As last big international event before the Olympic Games in London next August, this competition will allow the best European gymnasts’ to measure themselves.
It will obviously be a highlight to watch the Russian team which had won at the ECh 2010 (at the same time in the junior and senior category) and which topped the ranking at the WCh in 2010 and claimed the second place during the WCh 2011 in Tokyo.
Aliya MUSTAFINA, world all-around champion 2010, who had injured herself during the ECh in Berlin/GER last year will be back, whereas Anna DEMENTYEVA, European all-around champion and Tatiana NABIEVA, world vice-champion on uneven bars, will unfortunately not take part in these Championships.
We will also have the pleasure to watch the performance of Victoria KOMOVA, European junior champion of the all-around competition in 2010 and world vice-champion of the all-around competition at the Championships in Tokyo 2011.
The Romanian team took home the silver medal of the ECh 2010 for juniors and bronze for seniors. It is also the European nation that stepped on the Olympic podium in 2008 in Beijing winning the bronze medal (just ahead of Russia). It will also be interesting to keep a careful eye on several gymnasts in this team such as Sandra Raluca IZBASA, 8th of the all-around competition and 1st on floor in Beijing in 2008 and European champion on floor and vault in 2011 and Diana Maria CHELARU on floor; she had arrived 3rd at this apparatus at the ECh in 2010 and second at the ECh in 2011.
One of the favourites on uneven bars is the title defender Elizabeth TWEDDLE / GBR, 4th at the Olympic Games in 2008, 1st at the ECh 2010 and 2011 and 1st at the WCh 2010.
One of the favourite on vault is the German Oksana CHUSOVITINA, second in this apparatus during the Olympic Games in 2008, the ECh and WCh in 2011.
Germany will also benefit from Elisabeth SEITZ's presence, European vice-champion in the all-around competition of the ECh 2011.
Worth mentioning is also the Italian team which will line-up gymnasts like Vanessa FERRARI and Carlotta FERLITO who will certainly present beautiful performances as well.
For juniors it is more difficult to speak about the favourites because this competition rather allows discovering them.
Then let’s see which new talents will become the star gymnasts of tomorrow…. Some answers in a few days…
O. Do Rosario/UEG
Photo: V. Minkus/UEG - Julie Croket/BEL