2 Aug 2018

French women's team finish qualifying ahead of defending champions Russia after thrilling day of Gymnastics

France's performance sent them to top of the table and they are ready for the finals on Saturday.

Women's qualifications concluded at The SSE Hydro on Thursday evening after day one of Glasgow 2018, with the 2016 European Championships team bronze medallists France at the top of the table.

They finished comfortably ahead of defending champions Russia - by a margin of 2.601 points. France were the top team on every apparatus except uneven bars, where they were second, and tied with Russia for top honours on vault.

"We are really satisfied and really proud of the team," said Marine Boyer (FRA). "We now want to repeat this on Saturday [in the team final]. We knew it would be possible to beat the Russians. Of course it would be difficult, but with all the training we have had and the scores we are capable of, we knew it would be possible."

In third place were Belgium, newcomers to the top eight, while 2016 silver medallists Great Britain finished in fourth place. Their best team performance was on floor but they had to count falls from Georgia-Mae Fenton and Alice Kinsella on beam.

The Netherlands finished in fifth place and will be joined in the team final by Hungary, Spain and Ukraine, in positions six to eight respectively.

Four teams who were in the last European team final missed out this year - Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Romania.

Qualifiers to the apparatus finals include defending champion ons - vault; Coline Devillard (FRA); uneven bars; Nina Derwael (BEL); and floor; Angelina Melnikova (RUS). The beam final looks likely to be a showdown between 2016 Olympic Champion Sanne Wevers (NED) and 2017 World Champion Pauline Schaefer (GER).

The team final takes place on Saturday and the apparatus finals will light up the host venue on Sunday.

Friday's competition includes the junior team and all-around competitions, which also doubles up as a qualification for the junior apparatus finals on Sunday.