Suddenly getting to the Games becomes a more difficult task for the Olympic champion. Nina Derwell was told today that the coaches with whom she achieved all her success will no longer be by her side. “A bolt from the blue,” confirms gymnastics commentator Stevie Merlevidi. “The fact that there is no alternative yet seems like a disaster for Druel.”
Nine months and three days away from the Olympic Games in Paris, defending champion Nina Druel remains without a coach.
The passing of top French duo Marjorie Huells and Yves Kiefer is a factor that the super talent on the uneven bars never took into consideration.
“For her and the other Belgian gymnasts, it was a bolt from the blue,” says commentator Steffi Merlevidi. “So this will have a big impact.”
Because, make no mistake. Druel may have an Olympic gold medal, two world titles and two European titles to his name. She does not yet have a ticket to the French capital due to a year full of shoulder injuries.
Then it doesn’t help that there is now A vacancy is open to find a new head coach.
Derwell and Huells at the recent World Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp.
A difficult task without a familiar structure
The training duo have been employed at Gymfed since 2009 – for 14 years.
During that period, Kiefer and Huels laid the foundation for 6 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals for the Belgian gymnastics pioneer.
“They have really been the foundation of the success and growth of the sport in recent years,” knows Mirlevidi. “Well, the last World Cup was disappointing, with no Olympic tickets and no Belgians in the final, but that also had to do with bad luck.”
Because Nina Druel has had her share of bad luck in 2023. Last April, she had to participate in the European Championships in Turkey due to a shoulder injury, and at the beginning of September, she dislocated the same shoulder.
Cross World Cup in Antwerp. And also the most certainty of the games with the Belgian team finishing in 12th place. The Belgym team finished in 17th place.
The schedule is extremely tight and Nina certainly relied on Hewells being by her side.
So Druel has only two options: qualifying through the World Cup finals in February and March, or through the European Championships in May next year.
Not an easy task due to her injury. Now, without the familiar structure, it gradually became very difficult.
“The schedule is very tight and Nina was definitely counting on Huells being there for her,” Mirlevidi says. “She has always expressed her unconditional support, even in times of a case involving mentally disturbed conduct.”
However, the compatibility between coach and gymnast was a sure thing. That’s gone now.
“The fact that there is no alternative very close to the Games is a disaster for Deruel. And for Lisa Vaelin and Mylis Brassart.”
Tik Tok. July 26, 2024 is approaching mercilessly for our gymnasts. Then Paris opens in 2024.
“Reader. Unapologetic web fanatic. Student. Beer buff. Social media scholar. Alcohol advocate.”