The World Challenge Cup in Paris will take place in Bercy, in the impressive hall where the Olympic gymnastics competition will take place in two years’ time. It was supposed to be Nina Derwael’s first match since she won gold on the uneven bars in Tokyo last year.
After the Games she took a long break, she won – with verve – the television program “Dancing with the Stars”.
“Returning to the highest level takes time and comes with the necessary ups and downs,” says Inge Van Meensel. “But she really needed that longer break, physically and mentally.”
“She has now been training again for about 6 months and is developing well, but she is just not ready for a first competition.”
“She should normally make it to the World Cup in Liverpool, at the end of October. At that World Cup, she gymnastics on the bridge with uneven bars and on the beam.”
“I don’t expect her to be at her very best level yet, she mainly wants to help the team towards the 2023 World Cup in Antwerp. There she wants to shine in front of her own audience and qualify with the team for the Olympic Games in Paris.”
“The Olympic champion is a real winner. Wherever she starts, she wants to give the best of herself”
“I suppose it will be a bit of a squeeze, because she is a real competitive animal. But if you look at her preparation for the previous Olympics, it was also far from ideal.”
“Then, especially because of corona, she did not compete in any competitions for a year and a half. She then dropped the European Championship in Basel due to a minor injury. She participated in only two competitions before Tokyo and yet she was in top form just in time.”
“Taking risks doesn’t make sense now either. Maybe in other sports you can start at 80% in a competition, but gymnastics is too dangerous a sport. If you’re not in
If you are in good shape, the risk of a fall or injury is simply too great.”
“Nina works very professionally and sets certain goals. Her next big goal is the World Cup in Antwerp. She knows very well what she wants and what she needs to achieve her goal.”
At the European Championships in Munich in August, Nina Derwael commented on the side of Inge Van Meensel.
“I saw there how much she still wants to gymnastics at the highest level. The passion is still there, the fire too. Hopefully her body will also last a few years.”
“In the team competition at that European Championship, Belgium finished fifth without Nina. When the girls were hugging afterwards, I saw that Nina was quite emotional. “I want to be there, with my team, with my girls”, she said. That was the confirmation for me that she hasn’t finished gymnastics yet,” concludes Van Meensel.