Looking Back: Best Competitions of 2015

11:43 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Farah Ann Abdul Hadi (MAS)

The pre-Olympic year proved to be just as exciting as we had hoped, if not more exciting. We had a good group of new seniors that challenged national team members and pushed their respective countries to new heights. We had quite a few comebacks from 2012 Olympians Gabrielle Douglas and Aly Raisman to Catalina Ponor. We had shocks like no other in Romania failing to automatically qualify to Rio and the four-way tie for gold on uneven bars. We also had the rise of new "it" gymnasts in Manrique Larduet and the Dutch WAG team in general. What an exciting year! Here are a few of my favorite competitions below. Don't worry. Worlds will get it's own post.

CANADA WINTER GAMES
Starting the season off, we had the Canada Winter Games with excellent live coverage. the exciting thing was that, again, juniors were not separated from seniors. We got to see the dominance of Canada's (hopeful) new stars for 2016 - Rose-Kaying Woo, Megan Roberts, and Shallon Olsen. These three have been on the watch list for quite some time and this only confirmed their reason for being on it. All 3 gymnasts showed double twisting Yurchenko vaults at this competition. This is exciting for Canada, a top 8 nation despite not having the most difficult vaults. These 3 are in a race against each other and also the current seniors for a place on the Rio Olympic team and the battle started early in the year.



Also, please humor me and watch this routine. I have had it saved in my watch later since February waiting for the appropriate time to share it with you guys. A young gymnast from British Columbia, Ilka Juk has some impressive difficulty and amazing flexibility!



JESOLO
The annual competition in Italy took place in March and marked the comeback of Aly Raisman and Gabrielle Douglas. It also marked the international debut for some of the new seniors, including the USA's Bailie Key who was anticipated to have a solid 2015. Gymnastics seems to be growing in popularity in Italy and makes for a fun and exciting meet. Raisman and Douglas had successful returns to competition.





SOUTHEAST ASIAN GAMES/EUROPEAN GAMES
June was a fun month (for me) because of both the Southeast Asian Games and the European Games. Both Games had excellent competition along with excellent coverage. European Games had live streams of every event and was an overall excellent production. SEA Games, honestly, I can't remember if they had live coverage but they had an amazing archived feed. They had each event final MAG and WAG. For the individual event finals, they alternated MAG and WAG so you got to see full routines of each with slow motion and scores. It. Was. Amazing. It's still archived now if you check Sport Singapore on YouTube.

Farah Ann Abdul Hadi, a rising star from Malaysia, had an amazing competition. She helped her team to the gold medal and earned her own silver in the all around. The competition continued with multiple medals but Abdul Hadi broke down when she realized she won the gold on floor exercise the final day of competition. She faced a lot of criticism following the competition that as a Muslim gymnast, her leotard was too revealing, but she stayed calm and handled the harsh words with clenched jaw and a smile. Abdul Hadi went on to compete well at worlds and earn herself a spot at the Test Event.

The format of the European Games was of question but with the debut of the competition, I think it worked for the best. European countries were able to send 3 of their top gymnasts as an extra trials for Worlds. It was an international competition with good competitors (Steingruber, Mustafina). It served as an international AA comeback for Viktoria Komova and also served as the "coming out party" for Lieke Wevers. For all the fear we had at the onset of the competition, it ended up being an excellent competition added to the calendar.

PAN AMERICAN GAMES
The Pan American Games proved to be an exciting competition, especially on the men's side. Manrique Larduet, who has been making a name for himself for the last few years, finally made it into the spotlight when he and American Sam Mikulak were battling for the all around title. Mikulak ultimately won that battle but Larduet left the Games with gold on vault, silver on parallel bars and in the all around, and bronze on rings.

In the rhythmic world, this is also where American Laura Zeng started to stake her claim on the international scene. Both Larduet and Zeng went on to have success at their respective World Championships. In addition, Ellie Black was the star of the Games as she won 5 medals at the Pan American Games in her native country.




US DOMESTIC SEASON
The US domestic season, as always, proved to be very exciting. Biles asserted her dominance from the start but all around gymnasts 2-5 was up in the air for each day of competition. Rising star Nichols, Olympians Douglas and Raisman, and first year senior Key proved to have an ongoing competition amongst themselves. In addition, we had the question of who this 6th Worlds team member would be - Kocian vs Locklear, Skinner,  could Gowey factor in, where is Brenna on UB,  would Baumann be useful, and so on and so forth. We all know how it ended but it was still exciting nonetheless.

On the junior end, we had the very exciting competition between Hernandez and Foberg that came down to the very last event. Ragan Smith continued to assert herself as a junior to watch in the leadup to Rio. Then we had a few new junior stars in Gabby Perea and Alyona Shchennikova with their impressive uneven bar routines.





A World Championships post is on the way!

What were your favorite competitions of 2015?

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Looking Back: New Seniors of 2015

1:21 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments


Tutya Yilmaz 
Photo Credit: fanatik.com.tr

When I asked the gymternet who had the most successful senior debut, the answers were Fan Yilin, Ellie Downie, Flavia Saraiva, Sae Miyakawa. 2015 served as an interesting year since many of these gymnasts were also the competitors at the Youth Olympic Games. Some were hailed as "the next big thing" and this was the year that monicker was to come to fruition. You can find the list of seniors at the bottom.

Ellie Downie is certainly one of those athletes for which this came true. She had a stellar senior debut, to the point where I forgot this was her first year as a senior by the end of the World Championships. Early on in 2015, Downie was named to Great Britain's team for the 2015 European Championships. She had an amazing meet where she finished 3rd in the all around, a first medal for team Great Britain. Downie also qualified for the vault final as well as the uneven bar final alongside older sister Becky Downie. The success continued after Downie was named to the World Championship team. Downie did not qualify to the all around final due to a fall on bars and again had an error when competing uneven bars in the team final. However, it was Downie's solid DTY that sealed the deal for Team GB as they placed 3rd in the team final. Their first team medal at a World Championships. Downie went on to qualify for the vault final where with 2 cleanly executed vaults, she was able to place 4th amongst some of the top contenders expected to compete at Rio.

What Ellie has done this year is nothing short of amazing. She is one of the juniors that certainly lived up to the fame as a senior. She started the year with a bang and kept going, all that while recovering from an injury that kept her from training at 100% earlier in the year. It's exciting to think what the future might bring for Ellie Downie.



Sae Miyakawa was another Youth Olympian that had a great 2015.  She started the season at the WOGA Classic where she placed 6th in the all around and 2nd on vault. Miyakawa continued winning medals throughout the domestic season. She was a member of the Asian Championships team and helped Japan to a team gold while earning a vault silver and floor bronze. Miyakawa's real prowess is on the floor exercise where her passes are out of this world. At the recent Tokyo International, Miyakawa showed a full twisting double layout, front layout full to tucked double front, double double, and double layout dismount. This routine is insane. And apparently she has the potential for 6.8D. Honestly, Sae's the only woman at the moment that I think can nearly match Simone's floor exercise difficulty. It is just out of this world.

http://team-china.tumblr.com/post/135303778127/saes-routine-from-toyota-cup-she-added-the

I feel like Fan Yilin deserves a special shoutout as she is the only new senior to have a gold medal and it was in the most interesting final we've ever seen! Fan was on track to be a star as a senior but then suffered some injuries prior to her senior debut. She was able to come back with a vengeance with a unique uneven bar dismount (video). Unfortunately, it wasn't credited as expected in international competition so the switch was made to the double layout.

After winning the uneven bar title at Chinese National Championships and coming in 3rd at Asian Championships, Fan competed remarkably well at her first World Championships. She contributed to the team score on both uneven bars and balance beam. Then there was the coveted uneven bar final where Fan was the first up to obtain the miraculous 15.366. Others tried to beat her score with no luck so Fan, along with 3 others, were named the Uneven Bar World Champions. She was the gymnast with the highest D score at 6.9. Fan's mother passed away last year and she hopes that her accomplishment made her mother proud.



