samedi 18 mars 2017

DTB-Pokal Team Challenge Cup: 8th place for the boys

This weekend, Stuttgart hosts both the FIG Individual World Cup and the Team Challenge Cup. Our men's team was there to represent our country, finishing in a great 8th place out of 16 teams!

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
The Belgian team, composed of Luka Van den KeybusJonathan VrolixMaxime GentgesDaan Kenis and Jimmy Verbaeys, started its competition on rings, where Jimmy Verbaeys earned the top score with 13.750, followed by Maxime Gentges (13.650) and Daan Kenis (13.350). On vault, Kenis and Jonathan Vrolix got big scores for their vault, a 14.500, the highest scores of the competition on this apparatus. 

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
On parallel bars, Jimmy's best apparatus, the young Belgian earned a 14.350. Daan follows with a 13.800. Maxime got 13.000, while Luka scored 12.950.
This competition was also the occasion to compete new elements. Maxime Gentges tried a new dismount off the horizontal bar : a triple back somersault! Unfortunately, he had to put his hands down, but it is promising for the rest of the season (12.600). Daan and Luka both got good scores (13.400 and 13.500), while Jimmy had to count a fall on his Tkatchev release (12.500).

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
In great shape, Daan Kenis got the highest score of the team on floor, with a great 13.950, followed by Jonathan (13.250). Jimmy and Maxime both had mistakes. On pommel horse, the last event of the day for the team, things didn't go as planned, as they all had issues.

Credit: Mathias Hikketik
Nevertheless, the boys still earned a pretty good total of 239.300 to place 8th (out of 16). The team qualification competition was won by Japan, ahead of Germany and Switzerland. The top 6 advances to the final.

Team rankings after qualifications:
1. Japan 247.900
2. Germany 1 245.800
2. Switzerland 245.800
4. Great-Britain 245.400
5. Russia 245.250
6. Spain 245.150
8. Belgium 239.300

There was no individual ranking, but Daan Kenis placed 7th on floor, as well as 1st on vault, tied with Jonathan VrolixJimmy is 9th on parallel bars, and Luka placed 11th on horizontal bar. Maxime's best result was a 18th place on rings.

This competition wasn't perfect, as mistakes have been made here and there. But let's not forget it was the first competition of the season for most of them. Stuttgart was an ideal competition for the boys to try and compete new elements, before they travel to Romania for the European Championships, and Montreal, for Worlds, two competitions where Belgium hopes to shine once again.

Results: here

mardi 14 mars 2017

Top 12 France : multiple success for our gymnasts

This weekend, Jimmy Verbaeys, Nina Derwael, Senna Deriks and Julie Meyers were back in action at the French Top 12, France's championships. This competition was also the opportunity for us to see how our gymnasts would score under the new code of points. Let's have a look at how they did!

On Saturday, Jimmy Verbaeys helped the team from Sotteville win the bronze medal in the match against La Madeleine for the 3rd place. In a very tense final, made of duels on each apparatus, Jimmy Verbaeys looked super steady, hitting 6 routines out of 6. This competition was the ideal way for Jimmy to prepare for the upcoming European Championships. But before that, he will travel to Germany for the Team Challenge Cup in Stuttgart.

1. Antibes
2. Clamart
3. Sotteville (with Jimmy Verbaeys)
4. La Madeleine

On Sunday, Nina Derwael competed alongside the team of Dunkerque, while Julie Meyers and Senna Deriks competed with Saint-Étienne. Nina started on floor, where she unfortunately made a mistake on one of her turns to score 11.466. She then moved on to vault and bars where she hit clean routines, especially on bars, where she presented a brand new combination : Tkatchev half turn to Ezhova. With this new routine, Nina, known for her excellent work on bars, scored 14.400, which was not only the highest score on bars (tied with Alison Lepin), but the highest score of the entire competition. 

She finished on beam, where she unfortunately had a costly mistake to score 12.200. With a total of 194.928, Dunkerque placed 5th.

Credit: Spotlight Gymnastics
Julie and Senna both had mistakes but helped their team win gold. Senna had to count a fall on beam while Julie fell on her whip to double pike on floor and then had to count a mistake on bars. 

Credit: Spotlight Gymnastics
They then presented good vaults. Senna hit a beautiful bars set to score 14.033. Saint-Étienne won gold with a total of 203.528 ahead of Avoine and Dijon.

Credit: Spotlight Gymnastics

Team rankings:
1. Saint-Étienne (with Senna Deriks and Julie Meyers) 203.528
2. Avoine 203.060
3. Dijon 202.795
4. Meaux 198.796
5. Dunkerque (with Nina Derwael) 194.928

Individual rankings:
1. Louise Vanhille 52.898
2. Elizaveta Kochetkova 52.798
3. Jaylene Gilstrap 52.199
4. Senna Deriks 51.798
6. Nina Derwael 51.666
27. Julie Meyers 47.432

Next step for our WAG team is the Sainté Gym Cup (25-26 March) and the Trofeo Città di Jesolo (1-2 April), followed by the European Championships (19-23 April).

