See Post 1- (Russia) here and Post 2- (Romania) here, regarding the 2013 European Championships, held in Moscow.
Elisa MeneghiniAs a first year Senior for Italy, Elisa did extraordinarily well. In the qualification competition like many other gymnasts, she fell. However a fall, on the Floor, did not stop her from qualifying for the all-around final, and she also did very well on the Beam, qualifying for the final in fourth place- just behind her team mate Carlotta Ferlito, and the two Romanian gymnasts. Her Bars and Vault were also notable routines of the competition, as she scored a 14.016 for her cleanly executed yurchenko full twist and a 13.800 on Bars which was a higher score than any of the three top all-around qualifying gymnasts achieved, although not quite enough to make the final (she was third reserve).
In the all-around competition, Elisa corrected her Floor routine mistake but was a few tenths under her qualifying scores on every other apparatus. Her most evenly matched gymnast in the all-around competition, for comparison, seemed to be Great Britain's Ruby Harrold. Ruby qualified in seventh and Elisa in eighth but in the all-around final Elisa crept ahead and swapped their standings, so that she finished in seventh position, ahead of Ruby in eighth.
In the Beam Final, Elisa looked very confident and comfortable whilst performing- until she slightly misjudged her change leg side leap and fell backwards off the Beam. She recovered with a high and tidy round-off double pike back somersault dismount but looked disappointed as she came of the apparatus.
So Elisa did not win any medals, but she has shown the international scene that she is capable of great routines, and she is definitely one to look out for in the future, leading Italian Gymnastics.
The Beam Final was first on the Sunday. Carlotta qualified with the third highest score but of course, it all depends on how it goes on the day, and as it happened she finished in fourth place with a 14.066, behind Anastasia Grishina who won the bronze medal. Had she scored the same as in qualifications, she would have still finished fourth, so the slightly lower score than on the Friday did not affect her. She did, however, have a 0.200 higher difficulty value than that of Russian gymnast Grishina, so perhaps her execution could be improved for future medals. On Floor she finished in fifth position, which is two places higher than where she qualified, and she also managed to stay in bounds for this routine, unlike in qualifications, so that was a small triumph. If she was not happy to have missed out on medals, I hope that she was pleased in having made both Finals she tried for, and being near-enough to be a threat to Russia and Romania. I'm sure she won some more fans and the only way is up for her!
I don't mean to create a shrine of photos for Giulia but she has been an utter star at these European Championships.
Before she came she was known as a great gymnast, but mostly a Vault worker. Now she is an all-around contender and has made (literal and metaphorical) leaps and bounds for Switzerland. In the qualifying competition Giulia finished ninth all around, with an iffy Bars and Beam routines that scored just 12.466 (the same as Afansyeva, interestingly) and 13.033. Her other scores were a good 13.933 on Floor and a whopping 15.300 on Vault, her biggest strength. With these scores she qualified for the all-around final in ninth place. She breezed into the Vault Final with an average score of 14.783 across her two Vaults. On Floor she performed a super cool full twisting double straight somersault, which had me squealing with excitement, and propelled her into that final too.
On Friday, the all-around Final, Giulia had a fighting chance of a bronze medal. She began with her Floor routine (which again, sent me into a frenzy after I saw her full twisting double straight) and scored 13.866. Moving on to Vault her handspring straight front with one and a half twist was a standout again, and she scored 15.066, slightly less than in qualification but still extremely impressive. Bars went about as well as she could expect and she scored almost a mark higher than in qualifications with 13.800. Beam went exceptionally well for her too, and she connected all of her elements that she aimed to, and stayed on. She had done her job and finished with a total of 57.065, equal with Diana Bulimar of Romania. She would have been in joint bronze position had Anastasia Grishina not sneaked in front of them both with her last routine on the Beam. Therefore Giulia placed in equal fourth with Diana, although arguably with more respect since where Diana was expected to succeed, Giulia exceeded expectations and really put Switzerland in the thick of things. At one point in the competition, possibly half way through, she was in second position! Wow. I hope her mum took photos of the scoreboards.
In the Vault Final, Giulia burst onto the podium again. Pressure did not touch her most confident skills and she solidly won the Final.
On Floor she stepped out of bounds resulting in 0.2 penalties and finished with a score of 14.100, which in a fiercely competitive final put her in sixth position. But I think- I hope- Giulia will go home a heroine.
|Giulia winning the Vault Final.|
Left-Noel Van Klaveren (2=)
Right- Larisa Iordache (2=)