Hello my long lost friends! I’m sorry about my inconsistency in posting. Ever since school got out, I haven’t had a reliable computer to write with. I’ve missed a bajillion meets in Europe, which is a shame since the European Championships in Glasgow begin on the second of August. Instead of reviewing all of the missed meets, I’ll just go over the teams of each country, give some juicy gossip (If compatable with said team), and then preview each event for the championships, all in one convienent article!
Russia: Angelina Melnikova, Angelina Simakova, Irina Alexeeva, Lillia Akhaimova, Uliana Perebisnova
VT: Akhaimova, Melnikova, Simakova UB: Alexeeva, Perebisnova, Melnikova BB: Alexeeva, Simakova, Melnikova FX: Akhaimova, Simakova, Melnikova
The Russian team raised a few eyebrows for several reasons, the most obvious of which being the absence of Viktoria Komova. Komova returned at the Voronin cup in December and has since looked very good. Her bars have looked lovely, (though her set is a #Butherinbars routine), she has her DTY on vault, as well as some big tumbling on floor with her DLO and DBA. Her beam is clean and beautiful as usual, but she has been the normal amount of fallsy for a Russian. Valentina Rodionenko has claimed she left Komova off of the team for back pain, and though Komova has called her bluff on that, the real reason she’s not on the team is because she’s landed herself a spot Val’s hate list. Another surprising absence is Anastasia Ilyankova, who placed second AA at Russian Cup and recorded a massive 15.350 on bars.
I truly think V-Rod got this one wrong. Yes, both Komova and Ilyankova are both very Russian, but hey, no more so than Perebisnova. Alexeeva likely showed up with her American consistency and instantly grabbed Valentina’s heart, so I understand how she earned her spot. That said, Perebisnova is 4 for 8 with her bar routine (which consistently scores lower than Komova and Ilyankova), plus, Komova and Ilyankova could both contribute at least one more event, while Perebisnova is limited to just bars. This team selection is puzzling, but Russia is a force at these Euros nonetheless.
France: Melanie DJDS, Marine Boyer, Coline Devillard, Juliette Bossu, Lorette Charpy
VT: DJDS, Boyer, Devillard UB: Bossu, Charpy, DJDS BB: Charpy, DJDS, Boyer FX: Charpy/Bossu, Boyer, DJDS
This is the best French team in recent memory, as they can challenge for the team title and many individual medals as well. The key for them will be staying consistent, as they can’t afford to give any precious points to the Russians. Also key is keeping Melanie healthy, as the team is built entirely on top of her AA prowess.
Great Britain: Alice Kinsella, Kelly Simm, Becky Downie, Lucy Stanhope, Georgia Mae Fenton
VT: Simm, Kinsella, Stanhope UB: Simm, Fenton, Downie BB: Fenton, Downie, Kinsella FX: Fenton/Stanhope, Simm, Kinsella
Though missing all Ellie Downie, Claudia Fragapane, GB has a fair amount of depth with both Simm and Kinsella stepping up to the plate as all arounders. Great Britain’s secret weapon and key for a team medal will be bars, with hit routines from both Downie and Fenton, GB will challenge Russia for the top bars score. With Downie, Fragapane, and Tinkler missing, floor will be (Relatively) weak, as well as their normal Achilles heel on the beam.
The Netherlands: Sanne Wevers, Eythora Thorsdottir, Tisha Volleman, Vera Van Pol, Celine Van Gerner
VT: Van Pol, Volleman, Thorsdottir UB: Thorsdottir, Wevers, Van Gerner BB: Van Gerner, Thorsdottir, Wevers FX: Volleman, Van Pol, Thorsdottir
The Netherlands have a brilliant team with no real weakness, and the ability to challenge for medals/finals nearly everywhere. That said, Thorsdottir was not at her best at Dutch nationals, vaulting a full and downgrading her floor tumbling. I’m sure she’ll pull it together by Euros, but should she not, the Dutch will cry themselves to sleep, literally.
Romania: Denisa Golgota, Ana Maria Ocolisan, Carmen Ghihuic, Nica Ivanus, Laura Iacob
VT: Ghihuic, Ocolisan, Golgota UB: Ocolisan, Ghihuic, Golgota BB: Iacob, Ghihuic, Golgota FX: Ivanus, Ocolisan, Golgota
The Romanians are certainly missing Larisa Iordache and Catalina Ponor. That said, they have a new star in Denisa Golgota, who should make vault and floor finals, as well as lift the Romanian team to the team final. Some people are skeptical of this team’s chances, claiming that bars will be their Achilles heel (as usual) and that their other events aren’t strong enough to pick up the slack. That claim, however, is false. Both Golgota and Ocolisan have DTYs, their beam is steady and consistent, and their floor has some great tumbling from Golgota, who has really become the Iordache of this team. If they hit, they should place somewhere between fifth through eighth.
