dimanche 27 novembre 2016

Top Gym 2016: Serber and Cimpian dominate in finals

Célia Serber, this year's revelation, was once again solid this afternoon, as well as Romania's Olivia Cimpian. They won all four gold medals in Charleroi!

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
On vault, Cimpian, bronze medalist in the all-around yesterday, won the final with a Yurchenko full twist and a Tsukahara layout. She placed 1st ahead of Célia Serber and her teammate Ioana Crisan, who only competed on vault due to a back injury. 

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics

Vault standings
1. Olivia Cimpian (ROU) 13.983
2. Célia Serber (FRA) 13.766
3. Ioana Crisan (ROU) 13.633

France is now well known for its work on bars. And the next generation is following in the footsteps of the oldest. Célia Serber won the gold thanks to a difficult routine and a huge full twisting double layout dismount. Olivia Cimpian and Czech Vendula Merkova, placed 2nd and 3rd. Merkova showed great potential this weekend, after a 4th place finish in the all-around yesterday.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Uneven bars standings
1. Célia Serber (FRA) 13.400
2. Olivia Cimpian (ROU) 13.250
3. Vendula Merkova (CZE) 12.800

Célia Serber was on fire this weekend as she adds another gold to her collection, this time on beam, with a side somersault, a backhandspring to layout to two feet and a double twist dismount. She placed ahead Olivia Cimpian once again, who had a much better performance than yesterday when she fell off the balance beam. But today, despite a few wobbles, you could tell she wanted to be on that podium (13.150). In 3rd is another French, Alisson Lapp who scored 12.850 to win the bronze.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Balance beam standings
1. Célia Serber (FRA) 13.450
2. Olivia Cimpian (ROU) 13.150
3. Alisson Lapp (FRA) 12.850

On floor, Olivia Cimpian won her second gold of the day with her packed routine : full twisting double piked, full twisting double tuck and triple twist. She easily won that final. There was a tie for the silver medal : France's Alisson Lapp and Czech Adela Merkova. They both scored 12.850.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Floor exercise standings
1. Olivia Cimpian (ROU) 13.200
2. Alisson Lapp (FRA) 12.850
2. Adela Merkova (CZE) 12.850

This afternoon was also the team final. Two countries were teamed up and the two best scores on each event would matter for the team total. It's France, with Spain, who won the gold, ahead of Romania and Sweden. Czech Republic and the Netherlands placed 3rd.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Team standings
1. Spain/France 102.830
2. Romania/Sweden 101.950
3. Czech Republic/The Netherlands 100.320

Mark the date! In 2017, it will be the 20th edition of the Top Gym and its 25th anniversary! This edition will be amazing!

Top Gym 2016: France's Célia Serber is the new AA champion!

In a very tight finish, the young Célia Serber from France took the gold, ahead of Naomi Visser from the Netherlands and Olivia Cimpian from Romania. Fien Enghels and Cassia Priels placed 8th and 10th respectively.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Célia Serber, born in 2003, might come as a surprise here. But after a fall on balance beam, she appeared to be the most solid gymnast out there. At only 13, she shows great promises for the future, including a full twisting double layout dismount on bars! With a total score of 51.883, she took the gold medal.

In second place is Naomi Visser from the Netherlands. She was in the lead after three rotations and it was very close between her and the top 4 gymnasts. After a good competition, Visser scored 51.699 to take the silver, just less than 0.2 from the gold.

Olivia Cimpian from Romania came in 3rd. In my eyes, she was the favourite to win along with her teammate Ioana Crisan (who had to whithdrew due to an injury after her vault). This competition was hers to lose. And it all came down to balance beam. After a strong start on vault, Olivia had a very nervous beam routine, falling twice and having big wobbles (10.850). Before that, she was in the lead by more than a point. But she was down to 4th before the last rotation. She came back strong on floor to win the bronze medal with a score of 51.499.

Vendula Merkova from Czech Republic also had a pretty good day, finishing in an impressive 4th place. For Belgium, Fien Enghels placed 8th, with a fall on bars while Cassia Priels was 10th.

