Iordache Wins Arthur Gander Memorial

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This year’s world bronze all-around medalist Larisa Iordache of Romania impressed with a two-point win at this year’s Arthur Gander Memorial meet in Switzerland.

The all-around competition here featured only three events, with the athletes allowed to choose the three they’d like to showcase. Iordache performed on all but bars, showing excellent work with her DTY on vault for a 14.9 and a solid floor performance, where she nailed her piked and tucked full-ins, a triple full, and a double pike to a very supportive crowd, earning a 14.55. She did have a fall on her roundoff layout series on beam, but otherwise was excellent there, and still managed to post a 14.05.

Germany’s Pauline Schäfer won the silver medal with a 41.5, finishing a tenth over Romania’s Diana Bulimar with a 41.4 for bronze. Both of these gymnasts also competed everything but bars, as did fourth place Anastasia Dmitrieva of Russia, who finished her day with a 40.6.

Schäfer vaulted a solid handspring layout half for a 14.3, but the worlds beam medalist wasn’t quite as successful on her strongest event, posting a 13.7 after several wobbles, including on her switch ring, sheep jump, and then on both her front aerial and side somi, supposed to be connected though the series was broken due to the struggles on the aerial. She did show a clean bhs loso, and stuck her gainer layout dismount, however, and went on to hit floor for a 13.5.

On vault, Bulimar performed an FTY for a 13.85, and then hit beam for a 13.6, nailing her layout series and her double pike with a hop, but having minor wobbles and connection breaks elsewhere, and her difficulty isn’t quite where it needs to be, as she competes many single skills but nothing really in connection. On floor, Bulimar had her best performance, notching a 13.95 for a big double layout, a piked full-in with a hop, a double pike with a hop, and a double tuck, also with a rebound back.

Dmitrieva, expected to be the alternate for the Russian worlds team this year but swapped out in the weeks leading up to the event, had a slightly piked Lopez vault for a 14.0, and hit her beam routine for a 13.6. On floor, she had the crowd clapping along, opening with a big double layout and hitting her double tuck, but she came up very short on her tucked full-in and double pike, landing with very bent knees and taking several steps forward on the latter for a 13.0.

Rounding out the field were Ilaria Käslin of Switzerland in fifth with a 40.15 after exquisite work on beam (she had a 14.3 there, the best beam score of the day), Victoria-Kayen Woo of Canada in sixth with a 39.8, Alexa Moreno of Mexico in seventh with a 39.65 (normally strongest on vault, she earned a 13.9 there, opting for a simple handspring front pike half-out instead of her usual difficulty), Yuki Uchiyama of Japan in eighth with a 39.5, Enus Mariani of Italy in ninth with a 39.3, and Angelina Kysla of Ukraine in tenth with a 37.85.

Raer Theaker of Great Britain also competed, but was injured on bars and was unable to continue her competition.

The gymnasts who competed in Morges will continue on to Zurich this weekend, where they’ll team up with their male counterparts in the mixed pairs Swiss Cup. The Russian team of Daria Spiridionova and Nikita Ignatyev took the title last year, but this year my money would be on the Romanians – led by Iordache – or Ukrainians – led by men’s Gander Memorial champion Oleg Verniaiev – for the win.

Full results from the Gander Memorial are available here.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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