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Success At Recent Europeans Gives Kaeslin ‘Much Motivation’
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Veteran Swiss gymnast Ilaria Kaeslin told IG that her success at the recent European Championships inspired her for competitions to come.

“To see the good level from the other nations motivates me a lot,” said Kaeslin, who finished fourth on balance beam and 20th all-around at Europeans that took place April 10-14 in Szczecin, Poland. “Also, to make two finals gave me much motivation.”

For the third time in her career, Kaeslin came close to a Europeans medal on balance beam. She placed fourth on balance beam at the 2016 Europeans in Bern, Switzerland, and fifth on balance beam at last year’s Europeans in Glasgow, Scotland.

Kaeslin, who was 0.067 points shy of third place on balance beam in Szczecin, said she understands what improvements she will need to make for a podium finish going forward.

“I have to work more on the dismount and on the stability of my connections,” she said.

Assessing her performance in the all-around final, Kaeslin gave herself a mixed review.

“The all-around final was not bad,” said Kaeslin, who placed 13th all-around at the 2013 Europeans in Moscow and 14th all-around at the 2017 Europeans in Cluj-Napoja, Romania. “I did my best, but my floor routine and bars routine weren't so good. On floor I didn't finish the pirouette turn and on bars I made a mistake.”

As Swiss superstar Giulia Steingruber continues to recover from injury, the 21-year-old Kaeslin said she is modestly assuming the extra responsibility that comes with her seniority.

“I don't feel a big difference of pressure, because I always want to make good results,” she said. “My role in the team is the same as before. Giulia is always in training with the Swiss team. She is the captain. I'm just one of the oldest of the team, and I'm present if there is some questions or problems. At the Europeans, the other two Swiss gymnasts were only 16, and I tried to help if there were some questions.”

Kaeslin’s next goal is a credible performance at this fall’s World Championships in Stuttgart. She said her team, like many others, has the potential there to earn a berth to next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The top three teams from the 2018 Worlds in Doha, plus nine additional teams from the 2019 Worlds, will advance to Tokyo. Switzerland finished 21st in Doha, about 6.965 points away from 12th place.

Preparation and confidence will be keys to a solid Swiss showing in Stuttgart, Kaeslin said.

“We want to be in the top 12, but it will be really difficult,” she told IG. “All nations have the same goal, to go to the Olympics, and I think that we have to work really hard if we want to achieve this place. It will be difficult, but the first important thing is to believe we can do it.”

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