mercredi 29 juin 2016

The 2016 Olympic team is known!

Today, the GymFed and the FfG presented the 2016 Olympic team to the press. Here are the gymnasts that will represent Belgium at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio!

Credit: Mathias Hikketik

Gaelle Mys (OTV Nazareth) - 24

Gaelle is undoubtedly the leader of this team. The two-time Olympian will lead a rather young group to its first Olympic Games as a team. Gaelle's best event are balance beam and floor exercise, but she can definitely bring good scores on vault. her weakest event is bars. Multiple European finalist, Gaelle has the experience to lead the way to her teammates.

Laura Waem (Sportiva Sint-Gillis-Waas) - 18

Credit: Mathias Hikketik

Laura is the second most experienced gymnast on this team. All-around finalist at Worlds, she can bring big scores on bars, her best event, but also on beam.

Axelle Klinckaert (GymMAX) - 16
Credit: Els De Nil

Axelle is one of the new comers but she's already one of the strongest gymnast Belgium ever had. She impressed the world with her fantastic tumblings on floor and her big difficulties on beam. She also has a double twisting Yurchenko, making her one of the contenders for a spot in the all-around final.

Nina Derwael (TK PHH-Sta Paraat Hasselt) - 16
Credit: Els De Nil

Nina is also a first year Senior but made a case for herself with a beautiful bars set, her great lines and her artistry on beam and floor. She can score really high on bars, and could pretend to a spot in the final in Rio, as well as a spot in the all-around final.

Senna Deriks (Gymgroep AS) - 15
Credit: An Vanderstaeten

Probably the biggest surprise of the team, as many tought Rune Hermans would be in (myself included), but Senna can certainly help the team do great in Rio, especially on bars, where she is, along with Nina and Laura, one of our best gymnasts on that event. But she can also contribute on beam and floor, where she has lovely routines.

The alternate spot will be decided between Rune Hermans (Gym Haacht), Cindy Vandenhole (Vaste Vuist Lauwe) and Julie Meyers (TK PHH-Sta Paraat Hasselt). The girls will all go to Toulouse for a training camp on July 4th and a decision about the alternate spot should be made around July 15th..

Unfortunately, multiple European championships finalist, Julie Croket, suffers from an ankle injuries and her Olympic journey ends here.

On the Men's side, remember the Olympic ticket went to Dennis Goossens after he met one of the criteria set by the Federations.

Credit: Mathias Hikketik

mardi 28 juin 2016

Dutch Open 2016: 8 medals in event finals for the Belgians!

After an all-around competition on Saturday in Rotterdam, our gymnasts were in action on Sunday for the Event Finals. A successful day for them as they grabbed 8 medals!

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
The uneven bars final was litterally a battle of the Belgians with our three best gymnasts all competing there. And Laura Waem successfully won the gold medal and redeemed herself after a rough day on Saturday. With a great score of 14.550, she placed 1st ahead of Nina Derwael (14.200) and Senna Deriks (14.150). Rune Hermans tied for 4th place with 13.850. Cindy Vandenhole seemed to have had a mistake there and placed 7th (13.300). 

Uneven bars final standings
GOLD Laura Waem (BEL) 14.550
SILVER Nina Derwael (BEL) 14.200
BRONZE Senna Deriks (BEL) 14.150
4. Rune Hermans (BEL) 13.850
7. Cindy Vandenhole (BEL) 13.300

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
On balance beam, all eyes were on the Netherlands' Sanne Wevers, who is the World silver medalist on that event. She didn't disappoint, earning a massive 15.650! Once again, a Belgian gymnast ended up on the podium. This time, it was Rune Hermans, who scored 13.900, enough to secure the bronze medal. Senna Deriks was right behind her, with 13.850. Axelle (13.550), Cindy (13.400) and Laura (13.300) all made the top 8. Julie Meyers ended up in 9th place (13.100).

