Thursday, 17 January 2013

Double back off low bar (!!!!) and underrated beam

WOW! An unknown, presumably Soviet gymnast judging by one of the video titles, did a double back off the low bar at least twice in competition- at the 1988 Moscow News and the 1988 Junior European Championships. And successfully landed it, I should add. Almost a quarter of a century ago. I love when you think you have exhausted the treasures of youtube and then something like this hits you in the face. Low bar tricks are not unheard of, at the same time, Yulia Kut was training a Hindorff on the low bar. Predictably, she scraped her legs on the ground and did not compete it- she did warm it up though. Anyway, it's not her. If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to know.

I should look up Tatiana Groshkova's teammates under Elvira's not Tatiana, but there was nobody like Elvira for pushing her gymnasts to do mental tricks, and it is the right timeframe. It's very hard though to get information on nobodies who don't even have the underground popularity of Tatiana and Aleftina.

Now for some delightful underrated beam routine, with a total absence of the usual queens- Nadia Comaneci, Olga Korbut, Daniela Silivas, Olessia Dudnik, Yang Bo, Olga Mostepanova, Tatiana Groshkova, Aleftina Priakhina etc. etc. Some of the following girls won Olympic and/or world medals, but you still won't hear of these routines!

Yes, I love her and I prefer her work to that of her superstar teammate and best friend, Nadia. There is something about her. Ahhh the grace, fluidity, extension, 540 degree pirouette handstand and her deep arch in her LOSO's. Perfection.

Nobody does back flexibility quite like Irina, check out that reverse planche! Amazing. The rest of the routine is great too of course.
Her low to beam is what stands out to me, but she moves very well here. And a great full-in dismount to boot.
I love a routine where you just know there won't be a hint of a hesitation or wobble. 13 year old Lavinia is masterful here, especially her mount and turn combination. Special mention to her double tuck WITH legs together, when it was common for them to be done with legs shoulder width apart.
Fabulous, she's so floaty. This routine is apparently missing a requirement so was only scored out of a 9.9. Without fully knowing the COP under which is was performed- perhaps the wolf jump was not credited and she lost a leap series if it was needed? Anyway, check out the perfect form in her BHS-LOSO-LOSO-LOSO! And then watch Dawes do the same pass in the same competition. Bleruugh. Gorgeous extension, amazing cradle, difficult dismount. So dissapointed she faded before 96..


  1. Wow! Great find! The double back from the low bar is insane! I can't believe there was no credit given to the gymnast in the posting. I would totally step and yell, "Hey, that was me!"

    Youtube does occasionally reap some surprises that are actually pleasant-I spent the good portion of last night watching 1983 EC's & 1983 WC's and was happy to have seen some gymnasts/routines I haven't seen before.

    1. I think the girl with the double back of LB is Polish. I was at Avignon EJ in 88.