Scheder Takes Stuttgart Title at Home

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The Stuttgart World Cup saw quite a few line up changes in the weeks leading up to the event and in the end it was one of the replacement athletes who stood on top of the podium as Sophie Scheder of Germany won the final competition of the FIG world cup series with an all around score of 57.032.

Even though she faced strong competition from gymnasts like three-time Pan American Games medalist Amelia Hundley of the United States and Youth Olympic Games champion Seda Tutkhalyan of Russia, Scheder managed to pull a Kyla Ross-esque win by staying clean throughout the entire competition while others made mistakes.

She started off her competition with a very clean full-twisting yurchenko, scoring a 14.066 (5.0/9.066). On bars she once again proved that she’s a world class bar worker, posting the highest score not only on the event but of the entire competition, a 15.033 (6.4/8.633). She didn’t compete the ‘Schimm’ though, an inbar piked tkatchev that she and Kelly Simm (Great Britain) both successfully showed at last year’s world championship.

With her huge bars score, Scheder went into the lead after the second rotation and stayed ahead of the field for the rest of the competition. On beam she managed to deliver one of her best beam routines ever, showing a beautiful back handspring layout stepout combination as well as a nice Y-turn and an almost stuck gainer layout dismount. With three clean routines under her belt and mistakes from others, Scheder only needed a 13.133 on floor to clinch the gold medal which she easily managed to do despite coming from a lower difficulty than all her competitors. Following her performance on floor, Scheder was visibly overcome with emotion, waving happily to the crowd and even shedding a tear during the medal ceremony.

Isabela Onyshko of Canada, who recently impressed gym fans by winning the all around at Elite Canada and International Gymnix, came in second with a score of 56.665. She was one of three gymnasts at today’s competition to show a double twisting yurchenko but only scored a 14.033 (5.8/8.333) due to some form issues and a low landing. On bars Onyshko showed a solid routine for a 14.233 (6.1/8.133). She competed the most difficult beam set of the competition, including an acro series that consisted of two back handsprings and a layout to two feet. Even though she almost came off on her back handspring to tuck full she managed to solidly finish her routine for a 14.433 (6.5/7.933). Onyshko finished her competition with a solid floor routine that included two whips to double tuck, a full-in and a double pike for a 13.966 (5.8/8.166) moving ahead of Amelia Hundley by 0.166.

Bronze medalist Amelia Hundley of the United States had an excellent start to the competition, showing the best vault – a double twisting yurchenko – of the meet for a 14.933 (5.8/9.133) which easily put her into the lead after the first rotation. Unfortunately Hundley had problems on bars right before her dismount, causing her to take a few extra swings and missing the full pirouette requirement. This brought her D-score down to a 5.4 for a score of 13.266.

On beam Hundley showed a solid set that included a back handspring to two layout stepouts series as well as a stuck double pike dismount. She scored a 14.300 (5.8/8.5) though her E-score seemed a bit low especially in comparison to Scheder’s. The highlight of Hundley’s floor routine was definitely her second pass, a piked full-in that she stuck cold. Even though she was a bit short on her other passes she posted the highest score on floor of the competition, a 14.000 (5.7/8.3) for a third place finish with an all around score of 56.499.

Aside from the bronze medal, Hundley also got to accept the trophy for the overall win of the world cup series on behalf of Team USA. This prize was awarded to a federation for the first time this year after the FIG decided to invite the top eight nations from last year’s world championship to participate in the series instead of the top 8 all-around finishers as they did in the years before.

Seda Tutkhalyan of Russia, who finished in fourth with a 55.899, needs to prove that she can be consistent if she wants a spot on her country’s Olympic team this summer. Unfortunately she wasn’t able to do this today. She competed a double twisting yurchenko as well but had major form issues and also came up short on the landing, causing her to put her hands down.

After the disappointment on vault, Tutkhalyan had a much better time on bars and beam. She finished second on bars showing a nice routine for a 14.433 (6.0/8.433), including a nice Bhardwaj as well as a double front dismount that she almost stuck. After she missed three out of four beam routines at worlds it was nice to see her hit her difficult routine, which included a round off to layout as well as a round off to full twisting layout. She posted the highest score of the competition on beam, a 14.800 (6.3/8.5). On floor she once again had problems, however, flying out of bounds on her whip whip to double pike but she managed to finish with a good double tuck.

Unfortunately Pauline Schäfer of Germany, the 2015 worlds bronze medalist on beam, did struggle a bit in front of a home crowd, finishing in fifth with a total of 54.698. On vault she showed a beautiful front handspring layout with a half turn for a 14.533 (5.4/9.133) but struggled a bit on uneven bars even though she managed to impress the crowd with her Moors dismount.

Schäfer probably hoped for a much better performance on beam but after she had a large wobble on her double turn and was forced to grab the beam after her wolf jump she only scored a 13.566 (6.0/7.566). Her beam routine included a nice back handspring to layout stepout as well as a free aerial to side somersault though. Most importantly Schäfer managed to successfully put her eponymous skill – a side somersault with half turn – back into her routine after she didn’t compete it at last year’s world championship because it had been too inconsistent in training. Schäfer finished solidly on floor with a 13.433 (5.7/8.033).

Céline van Gerner of the Netherlands, who finished in sixth with a 54.665, stood out in today’s competition with beautifully executed routines. She showed a strong full twisting yurchenko for a 13.966 (5.0/8.966) and impressed the crowd by being the only gymnast in the competition who didn’t use grips while swinging bars.

Unfortunately van Gerner had to count a fall on her round off to layout in an otherwise very nice beam routine where she displayed excellent choreography. On floor she managed to engage the crowd in her beautiful routine, once again displaying fantastic choreography and nice tumbling, including a stuck full-in. The judges rewarded van Gerner’s impressive routine with the highest E-score on floor of the day, an 8.7. Van Gerner finished in third on floor with a 13.800 despite having the second lowest D-score, a 5.2.

Rebecca Tunney of Great Britain, who replaced Ellie Downie at the last minute, had a solid start to the competition on vault, scoring a 13.900 for a nice full twisting yurchenko. She also showed a solid bar routine that included an impressive Church to Bhardwaj. Unfortunately Tunney had problems on beam, wobbling on almost every element before slipping off on her switch leap. The fall scared everyone for a second but luckily she didn’t hurt herself and was able to continue the competition.

Unfortunately Tunney had to count another fall on floor after sitting down her first pass, a double arabian. She managed to get the crowd to clap along though and finished strong with a stuck double pike for a score of 12.566 (5.3/7.266) and an all around total of 52.032.

Elisa Meneghini of Italy had a disappointing time at today’s competition, finishing in eighth place with a 51.931 and counting multiple falls. She competed a 1 ½ twisting yurchenko but sat the vault down, scoring only a 13.166 (5.3/7.866). Meneghini also struggled on bars where she had a dead hang after her jaeger. Her problems continued on beam, where she came off on her full twisting layout as well as on her double spin. After the two falls she recovered really well, showing a nice side somersault as well as an excellent double pike dismount that she almost stuck. Even with two falls she still scored a 12.266 (5.9/6.366) there. Meneghini managed to finish her competition on a happier note, showing a solid floor routine that included a double layout as well as two whips into a double tuck for a score of 13.733 (5.6/8.133).

Article by Sina Rothfuss

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