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

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