The Moscow Olympic Games are less than three months away (July) and Soviet gymnasts have been competing in Kiev in the USSR Gymnastics Championships.
GV INT Sports Palace in Kiev
SV Male gymnasts talking
GV Fyodor Koulaksizov jumping horse
GV Alexander Tkachyov on parallel bars with scoreboard indicating mark of 9.75 (2 shots)
GV Tkachyov on horizontal bar
SV Female gymnasts chalking hands and warming up (2 shots)
LV Nelli Kim jumps horse
LV Stella Zakharova jumping horse
SV Zakharova on uneven bars
GV Kim on uneven bars
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Background: The Moscow Olympic Games are less than three months away (July) and Soviet gymnasts have been competing in Kiev in the USSR Gymnastics Championships. The events are regarded as a pre-Olympic test for the Soviet Union's top gymnasts.
SYNOPSIS: The championships were held between 18 April and 23 April at the Sports Palace in Kiev. With the Olympic Games so close and changes in the Soviet squad possible, competition was fierce.
Fyodor Koulaksizov, a twenty two year-old student from Dnepropetrovsk who has been striving for top competition results for five years, came second in the men's event behind Alexander Tkachyov, another twenty-two-year-old student. He last year (1979) was the World Team Champion in Frt Worth, U.S.A. He scored 9.75 points on the parallel bars and an overall total of 115.35 in the six disciplines he performed. Tkachyov's top score was 9.8 on the horizontal bar.
In the women's event, Nelli Kim, the overall world champion and Olympic gold medallist, added the title of Overall Champion of the USSR to her long list of credits. He points total was 77.1 including 9.7 on the horse.
Stella Zakharova, a seventeen-year-old schoolgirl from Kiev, finished in second place with a total 76.7 points. Stella is a potential star for the coming Olympics and has been successful in recent months. She won the Americas Cup and World Cup last year (1979) and was star of the International Tournament in Moscow in March.
But she will find it hard to beat Nelli Kim who has been a consistent high performer in international women's gymnastics.