Friday, 26 March 2010

Doha Results

Yes I'm slow, I was waiting for day 2 to happen. So South Africa's Jennifer Khwela took gold on vault, in what wasn't exactly a strong vaulting field, but well done to South Africa's first world cup champ. I don't know what vaults she did but at nationals last year she did a handspring pike front half and a layout Yurchenko. I would assume she's upgraded that.

Tijana Tkalcec of Croatia got the silver and World Cup Finalist in 2008 Hiu Ying Angel Wong took the bronze.
As expected Huang Qiushuang took the bars gold, ahead of team mate Wu Liufang. She only performed her double layout dismount, not the full in version but she's looking good. Love her Pak. Wu did a gorgeous Shaposhnikova-uprise-Pak combo, but had issues on one of her pirouettes, causing bent legs, a peculiar swing and hitting her coach. Canadian Bianca Dancose-Giambattisto took bronze.

Wu Liufang took golds on beam and floor. I haven't seen any of it, but it looks like Huang Qiushuang fell off beam, and she came second in floor. World cup favourite Tina Erceg took silver on beam ahead of Jennifer Khwela (well done on two medals here). The bronze on floor went to Turkey's Goksu Uctas.

Update on Jesolo: According to Couch Gymnast, Viktoria Komova won't be attending. :(

Monday, 22 March 2010


So the line-up for Jesolo is AWESOME this year. Juniors going include the all fabulous Viktoria Komova, Mai Marakumi, Natsumi Sasada, Anastasia Grishina and Violetta Malikova (and that's just a few).

The seniors doesn't look to shabby either. We have the return of Vanessa Ferrari, plus Ksenia Semenova, Anna Myzdrikova, Ekaterina Kurbatova, Tatiana Nabieva, Rebecca Wing, Emily Armi, Paola Galante, Elizabeta Preziosa, Mini A-Sac, Cassie Whitcomb, Kytra Hunter, MCaquats and JetJet.

So everyone's turning up this year!

Friday, 19 March 2010


Doha time! Almost. 22nd-24th March, the Doha world cup will be taking place. It's one of my favourites, especially the 2008 world cup which attracted some awesome people in preparation for the Olympics.

This year will see some common world cup circuit names attending. The full list can be found on the FIG website. Marta Pihan-Kulesza will be going for Poland, probably hoping for more floor medals. Sweden's great beam worker Ida Jonsson will attend, along with Ida Gustafson. Patrons of awful leotard choices Adela Sajn of Slovenia and Tina Erceg of Croatia will go. Goodness alone knows what they will wear this time.

Daniele Hypolito seems to be attempting to be Brazil's Chuso. She's returning to competition after a break in 2009. I must confess she's boring me a little. And that's an understatement. She was boring all last quad too. I didn't mind her around 2004 and earlier but seriously, just retire. Please.

Most exciting is the new Chinese wonder kid Huang Qiushuang, (seriously this is the only decent picture of her I can find alone). Said to be training an Amanar, but having an awesome DTY anyway, great bars set, solid beam and great floor presentation, she is capable of winning at least three golds, I don't think she has a second vault of any great difficulty, but she may not have much competition. Wu Liufang is going with her, they're both from the same province as Yang Yilin and Li Shanshan. Guangdong sure knows how to produce uber gymnastics!

Great Youtuber

Everybody needs to watch stuff from Grishinagan's channel on youtube, (here). Posts lots of Russian junior competitions and some senior too. It's great to be able to watch mini Russians in action and work out how many of them are doing Memmels on floor.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Russian Cup Qualifications

I'm just post happy today. Been watching some videos from RussianCup2009's channel of this years Russian Cup. People looking awesome. Here's some impressions and news:

Ksenia Semenova - Looks like she's grown again. Much better vault than previously, less knee bend. Her Deltchev seems to have gotten bigger too. She only opened floor with a double tuck, perhaps she's still working on the rumoured double layout. The rest of the tumbling was normal. Beam was solid but a little wobbly.

Ekaterina Kurbatova - Lovely layout Podkopayeva. Her floor was better than last years worlds. She opened with a one and a half twist - Tarasevich combo. Did a very nice triple spin. Beam was kind of bad. She fell on her full spin with leg in split and was wobbling on everything else, and struggling to connect.

Anna Pavlova - SHE'S BAAACK. She fell on her layout Podkopayeva. Her bars were her normal bars, still doesn't connect that Jaeger, though it's a beautifully performed skill. Only dismounted with a single layout. Beam wasn't bad. She has a Yang Bo now, and has resurrected her Kochetkova - flic - layout. Fell on her two and a half twist dismount. Floor was still Exodus goodness. Finished way to early, opened with a double pike but bounced out of bounds. She did a nice triple twist, a front layout front layout stepout and a layout front full stag jump.

Viktoria Komova - Did DTY and piked Omelianchik vaults. Nice bars, piked stalder Khorkina transition still gorgeous. Beam was great. Only a double tuck dismount, but she performed her arabian and a flic - layout - layout. Floor had great choreography and a BEAUTIFUL triple twist.

Aliya Mustafina injured her foot and Kristina Pravdina has torn her achilles. : (

Bringing it to the Beam China Style

China have a new beam coach.

Boo yah! Zhang Nan is the new beam coach. Awesome beam routines coming this way from China? Me thinks yes, (not that they're not already awesome on beam).

