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Jansen Eyes 15th and Final Worlds, Europeans
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After winning the first Norwegian Cup of the season, ultra veteran Espen Jansen, 45, told IG he is hoping his performances will be enough this year to make it to his 15th European and world championships.

After winning the first Norwegian Cup of the season, ultra veteran Espen Jansen told IG he is hoping his performances in the coming months will be enough to make it to his 15th and final European and world championships.

"Since it is a team event [in 2014], and the team could need it, I hope that I could do one last year," he said. "Both to help and inspire the boys on the team, but also to have a nice finish for me."

Jansen, who turned 45 on Dec. 13, is the oldest competitor competing at the international level. He has competed in 14 world championships and 14 European championships, and won 10 Norwegian national titles dating back to 1988.

Jansen was left off the team to the 2013 World Championships in Antwerp, when Norway sent only three male gymnasts to compete instead of the maximum six.


Espen Jansen (Norway)

"I was in the top two in the last qualifications, but was not sent," Jansen said. "So I was not welcome on the national team? The coach did not think I was good enough and [said] that they are always thinking of the future."

Jansen, a married father of four, must find time to train between working full-time and coaching young gymnasts at the Njård Gymnastics Club. On top of that, he is a Brevet judge. Last summer, he judged at the 2013 University Games in Kazan.

"I intended to work less and do more training this year, but since I was not welcome to be a part of the national team, I have to train alone," he noted. "That's not the same. So I still work full time, and train in between working and coaching the guys in my club."

Nevertheless, Jansen said he was proud to win this past weekend's Norwegian Cup, even though several top gymnasts were absent. He said he would have preferred to compete against the best in Norway.

"Unfortunately in this weekend's Norwegian Cup, the team members were missing," he said. "The best one's coach thought the landing mats were too hard so he was out, then two guys have injuries, one is in Australia, one in Belgium, and one has a break! Not a good situation for a team with high ambitions."

Jansen said he played it safe at the competition, using layout dismounts and easy skills on some events. Nevertheless he expressed his frustration with the Norwegian gymnastics federation for not doing more to develop its program and make it more competitive internationally.

The fact he is being able to outscore gymnasts half his age brings bittersweet victories, Jansen said.

"I hope the federation wake up soon, but it's been like this for many years now," he said. "My gymnastics heart is crying. I really hope that the young guys develop and reach a higher level, but unfortunately I still can beat most of them with an old 'crappy' body, even without proper training. But I alway hope things will be better."

Unlike 2013, this year's European and world championships both include a team competition, which Jansen hopes will increase his chances of making a six-member team. Jansen said he plans to show more difficulty at the second Norwegian Cup, which takes place the weekend after next, and are qualifications to May's European championships in Sofia. The Norwegian national championships will be in September, prior to October's world championships in Nanning, China.

"I hope to qualify for Europeans and/or worlds, so I can have a nice ending of my competitive career," he said. "I've been in 14 worlds and 14 Europeans so far, even though it should have been more. Even though I don't have the top level anymore, I still am good enough for our team."

Jansen hopes to finish his career with one final world or European championships appearance. He said he is encouraged by his wide support from his fans around the world, who continue to cheer him on.

"[I'm thankful] a lot for the good response I get from everybody — with the exception of our national coach," he told IG. "That's what motivates me. But if I do well enough in the qualifications in the second and third week [of the Norwegian Cup], maybe there is a chance for me to get on the team in 2014."

Read "Elder Stateman," a profile on Jansen, in the May 2009 issue of International Gymnast magazine; and "Scouting Scandinavia," a feature on IG's visit to clubs in Norway, in the March 2011 issue. To subscribe or order back issues, click here..

