Asia D'Amato of Italy claimed the women's all-around gold medal Thursday (11 August) at the 2022 European Championships in Munich, Germany. She is the first Italian woman to claim the European all-around title since Vanessa Ferrari, a four-time Olympian and 2020 floor exercise silver medallist, in 2007.
"I am really excited because I didn't really expected it," said D'Amato afterward. "Vanessa has always been an example for me, I hope to be an example for the younger ones, too, and I am happy I could carry Italy's name high and hope I can keep doing it in the future."
The competition also served as a qualifier for October's World Artistic Gymnastics Championships with the top 13 squads punching their tickets to Liverpool. Those teams are Italy, Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Hungary, Spain, Romania, Finland, Austria, Ukraine and Sweden.
Heading into the final rotation, the top three in the individual all-around standings were razor tight with just 0.300 separating them.
Kinsella was first to go, scoring a 13.533 on the floor exercise to put the pressure on the Italians who had been leading her after three rotations.
On the uneven bars, D'Amato seemed unfazed by the moment, delivering a difficult routine that included a toe-on, layout Tkatchev and a nearly stuck double front dismount. She scored 13.900 and went into the provisional lead.
Only teammate Maggio could take the title away from D'Amato, needing better than 13.833 for gold. But those dreams slipped away as she slipped off the lower bar near the end of her routine. Her 13.066 put her third.
"This medal means a lot to me, and it's a payback after a career of high and lows," said Maggio. "When I made that mistake on the uneven bars, I thought I would miss the podium, but you need to compete until the end and seeing my name among the medallists is something I can't describe."
D'Amato was solid on all four events in Munich with scores of 13.500, balance beam; 13.566, floor exercise; and 13.766, vault; completing her all-around total.
"I was determined to do well and my first exercise was a good start," she said. "I was a bit nervous before the uneven bars, but I went for it and this unexpected gold came. I am really happy."
Competition continues Friday (12 August) with the junior women's team and all-around final. Saturday (13 August) sees the senior women's team final, with women's artistic gymnastics competition in Munich wrapping up Sunday (14 August) with junior and senior apparatus finals.