Saturday 16 June 2012

Favourite uneven bars mounts

Almost all are acrobatic. I can't stand seeing glide kips or jump to hang on the high bar, so boring. I understand why these aren't done due to the risk (Ungureanu's aside, but the second part isn't possible these days) or because a lot of them end in a dead hang which will be deducted for but it would still be awesome to see.

Aleftina Priakhina, 1986 Chuichi cup. This one bears Gurova's name, but is hers originally. Yes it's very similar to her beam mount. It just looks so beautiful, is very difficult AND doesn't have a dead hang.

Olessia Dudnik, 1989 Worlds. This one is the hardest of them all. Just amazing!

Teodora Ungureanu, 1976 Olympics. Not near as difficult but love the creativity behind it. Impossible now of course, but the first part could be incorporated differently.

Celestina Popa, 1988 UB. Overshadowed so much by her teammates, but what a unique and great mount.

Natalia Frolova, 1986 US Vs USSR. Major dead hang which takes away a bit from it for me, but still love it.

There's a lot I can't find, but it seems to veer between boring A mounts and risky D-F mounts with little in between.


  1. Gurova also did that bar mount in 1986 at the Ahoy Cup (as well as that beam mount). Was it Priakhina who originated it?

    1. Yes I heard that well after I posted this. Gurova really is fascinating but I can't find a video of her doing the bars mount pre-1987. Her beam mount is a bit different, she pauses and does the yurchenko loop from the same side as she mounts, Aleftina does not and they end up facing different directions from where they started.

      The bars mount depends on which meet was first in 86- the Ahoy Cup or Junior Euros/Chunichi!

    2. I saw Gurova do the same beam mount as Priakhina at the 1986 Ahoy Cup (round off full twisting Yurchenko loop from the side of the beam). By 1987, she changed it to only a half twist, doing the yurchenko loop from the side side she mounts on. Both Gurova and Priakhina were amazing gymnasts who could do insane difficulty. While Priakhina seemed to be more willing to throw the difficulty than Gurova, Gurova had better form and polish. Both were treats to watch though.

    3. Oh right, makes way more sense. You were there? I'm so jealous! There were loads of meets like the Champions All and some of the Soviet displays in Britain I could easily have gone to had I been old enough. It's sad that Priakhina's form kept her off major teams, she really was was Gurova, the routines she tried in 85 were just incredible for her age.

    4. Another factor to keeping Priakhina off major teams was that shortly after the 1987 Worlds (where she was first alternate), she had a major growth spurt and that affected her gymnastics. Ditto with Gurova. I saw her at the 1988 World Sports Fair and she had grown significantly and her gymnastics was nowhere near the same level. But even in 1987, you can find videos of her on youtube where she seems to grow significantly throughout that year. Towards the end of the year, she's taller and heavier and her gymnastics was starting to lose that ease that she had at the beginning of the year. But she was capable of incredible difficulty. A Kochetkova on beam years before Kochetkova did it in addition to a double twisting Yurchenko, her bars and beam mounts, and supposedly a double double on floor as well.

    5. Thank you for your insight, it's extremely interesting. I really love 'trickster gymnasts'..Priakhina and Groshkova are my favourite gymnasts of all, but I did not discover Gurova until much later and there's not that much footage of her by comparison. Did you ever see Groshkova compete? I'd imagine roughly the same thing happened to her, she faded before 92.

    6. From what I had read on the internet (which you have to take with a grain of salt of course), Groshkova's coach (Saadi) left for Canada for a coaching position there after Groshkova failed to qualify for the 1991 Worlds. Groshkova quit gymnastics shortly after Saadi left. She briefly tried to make a comeback by competing for the Netherlands in 1992 but failed to do so (something to do with her paperwork not going through). But I remember watching Groshkova's floor years back (I think it was maybe the Dutch nationals in 92) and her difficulty had gone way down. That was understandable after an absence from the spot but it looks like Groshkova's peak was late 1989 through to late 1990. I think the same thing could be said about Natalia Kalinina as she was arguably the best in the world in 1990 but she had lost some of her sharpness in 1991. And by 1992, she was simply no longer an obvious choice for the team.