mercredi 28 juin 2017

Cindy Vandenhole announces her retirement

GymFed announced this afternoon that Cindy Vandenhole said goodbye to gymnastics after many years at the highest level. Let's have a look back on her career.

Credit: An Vanderstraeten
Cindy made a splash onto the Senior stage at just 16 years old, when she became Belgian Champion in 2015.

Injured for a long period of time, Cindy only competed on uneven bars and beam for nearly a year and a half. Still, this did not prevent her from participating in several major international events as a junior, such as the European Championships in 2014 (6th with the team).
In 2013, she travelled to Montreal for the International Gymnix and then to Utrecht for the European Youth Olympic Festival, events that allowed her to gain experience.
Credit: An Vanderstraeten
In 2015, after winning the Belgian champion title, she flew to Baku and the European Games. If she did not qualify for the all-around final (25th), she nevertheless finished in 10th place in the team competition, competition that gathered some of the best nations in Europe.

She was then sent to Glasgow for the World Championships, where she greatly contributed to the team total. In 2016, Cindy competed at the European Championships in Bern and was named the reserve for both the Test Event and the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro. 
Career Highlights
2016 - Olympic Games (Rio De Janeiro): reserve
2016 - European Championships (Bern): 9th (team)
2016 - Test Event (Rio): 3rd (team)
2015 - World Championships (Glasgow): 11th (team)
2015 - European Games (Baku): 10th (team), 25th (all-around)
2015 - Belgian Championships: 1st (all-around)
2015 - FIT Challenge (Ghent): 2nd (team)
2014 - Belgian Junior Championships: 4th (all-around)
2014 - European Junior Championships (Sofia): 6th (team)
2013 - Belgian Junior Championships: 2nd (all-around)
2013 - International Gymnix (Canada): 6th (team), 20th (all-around)
2013 - European Youth Olympic Festival (Utrecht): 8th (team), 17th (all-around)
2012 - Top Gym (Charleroi): 3rd (team), 16th (all-around), 8th (balance beam), 5th (uneven bars)
2012 - Tournoi International (Combs-la-ville): 3rd (team), 6th (all-around), 5th (uneven bars), 2nd (floor exercise)

jeudi 22 juin 2017

Kristof Schroé says goodbye to gymnastics

In a Facebook post, top gymnast Kristof Schroé said goodbye to many years of gymnastics at the highest level. Let's have a look back at his career!

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Kristof was mostly known for his performance on the high bar, but he actually was an all-arounder first. He made his debut in the Seniors ranks in 2010 at the European Championships in Birmingham where he placed 13th with the team, a few weeks after he won a silver medal at the Belgian Championships.
He then became National Champion in 2012 and won yet another medal, the bronze, in 2014 (behind Thomas Neuteleers and Jimmy Verbaeys). He got his best results on the horizontal bar, the highlight being a very beautiful 5th place at the 2014 European Championships in Sofia, just 0.042 points from the bronze medal. 
Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Kristof competed at the 2014 World Championships where he helped the team placed 19th, and at the 2015 European Championships in Montpellier. He missed half of the 2016 season due to a back injury and was part of the selection process for the Olympic Games. 

His last competition were the European Championships in Cluj last Spring, where he competed on the high bar. Thank you for everything that you've done for the sport, Kristof! Good luck for what comes next!

Career highlights
2017 - European Championships (Cluj): 85th (horizontal bar qualifications)
2015 - European Championships (Montpellier): 47th (horizontal bar qualifications)
2014 - World Championsips (Nanning): 19th (team), 11th (horizontal bar)
2014 - Belgian Championships: 3rd (all-around)
2014 - European Championships (Sofia): 11th (team), 5th (horizontal bar)
2013 - World Championships (Antwerp): 32nd (horizontal bar)
2013 - Challenge Cup (Cottbus): 7th (horizontal bar)
2013 - European Championships (Moscow): 44th (horizontal bar)
2012 - Challenger Cup (Ghent): 6th (horizontal bar)
2012 - Belgian Championships: 1st (all-around)
2012 - European Championships (Montpellier): 14th (team)
2011 - Challenger Cup (Osijek): 7th (horizontal bar)
2011 - Gymfinales (Ghent): 1st (horizontal bar)
2010 - Belgian Championships: 2nd (all-around)
2010 - Gymfinales (Charleroi): 1st (horizontal bar), 2nd (still rings), 2nd (parallel bars)
2010 - European Championships (Birmingham): 13th (team)

lundi 12 juin 2017

2017 FIT Challenge: Team Belgium wins bronze, Italy in gold

In an exciting final, Belgium managed to take the bronze medal, while Italy had to wait until the last rotation to be crowned the 2017 FIT Challenge winner!

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
The team final, a competition that gathered both Juniors and Seniors in one team, took place on Sunday afternoon in Ghent, with teams from Belgium, Italy, France and Spain battling for medals.

