Sunday, 20 September 2009

Who I would like to see...

In the all around final at worlds!
Ok, so I have my ticket (and a spare one actually if anyone would like a ticket to the wag all around final in block 103 row J). Here are the gymnasts that I am dying to see...

1. Rebecca Bross
2. Ivana Hong (I know, I know, it probably won't happen. I can dream though, right?)
3. Diana Chelaru
4. Lauren Mitchel
5. Charlotte Mackie
6. Jiang Yuyuan
7. Deng Linlin (I know she's not on the roster.. but again, I can dream! I just fell in love with the little munchkin)
8. Ksenia Semenova
9. Ksenia Afanasyeva
10. Yana Demenychuk
11. Beckie Downie

Who do I want to win? I'm not so sure. Part of me thinks that Sloan deserves to win, even though she's not one of my favourite gymnasts. Most of me wants a non-American gymnast to win. Give the rest of the world a chance! I think I'll be rooting for Yuyuan and Semenova :)

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Romanian Nationals

1. Ana Progras (57.525)
2. Diana Chelaru (56.700)
3. Ana Maria Tamirjan (56.300)

Overall, the Romanians aren't looking great. There were a lot of falls on bars and beam, whatever happened to the famous Romanian consistency? As they are I can't really see the Romanians being a threat at worlds. That's not me being cynical, I have always loved Romanian gymnastics but right now they really don't look up to it. Racea, Idorsche, Bulimar and Voicu are looking good for the future though!

Ana Maria Tamirjan

Ana didn't have a bad day, but it wasn't a good day, she looked much the same as she did in Milan earlier this year.
VT: DTY with a hop, FTY legs apart on contact, big step back (14.475)
UB: Full turn (fall), Tchatchev, Double layout (legs apart) (12.750)
BB: Front aerial (broken connection), flick layout, sidesomi, freehandspring, sheep jump, front tuck, full spin, change leg 1/2 (wobble), double pike dismount (14.775)
FX: Full-in piked, full-in tucked, 3/2 front 1/1, triple spin (well controlled), double pike. (14.325)
Sad to see that she has taken out the double layout on floor :(

Diana Chelaru

Diana had an pretty good day with a very nice beam and floor but a fall on bars, she looked pretty upset after the fall so it was nice to see her come back and hit on beam.
VT: DTY(?) Legs apart, bent legs, Handspring pike front (14.475)
UB:Gienger, 180 turn to jeager (fall), double layout (12.750)
BB: Front tuck, Change leg 1/4, flick full twist tucked (small wobble), free walkover, side somi, sheep jump, change leg to back tuck, double tuck dismount (stuck) (14.850)
FX: Full-in, whip to triple twist (more controlled than at euros but legs crossed), front tuck walk out to double tuck, double pike. (14.625)
Gabriella Dragoi

Gabi didn't look great which was a shame. She only competed bars and beam with watered down dismounts
UB: Jaeger (low), toe on-full turn, geinger (legs apart), double tuck (stuck)
BB: Front tuck (wobble), front aerial to flick layout, full spin with leg at horizontal to full spin, side aerial, side somi, double spin (wobble), double twist dismount.

Anna Progras

VT: FTY, well flighted (13.975)
UB: Didn't catch all of this routine, there was some nice stalder work and a double layout dismount though! (14.775)
BB: Front aerial to flick layout (big wobble), back walkover to flick layout to two feet (fall), yang bo, sheep jump, double pike dismount (14.725)
FX: Very nice dance to classical music, Full-in (step out), double spin with leg at horizontal, 2 1/2 to front tuck (step out), memmel turn, double pike, double tuck.(14.050)
I'm really suprised she came out on top here, she seemed.. well.. blah to me. I would have picked Chelaru for the top spot.

Amelia Racea

VT: FTY? step back, yurchenko half on to front tuck
UB: Jaeger, Stalder to 1/2 turn (looked like it was meant to be to full turn), shoot over to low bar (legs apart), double front dismount
BB: Started with a wobble, flick layout to two feet, change leg to back tuck, full spin, sheep jump, side aerial to side somi, double pike dismount (low)
FX: Piked full-in, triple twist, front tuck walk out to double tuck, double pike

Diana Bulimar

I missed her bars and vault!
BB: Side somi (fall), side aerial, free walkover, change leg 1/2 (fall), full spin (well controlled), flick layout (wobble), change leg to back pike, double pike dismount (low)
FX: Full-in, 3/2 to double tuck, 2 1/2 front tuck, double pike. Some nice dance work, a good floor routine

Cerasela Patrascu

Only competed bars and beam
UB: Watered down dismount, single layout flyaway
BB: Free walkover, flick layout, front tuck, attempt at a yang bo?, change leg, side somi, front full dismount.
There was a funny moment with cerasela after she finished beam, lili comsos spoke to her as she turned around and rolled her eyes, haha.

Larissa Iordache

Was definately the star of the show today!
BB: Change leg to back tuck, flick to full twist tucked, free walkover flick layout, change leg 1/2, side somi, front tuck, double spin, round off flick triple (I think... could have been a double?) twist dismount
FX: Full in, front full, 2.5 front tuck front tuck, double turn with leg up, triple twist. Very nice dance.

Claudia Voicu

BB: Silivas mount, change leg, side aerial, free walkover to flick layout, full turn with leg at horizontal, change leg 1/2 to back tuck, sheep jump, side somi (fall), double pike dismount. Other than the fall, a nice routine.
FX: Double pike, 2 1/2, double spin with leg at horizontal, 1 1/2 to front layout, 2 1/2 spin, double tuck
I missed the other routines, but she was looking pretty good

There was an absolutely tiny gymnast called Maria Bale (Not sure about that spelling..) who had an awful time on bars with two falls and it looked like she ripped her hand and came off very upset, but she came back with a good beam and floor which was nice to see.

In other news.. Sandra Izbasa is going to Germany (Frankfurt) for her tendon surgery on Monday afternoon. Good luck Sandra!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

On the American Cup

1. Jordyn Wieber
2. Bridget Sloan
3. Kim Bui

Well, after all the burn outs that the USA have endured, I never expected USAG to let little Jordyn Wieber win the Scam Cup so early on in her career, but I suppose stranger things have happened.
Jordyn had a good meet, apart from a dodgy moment on her amanar landing and another one on her side somersault on beam.
I like her on beam, where she reminds me of Carly Patterson, but I'm not sold everywhere else yet. If she ever actually connects her back with a full to back tuck, that would rock.

Bridget had a good meet too. Still seeing the same deductions as at the Olympics though, slightly bent knees and flexed feet on releases. However, I did love the 1.5 twist through to triple as usual.
I'm glad she outscored Jordyn on floor because she certainly deserved to. I was hoping to see some upgrades though, she seemed pretty much the same as in Beijing (unless I missed something)

Kim Bui really picked up her game here. When I said that she'd have had to make big strides to do well here, I didn't think that she actually would! Although it didn't have high difficulty, I liked her beam .

I was also impressed by Beckie Downie, although I really expected her bars to score more highly. Amelia Racea did well too, showing better form on bars than a lot of Romanians (although she fell), and a good beam and floor.
I loved Kristina Goryunova's floor exercise, particularly her beautiful double layout and her 1.5 to double back. I'm glad to see the double tuck back in competition.

Brittany Rodgers had a bad day, with two falls on beam. A disappointing Senior debut for her unfortunately. I'd had hoped that she'd do well. Dofournet also counted a number of falls, failing to make the impact I expect she was hoping to.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The not so tiny tumblers?

Gymnasts have a reputation for being short. The average female height is 5'4", so are there any gymnasts that hit (or even exceed that), to become above average height?

Svetlana Boguinskaya hits the average height at 5'4" (However, some sources claim she was 5'2", so perhaps she is cheating her way into our tall books)

Svetlana Khorkina, probably the most famous 'tall gymnast', stands at 5'5".

Sandra Izbasa shows that you don't have to be short to win a gold medal on floor. She matches Khorkina at 5'5"
Another at 5'5" is Germany's Katja Abel
Katheleen Lindor, another Olympian, stands at 5'6". She had to have the bars adjusted for her in Beijing!Although probably more memorable for her awful taste in leotards, Adela Sain of Slovenia stand at 5'6

Marie Sophie Hindermann, a German Olympian, can be considered tall by most standards at 5'7"

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Upcoming American Cup

It seems that the following will be competing at the American Cup on Saturday:

Brittany Rogers, Canada
Youna Dufournet, France
Kim Bui, Germany
Rebecca Downie, Great Britain
Koko Tsurumi, Japan
Amelia Racea, Romania
Kristina Goryunova, Russia
Bridget Sloan, USA
Jordyn Wieber, USA
Jessica Lopez, Venezuela
I am surprised to see only two gymnasts from the USA in the list, unless they plan on adding more last minute (which wouldn't surprise me).
Usually, I'm not a great fan of the American Cup, but it will be great to watch the new code in action with recognisable faces.
Rogers (who has already competed with the new code at the 2008 Elite Canada) has a very nice 1.5 yurchenko and great bars (including a Ray). I think she could surprise here. Her all around score at elite Canada was 56.350.

Youna Dufournet has also competed already under the new code, showing some crazy skills like an Arabian to scale. She scored 53.600 at the recent Sidijik cup, however this was counting mistakes on 3 apparatus. Even so, I don't see Dufourent taking the title from some of the girls with better execution, especially since she is not consistent.

Kim Bui is yet to compete this year (as far as I know). She missed out on the Olympic team last year and so may have had time for vast improvements. She has a very nice floor, tidy bars (when she hits) but quite simple vaults and less than impressive form on beam.

Downie is another gymnast who will be new to the code, but who made a splash at the Olympics by finishing 12th all around. Since then she's been working hard towards the American Cup and has been (as far as I know) without injury. Beckie is usually solid and I expect she will do well here. Her scores were generally below Bridget Sloan's but above Koko Tsurumi.

Koko Tsurumi has been getting a lot of attention of late after qualifying for the beam final and finishing 17th AA in Beijing. She is a neat and tidy gymnast who is lovely to watch, I'm looking forward to it!

Amelia Racea finished second on beam at the junior europeans last year, and fourth in the all around, behind Dufournet. However, there was a gap of 3.275 between 3rd and 4th place. Racea may feel better off in the new code, with slightly better execution than Dufourent and much more consistency.

Kristina Goryunova won the recent Voronin Cup, but generally does not score as well as Sloan, Weiber and Dufourent. She has a very nice beam set.

Bridget Sloan is likely to be a big hitter here, with the highest Olympic scores of all the former Olympians competing. She has rumoured to have upgrades too. As long as she hits, I can see a win for her here.

Jordyn Wieber competed well last year and was capable of higher all around scores than Racea and (sometimes) Dufourent. I think she'll do well here, but perhaps a little less well than under the previous code.

Jessica Lopez also competed in Beijing last year but finished 43rd in qualification.

I'm willing to predict:
1. Bridget Sloan
2. Jordyn Wieber
3. Brittany Rogers

Monday, 26 January 2009

More on Gabriela Dragoi

After my first post about Gabi, I was contacted Mihaela, who was able to speak with Gabi. Below is the information she gave:

Gabriela Dragoi was born on 28th August 1992 in Buzau. She has a big family with one brother( Valentin) and three sisters(Claudia, Ionela-Madalina, and Monica-Daniela). Her mother, Elena, was forced to retire, sadly, due to ill-health.
She began gymnastics at 3 and half years, by her parents, at CSS Buzau. She said that she'liked it so much she wanted to go back every day'. Her first coaches were Gabriela Robu and Costica Clinciu. She aspires to be like former Romanian champions, Nadia Comaneci and Andreea Raducan.

She began to train at Onesti with the juniors, then in 2005 she moved to Deva with the seniors.
Gabi's favourite apparatus is (predictably) beam. When asked about her least favourite apparatus, she said that she mildly dislikes floor exercise.

Gabi was featured in a Romanian magazine before the Olympics (above)
When asked about the Olympics she said that she wanted to medal on beam and may have done so, had she controlled her nerves in the second half of the exercise. She wanted to succeed to surprise everyone. Hopefully in future she will do well enough to medal! After the Olympics, she was named sportsperson of the year of Buzau.

Gabriella has been training a triple twist dismount from the beam for sometime, but didn't want to risk it at the Olympics. Hopefully she will compete it in 2009 and be able to take some beam medals.

