mardi 31 mai 2016

2016 Women's European Championships: all you need to know and what to expect

After a successful edition for our Men's teams, this week is all about the Women's, coming into action tomorrow in Bern. What are the goals of our Belgian teams? Let's find out.

Credit: em-bern2016.ch/en/
The Juniors team is composed of Rinke Santy (Sportiva Sint-Gillis-Waas), Maellyse Brassart (Gym Phénix), Myrthe Potoms (Gymflex), Alysha Senders (Sta Paraat Hasselt-P.H.H. Hasselt) and Manon Muller (Gymplus). Muller is replacing an injured Imke Wolthuizen (De Gympies Keerbergen).

The main goal for this young team is to reach the top 8 as a team and to have at least one gymnast in the all-around final. Two years ago, in Sofia, Belgium placed 6th. This year's team is a bit inexperienced, except for Maellyse Brassart, who competed at the Top Gym and the Elite Gym Massilia, and for Myrthe Potoms, who also competed in Marseille last year. But the team can also count on its National champion, Rinke Santy

Beam should be a good event for them, as Maellyse Brassart and Myrthe Potoms scored in the 13's at a friendly meet against Romania, as well as Rinke at the Belgian Championships. Rinke is also very solid on vault, but our best vaulter is Maellyse. The weakest event of the team is probably the uneven bars, with low difficulty scores and a couple of falls in the past meets. Our gymnasts can bring good scores on floor, where the artistry and choreography are always a strength of our team.

Our Juniors will start on beam in the last subdivision (starting at 6pm), with the team from Great Britain. Maellyse Brassart, Rinke Santy and Myrthe Potoms will compete in the all-around and try to qualify for the final. Alysha Senders will only compete on bars, while Manon Muller will perform on vault, balance beam and floor.

Credit: FfG
When?
* Wednesday 1 June: all-around qualifications and team final (10:00-20:20)
* Friday 3 June: all-around final (19:00-20:50)
* Sunday 5 June: apparatus finals (14:30-17:00)

Competition format
Each team can count from 3 to 5 gymnasts. 4 gymnasts can compete on each apparatus and the 3 best scores are taken into account in the team total. The 24 best gymnasts (two per country) will advance to the all around final, and the 8 best gymnasts on each event (two per country) will compete in the event finals.


Belgium will only be represented by four Seniors gymnasts in Bern: Julie Meyers (Sta Paraat Hasselt-P.H.H. Hasselt), Cindy Vandenhole (Vaste Vuist Lauwe), Nina Derwael (Sta Paraat Hasselt-P.H.H. Hasselt) and Gaelle Mys (OTV Nazareth). Remember that there is no all-around final this year for the Seniors.

After their successfull qualification to the Olympic Games last April, the team took a much deserved break and didn't compete at Nationals. These Championships will be our first look at Gaelle since the Test Event. Julie and Cindy didn't compete since the friendly meet against Romania and Germany, and Nina's last competition was the International Gymnix back in March. Yet, Belgium came in Bern with some expectations. They will try to qualify for the team final (they were 7th in 2014) and to reach a couple of event finals.  

After the hand injury that prevented her from competing at the Test Event, Nina Derwael is back and we had the chance to see her at Nationals, where she competed an exhibition routine on balance beam, and she showed she was definitely ready to show what she is capable of. Her best event remains the uneven bars where she could reach the final. Veteran's Gaelle Mys can also target a balance beam final. In addition to beam, Gaelle can bring big scores on vault and floor in qualifications. She'll most likely not compete on bars, her weakest event. Cindy Vandenhole has proved in the past that she can score in the 14's on vault and bars, while Julie Meyers could contribute on balance beam and floor. 

They will start their competition on beam in the last subdivision (starting at 5:20pm) and will be with Russia.

Credit: FfG
When?
* Thursday 2 June: team and event finals qualifications (10:00-19:20)
* Saturday 4 June: team final (17:00-18:50)
* Sunday 5 June: apparatus finals (11:00-13:45)

Competition format
In qualification and in final, each team can count from 3 to 5 gymnasts. 3 gymnasts have to compete on each apparatus and those 3 scores are taken into account in the team total. The 8 best gymnasts on each event (two per country) will compete in the event finals.

