Nagornyy lands first triple back pike in competition

FILE PHOTO: Gymnastics - 2021 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships - St. Jakobshalle, Basel, Switzerland - April 22, 2021 Russia's Nikita Nagornyy in action during the Men's Horizontal bar REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

(Reuters) - Russian Nikita Nagornyy performed a triple back pike somersault on the floor exercise at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Basel, Switzerland on Thursday, becoming the first gymnast to perform the element in competition.

The 2019 World and European all-around champion, favourite for gold at this year's Tokyo Games, will have the element named after him -- 'The Nagornyy', the Olympic Channel said. It is the most difficult skill in the Code of Points.

Gymnasts earn the right to have an element named after them after they submit it for evaluation and land it successfully at a major competition.

Although Nagornyy picked up a 0.1 point penalty for stepping out of bounds on the floor exercise, he earned a score of 15.066 and tied for a share of the lead with compatriot Kirill Prokopev.

The 24-year-old qualified in first place for the all-around final with a total of score of 87.097 and also advanced to five of the six individual apparatus finals: floor, pommel horse, rings, vault and parallel bars.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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