Head cases coming through for China? Alas quite probably true. Zhangy was a great beam worker, but an absolute headcase, though not Ukrainian style. She's probably my favourite beam worker (Chinese and generally) when it went right.

So who are my favourite Chinese beam workers other than Zhangy, I wondered. Here's a few:

1. Yang Bo

Like I was going to miss her out. Never won a world title. Ever. That's depressing. Dismounts were her nemesis right up until Barcelona 92, when she fell off the beam, but the dismount was fine. Gorgeous leap named after her, and everyone remembers the awesomeness that was her flic - layout - Rulfova combination.

2. Kui Yuanyuan

Ah the controversey surrounding the 1997 worlds beam title she blatantly should have won. Only got the bronze. Who can forget her three split leaps to three layouts and her full twisting layout to two feet? Not me.

3. Xiao Sha

Her flic - flic - layout all to two feet at the 2007 worlds still makes me happy. Her sheep jump and switch split ring leap were beautiful. She has such wonderful extension. Oh I loves her. She only ever attended the one worlds and totally screwed up prelims, so her world champion potential was never realised.

4. Liu Xuan

My list isn't overly unpredictable, but it wouldn't be complete without the 2000 Olympic champion. She had such poise and elegance on the beam, but her layout to two feeet showed her power as well. Leaps and jumps are known to be awesome for the Chinese, her switch split ring and her ring jump were no exception to that rule.

Of course they have had so many great beam workers, Mo Huilan, Wu Jiani, Lu Li, Li Li and Qiao Ya to name but five more.

Goryunova Suspended

Russian gymnast (and one of my favourites) Kristina Goryunova has been banned for a year following the discovery she tested positive for furosemide, the same drug that Daiane dos Santos and Do Thi Ngan Thuong tested positive for, Do at Beijing.

Apparantly she didn't know what she took contained the banned substance, she was just trying to lose weight. These drugs seem to be coming up more often than they used to.

Because she has been banned more than six months Kristina is now unable to compete at the London olympics in 2012. If we're honest it was unlikely that she would make the team anyway, but even so.

Let's hope her little sister has more success.

Oh Kristina.

Saturday, 6 March 2010


So Rebecca Bross won the SCAM, no surprises there. Her vault and bars were solid, though I will forever hate her legs. She was incredibly lucky she was American on beam, any other country and she would have been deducted properly. She didn't get round her full pirouette in crouch, her foot hit the beam, though she didn't fall off. She seemed a bit off balance after that but stayed on. She has a new floor routine. Initially I was excited by this prospect. Then she performed it. It's actually worse than her old one. The choreography doesn't suit her or the music. Anyone else notice that it's just a weird version of Dark Eyes? WOGA has no imagination. Smooth for swearing on live television Bross.

Alexandra Raisman placed second. Her vault was a lot cleaner than Bross', but her bars still suck Brestyan style, though she's better than A-Sac. Her beam was powerful, and her flexibility isn't that bad. Her double arabian dismount is so much better than Bross'. So was her floor routine, though it was so obviously A-Sac it's ridiculous. Nice 1.5 twist through to double arabian.

The lucky draw for third place ended with Jessica Lopez of Venezuela grabbing it. We only saw her beam and floor, but they were nice. Her beam was solid enough, great form on her dismount. Floor was better, she had choreography that actually went with the music, and her tumbling, whilst not uber difficult, was good.

Yuko Shintake of Japan looked awesome. Her bars was great, perfect handstands and form throughout. I love Japanese double fronts of bars, they just scrunch up so tiny. I loved her floor routine. It wasn't hard, (mildly confusing too, if she can end with a double pike I'm sure she can do a double tuck instead of a double twist, and get an extra tenth there), but the music was prettyful and the choreography was good.

Tiny mens observations. I don't really follow mens gymnastics, but even I know Horton was overscored hugely. Seriously? 13.600 for that parallel bars routine? and in the 16s for his vault, landed under rotated and stiff legged? And what on earth was up with Flavius Koczi? Why the hell did he decide to dismount high bar with a TUCK BACK?

Supergirl Cup

So it was the Supergirl Cup yesterday, a chance for level tens to get some experience with that sort of meet. And apparantly elites as well. I don't get that but whatever. I didn't watch all of it, I was tired and staying up til 2 in the morning to finish it just wasn't happening, but I did watch the first 2 rotations.

Why oh why were they all forced into the same leotard? I mean I understand why, but WHY? Still at least they got some leotards and a tracksuit out of it.

So Lexie Priessman won. In my humble opinion she had the advantage, having attended elite Jnr nationals last year, so it seemed a bit unfair to stick her (and others such as Gabi Douglas) in a competition against level tens. She did a double twisting yurchenko on vault, so did another girl that I saw though I can't remember her name. Both gave me the impression it was a vault they were only just managing. I wouldn't have let them compete it yet. Her floor was Cincinnati to the bone.

Kassandra Lopez from Arizona finished second, and Diandra Milliner came third.

It was weird to see Kimberley Jacob hanging around after seeing her at nationals. I think she's committed to Bama though so she probably won't be around long. I was kind of rooting for Gabi Douglas but she screwed up floor on her 2.5 twist.

I also think it's strange that people who are used to the elite system were competing under the JO Nationals rules. Obviously they'd have an advantage. Just a bit of a weird competition.

Still, SCAM later today.