Jesolo 2016: The Olympic Year is Here

8:59 PM Arabian Punch Front 1 Comments

To recap Jesolo, we have Ele of elisaminimeneghini who was in attendance. Here's her perspective on the junior performance.

This year’s City of Jesolo Trophy has been one of the most anticipated competitions of the year and it definitely didn’t disappoint the expectations. The opening ceremony reminded everyone that this is the Olympic year, through a really well choreographed metaphor of the gymnasts from all over the world striving to reach Olympic glory, in the form of five girls dressed in the colors of the Olympic rings and dancing around row upon row of gymnasts wearing the green, white, and red colors of the Italian flag, and flag bearers carrying the flags of the nations taking part in the Jesolo Trophy. It was really dramatic and emotional, the perfect opening chapter for a high-level competition.

The junior all-around competition that took place on the morning of Saturday 19th featured 4 super-star level juniors from the USA: Jordan Chiles, Emma Malabuyo, Gabby Perea and Trinity Thomas. The first three girls had already competed just a few weeks earlier at the Gymnix junior competition in Canada, and, as per everyone’s predictions, they did not disappoint this time either.

Jordan Chiles delivered a really solid performance across all the apparatuses, breaking the total AA score of 58.2 (over two points higher than the silver medalist). The highlight of her competition was definitely her Amanar on vault (which also allowed her to win gold on VT EF the following day, being the only junior capable of this difficult vault). A lot has been said about her performing such a high difficulty element while still being a junior, and I saw her crash it a few times during warm up, making the whole crowd take sharp intakes of breath. Therefore, when her time to go came, I was really nervous. But there was no need to be at all, as she landed one of her best vaults so far, with a nice block, great form in the air, and an upright landing, for a huge 15.7 score. Simply beautiful.

Both Emma Malabuyo and Gabby Perea (respectively, silver and bronze AA medalists) had a very good competition, with Emma being rock solid especially on bars and beam, where she wowed the audience with her lovely lines and flexibility. Her consistency on these events helped her secure a silver medal on bars and a gold medal on beam.

Gabby Perea also delivered a fantastic UB routine, where she qualified in first place for the event final with a 14.65 (event in which she won a gold medal on the following day during EF), and she probably would have reached second place AA if only she had hit beam like she is capable of doing. During her routine on this event, she nailed her tuck standing full and her gorgeous layout, but then she sadly missed her footing while landing after her switch ring leap, straddled the beam, and miraculously prevented herself from putting her feet down, thus not counting a fall. It was really impressive to see her fight so hard and succeed to remain on the apparatus and the audience really appreciated her effort. Despite this mishap, she still scored 13.6 on beam, allowing her access to the final, but once again she had a mistake on her switch half and this time she counted a fall. That was unfortunate, as her beam is probably one of the hardest and she would have had no problem winning gold had she hit, but she is still very young and I am sure this experience will help her gain more confidence and perfect her set.

Trinity Thomas completed the US junior lineup and she was definitely the less experienced gymnast on the team. This led her to make a few mistakes on bars and beam, but her floor was really entertaining and her high D-score (5.8) coupled with her clean form and high tumbling helped her qualify for finals where she won the gold medal. In the AA she ended up in fifth place, because precious Ana Padurariu from Canada outscored her finishing up in 4th place helped by an absolutely fantastic beam routine that scored 14.850, with a 6.1 D-score. The highlight of Padurariu's routine was the triple acro series featuring a side-aerial to two layout step-outs which was really solid during AA but which she sadly fell on during EF. Her floor was also really enjoyable and nicely performed, with her lovely smile making everything look way more effortless than it really was.

The first Italian junior in the final ranking was 2003 born Giorgia Villa. This young gymnast is a very promising all-arounder and it is a shame for Italy that she will not be age-eligible for the junior European Championships, later this year. She and Martina Maggio were in the same rotation as the American girls and you could definitely tell they were both in awe of them and terrified to go up after them on the apparatuses. They tried not to look at the super talented US gymnasts before their turn, probably to avoid losing confidence and staying concentrated, and this makes Giorgia’s performance even more impressive. She especially impressed on uneven bars, where she executed a mostly clean 5.7 D routine (a really great start value for any Italian gymnast, let alone a junior), that allowed her to qualify for the final where she placed third, right behind Perea, Chiles and Malabuyo (the latter two tied for silver).

Speaking of the junior Italians, Martina Maggio was undoubtedly the most successful of them all. She had a great day, qualifying into three finals where she proceeded to secure three medals (silver on VT and BB, and bronze on FX). Her beam is lovely and solid, she recently upgraded her vault to a Yurchenko 1 ½, and her floor choreography is sassy and capable of engaging the audience. She was born in 2001 and, barring injuries, she’ll have no problems making the junior Euros team.

All the Italian juniors showed promising routines, even though some of them made mistakes that prevented them from accessing to the finals. Elisa Iorio has a difficult 5.8 D bars routine, and Martina Basile has a lovely double Arabian on floor, a Yurchenko 1 ½ and a layout to two feet on beam. Last but not least, Francesca Noemi Linari hit all of her routines, making three EFs and ending up in fourth place on beam.

It was lovely to see the young gymnasts from other countries as well. Helene Schaefer (Pauline’s sister) from Germany looks really promising and with her clean work she went home with an important bronze on beam. Canadian Jade Chrobok has lots of potential on VT (where she earned a bronze) and FX. The young Slovenian and Finnish girls still need some time to be competitive, but it was still great to see them taking part in an important international competition and see how ecstatic they were to be there. All the juniors in general looked very star-struck looking up to the seniors (especially the Americans) and patiently waited at the end of the competition for them to sign their autographs and take pictures with them, just like all the other gym fans in the audience. It was really heartwarming to see!

Stay tuned for the senior recap!

1 comment :

  1. For those who missed the livestream… Use pop up blocker..