Sunday, May 30, 2010

HERE 'TIS

Deng Linlins rumoured back layout full.  She came, she saw, she wobbled some, but she conquered it!  She wins beam at Nationals. Der.  That will be a nice trick up her event finals sleeve now, won't it?

Or HERE




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OUR LADY OF THE LACHRYMOSE RETURNS......



Word on the streets (well, the China People's Daily) is that Jade Barbosa is back in competition, winning the Brazilian Cup this weekend with an all-around score of 56, 375.

She was competing for a her team, the Flamengo Club.  The top four girls came from there, with Daniele Hypolito in second place.  This was the opening of the gym season in Brazil and is the first step for Brazilian girls to prove their worth for National Team selection.

According to the article, Jade is looking toward selection for the London 2012 team.  Let's hope she can stay injury free for a while and be looked after well.  I say bring on the veil of tears!  But let them be happy ones!



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THERE ARE NO WORDS......

Not to describe how much I loved Sui Lu's front pike right here.  None indeed.
I feel pretty good about the rest of the routine too.
It's also a testament to her awesome taste that she landed a gazillion saltos like it was nothing, but fumbled on the godawful sidie.

or HERE





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Saturday, May 29, 2010

OVERNIGHT NEWSLETTER.......


(Sorry Youna- I couldn't resist!)

It is clearly not the time of the season to go away- not even for the night!

Well, while I was gone, KristinaVaculik cleaned up on the event finals at the Canadian Champs, except floor where my other favorite Canadian, Dom Pegg, scored gold gold.  Nice to see Bianca Dancose Giambattista rake in a couple of medals too.  She has had some International experience this year, and is fighting well for a place on the worlds team.
On more of a downside, Sydney Sawa's 14th place does not bode well for her Freshman year at UCLA.  I don't know if she is injured, but getting into the Bruin lineup next year is going to be some seriously hard work, so she needs to look more competitive than that.

And to think I asked what Sui Lu has been up to these days!  Well now I know, winning the Chinese national all-around title.  Good girl!  I can't wait to check out if she has a new floor.  I loved her last one.
Deng Linlin only came fifth and Yang Yilin, sadly, only placed fifth on bars.  Hmm.

A reader linked to that article about British gymnast Rebecca Owen (Thanks MTSF!) who has sued her coach.  The Commonwealth silver medallist apparently was forced to train on a fractured back and is now, at 23 in constant pain.  She will, apparently, be unable to bear a child naturally because of it.  Owen's interview is one of those which, despite wanting to believe the gymnastics world is squeaky clean and without the worries that invaded the world with the emergence of pixie gymnasts and books like Little Girls in Pretty Boxes and Chalked Up, the kind that leaves little doubts niggling in the corner of your mind that for all the gymnasts out there who are treated responsibly and well, there are plenty that might not be.  And for the sake of what?

Food for thought, though.  A reader put in this comment;

The original source of this story was a newspaper article in which the gymnast was PAID for her story, and the coaches version of events are not represented at all, as the legal case is still ongoing.

Becky's mother was heavily involved with her gymnastics career and will have known about her back injury. She watched the majority of becky's workouts.

She had six months off at the time of her injury, and her rehabilitation and re entry into training was under the supervision of medical staff.

The stills are highly respected gymnastics coaches within the UK, and are not 'known' for being harsh with injurys.



Interesting....


Another reader, who told me I have jumped the gun


Sadly Becky she had an injury in training. Her mother was certainly aware of the injury, the coaches worked with the national team medical staff and she had intensive rehabilitation. Unfortunately she never recovered. This case is all about financial implications. Perhaps you should provide a link for your readers to this article from around the time the injury first occurred, giving a slightly different viewpoint from Becky:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/article1145956.ece



I would like to point out that I have in no way said that what is in this article is the gospel truth, and if you look closely the only thing I actually said was there were gymnasts who "might" not be treated well.  I understand these are mere allegations- they happen all the time. I didn't think I was being judge and jury on this matter particularly.  Thanks though, for providing more information!


According to the Gym Examiner- Youna Dufournet has twisted her knee.  It is not further meniscus damage, but she will be out for a bit.  There are only two words to describe Dufournet's career.  Promising and Catastrophic.

That's all for now!

Friday, May 28, 2010

IF MARY LEE SAYS IT, THEN IT MUST BE TRUE.....


