The junior gymnasts from the Czech Republic just keep getting better and better. At this year’s Gym Festival Trnava in Slovakia, their top four young stars who train at Bohemians in Prague took home a combined total of ten individual medals, including two all-around, and the maximum of two available to them in every event final.
Aneta Holasova, who reached her personal best all-around score with a massive 54.3, had an incredible performance, showcasing her power on vault and floor as well as a major level of difficulty on beam, which she performed very well in the all-around competition to get a 14.3, the only junior score to surpass 14 all weekend.
In the two-per-country event finals, Holasova medaled on all three she qualified for, winning the golds on vault with a 13.425 average and then on floor with a 13.4 for her solid set. On beam, she ran into a little bit of trouble with her execution, looking a bit shakier than usual and going overtime, but she still finished well, earning the silver with a 13.5.
Her teammate Vendula Merkova was second all-around with a 52.2 in addition to winning the bars title with a 13.35 (mistakes on day one unfortunately took her out of the beam final, where her routine is known for its unique style and fluidity). Kristyna Brabcova was fourth with a 50.7 and won the bars bronze with a 12.85 (she too had some mistakes on beam in the all-around), and then Adela Merkova was fifth all-around with a 50.5. She fell apart on bars, but looked strong elsewhere and walked away with beam gold (13.9), floor silver (13.25), and vault bronze (13.0 average).
With only two weeks to go before European Championships, the Czech girls are looking fantastic and with hit routines, should rival some of the continent’s best junior competitors.
Breaking up the Czech domination in the all-around was Hungary’s Nora Feher, who improved a great deal from her Hungarian Championships finish a couple of weeks ago to finish third in Trnava with a 51.85. Feher went on to medal in every single event final winning silvers on vault (13.025 average) and bars (13.05) in addition to picking up bronze medals on beam (13.0) and floor (12.45). Feher, who is set to represent Hungary at Euros next month, is a fairly balanced competitor, though bars is a clear standout for the 13-year-old.
Rounding out the top eight were Valeriia Iarmolenko of Ukraine in sixth with a 50.0, Patrycja Dronia of Poland in seventh with a 49.1, and Hala Sidaoui of Germany in eighth with a 48.35.
In the senior competition, first-year senior Hitomi Hatakeda of Japan won the all-around title with a 55.8 thanks to an excellent performance on bars and strong, clean work elsewhere. Alma Kuc of Poland was the silver medalist with a 53.633 while Amelie Föllinger of Germany took the bronze with a 53.317. Kuc also stood out with a great performance on bars while Föllinger’s best work came on beam and floor.
Behind the top three was hometown girl and 2016 Olympian Barbora Mokosova in fourth with a 52.983, Yurika Yumoto of Japan in fifth with a 52.533, Yana Fedorova of Ukraine with a 51.5, Dominika Korpova of Slovakia in seventh with a 48.8, and Dora Szekely of Hungary in eighth with a 48.3.
Fedorova picked up the vault title with an average of 13.475, showing especially clean work on her FTY. She also placed fifth on bars with a 12.3 and sixth on beam with an 11.85 thanks to mistakes there. The bars title went to Hatakeda, who earned a 14.35 for gold in addition to a 13.4 for vault silver, a 13.4 for beam bronze, and a 13.15 for floor bronze.
Mokosova and Yumoto shared the beam gold, each with a 13.65 for their clean performances. The two were step-in-step during event finals, as they also went on to tie for bronze on bars with scores of 13.65 there as well, and then Yumoto placed fourth on floor with a 13.1. The floor title went to Föllinger with a 13.35, nudging out Kuc by a tenth. In addition to Kuc’s floor silver, she also picked up bars silver with a 14.2, performing the most difficult routine of the day and looking clean while doing it. Szekely also medaled on Sunday with a 13.4 average for silver on vault.
Full results from Gym Festival Trnava are available here.
Article by Lauren Hopkins