Wednesday, September 29, 2010

IF ALIYA IS FIFTEEN, AND THE COLLECTIVE AGE OF THE KOREANS ARE...

THEN HOW MANY ITALIANS WILL DO A PRESS OR PLANCHE MOUNT AT WORLD THIS YEAR?

"How many what?"


Does anyone want to be in charge of doing the Couch Gymnast Magazine quiz each month.  It is nearly always the straw that breaks this editor's back!!

Email me: listaday@gmail.com

LET'S PLAY A LITTLE GAME!



It's called where's Nicolae?

I know!  I know !  Ooh pick me!  Yes!  Me!  I know!
Apparently some rather  lovely Italian folk have offered Nicolae Forminte a casual job in Italy- in Cesena.  This is not, however, a permanent move it seems, from the rather dodgy (as usual) translation.  Rather, he continues work in Constanta and will accompany it by commuting and working in Italy as well when asked. From the sounds of it, the work involve selecting young students.

"I have a business advice coaches from all clubs in the region of Emilia Romagna. Whenever I go there I will ask will be a regular shift, I will not stay there," he said. Moreover, it will run in parallel and activity Farul Constanţa Sports Club coach.

""I will start again in Constanta with the selection of kindergartens, schools, preparation, there are things we've done so many times," he explains. This is the second international experience technician in Constanta, which ten years ago has led to a period of three months in Bangladesh.





ROTTERDAM WISHLIST #3

(From British Gymnastics)


Great Britain......

Remember in Beijing, when Great Britain, although they had some fabulous gymnasts, were looking distressingly borderline?
Remember when, despite having stand outs like the phenomenal Beth Tweddle, the new all-around talent of Becky Downie, the leg strength of Marissa King, the steadiness of Imogen Cairns and Becky Wing and the delightful new talent that was Hannah Whelan, the girls just could not cut it at qualifications, and found themselves in that awful ninth position?

Something has changed for Great Britain over the past two years.

Three of those girls from Beijing are headed for Rotterdam this year, still the shining lights of their team.  In fact, many of those girls are still around, competing either at Worlds or at the Comm Games this month, bringing those competitive experiences with them.

 But whether it is the injection of new talents like Danusia Francis, Nicole Hibbert, Niamh Rippin and Jenny Pinches, or the growing consistency of Becky Downie paired with the incredible maturity of Beth Tweddle, or just incredibly good timing, things seem to be coming together for the Brits.
 
It was strange and delightful to see the Great Britain Team celebrating wildly in Birmingham as the Romanians walked away, somewhat baffled, and saddened, but GBR had put in a great performance and deserved their spot on the podium.

Now that the nation can boast a second place team finish behind Russia at a European Championships, I would like to see this team kick butt in Rotterdam.  No, I am not expecting a podium finish, and it will be quite the challenge to defeat this new version of the Romanian team again- but I do hope for a good result.
I am thinking- at least hoping- top five.  That, I believe, could be possible.

(Also, look out for an interview with Danusia Francis about her team in the team special in this months TCG Magazine- out in a couple of days!)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

REMEMBER WHEN?

I had forgotten about this.  She was sooo little (and so scared) back then.
Something tells me she won't need Nadia this year!
If this tumultuous year hasn't given her #$%^& of steel, Mariana Bitang will.....



Or HERE

ROTTERDAM WISH LIST #2



The comeback of Lauren Mitchell.

To win a major medal on beam was always a possibility for Mitchell.  She possesses a natural talent for the apparatus.  The fact that it was a silver and that  it happened at a World Championships was just magical.  To win another on floor?  Well, it felt like Christmas when Mitchell was rewarded for her clean execution, interesting choreography and difficult tumbling with yet another podium spot.

As an Australian, I know just how much Lauren Mitchell's two silver medals were worth for her, and for gymnastics in Australia.  For Lauren, of course, it is the deep sense of personal gratification and happiness.  For Gymnastics Australia, it is proof that we can produce world class gymnasts, despite a troubled, injured four or five years.
For little Australians, it is inspiration to do the sport, and to become great at it.

