Rising stars at Massilia

You know you’re a gymfan when you can’t really share your joy or disappointment over gymnastics things with the people around you, because they just don’t understand the significance of it. That’s why I’m sharing my 95% euphoria and 5% heartbreak with you. Re: the four new Belgian seniors for 2016 @ Master Massilia.

Julie Meyers
3% of that heartbreak comes from Julie’s performances. She scored a 9.900 on balance beam after falling three times and getting visibly upset. Things didn’t get better on floor either. She fell backwards on her double pike and landed her last pass on her head, earning a 10.850. Her courage to keep on going was absolutely admirable, so she receives my bravery medal and a warm applause.

Senna Deriks
Senna is one of the juniors who looked very promising last year at Top Gym. Unfortunately, she had to deal with an injury earlier this year* and consequently didn’t score as high as Axelle and Nina. Nonetheless, I was more than pleasantly surprised with her performances.

Ok, she had a lot of execution errors on the uneven bars. But look at that endo, those inbars, her miraculous pak save and that high dismount (even after falling). She’s got the D and she’s a fighter. I love her.

My happiness intensified upon discovering that she upgraded her beam mount to a one-handed-handstand. She didn’t hold it long enough, but at least she tried. Next, she brought her new floor routine, with dramatic music and a fun ending.

Axelle Klinckaert
For a moment I actually thought Axelle competed something else than a FTY on vault, but she did really score a 14.400 for a FTY (D 5.0). Turns out this is the only apparatus she didn’t upgrade on.

On uneven bars, she upgraded her toe-on to an inbar at the beginning of her routine. Her beam performance revealed the biggest surprises: a bhs-bhs-layout, switch to switch half and a switch ring (not new, still cool). This increased her difficulty score to a 6.1, which is unseen in Belgian gymnastics. For those of you in the back: a 6.1D! Truly unbelievable for any Belgian gymfan. **

As if that wasn’t enough, she introduced a fantastic new DLO in her floor routine and showed nice height on all of her passes, along with an entertaining choreography. This earned her a second best score of 14.450.

All of this resulted in a 54.950 all-around score, with a fall on BB. So she should be able to score in the 56s on an even better day. Maybe at the Rio Test Event?

Nina Derwael
The cherry on the cake was brought to us by Nina Derwael. On her Instagram, we had already spotted a Bhardwaj in the making on uneven bars. She competed this upgrade successfully and reached a massive difficulty of 6.6, the highest of the competition field (including Russians). My brain is still not able to fully process this fact. To my great disappointment, she did not make event finals due to a fall on her Van Leeuwen.

After that fall she looked quite upset, yet she hit her next event, the balance beam. At the end of the night, Nina came in 5th in the AA with a historical score of 56,300. *** Without the fall, she would’ve been second. Just saying.

Admittedly, these four girls still have to work on consistency and cleaning up their routines. But they have improved immensely and now their future looks as bright as they do this picture.


* She was walking on crutches at the end of May.

** Honesty compels me to say that her execution score was only 6.700 and therefore not nearly enough to make EF.
*** Yes, I am aware that the scoring of this competition is probably a bit high.

> full results: x
> videos: x and x

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