Patras, 17-Apr-2002 First Impressions: Elite Podium Training

From Patras: Nora Schuler/gymmedia 

Sunny skies greeted the competitors in Patras after two days of rain as the continent’s best seniors took the opportunity to test the arena in podium training.

Yevgenia Kuznetsova (BUL)

In the first subdivision, the Dutch team attracted most of the attention with very solid performances on floor and vault. 

They had a few jitters on beam and bars where Renske Endel showed a new piked stalder. Yevgenia Kuznetsova looked strong and motivated for Bulgaria. The two German gymnasts suffered mixed emotions. Yvonne Musik showed four solid routines with no big breaks while her team mate Camilla Ermert struggled.
Spain used only three gymnasts – Elena Gomez, Alba Planas and Marta Cusido – in podium training. Gomez was strong and precise on all pieces and looks to be a contender for individual medals. Planas took a nasty fall on her bars dismount and struggled on floor. Marta Cusido’s right leg is heavily taped from ankle to knee, which resulted in problems on floor and vault.

The sole Romanian Oana Petrovschi got constant tips from the sidelines from Octavian Belu and went through her training well but with no apparent highlight.

Russia demonstrated their ambitions with a strong set of routines and has brought Yekaterina Shuster in addition to the five gymnasts listed on the roster. Khorkina looked confident enough to leave out the last two tumbling runs of her new floor routine. 

Elena Gomez (ESP)

Natalia Ziganschina is in good shape as well whereas as Yelena Zamolodchikova did vault and floor only and had a disaster on the latter. 

Ukraine had problems on vault where only Natalia Gorodni looked good but was solid on beam. All gymnasts seemed uninspired on floor. Irina Yarodskaya sat out vault and floor.

Italy left Adriana Crisci at home but made a favourable impression with two strong additions to the team in Ilaria Colombo and Gargano and a good showing on all four pieces and could surprise after not having a team at last year’s World Championships.

The French had difficulties mastering their ambitious programme on beam but tumbled well and showed interesting choreography on floor.

Many delegations complained about the long and strenuous transfer from Athens and some coaches are not totally happy with the apparatus, especially the bars and the floor, where the pile is too deep.

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