Great Britain’s Joe Fraser strides past recent foot injury to win all-around gold at European Championships

Written by John Crumlish for International Gymnast Online

Thursday, August 18, 2022

A month and a day after fracturing his right foot, British gymnast Joe Fraser stepped with poise and a bit of bewilderment to the top of the award podium as the senior all-around gold medalist at the men’s European Championships that began Thursday in Munich.

“I always said this will be my one big story one day,” said Fraser of his victory over silver medalist Ahmet Onder of Turkey and bronze medalist Adem Asil of Turkey. “I don’t know if I actually believed it. I think I liked the idea of it. I made it a reality.”

The 23-year-old Fraser’s win came soon after the Commonwealth Games held June 29-August 2 in his birth city of Birmingham, where his foot injury prevented him from competing in the all-around. He won three golds (team, pommel horse and parallel bars), but did not perform on floor exercise and vault, in Birmingham.

“It’s hard to believe that four weeks ago tomorrow I fractured my foot and was unable to do six apparatus as much as I tried to get back for the Commonwealth Games,” said Fraser, who also underwent an emergency appendectomy in May. “In hindsight I’m glad that I took myself out of that competition (for the all-around) because now I was able to do six apparatus. Maybe not quite to the best of my ability, but good enough to be European champion.”

Onder, 27, earned the first Europeans all-around medal of his career in a worthy performance that he credited to his ever-growing self-assurance and composure. He was fifth all-around at the 2019 Europeans, fourth all-around at the 2021 Europeans and fifth all-around at the 2021 World Championships.

“In the past, I would always be stressed and excited in the all-around final because of the lack of confidence and also because (of) my strong opponents,” said Onder, who qualified eighth to the all-around final at last summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, where a shoulder injury forced him to withdraw after three apparatus. “That made me lose points. But I have improved myself over the years. I have more confidence and during competitions I manage to keep myself calm.”

Asil said he was satisfied with his all-around bronze despite a less than stellar routine on his third apparatus, and more than satisfied with his team’s second-place ranking in Thursday’s qualifications for the team final on Sunday.

“I had some trouble today with high bar, but I kept going,” said Asil, who last year placed 15th all-around at the Olympic Games and 11th all-around at Worlds. “This is a very good day for Turkey. It really is a historic day for us. We showed everyone, the world, that Turkey is coming.”

Fraser’s all-around dominance steered Great Britain to the top of the team rankings in qualifications for Sunday’s team final. The top eight teams in Thursday’s qualifications advanced to the team final, and the top 13 teams qualified for this fall’s World Championships in Liverpool.

“We know the medals can come,” said Fraser of British prospects in Munich. “We just have to deliver the routines. We’re not focused on the end result. We’re focusing on routines. We know we can achieve things, like today.”

Joining Great Britain in the team final will be Turkey, Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany and Hungary, who ranked second through eighth, respectively.

Also advancing to Liverpool were Ukraine, Romania, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria, who ranked ninth through 13th, respectively.

The next three teams – Finland, Norway and Israel – were within 0.10 point of one another, and all were 0.401 or less from 13th place.

Thursday’s competition also served as qualifications for the apparatus finals that will take place Sunday.

Top qualifiers per apparatus were Fraser on pommel horse and parallel bars, Nicola Bartolini of Italy on floor exercise, Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece on still rings, Artur Davtyan of Armenia on vault and Marios Georgiou of Cyprus on horizontal bar.

Competition in Munich continues Friday with the junior team final, junior all-around final and qualifications for the junior apparatus finals.

2022 Men’s European Championships
Munich, Germany

Senior All-Around Final (August 18):

  1. Joe Fraser GBR 85.565
  2. Ahmet Onder TUR 85.131
  3. Adem Asil TUR 84.465
  4. Joel Plata ESP 83.731
  5. Noe Seifert SUI 83.031
  6. Krisztofer Meszaros HUN 82.999
  7. Loreno Minh Casali ITA 82.531
  8. Jake Jarman GBR 82.465
  9. Lukas Dauser GER 82.164
  10. Nicola Bartolini ITA 82.098
  11. Illia Kovtun UKR 81.997
  12. Leo Saladino FRA 81.631
  13. Sofus Heggemsnes NOR 81.431
  14. Nicolau Mir ESP 81.233
  15. Ivan Tikhonov AZE 81.199
  16. Gabriel Burtanete ROU 80.732
  17. Razvan-Denis Marc ROU 80.299
  18. Krisztian Balazs HUN 80.264
  19. David Huddleston BUL 79.864
  20. Marco Pfyl SUI 79.798
  21. Robert Kirmes FIN 76.698
  22. Elias Koski FIN 76.698*
  23. David Rumbutis SWE 79.565
  24. Dominick Cunningham IRL 79.520

*tie broken by Kirmes’ higher total of his top five apparatus scores

International Gymnast Online’s recent coverage of men’s 2022 European Championships competitors includes:

Albania:

Albania’s Petrov: ‘In The Final, Everything Was Different’

Albania’s Matvei Petrov: ‘For gold maybe I have to be in perfect shape’

Armenia:

Armenia’s Artur Davtyan: ‘The landings basically decided everything’

Vahagn Davtyan’s vow: ‘to work on myself more and more’

Austria:

Austrian Champion Benda Flexes Towards Olympic Berth

Austria’s Vinzenz Höck: ‘I hope I will reach my peak at the Paris Olympics’

Belgium:

Torn Achilles tendon won’t sidetrack Belgium’s Noah Kuavita from new goals

Belgium’s Luka van den Keybus: ‘Being the leader makes me a better gymnast and human’

Croatia:

Croatia’s Tin Srbic: ‘I said to myself, ‘We go all in’’

Srbic Urges Quarantined Gymnasts To ‘Think About Their Goals and Dreams’

Croatia’s Mateo Žugec on first Challenge Cup medal: ‘Everything is possible in the final’

Finland:

Finland’s Emil Soravuo: ‘I have to give 100% commitment to challenge the world’s best’

Great Britain:

Great Britain’s Joe Fraser: ‘It’s been one hell of a journey’

GB’s James Hall: ‘I’m now the strongest and fittest I’ve ever been’

Australia’s Godwin and England’s Jarman take all-around gold, England sweeps team titles at Commonwealth Games

Great Britain’s Giarnni Regini-Moran: ‘I can’t ask for more’

Greece:

Greece’s Eleftherios Petrounias: ‘I have my kids in my mind’

“I’m Confident Humanity Will Stay Strong,” Says Petrounias

Israel:

Israel’s Dolgopyat: ‘It is the best gift for my country’

Israelis Raz and Indig win open all-around gold, Israel and U.S. top team standings at Maccabiah Games

Israel’s Myakinin: ‘I Can Compete Seriously in Future Competitions with the Strongest Gymnasts’

Norway:

Norway’s Heggemsnes on Tokyo 2020: ‘The Emotion Took Me’

Sweden:

Sweden’s David Rumbutis: ‘In Today’s Terms, I Want To Be THE Rumbutis’

Turkey:

Turkey’s Arican: ‘This is a really big, big, big medal’

Turkey’s Ahmet Onder: ‘My time will come; I know this’

Arican Credits Post-COVID Europeans Gold To “A Single Word – Dedication”

Turkey’s Arican: ‘I am ready and conscious like never before’

Ukraine:

Ukraine’s Illia Kovtun: ‘God is with us and the truth is on our side’

Ukraine’s Kovtun completes series sweep at World Cup of Baku

Germany’s Kevric and Ukraine’s Stelmakh win all-around, Romania and Italy teams triumph at EYOF

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