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Martinez Top Men’s Gymnastics Qualifier

June 3, 2005

DEBRECEN, Hungary (AP) _ Spaniard Rafael Martinez topped the men’s all-around qualifying at the European individual gymnastics championships on Friday.

He also reached the horizontal bar final.

Martinez, who was second in the individual all-around at last year’s European championships and fifth at the Athens Olympics, scored 55.836 points. He finished ahead of Romanian pair Razvan Dorin Selariu and Ioan Silviu Suciu.

Defending all-around champion Marian Dragulescu, also of Romania, failed to qualify. He missed trying to repeat on the vault, but will attempt successive floor titles as the top qualifier.

The only other gymnast with a chance to defend his European title from last year is Vlasios Maras of Greece on the horizontal bar.

Romania will have the most gymnasts in Sunday’s apparatus finals with eight. France is next with seven.

Hungary’s Krisztian Berki had Friday’s highest score of 9.750 on the pommel horse. He was third in the event at the 2004 Europeans.

The European championships continue Saturday with the men’s and women’s all-around finals.

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