Balance beam final standings
GOLD Sanne Wevers (NED) 15.650
SILVER Reina Beltman (NED) 14.250
BRONZE Rune Hermans (BEL) 13.900
4. Senna Deriks (BEL) 13.850
5. Axelle Klinckaert (BEL) 13.550
6. Cindy Vandenhole (BEL) 13.400
7. Laura Waem (BEL) 13.300
9. Julie Meyers (BEL) 13.100

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
On floor, there was no real surprise, as Axelle Klinckaert secured the gold medal with her new floor routine. She scored 13.900. Belgium once again had a clean sweep, with Gaelle Mys (13.633) winning the silver and Rune Hermans, who earned her second bronze medal of the day (13.567). Nina Derwael tied for 4th place and got 13.100.

Floor exercise final standings
GOLD Axelle Klinckaert (BEL) 13.900
SILVER Gaelle Mys (BEL) 13.633
BRONZE Rune Hermans (BEL) 13.567
4. Nina Derwael (BEL) 13.100

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
On the men's side, there was only one gymnast competing on Sunday, new Olympian Dennis Goossens. He confidently won the gold medal in the rings final, posting 15.350.

Still rings final standings
GOLD Dennis Goossens (BEL) 15.350
SILVER Andrei Vasile Muntean (ROU) 15.250
BRONZE Ioan Cristian Bataga (ROU) 14.600

Credit: Liesbeth Coremans
Team Belgium concludes this year's Dutch Open with a total of 3 medals in the all-around and 8 in event finals, including 3 golds!

Full results here

lundi 27 juin 2016

Dutch Open 2016: last Olympic trial for the Women's team

On Saturday 25 June, our National teams competed in Rotterdam, in a competition that served as the last Olympic trial before the Olympic team announcement.

Credit: Els De Nil
On the Men's side, the Olympic spot went to Dennis Goossens. But on the women's side, a full team will be sent to Rio. In Rotterdam, the only criteria that could give you a spot on the team was to break the 56+ mark. But on Saturday, none of the gymnasts manged to do that.

There were still some mistakes here and here but nothing that can't be fix in time for Rio. Axelle Klinckaert impressed me with her recent upgrades. On vault, she now has a double twisting Yurchenko, which boosts her start value from 5.0 to 5.8. On beam, she added a standing Arabian, and a full twisting double layout on floor exercise. With 55.584, she was ranked 1st among the Belgians. She had a fall on beam and didn't had the best floor routine we've seen from her, but she has time to clean up a bit.

Credit: Els De Nil
Right behind Klinckaert was Gaelle Mys (4th, 2nd Belgian, 55.326). Her best two events on Saturday were vault and beam, but she also had clean performances on bars and floor. I can't remember when is the last time I saw Gaelle have a mistake in a competition. Her consistency does certainly make her a great asset for the Games.

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
This day wasn't the best we've seen from Nina Derwael, who ranked 3rd among the Belgians. She started off really well on vault, but then had a fall on bars and a shaky routine on beam. She finished with a good floor exercise. If Nina can gain the confidence and the consistency she lacks for now, no doubt she can be a huge contender for a spot in the bars final in Rio. She can do it, she hit her bars in practice. There is no reason she can't do it in competition.

Credit: Els De Nil
Cindy Vandenhole, on the other hand, had a really good day out there, especially on vault and bars, and she seems to have find the balance on floor that was preventing her to compete to her standards in the past. Same goes for Rune Hermans, who was clean and consistent. I even thought the scoring was a bit harsh on her beam routine, where she only had a big wobble on her double spin. She can score higher than what she got.

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
Credit: Els De Nil
With two falls on vault and bars, Senna Deriks had a rough day in Rotterdam, and only scored 52.666, while Laura Waem got 37.350. She only competed on 3 events, but she had mistakes on all of them. She landed a bit short on her triple twist on floor, touched the floor with her feet on her pak salto on bars, and fell on her free cartwheel to back tuck connection on beam. We know she can do better than that, as she has proven that many times. Saturday was just a day to forget for Laura.

