Three Russians dominate the qualification for the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships Basel 2021. Angelina Melnikova wins with 55.991 points ahead of her team mates Viktoriia Listunova and Vladislava Urazova. Giulia Steingruber comes tenth in the all-around at her home European Championships and qualifies for the apparatus finals on vault and floor.
Winner of the qualification is also the Romanian Larisa Iordache, who secures the last Olympic ticket with the fourth place. The other ticket goes to Listunova. Iordache moves up, as these qualifications are possible for two gymnasts from different countries. The Russian team is already qualified for Tokyo anyway. For Iordache, this marks the end of a long period of suffering: since the 2017 World Championships, she has been constantly struggling with injuries.
Steingruber achieved the third-best score of all gymnasts on vault at her home European Championships. The medal decision on Saturday will most likely go through Great Britain’s Jessica Gadirova, Melnikova and Steingruber: after the three gymnasts who are within 0.067 points, there is a gap of more than half a point. However, the cards will be reshuffled again in the finals and all gymnasts will start with zero points. Steingruber enters the final on floor in sixth place.
Melnikova, World Championship bronze medallist in Stuttgart 2019 in the all-around, is now also favourite in Friday’s final, especially as she still has potential for improvement after a mistake on the balance beam. The 21-year-old is also in the apparatus finals on vault, uneven bars and floor: On uneven bars and floor with the highest score of the day, on vault only the young Briton Gadirova is better than Melnikova. The qualification on balance beam was won by Larisa Iordache from Romania, just ahead of Olympic champion Sanne Wevers (Netherlands) and Amelie Morgan (Great Britain).
Urazova led after the first subdivision and was only caught up by her teammates at the end of the day. Bitter for the 16-year-old: Since only two gymnasts from one nation can qualify for a final, Urazova will have to watch the all-around final on Friday. On uneven bars, the three-time junior world champion Listunova was left behind: Melnikova, Urazova and Germany’s Elisabeth Seitz score more points than the 15-year-old in fourth place during her first competition in her first senior year. Listunova have to watch the final on Saturday due to two-per-country rule.
Vanessa Ferrari also celebrated a successful comeback: she finished 7th in the all-around and entered the floor final in fourth place.
* doesn’t advance to the all-around final due to the two-per-country rule
Qualified to apparatus finals:
159 gymnasts from 35 nations will compete at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships Basel 2021. Most of the gymnasts also had their last international competition at the World Championships in Stuttgart in October 2019. At the European Championships 2020, many nations did not compete because of the Corona pandemic. At the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships Basel 2021, the athletes want to show that they have made good use of the long training period. Everyone is looking forward to the highlight of the season: the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
There is also two tickets up for grabs, namely for the best all-around athletes who have not yet qualified in Stuttgart. The main focus in Basel is, of course, the fight for the medals. The first hints of the medal candidates can be seen tomorrow in the qualification for the all-around finals on Friday and the apparatus finals on Saturday and Sunday.
We have an overview of who is competing in which subdivision.
Illia Kovtun and Volodymyr Kostiuk are two young Ukrainians who have attracted attention at the 2019 World Youth Championships. Both have their debuts at senior level this year with Kovtun particularly strong on parallel bars. The two will start on high bar along with Karim Rida, Andreas Toba and Nick Klessing from Germany. At his first senior World Championships, Klessing immediately made it to the still rings final in Stuttgart 2019. His dismount is spectacular: a triple somersault backwards. Also in this line-up is the young Armenian Gagik Khachikyan, an excellent pommel horse gymnast.
On parallel bars world champion Joe Fraser and two-time Olympic champion Max Whitlock, two top stars will be competing right at the start of the qualification. Whitlock is the reigning world champion and Olympic champion on pommel horse an won gold in Rio de Janeiro on floor. His goal should be clear: to repeat his European Championship success of 2019 on pommel horse. Fraser will not compete in the all-around, but will perform on pommel horse, parallel bars and high bar. Krisztian Balazs, Hungary’s rising star, is also in this line-up. He is particularly strong on parallel bars and high bar.
These two dutchmen want to shine in the fourth round of this subdivision: Epke Zonderland and Bart Deurloo. Both will only be competing on high bar. Zonderland has been known for spectacular flight shows on high bar for years. He missed the final at the World Championships in Stuttgart.