AA standings
1. Célia Serber (FRA) 51.883
2. Naomi Visser (NED) 51.699
3. Olivia Cimpian (ROM) 51.499
4. Vendula Merkova (CZE) 51.166
5. Alisson Lapp (FRA) 50.616
6. Juliette Berens (NED) 49.900
7. Adela Merkova (CZE) 49.266
8. Fien Enghels (BEL) 47.783
9. Andrea Carmona (ESP) 47.650
10. Cassia Priels (BEL) 47.016
11. Lova Tingvall (SWE) 46.666
12. Marta Sanchez (ESP) 46.583
13. Sigrid Risberg (SWE) 44.249
14. Ioana Crisan (ROM) 13.900

The team and event finals will take place today. The different countries have been teamed up : Romania will compete with Sweden. Spain with France. and the Czech Republic with the Netherlands. There will be no Belgian team but Cassia and Fien will still compete in the event finals.

Videos will be uploaded soon!

vendredi 25 novembre 2016

2016 Top Gym: all you need to know!

2016 is almost over. Before the GymGala in two weeks and a much deserved break, our gymnasts will compete one last time at the International Top Gym!

Credit: Gymnos Charleroi
Last year, the competition took place in a weird atmosphere, after the Paris attacks and the threat on our country. But there was no way the organisers would cancel the event. And this year, the list of participating countries is once again amazing!

We don't have the complete list of gymnasts, but some names are known : Romania's Ioana Crisan and Olivia Cimpian, both bronze medalist at this year European Juniors Championships, will be there, as well as the Netherlands' Sanna Veerman and Naomi Visser. France will be represented by Alisson Lapp and Célia Serber. For Belgium, Chloé LeblicqCassia Priels or Fien Enghels are also expected to compete. But gymnasts from Spain, Sweden, Czech Republic or Canada will also try to in gold this weekend.

* Saturday 26 November, 6pm : all-around final
* Sunday 27 November, 3pm : team and event finals

Competition format
As usual, the competition format is a bit special, as teams from different countries will team up on Sunday in the team final competition. The best gymnasts on each event from Saturday will also compete in the event finals on Sunday, while the best all-around gymnast will be crowned on Saturday.

Salle de La Garenne, Parc des Sports rue des Olympiades 2, 6000 Charleroi

Entrance fee
10 €  for one day (Saturday or Sunday)
15 €  for both days
Free for kids under 12 (with an adult)

You can't be there this weekend? No worries! There will be a livestream herehttps://www.twitch.tv/gymnostv !

I'll be there too on both days and I'll keep you updated with scores and pictures on both the Twitter and Facebook pages.

lundi 7 novembre 2016

History maker Gaelle Mys retires from elite gymnastics

A few weeks after Julie Croket, another Belgian gymnast says goodbye to gymnastics : 3 time Olympian Gaelle Mys! 

Credit: Liesbeth Coremans
Gaelle has been a lock for the Belgian team since her Seniors debut, in 2007. But before that, she was already successful as a Junior. After a first participation at the 2004 Euros, she competed at the 2005 FOJE where she qualified for the all-around final as well as the floor and beam finals. In 2006, she won a bronze medal on floor at the European Championships in Volos.

Credit: Gymfan.de
She turned Senior in 2007 and competed at the European Championships and the World Championships. Her good results at Euros (16th AA) and Worlds (68th AA), and her performance in World Cups (one in 2007, three in 2008) will allow her to represent Belgium at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, where she placed 24th in the all-around final!

Between 2009 and 2012, Gaelle qualified for no less than 6 finals at World Cups and Challenger Cups and won a bronze medal on beam (Doha 2011). The strong performances of the Belgian team at the 2010 (15th) and 2011 Worlds (16th) allow Yves Kieffer's gymnasts to qualify for the Test Event.

Credit: Liesbeth Coremans
In London, the team fell short on qualifying a full team for the Games, placing 5th, just one point from the last qualifying spot. First an alternate, Gaelle would eventually become the sole Belgian female gymnast at the 2012 Olympic Games after Julie Croket got injured a few weeks prior to the Games. There, she placed 31st.

