Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Return of the Shawnator

Yeah so apparantly Shawn Johnson has returned to training. It's not the returning to training that I doubt it's everything else. She hasn't been training since the 2008 Olympics so that's nearly two years out of the gym. And now she's seen she can do a lot besides gymnastics how will she take to regular hard training again? I have my doubts.

Do I think she'll get very far? I don't know honestly, but I doubt she will ever reach the standard she was again. Amanar's, double doubles and standing fulls may not be on the agenda. And frankly the team doesn't need her that much unless she can get back to where she was. They have Brossy and when she comes up Wieber for their all arounders, in the meantime Sloan will do it, (and apparantly Raisman, Marta seems keen to work her all around despite her bars). They need bars workers and Shawn never was one. What she did she did cleanly but she got everything from her dismount.

So. If she gets to nationals, and I mean gets there not gets let in cos she's Shawn Johnson, I might reconsider, but in the meantime I think Sacramone's come back is much more serious.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Beth Defends, Russia, Romania Triumphant

Event Finals today. I missed the first couple of vaulters thanks to the BBC but I got everything else.


Unfortunately missed Renata Toth and Ariella Kaeslin, Kaeslin ended up fifth and was in yet another interesting butterfly leo. Tuned in in time to see Diana Chelaru's second vault - full twisting tucked handspring. It was good and she's upgraded since last years tuck front.

Ekaterina Kurbatova - Managed to get round her DTY today and did a sort of lay out Podkopayeva (she was credited with the layout) with good landings for a 15.287 average.

Youna Dufournet - Had her normal stylish form going on. Stuck her Yurchenko 1.5 for a 14.200 and did a definately layed out Pod for a 15.275 average. If she can get a DTY with the same form as her current vaults she'll be competetive for gold.

Amelia Racea - Messy DTY, landed better than in the team final yesterday and a tucked Pod, well landed but tucked whilst still on the table for a 13.662 average.

Tatiana Nabieva - was wearing a gross leotard. Huge DTY, but her legs don't seem to ever be entirely straight, followed by a Pod with pointed toes for a 14.150 average.

Nicole Hibbert - 1.5 Yurchenko, huge leap forward. She looks like she could easily manage the DTY, so I suggest they get working on it. Lay out Omelianchik to bum for her second. It's only the second time she's done it in competition, the other time being qualifications. 13.300 average, and last.

Gold - Kurbatova, Silver - Dufournet and Bronze - Nabieva.

Uneven Bars

Natalia Kononenko - Managed to make up for the rest of the pants that Ukraine did during this competition with a fab bars routine. Ricna - Pak combo, plus her trade mark Tkatchev half - straddle Jaeger and a stuck double front. She has great form and managed a 14.750.

Vanessa Ferrari - orginally the reserve but put in when Ana Porgras was withdrawn from all finals because of her foot. Ono - straddle Jager, a rather ugly Tkatchev and a full in gave her a 14.150.

Aliya Mustafina - stalder full - toe on Khorkina, a piked Jaeger, her normal skills all done with great form. She has good handstands too which is nice for the judges, I can't say handstands bother me that much. Dismounted with a full pirouette - 1.5 twisting double back, stepped back and to the side but much better than last time.

Becky Downie - performed her Church today but didn't manage to connect it to the stalder full. Nice Ricna, low full in dismount. Her team finals performance was much better, 14.625.

Tweth - Her Church has really got better from last years Worlds, all her usual connections and madness cos no one told her she shouldn't be able to do it. Stuck full in from a cast, no giants. Her execution was a 9.075 for a 15.875.

Elizabeth Seitz - Her Church is huge, though not the tidiest in the world. It'll be great when she tidies it up. Maloney - stalder uprise to start the routine, always good to see people work out of Shaposh type skills, full in dismount. 14.000. She has promise.

Tatiana Nabieva - Traiditonal Russian huge connections spanning the two bars. Her straddle Jaeger is laaarge. Full in dismount, but she has bad bent legs before her dismount. 14.675

Dufournet - pulled out her stalder full - Def today, but incurred a .5 penalty because the coach touched her >:(. Had a landing issues on her double layout but girlfriend sure knows how to keep a straight shape.

Gold - Tweth, Silver - Mustafina, Bronze - Kononenko. Well done Uke.

Balance Beam
Amelia Racea - put in to replace injured Porgras and did herself proud. She was a little wobbly on her initial skills of front tuck and aerial cartwheel - tuck back but did an awesome aerial walkover - flic - pike back. Her dismount was a bit low but she managed a 14.400.

