2012 Olympian Kim Bui, the 27-year-old who missed nearly all of 2015 due to injury, will make her competitive return at Bundesliga this weekend, where she hopes to impress enough for a spot on her country’s European Championships team.
Bui competes for Stuttgart, the reigning Bundesliga champions, and could help them defend their title in the absence of typically big contributors like Kim Janas (out with an elbow injury) and Lisa-Katharina Hill (attending to her studies), while Olympic Test Event competitors Elisabeth Seitz and Tabea Alt likely won’t be back on many events, with their focus now on the upcoming Olympic Games. “We want to defend our title, but it’s been a difficult season,” Stuttgart coach Marie-Louise Probst Hindermann told the German federation.
The team from Karlsruhe-Söllingen could challenge Stuttgart, though coach Tatjana Bach Mayer will rest her own test event competitors Leah Griesser and Pauline Tratz. “I decided to let my gymnasts rest after Rio,” she said. “They need to. In addition to the physical toll with a competition like that, there is also a great psychological stress and my gymnasts aren’t used to that. It was a difficult decision, but it will be a good experience to let my young gymnasts take on that responsibility on Saturday. I expect they’ll do a good job.”
Maike Enderle, the test event alternate, should be one of the leaders this weekend, and her team also has international guests Noel van Klaveren of the Netherlands and Teja Belak of Slovenia registered to compete.
Chemnitz-Altendorf is the other big contender, but they too will be without their top contributors, as both Sophie Scheder and Pauline Schäfer have army obligations they must fulfill (both are employed by the army in order to earn a salary) and will only be able to compete one event each, Scheder on bars and Schäfer on beam.
“Of course we want to reach the final,” said Gabi Frehse, the coach of last year’s third-place Chemnitz team. “But this year, it won’t be so easy.” The team will feature international guests Reina Beltman of the Netherlands, Lisa Ecker of Austria, and Linnea Wang of Denmark in addition to junior Helene Schäfer, a Jesolo medalist who is now preparing for European Championships.
Other competing teams in the main session include Mannheim (featuring Amelie Föllinger and Florine Harder), Köln (featuring Sarah Voss alongside Hungarians Noemi Makra and Zsofia Kovacs as well as Evgeniya Shelgunova of Russia), Tittmoning (Spain’s Claudia Colom and Venezuela’s Jessica Lopez should be the standouts here), Steglistz (featuring Michelle Timm), and Frankfurt (featuring Daria Elizarova of Russia).
The second session will include Ulm (Janine Berger could possibly return here and Laura Jurca of Romania is also on the list, though I believe she is still out with injury), Hannover (featuring Lina Philipp), Heidenheimer, Kirchheim unter Teck, Dresdner, Breisgau, Dortmund, and Ries (which reportedly will see Dorina Boczogo of Hungary and Katarzyna Jurkowska of Poland compete).
Hungary has its national championships this weekend, so I’m not sure if the following start lists are accurate, though they are listed as current as of April 29. It also includes a bunch of the injured gymnasts, so don’t get your hopes up too much. I’ve put those who likely won’t be there in italics.
A full list of teams is below.
Lisa Katharina Hill
Noel van Klaveren
Muriel Romero Asensio
|KIRCHHEIM UNTER TECK
Susann Marie Beck
Article by Lauren Hopkins