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Leyva Wins 15th Valeri Liukin Invitational
(6 votes, average 4.83 out of 5)

American Danell Leyva won the all-around and parallel bars titles at the 15th Valeri Liukin Invitational, held Saturday evening in Frisco, Texas.

World high bar finalist Danell Leyva (U.S.) won the all-around title Saturday evening at the 15th Valeri Liukin Invitational, held at WOGA's newest facility in Frisco, Texas.

The Cuban-born Leyva, who trains at Universal Gymnastics in Florida, hit six clean events to take the title over Japan's Sho Yokoyama and Jumpei Oka. He took the top score of the night on parallel bars (smooth Diamidov with an extra half pirouette) and was second on pommel horse and high bar.

Yokoyama was one of eight young gymnasts from Sakae Gymnastics, with half representing the Japanese national team and half representing the club. Yokoyama led Japan to the team title over Universal, with Sakae taking third. The Japanese gymnasts impressed across the board with the best execution and landings.

Yokoyama was the most successful gymnast of the night with five medals, including golds on pommel horse and still rings. Takahito Watanabe (Sakae) won the vault title.

Ukraine's Nikolai Kuksenkov, fourth all-around at October's world championships, was fourth again after sitting down his Arabian double front on floor exercise. Kuksenkov won high bar with the top score of the night (half-Takemoto to Tkatchev-half; Kolman; stuck full-twisting double layout).

Several notable names on the roster were late scratches. World and Olympic bronze medalist Sasha Artemev (U.S.) warmed up prior to the event, but decided he was not quite ready to compete. Alex Artemov (U.S.), son of 1988 Olympic gold medalist Vladimir Artemov, scratched with an arm injury. Ukraine's Oleg Stepko, a double gold medalist at this years Youth Olympic Games, traveled to Texas but fell ill with a 102F (39C) fever.

The competition is held in honor of WOGA co-owner Valeri Liukin, a multiple Olympic, world and European champion.

"This was one of our better meets of the past few years," Liukin said. "The quality was really, really good. A lot of very young gymnasts came, especially from our U.S. clubs. There were some incredible routines and Danell [Leyva] did an incredible job."

The three-day long event also includes competition for Levels 4-10. The host club was represented in the international session by Emmanuel Monroy, who will represent Mexico at next weekend's Mikhail Voronin Cup in Moscow.

World and Olympic champion Nastia Liukin was on hand to emcee the competition and present awards.

External Link: Official WOGA Website

15th Valeri Liukin Invitational
Dec. 11, 2010, Frisco, Texas

1. Danell Leyva 90.950
2. Sho Yokoyama 90.250
3. Jumpei Oka 88.550
4. Nikolai Kuksenkov 88.400
5. Kohta Nakajima 87.450
6. Luke Wiwatowski 87.350

Floor ExerciseScore
1. Ryohei Kato 15.700
2. Alexy Bilozertchev 15.300
2. Jumpei Oka 15.300

Pommel HorseScore
1. Sho Yokoyama 15.100
2. Danell Leyva 14.750
3. Jumpei Oka 14.600

Still RingsScore
1. Sho Yokoyama 15.200
1. Wesley Haagensen 15.200
3. Yuta Matsuda 14.900

1. Takahito Watanabe 15.263
2. Adam Zyzk 14.525

Parallel BarsScore
1. Danell Leyva 15.800
2. Sho Yokoyama 15.550
3. Chris Brooks 15.250

High BarScore
1. Nikolai Kuksenkov 15.850
2. Danell Leyva 15.800
3. Sho Yokoyama 15.600
Comments (1)add comment

Gin said:

I was there.
I was there last night. It was pretty good. The level 10's before them were also really good.
I taped some it and I may post it on youtube.
December 12, 2010 | url
Votes: +4

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