05. June 2016  
Bern / SUI  
Artistic Gymnastics


One week after the men's Europeans, on Wednesday, June 01, the 37th European Championships of Women's artistic gymnastics take place in the PostFinance Arena in the Swiss capital of Bern. After the junior all-around decision and the elite qualification (Thursday) the first decision was the team gold medal of RUSSIA today, with 175,212 points and a clearly difference to the silver medalists from GREAT BRITAIN (170,312). The team of FRANCE won the bronze (168,496), followed by the happy girls of host Switzerland (165,721), Italy (165,571), unlucky title defender Romania (164,596), Gerrmany (163,829) and Hungary (162,762).
At the final day in Bern home favourite Giulia STEINGRUBER claimed the senior floor exercise and vault titles as the apparatus finals. The British DOWNIE sisters, Becky and Ellie, took gold and two silvers in the final day:  Becky was crowned the bars champion, repeating her performance from 2014, whilst 16 year old Ellie took superb silver on both the vault and floor and Russia's top star Aliya MUSTAFINA won the golden medal on balance beam!


RUSSIA: The No. 1 of the European Women's Artistic Gymnastics!

Uneven Bars
This final was a dream scenario, an exciting battle between the 2014 European Champion Becky Downie and her successor, and 2015 World Champion, Daria Spiridonova. The latter originally didn’t make the final, posting the 4th score but being the third Russian she didn’t advance. After a superb bars routine in the team final yesterday however the Russian coaches decided to pull Angelina Melnikova out of the final and give Spiridonova a chance to defend her title. Downie was third up. Her difficulty was insane: 6.9, and she swung through it well, resulting in a massive 15.500. None of the other competitors came close, until it was the turn of the last gymnast, Spiridonova. Her routine was near-perfect, just a hesitation after a pirouette, and difficult. But it was not enough to beat Downie, 15.500 to 15.466. Downie regains her European bars crown!

1. Becky Downie       (GBR) 15.500
2. Daria Spiridonova (RUS) 15.466
3. Aliya Mustafina      (RUS) 15.100

4.       Kim Bui              (GER) 14.533
   Detailed results

Floor exercises
Giulia Steingruber brought the house down with a sublime floor routine of the highest difficulty and executed precisely and with a smile. The crowd thanked her for her magnificent performance throughout the week with a standing ovation. The Swiss was untouchable, winning her second gold by a comfortable margin, again ahead of Ellie Downie who showed spectacular tumbling. Catalina Ponor added another bronze to her collection, holding off top qualifier Claudia Fragapane who had too many form errors to challenge for the title.

1. Giulia Steingruber (SUI) 15.200
2. Ellie Downie (GBR) 14.566
3. Catalina Ponor (ROU) 14.466
   Detailed results

♦  ECh Day 2 - Women's Team FINAL

* UEG - r e p o r t -- : The Russian women’s team was left trailing Great Britain after Thursday’s qualification but they started this team final calm and confident, posting the highest score on vault. This meant they took a small advantage over their British rivals.On bars Russia was truly sublime, all three gymnasts posting top scores, only matched by Team GB’s Becky Downie. Ruby Harrold, celebrating her 20th birthday today, fell off bars, her best event. At the halfway stage the Russians were 3 points in front and both teams headed to beam.
On beam Angelina Melnikova produced a fabulous routine.
The 2014 European junior all-around champion obviously has no problems adapting to the senior level. Seda Tutkhalyan fell on her full twist but Aliya Mustafina stepped up once again, to put Russia right back on gold-medal course, tying Melnikova for the top score on beam this evening. Gabby Jupp started well for GB. Unfortunately Claudia Fragapane came off the event and Becky Downie fell twice. Gone were the title chances for Great Britain.

Going into the last rotation, floor, Russia’s weakest event, the girls could relax and perform without pressure. They improved on their qualification score, easily taking the 2016 European team crown. Fragapane redeemed herself with a fantastic floor routine to clinch the silver medal.
The true battle was for the bronze.
The audience at the PostFinance Arena hoped for a Swiss victory, and as they qualified third, that possibility was real. A fall from Ilaria Kaeslin on bars, and problems again on beam for star Giulia Steingruber, hurt their score.
France had a solid competition, finishing on their strongest apparatus, bars. Alison Lepin, who fell three times in qualifications, proved her skill, scoring 14.600, just a bit less than Loan His. It was enough for the bronze medal pushing Switzerland to the ungrateful fourth place.
Catalina Ponor once again saved Romania’s face, performing confidently on beam and floor, and vaulting a great double-twisting Yurchenko, placing third on these three events. Unfortunately, her teammates were not up to her level and the team finished sixth behind Italy.
►► Detailed Team Final results
        >> Die All ECh Team decisions 1994 - 2016

* E C h   P R E V I E W:

One week after the men's Europeans, on Wednesday, June 01, the 37th European Championships of Women's artistic gymnastics started in the PostFinance Arena in the Swiss capital of Bern. Day one begun with female junior gymnasts while the elite category followed on Thursday, June 02 with the qualicication rounds.
* Sensational way the title defender team of Romania (Sofia, 2014), could 'nt qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio 2016. How deep is the crisis of Romanian women gymnastics, you will certainly be able to read in this European Championship on appearance.
Among the favorites of the team competition certainly includes the runners Great Britain (vice champion 2014) and the team of Russia, three times already won gold in the past (since 1994) and won seven times more medals.
The battle for bronze seems quite open: Germany and Italy resting their best gymnasts, France should have a good chance, fielding a top team including Marine Brevet, Loan His and Marine Boyer. Of course the audience counts on the Swiss girls, who showed their worth at the test event last month, and are led by superstar Giulia Steingruber, the 2015 European all-around champion.
Belgium will test first-year senior Nina Derwael who returning to competition after a hand injury. Individually keep your eye on stand-outs like Greece’s Vasiliki Millousi, Zsofia Kovacs (HUN), Filipa Martins (POR), Kim Bui (GER), Italy’s Martina Rizzelli and Ana Perez (ESP).
>> Women's team titles 1994 .- 2014
* In the junior category, a battle is expected between the Russian, British, Italian and Romanian girls. Martina Maggio, Francesca Linari (ITA), Ioana Crisan, Olivia Cimpian (ROU), Elena Eremina, Anastasia Iliankova (RUS), Lucy Stanhope and Maisie Methuen (GBR) are all names to watch. Germany is sending Helene Schaefer, who shows the same elegant class like older sister Pauline, the world beam bronze medalist.