Russia dominate gymnastics, but Rio will be harder

Sat Jun 20, 2015 2:19pm EDT
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By Tom Hayward

BAKU (Reuters) - Russians continued their dominance of the gymnastics medals at the European Games in Baku with seven more on Saturday to take their combined tally to 16 in 18 events so far.

At the stunning purpose-built National Gymnastics Arena adjacent to the Olympic Stadium, Russia have bagged seven golds, six silvers and three bronze medals.

Aliya Mustafina won a gold and silver on Saturday in the women's uneven bars and floor exercise finals, taking her gold medal haul to three for the championships.

She stressed, however, that the level of competition will be far tougher at the Rio Olympics.

"I am pleased with my performances today and I did what I wanted to do," the 20-year-old told reporters.

"Obviously there is happiness. The competition is over, and that is the main thing.

"First of all you feel that the level of competition is lower than the Olympic Games, the main competitors are not here.

"My happiness is mixed with the understanding that Rio is coming up and it will be much harder there."   Continued...

Nikita Ignatyev of Russia performs during the men's gymnastics horizontal bar final at the 1st European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, June 20 , 2015. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach