Merkova Twins, Cenkova Best in Brno

This weekend, the Czech national team met up for a control meet in Brno, competing as a way to gauge where each gymnast currently stands going into the international season.

The fan favorite Merkova twins, still just 15, made their senior debuts at this meet, with Adela taking gold on what was an incredible day for her while Vendula earned the bronze after falls in a really rough beam routine.

Adela posted a 49.95 total score, looking her best as always on beam and floor, with her 13.05 on beam the best single event score of the meet, and her 12.5 on floor was the best on that event as well. Vendula, meanwhile, showed strong work on bars and floor, but only earned a 10.1 on her normally gorgeous beam set; without these issues, she would’ve presented a major challenge against her sister, and it’ll be fun watching the two gymnasts go back and forth with one another for their competitive careers.

Instead, it was Veronika Cenkova, 18, who ended up challenging Adela for the top score, posting a 49.9 to finish just half a tenth behind her for silver. Cenkova showed mostly great work on all four of her events, posting the top scores on vault and bars while sharing the top score of 12.5 with Adela on floor, making this one of her strongest all-around performances I can remember.

Beyond these three, no one else really measured up, with Romana Majerechova placing fourth with a 44.8 and Barbora Schneiderova placing fifth with a 43.25 while Katerina Jelinkova competed beam and floor and Lucie Jirikova competed only on bars. Of these competitors, both Majerechova and Jelinkova tied for bronze on beam with scores of 10.55, but had Vendula hit the routine she’s capable of, she would’ve effectively canceled out these two, and so the core of the Czech program right now is absolutely the Merkova twins and Cenkova.

Adela Holosova, the most promising junior last year, is unfortunately still recovering from the knee injury she suffered at Euros in 2016, but once she joins the ranks, she’ll fit right into that core group giving the Czech Republic a pretty great team this quad, especially compared to recent years.

Full results from the control meet are available here.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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