David Belyavskiy has been part of the Russian team for a long time. He is particularly strong on pommel horse and parallel bars and is a candidate for the all-around finals anyway. Olympic champion on still rings Eleftherios Petrounias missed the World Championships podium in 2019 but is still one of the world’s best gymnasts on still rings
The best Swiss all-arounders, Pablo Brägger and Christian Baumann, start their competition on pommel horse. Brägger placed 15th in the all-around finals in Stuttgart and won gold on high bar at the 2017 European Championships. Baumann won silver on parallel bars at the 2015 European Championships and also made it to the parallel bars final at the 2019 European Championships. One of Baumanns biggest competitors and with him in the same line-up is the German Lukas Dauser. Dauser is also a good all-around gymnast, he was in good shape during the team’s qualification.
The oldest gymnast of the entire European Championships is an absolute legend: Marian Dragulescu from Romania. His fourth place at the World Championships in Stuttgart proves that he is still competitive on his favourite apparatus vault. He is joined in the line-up by Frenchman Leo Saladino who is making his senior debut here in Basel. His showpiece is the vault. In addition, there is another real veteran: Cyril Tommasone. The 33-year-old from France is still one of the world’s best on pommel horse.
Ahmet Onder from Turkey is another good all-around gymnast in this subdivision. The fifth in the all-around finals at the 2019 European Championships starts on vault.
With the defending champion on parallel bars Ferhat Arican is another Turk in this subdivision. He starts directly on his strongest apparatus. He won’t start on all six apparatues, only on parallel bars and pommel horse. Casimir Schmidt from the Netherlands will compete on all six apparatuses. The young Italian Lorenzo Casali is another solid all-around gymnast. In addition, Ibrahim Colak from Turkey, the reigning World and European Champion on rings, is in this line-up.
The clear favourite for the all-around title at this year’s European Artistic Gymnastic Championships is Russia’s Nikita Nagornyy. He is the reigning world champion and won the all-around title at the 2019 European Championships. He is also the world champion on vault and showed a piked triple somersault backwards on floor in podium training. This is also where Nagornyy starts. With him in the line-up: the Swiss Noe Seifert, Benjamin Gischard, Marco Pfyl and Andrin Frey. Gischard has a chance of reaching the final on floor and vault. Additionally, there is Matvei Petrov from Albania, the defending champion on pommel horse.
Loris Frasca from France will start on pommel horse in the third subdivision. He reached the all-around finals at the World Championships in Stuttgart and would certainly like to repeat this in Basel. With Loris in the same line-up is Artem Dolgopyat from Israel. He is the defending champion on floor and won silver at the World Championships in Stuttgart.
Oskar Kirmes from Finland also wants to reach the all-around finals. He finished 18th at the European Championships two years ago. Robert Tvorogal is the reigning European Champion on high bar. At the World Championships he made it to the all-around finals. They will start on vault.
Jake Jarman is a young Brit who certainly has a good chance of making the all-around finals. His compatriot Joshua Nathan will also compete on all six appartuses. With Artur Davtyan and Vahagn Davtyan, two brothers are in this line-up. Artur is actually one of the best all-around gymnasts in Europe, but in Basel he will only compete on pommel horse and vault. His brother Vahagn is one of the best still rings gymnasts in Europe.
One of the best gymnasts on high bar will start on this apparatus, Tin Srbic from Croatia. He won silver at both the European and World Championships in 2019. In 2017 he won the title at the World Championships but he has yet to win gold at a European Championships. With Pavel Kaskov from Poland, a candidate for the all-around finals is also in this line-up. In addition, Igor Radivilov is the defending champion on vault. The Ukrainian also has good chances for making the finals on still rings.
One of the world’s best gymnasts on pommel horse is Rhys McClenaghan from Ireland. At the World Championships he only just missed the podium, placing fourth.. Ivan Tikhonov from Azerbaijan is fighting for a place in the all-around finals in this line-up.
These gymnasts are in the race for the last Olympic tickets: Casimir Schmidt (NED), Illia Kovtun, Volodymyr Kostiuk (both UKR), Aleksandr Kartsev (RUS), Jake Jarman and Joshua Nathan (both GBR).
Although the Ukrains, Russians and British are qualified as a team for the Olympic Games, gymnasts can qualify for another ticket per nation as they were not in the team for the 2019 World Championships.
All starting times can be found here:
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