vendredi 12 août 2016

2016 Olympic Games: Nina Derwael 19th in the all-around final !

Yesterday was yet another magical moment for our gymnasts, and especially for Nina Derwael, as she entered the Olympic Arena to compete in the all-around final, at age 16. Let's have a look at her historical performance!

Credit: Belga
Nina started on floor, and what a start ... With 13.733, Nina delivered once again a solid performance, improving her qualification score by 0.2 points. She impressed the audience with her expressiveness, including Olympic silver medalist, USA's Samantha Peszek, who had nothing but compliments for her performance.

Credit: Twitter
Nina then went to vault, where she performed a clean full twisting Yurchenko to earn a 13.966.

After that, our Belgian gymnast moved on to bars, her best event. Not only did Nina hit her routine, she received the second highest score of the day, with 15.300. This routine reminded me of how unfair it was for her not to be in the bars final. This routine deserves to be seen, it is Olympics final worthy. In qualifications, Nina didn't mess up, she was at the top of her game. But she was the unfortunate victim of the "first subdivision cursed" : the gymnasts performing in that subdivision are generally scored lower than the ones competing in the latter subdivisions. And to be honest, we saw some ridiculous scores at the end of that qualification day ... Another victim of that "curse" was World uneven bar champion (!) Fan Yilin of China. Yesterday, Nina was absolutely gorgeous. Just see by yourself here.

Credit: FfG
Her last event was the balance beam. An event always difficult to perform on, no matter how well you are prepared. Nina was ready, and she had to face one more major obstacle: having to perform after Simone Biles's performance on floor, a performance that sealed her Olympic gold medal. At this point, the arena was going wild. The crowd was chanting "USA", Biles and Aly Raisman waving to them. But Nina was on the other side of the arena, performing on that balance beam. And unfortunately, she fell. I'm not saying it's Biles or Raisman, or the crowd's fault. I'm just saying it must have been so hard for Nina to compete under such circumstances. Yes, she fell on her acrobatic series, but Nina's performance last night was simply amazing. Amazing is not even enough strong to describe what she achieved.

Credit: Belga
At 16 years old, and a total score of 56.299, Nina Derwael ranked 19th, the best ranking ever achieved by a Belgian gymnast in the all-around final at the Olympic Games. I have the feeling I've said that a lot in the past year, but once again, history has been made by a Belgian gymnast. Nina, we are so proud of you! Proficiat, girl.

Full results here
Videos in this article here

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