Alba Caride-Costas was
born in Vigo (Pontevedra) May the 24th 1980. Soon, she and her family moved
to Valladolid. She started to practise rhythmic gymnastics in 1986,
when she was 6 years old, at the Club Vallisoletano with Sonia Conde
as her coach.
Her first national medal arrived seven years later, when she was 13. It
happened at Spanish Junior Nationals "B"
in Valencia, she finished third on Juniors behind María Almela and
One year later, in 1994, she was selected by Catherine Xaudaró and
Consuelo Burgos for the Spanish Junior Group. She and her team-mates (Nuria
Cabanillas, Laura Solano, María Isabel García, Patricia Simón,
Mónica González, Esmeralda Montaner and Vanessa Navarro)
competed at the European Championships
in Thesalónica (Greece) and finished 5th AA and 5th at the 6 hoops
Nationals "A" in Valladolid she placed third
behind Esther Domínguez Zurita and Almudena Cid Tostado.
Emilia Boneva became aware
of her talent and selected her for the Spanish individual team in 1995.
At her first Nationals on the Honour Category she tied 4th position All
Around with Laura Solano behind Almudena Cid,
Claudia Pérez and Nuria Cabanillas;
but at the Events Finals she won three silvers in rope, ball and ribbon
and a bronze in clubs. Three months later, she took part on her first World
Championships in Vienna (Austria). She did
very well, placing 5th with Almudena Cid on the Teams competition, qualifying
to Atlanta Olympics; on the All Around she was 20th, this might look poor
but it's fine because she was so young and completely unknown.
In May 1996, at the European
Championships in Asker (Norway), she finished
15th All Around and 5th with Almudena Cid at the Teams Competition. A week
later she was second A.A. behind Almudena Cid at Nationals in Tenerife
and also got silver medals in rope, ball, clubs and ribbon. At
World Championships in Budapest (Hungary)
she was 6th in ribbon.
In August, the Olympic
Games in Atlanta (U.S.A.) arrived. She did
very well on preliminaries, qualifying 11th for the Semi-finals. We also
saw her watching the groups competition, cheering up on her Spanish
teammates and feeling the emotion of the first Olympic gold for Spanish
gymnastics. But the following day, in her semi-finals clubs routine, she
missed a club and all was lost. I felt very bad when I saw her sad face.
She also failed in ribbon (diverted throw) and in rope (it got snagged
with the point of her foot in a split jump) but she said goodbye to the
competition with an excellent and passionate ball routine making us feel
that she deserved something more. She was 19th. Anyway, for Alba competing
at the Olympic Games and qualifying for semi-finals was a great success.
|| In 1997, the first Official
competition were the European Gymnastics Masters
in Paris. She did very well although her scores were not high. The Spanish
Team (Alba Caride, Almudena Cid, Elisabeth Valle, Diana Plaza, Jesús
Carballo and Omar Cortés) didn't pass to Semifinals due to the artistic
gymnasts' fails. In May, the European Championships
took place in Patras (Greece), she didn't do well at all, because of her
fail in the clubs routine and the small inaccuracies in the other routines,
but was enough to get her best international result for the moment: 13th.
A week later, she was second
behind Esther Domínguez at the Spanish
Cup Final in Palencia. And in June she got
a great success: she became Spanish Champion
in Valladolid and got three gold medals (hoop, clubs and ribbon) and one
bronze (rope) at the Events Finals.
In October she went to
the World Championships
in Berlin (Germany). She did well, placing 7th with Almudena Cid and Esther
Domínguez at the Teams Competition and qualifying 15th for the Individual
All Around, but an ankle injury made her to quit.
In 1998 she didn't participate at many competitions maybe because of the
injury that she suffered in November 1997.
In April, she made a good
performance at the International Tournament
of Portimao (POR), placing 5th All Around
and getting the silver in hoop and ribbon and the bronze in clubs. At the
International Tournament Corbeil-Essonnes
(FRA) held in May she was not so lucky, placing as the third Spanish, behind
Almudena Cid Tostado and Esther Domínguez.
She also was the
third Spanish behind Cid and Domínguez at the 1998
European Championships in Porto (POR), from
28th to 31st May, because the Spanish coach Ana Bautista decided that she
would only compete in one event -ribbon- while Esther Domínguez
would participate in three -rope, hoop and clubs- and Almudena Cid Tostado
in four -rope, hoop, clubs and ribbon-. So she performed at the Teams Competition,
scoring 9'708 and contributing with this for the 5th place of the Spanish
Team. Logically, she didn't qualify for the Individual All Around; she
had to watch bored the competition while the others were competing. This
was a sad fact for me, because I think that she deserved to compete there
and I feel very bad for her, her quality and talent are not well appreciated.
But I hope -and know- that she will superate this bad patch and will
get again the post as a first team gymnast that never should she have lost.
She lost her Spanish
Champion Title on 28th June in Barcelona, placing second after Esther Domínguez.
She also got silver medals at all the apparatus finals and five bronzes
at the Open Tournament (Results
After a disappointing 1998,
Alba has came back to competition in 1999 with a lot of strenght, winning
her second meet of the season, the International
Tournament of Portimao (POR). She also got
gold medals in rope and the Teams Competition and silver in hoop, ball
and ribbon. Her new routines are very elegant and dramatic.
Championships in Leganés she placed
third All Around behind Domínguez and Cid Tostado because of the
small fails in rope and ribbon and the questionable judging. She was Silver
in ball and Bronze in rope, hoop and ribbon (Full
After Worlds, she has a week
off and will come back to trainings in Madrid on the 18th of October.
| On September the 28th,
Osaka World Championships arrived. She was
quite unlucky at the qualifying round, with a disastrous ball routine
(9'100) and a weak rope one (9'550) but she did well with the hoop (9'750)
and finished with an excellent ribbon routine that impressed Japanese crowd
(9'775). The most important is that she contributed (with Almudena Cid
Tostado and Esther Domínguez) for the Spaniards' 2 visas for Sydney
Olympics and for the 5th place at Team Finals (performing ball and ribbon).
She qualified 26th, but didn't pass to the Final because Almudena and Esther
superated her. Being the third Spaniard behind Almudena and Esther was
a handicap for her and was reflected on her placement because gymnasts
who were technically and artistically worse than Alba were above her. During
Finals days she stayed with the Spanish fans (mostly gymnasts' relatives,
including her parents and her brother) cheering up on her teammates and
waving an Spanish flag.
She would like to compete
in Sydney 2000,
I wish that this will come true. She deserves it!. It seems that
Esther Domínguez and Almudena Cid Tostado are now over her but maybe
she will suprise everybody proving that she is the best.
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