Austria Upsets Hungary and Poland

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In a meeting that served as preparation for the upcoming World Championships, host team Austria pulled off a major upset against the higher-ranked programs of Poland and Hungary.

With a score of 201.0, the Austrian women just managed to edge out Poland with a 199.6. Hungary brought only four athletes to this meet, including the junior star Zsofia Kovacs, as most of their top gymnasts were in Osijek (aside from Noemi Makra, who is dealing with minor injury yet again). They could only field three gymnasts on bars, so their end result of 187.75 was without counting a full set of routines.

Lisa Ecker, last year’s national champion, led the Austrian team with excellent work, especially on beam and floor. She finished second in the all-around with a 53.2 and has shown great improvement over the course of the year.

Her teammate Elisa Hämmerle also competed very well. She performed on every event but floor, hitting the meet’s best bars score of 13.25 while also showing clean work on vault and beam.

Jasmin Mader had a solid vault but struggled a bit on beam, and the other three on the team – Erja Metzler, Marlies Männersdorfer, and Olivia Jochum – each had several issues. The Austrians also tested a couple of gymnasts not part of the official team, including Christina Meixner and Katharina Puffer, though these two finished with scores of 45.85 and 45.15 in the all-around and likely won’t be included on the Worlds team.

For Poland, Katarzyna Jurkowska produced solid scores on all four events, winning the all-around title with a 53.6, though I believe she had a fall on beam. Marta Pihan-Kulesza, back after a slight injury and subsequent surgery this spring, was the bronze medalist with a 52.7 despite a mostly good day. She unfortunately balked her first vault attempt, incurring a full point penalty; without the penalty, she would’ve claimed the all-around title by a tenth. She did finish with the two best routines on beam and floor, however, posting scores of 13.6 and 13.55, respectively.

Gabriela Janik seemed to struggle a bit, though she had a great bars routine, matching Hämmerle with the top score of 13.25. Emilia Kulczynska’s top score was a 12.4 on vault while Klara Kopec competed only on beam, counting a fall for an 11.4.

The Hungarian team was actually led by the junior Kovacs, who pulled off an impressive fourth place in the all-around with a 52.3. She also had the top vault score of the day with a 14.15, and showed promising work on beam. The team also featured Luca Diveky with a strong vault, and Eniko Horvath and Dalia Al-Salty, who both had some issues.

As mentioned, the core of what is sure to be their Worlds team – Dorina Boczogo, Boglarka Devai, and Tunde Csillag – were all competing in Osijek, where each won a silver medal (Boczogo on beam, Devai on vault, and Csillag on floor). Kitti Honti was also in Osijek, while Makra pulled out due to injury. At this point, it’s looking like Boczogo, Devai, Csillag, Honti, Makra, and Diveky are most likely to comprise the Worlds team, but this will become clearer after the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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