© John Cheng

COTTBUS, Germany, March 12, 2011 – C.J. Maestas of Corrales, N.M., finished fourth in the still rings finals at the 2011 Cottbus (Germany) Challenger Cup. China’s Xuan Luo won the rings title, with Greece’s Eleftherios Petrounias and former rings world champion Yuri Van Gelder of the Netherlands tying for second. More than 150 male gymnasts were entered in the World Cup event, with 51-69 gymnasts competing on each apparatus.

Maestas, who trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., posted a 15.425 in the rings final. Luo scored a 15.675 and Petrounias and Van Gelder both earned a 15.450. This was the first time Maestas has competed internationally as a senior.

The other champions from today’s finals were: world champion Eleftherios Kosmidis, Greece ,men’s floor exercise; Oksana Chusovitina, Germany, women’s vault; Zhang Hongtao, China, pommel horse; and Jinnan Yao, China, uneven bars; The competition concludes with the remaining five event finals tomorrow.

Andrew Elkind of Cherry Hill, N.J., a member of Team Hilton HHonors who trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, also competed in the Cottbus event. The Cottbus Challenger Cup is the first in the FIG Challenger Cup series and is an individual event competition.

Cottbus Challenger Cup
Cottbus, Germany
March 12, 2011

Still rings finals
1. Xuan Luo, China, 15.675
2. Eleftherios Petrounias, Greece, 15.450
2. Lambertus (Yuri) Van Gelder, Netherlands, 15.450
4. Christopher James Maestas, USA/Corrales, N.M., 15.425
5. Pierre Yves Beny, France, 15.375
6. Thomas Taranu, Germany, 15.175
7. Dzmitry Savitski, Belarus, 15.100
8. Nikita Ignatyev, Russia, 14.950