Friday, 18 December 2009

Munchie's Festive Fun Package

Some random bits and pieces here, a few routines from this year that I think are generally awesome. A quick look back at some high points.


I love the way she connects EVERYTHING. Slightly un-human perhaps, but amazing. People who don't work out of Shaposhnikovas / Maloneys annoy me a lot, I think the little swing before you do a handstand/overshoot looks awful, but she doesn't do it. And her dismount rocks aussi.


I think this floor exercise is pretty awesome, mainly because of her leap series. Most people are like *run forward switch split, run forward a bit more, split leap full*. That's boring. She does crazy turns and stuff inbetween. She isn't the most accomplished dancer in the world, but I love it anyway.


Ana Porgras. I don't think I know of anyone who doesn't like her. She's a fabulous gymnast, and hopefully signals a return to more artistry. I love her floor as well, but I think she has the best beam routine of the year, so here she is. Enjoy.

Another beautiful floor routine from Kyoko Oshima. I love her floor work, she is elegant, but she can tumble well too. I liked her Hernando's Hideaway floor routine as well, but I think this one is even better.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

SCAM line up

Wow, I'm just post happy the past few days. This one contains actual news however.

Ok, so Rebecca Bross has been announced as one of the two American lasses going to the SCAM next year. Presumably that's only if she doesn't break in the between period. She'll probably win, unless she falls on eveything. Not only does she have high difficulty, if with poor execution sometimes, she has the added advantage of being American.
No announcement for the second competitor at the moment. Bridget Sloan was apparantly offered the spot but turned it down, she wants a break. Unfortunate really, of the two I prefer Sloan. Any bettings on who'll get the other spot? Samantha Shapiro still hasn't had her big break yet what with being constantly injured, maybe this will be her year. Or maybe they'll break out mini A-Sac, she becomes senior next year doesn't she?

Friday, 11 December 2009



Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Junior Gymnastic Whizz Kid

Ok, so there are some pretty awesome juniors out there right now, and I'm talking worldwide. China has its endless supply of talent so nothing's changed there. Russia are looking strong too, with Soviet child Viktoria Komova of the amazing talent, (please don't let her break before she's a senior. In fact, don't let her break at all). There's also the Mustafina sisters, Tatiana Nabieva and Kristina Goryunova's younger sister. I love Goryunova. I hope her sister does better though. Like being able to land a DTY without nearly concussing herself.

The USA has it's familiar pool of strong juniors with Jordyn Wieber, Kyla Ross, Bridget Caquatto and Mini A-Sac. Japan are shooting up the rankings with their latest wonderkid of the 'sure, a double double as a second pass is no problem whatsoever' variety. Even Britain is looking promising, with Jenny Pinches, Danuscia Francis and Nicole Hibbert due to become seniors shortly, and the Romaeo sisters (I don't think I've spelt that right) Venus and Angel.

But here is one of my favourites: Step forward Larisa Iordache of Romania

How fantastic is she? Incredibly talented girl Romania have going on here. Amazing flic - full twisting tuck back and GORGEOUS dismount. Fully round no questions whatsoever about that. Not bad on the double turn either. My only concern is will she last? I hope she does. So many juniors look promising then fade away into nothingness (I'm looking at you Shantessa Pama). I don't know how old she is either. From what I have read she should be eligible in 2012, but if anyone actually knows please comment and tell me. =D

She isn't the only amazing junior Romania have either, even with Porgras being a senior nowadays. Amelia Racea is pretty groovesome too, and evey single junior floor routine I have seen have been so much better than the seniors! I mean poor Steliana just could not dance, but Izbasa and Tamirjan can pull off a floor routine alright. But they're all amazing. Please let the save Romanian gymnastics. Someone needs to.

Monday, 23 November 2009


I was just thinking about all the fantasic crazy new Italian gymnasts and decided to do a post about some fabulous Italian gymnasts! They've always had that something different about them, but especially recently, so here we go, a whirldwind tour of Italian gymnastics.


2005 European vault champion, and the bronze medalist on the same event at the 2008 Euros, she is most known for her power on vault and her lovely floor routines. They're all lovely, go check them out if you haven't already, go on! Her 2005 routine was so different from everyone else, and balletic and pretty and I could go on for ages but won't. She was the first Italian European champion, so she'll go down in history for that. She has her weaknesses unfortunately, she had, (has she retired, anyone know?), the potential to be a good beam worker but always seemed nervous on that event unfortunately. But she's still wonderful.