A personal favorite goes to Tutya Yilmaz. I first discovered her during the 2013 EYOF where she had some great difficulty but some unfortunate execution errors. She then went to the YOG where she made multiple finals (all around, vault, and floor) but again with execution errors. This time, I remember what exactly intrigued me. Yilmaz had a back handspring layout full connection on beam. Her floor was also reminiscent of Alicia Sacramone - nice dance with clean tumbling. She has both a full in piked and tuck and they're both cleanly executed. At this year's World Championships, Yilmaz placed 44th on beam with a 5.9D and she didn't fall!!! Pretty impressive for a young athlete from an up and coming country. Her all around completition is on the FIG channel and I strongly recommend :)



Boglarka Devai is a new senior for Hungary that has quickly become essential to the success of the team. Often overshadowed by the big names in Dorina Boczogo and Noemi Makra, Hungary would not have achieved their 18th place finish at worlds if not for Devai's fabulous DTY. She received their highest score in TF by nearly 1 point. She also contributed on uneven bars.



Canadian gymnast Sydney Townsend gets the award for best comeback. She had a strong 2014 at the Youth Olympic Games but then struggled at the start of 2015. She then took the bulk of the competitive season off to rehab and it paid off. Though still not at 100%, Townsend was a crucial member for the 2015 team contributing on vault and floor exercise. I'm looking forward for what 2016 will bring for her.



Some seniors that were on my "watch list." Make sure to check out the New Senior page.

Senior in 2015 (born in 1999) - YOG eligible
Belarus
Natallia Yakubava
Belgium
Rune Hermans
Brazil
Rebecca Andrade - injured
Milena Theodoro
Flavia Saraiva
Canada
Sydney Laird
Audrey Rousseau
Sydney Soloski
Sydney Townsend
China
Deng Yalan
Fan Yilin
Hong Ke
Liu Jinru
Liu Ying
Qin Chang
Wang Yan
Yuan Xiaoyang
Zhu Xiaofang
Czech Republic
Veronika Cenkova
France
Camille Bahl
Loan His
Germany
Antonia Alicke
Kim Janas - injured
Pauline Tratz
Great Britain
Georgina Clements
Ellie Downie
Rhyannon Jones
Aasha Kimpton - retired
April Maslen
Tyesha Mattis - injured
Amy Tinkler
Hungary
Boglarka Devai
Italy
Iosra Abdelaziz - injured
Joana Favaretto
Chiara Imeraj
Alice Linguerri
Japan
Sae Miyakawa
Mexico
Carla Cornejo
Stephanie Hernandez
Cinthia Ruiz
Karla Vielma
New Zealand
Millie Williamson
Netherlands
Wendy de Jong
Isa Maassen
Philippines
Ava Verdeflor
Romania
Madalina Alexandrea Blendea
Andreea Iridon
Laura Jurca
Russia
Maria Bondareva
Anastasiia Dmitrieva
Daria Mikhailova
Seda Tutkhalyan
Singapore
Nadine Joy Nathan
Switzerland
Gaia Nesurini
Turkey
Tutya Yilmaz
USA
Vanasia Bradley - injured
Nadia Cho - injured
Nia Dennis
Bailie Key
Taylor Lawson
Abigail Matthews
Lauren Navarro
Marissa Oakley
Lexy Ramler
Megan Skaggs
Alexis Vasquez - retired from elite

Who were some of your favorite first year seniors?

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College Freshmen 2015-2016

12:49 PM Arabian Punch Front 1 Comments

Madison Preston (UCLA)

If you haven't seen it, I have a College Commits page for the next few classes but already need room for the class of 2019 and potentially 2020. I figure I'll start making a table with the current freshman and this will eventually grow to include the entire roster... eventually. This is the top 20-ish schools. The number of schools will grow with time. Make sure to check the Commits page!

Alabama
Class of 2015
Abby Armbrecht
Jenna Bresette
Ariana Guerra
Amanda Huang
Avery Rickett
Arizona
Class of 2015
Charlie Dembo
Haylie Hendrickson
Brittany Robertson
Skyler Sheppard
Danielle Spencer
Arkansas
Class of 2015
Mackenzie Anderson
Sydney McGlone
Auburn
Class of 2015
Samantha Cerio
Emma Engler
Taylor Krippner
Emma Slappey
Boise State
Class of 2015
Sarah Means
Shani Remme
Cal
Class of 2015
Emily Howe
Sofie Seilnacht
Sylvie Seilnacht
Chelsea Shu
Jessica Wang
Denver
Class of 2015
Claire Kern
Kaitlyn Schou
Florida
Class of 2015
Alicia Boren
Amanda Cheney
Lacy Dagen
Peyton Ernst
Ashley Hiller
Georgia
Class of 2015
Caroline Bradford
Gracie Cherrey
Sydney Snead
Illinois
Class of 2015
Julia Hutcherson
Lizzy LeDuc
Brielle Nguyen
Haylee Roe
LSU
Class of 2015
Julianna Cannamela
Sarah Finnegan
Mckenna Kelley
Lexie Priessman
Kaitlyn Szafranski
Michigan
Class of 2015
Olivia Karas
Emma McLean
Minnesota
Class of 2015
Rachel Cutler
Selena Ung
Nebraska
Class of 2015
Kami Amemiya-Shows
Kelli Chung
Sienna Crouse
Megan Kuo
Catelyn Orel
Megan Schweihofer
Oklahoma
Class of 2015
Nicole Lehrmann
Megan Thompson
Oregon State
Class of 2015
Mariana Colussi-Pelaez
McKenna Singley
Mary Jacobsen
Elizabeth Yu
Penn State
Class of 2015
Sabrina Garcia
Madi Heckman
Mason Hosek
Jessica Jones
Gianna Laguarda
Stanford
Class of 2015
Taryn Fitzgerald
Hailee Hoffman
Dare Maxwell
UCLA
Class of 2015
Matteah Brow
Katelyn Ohashi
Madison Preston
Stella Savvidou (Jan)
Nicki Shapiro
Macy Toronjo
Utah
Class of 2015
Shannon McNatt
MaKenna Merrell
Erika Muhaw
Sabrina Schwab

1 comments :

Exciting Lives: Elsa Garcia and Ana Lago

7:14 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Ana Lago (L) and Elsa Garcia (R) at the Central American and Caribbean Games 2014
Photo Credit: solodeportemx.com


Azteca Opinion recently published a 15 minute video documentary on Mexican gymnasts Elsa Garcia and Ana Lago on Vidas Aspasionantes (Exciting Lives). In 2012, both Garcia and Lago went to the Test Event with Garcia earning the Olympic nomination with a higher all around score. They have both been at the 2014 and 2015 World Championships where Mexico finished 21st. Again, 2 gymnasts will be named to the Test Event and only 1 will get the spot for the Olympics. They have both had trials and tribulations including an ACL tear for Lago and a current knee injury for Elsa Garcia after hyperextending her knee at this year's World Championships.

I am forever thankful to aliyamustafina on tumblr for translating the interview. Any notes are in parentheses.


(In case above link does not work, here is a link to the twitter)




At the beginning they thank TV Azteca for going to Monterrey, where they consider it’s home in Mexico for gymnastics.

Elsa: Hello, I am Elsa García and I am an Olympic gymnast who has have attended to four Centro American Games, three Pan-American Games and one Olympic Games. I have won approximately 15 Centro American medals, three Pan-American medals, 12 World Cup medals and in 2009 I was awarded during Worlds with the Longines prize for elegance.

Ana: Hello, I am Ana Lago and I am a gymnast. Everyone knows me as “Fany” and I am Centro American medalist. I am floor champion from Pan-American Games in Guadalajara 2011 and also won bronze as a team during those games. I’ve been two times to Worlds. And we are looking for the qualification to the next Olympic Games.

Reporter: Hello I am Antonio Rosique. The Olympic Games haven’t been the same after one July night in 1976 the Romanian Nadia Comaneci got for the first time the perfect 10. Nadia turned into an Olympics symbol; her grace and charm captivated the entire World. Millions of girls began to practice gymnastics following the inspirational image from this prodigious Romanian athlete. Today in “VIdas Apasionantes” we are going to enter to this “tiny” yet extremely demanding world where dominating the body and defying the gravity happens. We are going to enter to the heart of the Mexican gymnastics where a bunch of girls grow, train and dream to achieve the perfection just like once, Nadia Comaneci did.

Elsa: I started doing gymnastics when I was 3 years old and probably same as most athletes, I was very energetic and I couldn’t stand still. My parents said I needed to canalize all my energy into something so they got me into gymnastics.

