The floor final in France was an exciting one, with lots of shifting around from the qualification spots, but the best thing about it was the fact that no one had major mistakes. A couple out-of-bounds issues aside, every gymnast here hit incredibly well, and the caliber of routines was like watching a Worlds final, not a continental meet.
Ksenia Afanasyeva of Russia ended up at the top of the podium with a score of 14.733, and was followed by Claudia Fragapane close behind in the silver medal position with a 14.633, and then Giulia Steingruber with bronze after posting a 14.466.
Fragapane had a rough qualification, losing difficulty and bouncing out-of-bounds for a three-tenth penalty, but fought back in finals and managed to have one of her best routines of the season.
Unfortunately, Erika Fasana, who has had a fantastic season on floor thus far, had a few too many deductions here and was unable to make it onto the podium, finishing 4th.
All routines from the European Championships floor final are below, complete with scores and video, if available!
1. Ksenia Afanasyeva, Russia, 14.733
I love this routine of Ksenia’s. Her tumbling from the very start was on point, with that huge double layout putting a big emphasis on the fact that this was going to be a huge routine. And then her dance elements, including the opening double L turn, are all excellent. She was a bit underrotated on the whip whip through to triple full, but her leaps were dynamic, she hit a great 2.5 to punch layout, her turn in attitude was gorgeous, and she finished with a perfectly stuck double pike, an exclamation point at the end of a beautiful routine.
2. Claudia Fragapane, Great Britain, 14.633
After her disastrous routine at the American Cup, Fragapane has been getting better and better with each set, and this was no different. Definitely her best of the year, beginning with a big full-in double layout. Her form is still a bit loose, I do have to say. She’s very powerful but there’s something about her body line that just doesn’t look clean at all, and it’s most noticeable in that first pass. She did a great job at hitting her double arabian, however, and then her wolf jump full right into a shushunova is so inventive and unexpected. She actually overrotated her triple full a tiny bit, which was great – much better than finishing short! Her double layout to finish was maybe a tiny bit underrotated but because she goes right up into the wolf jump, it wasn’t that noticeable.
3. Giulia Steingruber, Switzerland, 14.466
Yet another medal for Steingruber, and for a very well-executed routine. I love how much she’s grown on floor, and think her perfectly straight body line in her double layout full is so much improved compared to her past attempts. She did have a hop back on her double layout, but otherwise was controlled, including on her double tuck (there was just a step back there), on her leaps, and on her near-stuck double pike. The all-around champ picked up her third medal of the competition here, and it was definitely a deserved one.
4. Erika Fasana, Italy, 14.300
It’s no secret that floor is Erika’s best event, and I think everyone expected to see her on the podium here. It’s hard to say what went ‘wrong.’ Nothing did, really. She just wasn’t quite as clean as she needed to be, at least if she wanted to keep up with the likes of those who finished above her. She opened with a very powerful open double double, taking just a small hop, but then went for her upgrade, a full-twisting double layout, where her body line is reminiscent of Fragapane’s in the execution of the skill, bent throughout. She also was a bit short, and was forced to take a big step forward to steady herself. Her double Y turn was cheated at the end, though otherwise her dance elements were decent, and she had a powerful double pike to finish, hopping it back slightly. Not a perfect routine, and with work on the landings she could easily challenge those who were above her at this particular meet.
5. Marta Pihan-Kulesza, Poland, 14.233
I absolutely love that Marta made it into the floor final here. I love her Pink Panther routine, and don’t think I enjoy many other performances as much as this one. She hit her big 2.5 to front full to start, and then her double arabian to stag jump was nicely controlled. She attempted a quintuple pirouette following her second pass, which was outstanding, though she did fall apart a tiny bit on the ending trying to get it fully around. Still, it was an insane attempt and the crowd appreciated the effort. She took just a small step on her front double full, and then finished with a huge smile on her face for a job very well done. It’s awesome that she has the difficulty now in this routine to contend with the best floor workers in the world, and I hope we can see this in finals in Glasgow!
6. Amy Tinkler, Great Britain, 14.000
Poor Amy just had a bit of bad luck at these Championships, missing the all-around final due to the two-per-country rule and then making uncharacteristic mistakes that kept her out of bars and beam finals as well. She did qualify third on floor, however, making it her only chance to medal, but then despite hitting well here, others were just that much better than their qualifications performances leaving her off the podium. Her fun routine opened with a double layout full, normally a big pass for her but she didn’t come in quite as strong and landed a little short, nearly putting her hands down. Her double layout had a little bounce back, though she did a great job to keep from going out-of-bounds, and she hit her 1.5 through to 2.5 with no problems. Her double pike to finish also came in with a lot of energy and had a big bounce back, so it wasn’t quite the tightest in terms of form and landings, though it was still a very strong routine and she looked happy when finished.
7. Maria Kharenkova, Russia, 13.933
Maria was the other unlucky one of these Championships, and while she wasn’t really expected to medal on floor, the routine still could have been better, which is a bummer. She opened with a lovely double arabian to stag, and she also had a nice 1.5 through to double back, nothing super impressive but clean for the most part. The big mistakes came on the whip whip through to triple full, that old Russian standard pass that most struggle with. She was more in the 2.75 zone, and then had to step back to steady herself, and then while her double pike was clean, she was forced to take a step back, her foot touching just off the mat.
8. Andreea Munteanu, Romania, 13.866
I think Munteanu was basically ‘lucky’ to find herself in this final, and I don’t think anyone was expecting anything big from her here, considering her difficulty is so much lower than others in the same final. But right after winning the beam title, she managed to come out with a lovely performance, including a triple full with just a slight step, a 2.5, a stuck double tuck, and a stuck double pike to finish. A fantastic job by the little Romanian, and overall, a nice cap on this excellent floor final, where none of the gymnasts had major mistakes.
Article by Lauren Hopkins