Russian gymnasts have the apparatus to floor Great Britain in men's team final
GLASGOW - Russian gymnasts are clear favourites to beat Great Britain and retain their men’s team title at The SSE Hydro on Saturday.
They qualified with the highest team totals on five of the six apparatus, slipping only on their first event, the high bar, where two of their three gymnasts - including highly experienced David BELYAVSKIY (RUS) - counted big mistakes.
But they are spectacular on floor, so watch out for Dmitrii LANKIN and Nikita NAGORNYY who both perform the daring triple somersault with ease.
Russia topped qualifications over second-placed Great Britain by nearly seven points, a significant margin. Similarly, the British team were also well ahead of their nearest rivals, Germany, by more than six points.
Yet anything can happen on the day, when all teams start from scratch. With three gymnasts per team competing on each apparatus, and all scores counting, it is a delicate balance between risking all for a high score, or playing safe to minimise mistakes.
Barring any major errors, the contest for the bronze medal will probably be the most closely fought. Germany and Switzerland (qualified in third and fourth places respectively) are in competition for this, but newcomers at this level are the gymnasts from fifth-qualified Turkey, who have never before reached a final of this calibre.
It will be interesting to see whether they can push for a medal, or whether they will be overtaken by the more experienced teams below them - France, Spain and Italy.
The team final starts at 13.00 on Saturday.
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