Coach: If I could describe Elsa in just a few words I would say Elsa is gymnastics and she is Mexico.

Elsa: My mom went to “El Regio” (Elsa’s and Ana’s gym) to sign me in. She spoke with the coaches and she told them she just wanted me to have fun and not feel stressed or pressured and they agreed but after time it was me who wanted more and more.

6.0/14.525


Coach: Chances are that someday someone else will beat Elsa but then they’ll have to remain as the best gymnast in Mexico for at least 12 years and win the medals she has won.

Ana: I’ve always been told I am very funny, charismatic, and happy and that I always enjoy what I do. I think I haven’t changed much from when I was a kid and I think I will remain the same way forever.

Coach: Fany’s face is like “dreamy” and it’s also fierce and competitive.

Ana: It’s always very satisfying to teach the younger girls all the things you know, what you have learnt, your experiences as well as your victories and defeats or talk to them about your injuries. I also try to teach them that the most important thing is to enjoy what you are doing.

Coach: Fany is a gymnast who sometimes I have to be breaking because she is always hungry for more. (He always has to stop her because she is so full of energy)

Interviewer: Mexico has never gotten an Olympic medal in gymnastics and every day it fights to earn a spot in a sport which is traditionally dominated by Russia, United States, Romania and China. Mexico has given individual steps through years trying to get closer to the elite; in Sydney 2000 Denise López got 7th place in the vault final. In London 2012 Daniel Corral got the 5th spot in Parallel Bars; Elsa qualified to London 2012 and now Ana Lago is working to make the Olympics as well.

Ana: It’s my passion; since I was kid gymnastics always grabbed my attention and I love to be jumping, doing spins, being upside down or that feeling that I’m flying.

Elsa: Gymnastics makes you feel happy, free or you feel that you can fly but also you get to feel fear, pain, frustration or exhaustion. All those things you can feel them at the same time in one training.

Ana: To be honest all the apparatuses have made me feel mad at some point. Every apparatus has certain elements that even though you try and try one day they just won’t work and you just repeat to yourself that maybe that day the element won’t happen for you, but maybe during the next training it will and you know you are going to keep trying and you will give your best in order to get it and then after that you’ll feel happy with yourself.

Elsa: We realized the past Olympic cycle after we ended up in 17th place (she giggles nervously and sort of jokes about being super close to making it) that if every girl scores at least 13.600 in each apparatus we could make it and that has been our main goal from this Olympic cycle.


5.6/13.85


Coach: It’s not easy to get the 13.600 in each apparatus even though it might sound that way. Our main focus during this cycle has been paying more attention to “the order” instead of the monetary resources. Countries who are in the top 10, apart from keeping order in their programs, they take in account the monetary resources. Unfortunately we don’t have that much money so we can only focus on keeping our program ordered.

Ana: I always try to picture everything big, while I am training at the gym I always try to imagine I’m in a big competition to force myself to deal with the pressure you get to feel when you compete.

Elsa: This gym has taken years and years of hard work, shortcomings and dedication but here we are. (She says this while she cries)

Coach: We call this gym “the tiny house of gymnastics” and keeping it has taken a lot of work from everyone; you can see pictures of the girls helping to repair the gym or helping with the construction. It still is very hard and the goal hasn’t been achieved yet but if we really want to succeed we need to do what all of the successful countries do.

Ana: Every time we finish a hard training and we end up very exhausted our coach, the doctors and therapists decide to get us into a pool with cold water and ice. (Both laugh a little about that)

Elsa: It’s a very risky sport, even though we have mats to protect us when we are training a new skill there comes a time when you have to do it without all the protection, just by yourself. In gymnastics, when you land if you weigh 50 kg just to give an example, then it would be 10 times more so that would be 500kgs for each landing. Now, if you keep doing repetitions of the elements just like we do during trainings, then you end up landing around 1 ton per training.

Ana: After my injury I feel my life did change a lot. Now I feel stronger and more of a warrior, even more than I was before.

Coach: Fany had a very serious injury on her knee and she needed surgery but now she is back in shape. She is very competitive, hard worker, disciplined and a fighter.

Ana: I always repeat to myself “It’s a bad day not a bad life. Even though it was a bad day today, that doesn’t mean tomorrow won’t be better”.

Elsa: Gymnastics is way bigger than Elsa García. I am just a tiny spot who is in line helping things to grow. (I think she meant it as in Mexican Gymnastics)

Coach: I am sure if we keep working very hard just like we are right now, we are going to win an Olympic medal someday.

Ana: I give everything to gymnastics, this is what I love most to do and during each routine and competition I give the best of me to leave that “tiny grain of sand”.


Very grateful for the translation as well as this video feature. Wishing these athletes the best of luck as head into the Olympic year!

0 comments :

Gymnastics Injuries Oct-Dec

11:47 AM Arabian Punch Front 2 Comments

Koko Tsurumi at NHK Trophy 2012
Adam Pretty/Getty Images

I've been avoiding this list like the plague. I decided that after Rio I wouldn't keep track anymore and I think I just wanted to stop now. But, alas, injuries are part of the sport.

There's been quite a bit of shuffling recently. Roxana Popa is back after an ACL tear and was able to compete UB at Worlds. Sounds like she has been cleared to start vaulting and tumbling again so hopefully we get to see her at the Test Event to try and qualify a spot for Rio. Romania lost Anamaria Ocolisan with an unfortunately timed injury. Ocolisan was quickly becoming one of Romania's top all around gymnasts but got injured in Podium Training prior to the team competition.

Koko Tsurumi has announced her retirement from the sport after struggling with Achilles tendon injuries for much of this quadrennium. She recently made a comeback and competed her last uneven bar routine prior to announcing her retirement. This two time Olympian, 2009 World Championship All Around bronze medalist and 2012 Olympics Uneven Bars Event Finalist will be greatly missed!

Note about the list:
The list consists of national team members that have had some injury that keeps them out of competition. (c) indicates gymnasts that have returned to national team camp or control competition but not yet to a "public" competition.

2015

Name (Country)InjuryReturn to Competition
Ruby Harrold GBR??? (Mar)Sep 2015
Axelle Klinckaert BEL??? (Mar)May 2015
Teal Grindle GBRShoulder injury (Mar)Nov 2015
Yao Jinnan CHNShoulder surgery (Feb)
Ashton Locklear USAShoulder surgery (Mar)Aug 2015
Sabrina Vega USAShoulder surgery (Mar)Jul 2015
Marta Costa ESPShoulder surgery (May)
Youna Dufournet FRAShoulder surgery (Jun)
Anna Pavlova AZEElbow injury (Apr)retirement
Lisa Ecker AUTKnee injury (Apr)Oct 2015
Yesenia Ferrera CUBKnee injury (May)
Elsa Garcia MEXKnee injury (Oct)
Giulia Steingruber SUIKnee injury (Oct)
Chantysha Netteb NEDKnee reoperation (Mar)
Diana Bulimar ROUKnee surgery (Jun)Sep 2015
Raer Theaker GBRKnee surgery (Jun)
Elbow surgery (Nov)
Sep 2015

Alessandra Thompson RSAKnee surgery (Jun)
Anastasia Grishina RUSTorn meniscus & broken patella (Apr '14)
ACL tear (Mar)
Feb 2015
Sep 2015
Gabby Jupp GBRACL tear (Mar)
Jonna Adlerteg SWEACL tear (Apr)
Kim Janas GERACL tear (May)
Kim Bui GERACL tear (May)
Rebeca Andrade BRAACL tear (Jun)
Lauren Mitchell AUSACL tear (Jun)
Carlotta Ferlito ITAFoot injury (Feb)Mar 2015
Larisa Iordache ROUFoot injury (Mar)Sep 2015
Laura Waem BELFoot injury (Mar)Sep 2015 (c)
Isa Maassen NEDFoot injury (Jun)Dec 2015
Catherine Lyons GBR jrStress fracture (Jun)
Koko Tsurumi JPNAchilles tear (May)Nov 2015
retirement
Catalina PonorAchilles surgery (Oct)
Lara Mori ITAAnkle injury (Mar)Sep 2015
Julie Croket BEL??? (Mar)
Ankle sprain (Sep)
Oct 2015
Mira Boumejmajen FRAAnkle injury (Mar)retirement
Alla Sosnitskaya RUSAnkle injury (Apr)Sep 2015
Marta Pihan-Kulesza POLAnkle injury (May)Oct 2015
Noel van Klaveren NEDAnkle surgery (May)Sep 2015 (c)
Felicia Hano USAAnkle injury (Jul)
Arianna Rocca ITAAnkle injury (Sep)
Ana Maria Ocolisan ROUElbow surgery (Feb)
Ankle injury (Oct)
Jun 2015
Iosra Abdelaziz ITAFoot surgery (Jan)
Martina Rizzelli ITAMetatarsal fracture + surgery (Sep)
Nina DerwaelToe injury (Nov)
Vanessa Ferrari ITAMedical - mononucleosis (Mar)Apr 2015

