Lioudmila Ejova of Russia claimed the gymnastic women's all-around title in the 21st World University Games on Saturday.
The 19-year-old took over the lead in the second rotation and maintained her stable form throughout all the four apparatus as both her main rival Dong Fangxiao and Ekaterina Privlova failed their vault routines.
In the last rotation, Ejova neatly finished her uneven bars routine that drew big applause from the audience and accumulated 36.937 points to win the all-around title.
"I am feeling great now," said the Russian blonde at the post- competition press conference, "I am so happy that I won the title the first time I competed in such a large multi-sport games. I am yet to call my family to tell them the good news."
Ejova's compatriot Privlova scored 36.850 to finish the second. When she, the national all-around champion was asked how she thought of her loss to her teammate, sixth in the national all-around event, she said,"I have a mixed feeling. I am happy for her because we are good friends. I made a mistake on the vault, so she became the champion."
China's Bai Chunyue, who was overtaken by Ejova after leading in the first rotation, totalled 36.813 points to take the bronze. Although she made four successful performance during the competition, new gymnastic rules devalued her routines.
"I felt regret for the result. Because of the new rules, the starting points of my routines are comparatively low. I think I have displayed my ability quite well in the contest." the 18-year-old Bai said.
Chinese team coach Wang Qunce, who led the girls to win a team gold yesterday, gave congratulations on Russia's victory, "First of all, I congratulate on Russia's win. They made better adaptation to the new rules than China. We are under way to catch up with them."
Russian coach Savushkin Mikhail praised his gymnasts and thanked Wang for his congratulations. "Thank you, Wang. Yesterday you got the champion and today we won the game. It is always hard to predict the result. Ejova and Privlova are the key members of Russian team now and in the forthcoming Gymnastic World Championships and the Olympic Games they will still play a crucial role."
(Xinhua News Agency 08/26/2001)