Mara Slippens, a 13-year-old from TopTurnen West, won the all-around and floor titles at this weekend’s Create Team Cup, a competition held for young junior gymnasts in the Netherlands.
The competition showed a promising level of young talent, with Slippens narrowly getting the all-around gold with a 48.800, just a tenth ahead of 14-year-old Ghizlane Barraki, while Cathalina Matamala, a teammate of Barraki’s at Pax, won the bronze with a 45.850.
Slippens looked solid on all four events on the first day of competition, and she also made all four apparatus finals, winning the silver on vault and the gold on floor with equally strong performances, though she had falls on both bars and beam to finish fifth on both.
Barraki was a bit behind on floor in the all-around competition, but looked great otherwise. She opted to not compete in the event finals, but this seems to have been precautionary, as she’s now back in the gym training some really big skills, so let’s hope we see her add a few upgrades to become a big junior threat for this country.
The rest of the field was definitely at weaker level compared to the top two, mostly due to a low level of difficulty, though a few could’ve been in the mix for the podium without the falls they had here. In addition to Matamala placing third, the top eight also included Mischa Marchena in fourth with a 45.100, Esmee Beekhuis in fifth with a 44.900, Wilema Olaria in sixth with a 44.800, 12-year-old Belgian espoir gymnast Callie Lopes in seventh with a 44.750, and Celine Kusters in eighth with a 43.900.
Beekhuis averaged a 13.300 to win the vault gold, while also snagging the silvers on beam and floor, Marchena won the bronze on vault with a fall on her first run, and she also ended up taking the gold on beam as well as the bronze on floor, and Lopes won the bars gold with a simple but beautifully-executed routine.
Pien van Daal, 15th all-around, won the silver on bars, while the bronze went to Sam van der Hilst, who finished 12th all-around, and Eva Nieuwenhuizen, 13th all-around, won the bronze on beam.
A full list of results is available here.
Article by Lauren Hopkins