Goosebumps in the Olympic Hall on Sunday, August 14: Elisabeth Seitz convinced with an outstanding routine on uneven bars and thus won the European title (14.433 points). Shortly after, Emma Malewski followed suit and unexpectedly won the second gold for Germany that day on the balance beam (13.466 points).
The day before, four of the German gymnasts qualified for the gymnastics finals, including Pauline Schäfer-Betz and Emma Malewski on the balance beam and Kim Bui and Elisabeth Seitz on the uneven bars. Bui was first on the uneven bars in the final. It was the last routine of her professional gymnastics career - an emotional moment. She performed a clean routine that put her in fifth place. After her dismount, she burst into tears while the entire audience celebrated her with ovations. As the last of the round, Seitz went to the uneven bars. She completed an outstanding routine. Hopes for a medal were high, but that it was enough for gold seemed to surprise even Seitz. "It's a dream come true right now that I couldn't have imagined," Seitz said after scoring.
The final on balance beam followed, with Malewski, just 18, surprisingly taking gold (13.466 points). She performed her routine with only minor wobbles, while her competitors repeatedly made mistakes. Her teammate Schäfer-Betz also fluffed the rise of her routine. As a result, the World Champion lost valuable points right at the start, which she was unable to make up despite her superbly completed routine. Disappointment overcame her when she missed the podium in fifth place (13,200 points).
After a successful competition with two gold medals, Bui was bid farewell after 29 years in gymnastics. A video showed some beautiful moments of her career, as well as farewell words from her teammates. The 33-year-old was overwhelmed and ended her last competition saying, "I've always said I want to quit when it's best. And this whole week, from front to end here, is just so incredibly beautiful. I really couldn't have imagined it being more beautiful."
Next Thursday, August 18, the men's European Championships will begin, also starting with the all-around. On the last Sunday (August 21) of the European Championships, the men's gymnastics finals will take place.
Text & Photos: Lina Lässer