Hello, everyone... Sorry for the recent hiccup in our updates. We had some technical issues and needed some time to do other things, as well. We hope to catch up on the week's news soon. Expect a lot of updates over the next couple of days!
One first news item concerns the upcoming European Championships in Milan. According to the European Gymnastics Federation, this is the draw for the first day of the women's competition (qualification), while this is the draw for the first day of the men's competition. The draws for the AA and apparatus finals can be found here (top right-hand corner of the screen, where it says "Downloads"). As you can see, the gymnasts will not compete as teams. For instance, host Italy has two girls in the first subdivision and another two in the third subdivision, starting on vault and bars, respectively. Romania has two girls in Subdivision 2 (start on bars) and two in Subdivision 4 (start on vault), while Russia has two girls in Subdivision 2 and another two in Subdivision 3, all starting on vault. The men's competition has three subdivisions. There, too, gymnasts from one country will compete in two different subdivisions.
Andrea La Spada, named as a likely competitor in Milan
(Photo: Stefan Wurzer/Gymnasticsunited)
On its website, the Italian Gymnastics Federation says it is satisfied with the outcome of the draw, although it would have preferred to see the Italian gymnasts avoid the morning subdivisions, which they didn't. The site names two of the likely Italian competitors in the women's competition, new seniors Andrea La Spada and Elisabetta Preziosa, saying it is a good thing the girls won't have to start on beam, as it is such a risky start to a competition.
Meanwhile, a third Italian team member, Francesca Benolli (third on vault at last year's Europeans), is reportedly in a cast at the moment. Although the Federation's site does not mention it, Benolli apparently reported on her Facebook last week that she had injured her foot in training (a small fracture, it seems) and would be in a cast for three weeks. We don't know whether the injury will affect her chances of taking part in the Milan Europeans. We'll keep you posted.
Francesca Benolli, said to be nursing a foot injury at the moment
(Photo: Sing Lo/Comaneci Salto)