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.

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
* 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
* 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

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