When asked about her friends at Deva, she said that she is friends with everyone and then reluctantly named Steliana Nistor, Sandra Izbasa and Alina Stanculescu as her best friends. She is sad now that Steliana and Alina have left Deva.
To her friends she is known as Gabi or Gabitza.

Some facts about Gabi:

Height 1.43 meters
Weight 32 kg.
Coaches: Deva are Nicolae Forminte(Head coach), Liliana Cosma , Marius Razvan Vintila, Lucian Sandu, Florin Cotuţiu(Assistant coach)

Favourite foreign gymnasts: Anastasia Liukin, Chelsie Memmel, Ana Pavlova
Favourite Romanian Gymnasts: Nadia Comaneci, Andreea Raducan, Maria Olaru, Oana Ban, Alexandra Eremia
Favourite School Subjects: Maths, Romanian language, Chemistry, Biology
Music: Dance, hip-hop, pop
Singers: Blodny, Andreea Antonescu, 50 Cent
TV programs: Judgement Day (Romanian reality show) "Yes or Not", " Teo" (the Romanian version of "Oprah"), "Super Nanny", "Mother exchange" -reality shows
Movie, actors: Harry Potter, Titanic; Leonardo Di Caprio
Books: Harry Potter, Hans Christian Andersen
Favourite food: pizza, pasta carbonara, tortelinni, snitzel, fried pressed cheese
Juice: Coca Cola, Fanta
Pet: dogs, cats, rabbits
Deserts: apple, oranges, grapes, peaches, wafers, chocolate
Spare time activities: take walks in the city, watch TV, play; reading and writing
Games: remy, cards, Metropolly
Color : pink, green, blue, red, yellow
Flowers: roses, lily orchids, hyancith

Friday, 23 January 2009

Tweddle on Question of Sport

Beth Tweddle was a guest on the quiz show, Question of Sport, today on BBC 1.
She looked great and knew a surprising about about sports like football (I suppose she is from Liverpool)
Usually the show doesn't go anywhere near gymnastics but today they showed clips of Beth, Khorkina and Shawn Johnson as well as questions on Imogen Cairns As a result I could actually answer some questions for a change! Usually questions go along the lines of football, rugby, football, cricket, rugby, tennis, football, rugby.

Amelia Racea to compete at American Cup?

After the various rumours surrounding Romanians and the American Cup, ProSport reports that Amelica Racea will attend as her first international competition. She has only recently been promoted to Deva from Onesti.
The article also confirms that Ana Maria Tămîrjan will not attend. Apparently Forminte did not want to re-injury to Tămîrjan and so is sending Racea. He is keen for Racea to experience a big competition.

So, Weiber will not be the only junior at the American Cup this year!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Silver Laurel Leaf for Chusovitina and Hambüchen

Chusovitina and Hambüchen have both been awarded to highest German Sport's Award in recognition of their respective medals in Beijing.

And quite rightly so, in my opinion!

Monday, 19 January 2009

More on AYOF

krrustgym has uploaded some videos of the second day of event finals.
Beam champion Wu Liufang showed a nice set with a lovely Yang Bo jump. Other than that it's a typical Chinese beam set with great form and solid acrobatics.

Tan Sixin showed a nice ff-ff-lo-korbut combination but fell on her head on her double tuck dismount to finish in second.

Danusia Francis had a good set, with better form than some past Brits. She had a good 2.5 dismount. I'm looking forward to seeing her turn senior and I'm sure the bronze here will be a great confidence boost for her!

Emily Little fell on her ff-lo combination to land in 7th and Natalia Joura continued her streak of bad luck with a fall on her front aerial and double tuck dismount as well as some big wobbles elsewhere. Clearly, this was not her weekend.
Things aren't looking so peachy for the Aussies!

Chachakid has some footage of the floor finals.
Cui Jie's gold medal routine had great dance and some solid tumbling including a double arabian, 2.5 twist and a stuck double pike

Danusia Francis impressed again with double pike, tuck front into double twist, 2.5 twist and a very well controlled double spin with leg at horizontal. Most of the tumbling looked easy for her. I'm sure she can (and will) upgrade.

