Preview: Apparatus finals on Sunday

The beam final of the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships Basel 2021 promises to be overly exciting. Unfortunately, Larisa Iordache from Romania, the best gymnast of the qualification, will not be able to perform. A kidney infection makes it impossible for her to start. The whole Basel 2021 team wishes Larisa a speedy recovery!

For the first time at this European Championships no Russian flag will be seen at the award ceremony, because no Russian gymnast could qualify for the final on balance beam. Sanne Wevers, the Olympic champion, is one of the favourites. This circle is quite large: In qualification, there were only 0.067 points between Wevers in second place and Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos from France in sixth place. De Jesus Dos Santos was the best European on beam placing 5th at the World Championships in Stuttgart. In between there were other top gymnasts with Amelie Morgen from Great Britain, Lieke Wevers from the Netherlands, and Martina Maggio (Italy). Latvia’s Elina Vihrova and Marine Boyer from France also reached the final. Poland’s Marta Pihan-Kulesza would have been the first reserve gymnast, but she injured herself on floor in qualification. Get well soon! Instead, Anastasiia Bachynska from Ukraine will move up, a young gymnast who can directly compete for a medal if she eliminates her wobbles from the qualification. Anything can happen on the ten centimetre wide and five metre long beam.

Old against young on floor

Angelina Melnikova is the clear favourite on floor: in qualification as well as in the all-around final she performed a difficult routine without any major mistakes and received the highest score in both competitions. European all-around champion Viktoriia Listunova (15 years) from Russia was also convincing in both performances on floor in Basel. Jessica Gadirova (16) from Great Britain placed third in qualification and confirmed her floor skills in the all-around final. Behind her were two experienced gymnasts, Vanessa Ferrari (30) from Italy and Giulia Steingruber (27) from Switzerland. Both did not compete in the all-around final and saved themselves for the apparatus finals. It worked out for Steingruber on vault yesterday. Also competing Martina Maggio (Italy), Kim Bui (Germany) and the Romanian Maria Ceplinschi. The latter replaced her team-mate Iordache.

Andrey Medvedev from Israel goes into the vault final as the best qualifier. The first six gymnasts on Thursday all had a starting score of 5.6 points in their two vaults, so the smallest bounces on landing will decide the medals. Can European all-around champion Nikita Nagornyy extend his streak and win a medal in his fifth final? In the qualification he was second, he perfectly pinned his vault in the all-around final. Artur Davtyan from Armenia is an excellent all-around gymnast, in Basel he only concentrates on vault and pommel horse, which he won yesterday by the way. With the British Giarnni Regini-Moran and Courtney Tulloch, Loris Frascas from France, Yahor Sharamkou from Belarus and the Ukrainian Igor Radivilov, otherwise only vault experts are in the final.

Four medal chances for Switzerland

On parallel bars it is almost impossible to predict, the field is too balanced. With Lukas Dauser from Germany, winner of the qualification, the two Russians Nikita Nagornyy and David Belyavskiy, as well as Ferhat Arican from Turkey, half of the gymnasts in this final have already won a European medal on this apparatus. The Ukrainian Illia Kovtun is also an expert on parallel bars as European junior champion. Ahmet Onder, the reigning vice world champion on parallel bars, will also be competing. In qualification, the two Swiss gymnasts Christian Baumann (third) and Pablo Brägger (sixth) presented themselves strongly. A medal at the home European Championships is of course a great incentive. Dauser (6.7) and Nagornyy (6.4) improved their difficulty in the all-around final, Dauser made a mistake and had to leave the parallel bars.

Andreas Toba, another German, won the high bar qualification. He and Pablo Brägger (European high bar champion 2017) had the highest starting score with 6.3 points. Christian Baumann is also in the high bar final. He finished 4th on Thursday, behind Italy’s Carlo Macchini. With Krisztian Balazs, Hungary’s rising star is in his first apparatus final at the seniors. In 2016 and 2017, David Belyavskiy (Russia) won bronze on high bar. The two Turks Ahmet Onder and Adem Asil complete the last final of the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships Basel 2021.

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