2014 Norwegian Cup
March 15-16, Trøgstad

Senior Women's All-AroundVTUBBBFXTotal
1.Martine MagnussenNedre Glomma Turnforening4.012.9004.110.6004.610.5504.211.85045.900
2.Pernille GulbrandsenHolmen Tropp og Turn4.213.2002.19.3504.812.1504.611.15045.850
3.Linn FinstadNedre Glomma Turnforening4.411.8503.310.0005.011.3004.812.30045.450
4.Julie Charlotte SøderstrømAsker Turnforening4.012.7501.58.8003.912.0503.911.30044.900
5.Solveig Merckoll BergAsker Turnforening2.411.3501.48.7505.013.1004.111.45044.650
6.Sandra Mohn KvamTrondhjems Turnforening4.213.1501.89.0003.89.2504.711.05042.450
7.Victoria BøeHolmen Tropp og Turn2.411.1003.110.3004.311.2003.59.45042.050
8.Ingrid von HafenbrädlHolmen Tropp og Turn4.212.1502.08.3004.410.8504.19.70041.000
9.Thea RostadDrammen Turnforening4.213.0502.09.1004.18.0504.210.45040.650
10.Hedda K. LeknessundBergens Turnforening4.212.2002.56.8503.59.3504.510.35038.750
11.Christine B. MartinsenTrondhjems Turnforening4.213.3002.19.2004.36.5504.89.70038.750
12.Thuva Tøndel LysøTrondhjems Turnforening4.212.6002.17.2004.87.8503.79.95037.600
13.Lene SyvertsenSandnes Turn4.012.2000.63.6003.411.1003.310.20037.100
14.Emilie Jellum HansenDrammen Turnforening4.012.6001.46.7503.67.9504.08.05035.350
15.Martine BjørsholKristiansunds Turnforening4.211.5502.76.6004.67.3004.19.65035.100
16.Rikke AndersenBergens Turnforening2.48.6001.67.4003.69.6503.89.05034.700
17.Kristine NaroGrimstad Turn4.012.6501.33.8003.47.4003.710.10033.950
18.Eir HoleTrondhjems Turnforening4.011.1501.76.7003.66.1503.99.20033.200
19.Martine Rustøen SkregelidAsker Turnforening2.410.3005.113.15023.450
20.Anette KvaløyTrondhjems Turnforening1.16.4002.97.1503.49.90023.450
21.Katarina SchillingAsker Turnforening2.410.9001.39.60020.500
22.Marlene Ravn GundersrudHolmen Tropp og Turn4.811.70011.700
23.Julie Kvam NordnesTrondhjems Turnforening3.97.3507.350

Junior Women's All-AroundVTUBBBFXTotal
1.Dina NygaardHolmen Tropp og Turn4.613.5004.310.3504.912.0004.612.65048.500
2.Nora MunkvoldHolmen Tropp og Turn4.213.3004.28.1504.412.4003.811.55045.400
3.Anna Marie Holmen HansenDrammen Turnforening4.413.5002.78.3504.610.7004.410.80043.350
4.Tiril DøvreSiddis Trim og Turnforening4.413.2502.67.8003.39.1504.411.95042.150
5.Tara SperreGrimstad Turn4.211.8002.09.3504.210.1003.910.60041.850
6.Marte BarlieOslo Turnforening4.213.2501.16.7003.510.1003.610.65040.700
7.Sofie BråtenOslo Turnforening4.412.2003.74.3505.010.9504.811.75039.250
8.Mira Trongmo NeurauterOslo Turnforening2.411.8501.47.2504.38.8003.710.80038.700
9.Sofie SkåttunOslo Turnforening4.211.6003.06.9004.39.4004.39.85037.750
10.Andrea SolbergBergens Turnforening4.212.8001.36.9503.58.6004.29.20037.550
11.Katarina N. RønbeckOslo Turnforening4.213.1002.74.5004.69.0504.610.70037.350
12.Jenny Marie JakobsenTrondhjems Turnforening4.012.6001.26.6003.78.7003.58.45036.350
13.Amalie NorheimBergens Turnforening4.011.1002.06.5003.18.6503.76.75033.000
14.Maria FjeldNøtterøy Turn4.010.9001.55.5003.28.6503.27.10032.150
15.Marlene AsheimBergens Turnforening4.011.8001.94.4503.87.1503.68.40031.800
16.Ingvild HaugsnesIL Sverre Turn1.88.1004.411.55019.650
17.Viktoria LangåsOslo Turnforening3.18.7003.88.50017.200
18.Anette Lehne JohannessenOslo Turnforening4.18.4008.400
19.Anna FjeldNøtterøy Turn1.17.8007.800

