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Russian Women Rally to European Title
(6 votes, average 3.67 out of 5)

Russia recaptured the senior team title Saturday evening as the 2016 Women's European Gymnastics Championships continued in Bern, Switzerland. Pictured: Russians Aliya Mustafina, Ksenia Afanasyeva, Angelina Melnikova, Daria Spiridionova, and Seda Tutkhalyan

Russia recaptured the senior team title Saturday evening as the 2016 Women's European Gymnastics Championships continued in Bern, Switzerland.

Second to Great Britain in Thursday's qualification, the Russian women added 2 points to their team total to top the British by just under 5 points, 175.212 to 170.312. France took the bronze with 168.496.

The Russian women, who last won the European team title in 2010, improved their score on every event in the final. The team outscored the field on every event except floor exercise, where the British were on top. Angelina Melnikova competed all four events and hit under pressure in her first major senior start. Two-time Olympian Ksenia Afanasyeva, who was pulled from the floor lineup over concerns about her ankle, delivered on vault (14.916). Aliya Mustafina once again stepped up as team leader, turning in the top score on balance beam (14.800, tied with Melnikova) and second-best score on uneven bars (15.333). World uneven bars champion Daria Spiridonova, who missed a connection in qualification, nailed her routine this time for 15.366 (inside Stalder, Komova II, Pak, Maloney; inside Stalder-blind to piked Jaeger; toe-on full to stuck full-twisting double).

Seda Tutkhalyan, who substituted for an injured Maria Paseka, once again fell off balance beam but hit vault and floor exercise. Mustafina, though clearly not fully recovered from last year's knee surgery, turned in a decent third score on floor (2 1/2 to piked front, out of bounds; 1 1/2 to front full; double tuck) to clinch the title for Russia.

"We're thrilled, very happy that everything worked out for us today," Mustafina said. "We did it. Each medal is very special for me! I'm very happy, of course, but for the Olympics this is not enough. I've prepared bars and beam well, but I'm not ready on floor exercise — I just went out to help the team. To be honest, I did not look at the scores, no matter what. The other girls did great; Gelya (Melnikova) was brilliant, she pulled herself together and did not flinch, and did it all."

Top qualifier Great Britain had an off day, with four falls. On uneven bars, Ruby Harrold missed her opening combo of Maloney, back urpise, Tkatchev and then missed her feet on a toe-on. On beam, Claudia Fragapane fell again and Becky Downie fell twice (punch front; ff layout). Despite their advantage over Russia on floor exercise, the British were unable to pull ahead in the last rotation, needing three scores above 16.000 to take the title. Ellie Downie and Gabby Jupp were a bright spot, both hitting two routines each, but as a team the British dropped 3 points from qualification.

"It's amazing to win the silver medal, but there's also mixed emotions as we know we could have performed even better," Becky Downie said. "Coming in to the final we were dreaming of the gold but a few mistakes cost us today, and that's something we will learn from. Every girl tried their hardest and put everything in to it so there are no regrets. The fact there are those mixed emotions show how far we have come, when we won silver in 2014 we were all amazed and delighted. It just shows how much we've grown as a team and how much our ambitions have developed."

Sixth in qualification, an overjoyed French team won the bronze, improving their team score by more than 5.5 points. The French shone on uneven bars, where they scored second to Russia thanks to Loan His's 14.633 and Alison Lepin's 14.600 (6.6D). Marine Brevet and Marine Boyer each competed three events to put France back on the podium for the first time since 2008, when they were also third.

Switzerland, third in qualification, fell short of their goal of a first European women's team medal. The team had several strong scores but one blown routine on uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. Giulia Steingruber's 15.591 on vault was the highest score of the day, and she also outscored everyone on floor exercise with 15.033.

Italy, third in 2012, finished fifth. Two-time defending champion Romania finished sixth despite Cătălina Ponor's herculean efforts (15.066 on vault; 14.600 on beam and 14.566 on floor exercise). Germany finished seventh while Hungary, happy to be in the final after placing 13th two years ago, finished eighth.

Competition concludes Sunday with the junior and senior apparatus finals.

External Link: Official Website

2016 Women's European Gymnastics Championships
June 4, Bern, Switzerland

Senior Team Final VTUBBBFXTotal
1.  Russian Federation44.715(1)45.665(1)43.233(1)41.599(2)175.212
Ksenia Afanasyeva5.814.916
Angelina Melnikova5.814.8336.414.9666.214.8005.914.133
Aliya Mustafina6.515.3336.114.8005.313.466
Seda Tutkhalyan5.814.9666.213.6335.914.000
Daria Spiridonova6.715.366
2.  Great Britain 44.599(2)42.615(4)39.899(6)43.199(1)170.312
Becky Downie6.415.0665.912.533
Ellie Downie5.815.1006.114.433
Claudia Fragapane5.814.7336.213.2666.514.833
Ruby Harrold5.814.7666.213.1665.613.933
Gabby Jupp6.114.3836.014.100
3.  France 42.799(6)43.499(2)40.866(3)41.332(5)168.496
Marine Boyer5.814.7336.114.3335.513.900
Marine Brevet5.014.1665.713.7335.413.766
Loan His6.314.633
Oréane Léchenault5.013.9006.414.2665.412.8005.213.666
Alison Lepin6.614.600
4.  Switzerland 43.291(5)40.099(7)40.766(4)41.565(3)165.721
Caterina Barloggio5.113.5334.912.766
Thea Brogli5.014.000
Ilaria Käslin5.013.7005.212.5335.714.3335.513.766
Stefanie Siegenthaler5.113.433
Giulia Steingruber6.215.5915.814.1335.912.9006.215.033
5.  Italy 43.540(4)40.665(6)41.433(2)39.933(7)165.571
Sofia Busato5.814.783
Enus Mariani5.814.1665.613.7335.312.500
Elisa Meneghini5.314.2666.314.5005.613.700
Lara Mori5.613.9335.413.2005.613.733
Martina Rizzelli5.814.4916.112.566
6.  Romania 43.565(3)39.066(8)40.500(5)41.465(4)164.596
Anda Butuc5.213.2334.813.000
Maria Holbură5.013.7335.113.1005.612.9005.713.633
Anamaria Ocolișan5.814.7665.612.7335.313.266
Cătălina Ponor5.815.0665.914.6006.014.566
Silvia Zarzu
7.  Germany 41.265(8)43.399(3)38.599(7)40.566(6)163.829
Kim Bui5.014.0336.314.8665.413.4665.413.666
Maike Enderle5.814.2005.712.633
Amelie Föllinger5.613.500
Lina Philipp5.013.9665.914.3335.113.400
Sarah Voss5.813.2665.512.500
8.  Hungary 42.748(7)41.866(5)38.416(8)39.732(8)162.762
Dorina Böczögő5.014.0164.913.3334.812.9835.613.466
Julianna Csányi
Luca Divéky4.813.7664.912.5334.812.866
Zsófia Kovács5.814.9665.914.5005.712.9005.513.400
Noémi Makra6.114.033
Comments (1)add comment

Rachel T said:

Phenomenal Steingruber
If you look at Steingruber's scores, it just shows you how phenomenal she is against the competition. Shame she didn't medal here as she deserves it!
June 05, 2016
Votes: +0

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