Jessica Gadirova, 16, wins gold at European Artistic Gymnastics Championships
Sixteen-year-old Jessica Gadirova claimed Great Britain’s first gold at the European Championships in Basel, winning the floor exercise for her third medal of a remarkable debut appearance.
The teenager, making her senior bow in a major championship, had already taken bronze in the all-around and silver in the vault and on Sunday completed a clean sweep of podium places.
Gadirova was last to perform her routine and picked up an outstanding score of 13.966 to finish clear of Russia’s Angelina Melnikova and Italy’s Vanessa Ferrari in second and third.
Speaking to british-gymnastics.org after collecting her prize, she said: “I’m speechless, over the moon, jumping for joy. Just to even get selected for the European Championships I was so happy and I was so proud to be here. Then to make the finals and win the medals, I can’t believe it.
“I’d been on the podium twice and was getting higher and higher on the steps, then to be on the top was just overwhelming. I just thought ‘Wow, I’ve actually done it’.”
After taking gold on floor, Jessica Gadirova 🇬🇧 now has a full set of medals as she took silver on vault and bronze in the all-around earlier this week 👀⬇#Basel2021pic.twitter.com/l1JaWN53FS
Giarnni Regini-Moran had earlier added a bronze in the men’s vault to the British medal haul.
The 22-year-old from Great Yarmouth placed third behind Ukrainian Igor Radivilov and Israel’s Andrey Medvedev with a final score of 14.583.
Regini-Moran, a former European silver medallist at junior level, finished two places ahead of fellow Briton Courtney Tulloch. Joe Fraser and Amelie Morgan had previously banked bronze medals.
Speaking afterwards, Regini-Moran said: “I feel amazing. Going first up felt like a good thing. I could just get the job done and then it’s just sitting, waiting and praying – thankfully I got the job done.
“I changed my vault from the World Championships after learning from that experience and seeing how big my vaults needed to be. I worked hard, got my triple twist back and then focused on the Dragalescu vault. Qualifying was the first time I’d competed it and then to do it again in the final, I’m so happy.
“My heart was beating, my hands were sweating, sitting and watching the scores come in, then standing on the podium with the medal round my neck, I was still in shock. I’ve had a tough few years so to have this senior medal feels very special and long may it continue.”