Credit: Els De Nil
Credit: Mathias Hikketik
Finally, Julie Meyers had her shares of tiny errors that prevented her to show her full potential. She started really well on vault, posting the highest score for Belgium (14.200), but then had a mistake on beam and execution deductions on floor. Julie Croket, who has ankles issues, only competed on bars and beam. If she had clean routines overall, lower difficulty scores kept her in the shadow of her teammates.

Credit: Els De Nil
The Olympic team selection process is now over. In two days, on June 29th, se'll know which are the 5 gymnasts chosen to represent Belgium at the Olympic Games this summer. Those 5 gymnasts, as well as the 3 alternates, will then leave for Toulouse and a training camp, before competing in Germany as a last competition before heading off to Rio.

Full results here
Videos here

dimanche 26 juin 2016

Dennis Goossens en route to the 2016 Olympic Games!

On Saturday 25 June, both our National teams were competing in the Dutch Open in Rotterdam, a competition that would serve as the last Olympic trials. If we don't know yet who will make the Women's team, Dennis Goossens on the other hand secured his ticket to Rio!

Credit: Liesbeth Coremans
During the week, the Federation had published the criteria our gymnasts had to meet in order to qualify for the Games. In case none of them would achieve those criteria, the best all-arounder would have been selected to represent Belgium at the Olympic Games.

Known for his beautiful work on rings, Dennis Goossens (TK Kerels Waasmunster) took everybody by surprise by meeting the minimum score set on that event, the last one for Team Belgium yesterday. With 15.800, he secured his individual spot on the Belgian delegation with style. With a personal best (if I record right), Dennis earned his Olympic spot fair and square, as he was brilliant and flawless yesterday. He hit when it counted the most and he won. I'm sure Dennis will make us proud and will make us dream in Rio. After a successful 2016 season which saw him win a medal in a World Cup event and reach an event final at the European Championships, this selection is the icing on the cake for a talented and dedicated gymnast.

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
Of course, even though they were happy for Dennis, you could tell the other Belgians were a bit disappointed. This 2015-2016 season has been a rollercoaster of emotions : they missed the qualification for the Test Event in October, learned they were finally in in January, had to prepare as a team instead of as individuals, then finished 7th, and even though they earned an individual ticket, the battle was not over as making it to the Olympics is every gymnast's dream.

Yesterday, Jimmy Verbaeys (Blauwput Omnisport), Maxime Gentges (Gymclub Malmedy), Daan Kenis (Turnkring De Eik Lommel) and Florian Landuyt (Sportac Deinze) were the four gymnasts competing on all 6 events and who were trying to finish on top to make it to the Olympics. Had Dennis not meet the requirement, the Olympic spot would have gone to Florian Landuyt who, with 85.000 outscored Jimmy Verbaeys (84.900). This was Florian's first all-around competition since he ruptured his Achilles in Glasgow last year. Maxime Gentges was not that far behind (83.850) but both him and Daan Kenis (78.600) had uncharacteristic mistakes. 

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
Also in the run for the Olympic ticket were Bram Louwije (Turnkring Vlamertinge) and Kristof Schroé (Spagaatje Hoogstraten). Bram was only competing on pommel horse, and yesterday wasn't a good day for him as he unfortunately fell twice. Kristof had a mistake on horizontal bar (but still managed to score 14.250) and fell on pommel horse. With those mistakes, they fell short on their Olympic spot hunt.

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
Now, I know it might take them a few days to process this competition and the fact their "fight" for Olympic Games is now over. They might have some regrets, but in my opinion, they should not. They gave it all in the past 4 years, climbing the rankings fast, making it to all-around and event finals at World and European Championships. I know I wouldn't have been able to choose one gymnast to compete, they all deserved in their own way to qualify. Jimmy is National champion and the 2012 Olympian, Maxime won a medal at a World Cup event, Daan has tremendously improved in the all-around, Florian came back stronger than ever, Bram and Kristof have been battling injuries but kept fighting. And Dennis, well. What else to say? But in the end, we knew it would all come down to that one gymnast. I'm sure the future still has something in store for them. This can't be the end. 2020 will approach fast and with this new quad, new opportunities to make your dream come true.