It is truly sad that we have barely laid eyes on Lozza since London last year.  A couple of injuries have halted her training and put her out of the Pacific Rim International earlier this year.  In this sense we have no idea how she is or where she is in her gymnastics.

According to her team mate, Georgia Bonora, she is always the hard worker in the gym, serious when seriousness is due.  If anyone can come back from a rough year, it is Lauren Mitchell.

Perhaps the competition is much steeper this year, and perhaps Lauren may not be a prepared as she was last year, but a great return performance from her is on my wish list for this year.  Just to see her out there will be enough!

SAY IT AIN'T SO...OKAY, IT AIN'T SO!!

Yes, that's right.  We live to see the finger guns another day!


So, news from the Anna Pavlova Online, the fabulous website dedicated to all things Pavs, is that all that ballyhoo about Pavs retiring?
Well, apparently it is not true.  It was some sort of miscommunication between a reporter and Anna's mama, Natalya.
Apparently Anna was thinking about letting go of gymnastics, but has decided against it, especially after her recent results.
From Anna Pavlova Online;

Anna asked me directly to let all of her fans know that she DOES NOT PLAN ON RETIRING. When Anna does retire, she intends to let her fans know directly right through this website. Until we report her retirement, then it's not official from Anna Pavlova.

A BRIEF REMINDER!!!



By the way guys, before anyone starts throwing up their hands in confusion, or chiding me, I am aware, and hope you are aware that these are NOMINATIVE entries listed below for the World Championships. These are not necessary the final entries, but what the nations have offered thus far.  Entries can change and probably will.



NOMINATIVE TEAMS ITALY AND SPAIN.....





According to Elaine at IG


Italy: Vanessa Ferrari, Lia Parolari, Serena Licchetta, Elisabetta Preziosa, Jessica Mattoni, Eleonora Rando.

-- Spain: Ana Maria Izurieta, Elena Zaldivar, Claudia Vila, Ainhoa Carmona, Cintia Rodriguez, Cristiana Mironescu and Sara Cuso (reserve).
No reserve for the Italians?

MORE NOMINATIVE TEAMS...



Here are some more teams for Worlds according to Elaine at IG
Team Russia:  
Ksenia Afanasyeva, Ksenia Semyonova, Tatiana Nabieva, Aliya Mustafina, Anna Myzdrikova, Ekaterina Kurbatova and Anna Dementieva (reserve).


Team China: 
Sui Lu, Huang Qiushuang, Deng Linlin, Jiang Yuyuan, He Kexin, Yang Yilin and Wu Liufang (reserve).

Team Japan:Koko Tsurumi, Yuko Shintake, Rie Tanaka, Mai Yamagishi, Momoko Ozawa, Kyoko Oshima and Akiko Sato (reserve).
Team North Korea:
Hong Un-jong, Hong Su-jong, Kim Un-hyang, Kang Yong-mi. No mention of the lovely Ms Cha. For those of you who have shown an interest in the Hong sisters' dates of birth, they are listed as having the same birth dates, so yes, they're officially twins.

Team Ukraine:
Yana Demyanchuk, Alina Fomenko, Angelina Kysla, Yevzhenya Cherniy, Valentina Holenkova, Anastasia Koval and Alyona Kaidalova (reserve). No mention of Daria Zgoba.

Team Belarus:
Alina Sotnikava, Nadezhda Visotskaya, Liliya Khaan, Anastasia Marachkouskaya, Volha Makhautsova, Yevzhenya Zaitseva, no reserve.

According to Elaine, some other nations have withdrawn, or decided to bring less gymnasts, so the draw may need to be changed!

Monday, September 27, 2010

NOMINATIVE TEAM ROMANIA...



Again, according to Elaine at IG Forum, here is the Romanian Team

Team Romania: 
Sandra Izbasa, Ana Porgras, Diana Chelaru, Raluca Haidu, Cerasela Patrascu, Gabriela Dragoi and Amelia Racea (reserve).
Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw Amelia Racea is reserve!!! Is she hurt?  Did her balk in Ghent have something to do with it? Surely not- not compared to Haidu's many freak-outs this year?
Thta, however, puts Dragoi and Patrascu, the old ladies, on the actual team!

A NOMINATIVE TEAM USA.....

nO cASSIE SO FAR?


According to Elaine over at the IG forum, the nominative entries are out.



Team USA as currently listed by USAG:Rebecca Bross, Mackenzie Caquatto, Alicia Sacramone, Kytra Hunter, Mattie Larson, Alexandra Raisman and Samantha Shapiro (reserve). Note: no mention of Bridget Sloan. Guess those injuries were more serious than we were led to believe.



So, no Sloan for the US so far?  I had a feeling we might not see her what with the injuries.  But no Whitcomb on this list- or Chelsea Davis?  
Interesting to see Kytra Hunter is named to the team.  She has the skills, but who knew if she would get away with her presentation.
This is an interesting team.  Not the most experienced or calm or consistent one, that is for sure.
But, as ever, the team is never fully picked until Marta is on the plane.







NO MEDIA FOR AUSSIE GYMNASTS?

Back in the day when the press could talk to them!


It seems security is mighty tight in Delhi!
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Aussie gymnastics girls didn't get any kind of meet and greet with the media, as planned and expected!

With officials aiming to tighten security as Sunday's opening ceremony approaches, Australia's gymnastics team was strangely denied a chance to speak to the press after touching down at Delhi's Indira Gandhi airport late on Monday.
Despite having waited almost three hours for a delayed flight to speak to gold medal hope Lauren Mitchell, Australian media people were told by police shortly before the arrival they would not be able to ask any questions.

"You will not speak to them, you will never speak to them," one inspector told bemused reporters.

Despite the protests of Australian officials, the gymnasts were ordered straight to their waiting bus and were allowed only to wave and smile at the cameras. 
Apparently it's not just the gymnasts, but all the athletes who are being kept under wraps. But boo.  I wanted to know who slept through the whole trip and who kept asking for more peanuts! 

SHE'S BACK!!!



Wow.  The All-Around Gymnastics News just announced that Greece has named its Worlds Team, and who is still on it?  Stefani Bismpikou! That gorgeous little dred-locked beam worker is back for some more!
I though she was gone for good!

Well, now I am definitely happy I spent all those years learning to spell her name.  I thought now it was just all about trying to remember how many and where to put the 'L's in Vasiliki Milousi's name!!!

Okay, this is a rough Babelfish translation (as Google Chrome seems to have stopped making kind offers to translate everything) of what someone high up had to say about Stefani's return;

“The last months Stefani has made enormous effort in order to it comes back and it anticipates world. In the fight of adjustment that we gave passed Friday, in the frame of our preparation in Thessalonica, very her good appearance was the most pleasant fact. We would want it existed additional months front us, so that it reaches in the ideal level of readiness. Always, however, it is a athlete capable for better and her help she will be precious for the team”.
This is great news for Stefani and for Greece, who need some seniors to lead them. Over the years Stefani has won several World Cup medals and was Greece's first Europeans Gymnastics Championships medalist, when she took bronze on beam- her pet event- in 2007 at home.
Here is her performance; She was a very light and pretty beam worker.


Or HERE

ROM-SUI-GER MEET VIDEOS.....




Want to see videos of Romania at last weekend's tri-meet with Germany and Switzerland?  Bea over at Gymnastics No Ceiling has the links to the goods!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

ROTTERDAM 2010 WISH LIST #1

Wish: Jessica Lopez makes it into the AA and uneven bars finals this year.



Jessica Lopez is one of the hardest working gymnasts in the business.  She does not have the perfect gymnastics physique, struggling with flexibility issues- particularly in her back- but she has worked so hard to overcome this.  She and Nilson Savage were already working incredibly hard before London Worlds to improve these issues.  They managed to loosen her up enough to perform some impressive moves on beam, which she hadn't been able to do in the past.  They also amped her difficulty in the hope of her making AA and EFs in London, but a rough qualification round put it out of the question.  It was sad to see after such terrific preparation.

Now, they are back at it again, working hard to make her as competitive as she can possible be- at the age of 24!  Jessica is a gifted bar worker, with a fabulous swing and a good tight body position.  Her pirouette work is exemplary and she can shine here if it all comes together.  She also, however has the AA goods to grab a place in the finals if she can pull off a good qualification round.