2014

Name (Country)InjuryReturn to Competition
Elisa Cherino GERFractured cervical vertebrae (Mar)FB; site
Miriana Almeida MEX??? (Aug)May 2015
Sandra Collantes PER??? (Sep)
Anne Kuhm FRACollarbone (Jan)Feb 2015 (c)
Mar 2015
Kirsten Beckett RSAShoulder surgery (Aug)Jun 2015
Peyton Ernst USADislocated shoulder + surgery (Aug)Apr 2015 (c)
Ida Gustafsson SWEShoulder injury (Aug)
Rebecca Tunney GBRElbow (May)Sep 2015
Bailie Key USA jrElbow (Jul)Oct 2014 (c)
Mar 2015
Ayelen Taribini ARGDislocated Elbow (Sep)*May 2015
Madison Kocian USAWrist surgery (Nov)Mar 2015 (c)
Yuna Hiraiwa JPNBroken Finger (Sep)Apr 2015
Elisa Meneghini ITABack (Oct)Mar 2015
Aliya Mustafina RUSBack (Dec)Jun 2015
McKayla Maroney USAKnee surgery (Feb) + medical
Jade Barbosa BRAKnee surgery (Aug)Jun 2015
Diana Bulimar ROUKnee surgery (Aug)Mar 2015
Cintia Rodriguez ESPKnee surgery (Nov)Jul 2015
Aleeza Yu CANKnee injury (Oct)
Vanasia Bradley USA jrTorn ACL & meniscus, broken patella (Jun)
Nadine Jarosch GERTorn ACL surgery (2013)
Torn ACL surgery (Jul)
retirement
Janine Berger GERTorn ACL surgery (Aug)Sep 2015
Maria Paula Vargas ESPTorn ACL & partial meniscal tear (Sep)Jul 2015
Laura Longueville FRATorn ACL surgery (Oct)
2nd surgery (Mar '15)
Kristyna Palesova CZETorn ACL, meniscal tear, ligament tear (Nov)
Roxana Popa ESPTorn ACL & meniscus (Dec)Oct 2015
Laurie Hernandez USA jrFractured wrist (Jan)
Torn patellar tendon & dislocated kneecap (Jun)

Nov 2014 (c)
Maggie Nichols USADislocated kneecap (Aug)Jan 2015 (c)
Mar 2015
Tyesha Mattis GBR jrAnkle (Mar)Dec 2014 (c)
Mar 2015
Wendy de Jong NED jrAnkle (Jul)
Lauren Mitchell AUSAnkle (Oct)May 2015
Giulia Steingruber SUIKnee bone bruise (Mar)
Ankle ligament sprain + 2 stress fractures (Nov)
May 2014
Mar 2015
Gabriella Douglas CANAnkle surgery (Aug)Feb 2015
Rachel Gowey USAAnkle break (Aug)Nov 2014 (c)
Jul 2015
Maelys Plessis FRAAnkle stress fracture (Sep)retirement
Lexie Priessman USAAchilles tendon strain ('13)
Torn fibular ligament (Aug)
retirement
Mary-Anne Monckton AUSTorn peroneal tendon (Oct)Apr 2015 (c)
Jul 2015
Evgenia Zhukova RUSTorn Achilles (Apr)
Valentine Sabatou FRATorn Achilles (Sep)retirement
Francesca Deagostini ITAFoot injury/fracture (Jun-Aug)Feb 2015
Elisabeth Seitz GERFoot injury (Aug)
Foot surgery (Nov)
Sep 2014
May 2015
Giorgia Campana ITAFoot injury (Nov)Feb 2015
Resolved
Simone Biles USAShoulder (Feb)Jul 2014
Louise Vanhille FRAElbow (Mar)Nov 2014
Alyssa Baumann USAElbow (Aug)Sep 2014
Kyla Ross USABack (Jan)Mar 2014
Mariya Livchikova UKRTorn ACL (Aug)retirement
Loan His FRA jrHyperextended knee (Jun)Nov 2014
Carlotta Ferlito ITACalf strain + medical issue (Mar)Sep 2014
Sophie Scheder GERSprained ankle + 2 torn ligaments (Mar)May 2014
Maria Paseka RUSSprained ankle (Sep)Nov 2014
Ksenia Afanasyeva RUSAnkle surgery (Apr)Nov 2014
Viktoria Komova RUSAnkle surgery (Apr)Aug 2014
Maria Bondareva RUS jrSwollen ligaments in ankle (Apr)May 2014
Rebeca Andrade BRA jrToe injury (Jul)Nov 2014

2013

Name (Country)InjuryReturn to Competition
Sabrina Vega USAShoulder surgeryNov 2014 (c)
Chantysha Netteb NEDACLFeb 2015
Resolved
Katelyn Ohashi - USAShoulder surgery + BackJan 2015
Julie Croket - BELElbowAug 2014
Sarah Finnegan - USAElbow surgeryJan 2015
Enus Mariani jr - ITABack injury (May)Nov 2014
Eythora Thorsdottir - NED jrBackOct 2014
Gabby Jupp - GBRTorn ACL at Europeans; surgeryAug 2014
Kim Janas GER jrACL; surgeryOct 2014
Lisa Ecker AUTR PCL and meniscusAug 2014
Luo Peiru - CHNAchilles & fractured kneecapretirement
Céline van Gerner - NEDAnkle surgerySep 2014
Adrian Gomes - BRAretirement
Koko Tsurumi - JPNAchillesNov 2014

2 comments :

Worlds Qualifications Recap - Where to Start?

8:59 PM Arabian Punch Front 14 Comments


I think I've been avoiding writing this post because I really had no clue where to start. Big surprises in Romania not making the top 8 or 2nd American all around spot. Or the happy surprises - Canada and the Netherlands making the top 8, both Sanne Wevers and Eythora Thorsdottir making balance beam event finals. There's just so much that happened in these two days and I'm still trying to process it.

Let's start with the heartbreak that is Romania.

Prior to competition, Ana Maria Ocolisan was injured. She was a savior in my eyes. At the time, I thought Diana Bulimar wasn't back to AA status so Ocolisan served as an excellent 2nd all arounder. Easily getting 55+ and showing consistency on all events. Then joined with Larisa, these 3 would be enough to easily get Romania in the team final.

The unthinkable happened.

Well, not unthinkable in this sport.

Ocolisan was injured and out of the competition. Romania, unfortunately, did not have an alternate they could willingly use in competition so they had just 5 athletes and only 4 athletes on some events. It would not have been half as bad if not for the meltdown that ensued. Iordache received a low floor exercise score (which I honestly still cannot understand). Vault went okay. Then uneven bars was wear disaster struck. Jurca started the team off great and after that it was melt down city. Neither Bulimar nor Iordache, the glue for the team and the leaders, were able to hit their routines. There were falls on beam too, kicking Iordache out of the beam event final.

There were just so many surprises here. Romania finished outside of the top 8 and will have to try and qualify a team for Rio at the Test Event. Something they haven't had to do... ever? They finished outside the top 8 for the first time in 40 years. Their only shot at a medal is the all around final. It seems weird not to have Iordache in the floor exercise final.

Lots of people have been quick to blame the Olympian comebacks that have not come to fruition in time for this Worlds. Izbasa hopes to be ready by European Championships and Ponor suffered an untimely injury that kept her out of this year's Worlds. But what about the other issues? Girls easily losing motivation. Or the fact that Romania has struggled on bars and only seems to be getting worse? It seems like there are infrastructure issues that need to be changed to help Romania get back to where she once was.

