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The Curse of the European Championships (Half III) – An Outdated College Gymnastics Weblog

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Notice: This text is Half III of a 3-part collection

Half I: 2018-2022
Half II: 2009-2017
Half III: 2002-2008

Vanessa Ferrari (2007)

Together with Aliya Mustafina, Vanessa Ferrari is likely one of the few gymnasts to have really thrived after successful the AA on the European Championships up to now 20 years. Ferrari received the European AA in 2007 and adopted up on that success with a bronze medal within the All-Round on the 2007 World Championships. Within the years since she has gone to the Olympics 4 completely different occasions, one thing that has solely occurred on three different events in your entire historical past of girls’s gymnastics.

Ferrari most lately attained fame by successful a medal on flooring train on the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and intends to check out for the 2024 Olympic group.

Anna Pavlova (L), Marine Debauve (C) and Yulia Lozhechko (R)

Marine Debauve (2005)

In 2005 French gymnast Marine Debauve received the European AA title. She was not solely the primary French gymnast to take action, however the first from all of Western Europe. Earlier than then the European AA had been dominated by a small variety of nations from Japanese Europe. Debauve’s victory in 2005 was an early signal that the steadiness of energy in European gymnastics was on the verge of shifting from East to West.

On the 2004 Olympics Marine completed seventh within the AA which was a historic outcome for a French gymnast on the time. Debauve adopted up her success with an AA gold medal on the 2005 European Championships. She had been a World Championships participant at 14 years previous, an Olympian at 15 years previous, and a European All-Round Champion at 16 years previous. With a lot momentum the long run seemed promising for such a younger gymnast.

However what got here subsequent was the 2005 World Championships the place Marine Debauve competed on solely two occasions and did not qualify to Occasion Finals on both equipment. Marine then briefly retired for 2 years solely to make a comeback and efficiently return for the 2008 Olympics. However she didn’t produce significantly excessive scores on the 2008 Olympics and retired once more from creative gymnastics. She then switched to a unique gymnastics self-discipline, tumbling and trampolining (T&T).

Marine Debauve by no means received a medal in creative gymnastics on the Olympic or World Championships stage. However as a pitcher she received a medal on the 2010 T&T World Championships.

Alina Kozich (2004)

From 1992 to 2004 the European All-Round was contested in the identical 12 months because the Olympics. Within the final deliberate occasion of this format* Ukrainian gymnast Alina Kozich pulled off an upset win. On the time Svetlana Khorkina was aiming to grow to be the primary gymnast to win the European AA 4 consecutive occasions. Khorkina carried out strongly throughout bars, beam, and flooring and had the scores to win it. However a fall on vault left her in 4th place.

*This pattern occurred in 2021 as a part of a one-time scheduling quirk on account of Covid-19

This paved the best way for Kozich to grow to be a European All-Round Champion and Alina would have her work minimize out for her if she wished to repeat that stage of success on the upcoming Olympics. Kozich would end eleventh within the Olympic All-Round which was solely a small drop within the standings for her contemplating she had completed eighth within the AA on the 2003 World Championships.

Kozich’s 2004 Olympic All-Round efficiency was really fairly spectacular contemplating she recorded a fall on her beam dismount. Throughout vault, bars, and flooring Kozich was on observe to complete roughly within the #5, #6, or #7 spot within the standings. It’s onerous to argue the curse of the European Championships utilized to Kozich as she clearly remained a robust gymnast after her 2004 victory. However she did have the misfortune of falling in an Olympic AA Finals within the subsequent few months.

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Alina Kozich would compete in each World Championships and Olympics from 2003 to 2009. Her profession contains two Olympic appearances and within the remaining 12 months of her profession Kozich switched nations and represented Uzbekistan. Regardless of the success, she by no means received a medal on the Olympics or World Championships.

Ling Jie (L), Svetlana Khorkina (C) and Yang Yun (R)

Svetlana Khorkina (2002)

Svetlana Khorkina was identified for being probably the most dominant gymnasts within the historical past of the game. In 2002 she received the All-Round on the European Championships and this was certainly not the start of the top for her profession. Khorkina would win the All-Round on the 2003 World Championships and completed in 2nd place on the 2004 Olympics. Khorkina remained a prime All-Arounder for 2 years following her remaining European AA victory in 2002.

However there’s an fascinating component to Khorkina’s profession. From 1994 to 2004 Svetlana Khrokina competed in 12 consecutive Group-1 stage competitions (World Championships and Olympics). Merely showing in that many consecutive competitions is a historic achievement. However Khorkina additionally managed to win a silver or higher in a person occasion on 11 of 12 events.

The one exception was the 2002 World Championships the place she completed seventh on the uneven bars and 4th on beam. It was the one time Khorkina did not win a medal on the World Championships or Olympics in her complete profession.

The 2002 European Championships is the place this unusual and seemingly random curse begins. Such a curse could be inconceivable to use to Khorkina’s AA victories on the European Championships in 1998 and 2000. However beginning in 2002 with Khorkina’s misfortune it began turning into an observable pattern. That on quite a few events, European AA Champions would instantly wrestle in months afterwards.

Both European Champions could be tormented by accidents, or they inexplicably had a considerably decrease placement on the very subsequent World Championships. The pattern didn’t affect each such champion of the final 20 years, however it’s a unusual coincidence that on so many events in latest historical past, successful the European AA would often end in misfortune within the not so distant future.

Hyperlink to Half I

Hyperlink to Half II

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