The annual Elite Gym Massilia competition, featuring both juniors and seniors in contention for Open and Master all-around as well as event titles, is set to begin this Friday November 20 in Marseille, France.
Several top nations have pre-qualified to send gymnasts to the Master competition, including Russia, Romania, Italy, Canada, France, and Belgium. The Open division also boasts some top-notch juniors in addition to some lesser-known juniors and seniors (many sent by club gyms as well as those from national programs), and will include the return of Aleeza Yu of Canada, out of competition for the past year due to injuries sustained at the 2014 World Championships. Additionally, those gymnasts who compete well in the Open division can qualify into the Master competition, so look for that field to grow.
The most exciting competition should come from the four juniors who stole the show at the European Youth Olympic Festival this summer, Russia’s Angelina Melnikova and Daria Skrypnik as well as Belgium’s Nina Derwael and Axelle Klinckaert. With these four ladies, all of whom turn senior in January, now competing at the same level as highly experienced seniors – especially those on the Italian, French, and Romanian teams – it will be our first look at how they’ll stack up to the veterans going into the Olympic year. Derwael, a beautiful bar worker, has been training some excellent upgrades there, including a take on the Tweddle but from a stalder entry!
A full list of competitors is below. The Gymternet will have a reporter on scene in Marseille with a full report coming after the weekend, and we’ll also be posting videos as they become available.
Edit: Some Canadians, possibly from one of the clubs listed in the Open division, will reportedly not attend due to the attacks that occurred in Paris last week. Tea Ugrin, initially listed to compete with Italy, has backed out due to injury. She was replaced by Francesca Linari.
Haley de Jong
|Pole France de Marseille
Ines Ben Rhouma
|AG Le Mans
Maelle Dumitru Marin
|CIR Sud Ouest
Mey Lyn Anton
Myriam el Koucho
|Saint Lo Gym
|CAV Sarsfield (Argentina)
|Silvya’s (United States)
On Friday November 20, competition kicks off with the Espoirs (age 9-12) at 10 am followed by the international elite Open Massilia at 1 pm. The Master Massilia competition will be held Saturday November 21 at 4 pm and event finals are set to take place Sunday November 22 at 3 pm. All times are local to Marseille, which is six hours ahead of EST. Results should be available here following each competition.
Article by Lauren Hopkins