Rant over.

Just kidding because now we'll get to USA and me raging over Maggie Nichols not being in the all around.

The more I tried thinking of Team USA's lineup with the 7 athletes chosen, I knew it would be a struggle for each puzzle piece to fall nicely into place. You brought 2 UB workers so who do you take out of the AA? You brought a VT/FX specialist so which UB girl do you leave out? You brought an even keeled AAer so should she just come out to fit the specialists with an EF medal chance?

I have no clue what went through Martha Karolyi's head but it was apparent that Mykayla Skinner would be alternate. Fine. So now 2 UB workers are competing and out of the remaining 4 girls, only 3 would get to do AA. The battle came down to first time World Championships attendee Maggie Nichols and Olympic Champion Aly Raisman. Regardless of Nichols' stronger UB set, using her on UB meant taking an Olympic Champ out of the AA. That just wasn't going to happen.

Unfortunately, both Aly Raisman and Brenna Dowell had issues on bars. Many were quick to point out how useful Bailie Key would have been but let me stop you for a second. We have an athlete fully capable of doing bars that's ALREADY HERE! No, maybe not UB EF worthy but still a good UB set and a good chance at a medal in the all around. But it just wasn't to be. Nichols competed VT, BB, FX and could have scored below 13 and still beaten compatriots Gabrielle Douglas and Raisman to the AA final. What a time to be alive?

I have seen the glass half full, though. If Nichols does well in TF and in the FX EF (seriously - who saw that coming because I 1000% did not), she's making a statement for herself for Rio.

Speaking of Rio, what kind of statement did Brenna Dowell make? Not a good one to say the least. Multiple errors on her best event and the snafu on floor. This is where I actually would use Dowell in TF on UB. If she messes up here, then that could potentially make the Rio selection much easier. Give her that shot to see if she rises to the occasion or falls under the pressure.

Here's my APF lineup.
VT: Raisman, Nichols, Biles
UB: Dowell, Douglas, Kocian
BB: Nichols, Raisman, Biles
FX: Nichols, Raisman, Biles

VT, FX is pretty straight forward. UB has Dowell just to give her one more shot and I think the US lead will be enough that even if she does mess up, USA should still win. On BB, Nichols had the better routine compared to Douglas.

What I think Martha will do:
VT: Raisman, Nichols, Biles
UB: Biles, Douglas, Kocian
BB: Douglas, Raisman, Biles
FX: Nichols, Raisman, Biles

A few other things:
Canada had a phenomenal showing. I really didn't think this was the year for Canada or for the Netherlands. I was hopeful but skeptical and clearly that was not needed. Canada had an excellent showing. Rogers had an excellent international return with 2 great vaults and a superb uneven bars routine. Black qualified to the all around final in the top 5. Overall a great showing.

The Netherlands also were a pleasant surprise, earning the 8th spot. Lieke Wevers made the AA final. Sanne Wevers and Eythora Thorsdottir both made the balance beam final. Their artistry and excellent execution was rewarded and now they get to send a team to Rio. Which I think we can all have a sigh of relief not having to pick just 1 athlete from this talented pool.

China was a bit weaker than I expected but they are a young team. I'm somewhat hopeful they'll get it together for team finals. Ironically, China looked the worst on uneven bars. They just looked weak. In the past, China has used the code to their advantage or entirely ignored the code and just kept their immaculate pirouettes. Now, they're not really adjusted to the code, their backs are soft going into stalders, and the pirouettes are failing them. We'll see how TF goes.

Russia was solid, much improved despite missing Mustafina. Happy Komova showed up and nailed her UB and BB set for places in both finals. Paseka continues to improve on vault giving herself a real shot at a medal.

For Great Britain, an overall good performance, I was just surprised Ellie Downie did not make the AA final. I LOVE Ruby Harrold's floor so much and hope and pray that she really does end up at LSU.

Oh Italy. I'm not mad that Ferrari was chosen to go, I'm just mad that she's withdrawing now anyway. I had no doubts Italy would make the team final but it was a lot closer than I anticipated. So, fine, Mr. Casella you made the right choice. It's just unfortunate that Enus Mariani missed out on the international experience. I'm glad Ugrin did well. Hopefully both stay in the conversation closer to Rio.

Brazil and Belgium both did way better than I expected. Surprised that Australia was so low. Sad that Spain just missed out on top 16 and can only send 2 athletes to the Test Event. I just don't want to think about it.

Results on FIG event website.

What were your biggest surprises for the qualification round?

14 comments :

USA Gymnastics Names World Championship Team

9:13 PM Arabian Punch Front 5 Comments



After a selection camp at the famed Karolyi Ranch in Texas, Martha Karolyi has named the 2015 World Championship Team. The team will be headlined by consecutive 2-time World All Around Champion Simone Biles, Olympic All Around Champion Gabrielle Douglas, and Olympic Floor Exercise Champion Aly Raisman.

Mykayla Skinner, 2014 World Championship team member, was named to the team, undoubtedly, for her vault and floor exercise. On vault, she has a decent shot at a medal this year with her Cheng and DTY/possible Amanar. Madison Kocian, also a member of the 2014 World Champion team, earns her spot in the lineup for her solid uneven bars. She has been the best in the US and is one of the top ranked gymnast on bars in the world, looking at a good chance of event finals and possibly the podium.

After missing out on the chance to be named to the 2014 team due to an injury, Maggie Nichols got back in the gym to rehab her knee. She's come back strong and was 2nd for most of the US domestic season earning herself much media attention. In addition to Biles, Douglas, and Raisman, Nichols rounds out the top 5 all arounders for the US aside from Bailie Key who was not named to the team.

To round out the team, Brenna Dowell has made a successful comeback from college to elite hitting her immensely difficult UB routine to make the team. In 2013, Brenna was named to the team then bumped to alternate in place of an entirely all around squad. In 2014, Brenna had an untimely injury that prevented her from being 100% for Nationals and the selection camp. For 2015, Dowell was able to finish her first collegiate season and also comeback and have a successful US domestic season. So successful that she was named to the team again. Now we wait to see if she will compete!

For now, the alternate will remain a mystery. Biles is a clear lock for the team. Douglas and Raisman, in my opinion, are also locks. Douglas supplies a much needed uneven bar routine and, reportedly, has shown her Amanar at camp making her all around marketability that much more impressive for the defending Olympic champ. Although Raisman does not thrive on uneven bars, her difficulty everywhere else is a huge asset for team USA. Being one of the top 2 Americans will be a competition in and of itself and Raisman is right up there with her Amanar and impressive floor set.

Skinner, Kocian, and Dowell all have event finals potential, not to mention Dowell having the possibility of getting the piked double front named after her. This leaves Nichols as the odd one out. An excellent all arounder but without the top 3 scores for the US on any one event but the immense ability to step up anywhere should anyone be injured or in qualifications. On the other hand, consistency has not always been on Kocian (other than this year) or Dowell's side.

Naming of the alternate will surely be interesting. What are your thoughts?


5 comments :

Funny Things Around the Gymternet May-Sep 2015

8:16 PM Arabian Punch Front 2 Comments



This was originally supposed to be posted for May-Aug and I missed that so figured I should post this now before it's December!

Olympian Larrissa Miller has some bad days too

A video posted by Larrissa Miller (@larrissa_miller) on


Perhaps one of the greatest athletes of this quadrennium, Simone Biles has her spills when working new skills too!




We've seen former World Champions and Olympians talk about the difficulty that is the double double and now we know why.


Sometimes things just don't go as planned.


When you're trying to be McKayla Maroney...




Vaulting is hard...


The problem with balking on beam


Whoops!




Even drills ar ehard sometimes! Also, I strongly recommend you follow Ashton on snapchat.


And how's the school year going so far?


Check back in a few days. I might add a few more from my favorites on twitter! :)

2 comments :

BEL-SWE-AUT, A Review From the Stands

7:31 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments



It is with great pleasure that I share with you this piece by Marijn on the Belgium-Sweden-Austria Friendly. Marijn also wrote about Volunteering Adventures at the Flanders International Team Challenge and was kind enough to share her thoughts on the friendly meet.

