The Norwegian European Championships team, from left to right: Victoria Bøe, Solveig Berg, Julie Søderstrøm, and Martine Skregelid.
Victoria Bøe was named the fourth and final member of Norway’s European Championships team at this weekend’s 2nd Norwegian FIG Meet held in Oslo, joining the previously-named Solveig Berg, Martine Skregelid, and Julie Søderstrøm in Cluj.
Having already secured Euros spots at earlier meets, Berg, Skregelid, and Søderstrøm had this weekend off so they could focus on preparing for next week’s competition. The final spot was up for grabs between Bøe, 17, and Sofie Bråten, the 21-year-old with world championships experience who has made world cup finals in the past.
Bråten and Bøe actually tied for third place in Saturday’s all-around competition with matching scores of 44.05, but Bøe posted two scores above a 12, including a 12.25 on vault and a 12.1 on floor, whereas Bråten’s highest score was just an 11.65. Bøe showed that she has slightly greater potential at the moment, with Bråten not at her full capacity having just returned to competition for the first time since October.
Earlier this season, Bøe placed fourth behind her three Euros teammates at the 1st Norwegian FIG meet in early March and then won the silver medal in the all-around at the Unni & Haralds Trophy a couple of weeks ago, her all-around score surpassing 45 in both meets. This weekend, she had a rough performance on bars, scoring about two points lower than she’s typically capable of, so with Bråten not at full strength, she was the obvious choice. This is Bøe’s first major international assignment, so it’s nice to see Norway spreading the wealth, giving her important experience that could help her improve even more than she has in the past couple of years.
Bråten, who normally has two vaults, only competed one this weekend, and also had a rough performance in event finals. She still won the bars title with a fall, earning a 10.55 to take the gold in a weak field, and she placed fifth with a 10.15 after a fall on beam. Bøe only competed in the floor final, where she scored an 11.7 for the bronze.
Thea Nygaard, 18, actually won the all-around, vault, beam, and floor titles as well as the silver medal on bars. Her 48.4 was relatively massive in this field, matching the other three named to the Euros team, so I’m not sure why she wasn’t in contention for the Euros spot, but according to the federation, it was only between Bøe and Bråten.
Nygaard, a member of the worlds team in 2015 and the Euros team in 2016, had solid gymnastics all weekend in her first domestic meet of the season. I’m sure there was a qualification process to get on this team that goes beyond this one competition, though, and I’m sure we’ll see her make a push for other international assignments this year.
In second was Sofie Aateigen, a promising junior member of the 2014 Northern Euros team, though an injury in 2015 — her first year as a senior — kept her out of competition and she has yet to earn a senior international assignment. With hit routines on all four events, Aateigen earned a 46.25 including a 12.5 on vault and a 12.2 on floor, and went on to win the silver medal on floor as well as the bronze medals on bars and beam in event finals. Her difficulty is a little bit lower than some of the other Norwegian competitors at the moment, but she adds depth and promise to this young team, and has improved a great deal in the past year.
Rounding out the senior all-around competition was Mira Neurauter in fifth with a 43.85, Julie Erichsen in sixth with a 43.5, Sandra Kvam in seventh with a 43.3, and Ida Bjørkelund in eighth with a 42.4. Kvam won the vault silver averaging 11.575 while Vilde Amblie, who competed all events but bars, won vault bronze with an 11.525 and beam silver with an 11.15.
The juniors competed only in the all-around, with Mari Kanter narrowly edging out Edel Fosse, 47.55 to 47.4. The two also split the top event scores, with Fosse topping the charts on vault (12.65) and bars (11.55) while Kanter posted the highest scores on beam (a super-impressive 12.95, the highest score on any event at this meet!) and floor (12.25).
Anne Tingvold won the bronze all-around medal with a 46.1, and also matched Fosse on vault to share the top score of the day there. Sara Davidsen was fourth with a 45.65, Åsne Øyulvstad was fifth with a 45.4, Maria Tronrud was sixth with a 45.25, Vilma Smestad was seventh with a 45.1, and Sarah Halvorsen was eighth with a 43.65.
Full results are available here.
Article by Lauren Hopkins