Boys, I want to thank you for eveything you made us witness this past years. You stepped up your game, put Belgian gymnastics on the World's map and proved that you are now a team we have to count on. I wish you all the best. And the best is yet to come.

Full results here
Videos here

lundi 20 juin 2016

The 2016 Dutch Open: the last Olympic trial!

On Saturday, our gymnasts will compete in the Netherlands, at the 2016 Dutch Open, a last Olympic trial. The women's team and the man's representative will then be announced on June 29th. Find out here all the criteria to qualify for the Olympic Games!
The wait is almost over. In 10 days, we'll know the name of the gymnasts selected to represent Belgium at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. But first, they will have to compete one more time to earn their spot.

On Saturday, they will travel to Rotterdam for the Dutch Championships. If they meet the expectations, they could earn a spot on the team immediately. If not, they will have to wait until June 29th. Let's find out what those criteria are.

On the men's side, Jimmy Verbaeys (Blauwput Omnisport), Maxime Gentges (Gymclub Malmedy), Daan Kenis (Turnkring De Eik Lommel), Florian Landuyt (Sportac Deinze), Bram Louwije (Turnkring Vlamertinge), Dennis Goossens (TK Kerels Waasmunster), Siemon Volkaert (GymMAX vzw) and Kristof Schroé ('t Spagaatje Hoogstraten) will be in the Netherlands. 

There are 3 ways for them to qualify for the Olympics:
* The priority will go to event specialists. They will have to reach a certain score to make it to the Olympics: 15.310 on floor, 15.382 on pommel horse, 15.588 on rings, 15.088 on vault (2-vaults average), 15.544 on parallel bars and 15.033 on horizontal bar.
* If an all-arounder scores 87 281 this Saturday, he will automatically earn his spot for the Games.
* If none of the two criteria above are met, the best all-around gymnast in Rotterdam will represent Belgium in Rio.

If more than one gymnasts meet the requirement, the Federation will be the one choosing the gymnast representing Belgium at the Games and will send the name to the Olympic committee for approval.

Credit: GymFed
On the women's side, 9 gymnasts are in contention to make the team (5 gymnasts + 3 alternates): Nina Dewael (TK PHH-Sta Paraat Hasselt), Senna Deriks (Gymgroep AS), Rune Hermans (Gym Haacht), Axelle Klinckaert (GymMAX), Gaelle Mys (OTV Nazareth), Cindy Vandenhole (Vaste Vuist Lauwe), Laura Waem (Sportiva Sint-Gillis-Waas), Julie Meyers (TK PHH-Sta Paraat Hasselt) and Julie Croket (GymMAX vzw). Unfortunately, Jelle Beullens has to undergo another surgery on June 27th and is out of the selection procedure. We wish her all the best and a speedy recovery!

The girls competed in an internal test on Friday and the Dutch Open is the last selection competition for them. If a gymnast scores more than 56 points in the all-around in Rotterdam, she will automatically earn her spot in the team. The final selection will be made on June 29th and will be announced to the press on that day, along with the name of the male representative.

The girls will then go on a training camp in Toulouse and will compete in a friendly meet in Germany against the host country, Switzerland, France and Romania.

Credit: GymFed
The Dutch Open: all you need to know
Saturday 25th June at 15:15

Ahoy Rotterdam
Ahoy-weg 10

I don't know if there will be a livestream or a livescore yet, but I'll be in Rotterdam and I'll try to update you as much as I can.

Official event website here

jeudi 9 juin 2016

Gilles Gentges announces his retirement

26 years old Gilles Gentges was on Tele Vesdre set last weekend for a last interview during which he announced that he will be moving on from his competitive career. Here is a look back at Gille's performances through the years.