There won't be a livestream for the Juniors, but the organisers are Periscoping as much as they can. You can follow them on Twitter and Facebook. The BBC as well as the organising committee will livestream the Seniors team final and the event finals. The UEG link is this one. As for the scores, you can use the Swiss Timing App. I'll of course post the scores on Twitter and on the Facebook page.

Start Lists and results here
Event website here

dimanche 29 mai 2016

2016 Euros: 7th place for Dennis Goossens on rings!

Dennis Goossens was the only Belgian gymnast in final this Sunday. And he did amazingly well on rings!


The level on still rings is always super high. A lot of gymnasts choose to become specialists on this event, which gives the audience a chance to see amazing performances.

Dennis Goossens is the first ever Belgian gymnast to qualify for a rings final and he has nothing to be ashamed of. On Sunday, he was first up, and it is always a tough position to go, as the judges haven't seen anyone yet. With an amazing routine and a stuck full-in dismount, he scored 15.233, a 0.1 less than in qualifications. 


Greece's Eleftherios Petrounias, the reigning European and World Champion, won gold, ahead of Russia's Denis Abliazin and Armenia's Vahagn Davtyan.

Still rings final standings
1. Eleftherios Petrounias (GRE) 15.866
2. Vahagn Davtyan (ARM) 15.633
2. Denis Abliazin (RUS) 15.633
...
7. Dennis Goossens (BEL) 15.233

Those European Championships were good ones for Team Belgium as our Seniors placed 9th as a team, the highest ranking ever achieved by a Seniors Belgian team, and as Dennis qualified Belgium for the rings final for the first time. On the Juniors' side, no event finals, but a 9th place finish as a team and two gymnasts in the all-around final, Takumi Onoshima (14th) and Noah Kuavita (21st).

Full results here

samedi 28 mai 2016

2016 Euros: Onoshima 14th, Kuavita 21st

Noah Kuavita and Takumi Onoshima both competed in the Juniors all-around final in Bern where they wanted to improve their scores from the qualification round.

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
16th after the qualifications, Noah ranked 21st yesterday night, scoring 78.189 with a fall on parallel bars. There were no stuck landings, and it was a source of problems for our young gymnasts. Noah's best score tonight came on vault, with a huge 13.933. He was also very good on floor exercise, scoring 13.766.

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
Takumi placed 14th with a total score of 78.931. That's a bit less than a point higher than in qualifications but most importantly, he gained 10 places in the rankings, as he was the last gymnast to qualify for the final on Wednesday. 

Takumi had a better day overall than in qualifications, even tho he still had troubles on some of his landings. He first competed on vault were he scored 13.366 for a great start. His best score came on pommel horse, the event he fell on during qualifications. Yesterday, he scored an excellent 13.633. 

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
It is not uncommon for Juniors to had mistakes on both qualifications and finals. The stress, a bigger arena, the crowd, can be very distracting. But the experience Takumi and Noah will have at the end of these Championships will be a great asset for what's come next.

Great Britain's Giarnni Regini-Moran won the gold medal ahead of Russia's Andrei Makolov and his teammate Joe Fraser

All-around standings
1. Giarnni Regini-Moran (GBR) 86.198
2. Andrei Makolov (RUS) 84.965
3. Joe Fraser (GBR) 83.764
...
14. Takumi Onoshima (BEL) 78.931
21. Noah Kuavita (BEL) 78.189

Full results here

jeudi 26 mai 2016

2016 Euros: 3 finals for our Juniors and Seniors

The Juniors kicked off the competition in Bern on Wednesday! Today, our Seniors were in action at the PostFinance Arena. And they performed really well on the big stage! If both teams failed to reach the top 8, two Juniors qualified for the all-around final, while Dennis Goosens will advance to the rings final!

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
On Wednesday, Takumi Onoshima, Noah Kuavita, Jonas Delvael, Ward Claeys and Justin Pesesse competed in the last subdivision of the day. They were first up on pommel horse, a tricky event to start with. Onoshima had a fall but the other gymnasts delivered consistent routines. This was the only fall of the competition for Team Belgium, while Jonas Delvael had troubles on horizontal bar. Their best total was on vault, with 40.899.