Valentina Holenkova - Oh Ukes. It was going so well with her handspring - front tuck, though she was a little wobbly, but she fell on her side somi as in team finals. Lovely double pike dismount though. 12.525.

Anna Myzdrikova - considering she used to be a disaster zone on beam she's doing well for herself. It was a solid routine, though unspectacular, until she had to hold on after a side somi where her foot was almost entirely off the beam. 13.150.

Aliya Mustafina - great standing arabian and double spin. Whether her triple twist dismount was round was questionable but she got a 14.375. I personally prefer her to Nabieva, and think she has more promise, and definately better form.

Celine van Gerner - she has great movement on the beam, natural balance a great speed. Me like. A little off on her front tuck, but saved it. Average skills but well performed got her a 13.850.

Yana Demyanchuk - Oh Ukes. Defended champion didn't defend. Fell on her first move of round
off - straight back. The rest of the routine was solid but unspectacular. 12.900.

Raluca Haidu - Stag Silivas to start, a bit different. Managed her flic - full twisting tuck today, but still had a wobble on her switch split half, though stayed on this time. Nice sheep jump, I am verily impressed by the young Romanians flexy. 13.950.

Elisabeta Preziosa - still has Italian leotards. Sigh. Still has uber flex which is good. Stayed on during her aerial walkover - flic - layout but fell on her aerial cartwheel instead. She could've won bronze if she'd stayed on. 13.075.

Gold - Racea, Silver - Mustafina, Bronze - Haidu.

Floor Exercise
Anna Myzdrikova - Stuck her whip - double arabian again. She enjoys that obviously. Stayed in on her triple - punch back, managed her 2.5 - barani - stag, though it looked like she might not. Her presentation isn't as good as it used to be though. 14.325.

Nimah Rippin - Had landing issues everywhere. Double arabian, did well not to sit it down, 1.5 through to triple twist - out of bounds, hopped back on her 2.5 - straight. Britain seriosuly need to work on their dance. 13.400.

Vanessa Ferrari - Her difficuly is nowhere near what it used to be but she's cleaner than before. Full in, 1.5 - full, double tuck and double pike. She can land those tumbles. No back extension roll any more :(. 13.850.

Aliya Mustafina - Girlfriend couldn't manage all clean routines. Huge double arabian, stuck her triple at the end but fell on a 1.5 - rudi. 13.225.

Tweth - Her normal tumbling. Nearly went out of bounds on her 1.5 - double arabian, but her split jump on the end of the double piked arabian. I'm still happy she can reach splits. 14.825.

Racea - Managed three finals. Go her. Had landing issues, snatched at her 2.5 - tuck front a bit but a good routine. Pretending she's a pirate from the Carribean.

Marine Brevet - Simple tumbling but cleanly done. 1.5 - 2.5, double twist, double pike out of bounds and a short double tuck. Underwhelming choreo. 13.400. Line judge tried to claim she went out of bounds on her 1.5 - 2.5 but she didn't and it wasn't deducted for.

Diana Chelaru - My favourite routine of the finals. Unexpected double layout to open, whip - triple with minor landing issues, 2.5 - supposedly straight front which leapt out of bounds, closed with a full in. Yeah Shawn, she can do it to. And she's got better dance and is generally better. She never stopped moving, twas awesome. 14.125.

Gold - Tweth, Silver - Myzdrikova, Bronze - Chelaru. Musty would have managed bronze had she not fallen. If Chelaru hadn't gone out of bounds she'd probably have got silver.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Thrills and Many Spills at Euros

WHAT THE HELL????? Weirdest team final ever? I think so.

Rotation 1

Romania started badly on beam, Raluca Haidu was first up and fell on her full twisting back and a switch split half, scoring a painful 12.100. Amelia Racea was second up, and other than failing to reach splits at all on a switch split leap had a wobbly but otherwise good routine. Ana Porgras was last up, didn't fall and mangaged a 14.800. Was a little worried when she had to be carried off the podium but she was alright.

France started quite well on vault but it was probably the best piece of the night. Dufournet was the top vaulter with a great layout Podkopayeva, and Maulassena vaulted a nice handspring straight front half. They were in second after the first rotation, but it wouldn't last.

The Netherlands were stable though unspectacular on floor. Masela started well and looked like she was truly enjoying herself with a 13.125, but with no great tumbling. Kroonen went out of bounds on a 1.5 through to double tuck, but mananged a higher score with 13.150.