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
In 2008, Gilles was still training in his hometown club, in Malmédy. As a Juniors, he was selected to compete at the European Championships in Lausanne, where he placed 15th with the team. He then joined the Elite Center in Ghent. He competed in his first World Championships in 2009 in London and then became Belgian Champion in 2010. That year, he flew to Birmingham for the Europeans and then to Rotterdam for Worlds, a crucial step leading to the 2012 Olympic Games. There, the team failed to qualify for the next World Championships, and thus, the hopes of qualifying a team for the Test Event and/or the Olympics were crushed.

Gilles then decided to take some time off. To have surgery and to concentrate on his studies. Three years later, he made a comeback, in Mons this time, where his brother, Maxime, trains too. An injury prevented him to compete at the 2014 World Championships, but 2015 was his time to shine. 5th at the Belgian Championships, he is then selected to participate at the first ever European Games in Baku (Azerbaijan). He then flew to Korea and the Summer Universiade, where team Belgium finishes in 8th position. Gilles wasn't selected to compete at the 2015 Wolrds, where team Belgium placed 17th, the best ranking ever achieved.

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
Gilles then took part in the Road To Rio campaign, after Belarus withdrew from the Test Event, giving Belgium the opportunity to try and qualify a full team to the Games. After two tests that took place in Malmédy, Gilles was unfortunately not selected to compete at the Test Even were Belgium finished in 7th place, meaning our country will not be able to send more than one gymnast to Rio. On Tele Vesdre, he talked about the last final stop for the Men's team. The boys will go to Rotterdam for the Dutch Nationals. This competition will count in the Olypics selection process, a competition in which Gilles Gentges won't take part. This year, after an experience with a French club, Gilles also competed for the club Virtus Pasqualetti Marcerata, in italian Serie A, where he helped the club be croned Italian Champion.

Now graduated, Gilles has a lot of exciting things coming ahead. He started working as a consultant for the RTBF at the 2015 Top Gym. This was his first experience, and he did a good job. He announced on Tele Vesdre that he will join the RTBF journalists in Rio and will once again be a consultant for the gymnastics competitions, where he hopes to whitness his brother's first steps at the Olympics.

After these 2016 Olympic Games, Gilles will officially retire from elite gymnastics, even though he will always have a step in the sport, as he wish to share his own experience with younger generations.

Gilles, I want to already wish you the best for your future and to say thank you for everything you have done for the sport in Belgium and internationally. Your good and positive attitude as well as your constant support to your brother and team Belgium will always be something that we will remember.

You can find Gilles interview from Tele Vesdre here (at 9 minutes 45 seconds)

Gilles' career highlights:
2015 - Summer Universiade (Gwangju) : 8th (team), 27th (all-around), 45th (floor exercise), 52nd (pommel horse), 43rd (still rings), 54th (parallel bars), 32nd (horizontal bar)
2015 - European Games (Baku): 18th (team), 41st (all-around), 53rd (floor exercise), 59th (pommel horse), 45th (still rings), 35th (parallel bars), 51st (horizontal bar)
2010 - World Championships (Rotterdam): 28th (team), 94th (all-around)
2010 - European Championships (Birmingham): 13th (team)
2010 - Belgian Championships: 1st (all-around)
2009 - Belgian Championships: 3rd (all-around)
2009 - World Championships (London): 74th (all-around), 110th (floor exercise), 73rd (pommel horse), 74th (still rings), 59th (parallel bars), 55th (horizontal bar)
2008 - European Junior Championships (Lausanne): 15th (team), 48th (all-around)

mardi 7 juin 2016

2016 EC: Gaelle Mys 6th on beam, 7th on floor in event finals

European Championships concluded on Sunday in Bern. Belgium was still represented by one of its most fierce gymnast in event final, Gaelle Mys.

Credit: Full Time Gymnastics
Gaelle has been around for over a decade now, proving herself to be one of Belgium's most decorated gymnast. Gaelle is in the mix to make her 3rd Olympic Games. And given her performances at this year's European Championships, I'd say she can already pack. 