Wu Liufang also had a nice set with clean form but nothing spectacular (yet).


The British Gymnastics website has a fairly new feature- BGtv. Coverage includes some interesting footage of some of the UKs top clubs, the national training centre and some of the major competitions in the UK (Acro Worlds 09, Glasgow Grand Prix, GB vs FRA, GB vs CZE, WAG, MAG, Trampoline & Rhythmic (Oh Dear) Nationals.

Australian Youth Olympic Festival

The competition concluded yesterday, with some interesting results for Great Britain and Japan, but some disappointments for the host, Australia.

Yesterday's event finals were dominated by China and Great Britain (looking great for 2012!)

1st Liufang Wu -China (15.600)
2nd Sixin Tan -China (14.675)
3rd Danusia Francis Great Britain (14.575)
4th Natsumi Sasada Japan (14.350)
5th Yoshino Taniguchi Japan (13.700)
6th Nicole Hibbert Great Britain (13.250)
7th Emily Little Australia (13.175)
8th Natalia Joura Australia (11.925)
I'm presuming that Cui Jie didn't qualify to this final after her fall in the team competition. A shame as the massive 16.100 she scored in the all around final would have blown the field away here.


1st Jie Cui China (14.825)
2nd Danusia Francis Great Britain (14.025)
3rd Liufang Wu China (13.875)
4th Nicole Hibbert Great Britain (13.750)
5th Natsumi Sasada Japan (13.725)

I'm not sure why there is only 5 competitors listed here, anyone any ideas?
Here's the results from Saturdays finals, in case you haven't seen them yet:

Uneven Bars
1st Natsumi Sasada Japan (14.350)
2nd Jie Cui China (13.925)
3rd Nicole Hibbert Great Britain (13.775)
4th Yoshino Taniguchi Japan (13.675)
5th Liufang Wu China (13.225)
6th Danusia Francis Great Britain (13.150)
7th Emma Collister Australia (12.275)
8th Britt Greeley Australia (12.150)

1st Emily Little Australia (14.700)
2nd Britt GreeleyAustralia (14.450)
3rd Yoshino Taniguchi Japan (14.150)
4th Pangbo Fu China (13.775)
5th Jie Cui China (13.700)
6th Natsumi Sasada Japan (13.700)
7th Nicole Hibbert Great Britain (13.525)
8th Lani HohepaNew Zealand (13.200)

Some great results for GB and Japan here, I'm really hoping they can stay up at top teams for 2012. Some of the British juniors are really impressive!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

An Introduction to Rhythmic

If you're new to rhythmic, then i highly recommend watching the 2007 Worlds All Around Competition on YouTube, supplied by the YouTube God, Lyssenk0. Yes, it is 6 hours long, but it is very much worth the time. A fair amount is skippable breaks.
The commentary is very good and gives a real insight into the sport. Jessica Howard does a great job of explaining the scoring, the difference between the ranks. The coverage shows every routine (yes, every single one), so you can really get to know rhythmic!
Caution: This coverage got me hooked!
Anyway, here's part one:

Jessica Howard was the three-time US national champion in rhythmic gymnastics back in 98-01

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

A Tribute to the 06 -08 Code

The last code of points was responsible for some shocking results, here are the worst of them

At the 2006 Common Wealth Games, Hollie Dykes finished in bronze position in the all around ahead of Imogen Cairns. Hollie fell on every apparatus to finish .05 ahead of Cairns.
Vanessa Ferrari took the 2006 world all around title despite a fall on beam, ahead of Jana Beiger, Sandra Izbasa and Steliana Nistor who performed cleanly. Vanessa Ferrari managed to finish on the all around podium again at the 2007 World Championships despite a fall on bars. Jade Barbosa tied for bronze despite a fall on floor.

Cheng Fei didn't live up to expectations when she fell on her 'Cheng' vault, however she was consoled with a bronze medal, ahead of Alicia Sacramone. In my mind, this medal belonged to Anna Pavlova

Nastia Liukin, He Kexin and Beth Tweddle all qualified to the bars final in Beijing, despite all falling in prelims. Personally, I think Yang Yilin deserved gold, having qualified without a fall.

Let's hope the next code is an improvement!

The Year After the Olympics....