Kaeslin performed a good routine for Switzerland on bars in their first ever team final, with a nice high Gienger and Markelov, but a very strange technique on her full in dismount. For some reason they were wearing a read purple and yellow sleeveless leotard that looked like it had been made with two leos sewn together.

Italy started reasonably on beam, Preziosa was their anchor, but fell on a flic - layout, and was short on her double tuck dismount. She still had great flexibility and managed a 12.900. Ferrari looks in much better shape than previously, and has her flexibility back. Her planche is still one of the best ever, and she was determined not to even wobble for a 14.100. Galante lead them off with a 13.900, doing two spins with her leg in splits, one a full the other her trademark 1.5.
Russia began very well on floor, Semenova starting off still only opened with a double tuck, not the double layout she'd been doing in podium training. She had a problem on her 1.5 - full twist but managed a 13.725. Mustafina did a lovely double arabian followed by gorgeous triple spin. She stuck her 2.5 to full twist and did a great Memmel turn later in the routine for a 14.400. Myzdrikova anchored the team, mangaging to stay in bounds on her triple - tuck this time, and sticking her whip - double arabian cos she's badass.

Britain did well on vault, vaulting one full twisting yurchenko from Jocelyn Hunt and two one and a halves from Becky Downie (stuck cold and awesome) and Nicole Hibbert (leapt forward), scoring 13.700, 14.350 and 13.900.

Ukraine's Fomenko had an awful start on the bars scoring an 8.225. She fell on her straddle Jaeger, had issues on a half pirouette, and hit the high bar during her dismount, failing to complete it. She looked hurt at first but was fine as she later competed floor.

Rotation 2

Netherlands continued well on vault. Masela scored a 13.125 on a FTY, and Kroonen scored a 13.525 for a lovely pike front half.

Romania did better on floor than beam. Once again Haidu went first with a cute routine to Zorba the Greek, tumbling a full in tucked, 2.5 - tuck front, double tuck and double pike for a 13.325. Racea followed with similar tumbling, swap the double tuck for a badly landed triple twist for a 13.650. Chelaru anchored and had problems on her triple spin, but good tumbling scored her a 14.200.

France had a messy bars set. Maulassena was up first with a simple routine that scored 13.325. Morel had a really ugly routine full of leg splits. She looks worryingly thin these days considering what she was like in Beijing. Dufournet was not her normal fabby self, the entire set looked a struggle and she missed several handstands for a 13.725.

Kaeslin was solid on beam with a great round off straight back for a 14.000.

Russia continued well, though not great, on vault. Kurbatova was first up and scored a 14.000 for a underrotated double twisting yurchenko. Mustafina and Nabieva followed with better versions of the same vault (Mustafina's reminded me of Pavs') for 14.700 and 14.575.

Britain had an AWESOME bars set. Hibbert went up first with the slowest Tkatchev - Pak I have ever witnessed and a stuck double front for a 13.575. What is with the way she does her hair???? Downie followed with a stalder full - Ray and 1.5 pirouette - Ricna and a stuck full in for a 14.350. Tweth was her usual mad self. Who has the bars that bouncy? Hit all her combos and almost stuck her dismount for a 15.850. Mitch Fenner described it as 'world class, universal class'. Yes Mitch, she beat all those bitches from Mars.

Ferrari really really really really needs a new piece of floor music, but good tumbling led to a 13.950. She did a nice switch split ring on beam but couldn't on floor. Odd. Nice to see her flexy back.

Holenkova on beam for Ukraine fell twice, once on an aerial cartwheel, once on a side somi. She did a great front handspring - front tuck combo before that though. Poor Ukes.

Rotation 3

Romania vaulted a piked down full twisting yurchenko (Haidu) and two doubles (Racea and Chelaru) for 13.625, 14.100 and 14.250. Racea's was very offline and Chelaru's a bit messy. She's very Bontas on the leg splits onto the vault.

Netherlands had a DISASTROUS bars set from Yvette Moshage. She missed her hand on her overshoot and fell onto the bit that lets you raise the bars and broke it. There was a large wait whilst it was fixed. She ended up with an 11.225. Masela had a high straddle Jaeger and good double front for a 12.550 and Celine van Gerner did a straddle Jaeger, pike stalder full - pak and full in for a 13.475.

