Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Everything else :) Updated!

 Even Afan can't make this abomination work- Copyright RGF- Russian Gymnastics federation
Lots of other fabulous non-American Cup gymnastics going on! First and foremost, Russian Championships, which still have event finals to go. The AA was predictably won by Aliya Mustafina, who did not have Viktoria Komova present to challenge her. Anastasia Grishina was second and new senior Evgeniya Shelgunova was third. Sadly, Anna Dementyeva seems to have continued her inconsistency, placing sixth, just in front of Anna Pavlova. Maria Paseka landed an amanar in team finals. It was by no means great, but better than London and a very valuable addition for their Euros team. I was so hoping that Demy would step up and be counted, but it's far more likely to be either Ksenia Afanasyeva or Shelgunova taking the fourth spot- I would be inclined to believe Mustafina, Grishina and Paseka are locks. Unfortunately, Shelgunova is still displaying notable form issues, especially with her Pak which truly is horrifying. She does have a very competitive level of difficulty though, and Afan was having endurance issues, so it could go either way. EDIT- Rodionenko named Mustafina, Grishina and Paseka to the Euros team. Last spot is between Afan, Shelgunova and Demy.

LOVE- Both copyright of the RGF- Russian Gymnastics Federation

My observations here come from videos from a mix of all three events- quals, AA and TF. I missed the quals and AA livestream and gave up on the TF one because it was too laggy on my laptop. There seems to be suprise that Tatiana Nabieva did not do her named release. I'm not surprised, she has not done it in a good while. Good bars from her though and she scored well on vault. New face (to me) Alla Sosnitskaya had impressive difficulty on floor- a DLO (almost to her knees in the video I saw, but still) and triple full, looking forward to seeing more of her. Watching her TF floor now, her landings were out of control. Nice to see someone with a lot of power all the same! As for Mustafina, at this point of the year she is wisely not stretching herself too much. There's a lot of dissapointment that she's not selling her floor routine as well as she has her old routines, but I see no reason to do that this early. I'm sure it will be improved by Euros and stellar by the time Worlds rolls around. Her vault, DTY, was great- well landed and controlled. Bars were a delight as always, very clean and crisp. Totally watered down from London as expected. Aliya's beam was the highlight for me, she has some great new connections. She didn't connect them in the AA but they were much better in the team final which was great to see. My favourite is the Onodi-double turn. Glorious. Her arabian looks pretty solid too and it's nice to see a double back dismount in place of a twisting one. It looks like the new beam connections were designed for her, I'm sure she will have more up her sleeve. As expected, she debuted a new floor routine. At some points, she isn't selling the routine and looks disinterested. Again, not to beat a dead horse, but she's not in London and doesn't need to go all out. I do like the music though and it looks like it will be great. The double arabian-stag and triple full looked very solid though she had a deep landing on her second pass and lots of (now deductible) long pauses in corners. Really excited to see how this routine develops this year. Grishina did well to place second. Her first floor routine looked exhausting for her, low double-double and a double pike to her hands and knees. Thankfully she performed better in team finals- watered down with no scary passes or falls. She seems more mentally ready to compete, more confident. Bars were improved, and she has brought back her beautiful Onodi-illusion beam combination. Not many creditable connections present in the routine as of yet though and she's still shaky. It is a big victory that she stayed on beam all the same. She did crash a DTY, but she was still improved on what we saw of her all last year, and it's only just begun. I am surprised to see Afanasyeva compete AA. I thought she would specialise on beam and floor, but maybe she is planning to do that in the very near future.Nice new beam work from her apparently though the video has been taken down before I got to it. Thankfully someone described it- switch half (new), aerial (2 feet) to jump (dunno what one- split leap? scissone?), Kotchetkova- tour-jete 1/2 (fell in between), aerial-1.5 L turn (awesome!), Onodi-side somi. Now she did have major issues with the routine and barely qualified to EF but it seems like she was trying out a whole load of exciting connections. It sounds like a very interesting routine, especially with her execution. Her floor is the same from London, still with very strong tumbling. She is EF worthy on both events, excellent stuff.

