New Talent Shines at Top Gym
The annual Top Gym competition took place last weekend in Charleroi, Belgium. It's a junior competition that proves to caattract some future stars. Past attendees include Jordyn Wieber, Amy Tinkler, Jonna Adlerteg, Larisa Iordache, Diana Bulimar, and Axelle Klinckaert to name a few.
The star of the meet was Célia Serber of France who will turn senior in 2019. She won the all around with a 51.833. I couldn't find video of her vault but early in the year, she had a full twisting Yurchenko. On bars, she shows a strong Jaeger but has some form issues on her Pak. She dismounts with a lovely full twisting double layout! There wasn't much difficulty yet in her floor routine (she opens with a double pike) but it was a great performance. Beam was where she really caught my eye. She has an air of confidence on beam and has some actual moments of choreography that remind me of Claire Martin meets UCLA. She scored a 13.450 (5.7D) for the routine below.
Naomi Visser of the Netherlands finished in 2nd with a 51.699. She will join the senior ranks in 2017. Her best scores were on vault and floor exercise where she showed that the Dutch philosophy of lower difficulty with clean execution and excellent performance value is alive and well.
Olivia Cimpian of Romania, senior in 2017, has been making a name for herself recently and is one of the hopes for Romania next quadrennium. She had multiple falls on balance beam which cost her the gold medal but earned her a bronze. In event finals, she won vault and floor gold with silvers on bars and beam. I realized that she seems to be the gymnastics love child of Ana Porgras and Larisa Iordache making her floor enjoyable to watch with the highest difficulty of the competition. She shows both a piked and tucked full in during this routine. 13.550/5.4D for the routine below
Other notable mentions goes to Adela and Vendula Merkova. Vendula finished the all around in 4th place and earned the bronze medal on uneven bars. Her sister, Adela, earned an individual medal on floor where she finished in 3rd place. The Czech team shows a lot of potential for the coming quadrennium. On floor, they seem to be a bit like the Netherlands with lower difficulty but eye catching, sometimes tear jerking, choreography. They also turn senior in 2017.
Honorable mention for the meet goes to France's Alisson Lapp who has a lovely floor exercise. Between the French performance here and at Massilia, it is a reminder that French creativity and flair is alive and well. Lapp will be a senior in 2018. She earned the bronze medal on floor for this exercise with a 12.850/5.1D.
Additional video can be found at Belgian Gymnastics
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