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
The team targeted a top 8 finish and they fell short, placing 9th with 236.694, less than 0.5 from the 8th position. Our gymnasts had a clean competition overall (except for the two mistakes) but a lack of difficulty prevented them to challenge the top teams. Great Britain won the gold medal in an impressive finish, winning their 5th team title in a row with their very last routine. Russia took silver and the host country, Switzerland, won the bronze medal in front of its homecrowd.

Team standings
1. Great Britain 253.436
2. Russia 252.061
3. Switzerland 249.959
4. France 248.562
5. Germany 243.094
...
9. Belgium 236.694

On the individual side, Noah Kuavita and Takumi Onoshima both qualified for the all-around final that will take place on Friday night. Kuavita placed 16th in qualifications, while Onoshima placed 25th, but qualified for the final thanks to the two per country rule. The Juniors failed to qualify for an individual final, but Kuavita is the first reserve on horizontal bar.

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
This result is nevertheless encouraging for this young team. Performing in front of a big crowd can be intimidating but that's how it goes at big championships. It was the first time they ever took part in a European Championships and this experience will definitely help them for the future. 

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
On the Seniors' side, Jimmy Verbaeys, Luka van den Keybus, Bram Louwije, Siemon Volkaert and Dennis Goossens placed 9th too. With a 3 up 3 count format, no mistake is allowed to reach the top. Our boys had some mistakes today, especially on dismounts.


Credit: Mathias Hikketik
They started on vault where Luka and Jimmy showed strong performances (14.4 and 14.2 respectively). Siemon went out of the lines on his landing and got a 0.3 penalty (13.466). Jimmy then showed great skills on parallel bars, his best event, to score 14.550. Unfortunately, Luka was a bit short on his dismount (12.800), while Bram was good to secure 13.700. On horizontal bar, Bram was first up and he also experienced some troubles on his dismount (13.266), while Jimmy touched the bar with his feet (13.500). No mistake this time for Luka with a very good 14.133. 


Credit: Mathias Hikketik

Half way through the competition, our gymnasts were in 14th place. Siemon, Luka and Jimmy all had good scores on floor, scoring a total of 42.166. On pommel horse, Bram had the best score (14.466), followed by Siemon (14.100). Jimmy unfortunately had a mistake and scored 13.333. Our boys' last event were the rings. The level is sky high on this event as a lot of gymnasts are true specialists. Our very own specialist, Dennis Goossens, scored a massive 15.366 and qualified for the rings final! 

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
With 250.146, Team Belgium placed 9th, three points away from the last qualifying spot. This means no team final for our guys, but Belgium's MAG team is getting better and better each year. Two years ago, in Sofia, they were 11th. Our gymnasts are proving once again they are improving and climbing the rankings fast, first at Worlds last year, then at the Test Event, and now here in Bern.

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
Team standings in qualifications
1. Russia 267. 725
2. Great Britain 267.020
3. Switzerland 263.662
...
9. Belgium 250.146

Still rings qualifications
1. Eleftherios Petrounias (GRE) 15.700
2. Ibrahim Colak (TUR) 15.666
3. Denis Abliazin (RUS) 15.666
4. Vahagn Davtyan (ARM) 15.566
5. Yuri van Gelder (NED) 15.500
6. Courtney Tulloch (GBR) 15.466
7. Samir Ait Saïd (FRA) 15.433
8. Dennis Goossens (BEL) 15.366

Full results here

mardi 24 mai 2016

2016 Men's European Championships: all you need to know and what to expect

The 2016 European Championships start tomorrow in Bern (Switzerland)! The competition will kick off with the Men events, on both Juniors and Seniors side, before welcoming the Women's gymnasts next week.

Credit: em-bern2016.ch/en/
This 2016 edition will be a big one as both Juniors and Seniors gymnasts will compete in the PostFinance Arena. Remember that Juniors only compete once every two years. This is a great opportunity to see where they are at the moment and how they will do against the strongest team in Europe.