Here she is on bars in Ghent. You can see she has that kind kind of athletic 'pushy' swing that Rebecca Bross uses. She is blessed with a better leg line though.  The swing 'up' and the leg form on her dismount is just stunning too.  Her big issue is going to be that dead hang in transition.


Or HERE

It is always fantastic to see a gymnasts from a nation not known for its gymnastics to excel.  It is also amazing to be able watch so much growth, change and improvement throughout a long career.  This is why Jessica Lopez is the first for my wish list for Rotterdam this year!

HO HUM!

Further proof that Sacramone is no sheep- and she don't want their wool either.


It's hard to believe it is so close to worlds, yet there is nothing much going on.  The Commonwealth Games kids are en route or in Delhi and everyone else is basically locked up in the training halls getting ready for worlds methinks.
This must mean it is time to kick off my Pre-Worlds List for the year.  All the stuff I am looking forward to at Worlds!  Otherwise, I may die of boredom!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

NEWS ON ROM-GER-SUI MATCH

Ana Porgras- Prosport


Romania has won the the friendly meet against Germany and Switzerland -by a US-like country mile!

The team scores were,

Romania 229.550
Germany 214.400
Switzerland 210.300

The gap between Germany and Romania is not all that surprising, considering that the German situation is pretty dire at the moment.  Despite the talented Elisabeth Seitz, and the ever-inspiring presence of Oksana Chusovitina on their Worlds team, the German team has little depth and not much difficulty to boast at the moment, unfortunately.  It is hard to say if it is due to the injuries (Bui and Hindermann are two- and Pia Tolle also wasn't taken because of elbow issues) or if the German team needs some re-hauling at the moment.
The German girls had a terrible bars rotation, apparently, but did decent beam.  Elisabeth seitz rocked her new DTY on vault.
Here is how they fared in the AA;

6. Elisabeth Seitz 54.30 points
7. Lisa-Katharina Hill 53.25 points
8. Giulia Hindermann 51.60 points
11. Joeline Möbius 50.65 points
12. Meike Fernbach 50.15 points
16. Oksana Chusovitina 29.20 points

In Romanian news, little Miss Pitic managed to redeem herself by placing second in the AA behind Porgy.

Ana Porgras 58.200
Raluca Haidu 57.400
Diana Chelaru 57.05

Now it is looking like Diana Chelaru is lapsing a little.  She was looking so impressive for a while there.
Octavian Belu said this to the Romanian Gymnastics Federation;

"It was a friendly competition, then we can not draw many conclusions yet. However, I noticed that girls have won the Chapters ability and scale, and I refer especially to Ana Porgras, Diana Chelaru and Sandra Izbasa. At the same time, it was found that, although there have been failures, things are still rosy. Obviously, in terms of competition here - for example, the mass was less jumping performance - mistakes are excusable, but we have to take into account that the arbitration code standards are rigorous and very high everywhere. It should be borne in mind that those errors have been related to the smoothness of execution: position angle of the body and others.However, the notes here may be a milestone, but not significant. Important is also that the girls have finished the competition in perfect health condition, and that generally we are more clear on where they can do something. In conclusion, we took part in a competitive manner, which will give us some benchmarks, but in our view, we know very well t

Ariella Kaeslin was, as usual, the top of the Swiss, taking fourth place.  Kaeslin is still, apparently battling her 'mystery illness' which I believe hasn't yet been diagnosed.

Friday, September 24, 2010

RUSSIANS WORLDS TEAM ANNOUNCED!



According to Aliya Mustafina Online, the team for Russia has been selected.

Aliya Mustafina
Anna Dementieva
Ekaterina Kurbatova
Anna Myzdrikova
Tatiana Nabieva
Ksenia Afanasyeva
Ksenia Semenova


No Pavs.  Poo.

Who do we suppose is the alternate?  I thought Myzdrikova or Kurbatova?  But Semy is named last.  Does this mean anything?
In answer to my question,  Aliya Mustafina Online announced that there would be another competition, the Dynamo Cup in Penza, against other post-Soviet nations.  Here, the line up will be determined, including who will be reserve.




Da Da Da Dum!!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

AH ARGENTINA!!

