Marine Brevet, the 21-year-old who worked so hard to make France’s Olympic team in 2012 but was side-lined by a last-minute elbow injury, will officially see her dreams realized in Rio this summer.
The Fédération Française de Gymnastique has just announced Brevet alongside her teammates who helped her qualify a full team to the Games at the Olympic Test Event in Rio two months ago, including 2015 worlds team members Louise Vanhille and Loan His as well as first-year seniors Marine Boyer and Oréane Lechenault.
These five have been competing together all season and have built up a strong dynamic that should help them accomplish big things in Rio this August. In addition to their fourth-place finish at the test event, this team – minus Vanhille, who sat out due to a nagging injury – won the bronze medal at European Championships, fighting back from a disastrous performance in qualifications to add six points to their team total, coming within less than two points of Great Britain and three points ahead of Switzerland to secure their spot.
Brevet has led the worlds teams to solid finishes in both 2014 and 2015, and also saw lots of personal success in the past three years since her return. With beam and floor her standout events, Brevet is also one of the country’s strongest all-arounders and has great leadership qualities, incredibly valuable on such a young team like this.
Vanhille, 17, sat out the majority of her debut senior year in 2014 due to injury, but emerged onto the scene as a major contender last year, becoming national champion on bars in addition to finishing second in the all-around and on floor. This year, she was fifth all-around winning bronze on bars and silver on floor, and of her five bars routines in 2016, she hasn’t missed a single set.
Her 2015 worlds teammate His, also 17, got off to a fantastic start as a new senior last year, winning the national all-around title and putting up strong scores on her three events at worlds. This year, she’s been mostly limited to bars, but showed fantastic work in the all-around at the test event and will likely compete all four events in Rio. Bars is her standout event, and she’s super consistent there, hitting eight of her nine routines in 2016 in addition to winning the bars title, but she does clean enough work everywhere else to make a big impression as well.
Boyer, who turned 16 last month, has had an explosive start to her senior career, contributing three routines to both the test event and European teams in addition to winning the national all-around and beam titles, the Varna challenge cup beam title, and the European beam silver medal. If you can’t tell, beam is her best event, and she has a phenomenal routine capable of scoring in the high 14s which could mean a spot in the event finals. Like her teammates, she’s super consistent, and has hit nine of her ten routines this season in addition to contributing a solid DTY to the team’s vault lineup.
While these four have been in the running for quite some time, Lechenault didn’t really emerge as a contender until this year. The 15-year-old was a bit inconsistent as a junior, and didn’t quite have the difficulty to stand out on any event until late last year, when she showed a huge talent on bars, winning the bronze medals at both Massilia and Top Gym. This and floor have been her key events in 2016, and while she was originally considered a risk for the test event team, she ended up posting the top score on floor and the second-best score on bars in Rio, where she placed seventh in the bars final.
As a whole, this is a fabulous team with an especially strong bars lineup to balance out a somewhat low difficulty floor rotation. They also have an incredibly strong alternate in 19-year-old Anne Kuhm, another valuable member of the test event team who has worlds experience and placed third all-around at nationals this year with clean work across the board. While this year’s Olympic team final will be incredibly tough to make, this squad has the potential to make it happen.
Article by Lauren Hopkins