Belgium had a rough start on beam, with Kay-Li De Neef and Margaux Daveloose falling off the apparatus. Nina Derwael earned the highest score for the team, with a 13.900 for her beautiful set. Rune Hermans was also confident to get 13.400.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
On floor, Kay-Li managed to put her beam performance aside to deliver a great routine, with difficulty and expressiveness (12.700). Cassia Priels had a good performance too, and got 12.666. Maellyse Brassart, who won silver the day before in the all-around competition, had a bad day on floor, falling twice, while Rune Hermans was very solid to get the highest score of the team with 13.133.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
On vault, Maellyse Brassart got the highest score with 13.633, followed by Julie Meyers (13.566). Cassia Priels and Julie Vandamme were steady for the team as well. On bars, Julie Vandamme and Margaux Daveloose started off really well but then fell on their releases. Senna Deriks got the job done with her intricate routine and got closer to the 14 mark (13.933). But the highlight of the day was undoubtedly Nina Derwael's routine. After a fall the day before, the European Champion wanted to show the best that she could do in front of her homecrowd. She posted the huge score of 14.800 !

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
With a total score of 202.128, Belgium won the bronze medal, ahead of Spain, the two countries battling for that 3rd place up until the last two rotations.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
But the fight between France and Italy for gold was the most entertaining thing to happen yesterday. The French girls were in the lead until the very last rotation, where they headed to floor, while Italy was on vault. With higher difficulty and execution, the Italians came on top to place first and win the gold, their 6th medals of the weekend.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Team final results:
1. Italy 212.062
2. France 208.064
3. Belgium 202.128
4. Spain 199.428
5. Mixed team 1 (Poland, Turkey, Switzerland) 187.228
6. Mixed team 2 (Ireland, Austria) 186.863
7. Mixed team 3 (Sweden, Israel) 178.561

Full results here
Pictures here
Videos here

dimanche 11 juin 2017

2017 FIT Challenge: Rune Hermans and Italy dominate the first day of competition!

On Saturday, Ghent hosted the first day of competition of the FIT Challenge! In the Juniors competition, Team Belgium finished in 3rd, while Rune Hermans and Maellyse Brassart took the first two spots in the all-around in the Seniors category. Italy showed once again their power to take the team titles in both category, while the Juniors dominated the all-around to take the three medals. Recap!

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Let's start with the Juniors. Belgium sended two teams in Ghent, but only one of them would factor in the team competition. Belgium 1, composed of Julie Vandamme, Kay-Li De Neef, Margo Van Linden, Margaux Daveloose and Cassia Priels took the bronze medal, behind Italy and France.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
They had their mistakes here and there, and had to count several falls, on both bars and beam, except for Cassia who had the cleanest day. Julie Vandamme, the National Champion, had to count a fall on beam, but still managed to get the best all-around ranking for team Belgium, with a 9th place, just ahead of Margaux Daveloose, in 10th, and Kay-Li De Neef, in 12th.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
With a total score of 199.096, Belgium 1 took the bronze medal, in a team competition easily won by Italy ahead of France : 

1. Italy 209. 961
2. France 203.462
3. Belgium 1 199.096
4. The Netherlands 194.996
5. Spain 192.795
6. Norway 186.428
7. Ireland 184.094
8. Turkey 175.561
9. Sweden 174.327
10. Israel 169.395

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Team Belgium 2, with Fien Vandeberg, Cato Fleurackers and Sophia Kola, only competed as individuals, at least 4 gymnasts were necessary to be able to factor into the team competition. Cato and Sophia had a clean day, while Fien had to count falls on beam. 

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
In the all-around, Italy had a clean sweep, taking the first three spots: 

1. Sydney Saturnino (ITA) 53.365
2. Asia D'Amato (ITA) 52.737
3. Elisa Iorio (ITA) 52.199
9. Julie Vandamme (BEL) 49.866
10. Margaux Daveloose (BEL) 49.666
12. Kay-Li De Neef (BEL) 49.532
13. Cassia Priels (BEL) 48.965
17. Cato Fleurackers (BEL) 48.332
20. Sophia Kola (BEL) 47.965
28. Margo Van Linden (BEL) 47.032
37. Fien Vandeberg (BEL) 44.632

