Women’s European Artistic Gymnastics Championships

Sofia, May 19, 2014: The 30th European Championships in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics concluded Sunday in Sofia (BUL). The championships featured a team competition and All-around and Apparatus Finals for juniors as well as a Team Final and Apparatus Finals for seniors.
Winning the All-around and Balance Beam titles and adding a silver on Uneven Bars, Angelina Melnikova was the most successful junior gymnast in Sofia helping Russia to top the juniors’ overall medal table. In total, the Russian juniors take home four gold and two silver medals from Sofia.

Great Britain’s junior team have claimed their first ever team medal, winning silver in Sofia. The team followed up with strong performances in the All-around and Apparatus Finals, collecting a total of two gold, two silver, and one bronze medal. Elissa Downiewon the title on Vault and took bronze in the All-around, whileCatherine Lyons prevailed on Floor, where she outscored her team-mate Amy Tinkler.

Led by Laura Jurca and Andreea Iridon, Romania finished third in the team competition as well as in the overall standings, winning a total of three silver and two bronze medals. Jurca took silver in the All-around and on Vault while Iridon came second on Balance Beam and won a shared silver on Floor.

The qualification rounds of the junior competition also served as a qualifier for the Youth Olympic Games this summer in Nanjing (CHN). Qualifiers will be confirmed at a later stage.

With the best totals on all apparatus but the Uneven Bars and impressing most on Balance Beam, Romania’s senior team defended the European title they had won in 2012 in Brussels (BEL). Their consistent performance throughout the competition resulted in a 172.754 total score, placing them ahead of Great Britain (170.663) and Russia (169.329) who won silver and bronze respectively.

Top qualifier Great Britain matched their best performance to date at the 2010 European Championships in Birmingham, 2010, where they had won silver. The team showed their strongest performance on Uneven Bars, scoring a 44.332 total while Claudia Fragapane had the highest score of the day on Floor (14.766).

Although suffering from an ankle injury reigning Olympic champion on Uneven Bars and World Champion on Balance Beam Aliya Mustafina performed well and even scored the highest mark on Bars (15.166). However, the strong performance of Russia’s only team veteran could not make up for two falls by her younger team-mates, leaving the team with bronze.
Romania’s Larisa Iordache, who won the unofficial senior All-around was the most successful gymnast, winning three medals in the Apparatus Finals. She took bronze on Vault, silver on Beam and shares the Floor title with Vanessa Ferrari (ITA).

Switzerland’s Giulia Steingruber defended her title on Vault and took bronze on Floor, while Anna Pavlovawho is now competing for Azerbaijan claimed silver on Vault.

First year senior Maria Kharenko (RUS) outscored Iordache and reigning World champion Mustafina to take the title on Beam.

Great Britain’s Rebecca Downie clinched the Uneven Bars title, prevailing over Mustafina and her team-mate Daria Spirdonova.

Overall, Romania came out on top of the seniors’ medal table with two gold, one silver and one bronze followed by Russia (one gold, one silver, three bronze) and Great Britain (one gold and one silver).

Beginning on Wednesday, competition resumes in Sofia with the junior and senior European Championships in Men’s Artistic Gymnastics. FIG/Photo credit: Volker Minkus/UEG

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