To finish off the 2016 European Gymnastics Championships, the best Junior gymnasts came together on Sunday afternoon to display their mastery on each apparatus. Russia once again dominated most of the competition winning two medals on bars and beam, as well as another medal on floor. The remaining medals were split between Italy, Romania, Great Britain and France, after some surprises in every final.

Staring on vault, Martina Maggio of Italy won gold after a DTY and a FTY, both vault being very clean even if somewhat piked down and with a small hop on landing, finishing just shy of 14.5. She was followed by a tie for second place between her teammate Martina Basile and Romania’s Denisa Golgota with a score in the low-14s. Basile vaulted a Yurchenko 1.5 with just a tiny step forward and a solid FTY, while Golgota vaulted the same vaults as Maggio, with slightly inferior execution. In fourth place was Marie Skammelsen of Denmark, the only gymnasts presenting vaults from different families, setting herself to continue the role of vault specialist as a Senior. Skammelsen vaulted a very clean Yurchenko 1.5 with a small hop on landing, followed by a Tsukahara layout full again with a hop on landing for a score less than two tenths away from the podium. Next was France’s Morgane Osyssek-Reimer after performing a clean FTY with a hop and a Yurchenko 1.5 with a step back, also averaging in the low-14s. In sixth place, after a disappointing final, was first place qualifier Elena Eremina of Russia. Eremina first vaulted a Yurchenko 1.5 with some bent knees and a small hop out-of-bounds, followed by a messy DTY which she sat after a few steps back, to score below 14. The last two gymnasts were homegirl Livia Schmid of Switzerland, performing a very laid-out front pike half with the tiniest of hops and a front tuck half again with a hop, and finally Romania’s Olivia Cimpian first showing a solid FTY and then getting a bad block off the table for a very tucked and crashed DTY, which apparently resulted in an ankle injury that forced her to be carried out of the podium in her coach’s arms.

The second final of the day was uneven bars, where the qualifications podium standings were repeated, with the Russians going 1-2 on the podium, maintaining Russia’s reputation as the best bars nation in Europe. First place qualifier Anastasia Iliankova was able to improve on her qualifications performance starting off with her awesome combination of Shaposhnikova to clear hip full to Tkachev and finishing with a stuck full-in dismount for a score of 14.766. Four tenths behind her was her teammate Uliana Perebinosova after an equally difficult routine (6.2 D-score) that included a Chow to stalder half to Ezhova, a Van Leeuwen and a toe-on full to Tkachev, but also some short handstands and execution problems that kept her execution score in the low-8s. Matching her qualifications score, Lorette Charpy of France managed to get the bronze medal after a clean and difficulty routine, except for some wild leg separation on her Van Leeuwen, finishing strong with a beautiful double layout with a tiny hop. In fourth place was Britain’s Alice Kinsella with a solid performance, despite some leg separation in her transitions and a low difficulty dismount (double pike), followed by Silver AA medalist Lynn Genhart of Switzerland who managed to finish in fifth despite placing tenth during qualifications, after a clean performance even if her routine had the lowest difficulty among the finalists. In sixth place was France’s Janna Mouffok due to some unpointed feet and over-arched handstands, as well as being forced to take an extra swing after a jaeger, while the younger Schaefer sister, Helene, of Germany was seventh after a mostly clean performance hampered by a low difficulty score. In eighth and last place was homegirl Leonie Meier after an over-ached handstand on her stalder full that resulted in a fall on her next skill, a Gienger, though she was able to regroup and finish her routine successfully.

Continuing on to the balance beam, Anastasia Iliankova was able to finish in first place, just like she had done in qualifications, even improving on her score after a very clean and difficult routine that included a round-off to layout (with some leg issues), an illusion turn and a side aerial to BHS, which could be leading up to an aerial to LOSO in the future. Rising up from her sixth place in qualifications to win Silver was Alice Kinsella starting off with her trademark mount and performing some intricate work like a double turn and a side aerial to LOSO, before dismounting with a nearly stuck 2.5 twists for a score in the low-14s. Rounding-up the podium was Elena Eremina who lost about four tenths from her qualifications result after some low difficulty (5.4 D-score) and wobbles on a few skills, narrowly beating fourth place finisher Lorette Charpy of France. Charpy had the exact same D-score as Eremina and less than 0.01 difference in E-score, performing most of her skills cleanly and confidently, with some form issues on her sheep jump and Onodi, as well as a low double pike dismount. In fifth place was Maisie Methuen of Great Britain despite having the highest difficulty alongside Iliankova (5.7 D-score), after some trouble on her sheep jump and Onodi, though most of her routine was incredibly solid. Next was Helene Schaefer after a fall on her switch half, which was a shame because everything else was spot on and she would have gotten bronze without that fall, while in seventh place was Russia-trained Polina Borzykh of Georgia after some wobbles and a crazy run off her 1.5 twists dismount. Unfortunately in last place was Ioana Crisan of Romania after a scary fall on her acro series, missing both her feet on her BHS and hitting her shoulder on the beam before falling completely crocked on the mat. Luckily she was okay and left the podium walking by herself but didn’t finish the routine for safety reasons.

Finally, finishing the competition was the floor exercise final where Denisa Golgota was able to win her second medal of the day, this time gold, after qualifying in eighth place. Golgota performed a typical Romanian routine with lots of movement and fun choreography, tumbling passes of two full-ins (piked and tucked) and two double backs (piked and tucked) cleanly landed, scoring just below 14 and getting a big hug from her coach at the end. In second place was once again Alice Kinsella who performed a Mustafina turn, 1.5 twists into a stuck 2.5 twist, a triple twist landed with her chest a bit low, and finishing with a double pike and a double tuck, both with a small hop back. Taking the bronze medal was Uliana Perebinosova performing a tucked full-in, two whips into a double tuck, 1.5 twist to triple twist with a big step back out-of-bounds and a double pike, again with a step out-of-bounds. Those out-of-bounds penalties proved costly as those two extra tenths would have gotten her the gold medal. Next there was a tie for fourth place between tiny little Alisson Lapp of France after a very expressive and dramatic performance, even if her skills were less difficult than most of the other finalists, and last qualifier (12th) Francesca Linari of Italy who got into the final after Olivia Cimpian’s injury on vault to present a fun and entertaining routine albeit with some trouble on her landings. In sixth place was Megan Parker of Great Britain with a solid performance that included a lovely Memmel turn, followed by Naomi Visser of Netherlands in seventh place after a beautiful routine marred by a 4.9-difficulty and some hops on landings. Finally in eighth place was top qualifier Elena Eremina due to a fall on her 2.5 twist and a very messy landing on her triple twist, finishing her competition on a sad note.

Junior Event Finals wrapped up the 2016 European Gymnastics Championships, with Russia taking five medals, two of which were Gold and went to Anastasia Iliankova, while Romania managed to get two medals, both by Denisa Golgota, Gold on floor and Silver on vault, Alice Kinsella won two Silvers for Great Britain and Italy went 1-2 on vault with both “Martinas”. This competition managed to showcase the current state of gymnastics in the Old Continent as we prepare to enter a new quadrennium with new rules for scoring and Olympic qualification, displaying an ever growing diversity of countries ready to dispute finals and medals in the sport of gymnastics.

Final results can be found here.

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