Nora Fernandez, the 17-year-old who trains at Salt Gymnastics Club, defeated 2016 Olympian Ana Perez to win this year’s Spanish Cup in Guadalajara after posting the top score on every event but floor.
It was a great meet for Fernandez, who put together a solid performance across the board and hit all four events to finish her day with a 52.866. She showed that she can be a strong contender for Spain when she’s at the top of her game.
Without a real standout event, she needs to be a consistent option everywhere, and that’s what she gave us this weekend. Fernandez brought in a 13.733 for her Yurchenko full, a 13.2 on bars, and a 13.1 on beam to take the gold medals on all three, and then she also hit floor for a 12.833 to take the silver.
Perez ended up nearly two points behind Fernandez after some falls and mistakes on her best events held her back. Despite the errors, Perez still won the all-around silver as well as the silver medal on bars and the bronze on beam, and she showed that going into European Championships later this month, she could be a top-ten all-around contender if she can hit all of her events in the final.
The bronze was a bit of a surprise, going to Paula Raya over veteran Cintia Rodriguez, whose struggles on bars — normally her top event — kept her out of the podium race.
Raya, 18, had some mistakes on beam, and her difficulty overall isn’t super high, but she had a better-than-usual bars set, scoring a 12.933 to win the bronze there as well as in the all-around with a 50.366. Rodriguez, 22, was only a little over a tenth behind her with a 50.199, winning the gold on floor with a 13.133 for a really strong routine, but with just a Yurchenko layout on vault, she couldn’t afford her bars mistakes and finished in a narrow fourth place.
Rounding out the top eight, we saw Laura Bechdeju in fifth with a 48.500, junior Violeta Sanchez in sixth with a 48.267, junior Emma Fernandez in seventh with a 47.600, and Carolina Sanchez in eighth with a 47.467. Junior Andrea Carmona finished just outside the top eight, in ninth with a 47.334, but her 12.567 on floor showed promise and earned the bronze, while first-year senior Marta Sanchez was tenth with a 47.000 after a rough day on everything but vault.
18-year-old worlds veteran and Spain’s runner-up for the Olympics last year Claudia Colom competed just on vault and bars this weekend, getting the bronze for the 13.5 on her Yurchenko full and also picking up the silver on beam with a 13.033 for a solid routine.
Finally, the silver medal on vault went to Marina Plomer, who showed a clean Yurchenko full on the one event she competed.
The Spanish women have a couple of small international competitions coming up in the next few weeks, but this was the biggest test for determining the European Championships team, and it seems Fernandez, Perez, Rodriguez, and Colom will be locks if they can all remain healthy, though Raya showed that she could be a valuable alternate if needed.
Full results from the competition are available here.
Article by Lauren Hopkins