Apparently, the CGA has posted an announcement that newbie Kayla Williams will be going to Alabama.  I can't see it, but maybe that is because I am old and blind, and maybe because I don't care that much?
 Is that bad?
Am I going to hell for that?
 I like Kayla Williams. I do.
I love her vaults.  There'd have to be something seriously wrong with me if I didn't.
But I won't be watching her compete four for Bama.  No  uh uh.
It's not a combination I pine for, like Shapiro and UCLA or Sloan and Florida (yep, that's right- I decided.  I know she seems a bit Utah, but with a bit of diva-ing, she could make an awful nice Gator)
Anyway, Kayla is going to Bama
Hope she likes the leotards.



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COULDA SHOULDA WOULDA.......



Oh my goodness, I did not realise I was talking to Andrea Joyce at the Pacific Rims one day.  I just saw the scene of her interviewing the US juniors on the Yarra river bridge.  If I'd realised it was her, if I'd even realised it was her, I might have pushed her off that damn bridge.  Yep, I am still mad about that Alicia interview.



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NOSTALGIA......

When Yang Yilin was a wee small thing, pulling out stunning bars and doing the deadest of dead dead hangs you have ever seen. Cute!

or HERE




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Thursday, May 27, 2010

THE GIRL MOST LIKELY.....



Yep, just another competition to prove that Kristina Vaculi is BACK with a capital B.  Despite qualifying in second below Maddy Gardiner the other day, Vaculik rallied to take the Senior National title.  She was followed by Maddy, and then Dom Pegg.

Vaculik is the stuff gymnastics fluff pieces are made of.  A prodigious talent sidelined for the Olympics comes back after struggling for the finances and resources (according to Davydova) to treat a long-term injury properly, returns to elite with even better form and a scholarship to an excellent college under her belt.  If she was a US gymnasy, NBC would be sketching out its voiceover as we speak.

If Vaculik negotiates the Worlds and College training like she told me she was going to try and do, she is going to be a leader on a talented world team this year, no doubt.



And, if reports of the Novice Canadians are anything to go by, Canada really has an opportunity to become what it has been hinting at all these years, a dominant gymnastics nation- if they get the funding that is.

And, unsurprisingly for anyone who watched Nathan Gafuik dominate the senior men's competition at Pac Rims last month, he is the senior MAG champ.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

CHINESE WARMING UP FOR NATIONALS.....



So, Chinese Nationals are getting underway.  There are a number of training videos up on Youtube already. You can watch a bunch of them on Komova's Youtube Channel.

Despite the various meltdowns at Pac Rims, it will be exciting to see how the young 'uns are shaping up.  They always, unsurprisingly, seem to perform better at home, even in Nationals.  The most exciting thing about these Nationals for a lot of fans is the return of the incomparably lovely Yang Yilin, who, aside from a recent performance (edit!), has been out on an extended injury.  It will be wonderful to see one of China's greatest ever all-around talents return, especially if, with her new height and time away, can return to her old form.

Yilin is getting back to form and looking pretty good on bars, thanks the Gymnastics Gods.  How I've missed her!  She was turning her typically beautiful, tidy pirouettes right on tiop of the bar.  She is doing a double front dismount too, which I was not expecting to see from her.  It will, however be easier, as she seems to have gotten taller in her times away.  It is performed gorgeously- but we'd expect nothing less from Yang!

Deng Linlin is looking all grown up.  She's chugging out the same floor routine, which is dull, but through a spectacularly high double pike in training. She gets such air times in all her tumbling, the layout full is entirely feasible for her, so I won't be surprised if she pulls it out at some point.



Rumour on the IntGym forum is that Linlin is doing a back layout full.  I watched her prepare to tumble about sixty gazillion times on one video, but no sign of any saltos at all.

Word too, is that lots of low-to-high bar transitions are looking to have improved.  This is good news for the Chinese, who have an age-old habit of transitioning into dead hangs.  I watched He Kexin's and yes, true, she swung right through beautifully.

Huang Quishuang also avoided the dead hang- but not nearly as beautifully as He.  Quishuang was swinging very slowly, which didn't help.  Her turns looked nice- not nearly as nice a Yilin's- and she missed a handstand.

I also watched a little Wu Liufang on beam and she looked steady, and quite composed excpet for one blowout on a leap series.


Anyone know what the deal is with Sui Lu these days?