After missing a team qualification for the Games, Gaelle was not finished with gymnastics just yet. She performed at the 2013 World Championships in Anwterp where she qualified for the all-around final (18th). She contributed to the team's 7th place finish at the 2014 European Championships and to the 11th place at Worlds in Nanning, the best result ever achieved by a Belgian team before!

Credit: Liesbeth Coremans
In 2015, Gaelle travelled to Baku for the first ever European Games, where she placed 6th in the all-around and 10th with the team. She was once again a lock for the team that travelled to Glasgow for the World Championships where the girls brilliantly qualified for the Test Event.

In last April, she was of course part of the team that earned a bronze medal at the Test Event and qualified for the Olympic Games as a team, a first for Belgium since 1948! 2016 seemed to be Gaelle's year as she then qualified for two individual finals at the European Championships, on floor and balance beam, her two best events. 

Gaelle made the trip to Rio, her 3rd (!) Olympic Games, where the team placed 12th and where Gaelle got to show one last time why she was such an asset to this team.

Credit: An Vanderstraeten
Her confidence and solid routines, as well as her amazing epressivness on floor exercise will be among the things I'll miss the most about Gaelle. I'm so used to see her on this team! She made history for our country multiple times and, in addition to an extraordinary international career, Gaelle also won multiple medals on home soil and has been National champion. 

We will miss you Gaelle! Thank you for everything you've done for this sport. You made us proud and no matter what, you are part of Belgian gymnastics history!

Career highlights:
2016 - Olympic Games (Rio): 12th (team)
2016 - European Championships (Bern): 9th (team), 6th (balance beam), 7th (floor exercise)
2016 - Olympic Test Event (Rio): 3rd (team)

2015 - World Championships (Glasgow): 11th (team)
2015 - European Games (Baku) : 10th (team), 6th (all-around)
2015 - Belgian Championships: 2nd (all-around)
2015 - FIT Challenge (Ghent): 2nd (team)
2014 - World Championships (Nanning): 11th (team), 50th (all-around)
2014 - Belgian Championships: 3rd (all-around)
2014 - European Championships (Sofia): 7th (team), 11th (all-around)
2013 - Belgian Championships: 1st (all-around)
2013 - World Championships (Antwerp): 18th (all-around)
2013 - International Gymnix Canada (Montreal): 10th (all-around), 1st (balance beam)
2012 - World Challenger Cup (Ghent): 4th (balance beam)
2012 - Belgian Championships: 2nd (all-around)
2012 - European Championships (Brussels): 6th (team)
2012 - Olympic Games (London): 31st (all-around), 45th (uneven bars), 30th (balance beam), 51st (floor exercise)
2012 - Test Event (London): 5th (team), 37th (all-around)
2011 - World Challenger Cup (Doha): 3rd (balance beam), 5th (floor exercise), 7th (uneven bars)
2011 - World Championships (Tokyo): 16th (team), 75th (all-around)
2011 - World Challenger Cup (Ghent): 7th (floor exercise)
2010 - World Championships (Rotterdam): 15th (team)
2009 - World Cup (Stuttgart): 7th (floor exercise)
2009 - Gymfinales (Ghent): 2nd (balance beam), 1st (floor exercise)
2009 - Belgian Championships: 2nd (all-around)
2008 - Olympic Games (Beijing): 24th (all-around), 54th (uneven bars), 30th (balance beam), 47th (floor exercise)
2008 - World Cup (Barcelona): 4th (uneven bars), 7th (balance beam), 6th (floor exercise)
2008 - European Championships (Clermont-Ferrand): 17th (team)
2008 - World Cup (Doha): 7th (balance beam), 7th (floor exercise)
2007 - World Championships (Stuttgart): 68th (all-around)
2007 - World Cup (Ghent): 6th (floor exercise)
2007 - European Championships (Amsterdam): 16th (all-around)
2007 - WOGA Classic (United States): 17th (all-around), 2nd (floor exercise)
2006 - European Junior Championships (Volos): 9th (team), 6th (all-around), 7th (vault), 6th (balance beam), 3rd (floor exercise)

2004 - European Junior Championships (Amsterdam): 14th (team)

dimanche 6 novembre 2016

International successes for Team Belgium!

