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OLYMPICS/Taiwan gymnast Tang Chia-hung wins gold at Šalamunov memorial

06/10/2024 12:42 PM
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Taipei, June 10 (CNA) Taiwanese gymnast Tang Chia-hung (唐嘉鴻) clinched a gold medal in the horizontal bar event at the 2024 Šalamunov memorial in Maribor, Slovenia, on Sunday, once again tackling a difficulty score of 6.8 for his routine.

Tang's win at the event extended his run of outstanding performances in the lead-up to this summer's Paris Olympics, in which he had already earned a spot.

The Maribor meet, held June 5-9, was the 55th edition of the gymnastics competition and one of three European events in which Tang competed ahead of the Olympics.

According to his coach Weng Shih-hang (翁士航), the primary goal of Tang's training team was to help him establish a place as a world-class gymnast so as to improve his odds in Paris, following his personal record-breaking performance in Koper last week, as most of the European judges at his last three competitions will also be working at the Paris Olympics.

Nicknamed Asia's "King of Cats" for his forte Yamawaki move, or vertical "cat" jump, Weng got off to a shaky start on the horizontal bar during the preliminaries at the Šalamunov memorial, with a total score of 14.050.

In Sunday finals, however, Tang returned to form, scoring a total 15.150, based on an execution score of 8.350 on a routine with a difficulty score of 6.8, to win his sixth gold medal of season.

Since Koper, Tang has been tackling a high difficulty score of 6.8 in his routines, which his coach said was part of the preparation plan for the Olympics.

"Last year, we started planning to tackle the difficulty level of 6.8," Weng said last week in Koper. "These last three stops in Europe were for him to work out the kinks. The world of gymnastics is now very competitive, and staying put (in his comfort zone) won't bring success."

After Tang's win Sunday in Slovenia's second largest city, Weng applauded his performance, but said the Taiwanese star gymnast was showing obvious signs of fatigue after three competitions in quick succession.

However, the training team has achieved its goal of helping Tang to make an impression, the coach added.

Weng also disclosed that Tang will go next to Switzerland for 10 days of training, which will include get used to European foods and gaining familiarity with the equipment that will be used in the Paris Olympics in July.

(By Chen Jung-chen and James Lo)


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