Norway Kicks Off Elite Season in Oslo

The elite season in Norway kicked off in Oslo this weekend with the senior and junior women competing at the 1st Norwegian FIG Meet, the first of several domestic meets leading up to selection for European Championships held in about five weeks.

While no one was exactly up to par quite yet, Julie Søderstrøm, a first-year senior who trains at Asker, showed up looking far better than I think she ever has, earning a 48.55 all-around to take the title by more than a point ahead of her competition. Søderstrøm looked tidy for the most part, with no major mistakes, but also showed that there’s room for improvement, which is always a plus.

In addition to her all-around win, Søderstrøm won the gold medal on beam, but struggled with falls in her other two finals, placing fifth on bars and sixth on floor, though I’m sure both were just flukes and I’m more than sure she’ll be a frontrunner for pretty much every international team this year if she keeps up what she did on the first day of competition.

Behind Søderstrøm on the podium were her Asker teammates Martine Skregelid and Solveig Berg, both experienced international competitors entering their third year as seniors and hoping to lead the team going forward. Skregelid had a couple of falls on bars in the all-around, earning a 47.6, while Berg’s errors came on floor, getting her to a 47.5 total.

Skregelid actually came back to win the bars title with a fall, earning an 11.45, while also getting the silver medals on beam with an 11.195 and floor with an 11.35, having issues on both of these events as well, but with it being so early in the season, pretty much no one made it through unscathed, giving her a chance to finish at the top despite the mistakes. Berg ended up with the bronze on bars, hitting her routine for a 10.15, and then she placed fourth on beam, normally a great event for her, earning a 10.5 with a fall.

These three were pretty much untouchable in the all-around competition, where the next-highest competitor was a full two points behind the girls on the podium. Rounding out the top eight were Victoria Bøe of Holmen in fourth with a 45.3, Sofie Aateigen of Kristiansand in fifth with a 43.8, Mira Neurauter of Oslo in sixth with a 41.5, Karoline Bjerk of Oslo in seventh with a 41.0, and Kristin Bjørnbak of HSIL in eighth with a 40.45.

Bøe ended up winning the floor gold, earning an 11.8 for a clean routine, while also picking up the silver on bars with an 11.05, Aateigen won the bronze on beam, earning a 10.8 with a fall, and Neurauter won the floor bronze, earning a 10.55 for a hit routine.

In a vault field of just two gymnasts, Bjerk easily won the gold with an 11.75 average, showing pretty rough form for both of her attempts. The other vaulter, Ella Eggen, not only had lower difficulty, but also competed two vaults from the same family, leading to a two-point penalty to average just a 9.85 for silver.

The junior competition featured an all-around competition only, with the event winners decided by the scores they earned on each event in the all-around final.

With top junior gymnasts Edel Fosse and Mari Kanter making mistakes, Julie Madsø of Holmen ended up the champion, winning the gold medal with a 46.75 after strong performances on both beam and floor, where her respective scores of 12.55 and 11.85 were the highest of the competition on those events.

Maria Tronrud of Oslo was the silver all-around medalist with a 45.55, also earning the third-best scores of 10.45 on bars and 12.35 on beam, while Kanter, who trains at Holmen with Madsø, won the bronze with a 44.65. Kanter had the second-best scores of 12.55 on vault, 12.5 on beam, and 11.65 on floor, but a disastrous bars performance kept her from challenging for the top of the podium.

Åsne Øyulvstad, also of Holmen, placed fourth with a 44.2, and Fosse, a member of last year’s junior European Championships team, was fifth with a 44.05, falling or making large mistakes on pretty much every event but vault. Her bars difficulty is so great compared to the rest of the Norwegian juniors, however, and so her score of 10.55 with the mistakes was still second-best in this field.

Rounding out the top eight, Sara Davidsen of Laksevåg was sixth with a 44.05, Selma Karlsen of Oslo was seventh with a 43.4 and posted the best vault score of 12.65, and Sarah Halvorsen of Oslo was eighth with a 43.05. Sigrid Lello of Nidaros, ninth all-around, had the best bars score of 10.7, Nora Irgens of Fana won the bronze medal on floor with an 11.3, and Nidaros gymnasts Vilma Aarflot and Martine Johnsen tied for vault bronze with scores of 12.4.

Full results from the competition are available here. Next up for Norway is the Unni & Haralds Trophy, also to be held in Oslo in just a couple of weeks.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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