It's always an exciting time, with new crops of seniors mingling with established super stars. Who will carry on their reign? Who will establish themselves amongst the seniors? Who will do better than last time? Who will burn out before their time? Let's have a look back at previous years!

-Nastia Liukin, one of the USA's most promising juniors hit the senior ranks with a storm, taking her first national championship title and four world medals.
-Chellsie Memmel and Alicia Sacramone improved on their previous years as seniors. Chellsie Memmel took the world all around title along with two silvers, while Sacramone took two world medals on floor and vault. China's Cheng Fei improved on her Olympic performance with a gold medal on vault at worlds. Monette Russo also moved up with a bronze medal in the all around.
-Oksana Chusovitina continued her success with a silver medal on vault.
-Golden girl Carly Patterson quit whilst she was ahead. Also exiting the gymnastic scene included Svetlana Khorkina, Oana Ban, Annia Hatch, Terin Humphrey and Courtney Kupets.

-Katie Heenan burst on to the senior scene with a surprise bronze medal at worlds in uneven bars. Russia's Natalia Ziganshina also made her senior debt with a bronze medal in the all around
-Oksana Chusovitina re-entered the world of gymnastics with a silver medal on vault at worlds.
-Sveltana Khorkina improved on her 2000 Olympic performance, taking three world gold medals along with a silver and a bronze.
-Andrea Raducan continued to impress, with three golds and two bronze medals.
- Taking the fast road out of elite gymnastics included Simona Amanar, Maria Olaru, Liu Xuan, Yang Yun, Yelena Produnova1997
-Simona Amanar continued her success with two gold medals. Sveltana Khorkina also continued to impress with two golds and three silvers.
- Gina Gogean improved her performances with three golds and a bronze, Produnova began to make an impact after missing the olympics and failing to impress in 1995, she took bronze in the all around and on floor exercise.
- Bowing out gracefully included Lilia Podkopayeva, Lavinia Milosovici, Mo Huilan and Kerri Strug1993
-Shannon Miller improved on her Olympics, taking the all around world title along with two other golds, Gina Gogean impressed with a silver in the all around along with two other medals. Tatiana Lysenko also moved up in the ranks, taking a bronze in the all around. Dominique Dawes did better than in 92, with two silver medals.
-Lavinia Milosovici continued to do well, with a gold and a bronze medal at worlds.
- Leaving gymnastics included Tatiana Gutsu, Henrietta Onodi, Kim Zmeskal, Lu Li and Cristina Bontas.

Those Other Romanians...

I don't know about you, but I consider myself a fan of Romanian gymnastics. However, I have to admit that other than the stars Steliana Nistor and Sandra Izbasa, I don't know an awful lot about the Romanian gymnasts of this quad. So the next few posts, we will take a look at them, namely Olympians Andreea Acatrinei, Gabriela Dragoi, Andreea Grigore and Anamaria Tamarjan and other national team members Daniella Druncea and Cerasela Patrascu.

Firstly, let's take a look at Gabriela DragoiGabriela began gymnastics at the age of four, and was the only gymnast from her club (Buzau Sports Club) to be invited to the national team. She joined the national team in 2005. Her first major competition was the 2007 European Junior Olympics, where she qualified to the floor exercise finals with a score of 13.8, in the finals she finished 6th.
However, it floor exercise was not to become her best event. At the 2007 Romanian Nationals, she was noticed for her excellent work on beam, in particular her good form. She scored a very respectable 15.4 on beam and 58.150 in the all around.
In 2008, Gabriela represented Romania at the Europeans and was part of the gold medal team. In the team final she competed on uneven bars and vault. At the 2008 Nationals, Dragoi surprised her team mates by defeating all of them including Steliana Nistor, to become national beam champion with a score of 15.625.
Dragoi was named to the Olympic team. In qualifications she competed on beam, bars and floor exercise. She continued to surprise qualifying to the beam finals ahead of her team mates Nistor and Izbasa with a score of 15.450. In the team finals she contributed to the teams bronze medal on uneven bars.
In the beam finals, she improved on her qualification score with a 15.625 and finished in 5th place. Here's her routine:

Dragoi is certainly a very promising gymnast and is only 16 , so I hope to see more of her in the future.