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics

On the Seniors' side, Belgium only competed as individuals, as Nina Derwael, injured, only competed on bars and beam, and Senna Deriks, coming back from a knee injury, only performed on bars. Back to her full level of difficulty, Belgian Champion Rune Hermans once again finished on top, taking the all-around crown after a successfull day. She was consistent and confident, with no major mistakes, her best score coming on vault with a 13.600. It's the second gold medal for Rune Hermans, after the National title two weeks ago, and she's now a strong contender, if not already a lock, to make the Worlds team later this year.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Not far behind was Belgium's Maellyse Brassart, who was really consistent yesterday, with strong routines on bars and floor, and a powerful full twisting Yurckengo on vault. She had to count a fall on beam but showed confidence throughout the day to take silver. The first year Senior wins here the second medal of her season, after silver at Nationals.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Two weeks ago, Julie Meyers had a rough day at Nationals, but it was a completely different gymnast that we saw in Ghent! She started really well on vault and bars, an event that has always been a bit tricky for her. The huge smile on her face when she landed her dismount  showed us how happy she was with her routine. She then fell on beam but finished strong on floor, with an entertaining routine.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Nina Derwael, slightly injured on her ankle, only competed on bars and beam, in order to rest. On bars, the European Champion tried a new combination (pak somersault immediately to a toe on Shaposhnikova with half turn) but missed it. She then went a bit too far on one of her handstand and couldn't avoid the fall. She finished with a strong full twisting double back dismount to score 13.166. On beam, she performed a new mount, a roundoff to a layout step out. She looked confident and broke the 13s mark, with 13.166.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Senna Deriks competed in Ghent for the first time since the beginning of April, when she injured her knee just days before the European Championships. She only competed on bars and she's definitely on her way back. She performed her usual stalders and looked confident on her release. Senna scored 13.800, the best score for Belgium on this event.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
In the all-around, Rune Hermans and Maellyse Brassart took gold and silver, the bronze medal being awarded to France's Lorette Charpy, who had a pretty strong day for France:

1. Rune Hermans (BEL) 53.265
2. Maellyse Brassart (BEL) 53.099
3. Lorette Charpy (FRA) 52.999
16. Julie Meyers (BEL) 50.265

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
In the team competition, Italy once again came on top to take the gold, ahead of France and Spain :

1. Italy 208.861
2. France 208.528
3. Spain 203.361
4. Norway 187.263

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Today, the team competition will start at 3pm. You can find the start list here.

Full results here

mercredi 7 juin 2017

2017 FIT Challenge: all you need to know!

The Flanders International Team Challenge is back! The 2017 edition will take place this weekend in Ghent. More than 120 gymnasts from 14 countries will compete for gold. Here is all you need to know about this weekend's competition!

Credit: GymFed
The competition will take place all weekend. On Saturday, there will be 5 subdivisions, 3 for the Juniors and 2 for the Seniors. At the end of the day, we'll know which gymnasts and which team were the best and won the 2017 FIT Challenge!

The competition will go as follow:

Belgium will be well represented in both the Juniors and Seniors category. On the Seniors's side, European Champion Nina Derwael will be there, as well as National Champion Rune Hermans. Olympian Senna Deriks will also make her comeback after injury. The Belgians will compete in the last subdivision of the day and will start on vault.

Spain's Nora Fernandez and Ana Perez, as well as Juliette Bossu and the Charpy sisters from France, Giada Grisetti and Elisa Meneghini from Italy and Reina Beltman and Naomi Visser from the Netherlands will be the ones to watch.

Junior National Champion Julie Vandamme will lead the pack on the junior's side, alongside Margaux Daveloose and Kay-Li De Neef, who both impressed at the Belgian Championships. The Belgians will be divided into two teams, competing in the 2nd subdivision and starting on bars and floor.

They will have to compete against strong teams from France and Italy, both countries bringing their best gymnasts, such as Alison Lapp, Morgan Osyssek and Celia Serber (France), and Asia D'Amato (Italy). 

Two competitions will take place on Sunday. In the morning, the Youth gymnasts will be in action. Belgium will be represented by 4 different teams.

In the afternoon, the best gymnasts from Saturday's qualifications will compete in the team final.

The competition format is a bit tricky. In qualifications, it's a 5-5-4 format: 5 gymnasts per team, 5 of them compete, the 4 best scores count in the team total. The 8 best teams, Juniors and Seniors combined, advance to the final.

In final, a team can count up to 10 gymnasts (Juniors and Seniors combined). 4 gymnasts compete (2 Juniors and 2 Seniors). If a country only came with one team, Juniors or Seniors, this country can team up with another one to enter the team final.

Saturday June 10th - 10h-20h: Juniors and Seniors team qualifications and all-around final.

Sunday June 11th - 10h: Youth competition
                                15h30: Team final Juniors and Seniors

Tophsporthal Vlaanderen
Zuiderlaan 14, 9000 Ghent

Entry fees
Saturday - Qualifications: 13€ (pre sale), 15€ (on site)
Sunday - Youth: 8€ (pre sale), 10€ (on site)
Sunday - Final: 13€ (pre sale), 15€ (on site)
Weekend tickets: 22€ (pre sale), 25€ (on site)

Pre-sale you can buy your tickets here until Friday:

How to follow?
Belgian Gymnastics will be on site to provide you with live scores on Twitter as well as a recap of the competition and pictures!

More infos
Competition directives here
Nominative registration here
Shedule here