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The Curse of the European Championships (Half I) – An Outdated College Gymnastics Weblog

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Notice: This text is Half I of a 3-part sequence

Half II: 2009-2017
Half III: 2002-2008

The European Championships has the excellence of being probably the most historic competitors in ladies’s gymnastics after the World Championships and Olympics. This specific occasion has been related to among the most compelling moments within the sport. On the 1967 European Championships Vera Caslavska recorded the primary Excellent 10 in a serious competitors. In 1975 Nadia Comaneci made her senior debut on the European Championships which gave delivery to the Romanian dynasty and popularized the “little lady” period of gymnastics. Then there was the enduring rivalries with incidents equivalent to Daniela Silivas humiliating the Soviets in Moscow by taking gold on all however one occasion on the 1987 European Championships.

For many years the European Championships was a contest so tough to win, that successful it might all however assure success within the extra high-profile occasions such because the Olympics and World Championships. The attract of the European Championships made it a “must-win” competitors for everybody. The legends of Chilly Struggle period gymnastics, most of whom nonetheless high the all-time medal counts even to this present day usually worth the gold medals they received on the European Championships as amongst probably the most important wins of their profession.

However then got here the Nineties and as communism fell in Jap Europe, the steadiness of energy in ladies’s gymnastics shifted away from Jap Europe together with it. China and the USA would see probably the most fast positive factors, whereas in the long term applications equivalent to Brazil, Japan, and Canada would discover their place significantly improved. Western Europe additionally noticed important progress and it’s now the norm for the area to win medals regularly. One thing that hardly ever occurred in the course of the Chilly Struggle.

Olga Korbut admiring the trophy that was awarded to the All-Round winner on the European Championships. Regardless of her greatest makes an attempt, Korbut by no means received it. After successful it 3x, the trophy was retired and given to Nadia Comaneci as a commemoration of her dominance.

Even after the autumn of the Berlin Wall, gymnasts equivalent to Svetlana Khorkina, Gina Gogean, Lilia Podkopayeva, and Svetlana Boginskaya had been in a position to preserve the legacy of the European Championships. The correlation the place success on the European Championships would virtually at all times lead to main success on the World Championships and Olympics remained firmly in place. In each 1992 (Tatiana Gutsu) and 1996 (Lilia Podkopayeva) the Olympic All-Round Champions had been reigning European Champions.

However within the early years of the twenty first Century the demographic modifications overtaking ladies’s gymnastics would ultimately meet up with the European Championships. It wasn’t that All-Round winners on the European Championships are now not succesful gymnasts, they’ve been extraordinarily unfortunate.

This isn’t a narrative of Europe’s fall from grace, however the uncommon pattern the place gymnasts who win the All-Round on the European Championships continuously go on to expertise one of many worst stretches of their careers within the months afterwards. Most notably, three of the final 4 All-Round Champions on the European Championships can be compelled to withdraw from the very subsequent World Championships as a result of damage.

Since 2002 there have been 12 totally different gymnasts who’ve received the European All-Round (AA). Although ten of those gymnasts have medals on the World Championships and Olympics, solely three of them managed to win a medal in the identical 12 months they received the European AA. Within the final 20 years Vanessa Ferrari and Aliya Mustafina are the one gymnasts to have received a medal in a person occasion on the World Championships in the identical 12 months they had been topped European AA Champions.

Asia D’Amato (2022)

Asia D’Amato received off to a robust begin on the European Championships. First, she led Italy to a gold medal within the staff competitors, then she received a gold medal for herself within the All-Round. Subsequent was Occasion Finals and her first equipment was vault. On her final vault run Asia virtually caught the touchdown and appeared completely balanced, earlier than falling down and clinging to her ankle in ache. D’Amato managed to win a silver medal for the efficiency, however it had costed her the whole lot else.

Asia D’Amato would miss the remainder of the European Championships together with the 2022 World Championships as she continues to recuperate from her damage.

Viktoria Listunova (2021)

On the 2021 European Championships Viktoria Listunova made her senior debut and immediately received the All-Round. In that second the younger Listunova proved she may hold with the adults and plenty of marveled at her future potential. In flooring finals on the European Championships Viktoria considerably underperformed, however few thought something of it and the incident was dismissed as a mix of an inexperienced gymnast together with dangerous teaching. The upcoming Olympics can be Vikoria’s subsequent proving grounds.

On the Tokyo Olympics Listunova had a robust qualifying rating within the All-Round (sixth). However 2-per nation limits left her ineligible to compete regardless of Listunova’s standing as a robust contender for a medal. Listunova had an opportunity for redemption in flooring finals, however just like the European Championships as soon as once more she considerably underperformed. This time Listunova’s struggles may now not be dismissed as a one-off, however a longtime sample the place the younger 1st-year senior was struggling to maintain herself mentally composed within the later days of a serious competitors.

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Younger gymnasts like Listunova are usually better off within the World Championships since they’re held later within the 12 months. This offers 1st-year seniors extra time to discover ways to mentally regulate to the larger stage. However Listunova would miss the 2021 World Championships as a result of damage. When Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2022, as a Russian gymnast Listunova was ineligible to compete on the 2022 European Championships and 2022 World Championships.

Listunova’s profession is at the moment on maintain as she is unable to compete in any main competitors, and even the overwhelming majority of minor competitions as properly. The ban on Russian athletes stays in impact for the foreseeable future. Listunova’s eighth place end on flooring on the 2021 Olympics is at the moment her final look in a Group-1 competitors.

Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos (2019)

On the 2017 European Championships Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos made her senior debut and received a bronze medal within the AA. Melanie would observe up that success with a fifth place end on the 2017 World Championships and a sixth place end in 2018. Nonetheless thought-about a newcomer to the scene, followers had been excited to look at Dos Santos’ profession and all indicators pointed to her being on an upward trajectory.

Then on the 2019 European Championships Dos Santos improved upon her earlier efficiency by successful a gold medal within the AA and turning into a European All-Round Champion. Throughout AA {qualifications} on the 2019 World Championships Melanie took third place and gave the impression to be properly positioned to win a medal. However destiny would produce other plans. Dos Santos struggled in AA Finals and completed in twentieth place.

Melanie continues to be ready for her first medal on the Group-1 Degree (World Championships and/or Olympics). At the moment she is likely one of the few European AA Champions to have ever gone medal-less on the Group-1 stage. She has certified to Occasion Finals on 4 events however has not but reached the top-4 of the ultimate standings. Since 2017 Melanie has certified to AA Finals in each competitors she attended on the Group-1 stage. Nevertheless, on the 2021 Olympics she completed eleventh whereas on the 2022 World Championships she was compelled to withdraw from AA Finals as a result of damage.

The best accomplishment of Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos’s profession is definitely her AA title on the 2019 European Championships. However the 2019 World Championships from the exact same 12 months is the worst AA efficiency of her profession. It’s merely a wierd coincidence that these two competitions occurred in the identical 12 months.

Hyperlink to Half II

Hyperlink to Half III

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