Anyway, the competition gets underway in the next few days, so sit tight and wait for some (hopefully) stunning Chinese gymnastics.



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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

INSERT "SABRINA THE TEENAGE SOMETHING" JOKE HERE.........


Sabrina Gill has qualified first into the all-around competition of the Canadian Nationals.  She was followed by Briannah Tsang in second and Shae Zamardi in third.  Vaculik The Younger- Natalie came in foUrth.
Gill has also topped the beam and bars qualifications, while Tsang took vault (Yurchenko 1.5) and Bianca Jordaan took floor (full in, double full, 2.5).  No sign of Riley Cholod so she must still be injured.


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"FEASIBLE BUT DIFFICULT" or "LET THEM EAT CAKE!!"


You know what, I am all about there being more teams allowed into the Olympics.  Why not sixteen, FIG?  It is (somewhat unfortunately) the pinnacle competition of the sport, why not let more teams be involved?  These days, with the incredible predictability of outcomes, the team competition is one of the most interesting parts.  Sure, the top two spots were pretty much sewn up at Beijing- in fact they nearly always have been- but more teams means more participation and more surprises over who qualifies to the finals- which to me means more pleasure in watching the sport.

I say everyone should come to the party!

And here's another reason;

 The Online paper Globe Sports reported this week that the Canadian Women's Olympic aspirations have been thwarted by funding issues.  The "Own the Podium" sports funding program that had supported women's gymnastics to the sound of 500, 000 dollars dropped its funding after the results at Beijing were somewhat less than expected.  While the program continues to support men's gymnastics and trampolining, the women's program must find funding elsewhere. That is no easy ask for ANY gymnastics program.



Funnily, the women's program is the most popular of the gymsports in Canada and comprises, according to the article, 70% of the participation rates.  But the Own the Podium Program want more reason than that.  They want proof that the podium is a possibility, but this is difficult, as the article explains.

The women’s artistic gymnastics team is in a Catch-22, because of the nature of the sport. Own the Podium targets medal possibilities for the future, to be backed up with data from past successes. But the lifespan of a female gymnast is so short, histories can be non-existent. It’s easier for a male gymnast such as Kyle Shewfelt or a trampoline competitor such as Karen Cockburn, who stay in the sport longer
“It’s always a challenge with women’s gymnastics to predict the future, because we turn them around so fast in four years that the national team or the Olympic team changed completely,” Caron said. Women aren’t allowed to compete at world championships or Olympics until they are 16, but by the time they turn 20, physical changes or injuries catch up to them and they leave the sport. 



The Canadian women's team needs to produce top results, both at Kamloops this week, and also at World this year to be among the top 24 this year, and then in the top twelve next year in Tokyo to earn a team place to the Olympics (According to The Gym Examiner- the writer of the article told her that being in the top eight would make the program reconsider its funding pull).  With the steady competition between a number of top ten teams like Great Britain, Australia, Italy, France and Japan, this will be no mean feat.

Think, if teams like Canada, or even the smaller gymnastics nations, like Malaysia, Singapore, Portugal, South Africa got a chance to take a team to the Olympics, how much training and facility funding might improve in each nation to accommodate their chances of success?  I say, let them all eat cake!

Monday, May 24, 2010

WHAT DO YOU SUPPOSE HAPPENED HERE?


(Crap- my blog all of a sudden won't allow me to embed video- WTF?!- so if you want to see what i am talking about- CLICK HERE)

In 1985, at the World Championships, Chinese gymnast Huang Qun gave us a typically lovely Chinese beam rotuine in the AA competition, replete with fine form, generally great execution and scarily low landings, but what i am curious about, is exactly what went on at 1.35 after the second front aerial?  Did she forget her routine?  Did she change her mind about some sort of backward acrobatic element?  That is kind of what it looks like.  First she throws back her hands and sits as if she is about to back flip, but then goes into some curious aerobicize moves.  Hmm.

On aside, I heart me some sideways back flip.

(Yeah, this doesn't really work without the video.  Be a good couchy reader and do your homework- go watch it!)

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ITALIA!


Hiya all,

finally,there seems to be more gymnastics going on!  Blythe over at Examiner is liveblogging the Canadian Nationals if you want to know the scores. despite their not-so-great team showing after a week of highly impressive training at Pac Rims, I still have a whole lotta love for some of the Canadian individuals.  I particularly like DomPegg when she is 'on' and adore Vaculik's form.  I am also hoping Riley Cholod is back from her injury because she is a great little junior.

