Gold for Gadirova at European Gymnastics Championships
Jessica Gadirova from Aylesbury has become European floor champion to cap an incredible week at her first senior major championship in Basel, Switzerland.
Having already won all-around bronze and vault silver, Jessica went one better on the final day of competition to win a sensational gold medal with a flawless routine in the final.
Courtney Tulloch from Pegasus also competed in the vault final, finishing in 5th, with Amelie Morgan from The Academy concluding a fine Championships for herself by finishing just outside the medals in 4th in the beam final.
Jessica was the last gymnast to compete in the floor final, knowing that a score above 13.900 would be enough to take gold. Competing amongst some of Europe’s finest floor workers, she stood out, producing a fantastic routine to score 13.966 to scoop gold.
She began with a huge opening tumble and carried that through, with barely a flicker on each of her landings. She showed great extension on her leaps and combined that with eye-catching choreography.
An ecstatic Jessica, speaking after receiving her medal, said: “I’m speechless, over the moon, jumping for joy. Just to even get selected for the European Championships I was so happy and I was so proud to be here. Then to make the finals and win the medals, I can’t believe it.
“I’d been on the podium twice and was getting higher and higher on the steps, then to be on the top was just overwhelming. I just thought wow, I’ve actually done it. As this week has gone along I’ve got more and more comfortable and confident and today just feels incredible.”
Giarnni was the first gymnast to compete in the men’s vault final but set the mark for everyone to beat with two of his very best passes.
His first vault was a triple twisting Tsukahara, where he showed great height and form through the air for a score of 14.766. He competed a Dragalescu vault second – another highly difficult vault – and again had great form and a step back on landing for 14.400.
Amongst a high-quality field, that was enough to give him an average of 14.583, and he held on to third place to secure his first medal at a senior major championship.
Speaking afterwards, Giarnni said: “I feel amazing. Going first up felt like a good thing. I could just get the job done and then it’s just sitting, waiting and praying – thankfully I got the job done.
“I changed my vault from the World Championships after learning from that experience and seeing how big my vaults needed to be. I worked hard, got my triple twist back and then focused on the Dragalescu vault. Qualifying was the first time I’d competed it and then to do it again in the final, I’m so happy.
“My heart was beating, my hands were sweating, sitting and watching the scores come in, then standing on the podium with the medal round my neck, I was still in shock. I’ve had a tough few years so to have this senior medal feels very special and long may it continue.”
Competing in the same final was Courtney, who finished in 5th, just 0.070 of a mark behind Giarnni.
He too competed a Dragalescu vault and executed it well to score 14.733. He showed great power off the vault on his second pass and scored 14.300 for an average of 14.516.
Amelie was the penultimate gymnast to go in the beam final and finished off a great week for her in Switzerland by finishing in 4th place, just outside the medals.
Amelie returned to the competition floor off the back of winning bronze on Saturday in the uneven bars final, her first major championship medal, and produced a lovely routine that started with a faultless flight series and finished with an excellent dismount. That gave here a score of 13.166, just outside the medals, for her second 4th place finish of the week.
Congratulations to all of the gymnasts, coaches and support staff on a fantastic week.