Between 10.30 a.m. and 8 p.m. (March, 31st) 85 female gymnasts from 33 countries presented their routines for the European Championships held this weekend in Milan, Italy. 10.000 viewers would be able to follow the competition in the Milanese “Mediolanum Forum”, but this day, the arena was empty and quiet.
In contrast to 2006 World Champion Vanessa Ferrari (ITA), who wasn´t on top, vice-European Champion from Amsterdam (2007) Sandra Izbasa (ROU) was in great form. Izbasa, the Russians and some others will have better chances to win some medals.Who will be the next European Champion – Izbasa, Semenova or Afanasyeva? Tamirjan? Or someone else? (photo via gymnasticsunited)
After some “weak” groups in the morning, the gymnasts in the later runs showed more potential. Kim Bui (handspring – somersault layout foreward with half twist on vault) and Anja Brinker from Germany did well. The Russians with the newcomers Yulia Berger and Kristina Goryunova showed great technique and nice acrobatic skills on uneven bars. Gabriela Dragoi and Diana Chelaru (both ROU) convinced with their skills and execution, as well.
One day before her 24th birthday, 2006 uneven bar-European Champion Elizabeth Tweddle (GBR) presented an interesting routine with a Tkatchev into a Tkatchev with half twist. Also on floor, she is in great condition. Because of her final degree as a physiotherapis, she had to reduce her training and so she doesn´t compete on beam and vault.
Unfortunately, Lieke Wevers (NED) injured herself by not bending her knee after the dismount on uneven bars. The Dutchman will be only in a threesosome: Wyomi Masela, Mayra Kroonen and Marrit Ewald. Olympian Suzanne Harmes was only in 5th place at the dutch qualification competition – she won´t replace Wevers.
It´s still open if Vanessa Ferrari and the Italian Gymnastics Federation decided wisely with her nomination. Weight gain, newstart after a post-Olympic break with a lot of motivating and convincing work to do, weight loss…perhaps it´s to early for the nineteen-year-old.
Now for the short news:
The Suisse sportswoman of the year, Ariella Kaeslin, cut a fine figure – not only on vault. The Russians Semenova and Afanasyeva became more feminine, which is positive for her presentation. The Ukrainian girls didn´t show much difficulty, but they were very solid. A lot of nations sent only one or two gymnasts, who were followed by multiple coaches and helpers.