Meanwhile, last night, our indispensable Italian correspondant, Giulyx16 was kind enough to send me the results of the Italian Nationals.  I don't have much time, so I am going to give you only the top results.

Results m,ay have been affected by the absence of the injured Emily Armi and Paola Galante. but congratulations to Preziossa for taking the win.

All-Around results

1. Elisabetta Preziosa         55.100
2. Vanessa ferrari               54.800
3. Carlotta Ferlito              55.500
4. Francesca De Agostini   53.250  
5. Erika Fasana                    63.950
6. Eleanora Rando               52.050

Some old hands of the Italian brigade performed, like Frederica Macri and Francesca Benolli, but only on one or two events.



Here are the top event finalists;

Vault

1.Carlotta Ferlito  13.775
2. Erika Fasana      13.050
3. Frederica macri  12.888

Bars

1. Vanessa ferrari 14.350
2.  Erika Fasana    13.775
3. Eleanora Rando 13.550

Beam

1. Elizabetta Preziosa 14.825
2.Carlotta Ferlito        14.075
3.Erika Fasan               13.975

Floor

1. Vanessa ferrari              14.450
2.Frederica Macri             13.825
3. Francesca De Agostini 13.625



 Congratulations to Erika Fasana for making three of four finals!  To Vanessa Ferrari for clawing her way back to the top again.  To Preziosa for proving she is still a gorgeous beam worker and to Macri for proving what a vital event specialist she can be!


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Saturday, May 22, 2010

"I KNOW IT'S STUPID BUT I ALWAYS WEAR THE SAME KIND OF KNICKERS TO EVERY COMPETITION...."



One of my favorite things about all the gymnastics coverage on Youtube is the documentaries.  On the days when my bandwith is still good- I gobble up any new entries on the doco front. I'll even watch pieces that aren't in English sometimes, if it means getting a look inside a Chinese or Spanish gym.  The old Soviet ones are particularly incredible with their rare glimpses of those spectacular gymnasts doing the hard yards in those ramshackle old gyms.  I love the daily process of gymnastics- seeing how people train and are trained.  I like the personal stories, the overtly poignant shots of the little 'uns, the melodrama, and the fun.  I love it.

We tend to see a few of the Russian ones, some french docos and even a couple of Australian ones, but only recently did I find the British shows that are available on Youtube.  Two particular shows I thought were great were a TV program on gymnast Jennifer Pinches made back in 2005, called A Different Life- a show that clearly features children whose lives are somehow out of the ordinary, and another one on Annika Reeder from 1995-6, called the Olympic Diaries, which follows her in the period before the 1996 Olympics, her first Olympics.  Both are really interesting snapshots of two very different gymnasts in two very different periods for British gymnasts.

(Reeder)


Annika Reeder was a fiercely talented British gymnast from the nineties.  She snapped up a Commonwealth Gold medal on floor (as well as a team gold) at the tender age of fourteen, in 1994.  In her long and illustrious career she attended five World Championshsips and two Olympic Games.  The 2000 Olympic Games, which she attended as team captain was a disastrous time for Annika.  Though her biggest aim was to compete in the all-around final of an Olympic Games, her attempt was thwarted by the vault fiasco and an injury from crashing on the apparatus prevented her from finishing the Olympics.
Hailing from Essex, Annika had a move named after her in the Code of Points and was one of Britain's most successful gymnasts.  I believe she now coaches.

The Annika doco is quite interesting, though at times vaguely depressing, and narrated by that very British kind of voiceover guy.  It is fascinating hearing Anika talk about her school mates and their attitude towards her near the beginning, and particularly her confusion about wether to leave school and having to weigh the risks of losing her education vs possibly not making the Olympics.  It all seems quite  confusing for her.  Her facial expressions as she and her Mum go through GSCE applications are hilarious!
It's also sad that she gets lonely going to the Paris International.  I am sure she enjoyed the 2000 Olympics better when she got to travel with a team.

I love, too, when she performs her 'floor' for her Mum in the lounge room!

Top Quotes:

"I'm not Miss Brainy, I'm not meant to know everyfink!"

and

"There's no such thing as luck in leotards!"

