Some European Gymnastics to Enjoy

1:04 PM Arabian Punch Front 3 Comments

Giorgia Campana (ITA)
Credit: Filippo Tomasi via Ginnastica Artistica IT

Here are a few videos from recent competitions that I think you should watch - includes British Teams, German and Italian National Championships, and a Spanish gymnast at European Championships.

British Teams (results)
This took place a little over 2 weeks ago now but I wanted to bring your attention to both Danusia Francis and Ruby Harrold. Danusia Francis travelled all the way from California for a weekend to help participate in the British Teams and did exceptionally well. She placed 1st on beam, 2nd on bars, and 3rd on floor exercise with scores all in the 13s. I find this extremely impressive for someone who just finished a grueling NCAA season. Although "Nush" has always been a great beam worker, it was nice to see her doing elite level skills but with that extra air of confidence. I also enjoyed that she kept her side choreography in where she looks the judges right in the eye as she moves her arms across her body (at 0:39). Take that judges! I dare you to tell me you're not enjoying this routine!
BB - 13.050 below. Make sure to watch her bars as well (here)

Ruby Harrold has some very unique transitions in her bar routine that you can't help but root for her because of the variety she brings to the sport. As quickly as she debuted it, however, she also had trouble with it. It seemed that we alternated every competition as to whether or not she could hit. This time, Harrold was all in and nearly washed away all my doubts! You could tell that she was attacking this routine and things turned out just fine. Hopefully, she continues to hit and we'll get to see this routine on a large international stage.
UB - 14.2

Shaking Things Up in Germany (results)
When you think of current German gymnasts, who do you think of? Most likely Elizabeth Seitz and Kim Bui. They're both good all-arounders, have made the World Cup circuit and have also attended World Championships and the 2012 Olympic Games. In my head, I often associate them both as good bar workers. But, there are some new kids in town. Seitz and Bui finished 3rd and 4th, respectively, on UB at the recent German Nationals with 2012 Olympic Alternate Lisa Katharina Hill in 2nd and Sophie Scheder, a new senior, in 1st. If you remember, Sophie just missed getting a medal at the recent European Championships by just .134. (If you watch Mustafina and Paseka celebrate, you see the German coaches consoling Scheder just behind the Russians.)

I'm very curious to see what happens in Germany. Hill and Scheder seem to have that "newer" style of bar work - lots of stalder work and Shaposhnikova transitions - while Bui and definitely Seitz seem to rely more on releases to get their D-score but which may hurt their execution. It is nice to see things being moved around and, who knows, maybe we'll have 2 Germans in uneven bar event finals at Worlds.
Sophie Scheder UB EF - 6.2/14.933

Italy and the Uneven Bars (EF results)
Typically, uneven bars is the last even of when I think of the Italians. They're known for their grace on beam and floor but not really for uneven bars. I'll admit, I didn't know much about 2012 Olympian Giorgia Campana and I wish I had. She looked so hopeful for a chance on the podium after her routine at European Championships even though it was not likely. She landed in 5th place at that meet but is now the Italian Uneven Bar Champion. She has another two-tenths in difficulty compared to her routine from European Championships. It really is a beautiful routine - she doesn't struggle in el-grip the way some of her teammates do and she has an exactness complimented with fluidity that makes it enjoyable to watch.
UB EF - 5.8/14.050

Spain's Next Big Thing
Roxana Popa is Spain's bright new star. She'll be attending the Mediterranean Games with "veteran" Maria Paula Vargas and the 2 will likely attend Worlds together later this year. Popa is a new senior who is extremely strong. After watching her vault during European all-around finals where she finished in 6th place (here - 14.633), she definitely caught my attention. She boasts a 6.1 difficulty on uneven bars with an in-bar Gienger, straddled Jaeger, and a Ray (toe-on straddled Tkatchev) and a full twisting double layout dismount. Watch it here (6.1/14.3), if not for the gymnastics, for the reaction of her and her coach afterwards. Popa made floor event finals and finished in 7th with a 5.7 D-score. Her landings were a little messy but she has moments of beautiful dance and has a very tall Memmel turn. I look forward to seeing what she brings this quadrennium.
FX European EF - 5.7/13.9 - Diana Bulimar of Romania is cheering her on!

Could you see the possibility of an Amanar from Roxana Popa for Rio 2016? Do you think any of these ladies will make an event final at Worlds?


  1. Roxana Popa is such a lovely gymnast! Love her bars! (and her floor. And her beam. It's all good!) I like the twisting in her DTY... I dunno, it's just a nice vault to watch! I hope no amanar (partially because I don't like over-reliance on it), but I think she could nail the DTY...


    1. Actually, I really enjoy all the routines you picked out here :)


    2. Thank you! I had fun making this post.

      Her vault was what first made me look at her. I don't think she'll get an Amanar any time soon but you never know. I just think it would be exciting for someone who's not from a Big 4 country but a country that didn't even have a team at the Olympics to get that boost in D-score. I don't think she needs it but it would definitely turn heads. I felt bad for ignoring when people spoke about her as a junior. I clearly should've opened my eyes!

      I just hope she's in the AA discussion at Worlds and leading up to Rio. She's doing some great stuff!