Full results: here
Videos: here
Pics: here

Massive thank you to Spotlight Gymnastics for the videos and the pictures!

samedi 18 février 2017

2017 season: our gymnasts are back in action!

After an amazing 2016 season and historical moments, it is now time to move on an enter into a new Olympic cycle. The road starts now, and our gymnasts are back in action! Let's find out here where they will compete next!


Please, note that the teams already named might change until the competition starts

* 11-12 March: Top 12 (Valenciennes, France)
Nina DerwaelSenna Deriks and Julie Meyers will compete in this team French Championships. Source: FfG

* 25-26 March: Sainté Gym Cup (Saint-Étienne, France)
Team to be announced

* 1-2 April: Trofeo Città di Jesolo (Jesolo, Italy)
Nina Derwael and Senna Deriks made the provisional team. Source: FfG

* 19-23 April: European Championships (Cluj-Napoca, Romania)
Team to be announced

* 27-28 May: Belgian Championships (Libramont, Belgium)

* 10-11 June: FIT Challenge (Ghent, Belgium)
Teams to be announced (1 Senior team, 2 Junior teams)

* 23-30 July: European Youth Olympic Festival (Győr, Hungary)
Team to be announced

* 2-8 October: World Championships (Montreal, Canada)
Team to be announced

* 17-19 March: DTB Pokal Team Challenge (Stuttgart, Germany)
Maxime GentgesDaan KenisLuka Van den KeybusJimmy Verbaeys and Jonathan Vrolix will represent Belgium in Germany. Source: FfG

* 22-25 March: Doha World Cup (Doha, Qatar)
Maximes Gentges and Dennis Goossens will travel to Doha for the World Cup. Source: FfG

* 19-23 April: European Championships (Cluj-Napoca, Romania)
Team to be announced

* 27-28 May: Belgian Championships (Libramont, Belgium)

* 23-30 July: European Youth Olympic Festival (Győr, Hungary)
Team to be announced

* 2-8 October: World Championships (Montreal, Canada)
Team to be announced

samedi 31 décembre 2016

My 2016 Highlights!

In a few hours, we will say goodbye to 2016 and welcome a new quad. So it is time for me to have a look back on 2016 and reveal you my best moments' Top 5 of the year! Don't hesitate to share yours with me!

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
1. The Women's team at the Olympics or the first time since 1948
This year has been pretty amazing in terms of results but of course, the highlight was our Women's team placing 3rd at the Test Event and qualifying for the Olympic Games in Rio for the first time in 68 years! In Rio, Gaelle Mys, Laura Waem, Nina Derwael, Rune Hermans and Senna Deriks had a nearly flawless qualification round and placed 12th.

2. Dennis Goossens and Nina Derwael in Olympic finals
The Men's team didn't qualify a full team for the Games and all of our hopes lied on Dennis Goossens' shoulders, his secret weapon for amazing performances on the rings. And the young gymnast didn't disappoint as he qualified for the rings final, where he placed 8th, among one of the strongest field in the world! No other Belgian gymnast had ever qualified for an individual final at the Games. On the women's side, first year Senior Nina Derwael qualified for the all-around final after scoring her personal best during qualifications with 56.532, a personal best she almost beat once again in final, before she had to count a fall on balance beam. But still, with a total of 56.299, Nina Derwael placed 19th, the best result ever achieved by an individual gymnast at the Games.

Credit: Belga
3. The Men's team competing at the Test Event for the first time ever
It is no secret that our Men's team keeps improving. After competing in a pre-Olympic World Championships for the first time in 2015 and reaching their best result ever (17th), they benefited from the withdrawal of the Belarus team and got to compete at the Test Event, once again a first. In Rio, they were far from being ridiculous, being at the top of their game and placing 7th. 

Credit: GymFed
4. Gaelle Mys and Julie Croket leaving the sport on a high note
This year, we saw some of the best Belgian gymnasts say goodbye to the competition : Gilles GentgesDonna-Donny Truyens and Thomas Neuteleers. But also Julie Croket and Gaelle Mys, two of the top gymnasts of the WAG team. Julie Croket gave it her all to comeback one more time, after being sidelined with injuries for so long. She was a great contributor to Belgium's qualification for the Olympic Games as a team. She last competed in Rotterdam, before embracing a coaching career in Ghent. Gaelle Mys shone once again in 2016, making the Test Event, European and Olympic team. In Bern, she qualified to the beam and floor finals, two events where she contributed heavily in Rio at both the Test Event and the Olympics. After three Olympics, Gaelle is now focusing on her studies. 

