2015 Brno Grand Prix De Gymnastique in the Czech Republic
The 2015 Grand Prix De Gymnastique took place in Brno, Czech Republic on November 28 2015. GymMapStics was there!
GymMapStics planned on attending Top Gym in Belgim; however, the USA delegation as well as a number of other countries pulled out and she had heard Brussels was essentially in lockdown. After accepting that by not attending the competition she would feel as though terrorism had won, GymMapStics went to Brno in the southeast Czech Republic to watch the Grand Prix De Gymnastique. Prior to planning to attend this event two days before it, GymMapStics had never heard of the city. A train delivered her from Prague to Brno in only a few hours.
The competition featured 11 WAG gymnasts and 11 MAG gymnasts in teams of two. Many pairs represented the same country, such as Hegel Liebrich and Antonia Alicke from Germany, Jasmine Mader and from Austria, and Maksym Semiankiv and Yana Fedorova from Ukraine. Other countries, such as Spain, only sent MAG gymnasts, who competed with a Czech WAG gymnast. All teams competed on two events in the qualification round and alternated between the WAG gymnast and the MAG gymnast. According to the official rules, the top eight teams then competed in a semi-final round on a third apparatus then the top four teams from the semi-final round would compete on a fourth apparatus. GymMapStics thinks they competed on two events in the semi-final round because the WAG gymnasts repeated an event during the final round. The gymnasts threw a giant fluffy die to determine the order of the final round. Interesting note: None of the gymnast chose to compete again on bars. GymMapStics cannot confirm nor deny what actually happened because she does not speak Czech and she only understood “two minute warm-up” during the entire competition. Also, the scoreboard did not display individual scores and instead showed the teams combined score and ranking.
Team Hungary of Dorina Boczogo and Levente Vagner earned a well deserved first place finish. The Austrian team of Jasmine Mader and Daniel Kopeinik placed second. Jasmine performed a full twisting Yurchenko vault, an excellent floor routine, and loudly cheered on Daniel as he concludes the meet on pommel horse. The German team comprised of Helge Liebrich and Antonia Alicke earned third place. Antonia competed a fun floor routine and also performed all of her tumbling without back handsprings. Maksym Semiankiv and Yana Federova of the Ukraine had a decent competition. Yana flubbed her second vault after stutter stepping down the runway and performed only a front handspring. She had a good meet aside from that error, including a great beam routine. David Jessen, son of Hannah Ricna and former gymnast for the United States, recently competed at World Championships and secured a spot at the test event for the Czech Republic. He headlined the competition and received quite a bit of applause both before and after all of his routines. David had a fall on pommel horse but finished the meet with an excellent high bar routine that included a Kolman and a Kovacs.
The Fun Stuff
GymMapStics had never attended a mixed pairs competition before and greatly appreciated the quick pace. The WAG judges calculated and confirmed scores while the MAG gymnast competed and vice versa. If only World Cup events ran this quickly….The competition also featured a wide range of skills and abilities. For example, Hungarian World Championship team member Dorina Boczogo and alternate Dalia Al-Salty competed against gymnasts that GymMapStics assumes hail from the Sokol Brno gym club. A few women’s gymnasts were paired with men’s gymnasts from other countries and performed much less difficult skills than the gymnasts that finished on the podium. The range of skills made the event exciting because the audience would see the coach spotting a gymnast on a skill during the warm up and then the gymnast would nail the skill during the competition, which is fun for the audience. The audience also firmly supported gymnasts when they missed skill or had falls and always provided encouraging applause. GymMapStics became really excited when she realized Dorina Boczogo would compete and loves her floor routine as well as her great beam mount. Dorina competed an excellent beam routine, a bar routine that concluded with only a layout flyaway dismount, and two full floor routines in a row.
Additionally, the event did not have a single boring moment. The introductions began with each team entering the arena individually while a young gymnast wearing the countries flag on her shirt ran onto the floor and performed a simple gymnastics skill. The male gymnast carried a flower and then handed it to his partner and then they waved to the crowd. The organizers also provided great between rotation entertainment including adorable showcase routines by small gymnasts, two rhythmic routines, as well as an interesting soccer ball rhythmic routine. The competition had a feeling of a casual local meet but also featured some excellent gymnastics.