Canada's Ellie Black won gold on beam. Photograph: Silvia Vatteroni

Canada won two gold medals out of four in the event finals, with Brittany Rogers on vault and Ellie Black on beam. The bars title was won by Russia’s world champion Daria Spiridonova, while floor went to Romania’s Universiade all around champion Larisa Iordache.

The vault title went to Canada’s Olympian Brittany Rogers with an overall score of 14.250. The former Georgia Gymdog scored a 14.500/5.4 for her DTY and a 14.000/5.2 for her Yurchenko half-in half-out. Second was Liliia Akhaimova of Russia with a 13.983. Akhaimova impressed once again with a very well executed DTY for a 14.300/5.4, but her low difficulty on her second vault (13.666/4.6) kept her behind Rogers, despite a higher execution score. Akhaimova was the only gymnast in the competition to score over 9 in execution on both vaults. Russia’s world champion and Olympic medallist Maria Paseka was only third with a 13.916, after messing up her Amanar vault, and landing both her vaults out of bounds. She scored a 13.900/5.8 for her Amanar and a 13.933/5.2 for her Yurchenko half-in half-out.

World champion Daria Spiridonova of Russia won gold on the uneven bars with a 14.233/5.7. Spiridonova has not regained either the form or the difficulty she had last year, but her strong performance at the Universiade may make a case for having her on the World championships team. Second was eternal Kim Bui of Germany, who, at 28, scored an impressive 14.066. With a 5.8 Bui also had the highest D-score of the competition. Third was Canada’s Ellie Black, who redeemed herself after a poor performance on bars in the all around, with a good 13.966/5.7.

Ellie Black also won the balance beam title with a good 14.133/5.8. Black impressed with her difficulty and consistency, the only evident wobble being after her double spin. Second was Japan’s Natsumi Sasada, who performed a lovely and poised routine for a 13.833/5.6. Third was Romania’s Larisa Iordache, who had the highest difficulty in the field, a 6.1, but fell once again on her layout full twist for a 13.666/6.1. Iordache showed plenty of difficulty and potential at these championships, but fell off beam three times out of three, which will leave her (and us) wonder whether having two full twists in one routine is really worth the risk.

Larisa Iordache then redeemed herself, winning gold on floor with a 13.800/5.4. Her routine was weird, however, as she missed her second tumbling pass, and had to improvise the following two. In her second pass, she was supposed to compete a two-and-a-half twist into punch front, but did not get enough rotation, and ended up landing only an over-rotated double twist. She then attempted the same pass again, successfully, on her third pass, and ended her routine with a triple twist, instead of the normal double pike. We must praise her quick thinking, but hopefully it will not happen again, especially not at Worlds! Second was Japan’s Asuka Teramoto with a 13.766/5.4. Third was Liliia Akhaimova, who competed a very difficult routine, which included a double Arabian to punch front and a double layout, for a 13.533/5.6.

Article by Talitha Ilacqua


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