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.