Many Prize Winners, Too Few Spectators
Moscow News, #14 1989 We are very pleased that all the visitors from abroad -- the gymnasts, coaches and heads of delegations, gave the same appraisal -- "excellent" -- to the organization of this year's tournament. The novelties -- performances by variety artists before the beginning and after the end of the competitions and in the pauses -- were assessed highly. The acrobats looked splendid as always. The sponsors who inaugurated many consolation prizes made a good start.
However, the holding of competitions in gymnastics for the MN Prize shows that in the last few years it doesn't enjoy its former popularity. One can see this in the coverage of the tournament by the press and, the main thing -- in how full the Olimpiisky hall gets. This year, for example, according to most optimistic estimates there were some 9,000 in the three days of the competition. And the stands could seat 30,000. Vladimir Artyomov and Valentin Mogilny, MN Prize winners for the last two years, also noted at press conferences that the tournament is becoming less prestigious.
It is impossible to say what is the reason for the fall in interest. Probably there are several reasons -- the uneven quality of the participants and the general decline in the popularity of gymnastics.
In such a situation, extraordinary measures are needed to bolster the prestige of the competitions. But in spite of all the requests of MN, Goskomsport limited itself to half measures, giving preference to the quantity over quality of gymnasts at this, the only international tournament in the country.
MN thinks that it is not expedient to hold further competitions in such a situation. What is the way out?
Yuri Titov, president of the International Gymnastics Federation, with whom we talked, said that this summer, the decision will be taken on making our competition a stage in the World Cup. But it has eight stages in all and is planned to go on for two years, whereas the MN Prize is given out every year. According to the conditions of the World Cup, all the strongest gymnasts need not to come to Moscow -- the results of any three stages in the series will be enough.
"Don't rush to burn your bridges," Titov appealed to us, "let's think about it some more together."
We're announcing a competition of ideas on holding our tournament. We wait for proposals by MN readers.
You Get the Prize!
Svetlana Boginskaya and
Valentin Mogilny (both of the USSR) won the main prizes at the
International Gymnastics Competitions sponsored by MN.
The winners in the
competitions in separate events among women were: vault - Elena
Shevchenko (USSR) and Malgorzata Mroz (Poland); uneven parallel
bars - Yuliya Kut (USSR); balance beam and floor exercises - Boginskaya.
The first among men were: floor exercises, pommel horse, long horse,
horizontal bar - Mogilny; rings - Vitaly Marinich (USSR);
parallel bars - Mogilny and Marinich. Second and third
places in overall exercises went to Yuliya Kut and Elena
Shevchenko (respectively and among men - Vitaly Marinich and Sergei
Kharkov (overall - USSR). Medal winners in separate events
included men and women gymnasts from Romania, the People's Republic of
China, Italy, the DPRK, GDR, Greece and the USA.
115 gymnasts (63 men and 52
women) took part in the 16th competition for the MN Prize. They came
from 31 countries -- Australia, Austria, Angola, Bulgaria, Great Britain,
Hungary, the GDR, Greece, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Canada, Cyprus, the PRC,
DPRK, Cuba, Mongolia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Syria, the USA, Turkey,
Finland, France, West Germany, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Yugoslavia, Japan and
Shinohara (Japan, fifth
place in combined exercises) and Gabriela Gheorghe (Romania, fourth
place) were awarded prizes by Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga as the best foreign
gymnasts in combined exercises.
The traditional prize of the
Japanese newspaper Chunichi Shimbun went to Mogilny, the best gymnast
of the competitions. The 20th Chunichi Cup competition will be held
this year at Nagoya (Japan).
Osa Hedstrom (Sweden)
was voted the most elegant and charming woman gymnast. She was awarded
the prize of the All-Union Foreign Trade Association Novoexport -- the
porcelain figurine "Clown with Balloons" -- made at the Dmitrov
Porcelain Plant (artist Sergei Orlov).
The two main prizes were made
of jasper by artist Alexander Pakhomov from the Russkiye Samotsvety
production association in Leningrad.
Original prizes made of bronze
were given to the best performers in separate events. They were made
by Nike, a Moscow cooperative.
The Arkhangelsk wooden toys
production association gave the visitors and participants in the
competitions figures in the tradition of old Pomor masters.
The All-Union Book-Lovers
Society inaugurated prizes for foreign gymnasts who performed in the
greatest number of finals competitions. They were awarded to Gabriela
Gheorghe and Ma Jun (PRC).
The FED production-engineering
association gave its prizes (for the youngest participants from abroad) to Eleni
Vayanou (Cyprus) and Costas Theordoridis (Greece).
Ma Jun (PRC) got the prize for the most elegant gymnast at the MN-89 competitions.
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