Sportpaleis- Ten years later, the World Gymnastics Championships have returned to Antwerp, Belgium with qualifying to the 2024 Olympic Games on the mind of many competing. As Simone Biles returns to the venue where she won her first World All Around title back in 2013, many athletes are getting their first experience on the world stage.
in 2013, Region 5 made the world championships part of the All Star Trip and getting a first hand experience at the start of Simone’s dominance in the sport. That was memorable. Fast forward ten years and Region 5 had two of their own competing at worlds representing two different countries…. Romania and Finland.
Romania, who once was a dominate team in the world of gymnastics, has been unable to qualify a full team to the Olympics since 2012 when they won bronze as a team. The lack of depth and injuries since has hindered this gymnastics power until here at these worlds
Lilia Cosman, who represented Region 5 at the 2022 Level 10 DEV Nationals for her club gym, Capitol City Flips in Michigan, competed in her first World Championships. Lilia, whose whole family is Romanian, contributed to qualifying her new country (gymnastics wise) to the Olympics by competing on vault, bars and floor. She opened up with a very nice full in and checked of the artistry check list on floor scoring a respectable 12.733. Her bars, however, have always been one of her best events, but elite level gymnastics asks a lot more from the gymnast than Level 10. In only one year she has really increased her level of difficulty and scored a 13.033. She finished 37th on the event, but less than one point out of the top 15. It will be exciting to watch Lilia over the next year as Romania preps for selection of their 2024 Olympic Squad.
“It felt so surreal to compete with the best Gymnasts in the world. no words can describe the feeling we had in the moment. It felt very special to qualify a team after so many years”– Lilia Cosman
video credit: ROU WAG Youtube Channel
It was a family affair this year for team Tanskanen. Kaia Tanskanen, who represents Finland, is in her second world championships in as many years. However, this time around her mom Kim (owner of Michigan Elite Gymnastics), was one of the coaches on the floor during the team qualifying competition. The USA Men’s team also had a Tanskanen as Yuha (Kaia’s Dad) coaches at the University of Michigan and is the personal coach of two members of Team USA, Paul Juda and Fred Richards. Family Business Trip in Belgium!
Kaia, the national champion of Finland, finished with a 49.732 in the all around which unfortunately was only .25 away from an all around qualifying spot to the Paris Olympics. Finland began their competition on beam and though it wasn’t Kaia’s best routine (especially compared to her podium routine) she stayed on, went 4 for 4 leading her team and improving her score from the 2022 Worlds in Liverpool.
“MY SECOND WORLDS WENT MUCH BETTER THEN MY FIRST AND IT WAS SO MUCH FUN. I AM GLAD I GOT TO COMPETE AGAIN AND GO 4 For 4”-Kaia Tanskanen
Kaia’s top score of the competition was her 13.333 for a very nice layout Kaz. Kaia will head back into the gym to work on several upgrades she has in waiting and try to qualify to Paris through the World Cup circuit at the beginning of 2024.