At Chemnitz, fun international meet: Germany – Romania – USA

Article by Brigid McCarthy – The Couch Gymnast (www.thecouchgymnast.com/)
There were few surprises here today as the US team dominated the friendly duel between Germany, Romania in Chemnitz. During this packed and fun international meet there was never really any competition over who would win the team title at any point in the meet.  But for a minute there it looked like things might get a little tight for second place between Germany and Romania during the first two rotations for these teams.  This was surprising because Romania had only juniors in their team, while the other team combined juniors and seniors.
Romania opened on floor with a strong rotation, while Germany set a similar tone for themselves on bars.
Following this Germany moved to beam where they immediately had to swallow a fall from Pauline Tratz and Maike Enderle each.  Romania has a fairly smooth rotation on vault, but their difficulty is low here with Diana Teodoru only performing a laid out Yurchenko, and Paula Tudorache a piked.
The gap only deepened between these two countries in the third and fourth rotation, when  Germany delivered a smooth floor performance, exhibiting some gorgeous tumbling, including opening double Arabians from two young stars, Maike Enderle and Tabea Alt. Meanwhile, Romania came apart a little on bars.  Diana Tedoru stayed on the bars but one hand peeled off as she caught her Geinger release.  Andreea Iridon also stayed on the bars, but lost her rhythm going for her stalder full on the low bar, and had to stop after a half, and improvise to do the other half-turn.  Germany’s final rotations clinched it and really opened up their lead as each of the girls delivered strong FTYs, includng a stunning one from Enderle.  Romania has a great rotation on beam, aside from a fall from Tedoru on a switch split 3/4 where she jumped off the side of the beam.  Despite Andreea Munteanu’s beautiful work for a 14.5 and Paula Tudorache’s steady set for a 13.75, Tedoru’s falls and Iridon’s wobbly routine (13.50) was nowhere near enough.  The bars rotation had well and truly decided it.
While the young Germans were nowhere near the US in terms of D score, they show a lot of promise.  Sophie Scheder proved again, after Cottbus, that she is capable of beautiful bars.  For the first time in competition, she connected her pak to stalder full to Shaposh, and only had one big step on her dismount (13.9).  Maike Enderle and Tabea Alt both proved to be gorgeous, talented young gymnasts.  Alt was terrific on bars.  She has great handstands and finished her well-executed routine with her first full-twisting double layout (13.4).  Enderle opened her floor routine with a stuck double Arabian ( a little low on landing, but…) and proved she is powerful for a tiny gymnast with the best FTY of her team.  She bounced out of it- but bounced up- proving she is ready to do more on that event (14.2).  Florine Harder is a teeny little up-and-comer for Germany (and current beam National champion, I believe).  She is a highly efficient little gymnast, delivering what was a very strong bars set for someone who has a VERY long way to go between bars.  But it is beam and floor where she is best.  She is very quick and clean on both apparatus.
Olympian Kyla Ross took out the all around title for seniors after what can only be described as a terrific meet from the gymnast.  There were some minor wobbles on beam (on switch ring particularly (14.6)) and some leg form issues on vault (15.2) but Ross was excellent today.  While she might have been given the benefit of the doubt on vault, given a score one tenth higher (15.2) than team mate Peyton Ernst (15.1) for what looked like a slightly messier vault, her bars and floor were just beautiful.  An added bonus from Ross is that on floor she really appears to be trying to put more effort into performing that routine and it is paying off. Simone Biles found herself tied for second place with team mate Ernst after a fall on her Church on bars.  Elsewhere Biles had a solid meet.  As ever, her Amanar was near-stuck  (15.9), and her tumbles on floor (14.2) were massive.
Texas Dreams folk will be very pleased today after junior team member Bailie Key easily won the all around.  There is not much to say about Key that hasn’t already been said since the Jesolo meet.  Once again she had a beautiful meet, starting with a near-stuck DTY (14.900) and closing with a rock solid floor routine (14.15), with no major mistakes or flaws, and it is reflected in her results (and still no Geinger on bars).  She was accompanied on the podium by clubmate Peyton Ernst, who tied for second as a senior with Biles.  Ernst had a great day too.  Her DTY was quite strong, her bars was punctuated by a completely stuck dismount, her double Arabian to stag on floor was as good as she can do it and her floor in general was very, very good.  She is one of the prettier US girls on floor, too, which pays off.

One a side note, after seeing her floor work today, it isn’t surprising Maggie Nichols came second on floor at Jesolo.  Her floor work is terrific and her double turn is one of the most flawless double turns I have ever seen.  There was little prep into it and she danced right out of it.  Lexie
The lovely Andreea Munteanu of Romania took second place among the juniors in the all around after a very, very solid meet.  Munteanu competes very well-as she demonstrated in Montreal, at Gymnix some weeks back.  She also has great presence, elegance and beautiful form.  One funny thing I noticed about Munteanu in training is that, when she warms up, she progresses from a flic flac to a back tuck, to ha flic to her back full, and nearly always, her back full is better and more solid than her back tuck! Paula Tudorache should also be very pleased with herself.  On floor her turn connections were stunning. The Gymnix experience shows on her too, and she, alongside Munteanu felt like the ‘veteran junior’ of the team, unlike Iridon who despite her junior Europeans success has had a long break from international competition and was jumpy and  a little nervous.  One must wonder how she would have fared if she had got that visa for Gymnix.  Diana Tedoru was also nervous and it showed in mistakes and wobbles, but it was good experience for her.  She was strongest on floor, where she tumbled cleanly (dble pike, dble tuck, 2.5, dble twist) to the cutesy, slightly frenetic music. At the beginning of her routine she harkened a young Diana Chelaru.
Tabea Alt finished third among the juniors after, as described above, was a beautiful meet for her.
Also, on a cute note, it is Kyla Ross’s coach, Jenny Zhang’s birthday today, and she got a ‘Happy Birthday’ song from the crowd.  She was completely delighted.  It was very sweet!
I must stop now as my power cord for my computer has broken and I have very little power left to publish this and it is Easter weekend and I am in the middle of nowhere, East Germany, with not a Mac cord in sight!  I am sure there will be videos up very soon!