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Men's Artistic Gymnastics

 

Elements

 

Introduction

 

Power, strength and daring characterise Men's Artistic Gymnastics, one of the world's most physically demanding sports. Male gymnasts compete on six different apparatus - Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse, Still Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars and Horizontal Bar - where the goal is to showcase not just high-flying acrobatic skills and strength moves, but elegance and finesse. A healthy dose of fearlessness doesn't hurt either.

 

About Men's Artistic

Floor Exercise

 

The quadruple twist

When the long-anticipated back flip with four twists was finally performed on Men’s Floor, notably by Japan’s Kenzo Shirai in 2013, it was all the more stunning because the teenage tumbling sensation did it at the end of his routine, when most gymnasts are too winded to attempt something so difficult.

Element value: F

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Layout triple double

The gymnast who attempts this skill has a lot of work to do, cranking two somersaults and a breathtaking three full twists between takeoff and landing (hence the name triple double). This element, introduced as an element done in the tucked position in 2004, was taken to new heights by Japan's Kenzo Shirai, who performed it keeping his body straight in 2015, greatly augmenting the difficulty.

Element value: H

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Pommel Horse

 

The Busnari

Swinging to a handstand just before a dismount was standard on Pommel Horse for years before Italy’s Alberto Busnari had the original idea of continuing circling afterward, thereby creating the single hardest element on the event. The mechanics of the Busnari demand an enormous amount of control: one slip or hesitation, and the gymnast will fall off the horse.

Element value: G

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Russian wendeswings

The hands propel the rest of the body around the Pommel Horse on the Russian wendeswing, an element that looks basic but is tricky to perform. To up the ante on this skill, the best complete several rotations with their hands between the pommels, leaving no room for error.

Element value: D (provided 1080 degree turn or more)

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Still Rings

 

Iron cross

The iron cross, one of the classic symbols of strength in Gymnastics, is still a big crowd pleaser in competitions today.

Element value: B

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Victorian cross

In recent years, the iron cross has been turned upside down by gymnasts striving to produce new variations of an old feat of strength. One is the Victorian cross, where the gymnast tilts his body backward to appear suspended horizontally in midair. Don't be fooled by the simplicity: the Victorian cross is incredibly difficult.

Element value: E

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Vault

 

The Dragulescu

Master the Dragulescu vault and you’ll be a top contender at any competition, anywhere. Romania’s Marian Dragulescu began performing his namesake skill, essentially two front flips with a half twist at the end, in the early 2000s. Fifteen years on, few can stick it like he still does.

Element value: 6.0

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Parallel Bars

 

The Larduet

Cuban star Manrique Larduet's incredible athleticism makes his original Parallel Bars dismount possible. To do it, Larduret casts his body to the side and performs two front flips with a full twist before landing. To date, he's the only gymnast ever to compete this element.

Element value: G

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Horizontal Bar

 

The Cassina

The Cassina, which helped launch Italy's Igor Cassina to gold at the 2004 Olympic Games, is a variation of an older skill called a Kovacs, in which a gymnast releases the bar, does two somersaults over it, and recatches it. Cassina's souped up variation adds a full twist and is done in an open body position, all of which makes it harder than the original.

Element value: G

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The Bretschneider

German Andreas Bretschenider took Horizontal Bar daredevilry to new heights with his original release move, a double tuck over the bar with two full twists added on. The biggest challenge is not completing the twists, but catching the bar again afterwards.

Element value: H

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