Monday, October 3, 2022
HomeGymnasticsThe 10 Small-Program Juniors Who Stunned in Europe This Summer

The 10 Small-Program Juniors Who Stunned in Europe This Summer


Anna Lashchevska

A lot occurred on the two huge junior European meets this summer season, the European Youth Olympic Competition, or EYOF, in July adopted by European Championships a few weeks later. Whereas there was a lot happening on the high of the sphere – Helen Kevric’s dominance, the Romanian resurgence, and Italy showcasing a superb younger technology of latest abilities, to call just a few – there have been additionally loads happening among the many smaller packages at each competitions, and I’m excited to speak about just a few of my favorites.

1. Elina Grawin, Sweden

After successful quite a few medals and exhibiting attractive traces and exquisite expertise at some smaller worldwide meets in 2021, it’s been clear for some time now that Grawin is Sweden’s finest up-and-comer, although some decrease problem and an inconsistency that saved her from placing collectively a totally strong efficiency didn’t actually make her a high contender going into EYOF or Euros.

However every part got here collectively for Grawin in her EYOF all-around efficiency, the place she earned a private finest 50.350 after exhibiting attractive work on bars, beam, and flooring, and although her Yurchenko pike on vault wasn’t tough sufficient for her to sneak onto the rostrum at only a 3.2 SV, she had a strong touchdown and ended up in sixth place. Extra importantly, she adopted up her success right here with one other nice efficiency at Euros. She nonetheless completed tenth all-around regardless of not being at one hundred percent that day, and she or he certified to each the bars and flooring finals, ending fourth and sixth, respectively.

Stylistically, she’s considered one of my absolute favourite junior performers proper now, and with the present group of Swedish seniors doing phenomenal work proper now on the worldwide scene, Grawin goes to make for an incredible addition subsequent 12 months, particularly if she will be able to add to what she’s already doing.


2. Anna Lashchevska, Ukraine

Just like my expertise watching Grawin this season, nothing Lashchevska did earlier within the season gave me any actual indication that she could be one to observe at EYOF or Euros. Although she had just a few glimmers of brilliance in some routines, some inconsistent performances held her again from actually exhibiting what she was able to, however like Grawin, she was clearly saving her finest for EYOF.

Laschevska’s finest routines there got here on bars and beam, her beam considered one of my favourite junior units on the map proper now, and it was superb to see her do every part in her energy to win the title at Euros after getting the silver at EYOF! Her routine features a swap half to again handspring, entrance handspring to entrance tuck (normally with one of many higher connections I’ve seen – fast and clear with out being rushed), aerials, a swap ring, and a clear double full, and when she’s at her finest, she’s so aggressively strong, whereas not sacrificing fluidity, actually the very best of each worlds.

Although she missed the all-around podiums, she acquired shut at each meets, ending fourth at EYOF and fifth at Euros, with vault simply holding her again from tackling gymnasts from larger packages. She additionally completed fourth on bars and gained a bronze medal within the blended pairs occasion at EYOF, and she or he was eighth on flooring at Euros as effectively.

3. Samira Raffin, Switzerland

I cherished watching each of the Raffin twins – Kiara, the Swiss junior champion, competed alongside her sister at each EYOF and Euros and can be fabulous – however am calling out Samira particularly for the extent of execution she confirmed at EYOF, the place she confirmed principally lower-difficulty but terribly tidy routines on each equipment, and regardless of a fall on beam within the all-around competitors, it was an in any other case wonderful routine, incomes a 7.0 E-score even with the error! Had she not fallen, she would have counted an 8.0+ E on each occasion that day, one thing just one gymnast managed.

Raffin ended up eleventh all-around at EYOF, making the ground closing, the place she completed sixth with a 12.500, whereas at Euros, she struggled with errors on bars and beam within the all-around competitors, inserting twenty third, although she had the second-best flooring execution of the competitors (out of 97 routines!), qualifying into the ultimate once more and ending seventh.

