The Belgium team heading for Montpellier (south of France) for the European artistic gymnastics individual championships (April 15th-19th) is made up of 6 gymnasts. The selection was agreed and announced by the 2 linguistic components of the Royal Belgian Federation of gymnastics on Monday. Led by Belgian vice-champion Maxime Gentges, the all-male team is aiming for at least one place in the all-around final, and one finalist in one of the 6 apparatus competition, pointed out the French-speaking Federation on Monday. Walloon Maxime Gentges (Malmedy), and Florian Landuyt (Sportac Deinze), who was bronze medallist in the latest national championships in spite of this being his first year in the seniors, will compete in the general competition and try to slip through to the last 24 qualifying for the all-around final.
Donna-Donny Truyens (Blauwput Omnisport) will only compete in the pommel horse event, his favourite apparatus. In Moscow in 2013, he had hoped for a medal, but only finished 6th in the pommel horse final. Siemon Volkaert (GymMax) will also try to reach the final on the pommel horse, and is competing in the floor exercises as well. Dennis Goossens (TK Kerels Waasmunster) – rings – and Kristof Schroe (T Spagaatje) – horizontal bar – make up the rest of the team.
As in the previous European individual championship in Moscow in 2013, no female gymnast will represent Belgium. The women’s team is focussing on the world championships in Glasgow, where the girls will try to qualify for the Olympics. To best prepare for the world championships, they are heading for the Flanders International Team Challenge at the end of May in Ghent, then for the European games in Baku in June.
The men’s team was in Antibes for a last week of preparation before the start of the European individual championship, which for them begins with the qualifications on Thursday April 16th. The finals of the general competition will take place on the 17th, and the apparatus finals on the 18th and 19th.
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)