The Women's Artistic Gymnastics Newsletter N° 5

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The Women's Artistic Gymnastics Newsletter N° 5

August 29, 2017

By Yvette Brasier, WTC President








4 months ago –already- the European Championships in Cluj-Napoca (ROU) came to an end. And what a delightful competition it was! In this latest newsletter, focusing only on women’s artistic gymnastics, we’ll reflect on these superb championships and on the Universiade where many experienced European gymnasts competed... and won! At the beginning of October all eyes will be on the Canadian city Montreal, birthplace of Nadia Comaneci’s first Olympic perfect 10 and forever linked to the history of gymnastics. No team competition will be held as this is an individual World Championships so the door is wide open for new faces to emerge!

Last but definitely not least, UEG organises a ‘Mental and Physical Preparation Course for European coaches’ from 26 to 29 October in Saint-Etienne (FRA). An interesting workshop led by experts Ulla Koch and Nick Ruddock and assisted by our TC members. Find out more about it below!



In many ways these Europeans were truly historic: back in Romania 60 years after the first ever European Championships for women in Bucharest, first all-around title for a British gymnast, first European title for Belgium, the 5 European titles available went to 5 gymnasts from different countries, Catalina Ponor winning a record 5th gold on beam at the tender age of 29… The list goes on and on and what I particularly take away from this event is the sold-out venue during the finals and the last subdivision of the qualifications. What an incredible atmosphere for the gymnasts to compete in. Another unprecedented sight: the top 8 all-around all from different countries! It pleases me to see such an open playing field, accessible to many European nations.  

A big thank you to all the gymnasts, coaches and judges for making this such a memorable event. And of course also to the fans and the Romanian Gymnastics Federation. You have set a new standard!




Under the great care of UEG TC members Hana Liskarova and Orna Shai, 35 gymnasts aged between 10 and 12 and 37 coaches from 22 countries worked hard at our annual training camp in Tirrenia. 8 days of intensive training were interrupted by a fabulous day trip to soak in the culture of Florence. A visit to the leaning tower of Pisa couldn’t be skipped and there was plenty of beach time as well.

Thanks to FIG’s Technical Committee President Donatella Sacchi for attending the camp and giving useful insights into the Code of Points to the coaches! The other experts who guided our gymnasts were Larisa Polosina (choreographer), Sergey Fedoseev (vault), Dieter Koch (bars), Rodica Pintea Demetrescu (beam) and Nick Ruddock (floor).  We’re also pleased to see the successful transition from elite gymnast to coach, as we welcomed Great Britain’s Olivia Bryl and Belgium’s European team, beam and floor finalist Julie Croket as coaches.

Thanks to the Italian Gymnastics Federation and camp director Nadia Brivio for providing us with these excellent facilities.

See you next summer!



Romanian star Larisa Iordache made a much-anticipated comeback to a major all-around competition, her first since the 2015 World Championships, at the Summer Universiade in Taipei. Trailing Canada’s Ellie Black in qualifications, Iordache scored 14 or more on all four events in the final to take the all-around crown. She added gold on floor and bronze on beam in event finals. After winning the gold with her Russian teammates, European and World Champion Daria Spiridonova won her speciality, uneven bars, while her teammates Lilia Akhaimova and Maria Paseka grabbed silver and bronze on vault. Akhaimova added a bronze on floor as well. Kim Bui clinched silver on bars for Germany.

Looking for to see which of these ladies will make it onto their respective World Championships teams!


A new Olympic cycle, a new World Champion!

With the absence of 3-time World All-around champion Simone Biles (USA), the battle for the all-around crown at the upcoming World Championships promises to be exciting. I’m sure the US will have a new generation of super athletes to take over but Europe can certainly challenge as well. We are counting on 2015 European Champion Giulia Steingruber (SUI), Romanian star Larisa Iordache and Hungarian talent Zsofia Kovacs. Unfortunately recently crowned European Champion Ellie Downie (GBR) is recovering from injury and will skip this event.

Support our gymnasts: 2 to 8 October in Montreal (CAN)!




In view of offering European coaches a forum of improvement and exchange, UEG proudly organises the ‘Mental and Physical Preparation Course’, focusing on the following topics: mental preparation for coaches and gymnasts, physical preparation of gymnasts, exchanges between participants, experts and the Women’s Technical Committee. In addition to our TC members, our esteemed experts are Ulla Koch, head coach of the German national team, and Nick Ruddock, Performance Gymnastics Coach & consultant.

Place to be: Saint-Etienne, 26 to 29 October!




With my warmest regards,

Yvette Brasier 

WTC President