(Pinches)

Jenny Pinches has been a noteworthy up and coming junior for the British team for some years now. She was the English junior champion in 2007 and was sent to Bejing as part of the "Ambition Delegation" of young athletes to experience the Olympics. She won uneven bars and came second on beam at last year's AYOF competition in Australia.  She was also training a standing full twisting tuck on beam last year.  She came second all-around at this year's British Championships in the junior division.  We still have her senior career to look forward to.
The Jennifer show is fun.  She's a real cutie and young and spontaneous.  She makes those hilariously obvious, but also very astute observations that only kids seem to make.

Top quotes:

"My favorite event is floor, because you can't hardly fall off the floor!

and

"Well done. Beth.  You did as well as you could possibly do!" (If she wasn't so darn sweet- you'd think it was a backhanded compliment!)

Jennifer is still young enough- and not media trained like a US gymnast- so hers is a refreshing, honest voice of a kid who still has bags of enthusiasm for the sport. It is hilarious watching her watch Beth Tweddle on bars too!

There is also a really fat, really cute cat! And her brothers are funny too. Well worth the watch.

I have linked to the docos first parts. Just click on their title above if you want to watch them and it will take you to Part 1 of each respectively. You can follow the links to the subsequent parts.




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Thursday, May 20, 2010

TWIDDLING THUMBS.......




Talk about a slow gym week.......

There is nothing going on. Nothing.  Nada! Zilch!

Thank crap the Canadian Nationals are on soon or we may all die of boredom.

Gymnastics Coaching has had a few tidbits, but he always does.

The kids over at IG forum are discussing such trivialities as (don't get offended- I LOVE trivialities) as hottest gymnast and arguing which was the best gymnastics shoe worn by an Olympian on beam between 1992 and 2004.  Okay, I was kidding about the last one.

Even the Gym Examiner has been quiet and she always finds the news.

I would have written but I had nothing to say.

Quick!  Nicolae Forminte!  Say something stupid!  We need you!

Actually, I don't believe having nothing to say has ever stopped me before- so why am I letting it stop me  now?

Okay, so here are the gymnastics related thoughts I had today.

A girl rode past me on her bike the other day while I was waiting at  an intersection and I thought, "Gosh she looks like Daniela Silivas!"  Then I thought how weird it is that I see people in life and think they look like these people I don't even know.  It's even weirder because it's not like if she looked like, say Angelina Jolie, and I could say to a friend, or even to her, "Hey she/you looks like Angelina Jolie!" and they'd know what I was talking about.  If i told someone they looked like Daniela Silivas they'd think I was a weirdo.

I had a moment of feeling very, very proud of Gabi Dragoi today.  I was thinking of her in the beam finals in Beijing.  I mean, I would have thought Nistor or Izbasa would have made beam finals, but there was little Gabi, all on her own, the lone Romanian- which in of itself was weird- and she performed really beautifully.  I would have expected a young 'un such as herself to fall apart, but she didn't.  She had no chance of medalling really, be she still did a gorgeous job.

Will I always like gymnastics?  When I am a little old lady, will I still be plugging away on the internet trying to find out who won what where and watching Youtube clips voraciously? Will I still be the Couch Gymnast?

I am completely in love with the fact that someone did a Pang PanPan montage to INXS.  It soothes both my love of The Pang and of eighties music!!

Who does the Gymnastics Results web page anyway?  That is the single most useful gym website fact-checking instrument ever!  But boy, what a job!  If I met them, I'd give them a standing ovation!!!

Okay, that's all!



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WORLDS WORST LEOTARD CONTEST (2.0) HEAT 2!


Silver Strumpet

This leo reminds me of that saying, "What if your knight in shining armor turns out to be just a #$%@head in tin foil?"


Velvet?  Velour? 
Whatever. Just make it stop, okay?



Quarter Sleeves?
Not even the Ukrainians were daft enough to don these and at least its their national colours!



Snake Eyes
Okay, I hope you guys can tell- because this was the best shot i could get- that the sleeves are snake print, and yes indeedy, that is in fact a snake crawling across her non-existent bosom- the significance of which I dare not guess!



Repeat Offender!
How can Diacci have such nice hair (bangs are great on her) and such infernal taste in leotards?





Splashtastic

At least Zammo likes it!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

SOMEONE, PLEASE.....

Tell me how to feel about this........


