Torres Dominates in Oslo

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The Swedish gymnast Marcela Torres, who moved to the country to be with her boyfriend and ended up becoming one of their top elite gymnasts and winning last year’s national all-around title at age 26, had a dominating performance at the Unni & Harolds Trophy in Oslo over the weekend, nearly sweeping the competition to walk away with four gold medals.

Torres, now 27, is planning on retiring after European Championships in June, making this one of the final times we’ll see her in competition. Up against many of Norway and Sweden’s young up-and-comers, Torres showed why experience is key, winning the all-around competition by about two-and-a-half points before going on to win the gold medals on vault, bars, and beam as well.

A fall on floor put her just under a point behind the gold medalist, so had she hit there, this would’ve been a sweep for the Argentinian-born gymnast, but I doubt she’s fazed. Torres loves competing, and never expected to make it as far as she did. After an otherwise excellent meet, a sweep would’ve been a cherry on top, but she’s still leaving as Scandinavia’s best gymnast, a plus going into the Nordic Championships next month.

Norway took up the silver and bronze podium spots, with Sofie Bråten placing second with a 49.4 and Martine Skregelid placing third with a 49. Both are pretty weak on bars, which you can say about all of Norway in general, but Bråten was quite good on floor in the all-around competition while Skregelid stood out with clean lines and a perfected precision on beam.

In fourth was Nicole Wanström of Sweden with a 48.6, followed by Ingrid von Hafenbrädl of Norway and Saga Tran of Sweden tied for fifth with scores of 47.95, Saga Svantesson of Sweden in seventh with a 47.2, and Sofie Skåttun of Norway in eighth with a 46.8. The promising young Norwegian gymnast Thea Nygaard was hoping to medal here, but had a rough go on bars and finished ninth with a 46.7.

Nygaard came back nicely with some good finishes in event finals, though, including vault silver with a 13.025, beam bronze with an 11.9, and floor silver with an 11.75, the latter of which she made happen with some big mistakes. Bråten also did well in finals, getting vault silver with a 12.925 and beam silver with a 12.15, though a fall in floor finals meant just a fourth place finish.

On bars, Wanström was second with an 11.7 while Skåttun, who had the highest difficulty in the competition at a 4.6, earned bronze with an 11.6. Martine Bjørshol, who placed only 13th in the all-around due to a rough set on bars, become the only gymnast to upset Torres all weekend, as she won floor gold with a 12.05 thanks for a routine that included a great level of difficulty. Tran was the bronze medalist here with low difficulty but the best-executed routine, earning an 11.45.

In the junior competition, another Swedish gymnast came out on top, as Ida Staafgård led the field with a 48.2, standing out with great power on vault. Juliane Tøssebro of Norway got the silver with a 48.15, while Cecilia Wrangdahl, who trains with Torres at All Star Gymnastics in Sweden, won the bronze with a 47.95. Tonya Paulsson, the incredibly promising young Swedish junior, placed fourth here with a 47.75; Paulsson is a big name to watch in the future with so much natural talent for bars. Her technique is exceptional for a 12-year-old and she’s a very fun kid to watch compete.

Rounding out the top eight were Julie Søderstrøm of Norway in fifth with a 47.05, Sigrid Risberg of Sweden in sixth with a 46.85, Nadja Olsson of Sweden in seventh with a 46.2, and Mari Kanter of Norway in eighth with a 45.15.

On vault, Lova Thingvall of Sweden won gold with a 13.1 followed by Wrangdahl with a 12.95 for silver and Søderstrøm with a 12.85 for bronze. Paulsson easily won the bars title with the highest junior difficulty of 3.2 and a total of 11.15, while Wrangdahl placed second with a 10.75 and Søderstrøm was third with a 10.4.

Maria Tronrud of Norway won beam with a 12.7, showing super clean skills throughout, and Wrangdahl picked up her fourth medal of the meet here with a 12.4 for silver while Olsson earned an 11.45 for bronze. Tøssebro won floor with a 12.65, showing huge potential in both her difficulty and technical ability, while Staafgård won the silver with an 11.9 and Søderstrøm won bronze with an 11.45 after a fall.

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