I will always have a soft spot for Anna Myzdrikova who was just phenomenal on floor 2009-2010. She has resurrected her floor from that (perfect) time, and her double arabian is still great. She is still captivating to watch. Ekaterina Kramarenko seems to have improved, good for her. I didn't see any Ekaterina Baturina videos but word is she wasn't great and is recovering from an injury. Missing were Viktoria Komova, Yulia Inshina (back problem), Anastasia Sidorova (back problem) and Anna Rodionova (foot..I think)

Videos and more after the jump!

Nabs UB and Pavs FX (can't write under first one..)
This is the best quality.
Aliya VT 1:45
Afan VT 2:05
Maria Bee Farm VT 3:40
Kramarenko BB 07:13
Aliya UB 08:50
Grishina BB 12:21
The next three routines are:
Myzdrikova FX, Grishina FX and Sosnitskaya FX
Medal ceremony. 

And the very last one, Aliya's floor with music is here. 
As I mentioned, English Championships took place the same weekend. Rebecca Tunney did not compete (not sure why) and Gabby Jupp was obviously busy so the title easily went to Hannah Whelan. Hannah fell on floor that I saw and her bars score indicates a fall there too. Nevertheless, a good boost for her leading into Euros and I like her new floor. The highlights of the competition were two new bars routines, and some interesting floor choreography from newcomers. Ruby Harrold and Becky Downie both performed new bars routines. Becky's displays lovely crisp form and handstands (except the last) but most importantly..a super impressive Maloney-Hindorff combination! Amazing, and so well done. Great to see her back on form. Ruby's routine has a Bhardwaj and a..Zuchold, no less. An extremely old school transition made much harder by the width between the bars. Obviously she has troubles with it but hopefully just teething problems. Amazing routines, clearly amazing GB bars sets will not die with Beth Tweddle's competitive retirement. What also impressed me is some of the brave choreography on floor, I've included examples by the lovely Georgia Mae-Fenton and Catherine Lyons. Ellie Downie was the junior champion, and Becky won bars so a great day all around for the Downie family. Georgina Hockenhull who is coached by BBC commentator Christine Still took first in the AA at the Welsh Championships recently, so I'd imagine she has to be a lock for the Euros team, or at least a good bet. Sadly, Angel Romaeo did not have a great competition, she did place second on beam and fourth on floor but her scores were extremely low. So I'd imagine the British Euros team will be Gabby Jupp, Georgina Hockenhull (or Rebecca Tunney if ready and healthy) Hannah Whelan and Becky Downie. We'll see.

Not forgetting some American routines that have gotten lost in the American Cup fuss. Although there were a lot of new elites and strong Level 10's competing at the Houston National Invitational, my favourite was Irina Alexeeva. No suprise there. Her Onodi-aerial-sheep is no more connected than Katelyn Ohashi's- Liukin may need a rethink on that pass- but everything was really precise and well done and the BHS-LOSO-LOSO was perfect. I love how one of the judges beams at her at the end. Her lines on floor are exquisite too, but I'm not a fan of this music- it doesn't show off her style and it just seems off, too energetic for her. Still, she has a long time to hone her routines before she's senior so we will hopefully see masterpieces from her. Another young star is Jordan Chiles who will be re-trying for elite this month. Here is her spectacular new floor routine for elite, from WOGA classic I believe. The double arabian looks so easy for her considering her diminutive size, and she is training a front-triple-layout punchfront pass which will probably replace the double-full version seen in her second pass. I'll also include her DTY from a while back, it's very strong.

And finally- Sydney Johnson-Scharpf's floor routine! She was wowing everyone at Nastia Liukin Cup but I couldn't watch and it was on too late anyway to fuss about with proxies. This is the one from the qualifying meet. I absolutely love it.

UPDATE- Cottbus' roster has been released. Quite a few gaps to fill, and hopefully some more for China who appear to just be sending Huang Huidan. Larisa Iordache and Diana Bulimar will compete all events except vault, and the Russian team is Anna Dementyeva, Anastasia Grishina, Kristina Goryunova and Evgeniya Shelgunova. It's here.

