Monday, October 11, 2010


Danusia Francis
Okay, so today was the start of business at the Ahoy, with all the delegations beginning training in the training halls.  It is hard to believe that only yesterday it was a car show, complete with Hot Rod cars and dancing girls.  After a huge overnight working bee, it has been turned into a six-room training hall!  And yes, many volunteers worked alongside Jantssen Fritzen to make it work.  The interesting thing about this year is that it is the first time media are allowed in to the halls to watch.  Well, as you can imagine, we took great advantage of that!

What did I see?  Hmm, plenty of Russia.  They look good.  Ksenia Afanasyeva couldn't hit bars AT ALL, but methinks she was somewhat distracted by the army of teenage boys hooting and watching!  They also looked very good on vault earlier today.
Dementieva looked beautiful on floor, but the little girl is deathly pale and has dark rings around her eyes.  Maybe she is just one of those pale people, but she looks like she needs a day in the sunshine and some fairy floss to me.
All in all the Russians look all business and it is their World Championshops to lose.

As for Romania, unfortunately, they were at the far end of the training halls (so my photos are crappy).  They looked tense, but okay.  Ana Porgras did a gorgeous floor routine.  Raluca Haidu also did a fairly decent one.  She was being spotted on her passes, however.  Racea looks strong and able and ready to go.  Izbasa was her usual messy but lovable self on beam.  Her hair is SO BLONDE. It's out of control.  Chelaru also looked very impressive and quite cheerful! Gabi Dragoi had a wee bit of a nasty stack on her beam dismount, but seemed unhurt.  She was tumbling a little on floor with Lili spotting her.

I watched the USA on bars and vault.  Bars was o-kay.  Both Bross and Sloan looked underwhelming, but okay.  Chelsea Davis's Tkatchev was looking magnificent and Mattie Larson was quite great.   Her DLO dismount was looking really good.  Raisman was clean.  I didn't see much of Caquatto.  Vault was pretty ugly, and Alicia Sacramone didn't do any proper vaults, just handsprings.  I think maybe she is not allowed to do many repetitions anymore though?  Caquatto was really piking her vaults.

The team that looked fantastic to me was GBR. Beth Tweddle repeatedly nailed her bars set.  Becky Downie was struggling, however.  Nicole Hibbert couldn't stop giggling, but looked good when she actually did something!   But there is something really great about this team and I think they will give Romania some stiff competition.  on that note, I noticed Lili Cosma come in and watch in the hall where both GBR and RUS train and I had to wonder about Romania's sense of self.  Was she watching RUS to see how Romania would fare against them.... or Great Britain.  I think it is Great Britain and they do have to worry.

In short news...

Apparently Dom Pegg will only be competing bars because an existent injury has worsened.

Marta Pihan-Kulesza no longer sports the braids.

Greece has the coolest training t-shirts EVER!

When going over her FIG profile in the accreditation, Vanessa Ferrari scribbled out her weight!

Australia look pretty good, but I will be sending my training report to Mez at The Australian Gymnastics Blog, so head over there.  I am sure she will post it ASAP.  The Aussie girls are staying just down the hall of my hotel.  It is lovely to hear the dulcet tones of the Australian accent in the mornings!

Photos in the next post.....


  1. Thanx a bunch! You're a star for doing this.

  2. What about the brazilian team?

  3. Thank you so much for all the info! You're amazing! And please, more info on the Greek training T-shirts! I hope they're not the ones with the flag on!

  4. From what I've seen and read in interviews, it's not that Alicia isn't ALLOWED to do as many repetitions as she used to, it's that she realizes she doesn't need them and can spare her body by not doing as much. Subtle difference but a difference nonetheless.