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