Penn State Signee Elina Vihrova Competes in 2020 European Championship Finals

Penn State signee Elina Vihrova competed in three apparatus finals at the 33rd European championships in Mersin, Turkey, on Sunday.

The Latvian, who will join the Nittany Lions in the fall of 2021, qualified to the vault, bars and beam finals, finishing seventh, eighth and fifth, respectively.

On vault, she performed a decent Yurchenko full that was a bit piked in the air and had a step back on landing (13.400), as well as a front handspring front pike half that was just a touch short on the landing (13.100). She totaled a 13.250. Her handspring vault was the weaker of the two during the final, but she will hope to consolidate it, as it is a 10.0 start value in college.

Vihrova had good form on bars but unfortunately suffered a fall on her Maloney (11.350). Her routine included a Chow to Pak salto, a Maloney to bail to handstand, a straddled Jaeger and a double pike dismount. Her execution looked promising for college.

Finally on beam, Vihrova performed a very solid set, which included an impressive front pike mount, a front tuck, a front aerial, a side aerial, a strong back handspring to layout step-out series and a double twist dismount. Her execution was excellent throughout and earned her a 12.750.

Although the top teams were absent from the meet, the competition was not short of drama and nail-biting finishes. 

Larisa Iordache of Romania, in her first international competition in three years, won the beam and floor titles, as well as a silver medal on vault. Hungary’s Zsófia Kovács was crowned vault and bars champion. Turkey’s Göksu Üçtaş Şanlı and Israel’s Lihie Raz made history, becoming the first gymnasts of their respective countries to win a medal at the European championships. They won silver and bronze on floor, respectively. Barbora Mokošová also won the first ever European medal for Slovakia with a bronze on bars.

Ukraine won the team title ahead of Romania and Hungary. Romania won the junior team title, and the team’s star, Ana Bărbosu, swept the all around and all four event finals.

READ THIS NEXT: Recruit Files: Elina Vihrova, Penn State

Article by Talitha Ilacqua

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