Brazil's top gymnastics club, Flamengo, has suspended adult gymnastics. Members of the National Team that train there Jade Barbosa, Daniele Hypolito and Diego Hypolito amongst others now need somewhere else to train, and sponsorship. A lot of staff have also been cut, as it is suffering huge financial problems- a great shame leading up to their home games. Unfortunately, this is also where hugely talented rising star Rebeca Andrade trains. It's not clear if she is affected, the article when translated states that those training for 2016 remain. So that's a little bright spot on this bleak horizon, hopefully. The same club suffered a fire a while ago which no doubt had an impact on the financial crisis. Judo has also been dumped. Spotted this on The All Around's twitter- great for news. One source article is here.

Diana Bulimar has a DTY! YES! It's been known for a while that she is upgrading her FTY, but not what the upgrade is to be. I'm so glad it's a DTY, not a 1.5. It's times like this I wish I could understand what they're saying- there's two DTY's in the video and they both look great, can't tell if they are both Didi or not since I don't get a good look at the face.. Source is here via FanGymnastics on twitter who thankfully can understand Romanian.

Coming soon: La Roche Sur Yon WC, Jesolo, Chemnitz, Gymnix and Tokyo WC! But in the meantime..favourite beam? Downie or Harrold? Bhardwaj or Zuchold? Alexeeva floor or Chiles? Mustafina floor or Afan? Can Grishina continue to stay on the beam? Or any thoughts you have :)


  1. Aliya messed up in UB EF. So sad to hear that but that's okay. She was just tired I guess(I couldn't watch live feed as I was in the class then) and glad to see she won't compete tomorrow as her knees need to be protected. A little worry about her health problems but she knows herself very much especially after got injuried I think and I trust her :)
    I think Aliya spent much more time training BB than any other enevt particularly her FX so I guess the routine she did in AA was definitely temporary judging from both her tumbling passes and choreo (almost the same as London and too many pauses), new music is good to me, though. Can't wait to see her in Euros :)

    Grishina caught the chance to win the title though she just did a 6.0 routine but I'm so pleased with this :D
    Her twisting form is pretty on vault but it's no use if she fail to land it, she really isn't a powerful gumnasts so I can just hope this will be imporved before WC. Bars is well executed and she can just use it in Euros but have to regain her D score in WC. Beam is a bomb but I'm really happy she was struggling when she almost fell off beam rather than just jumped off the beam and she didn't give up her rest routine. Obviously improved :) I hope she can throw steady routines even with some missed combination in Euros. I think she has endurance issue on FX as well because she still had a bad landing on double pike in TF which she had watered down her routine a lot. But I'm glad her coach didn't force her to do same routine in TF so maybe her coach can make a proper routine to her in Euros or WC.
    (I shouldn't expect too much as there isn't much time before Euros actually)
    btw, I was sooo excited to hear she is locked to Euros even if she placed 2nd in AA.(As she is still a bit inconsistent :/ and the head coach seems really want Shelgunova to compete...).

    Judging from what people said in IG, Paseka didn't seemed to have enough energy to compete either of her vaults well at the same time.(she didn't do Y900 in TQ where she need to do two vaults but she did it in TF) It will be a major problem to her now if she wants to take medals in WC.(twisting form definitely) It's interesting to see what her bars routine will be as I think she can't add Markelov to the routine she did in TF where she had no power to hold giant ring near the end and failed her dismount. But with this okay routine, she really has big chance to Universiade.

    A pity that Pav did a bad layout pod after sticking her DTY. I so want her to win again and make the head coach embarrassed that Pav, who is 25 and is NOT in National team, can beat Paseka, who is the only vault specialist to represent Russia now. (I'm so bad to Paseka but it's true that execution is much more important in new COP.)

