Without an All-Around Final this year, the main focus of the European Seniors gymnasts was on the Team Final, taking place on Saturday, June 4th. After exciting performances from some of the competitors and disappointments from others, Russia took the Gold with a five point margin to Silver medalist Great Britain and France managed to get Bronze for their consistent and solid routines.
Starting off on vault, the Russians put up three very good DTYs for three scores just below 15, leading the competition from the beginning. Moving on to their best event, Melnikova, Mustafina and Spiridonova performed three solid bars routines for two scores in the mid-15s and one just below the 15s mark. Beam started off well, with a 14.8 for Mustafina but a fall from Seda Tutkhalyan on, you guessed it, her layout full, forced them to count a score in the mid-13s, before Melnikova went up and matched Mustafina’s score. Lastly, on floor, things were a bit better than on Thursday, with two scores above 14 and just Mustafina’s in the mid-13s due to a quite low difficulty (5.3). Russia was able to finish with 175.212, nearly two points above their qualification result and confirmed themselves as the new champions of Europe.
Despite qualifying in first place, the British team wasn’t so fortunate during team finals. Starting alongside the Russians on vault, they too presented three DTYs for scores in the high-14s and a 15.1 from Ellie Downie, placing less than two tenths behind first position. But the next rotation on bars was bound to change everything. Despite hit routines from Gabby Jupp and Becky Downie, they fell behind after a fall and some other issues from Ruby Harrold to score just above 13. Moving on to beam, they once again had problems with falls from both Claudia Fragapane and Becky Downie, definitely taking them off the fight for Gold. Nevertheless, the British girls were able to come back with solid and consistent performances on floor, all scoring 8.333 in execution, and finishing the competition with 170.312, over three points below their qualification score but still enough for the Silver medal.
Qualifying in sixth place after some rough performances, France started team finals on beam with a subpar routine from Oreane Lechenault for just 12.8, but were able to improve their total after solid routines from their duo of “Marines”. Next on floor, the French girls had a hit rotation with three scores in the high-13s, followed by two FTYs and a DTY to get them back into contention for third place. Finishing up on bars, with intense cheering from the sidelines, they were able to score in the low to mid-14s, for a final result of 168.496, almost six points about their qualifications and enough to beat Switzerland for the Bronze medal.
In fourth place was home team Switzerland after some low-difficulty routines and falls on bars and beam, followed closely by Italy who also had problems on bars and floor but were able to finish on a good note after Elisa Meneghini finally hit her whole beam routine for 14.5. In sixth place was Romania who decided to sit out Silvia Zarzu and compete with just four gymnasts, unfortunately counting falls from Ocolisan and Holbura as well as low difficulty on some of their routines. The last two places were occupied by Germany and lastly Hungary, whose qualification into the team finals was already a great accomplishment in itself.
This competition showcased the level of preparation European teams are currently at on their road to the Olympics, leaving some room for improvement and refinement to be made in the last few weeks before teams are selected to compete in Rio on the biggest gymnastics stage of the quadrennium.
Full results can be found here.