The Belgian Juniors delegation is composed of Takumi Onoshima (Athanor Gym Club), Noah Kuavita (Silok Deurne), Jonas Delvael (Gym Izegem), Ward Claeys (Vaste Vuist Lauwe) and Justin Pesesse (La Vaillante Tubize). Iliaz Pyncket, on the team at first, had to withdraw due to injury.

Nevertheless, this team is still a strong one with Onoshima, the 2016 Belgian Champion, Delvael, three time medalist at the Junior Team Cup, and Kuavita, who recently placed 3rd at a friendly meet against the teams from Sweden and the Netherlands. Ward Claeys and Justin Pesesse are a little less experienced but they can greatly contribute to the team's total in Bern.

The Belgian team has set up its goal. They want to reach the top 8 as a team and place at least one gymnast in the all-around final. Our Juniors will compete in the last subdivision and will start on pommel horse, along with the Russian team. According to the start list, Noah Kuavita, Jonas Delvael and Takumi Onoshima will compete on all the 6 events, while Justin will compete on floor and vault. Ward Claeys will compete on pommel horse, rings, parallel bars and horizontal bar.

Credit: GymFed
When?
* Wednesday 25 May: all-around qualifications and team final (10:00-20:30)
* Friday 27 May: all-around final (18:30-20:45)
* Sunday 29 May: apparatus finals (14:45-17:00)

Competition format
Each team can count from 3 to 5 gymnasts. 4 gymnasts can compete on each apparatus and the 3 best scores are taken into account in the team total. The 24 best gymnasts (two per country) will advance to the all around final, and the 8 best gymnasts on each event (two per country) will compete in the event finals.


On the Seniors side, the team is also very strong as Jimmy Verbaeys (Blauwput Omnisport), Luka Van den Keybus (Gym Team Sint-Niklaas), Bram Louwije (Turnkring Vlamertinge), Dennis Goossens (TK De Kerels Waasmunsters) and Siemon Volkaert (GymMax) travelled to Bern. Maxime Gentges, slightly injured, is recovering and Daan Kenis suffered a last minute injury that kept him from competing in Switzerland. 

This Seniors team is a good mix between all-arounders and event specialists. There will be no all-around competition this year but the team hopes to reach the team final (and I do think they can do it) as well as qualify for a couple of event finals. Our Seniors will compete in the last subdivision and will start on vault, along with the Swiss team.

Verbaeys scored a massive 86+ at Nationals just a couple of weeks ago while Van den Keyus placed 3rd. Louwije was injured and only competed on four events but he showed consistency and readiness. Goossens, who recently won a bronze medal on rings at the World Challenge Cup in Cottbus, will be a contender for a final on that event but he can also contribute on floor and vault, while Volkaert recently got a huge 15.100 on pommel horse, as well as good scores on floor and vault. 

When?
* Thursday 26 May: team and event finals qualifications (10:00-20:15)
* Saturday 28 May: team final (14:30-17:00)
* Sunday 29 May: apparatus finals (10:30-13:45)

Competition format
In qualification and in final, each team can count from 3 to 5 gymnasts. 3 gymnasts have to compete on each apparatus and those 3 scores are taken into account in the team total. The 8 best gymnasts on each event (two per country) will compete in the event finals.

There won't be a livestream for the Juniors, but I'll check Twitter and try to find a Periscope link. The BBC as well as the organising committee will livestream the Seniors finals. As for the scores, you can use the Swiss Timing App. I'll of course post the scores on Twitter and on the Facebook page.

Start Lists for the Juniors here

jeudi 12 mai 2016

The 2016 Gympies Gymnova Cup is happening this weekend!

De Gympies Keerbergen gymnastics club is hosting an amazing International competition for Youngsters and Juniors this weekend. This meet is also an occasion for younger gymnasts to make their debut on the international stage.

Credit: gymnovacup.eu
The competition will start on Saturday with the Youngsters at 10am. The Juniors will make their entrance at 4pm. Events finals will take place on Sunday with a very interesting format: the 6 best Juniors and the 2 best Youngsters on each events, allowing the younger ones to compete against more experienced gymnasts. This year's edition will gather teams from Belgium, Romania, Spain, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Italy, Israel, Danemark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Turkey.

