Saturday, October 17, 2009


 Okay, well you all saw it.  A US 1-2.  Yawn.

I am glad, though, that Bridget Sloan took the crown, because Bross, though her skills are huge, did not put in a performance on either day to deserve to win a World Championship.  In fact, if she did, I might have gone off gymnastics for a while.  At least Bridget, whose gymastics, aside from bars and maybe vault, bores me generally, put in a decent performance all-around, and when she needed to hit floor, she managed it with utter precision.  It was the steadiest, most confident performance she has pulled off all week, and it was exactly when it was most crucial.

Well, Koko Tsurumi put in a lovely and assured performance to take third. She is a great little gymnast. I was, of course, dissapointed because i was gunning for Lauren Mitchell to take that bronze.  But when Koko vaulted cleanly, only taking a jump, I kind of knew it wasn't going to happen.  I knew this because for the first time in my life at a gymnastics competition, I was actually sitting there score-crunching in that last two rotations between Tsurumi and Mitchell!!! 

Lauren still pulled off a great show, but i think she really let herself down on bars, which was a bit sloppy and her rhythm was way out.  It was still fantastic to see how she has matured into such steadfast, seasoned gymnast.  I had thought that beam routine was beyond her, but she has now pulled it off twice, and they awarded her 6.5 for it (more about that later!!)

Okay, Ana Porgras didn't pull off the feat i was hoping for.  She sadly fell of beam, her gymnastics raison de etre.  What I am hoping, is that this will be like 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007, where the power- all skills gymnasts took the AA, but messed up in beam finals, even though they had the difficulty to win that too and the beautiful, elegant gymast with the dynamite beam routine takes the beam crown.  That's what I am wishing for, anyway!!!

And on that note, I am also hoping for a Russian flor win too- or even a Tweddle win.  Kayla Williams can have that vault gold.  She deserves it with her clean, immense vaults, but I have to say I am glad they were tough on her floor and she is onnly reserve.

I have to say, I like all the bean finallists and won't be too upset how it pans out- though of course I am gunning for Porgras and Mitchell.  I can't really see He Kexi not taking bars, but with Australia's Larissa Miller qualifying fifth, and a lot of mistakes from the big guns, I am gonnna cross all my figers for a bronze, though it would be a giant feat.

This leads me to aother thing i have been thinking about.  It's a little condition I like to call the Wunderkind Effect.  There are two kinds of rising junior champions in my books.  There are the Ferraris and Johnsons of this world, who dive in blindly, unaware of just how good they are and snatch World |Championships while they are too young and new to fully realise the immensity of what they are doing.  Then later, as they realise, the pressure mounts, and they are entirely conscious of  what is expected of them.  They never quite reach the levels they did when they burst onto the scene unawares.

Then there are (hopefully) gymnasts like Liukin, and I am hoping, Bross and Porgras, who learn early, what it is to not be the best straight away, or suffer injuries early and take these lessons away and become better gymnasts.  I believe both Porgras and Bross began to understand the pressure during the competition.  And I think it got to them.  To me, this is okay.  I believe they both can go further, injury notwithstanding.

I believe Bross might turn out to be a great gymnast.  But it is not her turn.  And if she really is, she'll take this away with her, come back and do better next time.  The same goes for Porgras.  To me, this is the measure of a truly good gymnast, like Memmel, Liukin, Khorkina and Amanar- one who can learn and grow and come back better tha ever.

Alright, let's talk about some of the others.

First, is this the end of Semenova?  I sincerely hope not.  But the girl was really, really not herself this week.  And it is an outright sadness that she is not in a single event final, or even a first reserve for any.  Maybe it is the nagging injuries that are getting to her, but i really wonder if she can come back from them. 

Anamaria Tamirjan pulled off a far better performace than qualifications.  Her beam was great this time, as was her ault, but she let herself down a little on floor.  I think Tamirjan might depart gymnastics over the next year too.  Her difficulty is not there, and she is still dealing with injuries too.  I commend her flor lasting this long though.  Luckily, we have some of those terrific little juniors coming our way.

Lovely to see Elsa Garcia win the elegance prize.  I totally agree!  She has also done a really, fantastic job of making a comeback on the international scene.  Go Elsa!!

Youna Dufournet has finally come into her own too, proving a lot of the junior hype.  She performed excellently in the AA.

BNeither Deng Linlin or Becky Downie lived up to my expectations.  I am not sure what was with Deng, but Downie seems to lose it a little under pressure, which is sad, because she is very solid and very talented when she is on.

Also, someone asked what happened to Sanne Wevers.  From what I saw, she landed badly on her last or second last pass on floor, where she limped off crying.  The next time I saw her, she pushed through beam, clearly in a lot of pain, landed awkwardly again and limped off.  Poor thing.  I guess she thought it was worth going for EF, even with a injury.

Oh yeah, and on the injury reports, I saw Australia's Britt Greeley yesterday, and she said Shona Morgan popped her knee in qualifications, hence the no-moving, foetal position from Morgan.  Poor thing.  Horrible injury.

Enough for now!!



  1. You make an interesting point about Bross and gymnasts who burst onto the scene unawares - the thing is, barring a couple untimely falls, Bross would have done just that. That's what everyone expected. But I agree that she'll be a much better gymnast for understanding that she's not infallible. This was actually the first meet that I could stand watching Becca - she has great skills and not bad form, but oh the lack of artistry! I honestly can't think of another gymnast who has ever been quite so perfunctory and businesslike in each and every move - she honestly moves like she just doesn't care and is pissed off at having to do anything but big skills. But the thing is, if she understands that gold medals won't just fall into her lap because she is the anointed one, she should be able to work on that artistry, and maybe someday in the future she'll be able to actually *earn* those golds.

  2. Semyonova is dealing with a lingering back injury. That's why she took out all the pike stalders. She's probably being affected by it. If they sent Afanasyeva home, it must have been pretty bad.

  3. Regarding Semenova and really, really not being herself this week, she wasn't indeed. But we have to bear in mind that she was also really, really injured or coping with growth spurt (or both). I think the only reason she competed is because Russia needed representation and they couldn't afford to lose another gymnast, especially after Afanasyeva's withdrawal.
    Fortunately, the Russians aren't known for retiring too early. I hope she can come back with a vengeance!