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By Caroline.

Elena Gomez: the most Russian of the Spanish girls.

Caroline used to go to the most famous gym events held in France. During the French Internationals, she met the Spanish gym Star, Elena Gomez.
Here is her report. Well done Caroline and many thanks to allow us to display it too.
(Bernard, Kostiskal webmaster).

 
Contact Caroline for any comment.
 
On the podium at the Paris Bercy Stadium on the eve of competition, the gymnasts were busy getting used to the arena. However when the speaker announced, "Elena Gomez, floor exercise", silence fell and all eyes turned towards the floor mat. Her performance was greeted with murmurs of approval. It was far from this hustle and bustle, in the calm of her hotel room and in the company of her mother that we met Elena. Acting as our interpreter was Eric Boucharin, a former long-standing coach at the Barcelona centre. Just like the judges at Debrecen, we were captivated by Elena.
 
 
If you didn't know the nationality of this gymnast, you could easily take her for a Russian. To begin with, her Christian name is shared by many former Soviet stars. Secondly, there is her physique. In her white leotard, weighing 36 kilos and only 1m46 tall, Elena has the look of a Russian gymnast - she has a doll-like face, a slender physique combined with exemplary technique, the grace of a ballerina and other outstanding qualities. An unusual comparison to make perhaps, but when it comes to her results she is certainly able to compete with the Eastern gymnasts. At the last World Championships she landed the most coveted of medals - the floor exercise gold, exclusive domain of the Russians and Romanians for many decades!
 
Elena laughs at this analogy but is keen to emphasise: "It's true I like Russian gymnastics, probably more than the other gymnastics schools, but I am Spanish and proud of it! What's more, the gymnast I admire most is none other than my friend Sara Moro, with whom I share a room at the training centre." And she continues:
"This was a really satisfying win because it was the culmination of many hours of hard work. I've now proved that Spain can win medals." It was indeed a victory for Spanish gymnastics, a school which is so often admired yet rarely rewarded.
In the past her compatriots Gemma Paz and Joanna Juarez had admittedly won European medals, and Esther Moya had very nearly grabbed a bronze on floor at Sydney, but until now there had been no crowning at world level. At Debrecen it finally happened, and Elena became the first Spanish world champion and her coach JÚsus Carballo the happiest man alive.
 
 
When the pretty Spanish girl presents herself to the judges in the finals she can rely on her elegance, her expression and a maximum Start Value of 10.00 points. Paradoxically her four tumbling runs are good but not exceptional. After all, at this level of competition the full-in back out in tuck position, two and a half twists into punch front with full twist, triple twist and double piked back are a little basic. In contrast, her gymnastics elements (jumps and turns) are breathtaking and superior to those of her competitors.
 
Her winning score of 9.478 stems from the fulfilment of all the demands of the Code of Points - including the necessary tumbling, and her remarkable mastery of jumps and pirouettes, such as the double pirouette on one leg linked to a double-twisting jump. As if to impress the judges and her opponents even more, Elena executes a quadruple pirouette into a Popa jump at the end of her routine. It has become her signature move, reflecting the Spanish school's emphasis on dance and expressiveness.

Elena Gomez profile page 2.
 
Some photos.
 
International gymnastics page.
 
Contents page.

Page (c) Caroline Paulian and Bernard Garau for : Kostiskal
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