Germany Defeats Russia at DTB Team Challenge

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The home team from Germany defeated the Russian team by two points at the DTB Team Challenge held alongside the World Cup in Stuttgart, Germany. Switzerland brought home the bronze medal, while the German gymnasts representing the Swabian region placed fourth.

The Germans got off to a good start on vault, with a lovely handspring layout half from Pauline Schäfer earning a 14.733. Michelle Timm competed the same vault, but looked a bit piked and came in short on her landing, finishing with her chest down.

On bars, Timm fell twice on her shaposh, slipping off the first time and then after catching it the second time. Schäfer hit her routine, and then Sophie Scheder had a fantastic exercise, finishing with the highest score on the event. Scheder also had a smooth beam routine, with no major issues; she also hit a lovely aerial and layout gainer off the end of the beam. Schäfer was best on beam for the day, hitting a nice bhs loso, a front aerial to side somi combination with a slight wobble, and nailing her side somi half before hitting her gainer layout dismount. With these two strong routines, it didn’t matter that Timm’s routine was a bit shaky, including a fall on her roundoff layout series.

Nadja Schulze got things started on floor, nearly falling on her opening pass and then putting her hands down on her double tuck at the end. Timm had no major mistakes in her exercise, bringing in a 12.7 for a routine that included a solid double full and a triple full with a step. Schäfer was best among the Germans here; though her front handspring to double front didn’t get quite the punch she normally gets, she landed it without a problem and also hit her double tuck and double pike.

Since the meet featured a three-up, two-count format, Russia was at a disadvantage coming into the challenge, as they fielded only three athletes. Because Ksenia Afanasyeva was only able to compete on vault and floor, her teammates Polina Fedorova and Ekaterina Kramarenko couldn’t afford any mistakes on bars and beam. Unfortunately, issues on beam led to their downfall.

In her comeback performance, Afanasyeva managed the top scores on both of her events – a 15.0 on vault, where she performed a DTY, and a 14.033 on floor, which included a triple full, double pike, and a 2.5. Though it was quite a bit easier than what fans are used to seeing, she performed it very well.

Kramarenko began her day with a hit bar routine, showing a nice stalder full to Chow half, Jaeger, pak to stalder to van Leeuwen, and full out with a hop. She had a fall on beam, though hit floor and showed a very clean FTY on vault. Fedorova also started out with a nice routine on bars, including a stalder hecht, Jaeger, stalder full to pak, and stalder half to Ray. She hit her beam routine, albeit with some wobbles, and also hit floor and her handspring tuck half on vault.

The young Swiss team performed decently without leader Giulia Steingruber, though didn’t have the difficulty needed to challenge and are still a bit inexperienced on an international stage. They finished with a 105.097, nearly six points behind the Russians.

Jessica Diacci, Ilaria Käslin, and Nicole Hitz each showed decent vaults, with Käslin’s clean FTY the standout. There were big mistakes on bars and beam, though Käslin showed a relatively difficult and lovely beam routine, and also looked good on floor, as did Diacci and Stefanie Siegenthaler, for the most part.

The team from Swabia, the southwestern region of Germany that is home to host city Stuttgart, was comprised of some of the lower-ranked Germans who hail from the area. They were quite far behind in their skill level, though nevertheless showed some polish in their routines.

Beginning on bars, Sarina Maier had the most difficult routine but unfortunately fell on a toe-on after botching the handstand after her bail. She had a great save, basically going into a stag before getting back in control, though she lost it again after casting up from the toe-on. She showed a nice Maloney and lovely Jaeger, though sat her double arabian dismount.

Her teammates were a bit messy and had difficulty in the 2.0 range (with no releases performed), but Nicole Fritz had a cool toe front half out dismount and Dorothee Henzler held onto a gorgeous handstand for several seconds before dismounting with a double tuck.

Only Maier and Henzler performed on beam, floor, and vault. Both had quite a few beam errors, including two falls in Henzler’s routine. On floor, Maier hit her double tuck and front 1.5 while Henzler showed her excellence as a performer, getting everyone in the arena to clap along. Maier then hit her handspring front tuck quite well, and Henzler performed a handspring front pike to finish things up for the Swabian gymnasts.

Team Final Results

Rank Nation VT UB BB FX Total
1 GERMANY 28.966 28.466 28.566 26.700 112.698
Pauline Schäfer 14.733 13.333 14.600 14.000
Sophie Scheder —— 15.133 13.966 ——
Nadja Schulze 13.333 —— —— 11.200
Michelle Timm 14.233 9.900 12.000 12.700
2 RUSSIA 29.166 28.133 25.966 27.566 110.831
Ksenia Afanasyeva 15.000 —— —— 14.033
Polina Fedorova 13.600 13.533 13.133 13.533
Ekaterina Kramarenko 14.166 14.600 12.833 13.433
3 SWITZERLAND 27.432 24.666 26.566 26.433 105.097
Jessica Diacci 13.133 12.100 12.600 12.833
Nicole Hitz 13.266 —— —— ——
Ilaria Käslin 14.166 12.000 13.766 13.600
Stefanie Siegenthaler —— 12.566 12.800 12.533
4 SWABIA 26.566 20.632 21.400 24.800 93.398
Nicole Fritz —— 10.366 —— ——
Dorothee Henzler 13.333 10.066 10.600 12.600
Sarina Maier 13.233 10.266 10.800 12.200

Team Qualification Results

Rank Nation VT UB BB FX Total
1 GERMANY 28.300 28.500 28.700 26.750 112.250
Pauline Schäfer 14.350 13.400 14.700 13.900
Sophie Scheder —— 15.100 14.000 ——
Nadja Schulze —— —— —— 12.850
Michelle Timm 13.950 —— —— ——
2 RUSSIA 28.650 26.250 26.900 27.050 108.850
Ksenia Afanasyeva 14.550 —— —— 13.550
Polina Fedorova —— 11.600 14.050 13.500
Ekaterina Kramarenko 14.100 14.650 12.850 ——
3 SWITZERLAND 26.700 25.350 25.850 25.800 103.700
Jessica Diacci 13.050 13.150 —— ——
Ilaria Käslin 13.650 —— 13.350 13.450
Stefanie Siegenthaler —— 12.200 12.500 12.350
4 SWABIA 26.650 24.550 25.900 25.450 102.550
Lisa Ecker 13.700 11.600 13.300 13.100
Dorothee Henzler 12.950 —— 12.600 12.350
Sarina Maier —— 12.950 —— ——
5 AZERBAIJAN 27.000 23.450 25.350 21.100 96.900
Marina Nekrasova 13.500 10.850 12.550 11.000
Kristina Pravdina —— 12.600 12.800 ——
Mariia Smirnova 13.500 —— —— 10.100

Article by Lauren Hopkins

One thought on “Germany Defeats Russia at DTB Team Challenge

  1. Pingback: glasgow 2015: team Russia preview | illusion turns

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