    Shelgunova has a decent DTY (here aren't many issues compared to other enevt...). Look like that she weared something ion floor to protect her waist? maybe this is the reason why she still can't reach the requirement of Pak... there isn't her floor vid right? I want to know whether she has made progress on her tumbling form (like separated legs on double pike) and new choreo (I don't really like her routine last year). If she can't make the Euros team, I don't know when we can see her new floor routine:( (She just attend VT and UB in Cottbus)

    I think Afan should be a beam/floor specialist as well, but I'm a bit conflicted about her. She sells her floor routine very well and has potential to take medals but judging from her performances last quad, she just like a bomb (yeah, like Grishina I think though she is better) Injuries and endurance issue cost her a lot so... I have no idea about her:( But her upgrades on both beam and floor is good to see:D Look forward to seeing her hit her routines. That will be amazing!
    Predicting the lineup to Universiade is a litte early now, maybe after some World Cups? :P
    (I will watch other comp on the weekend. Thanks for these info :))

    1. Yes, dissapointing to hear Grishina had issues with the DTY.I'd be so thrilled if she went 4/4 at Euros, even watered down. Yeah Aliya totally overarched a handstand I think, but I'm very happy to see Grishina win. A nice boost for her. Aliya has definitely proven herself for Euros so it's probably a good thing she won't be wearing herself out with more event finals.

      I saw that photo, and I was reminded more of the Chinese girls wearing weights? But most people are saying back brace. That would certainly explain some of her issues, though her Pak HAS improved- it lost the sheep jump position though still straddled and messy of course. I want her to clean up, she's so talented!

      Somehow I don't associate Afan as being inconsistent. I don't know why, as she has proved herself to be. Hmmm.

      I think Mustafina and Nabieva to Universiade? Kramarenko had a good competition, maybe her...

    2. Didi!!! oh I'm sooo excited. Her form of DTY is decent and she land it well:) She finally can be an AAer that I have dreamed for so long. Now I'm look forward to her other upgrades :D If she wants to be an more competitive AAer, her UB needs some upgrades, I just want to see her BB and FX, though :P I will be pleased when she qualifies to AA、BB、FX Final at the same time and take medal in either of them :))))
      And I have to say... WATCH OUT Grishina :O
      I usually saw Deng Linlin wore that everywhere and Deng seemd to have back pain IIRC.
      I hope so,too. As a Russian gymnasts,being consistency in comp is very precious (compared to ROM and USA )so let's hope she can be clean enough to have a spot "this year". (next year at least I know Kharenkova will be senior. Shelgunova will have less chance then.)

      No, only the first is Didi, the second is Larisa I think. Did you watched the video of Larisa in Doha beam qualification last year? She did both layout full and tuck full but fell off beam (that must hurt :S). I think she will do that again this year but just for EF? Then her D score will be insene like Katelyn. EF in both Euros and WC will be very interesting!

      Afan doesn't seem to have mental problems but her DLO and double pike DID fail many times both in Nationals or WC/OG. I don't know which type her situation should be classified into... I hope she can solve it but it seems that this problem has a lot to do with her age?(more and more injuries/ less and less energy).

      IMO Aliya and Paseka are locked though I don't like Paseka, who can be picked just because she has a bad Amanar... and an inconsistent UB (I know my bias is unfair to her as she did improve her form on both VT and UB this year but it isn't enough..)I hope Goryunova and Demy will have a spot.I know it's more difficult for Demy...
      And Kramarenko as well(I like her performance than Nabi's in TF ) but I doubt Russia will give her a chance again:( (2007......)

      Jesolo roster released. Some seniorfrom USA is unknown for me, it will be interesting :D

    3. (I was wrong. She did RO-layout and BHS- tuck full in Doha)

    4. I was thinking I had never seen a layout full from her! I'd definitely like to see her up her game on beam (and point her toes more) to challenge Ohashi. Same for Zeng Siqi.

      Ah thank you. I watched it on my phone and actual skills weren't clear as to who did them, since they have similar build and hair. I'm wondering if Larisa can get back her amanar? If her heel problem is totally sorted then maybe, the one she trained looked fine. And yes, I'd love to see both girls upgrade their bars, and Didi her floor. Larisa does not really need upgrades from her 2012 routine, moreso a bit of reworking and code-whoring to drag up the value. I LOVE her 2012 routine so much I don't really want it to change.

