The 2016 European Gymnastics Championships took place in Bern, Switzerland with the women’s competition taking place from June 1st-5th 2016 in the Swiss city.

It acted as an important warm up for the members of the UEG as we get closer and closer to the all important Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

In the team final, it was expected that it would be a battle between the team on the rise at the moment, Great Britain and the old dynasty, Russia for top spot. Although Great Britain came out of qualifications on top, unfortunately mistakes in the team final cost them the title and a fierce looking Russian team, who I expected to under perform here in Bern took the team title. Great Britain took the silver whilst France, much to their delight took the bronze. The embattled Romanian team showed that they are not dead yet with a 4th place finish in qualification, however struggled slightly in the final and ended in 6th. The home team, Switzerland had to settle for 4th after high hopes being pinned on them to medal after qualifying to the final in 3rd. Costly mistakes, namely by Giulia Steingruber with a fall on the beam cost them that bronze medal.

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The British Team

However. all was not lost for Switzerland and Giulia. The Swiss superstar, who seems to improving more and more, meet by meet took the Vault title in front of her home crowd, much to the delight of all in the stands. And to top it all off, Steingruber also took the Floor Exercise title with a massive score of 15.200 for an exquisite routine. Steingruber upped her difficulty for the floor final and combined this difficulty with beautiful dance, selling the routine with a genuine smile and providing music that the crowd could get involved with. It was a spectacular Championships for Steingruber who has competed extensively throughout 2016 after unfortunately injuring herself in the Vault finals at last years World Championships and sadly just missing out on a World All-Around medal. Steingruber jumped for joy, hugging her crying coach upon announcement of her score in the Floor Exercise final and it was a gymnastics moment that will forever be one of my favourites.

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Floor Exercise podium

Earning the silver medal on the vault, behind Steingruber was one half of the double Downies, the younger of the two, Ellie. Much hopes are being placed on this young woman and she certainly did not disappoint, performing two extremely clean vaults to take the silver medal. Her difficulty is low, however the sheer fact that she managed to medal at these Championships and take 4th place in the vault final at last years World Championships shows great promise for this young lady for the future. Ellie also managed to add a third silver medal to her haul, earned in the vault and team finals. This time, Ellie earned it in the floor exercise final. She displayed once again her fantastic power, great execution and mental fortitude, performing under immense pressure and not faultering in the slightest. If there’s one area where Ellie could work on is selling the routine, however this will come with time and age. She is certainly setting herself up to be a member of that GB Olympic team, especially after her impressive showing at the Osijek World Challenge Cup earlier this year where she took all 4 gold medals and totaled an all-around score that would rival for a bronze medal, especially now with Larisa Iordache most probably out of Olympic contention.

Ellie’s sister, Becky also proved herself to be worthy of a second Olympic berth after taking the Uneven Bars title with a massive score of 15.500, beating reigning World and European Uneven Bars Champion, Daria Spiridonova who took the silver with a 15.466 and the reigning Olympic Uneven Bars Champion, Aliya Mustafina who took the bronze with a 15.100. To say it was an impressive event final would be an understatement. Every woman gave it their all and it showed. Becky went for an upgraded routine and it payed off.

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Uneven Bars podium

Bronze medalist on the uneven bars, Aliya Mustafina added another gold medal to her collection from Bern. Adding to her gold medal earned as part of the Russian team, Mustafina also took the Balance Beam gold medal and was evidently happy about, dancing and  clapping upon finishing her routine and upon learning she had gone into the lead. This rare excitement which we saw from Aliya is evidence that she nor anyone watching expected her to even medal in this final after having quite a bad qualification round, with many crucifying her for getting credit for completing the obligatory flight series during her routine when in actual fact her flight series never actually took flight. Nonetheless, Aliya, the queen that she is came back in event finals and took the gold medal with a 15.100 and did indeed perform a flight series. Earning the silver medal on the beam was France’s Marine Boyer, adding to the bronze medal she earned in the team finals. Boyer performed and solid and beautiful routine that displayed her beautiful long lines. The comeback queen, Catalina Ponor of Romania took the bronze medal on the beam, looking more solid than she did during the Olympic Test Event in April. Ponor is largely expected to be Romania’s WAG representative in Rio and is just simply shocking me. 12 years after becoming Olympic Balance Beam Champion, she is still winning European medals on the event. And this was not the only medal earned by Ponor. She also earned the bronze medal on the Floor Exercise, also 12 years after she became Olympic Champion on that event. She is truly phenomenal and whilst I do love her I hope that in the next few years we can see Romania rebuild and not have to bring back gymnasts of old in order to qualify for major events and win medals at major Championships.

