Saturday 15 September 2012

More fragments of news

September training camp at the Karolyi ranch is taking place right now for USA's juniors- and 3 seniors- Brenna Dowell, Kennedy Baker and McKayla Skinner. A lot of seniors are of course busy trying to remain healthy on the tour (see Rebecca Bross having to be restrained from completely falling off the mat onto concrete after her passes in the latest youtube video). National team members Katelyn Ohashi, Lexie Priessman, Simone Biles, Maddie Desch, Amelia Hundley and Bailie Key are in attendance. Seeing as 4/6 will turn senior next year, lots more juniors have been invited. They include Nica Hults, Laurie Hernandez, Peyton Ernst, Arianna Guerra and Polina Schennikova. Expect some glorious photos of Bailie Key doing a-MAZING switch ring leaps, but I doubt USAG will stick videos up. Word is Nia Dennis is extremely close to nailing an amanar (from a FTY!) and that Nica Hults has verified a double arabian and triple full on floor.

Attendance has been confirmed for the Mexican Open. WAG includes Anna Dementyeva, Brenna Dowell, Kennedy Baker, Jessica Gil Ortiz and Georgia Rose Brown. Demy is the favourite and if she can take the AA after a crappy year, that would do a lot to boost her standings in the Russia camp. Kennedy's explosive floor routine has really exciting tumbling, sadly not much of note in between. Still, I'll be looking forward to videos of it and more routines going up on youtube.

It appears that McKayla Maroney will rejoin the tour soon, but only to wave at the crowd or somesuch. She will be missed- not so much for her gymnastics as there is no vault even if she was allowed throw amanars in a tour setting- but for her presence and the fact that she is a great dancer. Also of course for the fact that she is a fan favourite. Alicia Sacramone has joined the tour, not sure for how many stops. Presumably she will do Boston stops also. Shawn Johnson will join the tour tomorrow, she will be dancing with her DWTS partner. Maroney's docs are being very cautious with her- she is in a wheelchair in the fierce 5 photo Derek Hough put up.

I posted this today in the last news bit, but it's further down now so Larisa Iordache whose MRI confirmed that she does not have lesions in her feet does have one leg slightly longer than the other. It is probably the case that this was either the main cause or a big contribution to her heel problems in the first place. She is having special sillicon deposits in order to make the pressure on her feet more equal. Hopefully that will be all it takes for her to return to her glorious peak form.

China's National Individual Championships are taking place next week. There's a long list but only some are confirmed. Among the confirmed are the very exciting Shang Chungsong, Wu Luifang, Cui Jie and Zeng Siqi. Huang Huidan, Luo Peiru and Tan Jiaxin are also expected to compete. Most of these gymnasts have suffered from either injury or major inconsistency or both, so a great chance to prove themselves. Especially as there will be a slew of retirements from the senior team after National Games next year- these are the ones with the team competition between the provinces and are very lucrative financially for the gymnasts and for the prestige of the province. They are seen as being on a par with worlds really.

Ksenia Afanasyeva is going to run in elections for her local council. It's not clear about whether she really is retiring now as she stated that 'gymnastics will be finishing sometime' in reference to her decision to go into politics. That's quite inconclusive as it doesn't shut the door on training for another year or so! Afan has a lot left to give as a floor/beam specialist so here's hoping she doesn't retire straight away.

Videos are starting to emerge of Russia's Mallorca camp training. It appears they are doing a lot more than the conditioning reported beforehand! There is one of MAG, and one of Maria Paseka. Maria who has a long long list of injuries was reduced pretty much only to vault, her other events were not even needed in that team. But she is an all-arounder. Bars are messy, but loving the Markelov-geinger combination. The code will reward things like this- very exciting to get a glimpse of how different gymnasts will be altering their bars routines to fit. I will put up any WAG videos ASAP..would love some insight into how Grishina is doing, as well as Musty, Vika and others.
Update: Here's a video of Anna Dementyeva training bars and floor and a bit of beam, and Tatiana Nabieva training beam and floor. Nabs looks pretty afraid of that beam, but that was a nice double pike from her on floor. She has grown quite a bit so obviously will take some time getting used to it. It was expected that she would retire so it's great to see that she's still training. She does have more to give- especially on bars. Demy looks quite rough, but that's no surprise after her crappy injury year. Hopefully she can get it together and impress as the Mexican Open.

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