Argentina- Marca Deportiva


More Worlds News.
This will be the team for Argentina at Worlds next month;

Ayelén Tarabini
Lucila Estarli
Aldana Carraro 
Delfina Ortuño


Ayelen Tarabini is Argentina star gymnasts and she has won many medals for her country.  My friend Ana, who write the wonderful, informative Aregentinan Gymnastics website, Juguemos com la Gimnasia, sent me this video where Ayelen won a bronze medal on vault.  She has great form and great flight.



Or HERE


Argentina came 8th as a team at the Pan-American Trials this month. Ayelen finished 17th.

THE TWED HATH SPOKE

"Hey Tweds, I heard Jenni Pinches has decided to retire and
become a go go dancer.  How does her mother feel
about it?"


The English gymnastics press seem not to have heard of any other gymnast other than Beth Tweddle.  So, according to an article in Sporting Life, she, who is not even on the Commonwealth Games team, isn't worried about all the bad press about the Delhi situation!

She said: "As an individual, it's really disappointing that I'm not going to the Commonwealth Games but it's great we've got the strength to be able to send teams to both competitions.
"I know the girls are still 100% focused on going and they're really excited about it. I don't think they have seen a lot of what's been on the news and they have just got their kit so they're so excited.
"At the end of the day you have to trust the Team England management and they're not going to send athletes somewhere unless they're confident it's safe and the facilities are adequate.
"Before every Olympic Games there's always threats and security risks wherever it is."
Poor Beth.  If Marissa King sprains an ankle, they'll probably ring Beth to ask how she is!  Glad to hear the girls are off to India, though, and not freaking out.

SCAM NO LONGER?




I love this news about the American Cup being an FIG World Cup event now (via Gymnastics Coaching.  I love that it is going to be an AA World Cup event too- so that the US can still make sure their all-arounders are as competitive as possible.  But it will be so much more fun now that anyone can come to the party!  They can, right?
Besides, I think the American public will get just as big a kick out of seeing a high-quality international field attend as they would seeing the US girls dominate.
And for us, it means an actual exciting meet in March, that sad time when college gym is over, and the elite season isn't quite upon us......now we have something FUN!

TEAM ROMANIA!

The Romanian Worlds Team has been announced.....!







Sandra Izbasa
Ana Porgras
Dianan Chelaru
Raluca Haidu
Ceresela Patrascu
Gabriela Dragoi
Amelia Racea

Yay for Little Pitic for making it.  She was looking a little shaky there.
So too is it good news for Patrascu and Dragoi who have made wonderful comeback.  My money is on Patrascu for quals and Dragoi as a reserve.  Patrascu has bars and has been doing better than Gabi on beam.  That said, they still have one more meet to knock out of the way first.  Pitic still might have to prove herself too....
It has been said, in Prosport that changes may be made, depending on performance at the tri-meet.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

OVERNIGHT NEWSLETTER....

It's that time of the year again.  I go to sleep at a relatively normal (Australian time).  I wake up.  I get to my office and get on the Internet and a world of gymnastics news has arisen in those awake parts of the world.
So, here's a summary;

Sandra Izbasa- Prosport


Prosport reports on the upcoming tri-meet between Germany, Switzerland and Romania this weekend.  The WAG team and has been named, the obvious exception being Amelia Racea.

Sandra Izbasa, Ana Porgras Diana Chelaru, Gabriela Dragoi, Haidu and Cerasela Raluca Patrascu. Coach: Octavian Belu, Lucian Sandu Liliana Cosma, Marius Vintila.
This probably isn't anything to worry about- but merely a rest for Amelia, or perhaps it is thought that she is needed back in the gym working more?  As Bea over at Gymnastics No Ceiling noted, she is staying back with Mariana Bitang- that probably just equals more balance beam practice!

I truly do hope Romania can get two girls into beam EFs.  Then, if the Russians take the team gold, it will be like a giant big gymnastics flashback!

