MOSCOW, Russia, May 30, 2009 – 2008 Olympic bronze-medalist Raj Bhavsar of Houston/Houston Gymnastics Academy won the silver medal on the parallel bars at the 2009 World Stars, an International Gymnastics Federation World Cup event, at Moscow’s Olympic Sport Complex. He also successfully executed his original skill on the parallel bars, which will be given his name in the FIG Code of Points.

On parallel bars, Bhavsar’s 15.050 put him just behind Slovenia’s Mitja Petsovsek, who posted a 15.625 for the title. The Netherlands’ Epke Zonderland was third. In addition to competing well, Bhavsar extended his stamp in the sport by having a second skill named for him. He successfully executed a new, original skill in his parallel bars routine. In accordance with FIG regulations, Bhavsar’s new skill – a dynamic above-bar release move that starts on one end of the bars and flies almost to the other end – was reviewed by the FIG Men’s Technical Committee in advance and recently received a preliminary ranking as an E skill. Having the skill named for Bhavsar is not official until it appears in the FIG Men’s Technical Committee’s newsletter. Bhavsar also has a skill named after him on still rings.

“Raj’s new skill was very exciting to see at this meet,” said Mike Burns, the U.S. head coach for the team in Moscow. “The crowd loved the skill, as did the other gymnasts in the meet. Raj got a lot positive comments on the new skill. Raj really represented the USA well in these finals. He performed two great sets with stuck dismounts on both and came away with a silver medal on the parallel bars and a new skill in the Code of Points!”

“The Moscow World Stars was one of my first international competitions almost eight years ago,” said Bhavsar. “And I’m excited to debut my new skill on parallel bars on the world scene.”

“Raj is good about thinking outside the box,” said Kevin Mazeika, Bhavsar’s personal coach and head men’s coach for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team – gymnastics. “He’s always coming up with ideas for new skills. He worked hard for this one on parallel bars and it’s great to see it come to fruition.”

Bhavsar also competed on the still rings, where he tied for fourth to finish behind champion Yury Van Gelder of the Netherlands (15.600), Konstantin Pluzhnikov of Russia (15.525) and Aleksandr Balandin of Russia (15.175).

Guillermo Alvarez of Minneapolis/Minnesota Gymnastics, and David Sender of Arlington Heights, Ill./Stanford University, also competed in the qualification round.

2009 World Stars
Moscow, Russia
May 29-30, 2009
Final results


Floor exercise
1. Diego Hypolito, Brazil, 15.650
2. Anton Golotsutskov, Russia, 15.550
3. Alex Shatilov, Israel, 15.250

Pommel horse
1. Kristian Berki, Hungary, 15.900
2. Prashanth Sellathurai, Australia, 15.875
3. Andrey Perevoznikov, Russia, 15.525

Still rings
1. Yury Van Gelder, Netherlands, 15.600
2. Konstantin Pluzhnikov, Russia, 15.525
3. Aleksandr Balandin, Russia, 15.175
4. Raj Bhavsar, Houston, and Timur Kurbanbayev, Kazhakistan, 15.000

1. Anton Golotsutskov, Russia, 15.887
2. Jeffrey Wammes, Netherlands, 15.875
3. Evgeni Sapronenko, Latvia, 15.800

Parallel bars
1. Mitja Petsovsek, Slovenia, 15.625
2. Raj Bhavsar, Houston, 15.050
3. Epke Zonderland, Netherlands, 15.000

Horizontal bar
1. Epke Zonderland, Netherlands, 15.550
2. Aljaz Pegan, Slovenia, 15.425
3. Aliaksandr Tsarevich, Belarus, 15.175


1. Ekaterina Kurbatova, Russia, 14.587
2. Yulia Berger, Russia, 14.412
3. Anna Kalashnyk, Ukraine, 13.925

Uneven bars
1. Kristina Goryunova, Russia, and Ekaterina Kurbatova, Russia, 14.325
3. Lucia Tacchelli, Switzerland, 14.050

Balance beam
1. Sanne Wevers, Netherlands, 14.175
2. Adela Shajn, Slovakia, 14.050
3. Ethiene Franco, Brazil, 13.950

Floor exercise
1. Anna Myzdrikova, Russia, 14.125
2. Adela Shjn, Slovenia, 14.075
3. Ethiene Franco, Brazil, 13.750

*the USA did not compete in the women’s division.