Teams sitting together next to their national flags, solemnly decorated gyms and more than 400 virtual spectators. This IRV Team Trophy was a special one – with many first times:
- First time for a Junior Team Trophy
- First time for a team from Israel
- First time for gymnasts performing with masks AND
- First time for a virtual international team competition
The IRV would have loved to organize an on-site competition during the Leipzig International German Gymnastics Festival as originally planned, but the ongoing pandemic made this impossible.
The IRV virtual Team Trophy was more than a second-best solution. It was one hour of pure excitement, high-level routines and a competent and cool moderation by DJ and host Hauke Narten.
The first three rounds went relatively smoothly, but from round 4 the teams started to use their jokers. Every country shot a cool joker video announcing their top routine. Setting a joker in an IRV Team Trophy means that the points achieved for this competition round are doubled – and this can turn the scoreboard upside down.
Which is precisely what happened. First, Germany took the lead with their joker on a flawless straight-line routine by Ella Köhler, but in the 5th round both Israel and Switzerland set their jokers on Ohad Madlal (Straight-Line / Team Israel) and Fabrice Schubert (Straight-Line / Team Switzerland) respectively. The result at the end of the round was equal 21 points for Team Israel and Team Germany – a tight contest for first place. Curiously enough, there was a second tie at 9 points – for Team Switzerland and Team Austria, both teams contesting the third place.
The excitement was tangible, also in the very active chat…
And then came the decisive 6th and last round. This time Team Austria set their joker, also on a straight-line routine (Selina Memeti). All eyes were on the performances of Klil Benori (Spiral / Team Israel) and Lea Gmeiner (Straight-Line / Team Germany). Klil Benori’s very clean Spiral routine earned her a score of 8.75 from the judges. Everything was still open. The next performance came from Team Germany: Lea Gmeiner. She made an early mistake during a one-legged knee hang, but the rest of her routine was both difficult and extremely well executed, resulting in a score of 9.70. This was the deciding factor: 25 points and Gold for Germany. 24 points and Silver for Israel. The joker worked out well for Team Austria, doubling their 2 points to give them the Bronze medal.
It was an entertaining live event with many highlights: a double twisting vault by Germany’s Malte Schröder, the overall highest score of 10.35 for the straight-line routine of Israel’s Ohad Madlal, the Swiss Team having to perform wearing masks and the Austrian team for the cutest ever joker video!
Thank you to everyone involved and see you on May 23rd for the IRV Team Trophy Senior Competition.