The all around medallist: Riley McCusker, Rebeca Andrade and Abby Paulson. Photograph: MG Elite/Facebook
The 2017 Jesolo Trophy was held on 1 and 2 April in Jesolo, Italy.
The United States dominated the competition, showing off two teams with great depth and margin of improvement. Impressive performances were also put up by Brazil, which gained a gold and three silver medals, Russia, which earned a gold and three bronze medals, and Canada, which earned a gold medal.
The senior team competition was won by the U.S. team formed of Riley McCusker, Morgan Hurd, Victoria Nguyen and Ashton Locklear with a score of 167.950. Second was Brazil, composed of Olympians Rebeca Andrade, Flavia Saraiva and Carolyne Pedro and Thais Fidelis with a score of 164.650. Third was Russia, whose team was formed of Olympians Angelina Melnikova and Daria Spiridonova and rising stars Elena Eremina and Natalia Kapitonova, with a score of 164.600.
The USA also competed with a second team formed of Abby Paulson, Trinity Thomas and Yelena Shchennikova, who were all competing internationally for the first time. Paulson had an amazing competition, while Thomas and Shchennikova struggled a little, but have big margin of improvement.
U.S. Riley McCusker got redemption after the American Cup, winning the all around title in her second international competition with a big score of 56.600, despite a fall on floor. McCusker’s top score came on bars, where she posted a huge 15.050/6.2. She also scored an excellent 14.600/5.4 on vault 14.200/5.5 on beam and 12.750/5.2 on floor. Second was Brazilian Olympic finalist Rebeca Andrade, who scored a 56.000. Andrade’s top score was a big 15.000/5.4 on vault. She also scored a 13.800/5.3 on bars, a 13.550/5.4 on beam and a 13.650/5.0 on floor. Third was U.S. Abby Paulson, a huge result on her international debut (55.800). Paulson scored a 13.700/4.6 on vault, 14.300/5.6 on bars, a 14.200/5.8 on beam and a 13.600/5.4 on floor. Fourth was Russia’s Elena Eremina (55.750), who scored a big 14.850 on bars, fifth was Brazil’s Flavia Saraiva (55.400), who had an uncharacteristic fall on beam and sixth was Russia’a Angelina Melnikova (54.800). US Ashton Locklear, in her first competition since the 2016 Olympic Trials, posted two excellent scores on bars (14.750/5.5) and beam (14.000/5.6).
The event finals revealed some fantastic gymnastics. Vault was won by Canada’s Shallon Olsen with a big 14.500 (14.650 and 14.350). Second was Italy’s Sofia Busato with a 14.175 (14.400 and 13.950) and third was Russia’s Angelina Melnikova (14.025), who finally unveiled a strong second vault (14.450 and 13.600).
The uneven bars title was won by Russia’s Elena Eremina with a big 14.750/6.0. Eremina topped U.S. Riley McCusker (14.600/6.0) and Ashton Locklear (14.550/5.5). Locklear did not have the highest difficulty, but showed off her usual beautiful lines, scoring an outstanding 9.050 in execution.
U.S. Riley McCusker also won the beam title with a 14.200/5.5. Tying for silver were Brazilian beam queen Flavia Saraiva (14.100/5.8) and France’s European silver medallist Marine Boyer (14.100/5.8).
U.S. Abby Paulson and Brazil’s Flavia Saraiva tied for first place on floor with two 13.900s (5.4 D-score for Paulson and 5.1 for Saraiva). Third was Russia’s Angelina Melnikova with a 13.800/5.4. Melnikova is starting mastering her new difficult routine and impressed with a superb choreography.
By Talitha Ilacqua