Mad as a cut snake page!!
By Meredith and Bernard.

June 2nd 2001 - page 5.

2001 European Team Championships.
Held in Riesa (Germany), this tournament was an interesting event to valuate the level of the major gym nations on the Worlds road (or Europeans for the Rsg gymnasts). Romania didn't participate in the competition managed by the U.E.G. (Strange?! Maybe!? Not really!) the today poor level of the Rhythmics in Romania -the country of Doina Staiculescu, Florentina Botaru, Irina Deleanu, Alina Stoica!! - and maybe the small today weakeness of the women Team are the right explanations... the retirement of the team leaders, the defeat in Usa and the medium results of the new members of the Romanian senior Team...
Anyway, the other teams came in Germany with motivation and have started to change the European gym hierarchy!
Russia was the obvious favorite and got the Europeans Team trophy but the most interesting and the real learnings are the Italian and Spanish Team results. Both nation own strong team with good gymnasts, Spain performed a wonderful 2000 year and came in Germany in the goal to confirm its level and its outsider status: strong on men gymnastics thanks to Cano and Barrenechea, good on Rhythmics thanks to Almudena Cid Tostado, Esther Dominguez, powerful and talented on the female gym thanks to Sarah Moro, Laura Martinez, Spain is the today rising team. This team participated without Gervasio Deferr, Carballo, Marta Cusido, Esther Moya!! Really impressive!
The French team was competing in Germany...without the retired stars (Poujade, Teza, Serrano), without the European Floor Champion crushed by the doubts since the 2000 French Nationals (Ludivine Furnon), ... and it was a failure, a real disaster especially for the artistics women competitors, Anne-Sophie Endeler and Marion Mourier, who could not rival the Spanish girls.
Spain defeated France 131.739 pts to 121.742! the Spanish girls got a 45.299 pts and the frenchies only got 36.786 ?! It was a bad day for Marion Mourier who was competing on Bars and Beam, Endeler did two medium performances on Vault and Floor. Sebastien Tayac and Cedric Guille performed well but it was not enough to hope more than an immediate elimination.
Of course it was a new strange competition, the trendy mix of F.I.G. disciplines, the will to create a show event more than a fascinating competition... gymnastics for the masses,... , too right! The evidence? The name of the event, pompously named 'European Team Championships'... Obviously it's a 'super ' 3 on 3 meet like the 97 and 99 European Masters.
Only an event to promote the Gymnastics sports. Gymnastics owns more fascinating facets, watch the Cottbus Cup, the nations meets, the Massilia Cups or the Aussie Nationals to have a real vision of our wonderful gymnastics.

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