(Photo: B.Schwall)


I feel like I ought to hate it, but I think I kind of like it.  It's like the tango meets Batman!



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Monday, May 17, 2010

EVERYBODY LOVE A HAPPY SNAP....

A generous reader, Segault, sent me some of her happy snaps from the Euros and also from Visas last year.  Though you guys might like to see them, however belated they are!

"I gave my camera to the Ukrainian coach and his girls were happy to oblige; they really are a nice bunch of girls"


"The Russian juniors were delightful and always happy to smile for the cameras."



"You can't really tell, but Dufournet's eyes are actually filled with tears. her coach was trying to cheer her up after a dreadful performance that day. but she agreed to have her picture taken and posed for me like a pro (love the "gym fingers")"



"A lovely pic of a proud Romanian! ;) i heard she was training full-time and is ready to compete "


Ferrari was the only girl at the meet who refused to sign little girls' programmes and have her picture taken with fans. she disappointed many people all week long!



"The Romanians look crestfallen, and the Brits delighted! iIll let you guess when that pic was taken..."

Here are the VISAs pics...




Saturday, May 15, 2010

MOSCOW HAPPY-MAKERS!

I am sure by now you have all been informed of the scores and medal winners from the Moscow Stars competition in Russia this weekend so I won't go into details.  If you don't know- check out  the Gym Examiner's coverage.

So what is left to say, but to talk about the things that made Couchy happy?



Firstly, hats off to the vaulters.  I am really happy to hear Hong Un Jong stood up some spectacular vaults. Kudos to Oksana Chusovitna to maintaining her vaulting form- I still have huge issues with her bodily form in flight though- (but hell, you have to give it to her) to win the silver!

Nabieva's bars success was, perhaps, expected.  Cha Yong Hwa was another Worlds returner.  I loved her speedy, flashy bars work in London and I am glad she is still a presence among the top swingers.  It bodes well for Rotterdam this year.

The beam outcome had to be my favorite mixed bags of results, though.  Uzbekistani gymnast, Luisa Galiulina's beam win has been a long time coming.  She is innately graceful- but has yet to show how well she can put it all together. Un Hyang Kim delighted everyone at Worlds last year with her stunning beam work (and, much to my amusement, enraged Kathy Kelly by spraying the beam with water before chalking it.  "You can't do that!"  Kelly huffed and puffed.  Anyone'd thought the little Korean had smeared the beam with dog poop and set fire to it!) but landed just outside the medals.  I am of course delighted to see Ksenia Afanasyeva continuing her comeback with another great performance to tie for the bronze with...... Oksana Chusovitina!!!  Hearing that Oksy earned a bronze on beam makes me simultaneously amused, confused and like I can't wait to see the film evidence of our favorite senior citizen ripping out a medal-winning beam routine!



I have to say that a while ago, I really did not think much of Ramilya Musina.  I certainly did not think she would make the Euros team, but here she is, fresh from Euros and taking the silver on floor- which, I must admit, I thought was her strongest event.  The girl, I believe, does a double layout, and later, a couple of whips to double back pike, so it is safe to say her tumbling is up to scratch.....
It is also great news for Mayra Kroonen to eke out a medal winning performance on floor too, with her bronze.



I am also really pleased to see Jessica Lopez grab a medal.  She has been working so hard to stay in the mix through, and after her college career.  The fact that she and coach, Savage, bothered to strip back and address her in-built issues like her lack of spinal flexibility and her leaps at such a later date to give her a real chance at continuing her success is so, so admirable.  I am glad she has found some extra motivation in the form of some hardware.



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Thursday, May 13, 2010

SOMES RUSSIA-TASTIC NEW PHOTOS!!!



Gymbox has posted two new files with some stunning pictures of Anastasia Grishina and Viktoriya Komova in action at the European Championships.


Check them out HERE



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WHAT THE FIG SAYS.......


The FIG did some decision-making at an executive committee meeting in Chiba, in Japan, recently, including moving the rhythmic gymnastics to Wembley at London 2012, getting the World Cup organisers together to figure out 2011, moving the French World Championships (rhythmic, I guess) from one city to another and Russia, Belarus and Ukraine men into the Youth Olympic games this year as they couldn't go to the Europeans qualifier what with all the ash.

Two more interesting things;

The FIG have allowed the uneven bars to be raised by an extra 10 centimetres "on a needs basis" to "accommodate the height of certain female" gymnasts.