In Canadian News;

Peng Peng Lee


On the Canadian front, Gymn.ca, the precious resource for all things Canadian  in gymnastics;
Peng Peng Lee may be back!  I was beginning to think this little wunderkind was never coming back!  Doubtless she won't be the same tiny trickster we remember, but it is a delightful piece of news that we can welcome her back

Christine Lee is aiming for a berth on the 2011 World Championships team, coach Kelly Manjak revealed in today's CBC broadcast from Oakville Gymnastics. 
Lee previously trained at the now-closed Sport Seneca, and under their guidance competed for Canada at the 2007 Pan Am Games (3rd T, 5th AA, 8th BB, 4th FX). A back injury kept her out of competition for approximately two years, whereupon she resumed gymnastics at Oakville Gymnastics. 
We should be seeing her back next year, according to Gymnastic Coaching.

In USA Gymnastics musings.....
Chelsea and Kim- Dallas News


I haven't even spoken much about the US training camp, mainly because I don't have time to trawl for gossip. But I did hear that Chelsea Davis did very well while there.  Chelsea is one gymnasts I have always really, really liked and I would be so excited to see her on this team.  I first really noticed her when Gymnastike did an interview with her a Texas Dreams not long after Gymnastike first started up.  I thought Chelsea was funny and a far more interesting interview subject than most kids her age, which helped her cause for me no end.  She has also had a really rough run the last couple of years (duh) and I intensely admire the way she has return, and how innovative they have been to design routines around her back problems.

I am trying not to get too excited though, as I know she doesn't score excessively highly in anything.  I am truly hoping, however, that her wonderful execution counts for something......but I know it's an outside shot.

In Brazilian news....

Bruna Leal


Blythe over at The Gymnastics Examiner has mentioned the names of the Brazilian Worlds team. They are;

Jade Barbosa, Daniele Hypolito, Bruna Leal, Priscilla Cobello, Ethiene Franco, Adrianand Gabriela Gomes Soares.
 This has to be one of the longest-lived gymnastics team around!  It feels like most of these girls have been around for ages!

In Commonwealth Games news....

Imogen Cairns


The Deccan Chronicle this week reported that gymnastics is considered the most glamorous sport in the Commonwealth Games.... after swimming.  Hmm.
On a more interesting note, it also spoke a little about how Australia is trying to top Canada this year in their overall medal lead of two medals.  Gymnastics is one of the places where this can be achieved, as there are a lot of medals at stake.  Another team to watch out for, of course is Great Britian.  The artilce also mention the return of Great Britain's Imogen Cairns;

Britain’s Imogen Cairns, who will be defending her vault title, is making a remarkable comeback from a severe foot injury. Cairns was injured soon after her Olympics debut in Beijing two years ago, when she damaged her limbs during a floor exercise.
Cairns, who won gold and silver at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, has had two operations followed by six months on crutches and only returned to impact training at the turn of the year having suffered injury in her first competition after the Olympics. However, she seems to be fit and raring to go as she joins 10 artistic and three rhythmic gymnasts in Delhi next month.

 This all, of course, depends on whether Delhi can get it together for the Games.  The village is apparently in a bad state, a footbridge has fallen, hurting many workers and some of the venues are said to not have been cleared for safety.  Let's hope there is a competition at all!



Sunday, September 19, 2010

FINALLY...WE HAVE IT...

TEAM AUSTRALIA!!!




Georgia Bonora
Ashleigh Brennan
Emily Little (Spirit / WAIS)
Larissa Miller
Lauren Mitchell (College Park / WAIS)
Georgia Simpson (NDGC / WAIS)
Georgia Wheeler

Emma Dennis is the non-travelling reserve!


Coaches


Michelle DeHighden
John Hart

Tracey Penaluna


HOW TO OBFUSCATE ON BALANCE BEAM.....

.....with Ksenia Afanasyeva.



I just realised one of the things I have never been able to put my finger on about Ksenia Afanasyeva's greatness. Clearly, I have been espousing her greatness for a very long time.  But I often wonder exactly why- especially considering I really don't like her floor routine.  In fact, I loathe the music, and although she has stunning body positions and very pretty arms, I think she dances as blank-facedly as Amelia Racea.  This makes me especially cross when a routine has so much potential. Sometimes she just looks like she is going through the motions, even when she is performing very well.
From her behaviour at competitions I get the feeling she is intensely shy outside of her gaggle of Russkie girly cohorts- although she seemed quite sweet at Pac Rims. Though charming, this reticence doesn't do much for her floor work.

