10/29/2018 3:27:57 PM (GMT+3)

Top qualifier Russian Federation target first team medal since 2006

Top qualifier Russian Federation target first team medal since 2006

DOHA: Devoid of a world team medal since 2006, the Russian Federation men’s team may statistically appear to be just creeping back up the global rankings.

Based on their brazen qualifications performance, however, the Russians — who were fifth at the 2014 Worlds, fourth at the 2015 Worlds and second at the 2016 Rio Olympics Games — enter Monday’s team final at the top of the heap.

Nikita Nagornyy led the Russian gymnasts in qualifications, where they outscored defending world and Olympic bronze medalist China, which qualified second to the final, and defending world and Olympic champion Japan, which qualified third.

USA and 2015 silver medalist Great Britain qualified fourth and fifth, respectively.

Acknowledging the Russian superiority in qualifications, British gymnast Brinn Bevan also regarded them as gold-medal favourites.

“The Russians did an absolutely amazing job, and if they put in a performance like that in the team final, it’s going to be very, very hard to beat them,” Bevan said.