Pommel horse

The pommel horse is an artistic gymnastics apparatus. Traditionally, it is used by only male gymnasts. Originally made of a metal frame with a wooden body and a leather cover, the modern pommel horse has a metal body covered with foam rubber and leather, with plastic handles (or pommels).[1]

A gymnast performs flairs on the pommel horse

ApparatusEdit

HistoryEdit

 
An early pommel horse

DimensionsEdit

Measurements of the apparatus are published by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) in the Apparatus Norms brochure.[2]

  • Height from top surface to floor: 115 centimetres (3.77 ft) ± 1 centimetre (0.39 in)
  • Length at top: 160 centimetres (5.2 ft) ± 1 centimetre (0.39 in)
  • Length at bottom: 155 centimetres (5.09 ft) ± 1 centimetre (0.39 in)
  • Width at top: 35 centimetres (14 in) ± 1 centimetre (0.39 in)
  • Width at bottom: 30 centimetres (12 in) ± 1 centimetre (0.39 in)
  • Height of the pommels: 12 centimetres (4.7 in) ± 0.5 centimetres (0.20 in)
  • Distance between the pommels: 40 centimetres (16 in) – 45 centimetres (18 in) (adjustable)

RoutinesEdit

A typical pommel horse exercise involves both single leg and double leg work. Single leg skills are generally in the form of scissors. Double leg work however, is the main staple of this event. The gymnast swings both legs in a circular motion (clockwise or counterclockwise depending on preference) and performs such skills on all parts of the apparatus. To make the exercise more challenging, gymnasts will often include variations on a typical circling skill by turning (moores and spindles), by straddling their legs (Flairs), placing one or both hands on the pommel or the leather, or moving up and down the horse placing their hands on the pommel and/or the leather (travelling). Routines end when the gymnast performs a dismount, either by swinging his body over the horse or going through a handstand to land on the mat. The pommel horse, its gymnastic elements, and various rules are all regulated by the Code of Points.

Pommel horse is considered one of the more difficult men's events.[3] While it is well noted that all events require a certain build of muscle and technique, pommel horse tends to favor technique over muscle. This is because horse routines are done from the shoulders in a leaning motion and that no moves need to be held, unlike other events. Therefore, stress induced in one's arms is reduced, meaning less muscle is needed in this event than events like still rings or parallel bars.

International level routinesEdit

A pommel horse routine should contain at least one element from all element groups:[4]

  • Single leg swings and scissors
  • Circles and flairs, with and/or without spindles and handstands
  • Side and cross support travels
  • Dismounts

Scoring and rulesEdit

As with all events in the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique guidelines, form is crucial to any successful routine. For pommel horse, form consists of keeping one's feet pointed and legs straight during the entire routine. The gymnast should keep his legs together during all elements, exceptions beings scissors, single legged elements, and flairs.[4] Gymnasts are also deducted for not using all three sections of the horse and pausing or stopping on the apparatus.[4] Deductions also apply for brushing and hitting the apparatus.[5]

Olympic pommel horse medalistsEdit

The most decorated and successful Olympic pommel worker in history is Great Britain's Max Whitlock, with three medals including two gold medals. Two other gymnasts have three pommel horse Olympic medals across three Games; Romania's Marius Urzică with one gold and two silver medals, and Whitlock's compatriot and teammate Louis Smith with two silvers, and a bronze - under historic rules Smith would have shared gold in 2012, but was awarded silver behind Kristian Berki after a tie was broken on execution score.

Three other pommel workers have two Olympic gold medals, and each is considered a legend of the sport; the Soviet Union gymnast Boris Shakhlin. the Yugoslav Miroslav Cerar and the Hungarian master, Zoltán Magyar.


