Viktoria Listunova wins first European gymnastics all-around title

The reigning junior world champion took her first senior international crown Friday in Basel.

By Scott Bregman

2019 junior world champion Viktoria Listunova of Russia notched her first major, senior international win Friday (23 April), taking the women's all-around crown at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Basel, Switzerland.

In the final standings, Listunova earned 56.731 for gold. 2019 World all-around bronze medallist and star of the Olympic Channel original series 'All Around' Angelina Melnikova also of Russia, with 55.432, and Team GB's Jessica Gadirova, with 55.100, were second and third, respectively.

The win signals Listunova as a contender at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021, an event which she would not have been old enough to participate in had they been held in 2020.

Melnikova and Listunova both opened with double-twisting Yurchenko vault, scoring 14.733 and 14.466, respectively.

Listunova was spectacular on the uneven bars, flying between the bars with easy. Her routine included two same-bar release moves (Ricna, straddled Jaeger) and a full out dismount to earn a 14.333. Melnikova scored just 13.733 after falling on her piked Jaeger. The duo moved to beam separated by just over three-tenths of a point.

But that lead expanded greatly for Listunova in the third rotation after Melnikova earned just 12.833, falling on her double wolf turn attempt. Listunova posted a 14.066 after executing a front handspring to front tuck acrobatic series and a double back dismount. She led by more than a point-and-a-half after three events.

Listunova nearly put her knees down on her opening double layout on floor, but came back strong with two whip backs to a triple full. Her 13.866 gave her the title. Melnikova closed her day with 14.133.

2012 Olympic bronze medallist Larisa Iordache withdrew from the competition after disclosing she was hospitalized with a kidney infection, following Wednesday’s competition. She earned a quota spot at Tokyo 2020 earlier in the week.

“Unfortunately, I won’t be able to compete because I haven’t left the hospital yet,” Iordache wrote on Instagram. “I can say that I am much better, and I hope that my health will get better every day.”

As of this report, Iordache appears on the start lists for both the balance beam and floor exercise finals, scheduled for Sunday (25 April).

View full results here.