2011 Artistic Gymnastics European Championships – Apparatus finals day one - British Gymnastics

2011 Artistic Gymnastics European Championships – Apparatus finals day one



Gold for Beth Tweddle on bars - her third title in a row
Beth Tweddle is once again the European bars champion.Competing last Beth comfortably went through her routine to score 15.100 and secure the title.

Beth: “The main feeling coming off today is relief. I knew what I needed to do and although it wasn’t perfect it was good enough. I had a long wait to compete and hadn’t even touched the bars for an hour so I was very anxious to get going. In the qualification I had noticed that I was slipping on the matt at the beginning so this time we chalked them which helped me grip and be in the perfect position to start. I am really happy that I have put my new routine out there and come away with the Gold medal. As for floor tomorrow – I have been suffering a bit with injury so I don't think we can expect miracles but who knows.”

Beth once again writes her name into the gymnastics history books with her third consecutive bars title having won in 2010 in Birmgham and 2009 in Milan. The 26 year old continues to produce stunning performances on the big stage and unleashed a brand new routine on the Berlin crowd to take the title. She now competes in the floor on Sunday where again she is going for an unprecedented three in a row.

In the men's floor Dan Purvis was unable to relive his past glories with problems landing his last tumble resulting in 14.400 and 7th place; Kristian Thomas meanwhile produced a great routine to end his week on a high, 15.300 and 4th spot.

Whilst on pommel there was despair for Louis Smith as competing a high difficulty routine he slips after a great start and falls, to see his medal chance drift away (6th).

Men’s floor
Russia’s Anton Golutsutskov (Bronze) got the competition of to a great start with a formidable, solid routine to score 15.325 at set the benchmark.
Kristian Thomas followed and showed great poise, with faultless tumbling to score 15.300.
Next came the home favourite Phillip Boy, greeted with a rapturous welcome form the full arena. Phillip looked composed and clean, until the final tumble, an awkward landing and he’s down, the crowd groan and the score is given as 14.275.
Thomas Bouhail of France followed up clean to tie with Kristian, 15.300.

Daniel Purvis then took to the floor, the World and European Bronze medallist hoping to go even better in Berlin. Dan made a shaky start but looked to have pulled it back until his last tumble where he couldn’t quite hold his landing and did well to stay upright and score 14.400
Alexander Shatilov (Silver) of Israel then stepped up, after leading the qualification he once again showed some huge tumbles to wow the crowd and score 15.400 for the lead.
His lead was short-lived; the next up was Koczi (Gold) of Romania whose strength impresses everyone to score 15.500 and the take the top spot with one routine remaining.
Last up was Albyazin of Russia, but he couldn’t match Flavius Koczi and scores 15.250.

Kristian Thomas (4th): “I’m really happy with today and it couldn't have gone much better to be honest, there’s always a few details that can be made even better but overall I'm happy. My weeks has been a bit up and down, I prepared well and whilst I wasn’t expecting medals I think I had potential to looking at how things have panned out.”

Dan Purvis (7th): “To be honest I just felt really tired out there and I could tell that my body wasn’t really fully up for it. Overall I've had a great week though, my all-around qualification in particular was really encouraging. The medal ceremony yesterday was a bit crazy, we got our medal in the middle of town on a podium built there with random people walking past, a bit unusual but still great to get my hands on the Bronze medal!”

Women’s vault
No British interest in the women’s vault but plenty for the crowd to cheer on as German veteran Oksana Chusovitina and all-around medallist Elisabeth Seitz were in action.

In the end Sandra Izbasa spoiled the German party scoring 14.675 for Gold, with Chusovitina in Silver (14.537) and Kaeslin (SUI) in Bronze 14.475.

Louis Smith faced huge competition in the pommel final in the shape of long-time rival Kristian Berki of Hungary.

Krimmer of Germany went clean to start but didn’t have the difficulty to match Louis and Berki, - 14.325

And it was Berki (Gold), up second, who set the pace with a near perfect routine, his control sublime and the score of 15.625 a huge target to overcome for Louis.

Beny of France then had allsorts of problems scoring 12.450 and Merdinyan (Bronze) of Armenia followed cleanly with 14.950 to put himself in the medal hunt.

Louis then took to the podium -  confident start from in performing one of the most difficult routines in the championships starting with a good handstand seemingly showing he was on the right track, but suddenly it was all over, signs of being distracted maybe mid-routine, his score of 14.150 showing how much potential there was in his routine.

Busnari (ITA) follows Louis and also falls. Vid Gedvegi (HUN) then competes cleanly, 14.725 and a chance of the Bronze. Last up with the pressure on, Cyril Tommasone (Silver) of France, a very clean routine, knowing the other scores that had been posted he gets 15.050 and walks away with the silver.

Louis Smith (6th): “I don’t really know what happened out there, I started brilliantly, the handstand was perfect and I felt great then I noticed something out of the corner of my eye and lost it. It can be the case with pommel as your head is always down but its no excuse, it shouldn’t have affected me that much. Looking at the scores today I really could and should of medalled, which adds to my disappointment. I’ll have time to regroup now and be back cheering on Sam Oldham tomorrow in the high bar!”

Beth Tweddle was up last on the bars with a chance to asses the competition scores befroe she stepped up.
All-around champion, Dementyeva (RUS) up first goes clean and scores 14.475.
Teammate Nabieva (Silver) came next, a shaky start greeted by groans for the crowd, a very good, clean but not spectacular routine giving her 15.075.
Vanwallegheam (BEL) seems to lose track at the start and looks labored going through the rest of her routine but pulls through and scores 14.075.
Ferrari (ITA) never looks fully in control and flies off her routine on dismount miles from the bars and sinks to her knees – 12.850. Van Gerner (NED) just loses track on final handstand but works hard to readjust, dismount, and score 13.975.
The Germans were up next – the full crowd going crazy for Kim Bui (Bronze) the noise nearly taking the roof off as she nails her landing, scores 14.675. Bui followed by Seitz, every element encouraged and cheered but a huge sidestep on landing gives her

And so the mark set for Tweddle – 15.075.

Knowing what she had to do and utilizing her years of experience Beth stayed calm and composed, smoothly flowing through her routine well aware that only major errors could deny her the title. And there were no major errors, in her score of 15.100, below her very best but easily enough to take the Gold.

No British boys in the rings final but still plenty of drama as Russias Pluzhnikov (15.850) overcame compatriot Balandin (15.775) with Petrounas of Greece in third (15.675).