Games Gold Silver Bronze
1896 Athens
details
Louis Zutter
  Switzerland
Hermann Weingärtner
  Germany
none awarded
1900 Paris not included in the Olympic program
1904 St. Louis
details
Anton Heida
  United States
George Eyser
  United States
William Merz
  United States
1908–1920 not included in the Olympic program
1924 Paris
details
Josef Wilhelm
  Switzerland
Jean Gutweninger
  Switzerland
Antoine Rebetez
  Switzerland
1928 Amsterdam
details
Hermann Hänggi
  Switzerland
Georges Miez
  Switzerland
Heikki Savolainen
  Finland
1932 Los Angeles
details
István Pelle
  Hungary
Omero Bonoli
  Italy
Frank Haubold
  United States
1936 Berlin
details
Konrad Frey
  Germany
Eugen Mack
  Switzerland
Albert Bachmann
  Switzerland
1948 London
details
Paavo Aaltonen
  Finland
none awarded none awarded
Veikko Huhtanen
  Finland
Heikki Savolainen
  Finland
1952 Helsinki
details
Viktor Chukarin
  Soviet Union
Yevgeny Korolkov
  Soviet Union
none awarded
Hrant Shahinyan
  Soviet Union
1956 Melbourne
details
Boris Shakhlin
  Soviet Union
Takashi Ono
  Japan
Viktor Chukarin
  Soviet Union
1960 Rome
details
Eugen Ekman
  Finland
none awarded Shuji Tsurumi
  Japan
Boris Shakhlin
  Soviet Union
1964 Tokyo
details
Miroslav Cerar
  Yugoslavia
Shuji Tsurumi
  Japan
Yury Tsapenko
  Soviet Union
1968 Mexico City
details
Miroslav Cerar
  Yugoslavia
Olli Laiho
  Finland
Mikhail Voronin
  Soviet Union
1972 Munich
details
Viktor Klimenko
  Soviet Union
Sawao Kato
  Japan
Eizo Kenmotsu
  Japan
1976 Montreal
details
Zoltán Magyar
  Hungary
Eizo Kenmotsu
  Japan
Nikolai Andrianov
  Soviet Union
Michael Nikolay
  East Germany
1980 Moscow
details
Zoltán Magyar
  Hungary
Alexander Dityatin
  Soviet Union
Michael Nikolay
  East Germany
1984 Los Angeles
details
Li Ning
  China
none awarded Timothy Daggett
  United States
Peter Vidmar
  United States
1988 Seoul
details
Dmitry Bilozerchev
  Soviet Union
none awarded none awarded
Zsolt Borkai
  Hungary
Lubomir Geraskov
  Bulgaria
1992 Barcelona
details
Pae Gil-su
  North Korea
none awarded Andreas Wecker
  Germany
Vitaly Scherbo
  Unified Team
1996 Atlanta
details
Donghua Li
  Switzerland
Marius Urzică
  Romania
Alexei Nemov
  Russia
2000 Sydney
details
Marius Urzică
  Romania
Eric Poujade
  France
Alexei Nemov
  Russia
2004 Athens
details
Teng Haibin
  China
Marius Urzică
  Romania
Takehiro Kashima
  Japan
2008 Beijing
details
Xiao Qin
  China
Filip Ude
  Croatia
Louis Smith
  Great Britain
2012 London
details
Krisztián Berki
  Hungary
Louis Smith
  Great Britain
Max Whitlock
  Great Britain
2016 Rio de Janeiro
details
Max Whitlock
  Great Britain
Louis Smith
  Great Britain
Alexander Naddour
  United States
2020 Tokyo
details
Max Whitlock
  Great Britain
Lee Chih-kai
  Chinese Taipei
Kazuma Kaya
  Japan

World pommel horse medalistsEdit

Pommel horse has been contested at World Championships from their inauguration. The record for most World victories is held by several workers at 3. Three of the four double Olympic champions, Miroslav Cerar, Zoltan Magyar and Max Whitlock have each won the World title three times, to set the record for combined global titles at 5. The most decorated workers at World Championships are Whitlock, Xiao Qin and Kristian Berki, both with three gold and two silver medals.

Bold numbers in brackets denotes record number of victories.

