14 Nations Expected in Flanders

Nina flag

This year’s Flanders International Team Challenge, to be held in Belgium over the weekend, will feature gymnasts at the senior, junior, and espoir levels competing in team and individual contests in what’s shaping up to look like a mini-Euros with 14 mostly European nations expected to attend.

In addition to the host country, which will feature 2017 European bars champion Nina Derwael leading a squad that also includes her Olympic teammates Senna Deriks and Rune Hermans, neighboring France and the Netherlands are sending gymnasts, as are Poland, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Israel, Switzerland, Austria, Turkey, and Egypt.

The senior field includes mostly younger and less experienced gymnasts, probably in an effort to bring more experience to those who could factor into major teams in the future.

Italy has probably the strongest team on paper, with a good mix of experience and those who need it. 2016 Olympian Elisa Meneghini will lead the promising Desiree Carofiglio and Giada Grisetti while Francesca Linari and Caterina Cereghetti will get their feet wet internationally, both with some high-level junior meets under their belts, but this will be their first real test as seniors. With junior standouts Asia D’Amato and Elisa Iorio as a buffer, this could be the team to beat depending on how things go this weekend.

We won’t see France’s standouts, but Juliette Bossu, Lorette Charpy, and Alison Lepin — all of whom have a shot at worlds this year — are on the roster, as are the country’s best juniors, including Celia Serber, Aline Friess, Carolann Heduit, Morgane Osyssek, Alisson Lapp, and Aglaé Adam-Cuvillier, making this another team to watch in the race for the top of the podium.

Spain could also be up in the mix, with 2016 Olympian Ana Perez leading a team featuring the country’s top choices at both the senior and junior levels right now. The Netherlands is only sending one senior, the 2001-born Naomi Visser, and I don’t think their juniors will be able to pull off the podium on their own in this field, but we will get to see standout Sanna Veerman, who looked fantastic at the IAG SportEvent a couple of weeks ago.

The competition begins Saturday with the all-around final that also serves as qualifications for Sunday’s team final, which will feature combined junior and senior teams for each country. Sunday is also when the espoir gymnasts will compete, kicking things off that morning before the team final in the afternoon. A full list of competitors is below.

SENIORS

AUSTRIA
Marlies Männersdorfer
Tamara Stadelmann
Beatrice Stritzl
BELGIUM
Maellyse Brassart
Senna Deriks
Nina Derwael
Rune Hermans
Julie Meyers
EGYPT
Mandy Mohamed
FRANCE
Juliette Bossu
Grace Charpy
Lorette Charpy
Alison Lepin
Alix Scandella
IRELAND
Casey Bell
ITALY
Desire Carofiglio
Caterina Cereghetti
Giada Grisetti
Francesca Linari
Elisa Meneghini
NETHERLANDS
Naomi Visser
NORWAY
Sofie Aateigen
Solveig Berg
Thea Nygaard
Martine Skregelid
Julie Søderstrøm
SPAIN
Laura Bechdeju
Nora Fernandez
Ana Palacios
Ana Perez
Paula Raya
SWITZERLAND
Thea Brogli
Lynn Genhart
Fabienne Studer

JUNIORS

BELGIUM I
Margaux Daveloose
Kay-li de Neef
Cassia Priels
Margo van Linden
Julie Vandamme
BELGIUM II
Cato Fleurackers
Sophia Kola
Chloé Storey
Fien Vandeberg
FRANCE
Aglaé Adam-Cuvillier
Aline Friess
Carolann Heduit
Alisson Lapp
Morgane Osyssek
Celia Serber
IRELAND
Aisling Fuller
Rebecca Geddis
Jane Heffernan
Kate Molloy
Meg Ryan
Emma Slevin
ISRAEL
Emilia Babich
Lihi Lamesh
Meitar Lavy
Dana Negru
Andy Turiski
ITALY
Benedetta Ciammarughi
Asia D’Amato
Matilde de Tullio
Elisa Iorio
Sydney Saturnino
NETHERLANDS
Laura de Witt
Astrid de Zeeuw
Tanishaley Neto
Juliette Pijnacker
Bogusia Rossen
Sara van Disseldorp
Sanna Veerman
NORWAY
Edel Fosse
Mari Kanter
Julie Madsø
Hedvig Saga
Anne Tingvold
POLAND
Iga Kowalczyk
Oliwia Luka
Barbara Sikora
SPAIN
Andrea Carmona
Sara Coll
Emma Fernandez
Lorena Medina
Violeta Sanchez
SWEDEN
Jessica Castles
Tonya Paulsson
Kristina Undheim
Cecilia Wrangdahl
TURKEY
Ipek Bakar
Yasemin Zehra Borekci
Nazli Savranbasi
Yaren Turan
Ezgi Yesil

ESPOIR

BELGIUM I
Stacy Bertrandt
Maria-Laura de Jonckheere
Kato de Laet
Wine Dierick
Calisse Kums
BELGIUM II
Sarah Deschuyteneer
Alice Francoy
Keziah Langendock
Kjenta Pattyn
Jutta Verkest
BELGIUM III
Charlotte Beydts
Yuriane Demuysere
Lisa Inghelbrecht
Lise Verhaeghe
Maud van Grieken
FRANCE
Charlene Birin
Alizee Letrange-Mouakit
Eva Meder
Mathilde Wahl
IRELAND
Caoimhe Donohoe
Miriam Fuller
Blathnaid Higgins
Caoilfhionn Inglis
NETHERLANDS I 
Isatu Barrie
Pleun Reinders
Zenna van de Lubbe
Lisa van Rozen
NETHERLANDS II
Irene Alornyo
Sarai Huitema
Shade van Oorschot
Megan van Puffelen

Note: There are three Belgian espoir groups. I don’t know the exact breakdown of all three so I separated them myself based on the nominative registration. These might not be the exact teams on Sunday but it’ll be some mix of those 15 girls.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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