The Mediterranean Games has a bonkers format in which the team final is spread out over two days with half the apparatuses on each day (like it thinks it’s event finals or something).
After the first day—vault and bars—the host nation Spain enjoyed a lead over second-place Italy on the women’s side, but it all turned swampy for Spain on beam and floor on day two with a rash of 11s. In the end, the Spanish ended up more than 3.5 points behind the victorious Italians and nearly 3 points behind the silver-medalist French, having to settle for team bronze.
Things were looking exciting for Egypt after the first day as the Egyptians held a surprise advantage over a mostly second-tier French side. Once France pulled it together on the second day for the strongest combined beam and floor scores of the competition, Egypt didn’t have much of a shot at a medal but still managed a respectable fourth place, about two points behind the bronze medalists, Spain.
Louise Vanhille and Lara Mori tied for the top qualification spot into the AA final, ahead of Giada Grisetti and Ana Perez.
On the men’s side, Spain took the team title, but only just ahead of the silver medalist Turkish side, which was able to outpace France by a single tenth for that second spot. Italy ended up fourth here, not able to overcome being terrifying on pommel horse, and Cyprus took a perfectly acceptable fifth place—not too close to the medals, but Marios Georgiou did qualify second into the all-around final. He qualified behind Nestor Abad, who hit all six events in team competition, and ahead of Ahmet Onder of Turkey.
The competition will continue Monday and Tuesday with the all-around and event finals.
US Elite Qualifier
This weekend, Brestyan’s hosted the final US elite qualifier before July’s American Classic. It was mostly a Hopes-fest—there are always many more Hopes athletes attempting to qualify because they’re not yet broken down by the injustices of the world and are still young enough to be full of hope. Oh! Maybe that’s where the name comes from.
But, on the senior elite side, Riley McCusker showed up at this one to tell us that she’s still a person, recording a 13.200 on bars and 13.300 on beam. Stephanie Berger of Brestyan’s got her all-around score for Classic, and Jaylene Gilstrap of Metroplex got her three-event score.
On the junior elite side, several gymnasts achieved their AA qualifying scores for the Classic meets: Brenna Neault of Precision, Olivia Greaves of MG Elite, Aleah Finnegan of Being A Finnegan, Lauren Pearl of Brestyan’s, Alonna Kratzer of Top Notch, Zoe Gravier of MG Elite, and Mallory Marchelli of Stars.
Next up: American Classic on July 7.
Youth Olympic Games Qualifier
Spots for 17 countries at October’s Youth Olympic Games were on the line at the European qualifying event Saturday in Baku.
In an upset, the women’s all-around victory went to Anastasia Bachynska of Ukraine after the favorites Klimenko (RUS), Asia D’Amato (ITA), and Iorio (ITA) all had nasty-nasty-bad-bads on beam. That allowed Bachysnka to swoop in for what was ultimately a smooth victory ahead of Heduit (FRA) in second and Belousova (RUS) in third.
The 17 qualifying nations for the women were Ukraine, France, Russia, Italy, Great Britain, Hungary, Turkey, Sweden, Germany, Romania, Lithuania, Ireland, Spain, Finland, Portugal, Belarus, and Greece.
This was the final qualifying event, so those 17 countries will join the already-qualified nations Unites States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Australia, South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, China, South Korea, Japan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka as the 36 countries currently awarded spots in the women’s event should they decide to use them. WAG competitors at YOG must have been born in 2003.
More surprises were in store at the Brazilian Championship, only some of which were gymnastics-related. A disastrous bars routine from the favorite Flavia Saraiva took her off the all-around podium entirely as gold went to Daniele Hypolito with 54.400, a tenth ahead of Jade Barbosa in second and .150 ahead of Thais Fidelis in third.
It’s Hypolito’s 10th national AA title of her career. Because casual.
But that was just the beginning. The team final the following day had to be canceled because SOMEONE SEVERED THE ELECTRICAL CABLES IN THE ARENA. When I first heard the power was out, I assumed that it was just your average technical problem like a normal person, but no. Someone intentionally cut the power cables to the venue so that the competition could not go on. This is allegedly connected to Hypolito’s victory, and scores, and the usual amount of drama, and I’m very very very here for it. 100% intense.
At the Dutch Championships, the women’s all-around field looked pretty open with Eythora Thorsdottir not competing all four pieces and Lieke Wevers out for the season. In their place, Vera Van Pol snatched the victory with 52.000, just ahead of the newly returned Celine van Gerner with 51.733. Bronze went to Tisha Volleman, probably the pre-competition favorite, who scored 50.366 after a beam disaster.
In the event finals, Volleman won the titles on her apparatuses that really matter, vault and floor, while Van Gerner took the gold on barsand Sanne Wevers took the beam title because…you better. (Eythora did not participate in the event finals.)
Our Bart won the men’s all-around title despite a fall, and followed that up with three event titles the next day. Sadly, it appears Epke had a grip problem in the HB final and had to stop midway through for 7.550.
German European Trials
Germany got a little good news this weekend as both Pauline Schäfer and Sophie Scheder made successful returns to all-around competition at the European team trial with Schäfer taking the AA victory and Scheder finishing third. Scheder also recorded the top bars score with 14.500.
1. Pauline Schäfer – 53.500
2. Sarah Voss – 52.850
3. Sophie Scheder – 52.500
4. Kim Bui 51.850
There is still more selection process to come, but that group of four seems quite likely to be on the Euros team. They still need to add a third good score on most events to be super competitive for medals in a team final situation (scores that may not exist with Seitz and Alt out), but the team should be able to get by pretty well regardless, a prospect that looked rather questionable after the Seitz injury.