The grandmother of Italian gymnastics has been to three olympics (Sydney, Athens and Beijing) and whilst isn't astounding was a very solid gymnast. She had in the past (around 2002) quite a nice double twisting Yurchenko, and was a member of both Italian teams who took away European medals (2002 - bronze and 2006 - gold). It'll seem quite weird now that she's retired (she has, hasn't she? I don't know anything anymore), as she's been around so long.

And where would I be if I didn't include this powerful little lady? A member of the Italian European gold medal team of 2006, she went on to win the world all around of the same year becoming Italy's first ever world medalist, let alone champion. She also took the bronze on bars and floor that year. There seemed no end to her in early 2007, becoming European AA and FX champ, though she always struggled with consistancy. Unfortunately her career is in jeopardy due to her injuries, but she still managed FX silver at Euros this year. I'm not a huge fan of her bars, but her beam and floor are impressive. I was always amazed at how flexible she was in 2006.

One of the most stylish (I sound like Christine Still :S ) Italian gymnasts ever in my opinion. I think she does the best Memmel on floor, and what she lacks in strength she makes up in her dance moves and her choreography. Her Comaneci on bars is fantastic, thanks to her long legs making in look quite scary, though I disliked the simplicity of her beam dismount at Beijing.

The other Italian Euros vault champ (2007) and silver medalist on the same event in 2008 (though she should have won considering Chuso fell on her second). Queen of the awful leotards. What did she think she was wearing in the Beijing vault final????? Still aside from that a fabulous gymnast, first Italian to reach an olympic event final. Her bars dismount (double pike arabian) keeps great form throughout as well.

I have probably spelt that wrong. Sorry to her if I have. She is one of the great new Italian gymnasts that burst on to the scene at worlds. Her flexibility is great and I love her forward scale, when she get's it a bit smoother it will be a great skill, and very original (I so hope people don't take it and run with it like they did when Nistor started the whole arabesque thing). She's also quite powerful despite her flexibility, I'm hoping she carries on how she's started.

Scares me for several reasons. 1. Her flexibility is awesome. I'm loving her 1.5 turn on beam in split. 2. Her inside stalder Tkatchev. It doesn't look like it should work!!! and 3. The leotard she wore in the AA at worlds this year. What was with that? Still she's refreshingly different and I'm looking forward to seeing her career progress.

And finally a little blast from the past, a great though underated gymnast by the name of Patrizia Luconi:

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Splits Splits Splits

Random post time!! Today I'm talking split positions. Real ones, not moaning about people who can't.

Enter Khiuani Dias of Brazil. Lovely picture this one. It's like she measured an exact split position and refused to go any further. She does a tourjete on beam too, so her splits is really up to it. Sometimes I don't know whether I prefer these exact splits or.........

Oversplits!!! As seen here on Maike Roll of Germany, and no offence to German gymnastics, but she is incredibly un-German with her oversplit and Spanish toe point. Her oversplits are only small, but it's definately there.

Much like Miki Uemura. Only a slight oversplit but there, and it still takes a fabby photo. Also it wouldn't be a real post if I didn't get a Japanese in here somewhere. She's one of my faves, and she's flexible to boot.

This is quite a scarily flexible photo actually. Anastasia Marachovskaya of Belarus' wonderful oversplit. She's got such long legs that it looks even scarier. Of course one might argue it's just the camera angle, but it still looks amazing.

This lovely position is achieved by Goksu Uctas of Turkey ast the 2009 worlds. Her back leg is in 180 degree split, her front leg is oversplitting. I really like this one as well, and not just because one doesn't usually find pictures of her. It's a great position.

Ukrainians oversplits scare me. Krasnianska's are fabulous, and this here is Valentina Holenkova, achieving oversplit with both her legs, just for good measure. Why only oversplit one when you could do both?

And finally Zhang Nan who can oversplit an arabesque. Some people are just scary.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

2009 - The Return of Artistry?

I just read the Gymnastics Examiner's article about her hopes that artistry is returning, (read it here). I agree with her choices, especially Porgras and Myzdrikova, but there's a couple I would like to add to this list.
1. Ksenia Semenova (RUS) - 2009 Europeans

As Gymnastics Examiner points out in her article the Russians are the ones whose choreography suffered the least throughout the quads. They've always placed emphasis on dance training, and it's something many other gymnastics federations should do. The whole point of artistic gymnastics is that it ought to be artistic. There are many fabulous gymnasts out there from Russia who have great dance, Ksenia Afansyeva, Kristina Goryunova and Yulia Berger to name but three.