This meet is well known in the gymnastics circuit and has seen a lot of young gymnasts participate at European and World Championships! Italy's Enus Mariani became Junior European Champion in 2012, Laura Jurca and Andreea Iridon from Romania competed at last year's World Championships and Spanish gymnast Roxana Popa became a fan favourite at the 2013 Worlds.

Of course, it is also a way for the hosting club to introduce its own gymnasts. In the past, De Gympies trained great talents such as Bérengère Fransolet, 7th all-around at the 2012 European Championships, Jelle Beullens, member of TeamBelGYM, and Rune Hermans, also a National Team member, who placed 19th all-around at last year's World Championships in Glasgow.

The Gympies Gymnova Cup appears to be an amazing springboard for the next generation of top gymnasts!

In addition to the Youngsters and Espoirs competition, De Gympies is also hosting an interclubs competition that will start at 9am on Sunday.

When?
Saturday 14th of May at 10am and Sunday 15th of May at 9 am (interclubs) and 2:30pm (apparatus finals)

Where?
Community Sports Centre
Putsebaan 103
3140 Keerbergen
Belgium

Entrance fee
1 day ticket: 6€
Weekend ticket: 10€
Free entrance for Gympies Members
Half price for children under 12

For those of you who won't be able to make it, there will be a livestream here and a livescore here! (FIG, please take note ...)

More infos on the official website here
Event's Facebook page here

mercredi 11 mai 2016

2016 Belgian Championships: Onoshima, Verbaeys are the 2016 National champions

After the report of the Women's competition, let's have a look at the Men's results at this year's Belgian Championships!

Credit: GymFed
There was no real surprise on who won the titles in the Juniors and Seniors categories as both titles were won by favourites.

On the Juniors' side, Takumi Onoshima (Athanor Gym Club) won gold ahead of Lukas Fickers (Turn- und Sportverein Rocherath) and Justin Pesesse (La Vaillante Tubize). Noah Kuavita (Silok Deurne), Iliaz Pyncket (Vaste Vuist Lauwe) and Jonas Delvael (Gym Izegem) didn't compete this weekend but even with their absence, Onoshima was on the top of the list to become national champion as he really stood up for himself in the past few weeks, winning an internal test and the all-around at a friendly meet against teams from Sweden and the Netherlands. The young gymnast proves he is ready for the upcoming European Championships, where he will compete along with Kuavita, Delvael, Pesesse and Ward Claeys (Vaste Vuist Lauwe). His best event was the pommel horse (13.600). Pesesse is replacing Iliaz Pyncket, who is still injured.

Coming in second was Lukas Fickers who showed his potential on floor exercise (13.100) and still rings (13.000). And in 3rd, we have Justin Pesesse, who was just 0.100 behind Fickers. His best events were floor (13.350) and vault (13.300).

Not far behind Pesesse were Mattis Bouchet (75.500) and Liam De Smet (75.350). European Championships alternate Ruben Marx placed 6th (71.800).

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
Juniors podium:
1. Takumi Onoshima 79.250
2. Lukas Fickers 76.000
3. Justin Pesesse 75.900

On the Seniors' side, the level was sky high as almost all the National team members competed this weekend (Gilles Gentges, slightly injured, competed in the Italian Serie A instead). As I said in my preview, the battle for gold would take place between Jimmy Verbaeys (Blauwput Omnisport), Maxime Gentges (Gym Club Malmédy), Bram Louwije (Turnkring Vlamertinge) and Daan Kenis (Turnclub De Eik Lommel). I was right about two of them.

Verbaeys retained his title by posting a massive 86.350, ahead of Daan Kenis (83.250) and Luka Van den Keybus (Gymteam Sint-Niklaas - 82.800). Jimmy had an amazing competition and didn't have any major (or minor, really) mistake, his best event being the parallel bars where he scored 14.900. With a lot of suporters in the stands, Verbaeys really showed his best work and proved he's more than ready to fight for the Olympic spot. Kenis, 2nd, was also very consistent. He improved his all-around total by more than two points compared to the Flemish Championships. And he could have scored higher as he went out of bounds on floor. His best result came on pommel horse (14.500). In 3rd, we have Luka Van den Keybus, who also had a pretty good competition and showed his potential. His two best events were vault (14.550) and horizontal bar (14.250).