-----------------------------------


Upon entering the arena, the gymnasts were warming up. You could immediately feel the competition vibe of strong, focused athletes doing their thing in leotards that look about ten times more sparkly in real life. The second-row seat also reminded me how physically and mentally hard the sport of gymnastics is. I could hear their feet pounding on the ground and noticed their facial expressions a lot more. The Belgian gymnasts in particular looked nervous and insecure, although some team members managed to keep their cool.

First rotation
The Belgian team started off on floor with Cindy Vandenhole, Gaëlle Mys, Lisa Verschueren, Rune Hermans and Julie Croket. Although the girls only performed three tumbling passes - and double tucks and pikes were everywhere - their choreographies were fascinating and they sold their routines really well. Julie Croket also brought a new floor routine with Christina Aguilera music and a tucked full-in, 1.5 twist to full twist and a double pike as tumbling passes. She used an extra mat for her first pass and fell on her last pass, but her enthusiasm and well-executed leaps made up for it. The only thing that’s still on my wish list for team Belgium is cleaner landings and more difficult or more original passes.

Meanwhile on vault, Marcela Torres from Sweden pulled out of the competition, because her heavily taped hamstring was too painful. The star on this event was Emma Larsson, with a 1.5 twisting yurchenko almost stuck (14.033).

Second rotation
The next rotation was full-twisting yurchenko time for the Belgian team. Interestingly, Julie Croket changed her old front handspring vault to a FTY. During 30-second warm-ups bad luck struck her again as she injured her right ankle on the landing. Sigh. It is just heartbreaking how many times she has gotten injured right before a big meet and fought her way back, only to be knocked down again. As Julie was carried away by the physiotherapist, the rest of the team had to stay focused and hit. They rose to the challenge wonderfully. Rune, Cindy and Gaëlle scored around 13.500 and Lisa surprised me with a 13.800 and a block that makes me wonder whether she could get a 1.5 around if she trained it.



Third rotation
On uneven bars, the Belgians showed a lot more variation. Gaëlle was just happy to get through her routine without any major mistakes, while Lisa and Laura Waem showed off some great bars skills. Laura is still coming back from a knee surgery and therefore didn’t compete a dismount. First-year senior Cindy impressed me with her flowing rhythm and gorgeous tuck form in the dismount. Somewhere in between was Rune, with a lovely Chow at the beginning, unfortunately followed by an ugly pak and pirouette problems later on.

Fourth rotation
The balance beam didn’t show any mercy towards the gymnasts that day. Just like in general warm- ups, the Belgians had a lot of falls (and wobbles). To make matters even worse, they had to count all four scores, since Julie had to withdraw and Jelle Beullens only did exhibition routines on FX and BB. Fortunately, Gaëlle was there to save the day - and the provisional average of 11.250 - with a fantastic beam set that scored 14.200. After almost nine (!) years in the senior field, you can always count on Gaëlle to hit her favourite apparatus.

Emma Larsson concluded the competition on floor with a combination of artistry, energetic music, and powerful tumbling. Her opening pass was a double layout, followed by a full-in, a double tuck and a double pike. She did lose quite a few tenths in execution due to some extra steps, an uncontrolled landing and an out of bounds.

It’s a pity that I didn’t have enough eyes to take pictures, take notes, focus on team Belgium, keep an eye on team Sweden and have a good look at team Austria. Their D-scores were somewhat lower than the other teams and they couldn’t make up for it with Kyla-esque execution scores. Nevertheless, it was interesting to see what they came up with and I hope to see them grow just like team Belgium did in the previous years. That doesn’t mean that Belgium is there yet. They certainly have what it takes to make it to Rio as a team, but they do need to work on consistency and confidence. Maybe team USA can teach them how to be badass queens during competitions?

You can follow Marijn at spotlightgymnastics and can view her excellent pictures from the meet on flickr (HQ) or on facebook.

Thank you, Marijn!!

Team
1. Belgium 211.549
2. Sweden 202.466
3. Austria 191.581

All Around
1. Gaelle Mys (BEL) 54.400
2. Rune Hermans (BEL) 52.783
3. Emma Larsson (SWE) 52.033


Results for the meet can be found here.


0 comments :

Gymnast Youtube Accounts

12:58 PM Arabian Punch Front 3 Comments

Photo Credit simonebiles on instagram


Oh to be a gymnastics fan in the digital age! We get to see snapchats of Australian and Italian friends sharing treats from their respective country. We get to see instagram photos from post-meet banquets. We get to see vines from nights out or of new skills. It's really a lot of fun to be a gym fan with social media at our fingertips. I've started to update a social media page but it is slow in coming about... Here's a list of a few gymnasts and their youtube channels. There really are some great videos that the gymnasts are making.

Mary-Anne (Mez) Monckton (AUS) || Channel
So Mez is literally the bomb.com. She started her youtube channel to document her rehab from ankle surgery and it was great to see her progress from learning to walk properly again to jumping to full beam routines! Most recently, Mez competed at the 2015 World University Games and documented the trip. I really love that we get an inside view on the rooms, the village, the competition hall, etc. The one I link to below doesn't have any gymnastics in it, it's all about the village but I think it's really neat!


Nile Wilson (GBR) || Channel
I only just discovered Nile Wilson had a channel. The videos are very well done and he has over 1000 hits on most of them. The one linked to below is a day in the life while at National Team camp at Lilleshall. There are also some funny bro moments in there.


Maggie Nichols (USA) || Channel
Maggie actually started her channel quite a few months (years?) ago but she's done a Q&A, leo collection vid, partner yoga challenge, and she also made a video from behind the scenes of 2015 Secret Classic.


Jake Dalton || Channel
Jake posted a few training videos and a few random things on his YT channel. I'm not sure if he plans on doing some rehab videos as he's scheduled for surgery soon.

Simone Biles (USA) || Channel
Simone has done "A Day in the Life" video as well as some videos from a trip to Belize for her brother's wedding.


Marian Dragulescu (ROU) || Channel
At 34 years old, Dragulescu is making a comeback for Team Romania. Dragulescu has started posting numerous videos of his training including a new vault (front handspring double front with a full twist - an extra half twist from his namesake vault). You can follow his journey on his channel.

Any others that should be added to the list? Anything that you would like to see from the gymnasts?

3 comments :

World Championship Predictions 2015: August Edition

5:59 PM Arabian Punch Front 11 Comments



Prior to the US domestic season, I tried to come up with my Worlds team and see how it would change through the season and comparing it with the final result. I've decided to do it for a few more teams as well. I tried my best to put the team finalists as the first three listed followed by a semicolon but for some countries it just didn't work.

USA
Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Bailie Key, Maggie Nichols, Alyssa Baumann
VT: Aly, Maggie, Simone; Bailie/Gabby
UB: Bailie, Gabby, Simone; Aly, Maggie
BB: Bailie, Maggie, Gabby, Aly, Simone
FX: Gabby, Maggie, Bailie, Aly, Simone
Alt: Mykayla Skinner, Madison Kocian/Ashton Locklear, Kyla Ross

Why Alyssa and why not Kocian? Why isn't Alyssa even competing? I'm gonna be honest. I think the USA can just send 5 and make the 6th person an alternate. Pre-Classics, I had Kyla in the spot. I now realize that she's a bit redundant as an UB/BB worker. The spot can better be optimized with a specialist with EF/medal potential routines. The issue with bringing a specialist is that one of these top 5 girls will miss out on the AA. Do you take Aly out of bars despite her being one of the top 4 consistently? Would you take Gabby off of VT to allow Skinner to attempt to qualify for event finals? It's very difficult so in this moment, I say 5 members + a faux alternate. As the other countries start their competitions, we'll get a better idea of the other team makeups. I picked Alyssa over Madison Kocian because Kocian is pretty breakable and Alyssa can substitute anywhere really.