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The Russian team that took gold with an extra happy Aliya at these Championships

A special mention should go to Zsofia Kovacs of Hungary who is a personal favourite of mine. She combines power and is great on Vault with elegance and great and shows this perfectly on the Uneven Bars where she has an absolutely exquisite line. Kovacs took the third spot all-around. Whilst there was no all-around final and this was during the qualification, this is a huge deal for Hungary, a programme slowly trying to build itself up to be one of the top nations and with Kovacs, their future certainly seems bright. Angelina Melnikova would have taken the AA title, had there been a final, making her case stronger and stronger to make it on to that Russian Olympic Team.

On the junior side, lots of promise was shown from both the Russian juniors and the British juniors and even the Romanian juniors who took the bronze medal in the team final behind Russia and Great Britain.

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The British junior team that took silver

Alice Kinsella was the standout of the British juniors, taking home a silver medal on the beam behind Russia’s Anastasia Iliankova and ahead of another Russian, Elena Eremina. Kinsella also took a silver medal on the floor exercise and 5th in the all-around, behind the other British standout, Maisie Methuen.

The Russian standout, who I mentioned earning the gold medal on the balance beam was Elena Eremina who also took the all-around title with a 54.550.

Behind her in the all-around was Lynn Genhart of Switzerland who took the silver medal in front of a home crowd and Italy’s Martina Basile took the bronze. Basile also took the silver medal on the vault and tied with Romania’s Denisa Golgota behind her Italian teammate, Martina Maggio who took the gold medal with a 14.499.

Golgota also took the Floor Exercise title, showing promise for the future of Romanian gymnastics. As mentioned, Kinsella of Great Britain took thew silver on floor with Russia’s Uliana Perebinosova taking the bronze on that event. Perebinosova also took the silver medal on the uneven bars behind Russian teammate, Anastasia Iliankova who also took the balance beam title. The bronze on the Uneven Bars was earned by young Lorette Charpy of France.

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Junior Team podium

Full results are as follows:

Senior Team:

  1. Russian Federation 175.212
  2. Great Britain 170.312
  3. France 168.496
  4. Switzerland 165.721
  5. Italy 165.571
  6. Romania 164.596
  7. Germany 163.829
  8. Hungary 162.762

Senior VT:

  1. Giulia Steingruber (SUI) 14.983
  2. Ellie Downie (GBR) 14.933
  3. Kseniia Afanaseyva (RUS) 14.699
  4. Sofia Busato (ITA) 14.599
  5. Claudia Fragapane (GBR) 14.549
  6. Teja Belak (SLO) 14.483
  7. Zsofia Kovacs (HUN) 14.216
  8. Katarzyna Jurkowska-Kowalksa (POL) 13.700

Senior UB:

  1. Becky Downie (GBR) 15.500
  2. Daria Spiridonova (RUS) 15.466
  3. Aliya Mustafina (RUS) 15.100
  4. Kim Bui (GER) 14.533
  5. Zsofia Kovacs (HUN) 14.400
  6. Giulia Steingruber (SUI) 14.166
  7. Gabby Jupp (GBR) 13.400
  8. Martina Rizzelli (ITA) 13.366

Senior BB:

  1. Aliya Mustafina (RUS) 15.100
  2. Marina Boyer (FRA) 14.600
  3. Catalina Ponor (ROU) 14.266
  4. Ilaria Kaeslin (SUI) 14.233
  5. Angelina Melnikova (RUS) 14.166
  6. Gaelle Mys (BEL) 14.066
  7. Marina Brevet (FRA) 14.066
  8. Becky Downie (GBR) 14.066

Senior FX:

  1. Giulia Steingruber (SUI) 15.200
  2. Ellie Downie (GBR) 14.566
  3. Catalina Ponor (ROU) 14.466
  4. Claudia Fragapane (GBR) 14.300
  5. Mara Titarsolej (NED) 13.933
  6. Marine Brevet (FRA) 13.900
  7. Gaelle Mys (BEL) 13.666
  8. Amelia Foellinger (GER) 13.466

Junior AA:

  1. Elena Eremina (RUS) 54.550
  2. Lynn Genhart (SUI) 54.365
  3. Martina Basile (ITA) 54.266
  4. Maisie Methuen (GBR) 53.599
  5. Alice Kinsella (GBR) 53.498
  6. Morgane Osyssek-Reimer (FRA) 53.332
  7. Rinke Santy (BEL) 52.559
  8. Carmen Ghiciuc (ROU) 52.507
  9. Ioana Crisan (ROU) 52.498
  10. Anastasia Iliankova (RUS) 52.433
  11. Francesca Linari (ITA) 52.373
  12. Lorette Charpy (FRA) 52.299
  13. Anina Wildi (SUI) 52.032
  14. Maellyse Brassart (BEL) 51.833
  15. Helene Schaefer (GER) 51.733
  16. Sanna Veerman (NED) 51.598
  17. Emma Hoefele (GER) 51.532
  18. Dorka Szujo (HUN) 51.331
  19. Polina Borzykh (GEO) 51.258
  20. Marie Skammelsen (DEN) 50.932
  21. Vendula Merkova (CZE) 50.899
  22. Valeriia Iarmolenko (UKR) 50.499
  23. Kristyna Brabcova (CZE) 50.366
  24. Amelia Sanchez (esp) 48.499

Junior Team:

  1. Russian Federation 168.179
  2. Great Britain 163.912
  3. Romania 163.678
  4. Italy 162.030
  5. France 160.823
  6. Switzerland 160.496
  7. Germany 159.365
  8. Belgium 157.628

Junior VT:

  1. Martina Maggio (ITA) 14.499
  2. Martina Basile (ITA) 14.233
  3. Denisa Golgota (ROU) 14.233
  4. Marie Skammelsen (DEN) 14.045
  5. Morgane Osyssek-Reimer (FRA) 14.033
  6. Elena Eremina (RUS) 13.883
  7. Livia Schmid (SUI) 13.866
  8. Olivia Cimpian (ROU) 13.566

Junior UB:

  1. Anastasia Iliankova (RUS) 14.766
  2. Uliana Perebinosova (RUS) 14.366
  3. Lorette Charpy (FRA) 14.300
  4. Alice Kinsella (GBR) 13.808
  5. Lynn Genhart (SUI) 13.433
  6. Janna Mouffok (FRA) 13.400
  7. Helene Schaefer (GER) 13.333
  8. Leonie Meier (SUI) 12.433

Junior BB:

  1. Anastasia Iliankova (RUS) 14.400
  2. Alice Kinsella (GBR) 14.166
  3. Elena Eremina (RUS) 13.841
  4. Lorette Charpy (FRA) 13.833
  5. Maisie Methuen (GBR) 13.733
  6. Helene Schaefer (GER) 12.966
  7. Polina Borzykh (GEO) 12.766
  8. Ioana Crisan (ROU) 1.133

Junior FX:

  1. Denisa Golgota (ROU) 13.933
  2. Alice Kinsella (GBR) 13.866
  3. Uliana Perebinosova (RUS) 13.800
  4. Alisson Lapp (FRA) 13.666
  5. Francesca Linari (ITA) 13.666
  6. Megan Parker (GBR) 13.500
  7. Naomi Visser (NED) 13.200
  8. Elena Eremina (RUS) 12.800

 

 

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