Germany: Pauline Schafer, Kim Bui, Sarah Voss, Leah Griesser, Emma Hoefele
VT: Bui, Schafer, Voss UB: Hoefele, Griesser, Bui BB: Hoefele/Griesser, Voss, Schafer FX: Bui, Voss, Schafer
When Schafer and Scheder returned at German nationals, the entire program breathed a collective sigh of relief. Unfortunately, the program then collectively gaped in horror as Sophie Scheder injured her finger, taking her out for Euros. AT their peak, Germany would be a medal contending team, and while they should still make the team finals, there’s now a lot of pressure on Schafer and Bui to hit.
Italy: Lara Mori, Giada Grisetti, Elisa Meneghini, Martina Basille, Martina Maggio
VT: Basille, Maggio, Meneghini UB: Grisetti, Mori, Maggio BB: Grisetti, Mori, Meneghini FX: Maggio, Meneghini, Mori
Italy is currently experiencing senior depletion, and if they could allow their juniors to compete, they’d likely win the team gold medal. Sadly for them, they’re stuck with their seniors while also missing Vanessa Ferrari and Erika Fasana. This team is good on beam and floor and respectable on vault, which will carry them to TF, assuming they don’t implode, but their bars score is reliant upon Grisetti hitting, and even then can be low enough to discourage medal potential.
Belgium: Nina Derwael, Axelle Klinckaert, Maelysse Brassart, Julie Meyers, Rune Hermans
VT: Derwael, Klinckaert, Brassart UB: Hermans, Klinckaert, Derwael BB: Derwael, Hermans, Klinckaert FX: Brassart, Derwael, Klinckaert
The Belgians are an extremely talented bunch, if not underpowered on vault and floor. The team is slightly over reliant on Derwael, but should make TFs just the same.
Also not to be missed:
Diana Varinska: See if she can carry Ukraine to the TF
Team Hungary: After losing Zsofia Kovacs, their chances have fallen dramatically. That said, they’re not completely out of the picture
Vasilliki Milliousi: Potentially a good Beamer, never hits though
Teja Belak+Tjassa Kysselef : Slovenian vaulting sisters, can contend for medals
Jonna Adlerteg: KILLER bars routine
Ana Perez and Spain: Outside TF contender
Vault: With Steingruber and Kovacs out, the medals are WIDE open to be snatched. Favorite: Coline Devillard could easily defend her title with a hit, but… how probable is that? Contenders: Melnikova is in a similar boat, as is Boglarka Devai. Basically anyone with two vaults can make the final, and if Devillard falls, the gold will be wide open.
Favorite: The obvious favorite is Nina Derwael, who has been getting consistent 15’s this year. Assuming she hits, she should win with no trouble.
Contenders: Angelina Melnikova has also been incredibly consistent this season and should challenge for a medal. Georgia Mae Fenton is the Commonwealth champion on bars and could medal with a hit, as could Becky Downie. The French should qualify two in Melanie DJDS and Juliette Bossu, the latter of which has a silver/bronze worthy routine. Diana Varinska is another possibility.
Outskirters: Irina Alexeeva, Uliana Perebisnova, Jonna Adlerteg, and Kim Bui can make it in with good hits and mistakes from others.
Favorite: Sanne Wevers looked great at Dutch Nationals just a few weeks ago and could spin her way to the title with a similar routine.
I would put Pauline Schafer just behind Sanne, she just has to hit her eponymous side somi half.
Contenders: Angelina Melnikova has looked fairly solid on beam and can contend with a hit. Eythora Thorsdottir looked great on this particular event at Dutch Championships and is the reigning silver medalist. Both Melanie DJDS and Marine Boyer are incredible beam workers and medal contenders here. Though inconsistent, Diana Varinska is a beautiful beamer as well.
Outskirters: Vassiliki Milliousi is never not an outside contender for the beam final who falls on her dismount. Italy would like to field one of Elisa Meneghini or Giada Grisetti, and Romania would love to sneak Golgota or Ghihuic into the final, all of which can happen with a little luck.
Favorite: Is there one? I would say Melnikova, but she’s been kinda injured and watery with her tumbling, so I have no clue…
Contenders: Melnikova can contend to defend, and the glorious swan that is Lillia Akhaimova can put pressure on her. Sadly/Happily for Russia, Simakova is also a legitimate contender that can spoil it for either Russian. MDJDS can contend, as can Lara Mori. Reigning bronze medalist, Eythora Thorsdottir, can contend if she’s somewhere near full strength.
Outskirters: My heart would sing if either of Pauline Schafer or Axelle Klinckaert could wiggle it into the final. Denisa Golgota also has a fairly solid argument for the final as well.
Hope you enjoyed!