5 world-class gymnasts who used the European Junior Championships as a springboard to success

Flying high: Glasgow 2018 sporting ambassador Max Whitlock won a junior title in 2010 before going on to senior success at European, World & Olympic level. (R) image courtesy of British Gymnastics/Alan Edwards

Next year’s European Artistic Gymnastics Championships are coming to the SSE Hydro as part of the inaugural Glasgow 2018 European Championships with over 600 men, women and junior gymnasts set to compete across eight days of action-packed sport.

The junior competition, which takes place every two years, is a fantastic opportunity to spot the top prospects in Europe before they go on to senior success and have been a springboard for some of the UK and Europe’s most successful Olympians.

Click here to buy tickets for men’s, women’s and junior gymnastics competitions at Glasgow 2018

We’ve picked out 5 gymnastics stars who won European Junior Championships medals before stepping up to European, Commonwealth, World and Olympic success:


  • Vanessa Ferrari - Italy

Junior – 2004 European Junior Championships - silver in all-around & 2 x bronze (balance beam & team)
Senior – 4 x European champion (2006, 2007 x 2, 2014), World champion (2006 - all-around), represented Italy at three Olympic Games
Vanessa was just 13-years-old when she rose to prominence by winning three medals at the 2004 Junior European Championships in Amsterdam. The Italian has gone on to become one of her country's most decorated gymnasts, competing at three Olympic Games - including an impressive 4th place finish in the floor exercise at London 2012 – and became a World champion in 2006.


  • Dan Keatings – Great Britain

Junior2008 European Junior Championships  - 4 gold & 1 bronze
Senior2 x European champion (2010 & 2013), Commonwealth Games champion (2014 ) & silver at 2009 World Championships
Dan Keatings had already represented Scotland at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and secured a silver medal at the 2007 senior European Championships, when he took to the stage at the 2008 Junior European Championships in Lausanne. An incredible performance in Switzerland seen him secure three individual gold medals (all-around, pommel horse & parallel bars) and help the young British team to an all-around title. He has since gone on to win two golds at senior European level and gold on the pommel horse the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.


  • Max Whitlock – Great Britain

Junior2010 European Junior Championships – 2 gold & 1 silver
Senior3 x European Champion (2012, 2013 & 2014), World Champion on pommel Horse (2015) and 5-time Olympic medallist (2012 – two bronze, 2016 two gold & one bronze)

Max Whitlock’s journey to becoming Great Britain’s most successful ever gymnast really took off following the 2010 Junior European Championships in Birmingham, where he won two golds and a silver in the all-around. Since then, Max has added golds at senior European, Commonwealth, World and Olympic levels to his glittering list of achievements. But it was the fortunate crowd assembled at Birmingham 2010 who got to see Max’s journey really take off – which future star will we uncover at Glasgow 2018?


  • Sophie Scheder - Germany

Junior2012 European Junior Championships – gold medallist in uneven bars
Senior2016 Olympic Games - bronze medallist Uneven bars
Aged just 15, Germany's Sophie Scheder won gold in her specialist event of uneven bars at the 2012 European Junior Championships and quickly kicked on at senior level. Just four years later Sophie represented her country at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and became the first German gymnast to win an uneven bars medal since 1988.


  • Nile Wilson – Great Britain

Junior2014 European Junior Championships – 5  gold
Senior 2014 Commonwealth Games - double gold medallist , 2016 European Championships - horizontal bar & 2016 Olympic Games bronze - horizontal bar
Wilson made history at the European Junior Gymnastics Championships in 2014 when he became the first Brit to win five gold medals in the competition in one year. The Yorkshire lad has since helped Great Britain to a Team silver medal at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow and clinched gold in the horizontal bar at last year’s senior European Championships in Bern.


Fans can buy tickets for 84 thrilling sessions of sport at Glasgow 2018 starting at just £10 for adults and £5 for under-16s and over 60s. Tickets for all events can be purchased from www.glasgow2018.com/tickets and will be sold on a first come first served basis, with fans encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment.


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