Credit: An Vanderstraeten
5. Juniors successes
The next generation is already ready to shine internationally. Before joining the Seniors ranks, they got to gain experience as Juniors. On the Men's side, we remember the successes of Jonas Delvael and Ruben Marx at the International Team Cup in Berlin in March. Noah Kuavita and Takumi Onoshima then both qualified for the all-around final at the European Championships in May, while the team placed 9th. Belgium then dominated the Wase Gym Cup and our Junior team won a bronze medal at a friendly meet against the Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland. On the women's side, Rinke Santy and Maellyse Brassart both qualified for the all-around final at the European Championships, where Rinke made the top 8, placing 7th, while Maellyse was 14th. As a team, our gymnasts were 8th. The younger ones also showed great promises for the future at the Massilia Gym Cup and at the Top Gym last November.

And also ... Gaelle Mys' qualification for two individual finals at Euros, Maxime Gentges' first World Cup medal in Baku, Team Belgium's medals at Gymnix, the upgrades we can see on Instagram from both our National teams, etc.

What is your Top 5 of the year? Let us know in the comments!

vendredi 9 décembre 2016

Thomas Neuteleers says goodbye to gymnastics

The 23-years old gymnast announced the end of his career on Instagram two weeks ago. National champion in 2014, he was also part of the National team. Let's have a look back on Thomas's career!

Credit: Sporza
Thomas Neuteleers (Olympia Houthalen) started gymnastics at age 6. He quickly climbed the levels and had a great career among the Junior ranks. He competed at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Tampere (Finland) in 2009 where he won a silver medal on parallel bars. Earlier in the same year, he became the Junior Belgian all-around champion. He also won several medals at international meets. 

2010 was a key moment in Thomas's career. As a Junior, he travelled to Birmingham for the European Junior Championships where he had great results: 6th in the all-around, 6th with the team and 5th in the floor exercise final. After Birmingham, Neuteleers represented Belgium at the first edition of the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore where he qualified for three finals (all-around, parallel bars and floor exercise).

Credit: RTBF

The same year, he moved on to the Seniors ranks and made the World Championships team. In Rotterdam, the team placed 28th. Between 2011 and 2014, he regularly made the national team and represent Belgium at Worlds and European Championships. He was in the team that placed 19th at Worlds in Nanning, the best finish for a Men's belgian team at that time (a record that would eventally be beaten the next year in Glasgow). In 2014, he also became National champion. 

In 2015, a shouder injury kept him out from competing at national meets. He was in contention for a spot on the Worlds team in Glasgow and competed at a selection test against teams from the Netherlands and Italy. He then had to undergo surgery on his foot.

In January of this year, the chase of a team ticket for the Olympics continued, after Belarus withdrew from the Test Event. Thomas was obviously in contention. He was part of the selection process, until a tear ligament in his shoulder forced him to withdraw from the competition. Back to training, he announced his retirement in last November, after 6 years among the Seniors and 17 years in the sport.

Credit: GymFed
Thank you Thomas for what you did for the sport and for Team Belgium! We wish you the best of luck for what comes next!

Career highlights:
2015 - NED-BEL-ITA friendly: 2nd (team)
2014 - World Championships (Nanning): 19th (team)
2014 - European Championships (Sofia): 11th (team), 22nd (still rings)
2014 - Belgian Championships: 1st (all-around)
2013 - Gymfinales (Ghent): 2nd (still rings), 1st (horizontal bar), 1st (parallel bars)
2013 - Belgian Championships: 4th (all-around)
2013 - World Championships (Antwerp): 56th (parallel bars), 45th (floor exercise)
2012 - Belgian Championships: 3rd (all-around)
2012 - European Championships (Montpellier): 14th (team)
2011 - World Championships (Tokyo): 84th (all-around)
2011 - European Championships (Berlin): 49th (all-around)
2010 - World Championships (Rotterdam): 28th (team), 99th (all-around)
2010 - Belgian Junior Championships: 1st (all-around)
2010 - European Junior Championships (Birmingham): 6th (team), 6th (all-around), 5th (floor exercise)
2010 - Gymfinales Juniors (Charleroi): 1st (parallel bars), 2nd (horizontal bar)
2010 - Youth Olympic Games (Singapore): 10th (all-around), 5th (parallel bars), 4th (floor exercise)
2009 - Wase Gym Cup: 1st (team), 1st (all-around), 6th (pommel horse), 4th (still rings), 3rd (vault), 5th (parallel bars)
2009 - European Youth Olympic Festival (Tampere): 7th (team), 14th (all-around), 2nd (parallel bars), 6th (horizontal bar)
2009 - Belgian Junior Championships : 1st (all-around)

dimanche 27 novembre 2016

Top Gym 2016: Serber and Cimpian dominate in finals

Célia Serber, this year's revelation, was once again solid this afternoon, as well as Romania's Olivia Cimpian. They won all four gold medals in Charleroi!

