Friday, 30 November 2012

World Cup and Stuff

Qualifications for Sunday's team finals took place today. Surprisingly, Germany qualified first ahead of Russia! I would be suprised if that result repeated itself when it matters though. Highlights were Mustafina's bars and beam, Kristina Goryunova's beam and Anna Rodionova's beam and floor. Mustafina played it safe by not doing major leg events. She watered down her bars quite a lot- no need for the full 7.0 and her 5.9 was crisp, clean and beautiful. Beam was a bit wobbly but the skills look great and she seems very 'on'. If it's much steadier on Sunday that would be no surprise. Goryunova's beam was excellent, surprisingly so as she is not long back from a one-year ban and has not competed at that level in quite a while. Rodionova shows beautiful lines and precision in her skills. Mai Murakami was either having an awful day or is injured, she scored extremely low on bars and beam and only did a 5.0 vault. Floor, her signature, also had quite a few issues.

First up before the team finals is the AA tomorrow. Larisa Iordache and Victoria Moors have both dropped out, which pretty much hands Elizabeth Price the victory. Ebee has a new 6.6 bars routine which coupled with her amanar and high difficulty floor scream domination. What's annoying about her is that she wasn't really peaked for the right time..with a second vault (seriously WHY doesn't she have one), 6.6 bars and strong floor she would have been a much bigger contender for the Olympic team. Ones to watch are Elizabeth Seitz and Rebecca Tunney who are both very good AA-ers and interesting to watch.

There are vicious rumours circulating about the new code requiring 10 elements, just like the 2005-2008 code. This is unconfirmed and will hopefully soon make the journey to confirmed bullshit. While FIG can usually be relied on to fly in the face of common sense, this would be very uncharacteristic even of their own thinking on the issue.

Catalina Ponor has confirmed her retirement. We will receive further assurance of this in the new year one way or the other as she would need to confirm her status with the Romanian federation. Not a gymnast I particularly enjoy watching, but I appreciate and admire her achievements nonetheless.

I already said this but Shallon Olsen has won Top Gym. This meet is always well attended by star juniors and has been won by big names in the past. Shallon is the first from a non top 4 to win. She also won the vault title. Please don't burn out please don't burn out...anyway we won't be seeing her contend until the Olympic year as she is a 2016 senior.

 Elizabeth Price has convincingly won the Stuttgart AA, by 3 points. Elizabeth Seitz also had a very good competition winning silver, and Giulia Steingruber too with the bronze and who has also recovered her vaulting to its former excellent standard. Rebecca Tunney counted a fall and other errors, Vanessa Ferrari a fall and Niamh Rippin no less than 3 falls. Hmm. Kristina Goryunova who so impressed in qualification had a bit of a disastrous beam and was all over the place. Very strange. Let's hope for some glorious performances tomorrow. Price's amanar and 6.6 bars including full twisting double layout dismount predictably stomped all over the competition. I'd imagine other countries are in awe over how a girl with so much talent failed to make the Olympic team. Price still needs substantial work on her execution of course, but what a great performance. What will be interesting is seeing what this does to her status, and will it enable her to keep ahead of some of the 2013 powerhouses. Videos are here.

Yana Demyanchuk of Ukraine has retired. Yana was of the typical Ukrainian mould, gorgeous work and lines, awful consistency record. Good luck to her in whatever she chooses to do.

Russia have won the team competition. They are quite lucky that only two scores count, because Anna Rodionova only scored a 4.8 on bars. She fell on her Pak and cried, did not complete the routine and reportedly left the hall after. If she is injured (she did reappear for the medal ceremony which is a bit reassuring) hopefully it's nothing serious. As a result, Aliya Mustafina further added to her legendary status a bit by stepping up for vault- which was not supposed to happen and which she had not prepared for. Just a Yurchenko layout but seeing as she is carrying a foot injury, added impact is not exactly welcomed. There was no livestream so not near as much news and videos. Japan stepped up and got second, the only news about Mai Murakami is that she did not fully complete her triple full dismount so it got downgraded. Still scored a 14.050 on it! Very nice to hear. Will add more news and links for videos when they become available.

16 comments:

  1. That is the rule they should change rather than go back to 10 skills. All vaults (Q, TF, AA, VT Final) require two different vaults. Would make vault finals so much better and gymnasts would be forced to do something other than a Yurchenko vault.

