Photo: Zsofia Kovacs of Hungary
Amid all the excitement of this weekend in the Elite world of Gymnastics with the American Cup taking place in Newark, New Jersey, USA and L’International Gymnix and the Gymnix Challenge competition taking place in Montreal, Canada, another competition took place on Saturday, March 5th in Linz, Austria.
The 7th annual Austrian Team Cup saw competitors from all over the globe descend on Linz. Young competitors from as far flung as South Africa came to compete. This competition acted as both a domestic competition for Austrian athletes and an International competition.
Both MAG and WAG competitors took part.
2015 European AA Champion, Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland was the headline act amongst the women, this being her return to competition, having injured herself during Vault finals at last years World Championships where she placed 5th AA and was definitely a favourite for a medal, having qualified to the final in 2nd place, however being edged out by Romanian, Larisa Iordache and China’s Shang Chunsong in the final.
Steingruber led her team to victory this weekend, with the Swiss team coming out on top in the International team competition with a score of 161.750. This is a crucial event for them as they plan to head to Rio next month to take part in the Olympic Test Event and qualify a full Swiss team to the Olympic Games. The Hungarian team came in just behind Switzerland in the team competition with a score of 160.050, helped along quite significantly by a huge score of 15.400 on Vault for Zsofia Kovacs, whose Vault had a 5.8 difficulty. The third spot went to the Polish team, who despite not having leader Marta Pihan-Kulesza, who was slated to compete at the weekend, had an impressive showing and scored a 157.250 to take the bronze medal.
In the International All-Around competition, impressive new senior, Zsofia Kovacs of Hungary who I mentioned scoring a huge 15.400 on Vault to put her team in second place topped the podium, edging out reigning European AA Champion, Giulia Steingruber. Kovacs scored an impressive 56.250 to take the AA title, which would have landed her in the top 10 AA at last years World Championships. Steingruber, as mentioned came in second with a score of 56.000. Barbara Mokosova of Slovakia took the bronze medal with a score of 54.500.
Zsofia also topped the Vault and Uneven Bars podiums, with Katarzyna Jurkowska- Kowalska of Poland topping the Beam podium with a 14.250. Powerhouse, Giulia Steingruber topped the Floor Exercise podium with a 14.150 on the event.
Within the Austrian domestic event, Elisa Hammerle, fresh off her solid performance at the Baku World Challenge Cup topped the podium with an AA score of 53.750. Jasmin Mader took the silver medal with a 50.500 and Hammerle’s club teammate, Tamara Stadelmann took the bronze medal with a 46.150. Hammerle topped the podium on every event except Vault, second place AA finisher, Jasmin Mader took top honours on that event.
In the team competition of the Austrian domestic event, Hammerle’s club took top honours with Mader’s team coming in second and Baku World Challenge up competitor, Lisa Ecker’s team taking the bronze medal.
Full results available here: http://www.oeft.at/events/2016/ato/linz2016_results.htm