2. Sophina DeJesus (USA) - 2009 International Juniors

I love this routine. I thought it was really freaky when I first saw it but I love it now. It's different, and whilst the dance is not so good technically as the Russians it suits her perfectly. In my opinion she's much better than the US seniors at dance and presentation, as are a couple of other juniors; Sophia Lee and one of the GAGE girls (I can't remember which one, not Ohashi). I just hope she keeps it up.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Part two: Beam and Floor


Deng Linlin - so pleased about this after her total screw up in the all around. Fabulous layout and only the itsy bitsiest little balance checks, as in 'I'll briefly wave my arms now'.

Lauren Mitchell - a good routine for silver. Still can't get round her pirouette though, but a double in crocuh stand is not to be sneezed at. Wobbles a bit.

Ivana Hong - unexpected bronze, if Porgras and Kim Un Hyang had hit she wouldn't have medalled but go her all the same. Awful switch ring leap. Though it has improved. Maybe one day she' get there.
Ana Porgras - one word - SIGH.
Kim Un Hyang - If only she had done the switch split ring she intended. Two switch split leaps and no medal it is. WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME NORTH KOREA?
Yang Yilin - would never have medalled and screwed up anyway. Pity for I do love her. Lovely dismount.
Koko Tsurumi - problems a la Beijing. Only not on a side somi. Still got to go home with two medals though :)
Elisabetta Preziosa - Am loving her leaps and hold positions. Nice to see someone flexible but not in a kind of 'ewwww' way. Great extension, and hope for the future.

Elizabeth Tweddle (Tweth) - In shock she didn't crumble under the pressure like normal. Go her. When Myzdrikova screwed up it was kind of definate. Nice tumbling, improved leaps and jumps. Still can't dance but that's not much of a problem nowadays :(.
Lauren Mitchell - I know some people think she should have won. I am not amongst them. The main reasons seem to be Tweth can't dance. Neither can Mitchell. Actually watch her routine. She hardly ever dances, she just waves her arms. They're both as bad as each other and Beth had a better routine. Still, go Lauren for becoming Australia's most successful gymnast.
Sui Lu - nice whip - triple. Scarey socks. Slightly off putting. I think she may have been going for a quad spin, she did try to keep going once she got round three. Nicely done for her though.
Rebecca Bross - good acro, can't dance. At all. The WOGA choreography doesn't help her. Like the two and a half twist - Tarasevich combo.
Deng Linlin - very low landing on full in, lovely double arabian. More polish in the dance than normal I thought, better presentation.
Anna Myzdrikova - was my bet for gold. She can equal Tweth's start value when she hits. One slightly screwed up barani and no stag jump later - no medal. What is it with Russia?
Ana Porgras - lovely dance as normal. Lovely Memmel as normal. Presumably the line judge was so engrossed they didn't notice the out of bounds, but she didn't medal so I'm not bothered. Keep improving Ana, and you'll be AMAZING.
Jessica Ortiz - Ouch. Nice double layout though. Glad she wasn't seriously hurt.

Event Final Time - Vault and Bars

As promised to everyone reading this. Which is a grand total of me right this second. Oh well.


Kayla Williams - great DTY, rudi needs improvement, on a bad day judges would credit it piked and her form isn't fab, but the best gymnast definately won.
Ariella Kaeslin - Go Kaeslin! Silver at worlds, after her European title on this event that's great. Her rudi has improved since Euros, but her one and a half yurchenko still isn't great. Girl's got power, she should upgrade! But for serious, what is with her butterfly obssession?
Youna Dufournet - so she's totally improved. Her European vault was a not very good full twisting yurchenko, and here she is winning a vault medal. That's great for her, she's one of my favourite new gymnasts, I hope she continues to get better and better.
Hong Un Jong - oh Hong *weeps*

Brittany Rogers - pulled a DTY out of nowhere. It wasn't amazing but it certainly wasn't bad. Go her.
Elsa Garcia - first world final, pity it didn't go quite to plan, but she laughed it off and went into pretty much everybody's good books as consequence. Better luck next time.

Anna Myzdrikova - bit of a fugly DTY, unfortunately, I love this girl but I fear, like many Russians, she may be a head case.
Ekaterina Kurbatova - the mat tried to eat her knees on her second vault. Interesting technique on her DTY.