But the other thing I realised about her today, is why she gets away with little mess ups on beam while still looking fabulous.  Her arms are sooo lovely, that often, even when she stuffs up a move from the waist down- everything above looks perfect.  You don't always see the balance checks at shoulder height.  That is quite a good skill to have.  It is quite amusing and...best of all, illusory!

EXHIBIT A


OR HERE

Also, what are the names of the two short-haired Russian lady coaches?  I know NOTHING NADA ZILCH about them, except they are always there, nearly always expressionless.  I don't know what they do, why they are there (as in specialty) and which is which!  This seems strange.  I should know this.

WHAT'S TAKING SO LONG?

The injured Miss Mary-Anne Monckton, who announced on FB that she
is off to see the surgeon today.  Let's hope she mends quickly and well!


Huh, Gymnastics Australia?! Huh? Did you have a big weekend?  Knock back a few too many brews watching the football on the weekend and forget you were supposed to tell us WHO YOU HAVE SELECTED FOR THE AUSTRALIAN WORLDS TEAM? Did your alarm not go off?  Did the car break down on the way to GA?  Are you nursing a hangover the size of WOGA?
No, no, that's fine.  It is totally okay.  We don't mind waiting.  You take your time- in fact, pop in to Gloria Jean's for a coffee before you do. Grab a croissant too  We'll wait.

****

KHORKINA MUCH?!

Thank you to the commenter who pointed me in the direction of Cintia Rodriguez- another intriguing Spanish gymnast. Cintia is certainly a tall drink of water and very Khorkina-esque in her expressiveness and poise.  She is also incredibly thin, which reminds me of Khorkina and has the awkward leg form when her legs are bent that Khorky had. But again, like Khorkina, when those pins are extended, or showing off their flexibility, they are almost balletic.
Rodriguez's floor is a breath of fresh air among some largely uninspiring Spanish (and world) floor routines.  The interesting- even quite kooky- choreography, paired with her natural elegance and flair for movement does a fascinating floor exercise make!
Watch and behold some actually interesting floor moves- she even gets all Kate Richardson/Bruin chorey at one point!


Or HERE

WHILE I WAS SLEEPING....

Remember when Patrascu was as little as Haidu!?
www.gymbox.net


The Romanian had their event finals.  Here is what happened;

Vault
1. Sandra Izbasa
2. Raluca Haidu
3. Cerasela Patrascu

The big question here is, where on earth is Diana Chelaru? She should be taking vault here- or at least placing.  I hope she isn't getting inconsistent all over again.  She seemed to improve hugely this last year- year-and-a-half....
It is wonderful to see Ceresela Patrascu in here and Raluca Haidu.  Haidu is still running a risk of not being taken to Rotterdam the way she is going, unfortunately.  I wonder if it is all nerves?  Or is she still injured?

Bars
1. Amelia Racea
2.Cerasela Patrascu
3.Dana Andrei

Apparently Ana Porgras fell twice, which explains why she isn't in here. According to FanGymnastics she told the TV crew;
I’m glad I managed to overcome the mistakes from the uneven bars: just one moment in which I didn’t pay enough attention made me miss the  whole routine. But we have to go on. 
 Again, Cerasela Patrascu showing why she could be a valuable World Team member. Here is her bars- although it is from the AA- as I haven't found one yet of EFs.


Or HERE

Beam
1. Ana Porgras
2. Sandra Izbasa
3. Gabi Dragoi

Of course, here the stand out but of gladness is about Gabi Dragoi showing she still has 'it' on beam- if 'it' is a calm, even, a relatively mistake-free exercise.  Is it enough?  I have no idea. Here is her beam set;


Or HERE

She looked quite good until her dismount, where her legs went all Bruin. She also paused for an inordinately long time.

Floor
1. Sandra izbasa
2. Ana Porgras
3. Diana Chelaru

Izbasa takes it.  Now we truly know that Izbasa is back and ready, placing on every event she entered.  That's how we like to see it.  Glad to see Chelaru redeem herself here too.