Photo by Silvia Vatteroni
Russia’s Maria Kharenkova beat the reigning European beam champion Larisa Iordache of Romania yesterday during the European championships’event final.

Kharenkova who is having her first major international competition as a senior, scored a 14.933 beating Iordache by 0.133.

Her teammate and the reigning World champion on the event, Aliya Mustafina settled for a bronze medal with a score of 14.733.

“I am extremely happy that Maria Kharenkova took the gold on beam. The competition was not easy for me because of my leg injury, but I tried to pull myself together because I know my younger teammates are watching me and I shouldn`t show any weakness” said Aliya Mustafinawho is the oldest and only experienced gymnast on the Russian team.

Now that the competition has ended, Aliya is going to have her ankle re-examined in Germany.

“To tell you the truth I am too excited to tell you what is happening right now. As for Aliya she is our sister, our world star, our coach and even our mother, she is all for us. We are all very happy” said Kharenkova.

“I am sorry that I didn`t get the gold on the beam and I will do my best to prove what I can do at the World Championships in China later on this year” said the silver medalist Larisa Iordache.

British Rebecca Downie who won gold on uneven bars, finished in 4th place with score 14.366. Italy’s Vanessa Ferrari and Poland’s Marta Pihan Kulesza came in 5th and 6th place respectively.

Calire Martin of France produced a nice routine but had a fall on her dismount. She finished in 7th place. While Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland finished last.

Written by Gigi Khazback Farid


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