Russia, Belgium, Israel top countries at 2015 European Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships06/10/2015
Russia, Belgium and Israel were the top countries at the European Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships, which concluded this past weekend in Riesa (GER).
The 2015 Acro Europeans were a big meet for Belgians, particularly gold medallists Ineke van Schoor, Kaat Dumarey and Julie van Gelder (top) as well as trio Vincent Casse and Arne van Gelder (bottom).
Gymnasts from Russia and Belgium, two longtime powerhouses in Acro, won four of the five All-around titles in Germany. European titles for Balance and Dynamic Exercises, the scores of which are added together to make an All-around total, were also awarded.
After sweeping the golds in Mixed Pairs at the European Games in June, 2014 World Mixed Pairs champion Marina Chernova and new partner Georgiy Pataraya (RUS) won their second major title of 2015, topping challengers Hannah Baughn and Ryan Bartlett (GBR) by a comfortable three-point margin and adding another two golds for their Balance and Dynamic exercises.
Women's Pair Daria Guryeva and Daria Kalinina (RUS) also took gold, topping veterans Marharyta Bartashevich and Viktoriya Mikhnovich (BLR). Britain’s Chelsea Fisher and Abbi Graves earned the bronze.
In their last performance together as a Women's Trio, Ineke van Schoor, Kaat Dumarey and Julie van Gelder (BEL) won gold medals for the All-around and their Balance performance. In their swansang the Trio performed a memorable "Swan Lake" to take their second gold. The Trio also memorably swept the golds at the European Games, and end their careers double European Champions in addition to reigning World bronze medallists.
After being kept off the podium at the 2014 Worlds, Belgians Vincent Casse and Arne van Gelder proudly trumped their competitors in Riesa, bringing Belgium a second gold in Men's Pairs. Russian pair Igor Mishev and Nikolay Suprunov, silver medallists in the All-around, had their revenge in the event finals, winning both the Balance and Dynamic titles.
The Israeli Men's Group (Yanna Kalfa, Daniel Uralevich, Lidar Dana and Efi Sach) pulled off the only sweep of the competition, with their daring and entertaining exercises winning them all three gold medals available.
Though not a factor at the 2014 Worlds, the Israelis have served notice that they could be contenders for the World title at the Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships next spring in Putian (CHN), likely clashing against the Chinese Men’s quad, which had great success at the Geneva World Cup earlier this year.
Related: For complete results from the European Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships in Riesa (GER), please see the European Gymnastics Union (UEG) website here.