Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Bits and pieces

Jennifer Pinches and Daiane Dos Santos have retired. Daiane, who is 29, had been expected to retire after London. She was hoping to make it to the Brazilian nationals (at which junior star Rebeca Andrade had tonnes of success) but was injured and decided to call it a day. Jenni's retirement, announced this morning on twitter, is more surprising. She is volunteering in Ecuador and has ruled out competitive gymnastics in her future but it seems to be more related to GB. She could well follow Danusia and go down the NCAA route, but looks like she's having a gap year first.

Still waiting for an update on what McKayla Maroney's injury is. ACL, hyperextended knee and broken leg are all rumours flying around. She has headed home from hospital on crutches though, after about 24 hours there. I almost find it funny when I hear 'a long wait in ER' as when I was in ER on holidays in America, the wait was around 3 hours and people were fuming and storming out in protest. In Ireland, the wait would be 18-36 hours and then you'd get a chair or a trolley in a corridor. Anyway, let's hope it's not something that will take her out for ages, but it does look fairly serious. Some people are saying it could be a blessing in disguise as a long rest will force ALL of her injuries to heal and she has had a rough 6 months of it- broken toe, fractured fibula, fractured nose, concussion and now this.
UPDATE: Diagnosis is a fractured tibia. This is on top of the stress fracture in her fibula, for which she was trying to compensate on her landing. It's absolutely not a disaster because it's not a knee or ligament injury which really would have impacted her and her recovery. It can vary in severity though. USAG statement blabs on about assessing about her possible return to the tour at a later date- I'm sure people who have bought tickets care but I really just want her to recover safely and be eager to get back to real training, not the tour.
UPDATE: McKayla has posted that she had surgery and that it was a success. Having surgery implies it was quite a serious fracture. She will be out for a few months anyway. 

Larisa Iordache's MRI has revealed no lesions, which is great news. However it appears that she has one leg slightly longer than the other, which was probably either the cause of the problem or a big contributor. She is having special sillicon desposits to equalise the pressure on her feet. Hopefully it's a total success and she can return to her peak form.

There is a lot of fuss over recent photos that have emerged of Ana Porgras. Certainly she looks tacky at best, but it's not for anyone else to dictate her life. Ana announced her retirement earlier this year, which was a huge shock as she was fully expected to be on the London team and had enjoyed success at world championships with her unbelievably graceful and beautiful beam and bars work. She had been dealing with a string of injuries and did not adjust well to the return of Octavian Bellu and Mariana Bitang. Ana has expressed outrage in interviews that people will not leave her alone on the issue and respect her wishes and accept that she absolutely does not regret her decision. Maybe she will return to gymnastics eventually- she is still only 18- but in the meantime, people should back off and let her do her own thing without making awful comments.

It's a little hard to believe that this was her not that long ago:

But if Ana is happy then so be it! She is definitely faring better than another former Romanian gymnast- Florica Leonida, who is allegedly working as a prostitute in Germany.

If you haven't already, read this. A translated interview with He Kexin that is a joy to read. It's rare that perfectly translated interviews of Chinese gymnasts are available, especially compared to Russian and Romanian gymnasts, but this is a gem.

Part 1: http://www.thecouchgymnast.com/?p=7199
Part 2: http://www.thecouchgymnast.com/?p=7210 

Bruno Grandi has had a general letter published addressing judging controversy etc. It's not that long a letter but he manages to say nothing and convey nothing of any merit in it, quite a feat. He does sound pissed at one point that the president of the IOC was there to witness the Kohei Uchimura score disaster, boo hoo. Oh and he implies that he wasn't happy that there was an inquiry into Aly's beam score. Excuse me? People should have to accept judges execution score but not if they screw up the difficulty score? How DARE anyone question the judges? He never really gets into the issue, or any other, he skirts around outright condemnation of anything- tie-breaking, inquiries and the judges. FIG needs to oust him and Nellie Kim yet they seem to be as entrenched as the Karolyi's are in USAG.

There have been some changes to the actual code of points, which I am trying to wade through. In the draft code, the D+A (acro)- which meant all of the leaps out of passes on floor- was replaced with D+B (acro). Since that would mean having to do a much harder jump like a sheep jump or Yang Bo, everyone rejoiced at how that would reduce the numer of leaps out of passes. The Olympics saw a TON of this connection. So what do the FIG do? They put it back to D+A! Enjoy more Lauren Mitchell-esque floor routines. In other news, Katelyn Ohashi's beam start value is 7.2 in the new code. If she rearranges her sheep jump in its combination, it could be 7.3. If she gets back her old full-in dismount, it would be 7.5. WOW. Beam will see lots of rising start values, but Katelyn seems ahead of the pack with that. The combination acro line on floor won't be as valuable as it was in the draft..damn.

Gabby is only doing half the tour, then going back to Chow's. Very interesting- she does have two book deals so maybe isn't as pushed at pursuing the media spotlight for money, but most speculated that since she has achieved the ultimate she would not have much motivation to continue training at the highest level and live that far apart from her family. I know that she is a very talented gymnast- there's no disputing that (it is her attitude in some of the statements she makes that puts me off her) so I would like to see a much better floor routine from her. In the last several quads, AA champions become the champion AFTER success at worlds and other big competitions. For a reigning Olympic champion to go to on worlds after Olympics is pretty rare. I really want to see Larisa Iordache and some new seniors shine, but we'll see what happens anyway. I am going to go to worlds, as it is only about a 2 hour flight away. I'm excited already..

Most of the Russian squads are training in Mallorca, just conditioning. Mustafina looks fierce and ready to go. She plans to compete at the Voronin Cup in December. It will be great to see if her beam routine is more like her old 2010 self, what a shame her injury impacted on her readiness on that event.





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