RUS
Aliya Mustafina, Viktoria Komova, Daria Spiridonova, Maria Paseka, Ksenia Afanasyeva, Maria Kharenkova
VT: Aliya, Ksenia, Maria P; Viktoria, Maria K
UB: Viktoria, Aliya, Daria; Maria P, Maria K
BB: Maria K, Vika, Aliya; Ksenia, Daria
FX: Ksenia, Vika, Aliya; Daria, Maria K
Alt: Seda Tutkhalyan

With Sosnitskaya out, the Russian picture became a littler clearer. Hopefully Ksenia can manage to stay healthy. She has been dealing with some dental issues but no gymnastics injuries from what I've seen. The final spot really comes down to Seda Tutkhalyan and Maria Kharenkova. Unfortunately, I feel like the Rodionenko's favor Kharenkova to Seda. Seda would offer an additional vault score and EF potential so if Afan or anyone else is out, Seda is surely my first choice alternate. Russian Cup is coming up and we'll have a better idea of Kharenkova vs Tutkhalyan. Could they both go and leave Spiridonova out? I think it's possible but they'd be sacrificing a possible EF medal... Granted, if it's not Daria, I'm sure we can find a second Russian to make EF.

ROU
Catalina Ponor, Larisa Iordache, Andreea Iridon, Andreea Munteanu, Silvia Zarzu, Laura Jurca
VT: Silvia, Laura, Larisa; Catalina
UB: Laura, Andreea I, Larisa; #sendhelp
BB: Andreea M, Catalina, Larisa; Andreea I, Laura
FX: Laura, Silvia, Catalina, Larisa
Alt: Stefania Stanila

I posted this on twitter and the number one comment was no Diana. I'd love to send Bulimar but if it's just for uneven bars, I don't think it's worth the risk. I made Jurca the 2nd AAer with Larisa. Other than beam and floor, Romania actually struggles to get 4 competitive athletes on vault and uneven bars. You could take out Zarzu or Larisa to make room for Diana but then you use one floor and vault athlete. Not sure Romania can afford that risk. If Did has another event, that would change things for me. Stanila can do UB so she's my number one choice for alternate.


Team GB and Team Italy together at 2014 Euros


ITA
Vanessa Ferrari, Erika Fasana, Carlotta Ferlito, Martina Rizzelli, Tea Ugrin, Elisa Meneghini/Enus Mariani
VT: Martina, Vanessa, Erika; Carlotta, Tea
UB: Elisa/Enus, Carlotta, Martina; Vanessa, Erika
BB: Carlotta, Vanessa, Erika; Tea, Martina
FX: Carlotta, Vanessa, Erika; Tea, Martina
Alt: Giorgia Campana

Vanessa, Erika, and Carlotta are pretty much locks. Italy struggles on UB so Martina is crucial there. Elisa Meneghini and Enus Mariani have been injured but their prowess on UB could be utilized here. Enus is a better UB worker than Elisa based on previous performances BUT Elisa can be used in other events as well so I predict the last spot being decided between them. Giorgia Campana is also a strong UB worker but she has struggled on bars and excelled on beam. If she can get her bars back to where it's been, she'll have a shot at this team. Otherwise, Elisa and Enus are ranking above her. Italy will have 2 meets before Worlds so we'll get a better picture of Elisa and Enus' comeback status.

GBR
Ellie Downie, Becky Downie, Claudia Fragapane, Amy Tinkler, Rebecca Tunney, Kelly Simm
VT: Kelly, Ellie, Claudia; Amy
UB: Ellie, Rebecca T, Becky D; Amy, Claudia
BB: Claudia, Ellie, Becky D; Kelly, Amy
FX: Amy, Ellie, Claudia; Kelly
Alt: Tyesha Mattis, Charlie Fellows, Georgina Hockenhull

This one was really tricky for me because the status of two very important members is unknown - Rebecca Tunney and Ruby Harrold. Then, Tyesha Mattis is also a hopeful breakout star but we haven't seen her compete more than UB yet this year. Claudia and Ellie are the clear AAers at the moment. Tinkler could be one of them. Tunney could be one of them but I just have no clue what her status is right now so this was a shot in the dark.

CAN
Ellie Black, Isabela Onyshko, Maegan Chant, Victoria Woo, Madison Copiak, Brittany Rogers
VT: Maegan, Brittany, Ellie; Isabela, Madison
UB: Brittany, Victoria, Isabela; Ellie, Madison
BB: Maegan, Isabela, Ellie; Madison, Victoria
FX: Maegan, Isabela, Ellie; Madison, Victoria
Alt: Jordyn Pedersen

And I didn't put Brittany just because I love her (because I don't!). I think this team has an UB deficit that Brittany could solve and can also improve the VT standings.  Ellie and Isabela are the 2 AA gymnasts. Madison and Victoria will likely battle it out in trainings for VT/UB prelims spots which could affect if one of them does AA.

NED
Lieke and Sanne Wevers, Eythora Thorsdottir, Noel van Klaveren, Celine van Gerner, Lisa Top
VT: Lisa, Noel, Eythora/Lieke/Celine
UB: Noel, Lieke, Sanne; Eythora, Celine
BB: Eythora, Lieke, Sanne; Lisa, Celine
FX: Eythora, Lieke, Lisa; Noel, Celine
Alt: Vera van Pol

Praying to the gym gods to keep Noel safe (well everyone!). The biggest issue with the Netherlands is their consistency. I'm hoping it's improved since the athletes have seen so much success this year. The difficulty is there, the execution just needs to match it.

What do you think?

11 comments :

Stunning Leotards at the 2015 Secret Classic

8:41 PM Arabian Punch Front 1 Comments


The Secret Classic is the start of the competitive season in the United States and with it comes some fabulous leotards. Here were some of my favorites from both junior and senior sessions and both podium training and actual competition.

The leo worn by Olivia Dunne was the first leo to catch my eye. And it caught my eyes even at the distance of the podium training videos. I was terrified that I'd see the actual picture or video and hate it but the opposite happened. I loved it even more. I don't usually love ombre but I thought this looked so perfect with the right amount of sparkle highlighted on the pinkish-orange leo (is it coral?).

We got a sneak peak of Ashton Locklear's leo on her snapchat and seeing the whole leo was worth the wait. I don't usually like white leotards but balancing with the black sleeves and silver accents was perfect.

This leo totally caught my by surprise. It's worn here by Shania Adams of Buckeye Gymnastics. I was going through videos and my jaw literally dropped when I saw this one. Again with the ombre that I apparently like now. But in motion, this leo is perfect. I searched for a while for a photo and felt like no photo could do it justice but it's stunning. I give this leotard favorite competitive leo of the meet!

I thought this leo was simple and beautiful. It matches MG Elite's "Frozen" leotard from last year. I like the design, color of blue, and don't mind the nude mesh at all.

This is another leo that I thought I might not have liked. I don't like that leo that Russia wore at the 2012 European Championships with the deep leo-colored mesh but somehow it's smaller on this leo and fits perfectly.

A simple leotard but I like the design.

Another training leotard. The body might actually be velvet but it looks great. It's like a perfect fusion of gymnastics meets ballet and Lauren Navarro looked great in it.

This leotard is an Aly Raisman original. Many members of the National Team as well as gymnasts all over the world have this leotard now and I love it. I would not mind in the least if this was a podium training leo at international competition. Some don't like the horizontal orientation or the white strip in the middle but I think it somehow works and looks great on every gymnast.

This leotard is basically a bonus. It's similar to the leotard Twin City Twisters wore last year except in blue. Maggie Nichols and her teammates looked great in this leo and it fits now that Nichols is committed to the University of Oklahoma.

All photos were from either Christy Ann Linder or USA Gymnastics

Were any of these your favorites?

1 comments :

Gymnastics Injuries Jul-Sept

5:15 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments



I wasn't sure what to highlight in this quarterly post and I looked at the list. The one that made me a little sad for this year's international season and for the lead up to the Rio Games. Brazilian first year senior Rebeca Andrade tore her ACL while preparing for the Pan American Games. Andrade has one of the more beautiful blocks on vault with a nice high Amanar to rival the Americans. Unfortunately, she'll be out for about a year with this injury so we will be hopeful that Brazil qualifies a team without her and she can make that team in 2016. Aussie veteran Lauren Mitchell was set to compete at the Universaide Games and also suffered an ACL injury. Mitchell has dealt with numerous injuries throughout her career so we'll have to wait and see if she wants to compete after this one.

There have been a few comebacks. Speaking of ACLs, Spain's Maria Paula Vargas is back now! She has been out for a long time with injury so it's great to see her back again especially as we wait for teammate Roxana Popa to come back from her injury. Jade Barbosa finally made it back from her injury as well but withdrew from the Pan American Games to allow herself more time to heal. Aliya Mustafina is back after an almost six month hiatus for a back injury and proved that she still has quite a hold on Europe and the world after a successful European Games.

