The European gymnastics championships finished a couple of days ago, with the 2nd day of the events finals. On the women's side, it was a thrilling competition, with some of the favorites not competing until the end, so we had to wait until the last gymnast to know the results.
The qualifying round, which also served as a team final, saw the British team take on last year's champion Italy, and fought to the end to win a much-deserved title, with Jessica Gadirova getting the highest score in the all around, and Becky Downie, returning to competition to perform only on uneven bars but getting the highest score of all the members of her team in any event. Italy was a worthy opponent, but their gymnasts have been suffering some injuries, Martina Maggio was out, and the 2022 European champion Asia D'Amato is back from the injury she suffered in the vault final at these very same championships just last year, so she is not competing in all the events, yet, so they were happy to be in 2nd place, for now. The surprise came with the Dutch team, which always makes the most efficient use of the Code of Points to get the highest scores, even without the highest difficulty scores.
Jessica Gadirova was the favorite to win the all around and she did not disappoint. She didn't lead the competition until the last round, but she had a strong performance in all events and she was stellar on floor. The second position was the best Hungarian gymnast, Zsofia Kovacs, the exact same position she finished in the previous year, and she led the standings until they got to floor the last event, but she reminded us why she is a European vault and uneven bars champion. Alice D'Amato had a fantastic competition with solid routines in all events, except for beam, where a few hesitations and wobbles kept her score down and robbed her of a shot at the title, though she still went home with an all around bronze medal.
Day 1 of event finals started, as usual, with the vault final, which saw Belgian gymnast Lisa Vaelen win a bronze medal with two solid vaults; Asia D'Amato managed to produce two clean vaults to get the silver medal, which, for her, was a personal triumph after having to withdraw from the competition on this event final last year; the gold medal went to Coline Devillard, who, rather than perform her usual 2 vaults (the same she has been performing for years now), downgraded her double-twisting Yurchenko to a single twist, a bold move that paid off as, though the single twist has 0.8 points less in difficult than the double, she was able to do it really well, getting one of the highest execution scores of the competition on vault.
On uneven bars, there was a lot of interest to see Becky Downie's return to international competition. At 31 years of age, Becky is a very experienced gymnast and one of those uneven bars specialists who are able to change a routine as she goes along depending on how she feels at the moment. She did not disappoint, producing the most difficult routine in the final, which got her a silver medal. Another veteran, Elisabeth Seitz, won bronze; the gold medal was for Alice D'Amato with a nearly flawless routine that got her the highest score, she didn't even need to do her new dismount, a double front with 1/2 twist, and just did the double front.
The 2nd day of event finals gave us the most thrilling final, beam, that had a lot of people talking due to the return of Olympic and European champion Sanne Wevers, another 31-year-old, who had made a mistake on one of her turns (named after herself) on qualifying, but still got in the final. Zsofia Kovacs produced a beautiful beam routine to finish 3rd; the silver medal went to Manila Esposito, who won the 2023 Jesolo Trophy a few days earlier, and who had a very solid and secure beam routine with plenty of difficulty. The master of the apparatus without a doubt was Sanne Wevers who not only perform her own turn with precise technique, she also gave us an elegant and dynamic beam routine in her unique style to become the 2023 European beam champion.
On floor, Jessica Gadirova, again, was able to produce a fantastic routine to get the highest score in the final. Alice Kinsella gave us an elegant floor routine that allowed her to clinch silver. The new senior gymnastic sensation from Roumania, Sabrina Voinea, performed the hardest floor routine of the evening that allowed her to climb the lowest step of the podium.
Watch the video to see some of the best skills from the medal winners.