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Another Great Day for British Gymnasts at The European Artistic Championships
European Artistic Championships 2007 - Qualifications - Women
By Trevor Low (input Linda Gore)
Apr 26, 2007, 14:43
For the second time the UEG has organised a Championships for Women for Individual Apparatus and an Overall Championship. The format allows member Federations to send specialists and all rounders to contest European titles.
Amsterdam hosts these Championships on the busiest weekend of the year, The Queen’s Birthday celebrations (Dutch Queen). All of Holland has a big splurge holiday and it seems they empty their homes and take up every hotel, hostel, B n B and tent space across their country. The atmosphere everywhere was bright and cheerful but definitely not cheap and cheerful, the Euro rules.
To some extent Artistic Gymnastics is searching for a super star. There are many local heroes and amazing gymnasts but media stars are few and far between. The opening rounds of the Women’s competition evidenced many of the reasons why; lack of beauty, little theatre and some choreography that makes the Spice Gils look like the Royal Ballet. Motherhood is the new pixieness When the media focus on the tallest, the oldest, and the most passports then we know that they are not riveted to the gymnastics.
WOMENS QUALIFICATIONS at the end of Round 2 of 4.
From 10am until 8pm it was a marathon day. The specialists were not so obviously standing out from the all around gymnasts. Stability seemed to be the factor that defined “specialist”.
For Great Britain Marissa King came in on Beam to allow her an opportunity to meet the audience and feel the podium before competing on Floor, full in back out, double Arabian, 2 1/2 twist punch front and double pike, 13.75, and at Vault, Tzukahara with 1 1/2 twists (14.775) and pike front half out with a short walk (13.425). At the end of the second of four rounds Melissa is in 4th place in with a chance at the Vault final.
Marissa King: " Today was a really BIG experience, it was my first time on podium, so I was nervous, the Floor was excellent, really bouncey.
As the gymnasts marched in the decision on whether Beth Tweddle would compete at all was still being calculated. European and World Champions with ankle pains present a vexing dilemma. With a recovering shoulder problem, Bars was already a no go contest but there were three other apparatus that Beth could attack.
The presence of Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Spain and Great Britain made Round 3 an interesting contest. Each of these nations has the quality and talent to succeed.
For Great Britain, Hannah Clowes, in her first senior Europeans, Vault, Yurchenko full, 14.075. Beam, 14.625, free walkover, free roundoff, front somersault, flip full with dismount double tuck.
But no beam routine from Beth Tweddle. She jogged in the background still trying to decide if to compete. With the Floor warm Beth came alive and the determination to defend a formidable reputation had begun to have an effect. Scoreboard and sound system defied Beth with two false starts. 1 1/2 twist back through to double Arabian (step out), double Arabian piked, 2 1/2 twist back to front full twist. The routine was well balanced and presented with 14.725 in range for the final.
Hannah was equally impressive on Floor, double Arabian tucked, full in back out, 1 1/2 through to double twist and 2 1/2 twist to close, 14.075 just outside the possibility of a Floor final. At Bars Hannah warmed up impressively but with a Geinger safely caught she dropped a Tkachev, 12.7 but total 55.725, a personal best, was well within range for the overall final, 8th with 1 subdivision still to compete.
With three left to Vault, two Cypriots and a Frenchy, Marissa was holding 7th place on vault. With 6 left on Floor Beth was holding 5th on Floor. With 33 scores still to be registered Hannah was holding 9th place overall. Nothing to be done but wait. The girls paced, the coaches fretted but the mood was “quietly optimistic”. For Hannah and Melissa this new and worrying experience is hard to take. For Beth…. this is just another day.
Kramarenko out of the area and then again out. One down.
Brinker, very classy but no ammunition, Two down.
Chusovitina, good material but B jury prone. Three down.
Csillag, Anthony Quinn did it better in Zorba the Greek. Four down.
Korcsmaros. Nice work but a low difficulty value. Five down.
Grudco, looked good but lacked the big skills. Six down.
Beth Tweddle European Floor Finalist.
Cyprus 1 neat and simple. One Down
Cyprus 2…a wipeout. Two well down.
Vericel neat and strong, but not strong enough. Three down
Marissa King European Vault Finalist.
A frightening few minutes saw the last 33 scores rattle through the scoreboard and as totals registered Hannah moved towards a ranking of 17th.
Hannah Clowes European Overall Finalist.
Another great day out for British Women’s gymnastics.
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Michael Bradley Photography
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Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com
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