European Gymnastics Championships – Can Team GB’s Women Outperform the Men?
Team GB’s men put in a stunning performance at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Switzerland last week, taking home both team and individual medals.
Now it’s the women’s turn to take to the apparatus at the PostFinance Arena in Bern and, with the team for the Rio Olympics still to be decided, the British gymnasts will be keen to put in great performances this weekend. So what’s in store at the event and can Team GB’s women add more gymnastics medals to the haul?
The 2016 Men’s European Gymnastics Championships – What Happened?
Despite the absence of Max Whitlock, the current pommel horse World Champion, Britain’s seniors finished second in the team event. The team, which consisted of Louis Smith, Dan Purvis, Kristian Thomas, Nile Wilson and Courtney Tulloch, scored 268.427 points. Russia won gold, with an impressive score of 271.378, while the Swiss finished third, with 263.278 points, to the delight of the home crowd.
Nile Wilson did his chances of getting a place on the Olympic squad no harm whenhe claimed the individual gold on the horizontal bar, becoming the first British gymnast to win the title, while Kristian Thomas took the silver in the same event.
Team GB’s juniors showed that future is looking bright for British gymnastics too, with the combined efforts of Giarnni Regini-Moran, Donnell Osbourne, Joshua Nathan, Joe Fraser and Jamie Lewis resulting in a score of 253.436 and a fifth back-to-back European team title for Britain. Russia finished in second place with Switzerland taking the final podium place.
Regini-Moran went on to win the all-round competition too, with Joe Fraser finishing in third place. The individual apparatus finals also brought more medals for Great Britain. Regini-Moran won gold on the floor, and silver on the vault and parallel bars. Joe Fraser, meanwhile, was crowned European Champion on the parallel bars, finished in joint second on the high bar and claimed the bronze medal on the pommel horse.
The 2016 Women’s European Gymnastics Championships – A Guide to the Event
The junior team competition, and the qualifying sessions for the senior and junior women’s finals, took place on the first and second of June, and Britain’s juniors won the silver in the team event, with a score of 163.912.
The junior all-round finals are due to take place this evening (Friday 3 June 2016), while the senior team final is scheduled for tomorrow. Europe’s top junior and senior gymnasts will also be in action again on Sunday in the apparatus finals.
Team GB‘s senior team consists of Rebecca Downie, Elissa Downie, Claudia Fragapane, Gabby Jupp and Ruby Harrold, while the junior team is comprised of Taeja James, Alice Kinsella, Maisie Methuen, Lucy Stanhope and Megan Parker.
The juniors may have got off to a spectacular start, but the senior team members are used to succeeding at big events as well. Becky Downie won silver medals on the bars and beam at the 2015 European Championships, while her sister, Ellie, became the first female British gymnast to win a medal in the all-round event when she picked up the bronze. Claudia Fragapane won the silver on the floor last year too.
They’ll be facing tough competition at this year’s event, particularly with the Russians sending three former World and European Senior Champions, in the form of Daria Spiridonova, Ksenia Afanasyeva and Aliya Mustafina, but Team GB is surely in with a chance of taking some more medals home.
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