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By Olga & Bernard.
Seniors Team Final.

We attended an event of good level with a good preparation from all entering teams. Despite the fact Olympics are a bit far (August), the hard trainings allow the teams to already be in quite top level.
So the Gold was for Romania, led by Sandra Izbasa in a total belief. The new European Champion team includes Sandra Izbasa, Steliana Nistor, Adriana Anamaria Tamirjan, Gabriela Dragoi and Carasela Patrascu.

Due to the competition format, all scores count and any little mistake can give a ranking effect. Russia finished second, with a similar steady performance but with the handicap of the Afanaseva fall on Floor. Ksenia already met some difficulties during the qualification day. Anyway, her teammates showed a strong mental and kept the way to catch the silver. Anna Pavlova performed well but without the 'fire soul', in fact serious and motivated, Ksenia Semenova confirmed her World class status.
We also noticed the very good ambiance in the team, cheerings, smiles and finally a good whole feeling watching the team.
Russia is still alive!

France, at home and well prepared got a deserved third place, Pauline Morel, Laetitia Dugain and Marine Petit launched the team on Beam avoiding fatal mistakes , then the second rotation on Floor could be done with self-confidence with Marine Petit, Pauline Morel and the Floor specialist Cassy Vericel (second best whole total on Floor for France, first was Romania on this apparatus).
The only real doubt could have been for the third rotation on Vault (It is not the fave French team apparatus), but Laetitia, Pauline and Marine were stable (only one mistake, 7th whole performance on this apparatus) and could secure the team ranking.

Ukraine met difficulties on Bars and Vault (lowest performance of the team final) and caught a quite correct fifth place.
Deception for Italy: the displayed routines own real potential and contents, but wobbles and mistakes on Bars and Floor put the team out of the podium.
Contact Bernard for any comment.
(click on the pictures to get the full size ones).

Alina Kozich.

Ksenia Afanaseva.

Sandra Izbasa.

Adriana A. Tamirjan.

Ksenia Afanaseva.

Laetitia Dugain.

'08 Europeans page 7.

2008 European Championships page.

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