.

Team Romania now braces for the FIG World Challenge Cup in Paris next week and will then be off for the World Gymnastics Championship in Montreal (October), an event having Montreal Olympics sensation Nadia Comaneci as official ambassador.

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