I saw them all. From the very first one on Wednesday using the stream till the last one on Thursday. Tomorrow a few will follow and then we are done for this year. Once more I can say, watching compulsories is great! You can compare the basic skills one-to-one with the next vaulters. My comments from day one can be found on Twitter. Seniors:
The level was pretty high. It is improoving with every year, maybe because of the qualification score of 6.5. I am most happy about the much better landed dismounts. The vaulters had all a good tension and finished the whole landing. That should help to prevent some knee injuries. All the squads had a great tension which made it nice to watch. The technique is also improving. Except of the scissors first part.
For the senior teams this made the difference. If the vaulter does not turn on the way up, he or she gets less than a five (I think). Ingelsberg was able to do it, which brought them a clear lead. The Lütisburg vaulters had not all the same level which brought them 0,4 points less. Wildegg finished between them. Nikolaus Luschin lost his tension once and I have the feeling I saw most of them better before. Noroc put some effort into the comps, they are better than some time ago. A view to the end of the table shows that four teams scored below 6.0. The small vaulting nations Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and Canada showed their best and I liked it. It is a good base to work with. I expect lots to come. I had the feeling they belong to this championship.
For the senior women I was for example counting on Katharina Luschin, Daniela Fritz (Fairytale is not experienced enough yet), Anna Cavallaro (has again a reliable horse) and of course Janika Derks (on Bella Bientie, a eight years old horse with no international competitions according to the FEI data base). But the woman who said she is doing individual only as a side project won the the test. Jasmin Lindner (Former European champion with the junior and senior squad and both European and world champion in the pdd) is now reaching for a medal as individual. Wow, I did not see this coming! Ok, Janika Derks follows with only 0.006 and then Anna Cavallaro with 0.043. Many others are not far behind, so, everything is possible with three rounds left.
The 23 men, which is a lot, did also very well. It was so nice to watch them. I was most impressed by Vincent Haennel and Lambert Leclezio who is only in his very first senior year. They are on rank three and four. The category is lead by Jannis Drewell and Thomas Brüsewitz. Because of the finally high number of male participants, I guess that not all will reach the final.
The horses are much better than a few years ago. Very steady and consistent. Interesting is that the judges A and E in the senior squad competition had the same opinion except for the German horse Lazio. The biggest test for many horses were the pigeons. In the afternoon they started to land in the circle and fly a whole round in front of them. Not all horses stayed calm. Tjekko from Claire de Ridder had the biggest problems.