I bet Khorky would have been rapt if that had happened in her time.  Good news for the 'tall' gymnasts and the mat-scrapers everywhere!

The other is a new proposal to acknowledge national gymnastics federations that demonstrate "an outstanding attitude and/or making a significant contribution to the FIG as a whole". 

Hmm.  What kind of @#$-kissing is this going to involve?  And what, exactly, is the reward?  Hall monitor for next years worlds?  What exactly does exemplary conduct by a federation involve?  I am genuinely curious.

BTW, I know the World Championships are to be held in Japan next year- are they going to be in Chiba?  That seems to be where the majority of big gymnastics competitions are held- and its the one part of Tokyo I know!


******



TO BE FAIR........


I should post what Nicolae Forminte said to Prosport the next day to explain what seemed to be accusations he made about British gymnast Beth Tweddle.  It seems he was commenting on the British Gymnastics federation's anti-doping agencies as much as Tweddle.
(A reader has just sent me good translation of what Forminte said- so don't be surprised if it is different from what you saw earlier.  Thanks again, reader, babelfish is a beeyatch!)

"Forminte has confirmed that his comment concerning athlete Beth Tweddle was misunderstood. 'My comment on the gymnast Beth Tweddle was misunderstood. Every Federation is obliged to subject its athletes to doping tests three times a year. Medallists undergo compulsory drug testing, and in accordance with current legislation, any athlete can be tested any day, at any time of the day or night. Athletes have to announce in advance where they are. I would like to apologise to the gymnast Tweddle for the misunderstanding, to her and to her coach, and to assure them that I think highly of them. I always talk to people [directly] when I have something on my mind,' Forminte said."
Still, the point remains, why did he feel the need to bring this up at all?

Even if his intentions were misconstrued, I do believe that the smartest thing, unless you are genuinely, politically concerned enough to make your worries known about the health, safety or legality of another nation's gymnasts to make it public- which I also believe that Prosport is not the platform for- you should probably say nothing.

I mean seriously, if you are sincerely concerned, talk to the FIG, they have to be there for something, right?

 
 
 
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RACEA GIVEN MEDICAL ALL-CLEAR.......


The lastest bit of news from Romania is good, fortunately.  The medical 'problem' Amelia Racea had alluded to in her interview with Prosport after the post-Euros round of medical check-ups was a suspected heart problem. Forminte told Propsport that they had been keeping quiet about it until they knew more. 

Mariana Bitang, who has been very supportive over the years in helping gymnasts with their medical difficulties, got a consultation with one of Bucharest's best cardiologists for Racea.  After an exercise ECG and an ultrasound, the doctors advised that Racea could return to training and that it was merely some intestinal parasites that were causing issues.  Phew.

I am sure it was all a bit frightening for the young Amelia, and she is very glad it is over.

Also, intestinal parasites?- maybe that is why she is looking so incredibly skinny. I believe they can make you lose weight. I get that she is still pre-pubescent and probably naturally very thin- but a little bit more meat on her bones would be comforting.



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NICOLAE FORMINTE'S OUTSIZE CASE OF FOOT IN MOUTH DISEASE.......



Gawd- so according to one of my commenters, Nicolae Forminte did mean exactly what I thought he meant (don't know what I am raging about? See post below) in that Prosport article.

Wow.  I mean, aside for having no reason, or excuse to say such a thing about Tweddle in particular, I can't believe he was stupid enough to say such a thing.  Out loud.  But yes, our Nicolae was a big enough tool to say something so insanely stupid, and say it to the media at that.  I am flabbergasted  by this act of idiocy.

I don't get it.  Currently, in Australia, we had a local writer, a sort of comedian who was fired from the major daily newspaper for tweeting some pretty unsavory comments from the Logie Awards (our Emmys) last week.  The tweets she made were seriously unfunny and quite cruel.

 What I didn't understand about her, and what I don't understand about Nicolae's spurious allusions- (no not even spurious, they are sad-stupid-grasping-for-straws comments from a man searching desperately for an excuse why his young, inexperienced- as if that isn't enough of an excuse- gymnasts got beat by the British)  was how was he stupid enough to think saying something like that was a good idea?

I've always liked him, and maybe the intense pressure to do well is making him insane, but that is not a good enough excuse for making public, ungrounded accusations against another team's gymnast.  That's pure outright bad sportspersonship and I hope his girls don't learn from him in that regard.  Now I'm depressed.