Jessica Diacci had a nice flexible floor set to Moulin Rouge's Bolero with a very tidy double arabian for a 13.250. Jennifer Senn looked tiny and had a slightly messy, not very difficult routine for 11.850, going out of bounds on a double pike.

Morel fell on a flic - whip on beam, but had a nice Rufolva for a 12.800. She also did a switch leap onto the beam, a la Tabitha Yim. Dufournet had a more solid routine with a good double spin, aerial cartwheel - switch split - gainer layout, and attempted an onodi - aerial walkover - flic - layout, but missed the connection between onodi and walkover, for a 14.625.

Russia had a bit of a messy bars performance. Kurbatova, despite her disastrous qualifiers, was still used on bars. Poor Semenova, former bars world champion and not used at all. She missed her connection between full pirouette and Tkatchev, managed her Pak and double front half for a 13.800. Mustafina did well, though was a little messy. Nice piked Jaeger, low Tkatchev - Pak and a full pirouette - full in dismount for 14.900. Tatiana Nabieva had bigger problems. Started great Maloney - uprise - full pirouette - Pak but later fell on a second attempt at a pirouette she'd failed on. Depressingly all the Russians seem to have bent leg giants.

OMG Britain hit a beam set. 3 for 3!!!!!!!!!!! Hibbert wobbled on a back tuck but stayed on for a 12.925. Niamh Rippin was next. This is the first time I've ever seen her not fall on beam, so good time to do it. solid flic - layout and nice 2.5 dismount for 13.100. Downie was up last, cos she usually does so well under pressure, but stayed on and manages her aerial cartwheel - flic much better than her aerial walkover - flic. Full spin with leg in splits connected to ordinary full. Stuck double pike, but I missed her score. Sigh.

Fomenko had a much better routine on floor than bars, scoring a 13.225 despite stepping out of bounds on her double arabian. Choreo needs work though. Seriously.

Rotation 4

Romania finished on bars more respectably than one may have thought. Haidu was once again up first. She had an ugly Gienger and lacked handstands mostly but managed a 13.150. She was so small she struggled a bit transitioning. Racea had much cleaner handstands and a 1.5 to straddle Jaeger for a 13.975. Porgras finished up scoring a 13.700. She was late on her 1.5 - Jaeger but stuck her double layout (was clearly in a lot of pain).

France were underwhelming on floor. Morel (nope she still looks scarily thin) did a messy triple twist and a low 1.5 through to double tuck with average choreo for 13.225. Brevet faired better, though choreo was still not so great. 1.5 to 2.5 twists, out of bounds double pike and a double tuck gave her 13.825. Dufournet anchored with a good piked full in and an attempteddouble arabian - stag jup (she fooled no one, there was a hop inbetween). Her jump landings need working on - scored 13.775.

Kaeslin vaulted a low straight/piked (your call) Rudi for a 14.350, helping Switzerland finish sixth.

Russia finished up wobbly but well on beam. Myzdrikova, beam finalist, was first up. Traditional aerial walkover - flic - layout, (it gets boring even when its done well), a nice full split jump and good pike double back gave her 13.550. Mustafina had a small wobble on her standing arabian and issues on her triple twisting dismount but got a 14.175. Semenova was last up, and rather like Racea failed the split in the switch split leap. Solid on her aerial walkover - flic - straight back and onodi - flic - layout and double pike for a 14.150, securing gold.

Kysla had a large hop on her full twisting yurchenko for a 13.575, keeping Ukraine in eighth but by less than a point despite Fomenko's 8.225.

Britain started floor with Jocelyn Hunt. As stuck as stuck can be on the full in, great triple and ended with a double pike. However she needs to work on connecting front tumbling. A straight front - pike front combo is not bon. 13.425. Niamh Rippin had a nice floor routine with a great double arabian and a nailed second pass of 1.5 to triple twist. She was feeling the 1980s with her Shushunova into Silivas rolls at the end for a 14.350. Tweth anchored (who'd've thunk). As always nice 1.5 to double arabian tucked. Reasonable double pike arabian and great 2.5 - full twisting front at the end. ZOMG she can now reach splits. Being a specialist is totally working for her. 14.925. All I can say is PLEASE BRITAIN PLEASE! WORK ON YOUR CHOREO AND PRESENTATION.

So gold to Russia, silver to Britain (omg they hit 12 for 12, no one saw that coming) and bronze for Romania. Britain beat Romania by over three points. What's weirder is that they deserved it. And I hope you don't take that as me being patriotic for Britain cos I really am not.