Tue, Aug 07, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Bastianelli sprints to road race title at the European

Reuters, GLASGOW

Sanne Wevers of the Netherlands competes in the European Championships women’s balance beam final at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

Italian Marta Bastianelli on Sunday won a sprint finish with the great Marianne Vos to foil the strong Dutch team and strike gold in the European Championships road race.

The Oranje riders seemed to be controlling affairs at the end of the 130km race, ready to set up victory at the Glasgow Green finish for Vos, only for former world champion Bastianelli to beat her to the punch with a scintillating final burst.

Vos roared through for the silver, but her fellow 31-year-old rival had already flown, beating the Dutchwoman just as she had done at their world championships duel in Stuttgart in 2007.

“I think this is just as good a feeling as when I won the world title in 2007,” said Bastianelli. “It was a very, very hard race.”

Vos still looked the big danger as a group of about 25 gathered for the sprint denouement, but she timed her effort poorly and looked a picture of disappointment at the line.

However, she made no excuses, saying: “We could have done a few things differently, but Italy deserved the win.”


Russia’s gymnasts dominated the women’s team event at the championships, but none of them were able on Sunday to strike gold in the individual apparatus events.

Hungary’s Boglarka Devai won the vault, Belgium’s Nina Derwael successfully defended her title for the asymmetric bars, Dutch Olympic champion Sanne Wevers prevailed on the balance beam and French starlet Melanie de Jesus was victorious on the floor.

Angelina Melnikova, the outstanding performer in Russia’s win on Friday, was the only member of the team to win an apparatus medal, taking silver in the vault and bronze on the asymmetric bars at the SSE Hydro venue in Glasgow.

The 18-year-old Devai burst into tears after Melnikova, the last to compete, failed to overhaul her outstanding mark of 14.349 and it dawned on her that she had become the first Hungarian woman to win the European vault title for 20 years.

World bronze medalist Derwael, also 18, took the gold on the bars with a routine that earned her an outstanding 14.733 mark ahead of Sweden’s silver medalist Jonna Adlerteg (14.533).

The 26-year-old Wevers, the first Dutch female gymnast ever to win Olympic gold, won on the beam (13.900), a decade after taking a World Cup title in Glasgow.

De Jesus, one of the rising forces in the sport and all-around bronze medalist at last year’s Europeans, produced a brilliant routine on the floor to record a mark of 13.766 and grab a gold to go with her silver with the French team.

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