dimanche 30 juillet 2017

2017 EYOF: Two bronze medals and six finals!

Last week, our young gymnasts traveled to Györ (Hungary) for the European Youth Olympic Festival, one of the most prestigious competitions for the Juniors. In Hungary, Team Belgium qualified for 6 finals and brought home 2 bronze medals!

Credit: GymFed
On the men's side, Mattis Bouchet, Ward Claeys and Justin Pesesse started their competition on Tuesday with individual qualifications and team final. They ranked 6th, a great results for the boys, against some of the strongest teams in Europe. The team competition was won by Russia, followed by Great Britain and Switzerland.

Results Team Final
1. Russia 161.450
2. Great Britain 159.000
3. Switzerland 158.450
6. Belgium 155.000

Individually, Justin Pesesse qualified for the all-around final, along with Mattis Bouchet who also qualified for the horizontal bar final. Ward Claeys would compete in the pommel horse final. On Thursday, Justin Pesesse ranked 10th in the all-around final, won by Great Britain's Jamie Lewis. Mattis Bouchet ranked 23rd, after strong performances on vault, floor and horizontal bar.

Results All-around Final
1. Jamie Lewis (GBR) 82.200
2. Iurii Busse (RUS) 80.100 
3. Nicolau Mir Rossello (ESP) 78.550
10. Justin Pesesse (BEL) 76.250
23. Mattis Bouchet (BEL) 72.800

But the best was yet to come. Both Ward Claeys and Mattis Bouchet qualified for an apparatus final. And both of them won a bronze medal. On pommel horse, Ward scored 12.466 to place 3rd, just 0.1 away from silver, won by Mauro Nemcanin (Croatia). Russia's Sergei Naidin won the gold with 13.600.

Credit: GymFed
Results Pommel Horse Final
1. Sergei Naidin (RUS) 13.600
2. Mauro Naimcanin (CRO) 12.566
3. Ward Claeys (BEL) 12.466
4. Jamie Lewis (GBR) 12.100
5. Quentin Begue (FRA) 11.766
6. Iurii Busse (RUS) 11.633
7. Dominic Tamsel (SUI) 11.566
8. Davide Bieri (SUI) 11.433 

Saturday's competition must have been a rollercoaster of emotions for Mattis Bouchet. he was up last on horizontal bar, the last event of the day. After a successfull routine, he was ranked 5th. But Team Belgium then put an inquiry on his start value, which was judged too low. After the judges' review, Mattis's score got upgraded and secured him the bronze medal!

Credit: GymFed
Results Horizontal bar Final
1. Aleksandr Kartsev (RUS) 13.166
2. Nicolo Mozzato (ITA) 13.166
3. Mattis Bouchet (BEL) 13.133
4. Nicolau Mir Rossello (ESP) 13.133
5. Andrin Frey (SUI) 13.033
6. Iurii Busse (RUS) 12.900
7. Sviataslau Dranitski (BLR) 12.866
8. Lucas Kochan (GER) 11.866

Last time Belgium won a medal on the men's side was in 2011, with Maxime Gentges taking the bronze on pommel horse. Mattis and Ward's medals look really promising for the future.

On the women's side, Julie Vandamme, Margaux Daveloose and Kay-Li De Neef ranked 11th as a team. The competition was won by Russia, ahead of Italy and Germany.

Results Team Final
1. Russia 107.700
2. Italy 106.500
3. Germany 104.950
11. Belgium 99.300

Both Margaux and Julie qualified for the all-around final, where Margaux had the better day, placing 12th with good performances on vault and floor. Julie placed 21st, after a tough performance on uneven bars.

Credit: GymFed
Results All-around Final
1. Kseniia Klimenko (RUS) 54.450
2. Asia D'Amato (ITA) 53.750
3. Varvara Zubova (RUS) 52.850
12. Margaux Daveloose (BEL) 50.000
21. Julie Vandamme (BEL) 47.650

Our girls come home with no medals but with a ton of international experience, with Tokyo 2020 as the bigger picture. They'll now enjoy a break before going back to the gym.

Full results here
Videos here

dimanche 23 juillet 2017

2017 EYOF: all you need to know!

The 2017 European Youth Olympic Festival starts tonight with the Opening Ceremony in Györ, Hungary. This Festival, which gathers Europe's best Juniors athletes has been an amazing experience for our young gymnasts in the past and an occasion to test themselves against some of Europe's talents.

Credit: GymFed
This competition has always been a good one for Belgium, as gymnasts such as Thomas Neuteleers, Maxime Gentges, Nina Derwael or Axelle Klinckaert brought medals home.

Team Belgium will be represented by Julie Vandamme, Kay-Li De Neef and Margaux Daveloose in the WAG competition, and by Ward Claeys, Justin Pesesse and Mattis Bouchet in the MAG competition.

The boys will start their competition on Tuesday and will compete in the 3rd subdivision on still rings, along with Georgia. At then end of this qualifying round, the team medals will be awarded, and the qualifiers for the all-around and event finals will be known.

Credit: UEG
Ward Claeys and Justin Pesesse have been the top 2 gymnasts for the past few month, Justin taking the gold at the Belgian Championships, while Ward won the all-around at the two friendly meets organised as a selection process for this EYOF. Mattis Bouchet placed 8th at Nationals, and then won a bronze medal at a friendly meet, behind Ward and Justin.

The Federations have set goals for our boys: a top 8 as a team, as well as at least an all-around and an event final. Given their recent results, I think our boys can achieve that. 

July 25th: qualifications and team final (10h-21h)
July 27th: all-around final (12h-14h15)
July 28th: event finals Day 1 (floor, pommels and rings, 14h-16h)
July 29th: event finals Day 2 (vault, parallel bars and high bar, 14h-16h)

On the women's side, the girls will start their competition on Wednesday and will compete in the 1st subdivision, starting on bars, along with the team from France. As for the men, that day will serve as a qualifying round for the all-around and event finals, the team medals being awarded on Wednesday.

Credit: UEG
Julie Vandamme, Kay-Li De Neef and Margaux Daveloose have been the top 3 gymnasts in their age category in the past few months. Julie won the all-around at Belgian Championships and was also the top Belgian Junior at the FIT Challenge back in June. Kay-Li took silver in Libramont and was 12th in Ghent, while Margaux placed 3rd at Nationals and was 10th at the FIT Challenge. 

The goals for the girls are to place in the top 8 as a team and in an event final, and to qualify two of them to the all-around final.

July 26th: qualifications and team final (10h-21h)
July 27th: all-around final (16h-18h15)
July 28th: event finals Day 1 (vault and bars, 14h-16h)
July 29th: event finals Day 2 (beam and floor, 14h-16h)

How to follow?
As for now, no livestream has been found yet. Rumor has it that Europsort 2 will broadcast the event but I couldn't find any confirmation of that. We'll of course update you on scores and rankings as soon as we have the infos, on the Facebook page and on Twitter.

Competition format (both WAG and MAG):

The competition format in qualification is 3-3-2: 3 gymnasts compete on each apparatus and the two best scores will count towards the team total. The all-around final will gather the top 24 from qualifications (2 per country max.) and the 8 best gymnasts fromp qualifications will compete in the event finals, with a maximum of two gymnasts per country.

Official website here