Host team Italy brought home the gold at the Novara Cup meet this afternoon with no problems, earning a 222.45 to best the silver medalists from Spain by about eight points. Belgium earned bronze, and Sweden was fourth.
Though this was a team competition only with no all-around award component, Vanessa Ferrari and Erika Fasana of Italy led the standings, followed by Roxana Popa of Spain in third. Ferrari also had top scores on beam and floor, while Popa had the strongest vault and Sweden’s Jonna Adlerteg was best on bars.
Unfortunately, Maria Paula Vargas was injured on bars and couldn’t compete on beam for the Spanish team. Sweden sent only five members instead of six due to an injury to Ida Gustaffsson; though Ece Ayan was to go as her replacement, she competed at the Bosphorus Tournament in Turkey instead.
The Italians had a good day, despite a slightly rough beginning on beam they had two falls on beam, from Elisa Meneghini on her sheep jump and Martina Rizzelli on her Y turn. It wasn’t the best outing here, but I was impressed with Lavinia Marongiu’s work.
Marongiu surprised me overall, hitting a great floor routine (complete with a piked full-in, double back, double full, and double pike) as well as an FTY (slightly piked) and a solid bars set where she showed a nice Tkatchev and double layout dismount. She earned a 54.2 in the all-around, coming in fifth place ahead of both Rizzelli and Meneghini after their beam falls.
There were no major problems on floor, vault, or bars, though Ferrari did look a little rough around the edges, landing her double double out of bounds, showing bent knees on her DTY, and hitting bars but with form that was all over the place.
I enjoyed Lara Mori’s whip to triple on floor as well as her clean FTY on vault, and I thought Fasana showed a nice bars set, where she hit a nice Ray and double layout for a 13.85. Italy overall showed that they are more than prepared for Worlds. I think Ferrari will be able to clean up a bit, and if everyone stays on beam they should perform very well in the team final.
In addition to their full team, Italy also had Giorgia Campana and Sofia Bonistalli compete as individuals so they could show what they have to offer a World Championships team. Campana only has a full on vault and her beam was difficult but didn’t look very controlled. Aside from also having falls, Bonistalli is quite a large deal behind her teammates in terms of her difficulty, so I don’t think either will factor into the Worlds picture.
Campana did come second on beam today thanks to falls from some of her teammates, so it’s possible she could factor in there if she can prove her consistency but otherwise I think Italy wouldn’t take her over an all-arounder with a slightly lower beam score.
Spain edged out the Belgian team by just over a point. Though the team looked nice overall on vault and bars, they weren’t as strong on beam or floor, though Ainhoa Carmona did have a nice hit beam routine there.
Popa had a mostly good day, especially on floor. Her routine there was incredible! She hit her double layout, whip whip to full-in, 2.5 to front full, and double pike really well. Her DTY was also great, with just a step on the landing for a 14.9, and on bars she hit her Maloney to Gienger, toe half to Jaeger, and full-twisting double layout for a 14.05. She had several sizable wobbles on beam, unfortunately limiting her all-around potential.
I thought Belgium did well, especially on vault though they remained consistent elsewhere. Julie Croket had trouble on bars with her handstands which brought in a lower score than she would have liked, but Laura Waem and Lisa Verschueren looked very nice. Verschueren fell on her bhs layout on beam, but both Gaelle Mys and Waem were strong there, with Waem hitting an excellent side aerial to back tuck, aerial to two feet, and double pike for a 13.5.
On floor, Croket nearly fell on her 1.5 to front full, slipping but controlling it in the end. Mys did well here again, as did Verschueren, who hit her double back, 1.5 to front full, and double full nicely. On vault, nearly everyone that I saw competed nice FTYs; Mys piked hers down slightly while Croket did a handspring front pike.
Kim Singmuang was the best all-arounder for Sweden, finishing 12th with a 52.45 to edge out Adlerteg, who had a 51.65. The team competed with just five gymnasts, including alternate Nicole Wanström. As mentioned earlier, Gustaffsson was forced to withdraw due to injury, and her replacement Ayan competed in Turkey instead. Also missing from the lineup was comeback girl Veronica Wagner, who was there in Novara but didn’t compete.
Adlerteg had a clean FTY and a great bar routine out of a 6.3 difficulty, hitting her shaposh, clear hip full to Tkatchev, Jaeger, piked Tkatchev to pak salto, and double layout dismount for a 14.35, the highest score on this event today. She showed bent knees on some of her beam skills and jumped forward on her double pike dismount, and then I believe she fell on floor, though I didn’t see that routine.
The live feed also didn’t show anything of Singmuang’s, unfortunately, though they did show Emma Larsson’s fall on her 2.5 to punch front, on which she fell on her back.
The full broadcast of the 2014 Novara Cup as well as the full results. Though only the team results were factored there in Italy, I’ve included a compilation of all-around and top eight event results so you can see how everyone stacked up.
|21||Maria Paula Vargas||Spain||13.800||14.000||——||12.650||40.450|
Article by Lauren Hopkins
Photo by Filippo Tomasi