Tomi Tuuha wins gold at European Gymnastic Championships in Birmingham
The 20-year-old Finnish gymnast Tomi Tuuha won the gold medal in the Senior Men’s Final of the vault at the European Gymnastic Championships in Birmingham on Sunday.
Tuuha won his upset victory in the vault with clean execution on his Tsukahara 2 1/2 and double-twisting layout handspring front, collecting a score of 15.975. Germany’s Matthias Fahrig placed second, with a low landing on his Dragulescu and a score of 15.962.
Flavius Kocz from Romania took the bronze in a tightly contested final with a score of 15.925.
”This was an excellent result in such a high level competition. Others were also good, but one was better than the rest”, said Jani Tanskanen, the Director of Men’s Artistic at the Finnish Gymnastics Federation.
The rather more modest aim of the young Helsinki athlete had been simply to gain a place in the finals.
”I really could not expect a bombshell of this sort”, a delighted Tuuha said.
Tuuha has been dreaming about success at a major competition for three years, but the victory at the European Championships alone did not satisfy his appetite.
”I hope that the circle will not close. There are stiff competitions ahead, in which I intend to take part at full blast”, Tuuha added.
His win was as welcome as it was unexpected: he is the first Finnish medallist at this level for 12 years.
A further point is that Tuuha hardly had the easiest of journeys to get to Birmingham in the first place. He was among those trapped by the grounding of all European flights last week, and the team travelled to the UK by coach and ferry, taking 47 hours in all and taking in seven countries on the way.
Even though the skies have now cleared, they will be returning the same way and will be back in Finland only on Tuesday.
2010 European Gymnastics Championships