Gaelle's favorite event is beam, a tough event where one single balance check can cost you a medal or a place in final. She knows that very well and little mistakes in the past prevented her to qualify for a spot in final. But in Bern, Gaelle was the steadiest gymnast from Team Belgium. In qualifications, she posted a 14.133 to grab the last qualifying spot. She also placed 8th on floor, with a 13.800.

Now, we knew that it would be difficult to reach the podium, but as she said and as Yves Kieffer often says too, "anything can happen in final". On Sunday, the balance beam final was for once a fall free final. It's been a long time since that happened. Gaelle was the 4th gymnast to go, right after a stellar performance from Russia's Aliya Mustafina (who'd eventually win gold). The Belgian Seniors started a 0.1 higher than in qualifications, but she also had a couple of wobbles she didn't have in qualifications. Nevertheless, she managed to stay on, and proved once again how steady and consistent she is on that apparatus. 

Here is Gaelle's routine from qualifications

With 14.066, she ended up in 6th place for a routine that is composed of a switch ring leap, a sheep jump, a Onodi, a Sissone to free walkover to split jump, a backhandspring to a layout step out and a double pike dismount.

Balance beam final standings
1. Aliya Mustafina (RUS) 15.100
2. Marine Boyer (FRA) 14.600
3. Catalina Ponor (ROU) 14.266
4. Ilaria Kaeslin (SUI) 14.233
5. Angelina Melnikova (RUS) 14.166
6. Gaelle Mys (BEL) 14.066
6. Marine Brevet (FRA) 14.066
6. Rebecca Downie (GBR) 14.066

On floor, Belgium is now well-known for its entertaining choreography and expressiveness. Gaelle has been using this floor routine for 3 years now, and even though I would have love to see her competing on another music, I have to admit this music and this routine suits her very very well and she's working through it, selling her performance. One thing that amazes me about Gaelle is that, at 24, she's still training upgrades and she's still trying to improve her routines, even though her spot on the team is not really in jeopardy. Recently, she changed her uneven bars dismount from a double front tuck to a double back layout. And on floor, we've seen her practicing a double Arabian, which can boost her start value. It is not quite ready yet, but from what I've seen in podium training, it will be for the Olympics. 

Here is Gaelle's routine from qualifications:

She decided to play it safe in qualifications and in final, presenting her "old" routine which consists of a front handspring to a double twist to an immediate front tuck, a double tuck and a double pike. With a 13.666, she placed 7th in this floor final.

Here is Gaelle's routine from the final:

Floor final standings
1. Giulia Steingruber (SUI) 15.200
2. Elissa Donie (GBR) 14.566 4 8
3. Catalina Ponor (ROU) 14.466
4. Claudia Fragapane (GBR) 14.300
5. Mara Titarsolej (NED) 13.933
6. Marine Brevet (FRA) 13.900
7. Gaelle Mys (BEL) 13.666
8. Amelie Föllinger (GER) 13.466

After the disappointment of not making it to the team final, Belgium finishes its European Championships on a high note. What's next for our women's gymnasts? They will have an internal test in Ghent on June 18th, and they will then compete as guests at the Dutch nationals on June 25/26th. Unfortunately, I won't be able to go, but I'll try to keep you updated. They will also travel to Germany for a friendly meet against the host team, Switzerland, France and Romania. And then, it will be the Olympics!

Full results here

samedi 4 juin 2016

2016 EC: top 15 for Rinke in Maellyse in the AA final!

Yesterday, two belgian gymnasts were competing in the Juniors all-around final. All they wanted was to do as well as they did in qualifications. They did better.

Credit: Full Time Gymnastics
Rinke Santy and Maellyse Brassart entered this final in the 3rd group, with the gymnasts that placed from the 13th to the 18th place in qualifications (Rinke was 15th, Maellyse 16th). The group started on beam. This aparatus is always difficult to start on, and on top of that, Maellyse was the first gymnast to go.

She wanted to repeat her performance from day 1, but unfortunatey, she fell on her acrobatic serie, two backhandspring to a layout step out. The rest of her routine was good and she still managed to get 12.400 with that mistake. Rinke went right after her, and didn't have any kind of troubles. She scored 13.066 for her backhandpsring to layout step out, a back tuck and her Gainor piked dismount.

