Mersin Challenge Cup 2021 – WAG Recap

This weekend saw all the WAG finals for the Mersin Challenge Cup take place on Sunday 12th September. With a relatively small number of gymnasts taking part in qualifications, we had a mix of familiar faces on the World Cup circuit and some first and second year seniors with little competition experience vying for the medals.

Vault

The WAG competition started on vault, where Csenge Bacskay of Hungary and Tjaša Kysselef of Slovenia were the favourites to battle it out for gold. Bacskay was second up and managed a solid Yurchenko with one and a half twists with just a small hop forward on the landing and some minor form issues. Her second vault, a Tsukahara with full twist, also had some minor form issues in the air but the landing was good and she generated lots of power on the block. Ukraine’s Anastasiia Bachynska made a valiant effort with her Yurchenko with full twist and handspring front pike, but unfortunately did not manage to get the second vault all the way around and fell backwards upon landing. Kysselef went up sixth, showing a powerful Yurchenko with one and a half twists. Like Bacskay, she had some form issues and a small hop on the landing. Her second vault, a handspring front tuck with full twist was also very strong, with just another small hop. Lithuania’s Agata Vostruchovaite showed a fairly unusual handspring front pike with full twist, unfortunately losing her shape in the air, first opening the pike out too much, then tucking significantly before landing. Her second vault, a Tsukahara with full twist, showed impressive power but was slightly uncontrolled both in the air and on the landing. 

Bacskay won the gold with 13.775, with the E score for her first vault just nudging her ahead of Kysselef, who took silver with 13.725. Vostruchovaite scored 13.575 to take the bronze.

Uneven Bars

The clear favourite for the uneven bars final was Hungary’s Zoja Szekely, her 5.5 D score the highest in the final and her E score for a hit routine generally being close to 8. Up last, she had a long wait watching her competitors perform their routines. Ukraine’s Yelizaveta Hubareva received a 5.4 D score for her routine, her E score taking a hammering because of lots of minor form errors but definitely showing a lot of potential. Fellow Ukrainian Anastasiia Bachynska also showed a good routine but, as was the case with her teammate, multiple minor form errors kept her E score quite low. Slovenia’s Lucija Hribar performed a much easier routine than the other medal contenders, with a D score of 4.6, but got through cleanly and was rewarded with a 7.9 E score, the joint highest in the competition. 

Szekely took the gold here with 13.300, with Hubareva scoring 12.550 to just about push ahead of Hribar, who finished with a 12.500 for bronze. 

Beam

Ukraine’s Anastasiia Bachynska appeared to be the favourite going into the beam final, with the highest D score by quite a long way. However, the routine was nervy, with lots of wobbles and balance checks and was far from her best effort. Romania’s Maria Ceplinschi was next up, with some adjustments on her acrobatic series but showing some fantastic leaps and jumps and a very solid double tuck dismount. She was followed by Croatia’s Ana Derek, who started with a great back handspring into layout step out and continued with some more very strong work, just losing some difficulty from missing the connection from the switch ring to the switch half. Hungary’s Csenge Bacskay did well to save her mount and took a big step on her acrobatic series, but otherwise performed a good routine, dismounting with a double twist.

Gold went to Ceplinschi with a 12.750, silver to Derek with 12.600 and bronze to Bacskay with 12.100.

Floor

Romania’s Maria Ceplinschi was second up on floor, showing some fairly difficult tumbling for this competition, with a double layout and a full-in for her first two passes, although both were very low. Her third pass, a double tuck to immediate punch front tuck, was impressive, and she finished with a strong double pike. Croatia’s Ana Derek opened her routine with a lovely leap series and also showed some solid, clean tumbling, including a front tuck through to double tuck and a double twist. Dorina Böczögö of Hungary started strong, with a good double front and a generally clean routine, her D score kept low by relatively easier second, third and fourth passes but everything was performed very well. Ukraine’s Anastasiia Bachynska, usually strong on floor, wasn’t quite at her best here, with some form issues on her tumbles and on landings, but she showed some nice turns and leaps, her D score still putting her into medal contention.

Ceplinschi won gold with 12.900, with Böczögö coming second with a 12.850 and Derek taking the bronze, also with a 12.850 but with her lower E score causing her to lose the tiebreak.

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