The Swiss program is determined for younger expertise to climb into the senior ranks, and Raffin has a brilliant strong basis that may come in useful as she begins including extra problem to meet up with the present seniors. I feel each she and her twin have potential to develop into extremely sturdy opponents and add depth to the Swiss crew sooner or later.

4. Nazanin Teymurova, Azerbaijan

I first noticed Teymurova on beam on the Ukraine Worldwide Cup final 12 months, the place she fell, however the remainder of her routine was so sensible, I immediately fell in love with the ability and finesse in her gymnastics, particularly on vault, beam, and flooring. She has a superb tumbling capacity (her flooring passes embrace a full-in, 2½ to entrance tuck, and double tuck) and actually exact work on beam, the place her execution scores even with falls are higher than many gymnasts can get with hit routines (like Raffin, she had a 7.0 E-score on beam with a fall, and sure would have gone 13+ with successful).

Proper now, bars is an issue space for Teymurova, as is consistency, with a lot of her routines going tremendous effectively till the autumn comes, which is such a bummer. With a totally hit efficiency, she’d be up round a 49-50 all-around program, able to matching each top-eight junior all-arounder in Europe proper now, however the errors maintain her again a bit, as she completed twenty first at EYOF with a 47.600 and thirty fourth at Euros with a 44.465.

Nonetheless, she ended up making the vault finals at each competitions, and she or he positioned fifth in each with averages of 12.833 at EYOF and 12.849 at Euros, performing a clear tsuk full and handspring entrance pike half. As a junior, even when she has nervous errors, she’s nonetheless outperforming her program’s high senior gymnasts, and I feel she’ll have the very best shot at changing into Azerbaijan’s subsequent Olympian, and the nation’s first born and raised within the nation.

5. Yali Shoshani, Israel

Although Shoshani isn’t one of many gymnasts on this record with excessive scoring potential or spectacular problem given her age, the Israeli junior nationwide champion had a number of the most pleasant routines at each of the massive meets this summer season, and I merely cherished watching her carry out even figuring out she wasn’t going to be preventing to make any podiums or finals.

Shoshani completed thirty fifth all-around at EYOF, after which improved her rating to twenty eighth at Euros, the place she scored a forty five.898. Her execution isn’t all the time the sharpest, however she has some beautiful expertise – together with a really good full Y activate beam – and her flooring routine is so entertaining. First, she has Abba music, which makes her an automated favourite, however she performs it so effectively, with a stage of expression in her dance and choreography that made this considered one of my favourite routines of the competitors (I want the under video was close-up so you might get a greater impression, however she is rarely not performing, and it’s fabulous to witness).

Slightly little bit of clean-up in just a few areas in addition to some elevated problem may take her to this point, however at simply 13, she has loads of time to maintain getting stronger.

6. Athanasia Mesiri, Greece

It’s been fairly a while since we’ve seen a junior gymnast from Greece make the transition to changing into a powerful senior competitor, however my cash is on Mesiri for being the subsequent to make it to greater ranges. Ending thirty seventh at EYOF, Mesiri made just a few enhancements to climb to twenty second at Euros, the place she scored a 47.065.

Her ability stage is fairly sturdy already, together with a transparent hip to Tkachev and Pak on bars, entrance handspring entrance tuck sequence on beam, and beautiful work on flooring, the place she has a powerful dance capacity, together with an superior sequence of linked turns into one of many corners, in addition to a superb straddle bounce out of a again structure tumbling line.

Mesiri turns into a senior subsequent 12 months, and together with her Euros rating on par with juniors from Spain, Switzerland, Hungary, and different nations which are historically stronger than Greece, I’m actually hoping she might be the one to assist put Greece again on the map for this sport. Scores apart, she has a lot seen expertise and potential, and I’m very excited to see what else she will be able to do.

7. Lucia Dobrocka, Slovakia

Going into EYOF, hosted on house soil for Dobrocka, this gymnast was one I hoped could be a standout competitor after she competed extremely effectively at just a few smaller meets within the earlier half of the season, and she or he didn’t disappoint, changing into a star for the house crowd as she nailed routine after routine to place up a few of Slovakia’s best-ever outcomes.