On floor, Rinke received a 12.600, more because of her low difficulty than because she has had a mistake. She presented a back double tuck, a one and a half twist connected to a front piked somersault and a double twist to finish. Floor is Maellyse's favorite event and you can see it while she performs on her Skyfall music. She had a landing mistake on her double tuck, a big step forward but her round off one and a half twist connected to a double twist combination looked great (12.733).

As usual, they performed clean and powerful full twisting Yurchenko's on vault, Maellyse receiving the highest score of the two with a huge 14.200. Rinke got 13.800.

They finished their competition on bars. If none of them made mistakes, there is nonetheless room for improvement, as Maellyse had a few leg seperations throughout her routine. She performed a Maloney (toe-on to Shaposhnikova) connected to an immediate pak salto, a piked Jeager and a double piked dismount (12.500). Rinke was cleaner, scoring 13.133 for her high Jeager and her double twist dismount.

Credit: Full Time Gymnastics
In a final that saw many gymnasts fall, Rinke Santy was among the few gymnasts to not have any mistake. With a total of 52.599, she placed 7th and matches Bérengère Fransolet's result from the 2012 Juniors European Championships. The best all-around result ever achieved by a Juniors was a 6th place finish (Gaelle Mys back in 2006), but Rinke showed great potential for the future. Maellyse scored 51.833 and placed 14th. Without that fall on balance beam, she would have been in 6th. But she doesn't have any regrets to have as this result is also very promising for the 14 years old.

Juniors AA standings
1. Elena Eremina (RUS) 54.550
2. Lynn Genhart (SUI) 54.365
3. Martina Basile (ITA) 54.266
7. (Rinke Santy (BEL) 52.599
14. Maellyse Brassart (BEL) 51.833

Credit: UEG
Tomorrow is the last day of competition in Bern. We'll closely follow Gaelle Mys in the balance beam (12:20) and floor exercise final (12:55)!

Full results here
Videos here

jeudi 2 juin 2016

2016 Euros: 4 finals for our gymnasts in Bern!

Both our Juniors and Seniors were competing in Bern this week. There were good and less good things. But together, they qualified for 4 finals!

Credit: FfG
On Wednesday night, our Juniors were in action in the last subdivision of the day. Rinke Santy (Sportiva Sint-Gillis-Waas), Maellyse Brassart (Gym Phenix), Myrthe Potoms (GymFlex), Manon Muller (Gymplus) and Alysha Senders (Sta Paraat Hasselt-P.H.H. Hasselt) started on beam. Manon got the highest score (13.233) for a solid routine with a back handspring layout step out, a wolf turn and a double twist dismount. Maellyse Brassart was not far behind (13.166). She presented a switch leap with half turn, a free cartwheel and a double back tuck dismount. Unfortunately, Myrthe fell on her acro series and only scored 11.933 while Rinke seemed a bit nervous and had to count some wobbles (12.533).

Credit: Full Time Gymnastics
On floor, Alysha Senders presented a dynamic and expressive routine to score 12.600. Myrthe and Rinke brought the best scores to the team with 12.933. Myrthe showed a double twist and a double tuck, Rinke presented one and a half twist to a front piked somersault. Finally, Maellyse got 12.766 for a routine that included a double pike and a great round off one and a half twist to round off double twist.

Manon had a tough vault rotation. She went up first for Team Belgium. It looked like her hand had slipped on the table and she unfortunately landed on her butt first. She received a zero for that vault. But then, Maellyse, Rinke and Myrthe all presented clean full twisting Yurchenkos and Manon's score didn't count to the team total.

Credit: Full Time Gymnastics
The Juniors finished their competition on bars, an event that caused them troubles in the past. But not on Wednesday. Manon managed to stay focused after her bad vault and scored 12.633. The highest score of the day on bars for Team Belgium came from Rinke Santy, with 13.266.

