Saturday, January 2, 2010



There have been a few gymnasts who for various reasons have sadly not lived up to their potential or promise this year.  Sometimes it isbecause of injury, sometimes sudden growth, sometimes a sudden lack of confidence, and sometimes, simply a bad, bad day.


As far as I am concerned, Yang Yilin was one of the best gymnasts in Beijing last year, and her bronze in the AA more than proved this.  Not only is she a fabulous all-arounder, her performances are often stunning.  Her beam is flowing and gorgeous.  Her bar work is fluid and difficult.  Her vaults are terrific.  And her floor is simply exquisite .  In fact it was my favorite of all the Chinese floor routines.
All this is why it was just so sad to see her have a rough all-around experience in London this year.  In a competition she, as a veteran, could have medalled in, she instead, had a rough, rough time and an embarassing stack on bars.  Though her finals performance was somewhat better than her qualifications performance, it wasn't anywhere near the standard we saw in Beijing.  (A commenter told me that it was because of a big bad long term injury of which I knew nothing about.  Poor Yang) It was so sad not to see this sparkly young gymnast shine again.


Ksenia Semenova-  who would have though Ksenia Semenova would have such a bad week.  Even though I was aware she was suffering from injury, I would never have thought she would have quite the disastrous contest she had at Worlds.  Frankly, Ksenia was a sad, sad sight to see.  I really, really hope she can make her way back from this injury, but one has to wonder.

Shayla Worley- I know it is only the start of the season, and she has been out of serious training for quite some time, but I really did expect to see more from Worley in the Gym Dog sneak peek this year.  I like Shayla's gymnastics and i was looking forward to what they have created for her, but it was really hard to tell if she is going to come through with the Dawgy goods. It is early days yet, soI hope so.

Jana Bieger-  Poor old Jana.  That girl has had such a bad, bad run in the last couple of years.  I was surprised to even see her at theVISA National.  There was something kinda tragic about watching the poor girl try and pull off her skills, while clearly not ready, and, if rumour has it, was somewhat unwell.  She is a brave girl for persisting for so long, but I have to say I really wish she'd held out amateur so she could do collegiate gymnastics.  It would have suited her far, far better.

Gabi Dragoi-  Poor old Gabi.  She was one of the most promising looking of the new Romanians with her finals berth on beam at Beijing.  And when it came to the performances, she conducted herself well for someone fairly inexperienced.  She proved she was still doing well at Euros, but since then her relentless injuries have contributed to dissapointing performances all year round. Her performances at Worlds, after being let onto the team at the last minute proved that we may not be seeing much of Gabi once the juniors arrive next year.


  1. You do know that Yang Yilin underwent surgery for a herniated spinal disc in early 2009, right? She missed nearly six months of training and only began doing BB and FX in August. That she returned to competition at all is a minor miracle.

  2. Gotta give a nod here on this award to Becky Downie. Awesome talent...Worlds in her home country...still headcased her way out of medals in more than one scenario. She was very disappointing for me as a fan this year.

  3. Oh, and "disappointing" has only one "s."

  4. Anon--
    Deng Linlin had knee surgery, but she still won gold. just saying...
    Gymnastics is all about injury management. If Yang was not healthy, she shouldn't have been competing. china obviously wouldn't have sent her (not a team competition) if they didn't think she was capable of medaling.

  5. In all fairness, Yilin's injury sounded a lot more serious than Linlin's. Apparently Yilin's injury would have been grounds for retirement. Either way, I don't think this is the last we've seen of her, and I'm confident she'll do better.

  6. Knee surgery is not the same as spinal surgery, and Yang Yilin performed well enough at the National Games to justify her spot at Worlds.

    Oh, and "disappointed" has two "p"s. One "s," two "p"s.

  7. agree with Anonymous
    she is the only gymnast in the history that had that sort of operation in her spine and be able to train and compete again. and obviously, she has just started training in August, and if you have recognize, her bars in London is slightly different from the one in China'a national Competition. and that layout she did in london, she has just trained for a week or so, because she doesn't want to hurt her spine again. It's a pity that she fell in her specialist, but i think she's going to shine in the near future.

  8. and yeah, i've just read it, she did not have intense training since the olympics or after the surgery. Also,the landing of her bars, she has just learnt it a week before the competition.
    (not sure of the exact wording for translation. i've read it from chinese news)