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‘Humble and Determined’ De Jesus Dos Santos Wins Europeans
(8 votes, average 4.38 out of 5)

In an International Gymnast magazine cover story nearly two years ago, French coach Eric Hagard confidently acknowledged the winning potential of his gymnast, Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos, who took the all-around gold medal at the European Championships that took place April 10-14 in Szczecin, Poland.

“Melanie’s best abilities are good spatial awareness, an extraordinary sense of rhythm and very good muscle explosion,” said Hagard in the four-page feature on De Jesus Dos Santos. “She is humble and determined.”

In Szczecin, De Jesus Dos Santos, the 2017 bronze medalist, scored 55.433 points to become the first French woman to win the European all-around title since Marine Debauve took it in 2005. France’s Elodie Lussac won the junior title in 1993.

Defending champion Ellie Downie of Great Britain won silver (55.365), and top qualifier Angelina Melnikova of Russia won bronze (55.065).

“I told myself to grab any tenth possible by going strong and clean aiming for the medal,” De Jesus Dos Santos said. “I was both nervous and relaxed. Hearing my teammates cheer for me helped a lot. This gold medal represents all the work done in training.”

Hagard said De Jesus Dos Santos is on track for success at next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“The strategy is to include, step-by-step, new elements or combinations to keep her motivated for the rest of the Tokyo cycle,” he told IG. “Of course, staying fit and healthy is the major concern as an elite coach.”

Read “French Force,” a four-page cover story on De Jesus Dos Santos in the July/August 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine; and read coverage of the 2019 European Championships in the May 2019 issue.

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