      Yes, the Euros AA definitely just got more interesting. Romania are only sending 3 girls total- maybe Stanila? I think she is stronger than Ocalisan. I'm not sure Chelaru would be ready yet after her break. Sp, Grishina V Mustafina V Iordache V Bulimar! I'm looking forward to new faces Elisa Meneghini and Noemi Makra too, and as always- Gabby Jupp. I'm not sure what kind of position Spain are in to send Roxana Popa- they pulled out of Jesolo- but it would be such a shame for her to miss out.

      I believe if Kharenkova continues as she is now, she will be outclassed by Kuzmina and Bondareva. Bondareva especially. Kharenkova really needs to gain more consistency and fix her bars, which were getting worse last time I saw them. Shelgunova to me seems like an Aly Raisman/Bridget Dloan type. A potentially very strong team player who gets overlooked. She scored high on beam today, must have a look.

      Yes, I know I've seen Deng wear one. The ones the Chinese wear which are just weights don't seem as high/tall on them as braces are.

      I think it's a sad state of affairs when Paseka is your best vaulter, and one and only vault specialist vaulting competitive vaults at that. Nothing against her, I just wish they had some vaulting prodigies in the works. Her amanar does seem better, but it's still ugly. Good for a 15.3-5 I would think.

    5. Oh yeah- Ernst and Nichols. I know very little about Nichols but Ernst was pretty weak on all events last year, nice floor but just not strong or particularly good lines. Word is she has improved a lot which should be interesting. The rest of their girls are so ridiculously strong that it won't really matter that they're bringing two moreso for experience.

  2. I'm not worried about Musty at all. That girl knows how to compete, it's something you can't teach. Love her new beam, and her bars have the same easy fluidity as in London. She can pull out all the stops when she needs to in Euros/Worlds, no point killing herself now. It makes sense for her to be more sensible about training since she is older, has accumulated injuries and the Russian squad is very low on depth.

    Not sure if Grishina is going through a growth spurt? She looks like puberty has started hitting, and for that matter Musty seems a bit taller than in London. Hoping Grishina will have the mental strength to come back and hit in Euros.. I'm not sure she will be able to take many more missed meets. Afan is lovely when she hits but that is always a huge if!

    A bit torn on Alexeeva and Chiles going all out with the difficulty at such an early stage. Sometimes I think it is not helpful and just increases the wear and tear on the body and the risk of injuries at a stage where it isn't necessary. Better to pace and pop up from nowhere (hello Gabby Douglas), peaking right when it really matters..

    I must say I love GB :) Their bars are so exciting, following the great Tweddle tradition, and I really like Ellie Downie's work. She looks like she will be very useful for GB on the power events.

    1. More than anyone I'd trust Mustafina to know exactly how to pace herself and unleash everything when neccessary. I think throwing the completely unneccessary amanar at Euros 2011 taught her a very valuable lesson.

      Grishina is still extremely short given her age, I thought she'd have caught up a little more. She seems more at ease- looks like sensible coaching which is great to see. Her hair is getting slammed but I like it. I'm biased, I dye my hair all shades of coppery red. She could do going a bit darker with it though. If they have a team with Paseka VT/Mustafina AA/UB/BB/FX/Grishina AA/UB/BB (??? can she stay on and connect?? fight Afan for a place?) and Afan BB/FX that's very valuable. They would get an AA medal, possibility of 2, VT medal, and maybe 2 BB and 2 FX, or at least 1 from each. A good haul.

      I'm kind of hoping Chiles and Alexeeva will keep what they have now, and not go nuts upgrading just yet.

      I can't find any Ellie videos from the meet. Word is she has a double layout now which is awesome.

    2. susanw1984 has lots of videos from English Championships on youtube, including Ellie Downie. I didn't see her perform a double layout though - is it competition ready or is she just training one?

    3. Ah I searched her channel and didn't see any, but maybe those went up after- think I was looking pretty soon after uploading. She has said in an interview it's an upgrade she has for this year. As there's no junior Euros she doesn't have much opportunity to show it otherwise.

