European Championship – All-Around Finals

  • It’s official. The WILD TEAM SOBBING cup has a new owner. Following the events of the 2015 world championships, the British women took control of the cup, bringing it home to Lilleshall where it has lived comfortably for the last three and a half years. Until now. The French finally wrested the cup out of British grasp today with their performance in the women’s all-around final of the European Championship. Using clean execution and the savvy difficulty bonus awarded for vicarious crying from the stands and trans-row weep-hugging, there was really nothing any other nation could do to match the astronomical score from the French.

  • Allowing the French the opportunity to take the Weepie Cup was the performance of Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos. De Jesus Dos Santos went from a questionable entrant in the all-around competition approximately 16 seconds ago to official European champion with her complete four-event performance, showing the cleanest execution of the entire meet on bars and beam to allow her to establish the slimmest margin over Ellie Downie, the silver medalist.

  • Less than a tenth of a point ultimately separated De Jesus Dos Santos and Downie, which heaped added significance upon the sorcery powers that DJDS demonstrated to not put her heel down out of bounds on her FTDLO landing on floor. That proved the difference between gold and silver. An OOB tenth would have switched it.

  • Ellie Downie will also be exceptionally pleased with her performance. Especially considering she has not been back to full-strength AA competition for very long at all, she put up a complete and confident meet that came only that one heel away from winning gold—just a couple tenths lower than her gold-medal score in 2017. This is the best gymnastics she has done in two years.

  • Ultimately, the result was fair despite its extreme closeness. Downie got the better of DJDS on vault, putting up the most powerful and controlled DTY of the competition that probably should have outscored the others by more than it did, but DJDS was a bit more precise on the remaining pieces overall, with consistent legs-together, extended positions on bars and more sureness in her beam landings. That said, Downie got through a whole beam routine with only minor checks, which was like a personal victory at Waterloo.


  • The pre-competition favorite and qualification leader Angelina Melnikova did not perform poorly by any means to take what will seem a gratifying but not ideal bronze medal. She hit all four pieces and made no egregious errors, yet proved a little more ragged in execution than those who placed above her. On bars in particular, Melnikova had an opportunity to gain more of an advantage than she did, but she got a little too close to the bar on her piked jaeger and had to improvise a new salto shape called the turducken. On beam, her wolf single to crouch 1/2 to stand 1/2 will definitely go into the wolf hall of fame, but doesn’t super help a thing like a score. Just enough to put her down in 3rd.


  • Even though the Italians didn’t snatch any all-around medals here, they certainly confirmed that Italy is coming for your championships bird of prey. Alice D’Amato took 4th place and Giorgia Villa took 6th place, even though both fell on beam and did not perform ideal meets. With a hit day, they are legitimate 54s. At not just at Serie A or something. In real life too. Basically, these new Italian seniors are just a shoulder cut-out away from challenging the world’s best. And by that, I mean they need to steal Vanessa Ferrari’s floor difficulty in an Ursula-Ariel type situation, because the rest of the gymnastics is there.

  • Ukraine will also claim triumph in this all-around competition with 5th- and 7th-place performances from Bachynska and Varinska, despite the handicap of having to do beam while Ukrainian. (These college teams are always trotting out the children who are paralyzed or have cancer so the team can be all “your life is mostly about me,” but they should really consider having the team meet a Ukrainian who can hit beam. Talk about overcoming obstacles.) Varinska didn’t perform her absolute best, but coming off a weak qualification meet where she missed beam, this was an improvement.

  • Sigh. Angelina Simakova actually put together three solid events in this all-around final, but the 10 she scored on floor will sour the overall performance once again. Normally, we would expect that to lead to a spell at Valentina’s work camp, and it probably will. But Simakova’s ability to get a beam score really should keep her at least in the hunt for teams. She got the 3rd-best beam score in the entire final, and if you want Paseka on a worlds team, and if you want Akhaimova on a worlds team, then you still need a bunch of other people hit beam.

  • I can barely talk about what happened with Eythora. She very nearly saved her bars routine after a pirouette hesitation toward the end, but a foot-clip on a giant right before her dismount led to an extra swing and a fall, and that sort of defined the day. Her 13.400 on floor, however, was the 4th-best floor score of the competition and bodes well for her chances to sneak a medal in the final should one of the big three have landing issues.

  • The saddest news of the day belonged to Alice Kinsella and Denisa Golgota. Kinsella qualified in third place and would have liked her chances for a medal heading in (though given the performances we ended up seeing from the top 3, Kinsella wouldn’t have medaled even while hitting), but a fall on a Gienger on bars, and then a double-fall floor routine, made Kinsella’s facial expression turn a little too “me on a daily basis,” which I would never endorse. Golgota, meanwhile, remembered her nationality and missed on both bars and beam to place 17th.

  • On the men’s side, the prophecy was fulfilled in that Nagornyy and Dalaloyan did indeed place 1-2, but while it seemed like Dalaloyan would have had to do something…bad (?) to let Nagornyy in, that wasn’t really the case. Turns out, Nagornyy casually having his best meet ever did the trick just as efficiently. Nagornyy went through six events exceptionally cleanly to outscore Dalaloyan by what ultimately became nearly a fall.

  • Dalaloyan’s own performance was not exactly perfect—the biggest issue being a funky attempt at a Ri Se Gwang on vault that was credited as a Dragulescu and got a sub-9 execution score, which on men’s vault is basically a murder. But, Dalaloyan had no major misses and scored quite well at 87.832 for silver. He also whipped out a piked double front 1/2 out dismount on PBars because of things you do.

  • The race for the bronze medal turned out to be another gem, with execution prince Marios Georgiou of Cyprus winning a tight race against Ahmet Onder and Joe Fraser, who all ended up within a tenth of each other. Fraser qualified well, but I kind of expected him to fall away in the all-around final. He did not, putting up one of his best performances. Though Onder did not reach the level of his qualification showing (a score that would indeed have won bronze here), 5th place is still an excellent result.

  • Georgiou really had to rely on his execution to get that bronze medal because he starts more than a fall behind the likes of Fraser and Onder on difficulty. He has to chip away that deficit with every routine, and that’s exactly what he did.

 

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