Maxime Gentges unfortunately didn't have the best day, as he fell twice, on vault and on floor. Without those two mistakes, he would have ended up in 2nd place but let's not rewrite the history. With those two uncharacteristic mistakes, Maxime placed 4th with 82.400. He was pretty consistent on all the other four events, posting scores between 14.100 and 14.200. On my prediction list for the title was Bram Louwije. But on Saturday, he only competed on 4 events because of a small injury. The scores he got on those events were good, and he performed really clean routines, especially on pommel horse (14.150) and parallel bars (14.100).

It was no surprise that the highest score of the day came from Dennis Goossens (TK Kerels Waasmunster) on rings with a huge 15.350. Goossens also competed on floor and vault, showing he could be an asset on the team. Siemon Volkaert (GymMax) also competed on three events, and he earned the highest score of the competition on pommel horse with a brilliant 15.100. His other two events were also very clean as he earned 14.100 on floor and 14.600 on vault. There were also gymnasts coming back from injuries and they showed they were almost back at their best level. Florian Landuyt (Sportac Deinze), injured during the all-around competition at last year's Worlds, performed very well on three events and had a mistake on parallel bars. Kristof Schroé ('T Spagaatje), who sustained a back injury, also had a mistake on that same event but was really clean on pommel horse and horizontal bar. Unfortunately, Jonathan Vrolix got injured while dismounting on parallel bars. He had an x-ray and an echo, and I hope the injury is not too serious as Jonathan really seemed to do well this weekend, even tho he had a mistake on floor. Jonathan was also on the comeback track after a 2nd ankle surgery he underwent in last December. 

I haven't seen much of Jonas Baert (TK Kerels Waasmunster), Aaron Blomme (Gymteam Sint-Niklaas) and Yureck Van Eetvelt (TK Kerels Waasmunster). Baert was 5th and doesn't seem to have had a mistake. Blomme unfortunately had one on pommel horse, while Yureck's low scores might come from his low difficulty routines. 

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
Seniors podium:
1. Jimmy Verbaeys 86.350
2. Daan Kenis 83.250
3. Luka Vanden Keybus 82.800

This competition was a preparation for the Juniors and a selection test for the Seniors, as the European Championships will take place at the end of the month in Bern (Switzerland). The Seniors team should be announced very soon by the Federations.

Full results here
Videos here
Pictures here

mardi 10 mai 2016

2016 Belgian Championships: Santy, Galofaro crowned on the Women's side

Last weekend, Ghent was hosting a gigantic Belgian Championships that gathered all the disciplines: artistic, rhythmic, acrobatic, trampoline, tumbling,... This 2016 edition was a success and new Belgian Champions were crowned.

Credit: GymFed
I'll only focus on the artistic gymnasts (Juniors and Seniors) but I would like to congratulate all the amazing athletes who competed this weekend!

Let's start with the Women's Juniors! This competition served as a preparation for the upcoming European Championships. All the gymnasts selected to compete in Bern were there (except for reserve's Chloé Leblicq) and the battle for the title was fierce!

Rinke Santy (Sportiva Sint-Gillis-Waas) was super consistent and delivered her routines with no major mistakes, allowing her to become National champion for the first time! Her best event was vault, where she scored 13.975. She also was good on beam, earning 13.075. In second place was Maellyse Brassart (Gym Phénix) who didn't had the best day as she put her hands down on her bars dismount and went out of bounds on floor but she delivered clean routines on beam and vault (huge 14.325). Maellyse has been consistent lately, also placing second in an internal test. Imke Wolthuizen (De Gympies Keerbergen) placed 3rd, only 0.3 behind Maellyse. She had a really good day and only placed 3rd due to a lack of difficulty. But Imke is a first year Juniors so she still has plenty of time to upgrade.

Myrthe Potoms (GymFlex), who will also compete in Bern in June, came in fourth while Alysha Senders (TK Sta Paraat-P.H.H) didn't had the best day and placed 7th. European Championships alternates Britt Vanneste (Sirene Middelkerke) and Manon Muller (Gymplus) were 5th and 6th.

