The Israeli gymnast Ofir Kremer has made tremendous strides in her abilities since reaching the senior level of elite competition last year. This weekend, she ended up defeating her country’s other top competitors to win the national all-around title in addition to posting the top scores on every event but beam.
Kremer, 16, showed a great balance across all four events in her win, earning a 48.7 total after showing her best work on vault and floor. 17-year-old Shailee Weiss, who lives and trains in the U.S., was second with a 47.35 after posting the top score of 11.7 on beam, while Tzuf Feldon, also 17, had multiple falls throughout her day, finishing with a 41.75 — far below her standard — for bronze.
Normally the country’s top gymnast, Feldon — who competed at worlds last year and came close to qualifying to the Olympic test event — struggled on both bars and beam to fall far below where we’re used to seeing her finish. She got off to a great start this year with an event finals finish on bars in Baku, and she plans on competing at a few more world cups leading up to Euros, so hopefully she’ll be able to easily put this fluke rough day behind her quickly because she has a ton of potential in her country’s small program.
Gaya Giladi competed all events but bars, posting the second-best score of 12.7 on floor and the third-best scores of 13.25 and 10.55 on vault and beam, respectively. Other seniors who comepted included Michal Tocker with a 41.05 all-around, Tamar Eyal on all events but beam, and Shahar Moyal on beam and floor.
In the junior division, there was a fantastic fight to fill out the podium, with all three medalists within three tenths of one another. Andy Turiski ended up on top with a 44.65, followed by Noa Dooga in second with a 44.55 and Mika Zorea in third with a 44.35. Both Turiski and Dooga, 13, are age-eligible for Euros, though Zorea is a 2003 baby and is still a bit too young.
These three posted all of the top event scores, with Turiski earning a 13.1 to win vault, Dooga posting a 10.45 to win bars, and Zorea taking home the golds on beam and floor with scores of 10.85 and 11.7, respectively.
Rounding out the field, Hadar Barnea was fourth with a 42.7, Noya Haklay was fifth with a 41.8, Lihi Lamesh was sixth with a 40.0 (and tied with a 10.85 on beam to win a gold there), Alma Kirschenbaum was seventh with a 37.1, Ofri Ohana was eighth with a 32.4, and Meytar Lavi competed only on bars.
Overall, despite the low difficulty from the majority of routines here, I was impressed with what we saw from this program, especially from the juniors, none of whom I’d ever really seen compete before. I’m excited to see how they continue to grow in their skill level in the coming years, and hope we get to see them at a lot of the smaller junior invitationals throughout Europe, like Olympic Hopes.
As for the seniors, they’re not top-level international competitors and we won’t see any of them at the Olympic Games this summer, but the top girls — Kremer, Weiss, Feldon, and Giladi — all have the potential to do well on the world cup circuit which will give them the experience needed to succeed going forward in the coming quad.
Article by Lauren Hopkins