Dobrocka is the sort of gymnast with no weak spot, with expertise and routines throughout all 4 apparatuses which are tidy and strong. With a totally hit efficiency at EYOF, Dobrocka completed ninth all-around with a 49.550, sandwiched between the highest two Italian opponents, and she or he additionally helped the crew to ninth place – huge for Slovakia, which didn’t qualify any seniors to worlds this 12 months – along with incomes reserve spots for the bars (ninth with a 12.6) and beam (eleventh with a 12.35) finals, and ending seventh within the blended pairs competitors alongside Oliver Kasala.

At Euros, Dobrocka completed nineteenth with a 47.266 after a miss on bars within the all-around competitors, however she ended up entering into the vault closing as a reserve, ending eighth with a 12.483, and she or he once more helped Slovakia to an ideal crew rating, with the juniors ending up in thirteenth.

8. Sara Jacobsen, Denmark

Due to vault, the Danish gymnasts have been rising on the worldwide scene over the previous couple of years, with larger success at each the senior and junior ranges attributed to the unimaginable advances they’re making on this equipment.

One of many juniors on the rise together with this system is Sara Jacobsen, a 15-year-old who competes an enormous Yurchenko 1½, which helped her end twenty fifth all-around at EYOF, the place she additionally certified third into the vault closing after which captured the bronze medal after hitting each the 1½ and a very good Yurchenko full.

Although she’s usually tremendous constant right here, additionally successful the junior title at Nordic Championships the place she helped Denmark to its first-ever Nordic crew title, she sadly sat her try at Euros, holding her again to nineteenth on the occasion in {qualifications} and thirty ninth within the all-around. I’m not too apprehensive about this one mishap, nevertheless – she has the ability to improve to a Yurchenko double, which I count on we’ll see within the subsequent 12 months or so, and she or he must be a part of each main crew as soon as she reaches the senior ranks in 2023, together with her highly effective work on flooring additionally going to be essential for this system.

9. Mila Prpic, Croatia

With the entire chaos that was EYOF {qualifications} – streamed on a gradual cam with a fowl’s eye view of the whole area – I missed just about every part Prpic did there, the place she completed thirtieth all-around with a forty five.150. However fortunately, I didn’t miss her at Euros, the place her beam particularly stood out to me as a wow routine on the competitors.

Prpic will need to have had some errors at EYOF, the place she completed thirtieth with a forty five.150, however a few weeks later, she reached a 47.199 to complete twentieth, thanks largely to an honest Yurchenko full on vault, after which her wonderful beam set, the place she confirmed a clear and regular acro sequence, aspect aerial, swap leap to sissone, aspect somi, and entrance structure full dismount for a 12.033, placing her in twentieth place.

She doesn’t have the best problem and she or he may use some finesse right here and there, however I discovered her to be actually pleasant with numerous room to develop. (Sadly, the one video I may discover for Prpic was her EYOF flooring routine, which is sweet and value a glance, however I want I may discover her beam from Euros!)

10. Czech Republic

So I’m sort of dishonest right here, however the entire juniors from the Czech Republic have been completely beautiful this season. They first stood out to me after they completed seventh as a crew at EYOF, the place in addition they certified all three athletes into equipment finals, with all three ending in seventh place, together with Alice Vlkova on vault, Vanesa Masova on bars, and Sona Artamonova on beam.

The crew then elevated its standing to sixth place at junior Euros, with two gymnasts ending within the high 16 all-around, together with a formidable seventh-place end for Vlkova, who additionally completed seventh in her second vault closing. For comparability, at EYOF in 2019, the crew completed twenty first and the highest all-arounder was fiftieth, whereas at junior Euros in 2018, they have been nineteenth as a crew and the highest all-arounder completed fifty fifth.

Past their huge accomplishments, they only regarded improbable, with actually beautiful and sometimes superior expertise for his or her stage. I feel I particularly love Artamonova, who’s simply wonderful on beam and flooring, however they’re all supremely proficient and I used to be so fortunately shocked to see them accomplish that effectively at each competitions after the Czech junior program has struggled a bit over the previous 5 or so years.

Article by Lauren Hopkins



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