Brooklyn Moors on floor at the World Championships. Photograph: YouTube

As part of our recap of 2017, here are our ten favourite routines of this year.

1. Mai Murakami (Japan) – October, World Championships

The winner can but be our new floor exercise world champion, Mai Murakami, who finally achieved a long overdue world medal. Her routine is a combination of difficult yet flawless tumbling passes and engaging choreography. Impressive and deserved champ!

2. Leanne Wong (USA, junior) – August, P&G Championships

I defined Leanne Wong the Queen of Elegance last September, when I was reviewing my ten favourite routines of the P&G Championships. Leanne is the perfect combination of difficult tumbling and picture-perfect choreography. Perfection is an underappreciated quality in elite gymnastics these days.

3. Brooklyn Moors (Canada) – October, World Championships

Speaking of elegance, the most elegant gymnast at the 2017 World Championships was without any doubt Brooklyn Moors, who indeed won the Longines Prize for Elegance at those Championships. Her balletic style is poetry in motion, her floor routine is the real embodiment of artistic gymnastics.

4. Kara Eaker (USA, junior) – August, P&G Championships

Kara Eaker, who is turning senior in 2018, cannot be left out of the ‘Queen of Elegance’ series. Leanne Wong’s club mate at GAGE, Kara’s lyrical beauty on floor and her rhythmic gymnastics style may bring tears to your eyes.

5. Eythora Thorsdottir (Netherlands) – April, European Championships

There are so many Elegance Queens this year that the epitome of elegance on floor, Eythora Thorsdottir, has been relegated to fifth place! Eythora brings to the table new routines every year, and yet her beauty, flare and intensity never change. Respect!

6. Angelina Melnikova (Russia) – April, European Championships

Speaking of intensity, Angelina Melnikova may not have had the year she had hoped for (and deserved), but during the floor event final at the European Championships in April, she found the focus and determination that had eluded her until then (and unfortunately later in the season). She performed a steady, beautifully and originally choreographed routine, which won her her first individual medal at Euros.

7. Claudia Fragapane (Great Britain) – October, World Championships

Another well-deserved and overdue medal was the one won by Claudia Fragapane on floor at Worlds. Claudia’s dancing skills have improved dramatically since her appearance on Strictly Come Dancing, and her choreography, together with some steady tumbling passes, was a joy to watch.

8. Natalie Brown (Oklahoma) – April, NCAA Championships

In a troubled year, nothing was more beautiful and refreshing than a floor routine that carried a strong message. Natalie Brown’s routine represented the tragic story of Syrian refugees. A humble gesture that reminds us how lucky we are.

9. Morgan Hurd (USA) – October, World Championships

The all around world champion sealed her crown with this routine. Harry Potter fan Morgan Hurd gave this routine a touch of magic, with gravity-defying tumbling passes and graceful choreography. A real hero with glasses!

10. MyKayla Skinner (Utah) – March, Pac-12 Championships

This year Olympic alternate MyKayla Skinner became the first NCAA gymnast to compete a double double on floor exercise. This sassy routine shows the new MyKayla, who, unshaken by the many disappointments of her elite career, can finally enjoy herself, her gymnastics and some well-deserved glory in college.

 Article by Talitha Ilacqua


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