On Sunday Sandra Izbasa obtained the gold medal and Diana Chelaru the silver medal in the women’s floor event
One day before Izbasa had a brilliant victory in the women’s vault event, winning gold in the first day of the finals at the European Championships 2011 in Berlin. It was the second European title for Romania after the one won by Flavius Koczi in the floor event.
Germany’s Oksana Chusovitina (36) had set the initial reference grade in the vault event but eventually she had to be content with winning only silver. Switzerland’s Ariella Kaeslin won bronze with 14.475 points.
“It’s my first vault final in 5 years. It’s a medal that raises our expectations in this event in future competitions. (…) I need an even better jump at the World Championships and the Olympic Games because there will be competitors from all over the world, not just from Europe,” Sandra Izbasa stated for Agerpres after the competition.
In her turn, Romania’s Amelia Racea won bronze in the all-round individual event, defeating her teammate Diana Chelaru, one of the top favorites. This was Racea’s second European medal after the gold medal she won in the balance beam event in 2010.
In the men’s competition Romania’s Flavius Koczi won gold in the floor event, shortly after winning silver in the all-round individual event. Koczi stated for Agerpres that the silver medal won on Friday helped him find his inner peace and calmly tackle Saturday’s floor final. “I had won a medal and I was no longer nervous. I was calm even after seeing the other competitors’ high grades – 15.300 and 15.400. I said to myself I’ll win only if I’m calm and it worked,” the Romanian champion stated after the competition.
Ioan Suciu, head coach of the men’s team, pointed out that Flavius Koczi’s exceptional performance is auspicious in view of the men’s main test – the World Championship in Tokyo where the top 8 teams qualify for the Olympic Games 2012.
“Flavius is the uncontestable European champion in the all-round individual event in my opinion too. He lost the title by a tiny margin, but we carry on. Anyway, I believe it’s an exceptional result for Flavius, for us, the men’s gymnastics team,” Ioan Suciu stated after the floor event final.
British Beth Tweddle claimed uneven bars gold for the fourth time in her career as she unveiled a new routine at the European Gymnastics Championships in Berlin, according to Eurosport.
World champion Tweddle, who will look to win an unprecedented third consecutive floor title on Sunday, looked off her best in qualifying but was unerring when it mattered, picking up a 15.100 score from judges. “The main feeling is relief,” she said. “I knew what I needed to do and although it wasn’t perfect it was good enough. I had a long wait to compete and hadn’t even touched the bars for an hour so I was very anxious to get going.
British team-mate Dan Purvis, a floor bronze medallist at last year’s European and World Championships, failed to return to the podium following his all-around bronze 24 hours earlier.
World all-around gymnastics champion Aliya Mustafina will not defend her title at this year’s championships after tearing knee ligaments.
Mustafina, 16, suffered the injury after a botched landing in the vault at the European championships in Berlin on Friday.
“She has torn cruciate ligaments in her left knee, meaning she’ll definitely miss the world championships,” coach Alexander Alexandrov said for Eurosport.
Alexandrov said Mustafina would likely have surgery next week in Germany.
Mustafina was a star at last year’s world championships in Rotterdam, where she led the Russian women to their first global team title since 1991 before upstaging China’s Olympic champion Jiang Yuyuan to win the all-around crown.
This year’s world championships are due to take place in Tokyo in October, with the International Gymnastics Federation deciding next month whether Japan will host the competition following the deadly earthquake and tsunami.