Senior Men's All-AroundFXPHSRVTPBHBTotal
1.Espen JansenNjård Turn4.212.7004.711.3004.912.9003.611.9703.712.4704.412.77074.110
2.Magnus Dahl -HansenTromsø Turnforening4.110.8003.011.1303.810.1302.810.7703.811.7003.010.27064.800

Junior Men's All-AroundFXPHSRVTPBHBTotal
1.Harald Grimsrud WibyeNedre Glomma Turnforening4.612.7703.711.0303.611.9303.611.9004.611.7702.810.67070.070
2.Jesper OpheimTrondhjems Turnforening4.311.6002.811.2703.111.2303.612.5703.010.9003.310.73068.300
3.Sofus HeggemsnesOslo Turnforening4.512.4703.710.9302.311.2703.010.7704.011.7302.410.53067.700
4.Nore Skulesson SteneNedre Glomma Turnforening4.212.2304.011.5302.69.2303.011.4703.912.0702.510.20066.730
5.Hans Jørgen EngstadTromsø Turnforening4.011.2302.310.3702.39.8702.010.7303.011.4702.710.57064.240
6.Henrik StiansenNedre Glomma Turnforening4.212.4302.87.6302.19.6003.611.7703.911.4302.59.23062.090
7.Fredrik Johnsen (-99)Hoppensprett Turn4.311.8303.69.6303.011.3003.011.3003.911.2302.06.03061.320
8.Ole Herman HegstadHoppensprett Turn4.612.8702.38.6702.19.7303.611.2303.611.3702.05.53059.400
9.Fredrik Johnsen (-98)Hoppensprett Turn3.911.3002.39.9002.110.6003.010.9002.911.2000.70.93054.830
10.Andreas Stangebye-Niels Oslo Turnforening3.49.3302.27.1302.19.5702.010.5303.09.9301.43.83050.320

Youth Men's All-AroundFXPHSRVTPBHBTotal
1.Theodor Roald Gadderud Oslo Turnforening4.812.5303.29.9702.911.2002.811.6003.012.2301.89.87067.400
2.Jacob Gudim KarlsenOslo Turnforening4.413.1003.211.1702.511.2702.811.6703.010.9701.77.83066.010
3.Fredrik Bjørnevik AasNedre Glomma Turnforening4.212.8302.28.8302.410.6002.811.6303.211.2002.410.80065.890
4.Halvor HetlandSandnes Turn4.112.6303.210.1002.410.4002.811.7703.09.9702.310.20065.070
5.Kasper OppiOslo Turnforening4.012.5703.210.7702.310.4002.811.6703.011.0001.66.33062.740
6.Skage Skulesson SteneNedre Glomma Turnforening3.912.3302.28.4302.38.9302.811.3702.99.6702.07.67058.400
7.Benjamin RiskaSandnes Turn4.012.6002.29.1002.210.3302.810.1003.09.0001.96.93058.060
8.Runar JohansenHoppensprett Turn3.99.1002.77.8002.06.9302.010.4702.76.8002.19.67050.770
9.Mikkel ÅkvågGjellråsen IF3.29.0301.72.6301.79.1302.010.0002.65.77036.560
10.Simon LangdalGjelleråsen IF2.76.8702.33.2001.52.3302.810.3001.81.97024.670
11.Jonas LangdalGjelleråsen IF2.44.4001.71.7001.66.8702.010.1701.21.20024.340
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