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
On vault, Cimpian, bronze medalist in the all-around yesterday, won the final with a Yurchenko full twist and a Tsukahara layout. She placed 1st ahead of Célia Serber and her teammate Ioana Crisan, who only competed on vault due to a back injury. 

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics

Vault standings
1. Olivia Cimpian (ROU) 13.983
2. Célia Serber (FRA) 13.766
3. Ioana Crisan (ROU) 13.633

France is now well known for its work on bars. And the next generation is following in the footsteps of the oldest. Célia Serber won the gold thanks to a difficult routine and a huge full twisting double layout dismount. Olivia Cimpian and Czech Vendula Merkova, placed 2nd and 3rd. Merkova showed great potential this weekend, after a 4th place finish in the all-around yesterday.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Uneven bars standings
1. Célia Serber (FRA) 13.400
2. Olivia Cimpian (ROU) 13.250
3. Vendula Merkova (CZE) 12.800

Célia Serber was on fire this weekend as she adds another gold to her collection, this time on beam, with a side somersault, a backhandspring to layout to two feet and a double twist dismount. She placed ahead Olivia Cimpian once again, who had a much better performance than yesterday when she fell off the balance beam. But today, despite a few wobbles, you could tell she wanted to be on that podium (13.150). In 3rd is another French, Alisson Lapp who scored 12.850 to win the bronze.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Balance beam standings
1. Célia Serber (FRA) 13.450
2. Olivia Cimpian (ROU) 13.150
3. Alisson Lapp (FRA) 12.850

On floor, Olivia Cimpian won her second gold of the day with her packed routine : full twisting double piked, full twisting double tuck and triple twist. She easily won that final. There was a tie for the silver medal : France's Alisson Lapp and Czech Adela Merkova. They both scored 12.850.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Floor exercise standings
1. Olivia Cimpian (ROU) 13.200
2. Alisson Lapp (FRA) 12.850
2. Adela Merkova (CZE) 12.850

This afternoon was also the team final. Two countries were teamed up and the two best scores on each event would matter for the team total. It's France, with Spain, who won the gold, ahead of Romania and Sweden. Czech Republic and the Netherlands placed 3rd.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Team standings
1. Spain/France 102.830
2. Romania/Sweden 101.950
3. Czech Republic/The Netherlands 100.320

Mark the date! In 2017, it will be the 20th edition of the Top Gym and its 25th anniversary! This edition will be amazing!

Top Gym 2016: France's Célia Serber is the new AA champion!

In a very tight finish, the young Célia Serber from France took the gold, ahead of Naomi Visser from the Netherlands and Olivia Cimpian from Romania. Fien Enghels and Cassia Priels placed 8th and 10th respectively.

Credit: Belgian Gymnastics
Célia Serber, born in 2003, might come as a surprise here. But after a fall on balance beam, she appeared to be the most solid gymnast out there. At only 13, she shows great promises for the future, including a full twisting double layout dismount on bars! With a total score of 51.883, she took the gold medal.

In second place is Naomi Visser from the Netherlands. She was in the lead after three rotations and it was very close between her and the top 4 gymnasts. After a good competition, Visser scored 51.699 to take the silver, just less than 0.2 from the gold.

Olivia Cimpian from Romania came in 3rd. In my eyes, she was the favourite to win along with her teammate Ioana Crisan (who had to whithdrew due to an injury after her vault). This competition was hers to lose. And it all came down to balance beam. After a strong start on vault, Olivia had a very nervous beam routine, falling twice and having big wobbles (10.850). Before that, she was in the lead by more than a point. But she was down to 4th before the last rotation. She came back strong on floor to win the bronze medal with a score of 51.499.

Vendula Merkova from Czech Republic also had a pretty good day, finishing in an impressive 4th place. For Belgium, Fien Enghels placed 8th, with a fall on bars while Cassia Priels was 10th.

AA standings
1. Célia Serber (FRA) 51.883
2. Naomi Visser (NED) 51.699
3. Olivia Cimpian (ROM) 51.499
4. Vendula Merkova (CZE) 51.166
5. Alisson Lapp (FRA) 50.616
6. Juliette Berens (NED) 49.900
7. Adela Merkova (CZE) 49.266
8. Fien Enghels (BEL) 47.783
9. Andrea Carmona (ESP) 47.650
10. Cassia Priels (BEL) 47.016
11. Lova Tingvall (SWE) 46.666
12. Marta Sanchez (ESP) 46.583
13. Sigrid Risberg (SWE) 44.249
14. Ioana Crisan (ROM) 13.900

The team and event finals will take place today. The different countries have been teamed up : Romania will compete with Sweden. Spain with France. and the Czech Republic with the Netherlands. There will be no Belgian team but Cassia and Fien will still compete in the event finals.

Videos will be uploaded soon!