The 2014 Italian Grand Prix and Yomo Cup celebrated the gymnastics season with performances from the members of Italy’s national teams in addition to routines from international guests.
Enus Mariani, who officially made her comeback from injury in yesterday’s gala, won the Yomo Cup – a prize awarded to the best routine of the day by the press and the audience at the Mandela Forum in Florence and spectators at home thanks to an event app (Mariani’s winning routine wasn’t revealed, but it was reportedly her floor).
Since this was a gala, most routines were watered down a bit – most gymnasts didn’t perform all of their tumbling passes on floor, and they preferred to opt for simple layout dismounts in their bars and beam routines. However, the gymnasts introduced some new (and sometimes unexpected) upgrades, which the crowd loved.
Mariani performed on three events, and was clean overall. Her floor routine was performed using her old music before she was injured, and featured a double tuck, double pike, and a double full. On bars, her routine was a bit watered down, ending with a simple layout instead of the double layout she uses in competition, and on beam she looked clean, despite a fall. For the leo lovers, she wore something pretty similar to the well-known blue leo that Aliya Mustafina wore at Worlds during beam and floor finals – similar design, same Swarovski crystals, and just a slightly darker shade of blue.
There was a scary moment when Giorgia Campana fell on her brand new full-in. She didn’t come in strongly enough and fell to her knees, also hitting her nose and injuring a foot. She stopped her routine and walked off the floor mat visibly limping before leaving the competition to visit a doctor in Rome, where it was determined that the injury isn’t too serious.
Carlotta Ferlito also debuted a full-in on floor, finishing with a foot out-of-bounds. Overall, she had a good day, thanks to a clean and confident beam routine, finishing with a double full dismount.
Erika Fasana made a historical step in Italian gymnastics – on floor, she debuted her full-twisting double layout. She was helped by her coach on the mat and had a rebound forward which forced her to put her hands down, but the crowd really appreciated the fact that she wanted to debut the skill in front of them, even if it was just a gala. Fasana is the first Italian gymnast to ever perform the skill, and she also stuck her double layout bars dismount, making it a pretty successful day.
Italian gymnastics legend Vanessa Ferrari performed on beam, where she showed her bhs-bhs-layout combination and a simple layout dismount, and then on floor, where she downgraded her tumbling passes a bit, opting for a full-in, double pike, double tuck, and layout.
Among the other members of the World Championship team, Lara Mori was the cleanest on bars, Lavinia Marongiu fell on her side somi on beam, and Martina Rizzelli struggled on bars, falling on her Tkatchev.
Roxana Popa of Spain was the international WAG superstar, and her routines were truly appreciated by the Italian audience. On bars, she again performed the new and difficult upgrades she performed at the Blume Memorial competition, and then she stuck her full-twisting double layout dismount. On beam, she didn’t have any major mistakes and managed to regain her balance after a big wobble on her Y-turn. On floor, she delivered a powerful and delightful routine, well-choreographed as usual, and featuring a double layout, whip whip to double tuck, and a double pike.
Aliya Mustafina of Russia and Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland were also supposed to attend the gala as international guests, but both had to cancel. Mustafina wanted to be well-prepared for the Stuttgart World Cup next week, while Steingruber is still suffering due to the foot injury she sustained at the Swiss Cup earlier this month.
Article and photos by Valeria Violi
Header photo thanks to Grand Prix di Ginnastica