These past few weeks have been busy so far for our gymnasts and it's not over yet! Our Juniors WAG team will compete in Marseille next weekend and then in Charleroi at the Top Gym. But both our MAG and WAG teams have been successful so far. Let's catch up!

Credit: Federació Catalana de Gimnàstica

2016 Wase Gym Cup

The 13th edition of the Wase Gym Cup took place on the last weekend of October and gathered some of Belgium's best gymnasts and athletes from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Senior's Jonas Baert has been pretty successful as he won 6 gold medals (AA, team, floor, vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar). In the all-around, he took the gold ahead of European Championships finalist Noah Kuavita and Yureck Van Eetveld.

Credit: Liesbeth Coremans
In the Youth category, Bram De Ridder won the all-around ahead of Glen Cuyle and Jordi Hagenaar from the Netherlands. De Ridder, Cuyle, Abel Stoop and Nicola Cuyle won the team gold.

On the Women's side, Naomi Visser from the Netherlands won gold in the all-around ahead of her teammates Mandy Magoub and Mirte De Reiger. Magoub and De Reiger also won gold with their team, while Visser took the bronze. The GymFed team (De Neef, Vanneste, Bertrandt and Louon) took home the silver. Visser then took two more golds on bars and floor, De Reiger winning vault and Wendy De Jong (NED) taking gold on beam. De Neef won silver on bars, Vanneste won silver on floor.

Credit: GymFed
The Netherlands' Yu Verburg won the all-around title in the Youth category ahead of Merel Pouw (NED) and Belgium's Muka Amerlinck. The team from Wevelgem won the team gold ahead Amsterdam and Heerenveen.

Full results here
Pictures here and here

Switzerland-Italy-Belgium-The Netherlands friendly meet

On Friday November 4th, our Juniors team travelled to Switzerland for a friendly meet against teams from Switzerland, Italy and The Netherlands. This meet is a step towards the 2017 European Youth Olympic Festival (Hungary, July 2017). The Belgian team, composed of Jonas Delvael, Liam De Smet, Mathis Bouchet and Noah Kuavita took home the bronze. The home team, Switzerland, won the gold, ahead of Italy and our boys. Individually, Italy's Nicolo Mozzato won the all-around ahead of his teammates Giannini Lay and Lorenzo Casali. Jonas Delvael and Noah Kuavita placed 6th and 7th respectively. Mattis ranked 11th (5 apparatuses) and Liam was 19th (3 events).

Credit: GymFed

Memorial Joaquim Blume

On Saturday, Barcelona hosted the 38th edition of the Memorial Joaquim Blume. Nina Derwael and Jimmy Verbaeys made the trip to Spain to represent our country. The meet has been pretty successful for Nina Derwael who had a clean meet to win the gold medal with a total of 56.150! She placed 1st ahead of France's Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos and Russia's Seda Tutkhalian.

Credit: Federació Catalana de Gimnàstica
Jimmy Verbaeys, on the other hand, had a pretty rough meet, breaking one of his grips during a routine. He scored a total of 75.300 for a 12th place finish.


This weekend, Combs-La-Ville was also hosting its traditional international tournament. Luna Cassart, Sophia Kola and Chloé Storey represented Belgium in the Juniors category. In a competition clearly dominated by Italy (113.100), our girls placed 8th as a team with a total score of 95.900. Individually, Sophia Kola got the best result among the Belgians, with a 17th place finish and a total score of 49.100. Luna Cassart placed 33rd and Chloé Storey was 38th.

Results here

The next big competition for our gymnasts will be the Elite Gym Massilia (November 11-13). Margaux Daveloose, Julie Vandamme, Manon Muller and Rinke Santy will represent the GymFed. Cato Fleurackers, Chloé Storey, Sophia Kola and Luna Cassart will represent the FfG and Lisa Vaelen, Fien Vandeberg and Margo Van Linden will be there for their club, De Gympies Keerbergen.