Following the final test of the German women at the Stuttgart World Cup and the DTB Pokal Team Challenge this weekend, the Deutscher Turner-Bund has made their selection for the upcoming Olympic Test Event in Rio de Janeiro official.
Leah Griesser, Pauline Schäfer, Sophie Scheder, Elisabeth Seitz, and Pauline Tratz are confirmed to compete next month, and national team coordinator Ulla Koch hopes first-year senior Tabea Alt will be the sixth member if she is medically cleared following a minor knee injury last month. Sarah Voss will serve as the alternate.
“We are satisfied with the level of performance our gymnasts showed last weekend, and are therefore optimistic about the Olympic qualification in Rio,” DTB sports director Wolfgang William said in the press release.
Scheder won the final world cup in the FIG series this weekend with an impressive and clean performance, while Seitz was the silver medalist at the Glasgow World Cup last week with equally good work. Both Scheder and Seitz have shown incredible consistency on their difficult bar routines this year, and are also the two strongest all-around gymnasts who should be able to contribute anywhere in a pinch.
Schäfer, the 2015 world bronze medalist on beam, also competed at the Stuttgart World Cup and was expected to medal, but multiple falls – including one on beam – led to a fifth place finish. Still, when she hits, she is as strong as her two teammates, and won the National Team Cup all-around earlier this month.
Both Griesser and Tratz showed super strong work at the Team Challenge this weekend, with both looking especially consistent on beam, normally Germany’s downfall. If Alt, one of the strongest beam workers in the country, is back to her full potential, the German team will actually have what is quite possibly their best beam team in recent memory. All they have to do is hit.
Griesser’s other standout is floor, where her performance at the DTB team final was gorgeous and a must-see routine from the weekend, while Tratz is a solid vaulter and can contribute a 14+ there.
Germany must place in the top four at the test event in order to qualify a full team to the Olympic Games this summer. Their biggest competition will come from Brazil, Romania, Belgium, and France, though if they are as consistent as they’ve been so far this season, they should easily find themselves as one of the leading contenders.
For a full list of confirmed and nominative teams, check out our master team list.
Article by Lauren Hopkins