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Melnikova Wins Junior European Crown
(9 votes, average 4.22 out of 5)

Russia's Angelina Melnikova won the junior all-around gold medal Friday as competition continued at the 2014 Women's European Championships in Sofia. Pictured: All-around champion Melnikova, silver medalist Laura Jurca of Romania (left) and bronze medalist Ellie Downie of Great Britain (right)

Russia's Angelina Melnikova won the junior all-around gold medal Friday as competition continued at the 2014 Women's European Championships in Sofia.

Melnikova, who turns 14 in July, took the all-around title by more than a full point over Romania's Laura Jurca. Great Britain's Ellie Downiewon the bronze, the first European all-around medal for the British women.

Melnikova, the top qualifier from Wednesday's qualification, had the top scores of the day on uneven bars (inside-Stalder Shaposhnikova to Pak; Maloney-half; Tkatchev; full-twisting double; 14.566) and balance beam despite several balance checks and saves (ff, ff to high two-foot layout; ff, ff double tuck dismount; 14.175). After the fourth-best score on floor exercise (tucked full-in; two whips to double tuck; double twist; double pike); Melnikova clinched the title with a double-twisting Yurchenko vault.

Jurca had her highest scores on vault (double-twisting Yurchenko) and balance beam (ff layout, layout; 2 1/2 dismount). She took an extra swing after her Hindorff on uneven bars, but showed beautiful body line and potential on bars.

Downie had the highest scores of the day with 14.800 on vault (big double-twisting Yurchenko). Downie justed edged teammate Catherine Lyons, who finished fourth, for the historic medal.

"It feels incredible," said Downie, the younger sister of 2008 Olympian Becky Downie. "It went right down to the last routine between me and Catherine, we were so close. To hear that I've made history today is amazing. Having Becky and my family in the crowd and all the other British fans really pushed me on. Coming in to the final I knew that if I competed cleanly I would be in with a chance and I managed to stay calm and focus on my job. The juniors and senior have had an amazing championships so far and we still have more to come. For the vault final on Sunday I think I have a chance of doing well and the bars. We'll see what happens, at the moment I'm just taking it all in."

The elegant Lyons, who has caught the eyes of fans for her intriguing choreography on balance beam and floor exercise, said placing fourth was bittersweet.

"I would be lying if I said I wasn't gutted, as fourth is the hardest position to come, but I am so proud of Ellie," Lyons said. "I couldn't have done any more. It’s been a great week and I have Sunday’s beam and floor apparatus finals to look forward too, I’ve posted the highest score today on floor so hopefully if I can repeat that I’ll be in with a chance of a medal."

Russia's Seda Tutkhalyan, who qualified second behind Melnikova on Wednesday, suffered falls on balance beam (round off, layout full) and uneven bars (Maloney) to place seventh.

Competition continues on Saturday in Sofia with the senior team final. On Thursday, Great Britain impressed by qualifying first over Romania and Russia to the eight-nation final.

External Link: Official Website

2014 Women's European Championships
May 16, Sofia, Bulgaria

Junior All-Around FinalVTUBBBFXTotal
1.Angelina Melnikova5.814.5006.114.5666.114.1755.513.86657.107
2.Laura Jurca5.814.7335.412.9335.614.0665.513.96655.698
3.Ellie Downie5.814.8005.213.3665.413.3335.413.83355.332
4.Catherine Lyons5.013.7664.813.2665.514.1665.214.03355.231
5.Maike Enderle5.013.9336.114.3335.313.0665.113.16654.498
6.Andreea Iridon5.013.4005.513.4005.613.2005.313.93353.933
7.Seda Tutkhalyan5.814.3335.712.9005.212.8335.313.86653.932
8.Loan His5.013.9665.813.0334.713.1335.313.76653.898
9.Rune Hermans5.013.3335.513.2665.413.4335.413.73353.765
10.Giada Grisetti5.013.5335.313.4005.213.0505.213.40053.383
11.Anja Schwarz4.413.3665.113.4005.012.9664.813.06652.798
12.Yana Horokhova5.013.4335.012.8335.213.4005.012.80052.466
13.Marine Boyer5.013.6334.912.9005.412.5335.013.23352.299
14.Tabea Alt5.013.7336.014.3004.911.7335.012.13351.899
15.Pilar Rubagotti5.013.4334.812.3665.312.8005.313.20051.799
16.Wendy De Jong5.013.5335.013.1335.012.1664.912.90051.732
17.Sofia Busato5.312.8335.412.7664.912.0665.013.26650.931
18.Emmy Haavisto4.413.0665.113.2664.811.7334.912.60050.665
19.Zsofia Kovacs4.212.7755.412.3665.112.8334.912.56650.540
20.Ellen Haavisto4.413.0005.112.4004.911.9334.913.03350.366
21.Veronika Cenkova4.412.8664.111.7005.212.5335.012.86649.965
22.Casey Bell4.613.3414.911.9664.612.2664.612.33349.906
23.Boglarka Devai5.013.7004.311.8664.112.0004.912.33349.899
24.Axelle Klinckaert2.49.8335.012.4005.613.7665.213.63349.632
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