(P.S- He did try and take it back HERE, but really, I am not sure what he meany there either!)



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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

AND IN A "WHAT THE?" MOMENT........


WTF? What precisely, is Nicolae Forminte trying to say here?  I don't know if it is the dodgy babelfish translation or if he is really saying what I think he is saying about Beth Tweddle?

"Beth Tweddle is a gymnast extraordindară that in 25 years still finds motivation in the gym. It's very good and very nice of them, than to go to clubs and discos. But, in ten when competing at the senior years, nobody has called her to a doping control. One day she will call and someone. One day perhaps we will learn about it, as I learned about the other athletes whom medals have been withdrawn, "said Forminte.

Huh?  Can someone- possibly a Romanian- shed some light on this?  If he is saying what I think he might be saying, then please, oh please tell me he has his tongue firmly in his cheek. Please do not tell me that Forminte is now engaging in an outsized act of sour SOUR GRAPES?  That'd hurt.


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AND THE ROMANIAN INJURY-APALOOZA CONTINUES....




It seems that an anlysis made by the National Center for Sports Medicine in Romania has revealed that Diana Chelaru is the only gymnast on the national team working at one hundred percent good health.  Now I know that most athletes are nearly always working on some injury or another, but that is a little depressing, especially in a country without optimum sports medicine treatment facilities.

The girls are, of course, still working out- including Ana Porgras who is working in a cast. According to the Prosport article should be mended within three weeks.  This is, Nicolae Forminte claims, due to the fact that cracks heal faster than ligaments and muscles.

Nicolae Forminte told Porsport that many of the Romanian team are very delicate, but that push for sucess cannot stop.  The girls who competed in Birmingham got a two week rest, but then have to get back to work. He also told them, which might be considered a response to much of the crticism of late, that pessimism and realism may be considered the same thing in Romania.

He has also told Prosport that he is confident that Sandra Izbasa will return to competition because she is so ambitious.

He also has a wee whine, saying that if the old code had been in play, that Romania would have been the winning team in Beijing.

Diana Chelaru told reporters that she wants "to be healthy, I want to work more."  It was her first medal and it seems it has left her wanting more.

Amelia Racea told the media that the doctors have discovered 'something' -but does not say what- wrong with her


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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

MOSCOW MAY HAVE SOME STARS THIS YEAR.....

Remember last year when there seemed to be a definite lack of stars at the Moscow World Stars tournament?  Well, this year is shaping up to be a whole lot better.
The Russians are using some of their best seniors this time, including Mustafina, Myzdrikova, Nabieva and Kurbatova.  Kurbatova and Myzdrikova were the only ones who were present last year and will be defending their vault and floor (respectively) titles. Neither Ksenia is going.
 Goryunova, who took the bars titles is nowehere to be seen these day what with her year-long suspension for banned substances.
There will be a few other world cup regulars, such as the Brazilians, who are bringing Franco and Leal, as well as another gymnast I don't know, Priscilla Domingues Cobella.  I love watching Leal on floor and still remember how sad my mother was wehen she didn't do as well on floor in a World Cup last year as she thought she should.  It was far too difficult to explain the complex relationship between difficulty and execution to make her understand why, but Leal was great.
Valeria Maksiuta will be there, who i always enjoy watching, as well as Mayra Kroonen from the Netherlands, Jessica Lopez of Venezuela, the whole band of Uzbekistanis including the lovely Luisa Galiulina while one of their coaches, Chusovitina will be competing for Germany.
 India are sending four athletes and the PRK three.
And, excitingly, there seems to be a gymnast from Georgia coming too- by the name of Ketevan Bolkvadze who competed in the 2008 Doha World Cup event.
Vault may be the most hotly contested event there. 
To see the entire roster, CLICK HERE


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BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR........




Sometimes you see it coming........



Sometimes, it sneaks right up on you.......





It is as old as gymnastics itself......



Sometimes you just have to stare grimly into the inevitable.....



Sometimes you even tell yourself you did something to deserve it......



And you just tell yourself to suck it up......



When you're young, sometimes you even think you want it......





That it could signal the beginning of something big.....



Because behind every great champion......




Old or new....




Is the claw of Karolyi.......





(This one goes out to MissJess! Enjoy!)





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