With a team total of 157.628, the Juniors placed 8th and reached their target. 

Credit: Full Time Gymnastics
Team final standings
1. Russia 168.179
2. Great Britain 163.912
3. Romania 163.678
8. Belgium 157.628

In addition to this great team result, Rinke Santy (52.298) and Maellyse Brassart (52.264) both qualified for the all-around final on Friday.

On Thursday night, things could have gone better for the Seniors, even though they also showed great performances. Unfortunately, they didn't qualified for the Team Final. But Gaelle Mys, on the other hand, qualified for two individual finals, on balance beam and floor exercise.

This team was composed with Gaelle Mys (OTV Nazareth), Cindy Vandenhole (Vaste Vuist Lauwe), Nina Derwael (Sta Paraat Hasselt-P.H.H. Hasselt) and Julie Meyers (Sta Paraat Hasselt-P.H.H. Hasselt). Gaelle is a considered a veteran and has been around for a long time now. Those European Championships were the first for Cindy Vandenhole, Nina Derwael and Julie Meyers as Seniors. 

They  started on beam. Nina Derwael, who's coming back from injury, was first up with a beautiful acro serie, a back handspring to two layout step out, a free cartwheel and a Gainor full dismount (13.933). In the past, Julie had some consistency issues on beam. Today was no different as she unfortunately fell on her side somersault. This competition must help her to gain confidence and she has to believe in herself. Her routine is lovely, including a double wolf turn, a backhandspring to a layout step out to another backhandspring. Gaelle brought the highest score on beam for Team Belgium with a great 14.133. She showed a Onodi, a sissone to a free walkover and great leaps, enough to place her in 8th position and reach the final. 

Credit: FfG
On floor, Julie presented a two and a half twist, a double pike and a double tuck for 13.166, while Cindy got 13.033 with her routine. I was really excited about Gaelle's performance as she showed upgrades during podium training : a double Arabian. It wasn't really on point though, and she played it safe today, coming back to her old routine with a front handspring double twist to a front tuck, a double pike and a double tuck (13.800). She was right to do so, as she qualified for her second event final!

Vault is a safe event for our Seniors. They all performed clean full twisting Yurchenkos. Gaelle once again got the highest score (13.933) closely followed by Julie (13.900).

With one event to go, our Belgian team was still holding on to the 8th place, synonymous of a team final. Julie went first and did a pretty good job, scoring 13.200 for her nice Tkatchev and dismount. Cindy started really well but then was to close to the bars on her pak salto and had to stop on the event, a costly mistake. Her jeager looked clean and she just had a step on her front double tuck dismount (13.066). Nina Derwael was hoping to make it to the bars final, and she had a great shot at it. But an early fall in her routine costed her that qualifying spot. With 13.300, she was too far behind the top contenders.

Credit: FfG
Team qualifications
1. Great Britain 173.363
2. Russia 173.261
3. Switzerland 166.128
9. Belgium 161.930

Balance beam qualifications
1. Aliya Mustafina (RUS) 14.733
2. Angelina Melnikova (RUS) 14.500
3. Catalina Ponor (ROU) 14.433
4. Marine Brevet (FRA) 14.366
5. Rebecca Downie (GBR) 14.333
6. Ilaria Kaeslin (SUI) 14.266
7. Marine Boyer (FRA) 14.200
8. Gaelle Mys (BEL) 14.133
Nina Derwael is 2nd reserve

Floor exercise qualifications
1. Claudia Fragapane (GBR) 15.000
2. Giulia Steingruber (SUI) 14.966
3. Catalina Ponor (ROU) 14.566
4. Elissa Downie (GBR) 14.266
5. Mara Titarsolej (NED) 14.166
6. Amelie Föllinger (GER) 13.866
7. Marine Brevet (FRA) 13.800
8. Gaelle Mys (BEL) 13.800

Tomorrow, Rinke Santy and Maellyse Brassart will compete in the all-around final. Good luck to them!

Videos here
Full results here