Olympic gymnastics champions Artem Dolgopyat, Eleftherios Petrounias bag European titles

Joe Fraser took his third title, adding the parallel bars crown to team and all-around golds from earlier in the week

By Scott Bregman
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

Two Olympic gymnastics gold medallists added continental titles to their resumes Sunday (21 August) at the 2022 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Munich, Germany. Israel's Artem Dolgopyat, the Tokyo 2020 floor exercise Olympic champion, and 2016 Olympic still rings champion Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece picked up gold medals in the apparatus finals on the final day of competition at the event.

In the floor exercise final, Dolgopyat won his second European title on the event, having taken gold at the 2020 Euros. Despite coming into the championships with an injury, Dolgopyat earned a 14.966 more than .300 better than silver medallist Krisztofer Meszaros of Hungary, who scored 14.600. Great Britain's Jake Jarman won the bronze at 14.433. Italy's Nicola Bartolini just missed the podium in fourth with a 14.300 score.

"Now I'm feeling very good," said Dolgopyat. "I had a little problem with my leg, but I finished this competition with this medal."

One tenth of a point separated the three medallists on the pommel horse, with Armenia's Harutyun Merdinyan, 38, taking gold with a 14.733. Loran de Munck of the Netherlands (14.700) and Germany's Nils Dunkel (14.633) took silver and bronze, respectively.

Petrounias won his sixth European title on his signature event, claiming the still rings title Sunday in Munich. His 15.133 was just ahead of Turkey's Adem Asil with Great Britain's Courtney Tulloch in third (14.866).

"I feel great for many reasons. First of all, I am coming back from a shoulder surgery. I had some doubts if I would be ready to compete here. But I made it, I used my experience and self-confidence as much as I could, because I wasn't 100% ready," said Petrounias. "But I have worked on a nice form, a nice routine. I will build it towards the next events."

Jarman again saw action in the vault final, this time as a late replacement for teammate Giarnni Regini-Moran. Jarman took full advantage of the opportunity, executing a handspring double front half out and Kasamatsu two-and-a-half for the gold medal. His two-vault average score was 14.983. Armenia's Artur Davtyan earned the same score, but had to settle for silver after losing the tie break. Ukraine's Igor Radivilov won the bronze with a 14.899.

"It was the most last-minute thing that ever happened to me. To come away with a gold medal, I can't describe how I'm feeling right now," Jarman said of his late entry into the final. "Being on that podium, seeing the flag in the middle, it just gives me goosebumps."

Jarman's teammate Joe Fraser continued his golden Europeans adding the parallel bars title to the all-around and team golds from earlier in the week. He and Ukraine's Illia Kovtun posted matching 15.333 scores, but Fraser won the tie break by virtue of his higher execution score. Regini-Moran was third at 14.866.

"I am so proud of myself, my coach, the doctors, the physios that helped me perform at this level. It's very difficult at the best of times," said Fraser. "But to do it given the situations I overcame over the last two months, I'm just really happy."

"I am ready for a holiday, just to put my feet up for a little bit before the grind starts towards the World Championships."

Competition wrapped up on the high-flying horizontal bar where Marios Georgiou made history, winning Cyprus' first gold medal at the European Gymnastics Championships. Georgiou earned a 14.400 for the title, while Lithuania's Robert Tvorogal, silver, and Spain's Joel Plata, bronze, rounded out the podium.

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