Leonard Gross

Thorsdottir, Mairosser take titles at 10th Austrian Team Open

The competitors at the 2019 Austrian Team Open take a group photo in Linz. All photos © ÖFT / Robert Labner

The competitors at the 2019 Austrian Team Open take a group photo in Linz. All photos © ÖFT / Robert Labner

After sitting out of October’s World Championships on account of a broken hand, Dutch star Eythora Thorsdottir celebrated a return to form by winning the Austrian Team Open this weekend in Linz.

The 20-year-old Thorsdottir, known for her exquisite choreography on floor exercise, posted the top scores on floor, beam and vault to tally 52.85 points for the all-around title, well ahead of Norway’s Nora Irgens (47.05) and Austria’s Bianca Frysak (46.6).

“First competition of the year,” Thorsdottir posted on Instagram, adding a check mark. “It’s a good first step on my way to the European Championships.”

Poland’s Marta Pihan-Kulesza, the poster girl for next month’s Europeans in her hometown of Szczecin, was also warming up for Euros in Linz’s Tips-Arena. Fourth all-around with 46.2, Pihan-Kulesza would have been a viable podium contender had she not had to swallow a 7.15 on uneven bars.

Marta Pihan-Kulesza (POL) on beam.

Marta Pihan-Kulesza (POL) on beam.

2012 Austrian Olympian Elisa Haemmerle, who had suffering from the flu, opted to compete on uneven bars and balance beam only, but still managed the second best score of the day on bars (12.4).

Spain (Claudia Villalba, Berta Pujadas, Clara Navarro, Aina Puig and Etna Abella) won the women’s team title ahead of Austria and Norway, while Slovakia’s Sara Surmanova, born in 2005, was the top junior.

Austria’s own Johannes Mairosser took the men’s title despite a 9.15 on pommel horse. Norway’s Fredrik Bjornevik Aas, a tenth behind for second overall, suffered the exact same fate on pommel. The pipe was good to nobody at this competition except former Russian team member Matvei Petrov, a pommel specialist who was representing Albania at this meet. There, the former World and European finalist scored 15.45, the best score of the day on any event, and also contributed an event-high 13.8 on parallel bars.

Austria’s Vinzenz Hoeck, a former European junior champion on rings, was the class of the field on his best event, scoring 14.2 with a new routine that he hopes to use to make waves in Szczecin. Austrian veteran Matthias Schwab contributed the highest scores on vault (14.0) and high bar (13.3), while Leonard Gross was the best on floor (13.3).

Norway won the men’s team title ahead of two Austrian teams, while Didrik Gundersen led an all-Norwegian sweep of the junior men’s competition.

Full results from the Austrian Open can be found here.

Austrian rings star Vincenz Hoeck.

Austrian rings star Vincenz Hoeck.