Note about the list:
The list consists of national team members that have had some injury that keeps them out of competition. (c) indicates gymnasts that have returned to national team camp or control competition but not yet to a "public" competition.

2015

Name (Country)InjuryReturn to Competition
Ruby Harrold GBR??? (Mar)Sep 2015
Axelle Klinckaert BEL??? (Mar)May 2015
Teal Grindle GBRShoulder injury (Mar)
Yao Jinnan CHNShoulder surgery (Feb)
Ashton Locklear USAShoulder surgery (Mar)Aug 2015
Sabrina Vega USAShoulder surgery (Mar)Jul 2015
Marta Costa ESPShoulder surgery (May)
Youna Dufournet FRAShoulder surgery (Jun)
Ana Maria Ocolisan ROUElbow surgery (Feb)Jun 2015
Anna Pavlova AZEElbow injury (Apr)
Lisa Ecker AUTKnee injury (Apr)
Yesenia Ferrera CUBKnee injury (May)
Chantysha Netteb NEDKnee reoperation (Mar)
Diana Bulimar ROUKnee surgery (Jun)Sep 2015
Raer Theaker GBRKnee surgery (Jun)Sep 2015
Alessandra Thompson RSAKnee surgery (Jun)
Anastasia Grishina RUSTorn meniscus & broken patella (Apr '14)
ACL tear (Mar)
Feb 2015
Sep 2015
Gabby Jupp GBRACL tear (Mar)
Jonna Adlerteg SWEACL tear (Apr)
Kim Janas GERACL tear (May)
Kim Bui GERACL tear (May)
Rebeca Andrade BRAACL tear (Jun)
Lauren Mitchell AUSACL tear (Jun)
Carlotta Ferlito ITAFoot injury (Feb)Mar 2015
Larisa Iordache ROUFoot injury (Mar)Sep 2015
Laura Waem BELFoot injury (Mar)Sep 2015 (c)
Isa Maassen NEDFoot injury (Jun)
Catherine Lyons GBR jrStress fracture (Jun)
Koko Tsurumi JPNAchilles tear (May)
Lara Mori ITAAnkle injury (Mar)Sep 2015
Julie Croket BEL??? (Mar)
Ankle sprain (Sep)
Mira Boumejmajen FRAAnkle injury (Mar)retirement
Alla Sosnitskaya RUSAnkle injury (Apr)Sep 2015
Marta Pihan-Kulesza POLAnkle injury (May)
Noel van Klaveren NEDAnkle surgery (May)Sep 2015 (c)
Felicia Hano USAAnkle injury (Jul)
Arianna Rocca ITAAnkle injury (Sep)
Iosra Abdelaziz ITAFoot surgery (Jan)
Vanessa Ferrari ITAMedical - mononucleosis (Mar)Apr 2015

2014

Name (Country)InjuryReturn to Competition
Elisa Cherino GERFractured cervical vertebrae (Mar)FB; site
Miriana Almeida MEX??? (Aug)
Sandra Collantes PER??? (Sep)
Anne Kuhm FRACollarbone (Jan)Feb 2015 (c)
Mar 2015
Kirsten Beckett RSAShoulder surgery (Aug)Jun 2015
Peyton Ernst USADislocated shoulder + surgery (Aug)Apr 2015 (c)
Ida Gustafsson SWEShoulder injury (Aug)
Rebecca Tunney GBRElbow (May)Sep 2015
Bailie Key USA jrElbow (Jul)Oct 2014 (c)
Mar 2015
Ayelen Taribini ARGDislocated Elbow (Sep)*May 2015
Madison Kocian USAWrist surgery (Nov)Mar 2015 (c)
Yuna Hiraiwa JPNBroken Finger (Sep)Apr 2015
Elisa Meneghini ITABack (Oct)Mar 2015
Aliya Mustafina RUSBack (Dec)Jun 2015
McKayla Maroney USAKnee surgery (Feb) + medical
Jade Barbosa BRAKnee surgery (Aug)Jun 2015
Diana Bulimar ROUKnee surgery (Aug)Mar 2015
Cintia Rodriguez ESPKnee surgery (Nov)Jul 2015
Aleeza Yu CANKnee injury (Oct)
Vanasia Bradley USA jrTorn ACL & meniscus, broken patella (Jun)
Nadine Jarosch GERTorn ACL surgery (2013)
Torn ACL surgery (Jul)
Janine Berger GERTorn ACL surgery (Aug)
Maria Paula Vargas ESPTorn ACL & partial meniscal tear (Sep)Jul 2015
Laura Longueville FRATorn ACL surgery (Oct)
2nd surgery (Mar '15)
Kristyna Palesova CZETorn ACL, meniscal tear, ligament tear (Nov)
Roxana Popa ESPTorn ACL & meniscus (Dec)
Laurie Hernandez USA jrFractured wrist (Jan)
Torn patellar tendon & dislocated kneecap (Jun)

Nov 2014 (c)
Maggie Nichols USADislocated kneecap (Aug)Jan 2015 (c)
Mar 2015
Tyesha Mattis GBR jrAnkle (Mar)Dec 2014 (c)
Mar 2015
Wendy de Jong NED jrAnkle (Jul)
Lauren Mitchell AUSAnkle (Oct)May 2015
Giulia Steingruber SUIKnee bone bruise (Mar)
Ankle ligament sprain + 2 stress fractures (Nov)
May 2014
Mar 2015
Gabriella Douglas CANAnkle surgery (Aug)Feb 2015
Rachel Gowey USAAnkle break (Aug)Nov 2014 (c)
Jul 2015
Maelys Plessis FRAAnkle stress fracture (Sep)
Lexie Priessman USAAchilles tendon strain ('13)
Torn fibular ligament (Aug)
retirement
Mary-Anne Monckton AUSTorn peroneal tendon (Oct)Apr 2015 (c)
Jul 2015
Evgenia Zhukova RUSTorn Achilles (Apr)
Valentine Sabatou FRATorn Achilles (Sep)
Francesca Deagostini ITAFoot injury/fracture (Jun-Aug)Feb 2015
Elisabeth Seitz GERFoot injury (Aug)
Foot surgery (Nov)
Sep 2014
May 2015
Giorgia Campana ITAFoot injury (Nov)Feb 2015
Resolved
Simone Biles USAShoulder (Feb)Jul 2014
Louise Vanhille FRAElbow (Mar)Nov 2014
Alyssa Baumann USAElbow (Aug)Sep 2014
Kyla Ross USABack (Jan)Mar 2014
Mariya Livchikova UKRTorn ACL (Aug)retirement
Loan His FRA jrHyperextended knee (Jun)Nov 2014
Carlotta Ferlito ITACalf strain + medical issue (Mar)Sep 2014
Sophie Scheder GERSprained ankle + 2 torn ligaments (Mar)May 2014
Maria Paseka RUSSprained ankle (Sep)Nov 2014
Ksenia Afanasyeva RUSAnkle surgery (Apr)Nov 2014
Viktoria Komova RUSAnkle surgery (Apr)Aug 2014
Maria Bondareva RUS jrSwollen ligaments in ankle (Apr)May 2014
Rebeca Andrade BRA jrToe injury (Jul)Nov 2014

2013

Name (Country)InjuryReturn to Competition
Sabrina Vega USAShoulder surgeryNov 2014 (c)
Chantysha Netteb NEDACLFeb 2015
Resolved
Katelyn Ohashi - USAShoulder surgery + BackJan 2015
Julie Croket - BELElbowAug 2014
Sarah Finnegan - USAElbow surgeryJan 2015
Enus Mariani jr - ITABack injury (May)Nov 2014
Eythora Thorsdottir - NED jrBackOct 2014
Gabby Jupp - GBRTorn ACL at Europeans; surgeryAug 2014
Kim Janas GER jrACL; surgeryOct 2014
Lisa Ecker AUTR PCL and meniscusAug 2014
Luo Peiru - CHNAchilles & fractured kneecapretirement
Céline van Gerner - NEDAnkle surgerySep 2014
Adrian Gomes - BRAretirement
Koko Tsurumi - JPNAchillesNov 2014


This is a whittled down list that does not include 2013 resolved injuries from prior to July 2014. You can find the complete list here.

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