5 Aug 2018

Belgium dominate women's gymnastics apparatus finals with a hat-trick of medals

Belgium emerged as the most successful nation in the women's gymnastics apparatus finals at The SSE Hydro on Sunday.

But Russia's Angelina Melnikova (RUS) pushed them all the way after qualifying for three of the finals.

Nina Derwael (BEL) won gold on uneven bars, defending the title she won last year, and then within the hour also won a silver medal on balance beam.

"It was really difficult," Derwael said. "I didn't really smile when I was on the medal podium for bars -  I was happy but I knew I still had to do a balance beam final. After getting my medal for the uneven bars, I went straight to the beam final. That was hard, but I am very happy. To win two European medals is just great."

In the floor exercise, her team-mate Axelle Klinckaert (BEL - pictured top) won the bronze medal with an intriguing Harry Potter-themed routine.

The battle for gold on balance beam between 2016 Olympic champion Sanne Wevers (NED) and 2017 world champion Pauline Schaefer (GER) failed to materialise after the latter fell off the beam on her signature move, a half-twisting side somersault. Instead it was rock-steady Wevers who took the title, showing poise and elegance with her multitude of twists and turns.

"It is unbelievable and I am very happy with today," Wevers said. "I had a nice clean routine and it is just superb to win the European title. It feels great."

The gold medal on vault was won by an emotional Boglarka Devai (HUN - pictured inset), who was the first to compete and had to wait for all the other gymnasts to vault before she knew she had won.

It was the opposite scenario on floor - the last gymnast, Melanie De Jesus (FRA) stepped up and outperformed all the gymnasts who had gone before her to win gold.

Melnikova (RUS) won a silver medal on vault and a bronze on uneven bars, but she was unable to defend her floor title, ending up in sixth place out of eight competitors.

"Unfortunately I was having problems with the choreograph," Melnikova said. "I wasn't able to do everything I wanted to do. As a result, the score went lower. Despite that, I am happy with my competitions in Glasgow."

Earler in the day, the juniors competed for the apparatus finals, which were dominated by Giorgia Villa (ITA) who won a gold on beam and silvers on vault and floor.

Great Britain's Amelie Morgan (GBR) was the next most successful, with a silver on beam and bronze medals on vault and floor.

The gold medal on vault was won by another Italian, Asia D'Amato (ITA), while the uneven bars gold was won by Kseniia Klimenko (RUS). The gold on floor was won by Ioana Stanciulescu (ROU).