mercredi 23 septembre 2015

2015 Worlds: here is your Women's team!

A month before the start of the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow (October 23 - November 1), the Belgian Gymnastics Federation announced its Men and Women's team. Let's start with the girls!

Credit: Mathias Hikketik

The team is composed by:
* Gaelle Mys (OTV Nazareth)
* Lisa Verchueren (Sportiva Sint-Gillis-Waas)
* Rune Hermans (Gym Haacht)
* Cindy Vandenhole (Vaste Vuist Lauwe)
* Laura Waem (Sportiva Sint-Gillis-Waas)
* Julie Croket (GymMax)

Alternates:
* Jelle Beullens (De Gympies Keerbergen)
* Dorien Motten (Turnkring Bilzen)

There was a big uncertainty regarding Julie Croket's participation. Ten days ago, she got injured during the friendly meet against teams from Sweden and Austria. On crutches today, Croket still made the cut. Yves Kieffer, the national coach: "I wanted to let Julie in the selection for now, although she has a sprained ankle, because she made an excellent preparation. She returned almost at her best level. Now, the challenge for Julie is to recover in time, knowing that we can replace her last minute. Everything will depend on the timing, how it will go. Even if she does not compete in Italy (October 10), if she can train normally the day we leave for Glasgow, she will go. She has enough experience for that. If we see that ultimately, it's too short, we won't take any risks. Dorien and Jelle are preparing for a case like this."

Slightly injured too, Laura Waem is also on the team. "Laura is very competitive on bars and beam. Floor and vault always are her weaknesses. With the injury that she just had, she won't compete in the all around, but on two or three events."

First year senior Cindy Vandenhole is ready for her first Worlds: "I'm glad, this will be my first World Championship. The meet in Mouscron was pretty good for me, except on beam. In Glasgow, I'll give my best for the team and then we'll see."

Remember that these World Championships are qualifying for the Olympic Games (top 8) and the Test Event (places 9 to 16). "The goal as a team is to stay in the top 16", said Yves Kieffer. "We are 11th and if we make a good competition, there will be no problems. Then our goal is to go to the Test Event and the Olympic Games as a team. Individually, we hope to have two gymnasts in the all around final. There are three gymnasts that could do it: Gaelle Mys, Lisa Verchueren and Rune Hermans."

If Belgium qualifies for the Test Event, new seniors, including Axelle Klinckaert and Nina Derwael, could help the team. "Axelle and Nina will arrive with a very high level. The Juniors ranks are important but there is a step you need to pass to become a good senior. At this year's European Youth Olympic Festival, Axelle presented a basic program, it was the minimum she could do. And she's training on much more difficult skills. We know that if we qualify as a team to the Olympic Games, we can reach apparatuses finals, and in final, those are very open, everything is possible. And we'll have nothing to loose."

And Belgium won't go in Rio as a figurant: "If we go as a team to the Games, I hope and think we'll go for something, we will reach finals, we will not go only to be happy to be in the Olympics."

What's next for our girls? They will travel to Italy for a friendly meet (October 10). They will then go to Arques (France) for a last training camp before Glasgow.

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