Mustafina paces Russia to first-day lead in gymnastics

Baku, June 14, AZERTAC

Aliya Mustafina, who won four medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games, paced Russia to the lead on the first day of the team final and qualifications at the National Gymnastics Arena on Sunday.

Mustafina, Victoria Komova and Seda Tutkhalyan dominated their rivals on vault and uneven bars, rolling up a two-apparatus total of 60.165 points. Germany followed in second place (58.066) and Hungary was third (55.964).

Facing balance beam and floor exercise on Monday, which is the second and last day of the team final, Komova is confident her team will take gold.

"We are in first, and I think we will keep our place," Komova said.

Elisabeth Seitz said Germany's solid work on vault and uneven bars on Sunday indicates their potential to finish among the top three teams.

"We have three really good gymnasts, so I hope we can get a medal," Seitz said. "But our other two events have to be good too. We have to be focused on those, and not the results."

Sunday's competition also served as qualification for Saturday's individual apparatus finals on vault and uneven bars.

Giulia Steingruber (SUI) led qualifications on vault, and Mustafina led qualifications on uneven bars.

Mustafina leads the individual all-around qualifications, which will conclude on Monday as well.

The top 18 gymnasts - a maximum of one gymnast per NOC - will advance to Thursday's individual all-around final.

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