Edit: There were two mistakes in this post. We mixed the French Manons, which means Manon Noel in NO junior. And secondly, she had a wild card for the leg in Paris. Every organizer can invite a given number of athletes that didn’t qualify. In Paris it was Nicolas Andreani and Manon Noel. I am really sorry for this mix up.
The second leg of the 2015/16 FEI World Cup Vaulting took place this weekend in Paris, France, and we saw France, Italy and USA top the podium. Seven nationsparticippated.
Anna Cavallaro Remains in First
Early on for the ladies, Anna Cavallaro of Italy performed an absolutely stunning freestyle, performed to music from the movie Anastasia. Her freestyle was light, well-executed and extremely fitting for the music-box like song, and she seemed both intently focused on her performance yet also at ease. This was a welcome change from the first round of the leg, in which she had a few bobbles but was still able to score an 8,318. She improved on it in Paris with 8,441, which put her into first place.
Manon Noel had a dramatic and impressive freestyle, but was unfortunately bumped into second place due to a few small issues on some of the moves, including one of her handstands. She scored 8,106, bringing her overall score up to 8,005. She had a wild card just for this stage so has no opportunity to go for the overall world cup.
France Dominates for the Men
Nicolas Andreani , who was understandably a crowd favorite, delivered an extremely theatrical and effortless freestyle as Einstein. He reminds me so much of Kai Vorberg in the execution of this freestyle, where every move is so carefully planned out to convey the character he’s playing. It’s fascinating to watch and I feel like every time I watch this freestyle I notice something new. His score for this leg was 8,377, bringing his overall average to 8,529.
France has dominated the podium for the men so far. Clément Taillez was behind Ivan Nousse in the first round, but he cleaned up his freestyle in Paris and managed to move into second place with a new overall score of 7,954. The junior Colton Palmer finished on sixth.
USA On Top for Pas de Deux
The Palmer sisters from the US came out on top for the second round in a row with their unique, Christmas-inspired freestyle. It was a fun change from the normal themes we typically see, and they pulled it off with ease. Their final score for the round came out to 7,414, a bit lower than the previous round, bringing their average score to 7,537.
The French duo had a very clean freestyle and actually scored higher than the Americans in this round with a 7,772, but their lower first round score kept their average in second place at 7,403.
The German freestyle, inspired by Romeo and Juliet, was fun to watch but a bit tensely performed. A few bobbles brought their score to an average between the two rounds of 6,743.