Mette Hulgaard, who turns 29 this year, won her ninth senior national all-around title at Danish Championships this past weekend with a 50.25 total score in what was her first all-around performance since the European Games nearly two years ago.
Hulgaard’s first all-around title came at the age of 15 in her first year as a senior, and over the years she racked up another seven titles, with her most recent being in 2014. In 2015, Hulgaard placed second all-around and then, due to injury, she only managed to compete bars and beam in 2016, so this was her big comeback performance and it basically couldn’t have gone any better, as she hit all four events to finish up with the gold.
“It’s really nice to be back on all four events again,” Hulgaard said following the meet. “I have worked really hard, and now it’s all about fine-tuning as we look towards European Championships.”
One of Hulgaard’s biggest competitive threats was missing from this meet, however, as first-year senior Marie Skammelsen has been taking it easy, opting to rest from a nagging foot injury so she wouldn’t exacerbate it going into Euros. Skammelsen, who trains with Hulgaard at KG66, attended the meet to cheer on her teammates, but unfortunately we’ll still have to wait a few more weeks before we see her senior debut.
22-year-old Tinna Odinsdottir — who competes internationally for Iceland but lives in Denmark, training and coaching at VIK in Aarhus — was second in the senior competition with a 48.5, while Victoria Gilberg, last year’s Danish national champion, won the bronze with a 43.9, a lower-than-usual score for her.
Hulgaard skipped event finals, leaving most of the titles to Gilberg, who won beam with an 11.75, floor with a 12.25, and shared bars with Odinsdottir, both earning a 10.05. The vault title went to Ida Holst, who averaged a 12.725 to get a five-point win over the rest of the girls in this final.
Camille Rasmussen, the 2004-born teammate of Hulgaard and Skammelsen at KG66, moved up to the junior ranks this year and won the title with a 46.95 after a rough meet on bars. With only a 7.95 on the event, Rasmussen nearly lost to second-place Victoria Kajø, who earned a 46.9 for a mostly solid day, though she’s so good on beam and floor, she was able to fight back from her falls to secure the win while Emilie Midtbøll earned the bronze with a 45.1.
No one else in the field came close to catching these three, with the normally solid Amalie Rosendahl tying Liv Strauss for fourth with a 43.25, Sophia Christiansen placing sixth with a 42.45, Mathilde Bentsen placing seventh with a 42.0, and Isabella Bøckhaus placing eighth with a 41.85.
In finals, Midtbøll won the vault gold with a 12.85 average, narrowly defeating Rasmussen in second with a 12.8 and Rosendahl and Bentsen tied for third with a 12.775. Rasmussen came back with huge wins on beam with a 13.3 and floor with a 13.05, though, and Bøckhaus won bars with a 10.05, the same score as the seniors.
Midtbøll also earned the bars silver and beam bronze, Kajø won beam silver and bars bronze, and on floor, Rosendahl won silver and Bentsen won bronze.
In the espoir division, Sara Jacobsen won the gold with a 46.05 and nearly swept event finals, earning the titles on vault (12.325 average), bars (9.75), and floor (12.65) in addition to picking up the silver on beam (12.1). Josephine Sørensen placed second all-around with a 43.925, Cecilie Bergholt won the bronze all-around medal with a 39.675, and Natalie Jensen won the beam title with a 12.5.
Hulgaard is expected to compete in the all-around at European Championships later this month alongside her young teammate, Skammelsen, who will make her senior debut in Cluj.
Article by Lauren Hopkins