Six years after a first continental gold, the French Coline Devillard was again crowned European champion in the vault, Saturday at the Euro-2023 artistic gymnastics in Antalya (Turkey).
“I had a lot of fun today. I’m so happy. I don’t know how to describe what I feel but it’s a pretty cool feeling,” she reacted.
For this final, the Frenchwoman was the favorite after winning bronze at the World Championships five months ago and winning two World Cup stages last month.
“I am especially happy to have assured my status, it is the thing that made me stress the most”, she added to the microphone of France Télévisions.
At 22, Devillard offers himself a fourth European medal. With a score of 13.800 points, she is ahead of the Italian Asia D’Amato (13.600 pts), already vice-champion of Europe last year, and the Belgian Lisa Vaelen (13.583 pts).
After a first jump rewarded with 14.300 points, the Frenchwoman decided to present a single twist for her second pass instead of the planned double twist. A prudent choice which allowed him to ensure a good execution.
“(I chose as) strategy to do one twist. No need to do both,” she explained. “So that means I still have some leeway and that’s a great feeling.”
To get this victory, she relied in particular on her run-up, worked on in training with the 2005 world champion in the 110m hurdles Ladji Doucouré.
– Adem Asil still in gold –
By winning this second title, Devillard has come a long way. Six years ago during her first European Championships, she revealed herself at only 16 years old by winning her first gold medal on vault.
But between the two coronations, there was a long period of doubts, marked by injuries, a few failures and changes of coaches.
The other two Frenchmen in the running on Saturday, Benjamin Osberger and Lucas Desanges took 5th and 7th places respectively in the floor final, won by Briton Luke Whitehouse.
“I had good feelings and my legs were good, but I’m disappointed because the podium was achievable,” said Osberger, fourth in the world for exercise last fall.
In the other finals of the day, the Turkish Adem Asil won the gold medal in the rings, two days after winning the all-around in front of his home crowd.
The Italian Alice D’Amato won on the uneven bars, while the Irishman Rhys McClenaghan was crowned for the second time on pommel horse, an apparatus of which he is also the reigning world champion.
Sunday, the tricolor chances will be defended by Cameron-Lie Bernard in the parallel bars final.