    Also I'll miss Catalina Ponor. My favourite gymnast. But the time is right. Romania will do themselves no favours by relying on the likes of either Ponor or Izbasa. I just don't think they have any depth at the moment :(

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    1. Yes I'd love that. It IS great to see such diversity in vault finals but it does suck to see the fairly rapid decline of the standard of vaulting. 2012 was the worst yet.

      I think in a way I will miss her, she has such a presence. They really don't- they do have some lovely 2015 and 2016 girls though. But even Munteanu and Zarzu are 2014. And with the retirements of Porgras, Dragoi, Racea and Chelaru they are lucky worlds is only 4 per team next year. Bulimar and Iordache are sorely needed. I'm not too impressed with Stanila and Ocalisan. I really like Blendea, Zarzu, Munteanu, Jurca, Iridon and Peng.

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    2. Chelaru's retirement doesn't seem THAT official and lol, what do you think of Haidu? She's still training I think. If she upgrades those bars a bit more...

      And I think I feel worse about Boy's retirement than Cata's.. haha :D

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    3. It is now, there were confirmation articles about it. Sadly I had to badly translate them from Romanian with google. But it does seem to be accepted that we won't see her again. She lost her motivation, if she does compete again it might just be really small meets, nothing to do with the national team as such.

      I keep forgetting about her, I don't know why because I like her. Yes, her bars could well be valuable, especially if she has become more steady in general. I don't expect Romania to really be making an impact as a team until 2015.

      Poor guy, rough Olympics.

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    4. Ah, didn't know that she lost motivation. That's odd, considering she totally contributes to Romania pretty consistently and they just won the bronze! Well, who knows, comebacks seem to be in vogue these days... not even Cheng Fei's retirement is super official.

      Oh, I meant I'll miss Boy's good looks and charm at competitions. LOL. I don't exactly understand most men's events...especially still rings and parallel bars.

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  2. If the rumor is true would it mean for a gymnast to do 10 elements instead of 8?

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    1. Yes, I think that's the premise. On the bright side, I don't mind seeing 10 counted elements for bars at all... FX and BB, not so much.

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    2. Yes, having 10 count towards the score. While we were seeing less difficulty then, the stamina required was tougher. It's hard to know if the race for the highest start values would have progressed from that quad to this one as much if it had been kept at 10.

      FX would be a disaster if it was kept at 4 passes. Cue bad quads and double Y-turns all over the place.

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    3. Wait, wouldn't FX be kept at 4 passes with or without the change? I would think 4 is the minimum needed to do 6 acro skills anyways.

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    4. I'm not sure, but if it was put back up to 10 but kept at 4 passes it would be gross watching everyone chuck difficult dance elements..

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  3. Am I the only person concerned about Shallon's form? It looks atrocious according to my standard... She seriously needs to clean up her program rather than upgrading it.
    Anyway, quite disappointed by Mai's performance... Hopefully she doesn't end up becoming another Koko.

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    1. Yes, I am a bit. Not overly so, as I remind myself of her age. There are of course gymnasts her age with beautiful form, but then it might even itself out..everyone else her age needs HUGE upgrades this quad, whereas she doesn't need near as many and can use the time for concentration on form. Certainly she is cleaner than Shelgunova.

      Koko did have a habit of messing up, but she did have longevity and a worlds AA medal. I wouldn't mind that for Mai, but she is capable of so much more. She could be much better on Sunday, even just on beam and floor. I'll take those.

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  4. Watching Ebee's floor routine, I was just gobsmacked (again) at her power. A double-double followed by a double layout? And she's still going upwards at the start of her second layout? Wow.

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    1. My head was counting her out of major teams next year in favour of Priessman/Biles but I take that back. She is extremely valuable and Raisman has taught us all that massive improvements can be made in form in the space of a few weeks.

      And how high was the double double? In fact because of the camera angle and how high she was and how upright her landing..I wasn't sure it WAS one for a while.

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    2. I know! I had to watch it twice to realize it wasn't a full in! That's INSANE. She will also have the benefit of more international competition over Priessman and Biles, although I know Lexie's done some international meets. Ebee definitely needs to work on execution, but she is raw power and she's even decent at bars.

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  5. This user is posting videos of the Stuttgart WC 2012

    http://www.youtube.com/user/SuperGymmie

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