Credit: Els De Nil/GymFed
Juniors podium:
1. Rinke Santy 52.400
2. Maellyse Brassart 50.900
3. Imke Wolthuizen 50.600

On the Seniors' side, the competition was wide open as the TeamBelGYM didn't compete this weekend. It might seem strange, now that they qualified for the Olympic Games, but Yves Kieffer said many times that Belgium won't go to Rio to just be there. They want to achieve something and in order to do that, they want to preserve the girls as much as possible. Julie Meyers, Nina Derwael, Cindy Vandenhole and Gaelle Mys did perform exhibition routines, tho. And with the rest of the team and coaches, they also got flowers and celebrate their historic performance with the public.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
But back to the competition... Dorien Motten (Turnkring Bilzen) was the favourite to win the title but two falls on bars and beam prevent her to win the gold. Adelia Galofaro (Club Boussu Gym), despite a fall on bars, came in 1st and became Belgian Champion for the first time. The battle for the 3rd place was really tight between Chloé Beha (Gym Phénix) and Laura Aerts (Gymgroep AS). Beha won bronze just 0.050 ahead of Aerts.

Credit: Liesbeth Coremans
Seniors podium:
1. Adelia Galofaro 47.700
2. Dorien Motten 47.275
3. Chloé Beha 43.350

Full results here
Videos here
Pictures here

jeudi 5 mai 2016

2016 Belgian Championships: all you need to know!

After some great (and amazing and historical) results on the international stage, it's time to bring back our gymnasts in Belgium for the National Championship. And this year's edition will be huge!
 
Credit: GymFed
Not only there will be artistic gymnastics, but also rhythmic, trampoline, tumbling and acrobatic gymnastics! It is the first time (I think) such a huge event is organised in Belgium. As I am not an expert in the other disciplines (not that I am an expert in artistic gymnastics either, but I know a bit more about it), I'll only talk about Juniors and Seniors artistic gymnasts competing this weekend.
 
First thing to know, the Women's team that was sent to Rio for the Test Event won't compete this weekend. Same goes for the alternates/injured gymnasts. But Team BelGYM will be in Ghent for a special meet and greet with the fans on Saturday at 8pm. There will be 5 gymnasts competing for the title: Dorien Motten, Adelia Galofaro, Estelle Pitti, Laura Aerts and Chloé Beha.
 
On the Men's side, the competition will be fierce between the 2015 Belgian champion Jimmy Verbaeys, recent World Cup medallist Maxime Gentges, 2015 World team member Bram Louwije and Daan Kenis. National team members Dennis Goossens, Siemon Volkaert, Kristof Schroé, Florian Landuyt, Jonathan Vrolix, Luka Vanden Keybus, Aaron Blomme and Jonas Baert will be there, as well as Yurek Van Eetvelt. This competition will serve as a selection test for the upcoming European Championships.
 
On the Juniors' side on the other hand, the teams for Euros are known and the Belgian Championships will serve as a preparation competition. The women's gymnasts competing for the title are Maellyse Brassart, Chloé Leblicq, Rinke Santy, Myrthe Potoms, Britt Vanneste, Manon Muller, Imke Wolthuizen, Alysha Senders and Meredith Van Deyck.
 
The battle for the National title also promises a great show on the men's side, with Takumi Onoshima, Lukas Fickers and Ruben Marx fighting for gold. But let's not forget Mattis Bouchet, Justin Pesesse and Liam De Smedt. Noah Kuavita, Jonas Delvael and Iliaz Pyncket won't compete this weekend.
 
When?
Saturday 7 May: from 9am to 9pm
Sunday 8 May: from 9am to 7pm
 
Where?
BLOSOHAL GENT
Zuiderlaan 14
9000 Gand
 
Entrance fee
1 day:
- Non members: €10
- Members: €8
Weekend:
- Non-members: €18
- Members: €15
Free entrance for children of 6 years old or less
 
Note that there will be no livestream. I'll be there as a volunteer for the GymFed and I'll try to be multi-tasking and update the Twitter feed and Facebook page as much as I can.
 
Saturday's programme here
Sunday's programme here
 
Practical information on GymFed and FfG websites