Uneven Bars:

He Kexin - any surprise? Totally destroyed the rest of the field, and she was first up. Her combinations are even scarier in real life. Fab routine from a great bars gymnast.

Koko Tsurumi - two medals for Koko :) She didn't perform as well as she can but it was still good enough for silver, she's so groovey.

Ana Porgras - wow, a Romanian medal on bars. I'm kind of blaming the weak field for this, her turn into her Jaeger was amazingly late, but go her.

Rebecca Bross - felt so sorry when the announcer forgot about her in the medal ceremony for all I dislike her bars work. I blame the field for this again.

Cha Yong Hwa - if only she'd hit this. She caught her Def and that's usually the problem area, and then she screws up her jam - full and doesn't connect the Jaeger. If she's hit it would've been silver for sure. One for the future methinks.

Bridget Sloan - was her normal self. She doesn't connect much does she. Bit Shawnesque - it's all the dismount. Only she has actually got skills on the bars.

Larrissa Miller - I didn't like her that much if we're honest. She had good form and good lines and considerably better transitions than the other Australians (seriously, everyone moaned at China but they were just as bad). But she was so slooooooow.

Serena Lichetta - pity she totally screwed up, I had no idea what she was like and would liked to have seen her properly. Potential great combo in the Tkatchev - Comaneci though.

Howdie All

Yo. I have decided to start a blog, as you can see, because I've found myself getting frustrated at what other blogs are saying (or alternatively agree with what they're saying) and want to write my own views on stuff. So here we are.
I know it was a little while ago now but worlds:

Demyanchuk is mad. A hop full - Tkatchev - Geinger combo???? It's really impressive, and on youtube, check it out.

Becky Downie rolled off the entire podium. How far back did that girl need to stumble? Still pretty impressive save from totally cracking her head open on the podium.

Tweth (that's Beth Tweddle for those who can't work it out) screwing up bars. I wasn't actually that surprised if we're honest, she isn't good under pressure, I'm amazed she held it together in floor finals.

All Around Final

Ok, I was actually there for this. So, Bridget Sloan is the world aa champion. I didn't see it coming. Put it this way, I was surprised when she became national champion. I thought, maybe she'll medal, if we're totally honest I expected Bross to win, and she would've done had she not screwed up her final element of her final routine. No offence to anyone but I'm not that keen on Sloan. She's a good gymnast, but she is so very dull to watch. She doesn't shine, she's just consistent. It's kind of like when Maria Olaru won in 1999. Don't get me wrong I love Olaru, but world aa champion? Seriously?

Rebecca Bross. Well. I know a lot of you who are reading this, if you know me from youtube, know I am not a massive fan of American gymnastics. Not all American gymnastics, you can't put it in a little box like that and neatly file it away but still. Bross kind of shows all of why I don't. She's dull. Which is weird, because she has big skills, and her technique on most things isn't that bad. Her knees annoy me, but I know she kind of can't help that. She has no charisma, no style on floor exercise. Papa Liukin doesn't help her here, the choreography is awful even by WOGA standards but still. She goes for the big powerful skills and ignores her dance skills. But my biggest problem with her is bars. It's really not fun to watch. Her knees bend badly everytime she goes past the low bar. She's jerky, bars should flow. Lots of people complained about Semenova's bars technique, well Bross has the same style, just about a million times worse.
Koko Tsurumi got bronze!! This is fantastic in my opinion. I love all the Japenese girls, so it was fab to see her take home the all around bronze. I think she should upgrade her vault though because as an all arounder she might not be competetive if she doesn't, much as I enjoyed worlds the standard wasn't high, it was the post olympic year.


Miki Uemura - I followed her performances, floor was lovely. Vault was only a full twisting yurchenko which disappointed me a bit, then she fell on beam and bars :(

Ksenia Semenova - So glad she managed to stay on her feet on floor and vault, it didn't look good. Bars sucked a bit, dragged her feet on the ground after her Pak.

Ana Porgras - the gymnast everyone is in love with, or at least anyone with half a brain should be in love with. She is amazing, and so un-Romanian. Her presentation is fantastic on floor, and she has the skills to go with it, and a Memmel that is second only to Lia Parolari's. Her bars is good for a Romanian, and her beam rocks, it's such a shame she lost it all.
The home girls: Becky Downie crumbled a bit, falling on a Church and twice on beam (though her dismount stayed where it should have done). She looked more than slightly distraught but it's good to she her floor routine has upgraded. Becky Wing coped brilliantly in her first ever major all around competition.
I'll do event finals later.