Ferrari Leads Qualifying at Europeans
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World champion Vanessa Ferrari led Thursday's qualifying round at the European Championships, taking place in Amsterdam through Sunday.
Vanessa Ferrari

Enrico Casella, Ferrari's coach, said he was satisfied with her performance and her total of 61.575. She was the top qualifier on both uneven bars and balance beam.

"Podium training was good, and today was good, so I think Vanessa has shown that she is competitive with anyone," Casella told IG.

Ferrari's 16.000 score on balance beam was the highest score of the day on any event. In the all-around standings, she finished 1.500 above Romania's Steliana Nistor, who was second over teammate Sandra Izbasa.

Ferrari, who competed in the third of four subdivisions, began on floor exercise. Her tumbling passes were solid (double-double, full-in, triple twist, 1-1/2 twist to layout front, double pike), although she had a form break on the triple twist. In the second rotation, Ferrari took her lowest mark of the day for a double-twisting Yurchenko vault.

Ferrari's routine on uneven bars featured a Comaneci salto between the bars, a Jaeger and a double layout dismount. Her routine on balance beam was slightly shaky, but she did not have any major wobbles. Ferrari's skills included a flip-flop, full; front aerial; sheep jump; back tuck; and switch ring leap.

Casella said he thought the scoring on balance beam was generous overall, even to Ferrari.

"I thought the scores on beam were too high," he said, "For Vanessa, it was too high—even to me."

Nistor and Izbasa, who competed in the second subdivision, were steady throughout. In the first rotation, each performed a 1-1/2 twisting Yurchenko vault.

On uneven bars, Izbasa took her lowest score, but Nistor's routine included five flight elements (Gienger; toe on, Tkatchev; Pak salto; Jaeger; Tkatchev). The Romanians earned their best scores on balance beam in the third rotation, and finished the day with clean tumbling on floor. Izbasa edged Ferrari for the top qualifying spot on floor exercise by one tenth.

 

Alina Kozich
Ukraine's Alina Kozich, who won the all-around title at the 2004 Europeans in the same arena, qualified fourth after problems on uneven bars. She said she has been training more on balance beam and floor exercise lately, but expects to be competitive on uneven bars soon. Kozich said expectations for her to regain her title from 2004 did not add pressure.

"The fans really helped my performances, and gave me faith in myself," she told IG.

Great Britain's Beth Tweddle, who was expected to challenge for an all-around medal, competed on floor exercise only. She said she is not yet "competition-fit" on uneven bars, following shoulder surgery in January. Tweddle was originally planning to compete on three events in Amsterdam, but scratched vault and balance beam after stretching ligaments on her foot, landing an Arabian on balance beam in podium training.

Tweddle's floor exercise routine included only three tumbling passes. She said she and her coach Amanda Kirby decided to avoid a fourth pass, in order to avoid aggravating her foot.

Tweddle, the reigning world and European champion on uneven bars, said missing the chance to vie for an all-around medal was a bit frustrating, but she was happy to perform on at least one event. She qualified sixth to the floor exercise final.

"It was quite hard, but it was a case of not competing at Europeans, or do a couple of events and getting back on the international stage again," she said. "Obviously, later in the year (World Championships) is more important than this. It wasn't worth pushing the injury, which could make it worse for later in the year."

Ferrari's teammate Carlotta Giovannini took the top qualifying spot on vault, over defending champion Anna Grudko (Russia) and naturalized German Oksana Chusovitina.

The competition continues Friday with the men's qualifying rounds.

IG is on hand in Amsterdam, so look for complete coverage in an upcoming issue of IG Magazine.

Full results can be downloaded from the official site, ecgymnastics2007.com

2007 European Gymnastics Championships
April 26, Amsterdam

All-Around Finalists
1. Vanessa Ferrari ITA 61.575
2. Steliana Nistor ROM 60.125
3. Sandra Izbasa ROM 59.750
4. Alina Kozich UKR 57.950
5. Anja Brinker GER 57.875
6. Daria Zgoba UKR 57.125
7. Cassy Vericel FRA 57.075
8. Patricia Moreno ESP 56.875
9. Federica Macri ITA 56.725
10. Oksana Chusovitina GER 56.700
11. Yekaterina Kramarenko RUS 56.075
12. Stefani Bisbikou GRE 56.000
13. Jana Sikulova CZE 55.975
14. Hannah Clowes GBR 55.725
15. Kristina Pravdina RUS 55.500
16. Lichelle Wong NED 55.450
17. Veronica Wagner SWE 55.250
18. Gaelle Mys BEL 55.200
19. Anastasia Marachkovskaya BLR 55.125
20. Kristina Palesova CZE 55.125
21. Verona Van De Leur NED 54.750
22. Viktoria Karpenko BUL 54.700
23. Mercedes Alcaide ESP 54.450
24. Yelena Zanevskaya LTU 54.425
Reserves:
R1. Tina Erceg CRO 53.700
R2. Viktoria Tsakalidou GRE 53.275
R3. Enikoe Korcsmaros HUN 53.225

Vault Finalists
1. Carlotta Giovannini ITA 14.737
2. Anna Grudko RUS 14.462
3. Oksana Chusovitina GER 14.237
4. Yulia Lozhecko RUS 14.212
5. Jana Komrskova CZE 14.187
6. Sandra Izbasa ROM 14.125
7. Marissa King GBR 14.100
8. Enikoe Korcsmaros HUN 14.087
Reserves:
R1. Cassy Vericel FRA 14.050
R2. Anastasia Marachkovskaya BLR 13.987
R3. Veronica Wagner SWE 13.825

Uneven Bars Finalists
1. Vanessa Ferrari ITA 15.600
2. Jana Sikulova CZE 15.275
3. Daria Zgoba UKR 15.250
4. Steliana Nistor ROM 15.225
5. Anja Brinker GER 15.100
6. Lichelle Wong NED 14.725
7. Yekaterina Kramarenko RUS 14.675
8. Katheleen Lindor FRA 14.550
Reserves:
R1. Cassy Vericel FRA 14.400
R2. Kim Bui GER 14.300
R3. Andreea Grigore ROM 14.200

Balance Beam Finalists
1. Vanessa Ferrari ITA 16.000
2. Sandra Izbasa ROM 15.700
3. Steliana Nistor ROM 15.650
4. Irina Krasnyanskaya UKR 15.650
5. Yulia Lozhecko RUS 15.575
6. Alina Kozich UKR 15.575
7. Stefani Bisbikou GRE 15.425
8. Kristina Pravdina RUS 15.300
Reserves:
R1. Oksana Chusovitina GER 15.150
R2. Laura Campos ESP 15.075
R3. Veronica Wagner SWE 15.050

Floor Exercise Finalists
1. Sandra Izbasa ROM 15.350
2. Vanessa Ferrari ITA 15.250
3. Steliana Nistor ROM 14.775
4. Alina Kozich UKR 14.725
5. Beth Tweddle GBR 14.725
6. Cassy Vericel FRA 14.625
7. Patricia Moreno ESP 14.500
8. Oksana Chusovitina GER 14.450
Reserves:
R1. Anna Grudko RUS 14.400
R2. Kristina Pravdina RUS 14.350
R3. Anja Brinker GER 14.275