Year Location Gold Silver Bronze
1903   Antwerp   Georges Dejagere
  Joseph Lux
  Henricus Thyssen
- -
1905   Bordeaux   Georges Dejagere   Marcel Lalu   Daniel Lavielle
1907   Prague   František Erben   Jules Rolland   Karel Sal
1909   Luxembourg No pommel horse event held
1911   Turin   Osvaldo Palazzi   Paolo Salvi
  Giorgio Zampori
-
1913   Paris   Giorgio Zampori   N. Aubry
  Osvaldo Palazzi
  Marco Torrès
-
1915–1917 Not held due to World War I
1922   Ljubljana   Miroslav Klinger   Stanislav Indruch
  Leon Štukelj
  Peter Šumi
-
1926   Lyon   Jan Karafiát   Jan Gajdoš   Ladislav Vácha
1930   Luxembourg   Josip Primožič   Peter Šumi   Jan Gajdoš
1934   Budapest   Eugen Mack   Eduard Steinemann   Jan Sladek
1938   Prague   Michael Reusch   Vratislav Petráček   Leo Schürmann
1942 Not held due to World War II
1950   Basel   Josef Stalder   Marcel Adatte   Walter Lehmann
1954   Rome   Grant Shaginyan   Josef Stalder   Viktor Chukarin
1958   Moscow   Boris Shakhlin   Pavel Stolbov   Miroslav Cerar
1962   Prague   Miroslav Cerar   Boris Shakhlin   Takashi Mitsukuri
  Yu Lifeng
1966   Dortmund   Miroslav Cerar   Mikhail Voronin   Takeshi Katō
1970   Ljubljana   Miroslav Cerar (3)   Eizo Kenmotsu   Viktor Klimenko
1974   Varna   Zoltán Magyar   Nikolai Andrianov   Eizo Kenmotsu
1978   Strasbourg   Zoltán Magyar   Eberhard Gienger   Stoyan Deltchev
1979   Fort Worth   Zoltán Magyar (3)   Kurt Thomas   Kōji Gushiken
1981   Moscow   Li Xiaoping
  Michael Nikolay
-   György Guczoghy
  Yuri Korolyov
1983   Budapest   Dmitry Bilozerchev   György Guczoghy
  Li Xiaoping
-
1985   Montreal   Valentin Mogilny   Li Ning   Hiroyuki Konishi
1987   Rotterdam   Dmitry Bilozerchev
  Zsolt Borkai
-   Lubomir Geraskov
1989   Stuttgart   Valentin Mogilny   Andreas Wecker   Li Jing
1991   Indianapolis   Valery Belenky   Guo Linyao   Li Jing
1992   Paris   Li Jing
  Pae Gil-su
  Vitaly Scherbo
- -
1993   Birmingham   Pae Gil-su   Andreas Wecker   Károly Schupkégel
1994   Brisbane   Marius Urzică   Éric Poujade   Li Donghua
  Vitaly Marinich
1995   Sabae   Li Donghua   Yoshiaki Hatakeda
  Huang Huadong
-
1996   San Juan   Pae Gil-su (3)   Li Donghua   Alexei Nemov
1997   Lausanne   Valery Belenky   Éric Poujade   Pae Gil-su
1999   Tianjin   Alexei Nemov   Marius Urzică   Nikolai Kryukov
2001   Ghent   Marius Urzică   Xiao Qin   Oleksandr Beresch
2002   Debrecen   Marius Urzică (3)   Xiao Qin   Takehiro Kashima
2003   Anaheim   Takehiro Kashima
  Teng Haibin
-   Nikolai Kryukov
2005   Melbourne   Xiao Qin   Ioan Silviu Suciu   Takehiro Kashima
2006   Aarhus   Xiao Qin   Prashanth Sellathurai   Alexander Artemev
2007   Stuttgart   Xiao Qin (3)   Krisztián Berki   Louis Smith
2009   London   Zhang Hongtao   Krisztián Berki   Prashanth Sellathurai
2010   Rotterdam   Krisztián Berki   Louis Smith   Prashanth Sellathurai
2011   Tokyo   Krisztián Berki   Cyril Tommasone   Louis Smith
2013   Antwerp   Kohei Kameyama   Daniel Corral
  Max Whitlock
-
2014   Nanning   Krisztián Berki (3)   Filip Ude   Cyril Tommasone
2015   Glasgow   Max Whitlock   Louis Smith   Kazuma Kaya
  Harutyun Merdinyan
2017   Montreal   Max Whitlock   David Belyavskiy   Xiao Ruoteng
2018   Doha   Xiao Ruoteng   Max Whitlock   Lee Chih-kai
2019   Stuttgart   Max Whitlock (3)   Lee Chih-kai   Rhys McClenaghan

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Janssen & Fritsen presents: History of the Pommel Horse". Retrieved 2010-03-21.
  2. ^ "Apparatus Norms" (PDF). FIG. p. II/13. Retrieved 2012-12-01.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Jassen + Fritsen". Retrieved 2012-12-01.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b c "MAG Code of Points 2013–2016" (PDF). FIG. p. 60. Retrieved 2012-12-01.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "MAG Code of Points 2013–2016" (PDF). FIG. p. 65. Retrieved 2012-12-01.[permanent dead link]