The perfect weekend for a fast-rising Brazilian gymnastics program was capped off in emphatic fashion Sunday as top hopes Rebeca Andrade and Flavia Saraiva continued their Cottbus domination in the final day of event finals.
Andrade followed up her vault gold medal with another win Sunday in the balance beam final, where her countrywoman Saraiva finished second, only for her to then take her gold medal on the final event with the floor exercise title.
Complete with another Brazilian in Jade Barbosa finishing behind Saraiva in the floor final and a Brazilian program that is led now by national team coordinator Valeri Liukin and this fast-rising gymnastics program cemented itself as one of the best after an incredible Cottbus World Cup to close 2018.
In the balance beam final, it was Andrade and Saraiva who set themselves apart from the rest of the field, showing clean and confident work in their event finals routines while the rest of the eight-gymnast field faltered. While favorites like home hope Sophie Scheder of Germany and Romania’s Denisa Golgota struggled, the two Brazilians soared head and shoulders above the rest to go one-two on the beam podium.
Andrade added to her vault gold and bars silver with a very strong 13.766 to easily take home the balance beam title as well while Saraiva’s solid 13.266 edged out Ukrainian Diana Varinska, who posted a 13.200, for the silver.
The floor final may have been the last event final of the competition but it was still more of the same as this time it was Saraiva who soared above the entire field to easily take the gold off a 14.100. The small, but powerful, Brazilian has emerged as one of the best athletes on floor this season- complimenting her already beautiful beam work- bringing a great energy to her performance of the routine along with her big tumbling, making her a crowd favorite in her event final showing at last month’s World Championships in Doha.
The most experienced of the three Brazilians in Cottbus, Barbosa, finished behind Saraiva after her own impressive and powerful routine, earning a strong 13.550 to take another medal for Brazil and edge out Marta Pihan-Kulesza of Poland, who scored a 13.433 for bronze.
The biggest surprise and disappointment of the day in Cottbus came in American Jade Carey finishing a low fifth place in the floor final after the 2017 Worlds silver medalist on floor had some issues on her tumbling to bring her score down to a 13.300, outside the medals by just a few tenths.
It was a disappointing finish to a promising Cottbus World Cup competition for Carey, someone we’ll see many more times in this individual apparatus World Cup series through 2019 as individual qualification to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics heats up. For now, the Cottbus World Cup effectively closed the 2018 elite gymnastics season, but there’s plenty of intrigue going into a hugely-important 2019 very soon.Tags: Brazil, Cottbus World Cup, Denisa Golgota, Diana Varinska, Flavia Saraiva, Germany, Jade Carey, Marta Pihan-Kulesza, Rebeca Andrade, Romania, Sophie Scheder, Ukraine, United States