  3. Cottbus roster out! Demy, Grishina, Shelgunova and Goryunova in for RUS, Iordache and Bulimar for ROU. Grishina is a bit of an uncertain so I think it's good giving her more exposure.

    1. Excited to see Demy and Grishina have a chance to hit! Makes me think the 4th spot for Euros will be Afan, though maybe not. Didi will do floor, yippee!! China have only Huang Huidan confirmed- there's something wrong there, they'd hardly only send one? Maybe Romania might chuck in another gymnast or two as well.

  4. I really liked Aliya's beam. For her first competition this year, she did really well. She has time to clean some things up. I hope she rests her knee for a little.

    Grishina still needs to do some more work, but I can already see the difference with her having this new coach.

    Afan - is hot and cold, at times the pressure gets to her especially in EF.

    Dementieva - she still hasn't improved yet, but I hope to see her old form, before she was injured because she is an asset.

    Shelgunova - I don't know her too well as yet, but time will tell.

    As for Universiade - Aliya said in some interview a while back that the most important competitions for her were the Universiade and Euros but I think she main thing for her is Universiade.

    I know Aliya, Nabieva, Afan, Dementieva, Karmakenko are those who are eligible for Universiade. I am not sure if I am missing others.

    1. Yeah Grishina's confidence was just great to see. And her bars. Oh and the Memmel-illusion floor connection and Onodi-illusion on beam.

      I really want Demy to hit, she now has a chance in Cottbus.

      Shelgunova's form has improved, but only slightly. It's a shame as she is very talented and usually very consistent. Valuable team player especially if she can clean up her form more.

      She has been named to Euros team. The fourth spot is up for grabs between Afan, Demy and Shelgunova but Aliya, Grishina and Paseka are on it. So she will pretty much have to do AA.

      Myzdrikova probably would be too, but I don't see that happening.

  5. Iordache looks like she has a layout full. Yay. If she can get her bars up a bit I think she can really contend against the Amanar vaulters or the super bar workers.

    Plus she needs redemption. Bulimar with a DTY can finally compete in AA. could potentially medal at Euros and be in the top 10 at worlds.

    1. I'd be so thrilled for Bulimar to medal. I want Jupp to medal too though, and I can't have those two when Iordache, Mustafina and Grishina will be competing. Sigh. Iordache competed 6.1 and 6.3 bars last year, with an upgrade talked about but never competed- to bring it to 6.5. Harder to achieve that now in the new code but she has a decent swing and power- would love a release/transition combo from her. I really want Iordache to challenge Ohashi with a 7.0 beam set. Ohashi's form is better except for her layout full, but Iordache has more attack and more likelihood of connecting...

  6. I'm so glad to see that Bulimar has a DTY! Still needs upgrades on everything else, but she'll be in contention for an AA medal at Euros!

    1. She's a very nifty floor and beam worker, she could hopefully compensate more for her bars on the other 3 now than she was doing last year. I'm so excited that it's not a 1.5- just isn't competitive enough.

    2. Do you have any clue why Romania's only sending three girls? Is no one else ready? I suppose they have all the bases covered (Bulimar and Iordache for AA, BB, and FX finals). They won't medal on bars. I would think Izbasa for vault, but I suppose that she is not ready, or is just saving herself for Worlds... I could imagine just these two girls winning six medals between them. It would be great to see them go one-two on beam and floor, like they did last year. I don't know if they could go one-two in the AA unless Mustafina messes up big time. Right now it looks to be Iordache vs Mustafina for gold, and Grishina vs Bulimar for bronze, though I could be wrong. Are you planning to do Euros predictions?

    3. Some people are saying they might send another, dunno. They have Bulimar, Iordache, Andrei, Chelaru, Izbasa, Stanila and Ocalisan..that's about it. Andrei gets no assignments, Chelaru is unlikely to be ready, Izbasa probably needs more time and may just save herself for worlds but Stanila and Ocalisan should be there for the experience if nothing else.