Italy Hard to Beat at Mediterranean Juniors

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The Italian juniors had yet another fantastic meet at the Mediterranean Junior Championships in Spain this weekend, winning a total of eight medals including the team, all-around, vault, and floor golds as they faced off against tough competitors from France and Spain.

Elisa Iorio, Alice D’Amato, and Martina Basile were unbeatable in the all-around, finishing with the gold, silver, and bronze medals there, respectively, while Iorio also won vault gold and bars silver and D’Amato picked up the silver on beam and gold on floor. These three easily won the team competition by over seven points, doing what they were expected to do, and cementing themselves as the best in the Mediterranean region.

It was a great day for Iorio in the all-around, where she reached a 53.950 with a solid Yurchenko double and a lovely bars set, the latter earning a 14.0 to qualify her first into the event final. She went on to with the vault title by more than a point with another hit DTY alongside a clean FTY, averaging a 13.8, and though she had a fall in the bars final, her D score there of 5.4 was nearly a point higher than anyone else’s and she still managed to pick up the silver medal, only a tenth back from the gold even with the fall.

D’Amato is dealing with minor injuries and was a little downgraded here, but she came through with a clean day on all four of her events, scoring a 53.000 in the all-around with her lowest single-event score just a 13.15. She showed an excellent floor routine in finals to earn a 12.9 for the gold, and like her teammate, she got a silver medal with a fall, on beam in her case with her 12.2 just a few tenths back from the gold medalist thanks to her great difficulty on that event.

Due to the one-per-country rules for event finals, Basile unfortunately wasn’t able to qualify into any of the finals with Iorio and D’Amato putting up the best scores on each event in qualifications, but she would’ve qualified third into the beam final had she been eligible. Like D’Amato, her performance in the all-around showed four solid, hit routines, with her beam a standout in this field.

The host team from Spain won the team silver medal as well as medals in all four apparatus finals, with Violeta Sanchez taking the gold on bars and the bronze on vault, while Andrea Carmona tied for the gold on floor and the bronze on beam, bringing them to a total of five medals.

Sanchez finished fourth all-around with a 49.750 while Carmona was sixth with a 47.75, struggling on bars but otherwise having a solid competition. Their third competitor, Emma Fernandez, struggled a bit on beam, ending up ninth with a 47.050.

Sanchez fell on her Yurchenko full in the vault final, but with other competitors either falling or showing low difficulty, he 12.575 average was still enough to get her on the podium, and she was pretty much the only gymnast who hit bars in this field, winning the gold with a 12.45. Carmona’s floor in finals was tidy and well-performed, and though she had some bobbles on beam, she managed to get on the podium with an 11.95 just half a tenth ahead of the fourth-place finisher.

The bronze medal-winning team from France earned three individual medals, with AlizĂ©e Letrange-Mouakit earning an 11.35 with a fall on bars to get the bronze there, while Eva Meder was solid on beam to win the gold with a 12.65 and showed great tumbling on floor to win the bronze there with a 12.25. Letrange-Mouakit was the team’s best all-arounder, finishing fifth with a 48.150 after issues on floor, while Alison Faure was seventh with a 47.600 and Meder was tenth with a 47.000, falling on her bars set.

Yaren Turan was the only gymnast not from a team medal-winning country to win an individual medal, getting the silver on vault with two clean attempts to average a 12.775. Turan finished 14th all-around with a 43.950, just behind teammate Ipek Bakar in 13th with a 45.050, and just ahead of Sinem Nur Toyran, the Turkish junior national champion, in 15th with a 43.200 after a rough day on beam. Bakar had falls in the bars final to place fifth and hit beam to finish fourth, while Toyran had a hit floor to finish fifth there, and the team itself placed fifth overall.

Alia Mostafa of Egypt finished eighth all-around with a 47.300 after a mostly strong day, helping her team to a fourth-place finish. Her teammates Mehra Mohamed and Samaa Gohar finished 11th and 12th with scores of 46.700 and 45.550, respectively, and Mostafa finished fourth on vault and floor, while Gohar finished fourth on bars and Mohamed finished fifth on beam.

Beyond those on top five teams, Ella Borg of Malta was 16th with a 40.900, Gloria Philassides of Cyprus was 17th with a 40.750, Marcela Panagiotou of Cyprus was 18th with a 38.100, Yasmine Laaroussi of Morocco was 19th with a 37.950, Christiana Eleftheriou of Cyprus was 20th with a 37.000, Mae Farrugia of Malta was 21st with a 36.800, Julia Micallef of Malta was 22nd with a 36.450, and Wissal Kahlfi of Morroco competed only on beam and floor.

Full results from this year’s Mediterranean Junior Championships are available here.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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