February 4, 2009

European Championships Draw

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)


  1. Somebody please look into the Steliana Nistor situation. It seems that she's begging for money to see a doctor, but the romanian gymnastic federation don't give a damn.

  2. We're on to it. The story is being translated as we speak.

  3. Francesca Benolli probably will not partecipate.She has a small injury but she's even thiniking to leave the gym....The other two gymnasts in addidtion to La Spada and Preziosa will probably be Lia Parolari and Carlotta Giovannini.
    Federica Macrì is going to retire after the Euorpean Championships and Italian Nationals...

  4. Benolli and Macri both retiring? Ouch. That's bad news for Italy's short-term prospects. Thankfully, they have some excellent juniors (Ferlito, Foti and Fasana) waiting in the wings, so we don't think Italy will suffer much in the long run...

    We hope you'll let us know if Benolli and Macri do indeed retire, Giulyx14. Thanks in advance!

  5. What happened to Galante?

  6. About Nistor... I don't know if this is typical of her or she just feels very uncomfortable giving interviews or what, but she just seemed so dejected in the video below.


    Below is the translation of her interview.


    I don't know, do you all think it's just the stress of being interviewed? I personally can't help but wonder if there's more.

  7. Also... I am in Barcelona, Spain right now, doing a semester abroad. It's a bit of a schlep, but I'm hoping to travel to Milan for Euros. Ah, this post makes me excited!

  8. Kayla, Steliana Nistor always seems dejected in interviews. She always looks dejected in photos too. There are frightfully few photos of Steliana smiling, which leads us to believe that she never really enjoyed the sport, or was in too much pain to enjoy it for a substantial part of her career.

    Our translation of the VIP interview with Nistor will be up in half an hour or so.

    Anonymous, as far as we know Paola Galante is still in the running for a spot on the Italian "team," but if any of our Italian readers know anything we don't, we'd love to hear it.

    That said, Parolari and Giovannini do seem obvious choices, and if the Federation itself has more or less confirmed La Spada and Preziosa, that would seem to indicate Galante is out.

  9. About the Italians, check this out: http://www.notizie.net/ginnasta-minorenne-positiva-agli-steroidi

  10. Interesting, but irrelevant, we think, Anonymous, given that none of the serious contenders for a spot on the national team are from Velitrae.

  11. wow... Francesca Benolli looks a lot like a 16 year old alicia in that photo!

  12. Paola Galante broke is leg and she's recovering from this injury but she's fighting for a spot in the team...Saturnday 14 February is going to start the italian "serie A" and we will she Paola's conditions!!
    However La Spada and Preziosa are not confirmed so Galante can join the team ;)

    Yesterday i bought the ticket so i will go to the European Championships!!I will she the AA ;)

  13. That's all right, Giulyx14. We got your meaning. :)

    So Paola Galante is suffering a broken leg? When and how did that happen? Got any more information you wish to share with us...?

    Congrats on getting the ticket for the European Championships! We may see you there, but if not, we hope you'll share your impressions with us... :)

    Yeah, Benolli does look like Alicia Sacramone in that old photo, doesn't she? No wonder the photo looked so familiar to us!

  14. Paola broke her leg during a training session on floor few months ago....I think in November....
    Erika Fasana told me that few weeks ago Paola resumed traning on bars and beam.She's recovering well!

    Sure!!! I can't wait to share my impressions with you!!