Russian gymnast Nikita Nagornyy, a gold medal favorite for the Tokyo Olympics, made history in the qualifying round at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships Thursday in Basel, Switzerland.
The 24-year-old debuted a triple back pike somersault on the floor exercise, becoming the first gymnast to perform the move in competition. Thus, the element will be named after him.
Nagornyy earned a 15.066 for the floor routine, tying him with compatriot Kirill Prokopev for the top qualifying score in the event. He advanced to five of the six individual apparatus finals, including a 14.066 on pommel horse, 14.733 on still rings, 14.766 on vault, 14.833 on parallel bars.
Nagornyy is set to lead the Russian Olympic Committee's bid for the nation's first men's gymnastics team medal at the Olympics since 1996. Initially expected to join him was 2018 world all-around champion Artur Dalaloyan, though he recently underwent surgery for a torn Achilles tendon and is sitting out the European Championships with his Olympic status uncertain.