Thursday, 28 March 2013

Introducing the new He Kexin


I'm exhausted just watching her. Hindorff-Geinger, Jaeger, Tkachev-Pak, full twisting double layout. I know that the new bars code will see sloppy release-release and release-combination connections but this routine, Ruby Harrold's and Becky Downie's make me absolutely not care at all. Now obviously her form is not exactly brilliant, she has nice lines but her knees are soft in some skills, her Pak is dumpy, some handstands are suspect etc. She essentially does not have the precision of her famous uneven bars specialist predeccessor, He Kexin. Maybe that will come- she's in the same coaching group as Wu Liufang and Huang Qiushuang so hopefully her coaches can work some magic on her form. It seems less forgiveable for a Chinese gymnast to have anything less than perfect form on bars compared to other nations somehow. She is also less useful than Kexin because she only competes bars, Kexin had a DTY and a somewhat decent floor. Word is that Jiaxin is training both events, so that would absolutely increase her likelihood to make major teams. As it is, if she performs like this all year then she should take a spot at worlds. She has a huge amount of strength and endurance, wherein her value lies as that doesn't come around everyday for China. For now though, let's just bask in a Chinese gymnast hitting..qualifying first and then taking gold, and with a spectacular routine at that. Edit- Jiaxin's missing transition from the video is a toe hecht to high, you can see an uninterrupted version here but it's a bit smaller and not as good quality I think.


Here is the excellent silver medallist, Ruby. Delighted to see her pacing working out..she's been named to the Euros team and her bars keep improving as it gets closer. Only a slight arch after the Zuchold this time, and she planted the troublesome double front, which was beautiful. Automatically I'm more forgiving of her form errors than Jiaxin's, and I'm not sure if it's my imagination but the leg seperations don't seem as bad as quals and British Championships.

Sadly, would-be bronze medallist Zeng Siqi crashed her dismount. She doesn't seem to have half the strength and endurance of her teammate, but hoping for a decisive beam victory from her tomorrow.

Vault gold medallist Phan Thi Ha Thanh showed two exquisite vaults. Minus some foot crossing they were beautiful in the air. She has improved quite a lot since her 2011 worlds bronze win I think.

Videos are going up here. I was hoping Diana Bulimar and Larisa Iordache's bars would be better. Larisa at least looks capable of a stronger bars routine, the composition is not her friend and leaves her open for deductions they should be able to avoid.

In other news, GB have named their Euros team as Gabby Jupp, Becky Downie, Ruby Harrold and..Charlie Fellows. Great to see someone new get a chance, but I thought Hannah Whelan would get the benefit of the doubt owing to her veteran status, despite being plagued with falls so far this year.

8 comments:

  1. The angle isn't very good for Tan Jiaxin's routine, I hope there'll be another one from the side or diagonal - at least not bang in front of the bars!! Hard to tell but her handstands definitely look short. Pirouettes are lovely, typical China. How old is she though? She was eligible for London right? Not sure how likely it is that she can turn up with other usable events at this age/stage of her career. I'm pretty amazed that Kexin could do a DTY, to be honest - she's so tiny!

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    1. I think it's fascinating how height/body structure doesn't correlate to power. For example, Liukin was tall for a gymnast, but couldn't do more than a 1.5TY. But she could swing bars. And then Simone Biles, who is SO short, with her amanar and monster floor

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    2. Jiaxin just entered NT last year(after Trials I think) and she barely competed the other events before. I don't think she can learn DTY.... maybe she can upgrade her difficulty on floor to at least 5.5(now is 5.2or5.3) so it can be used in qualification. But I don't want her to be second HKX, who got many injuries when training other events... Jiaxin seems more healthy I think.
      (btw, He's DTY was gone since 2011 IIRC, or she can replace YJN in LONDON....)

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    3. And Tan was born in 1996.

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    4. Tan is 16-17. What's amazing about her is her power, China may well need her just for that- none of the rest are capable of anything close to the endurance her bars routine needs. If she can get floor that'd be great, maybe vault. The specialist worlds was made for her. I'm a bit torn though, I want her to continue to be relevant next year, but not with the risk training other events brings! She does look stronger than HKX though, who was always very slight.

      Yes, I love how sometimes a gymnast's size is no guarantee of what they can do! Biles is a lot shorter than I thought actually.

      That's still equal or better than Zhang Qing, whose difficulty is so low to be considered any kind of floor specialist. Oh yeah, wow I didn't expect her to have it until 2011! I was referencing Beijing really.

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  2. Can I also say how lovely it is to see gymnasts with neat hair rather than the Mckayla hair.

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    1. Yes, although how beautiful is Phan Thi Ha Thanh even with Ohashi hair! My favourite 'gymnast hair' is Mackenzie Caquatto actually, and then He Kexin 2012 EF UB.

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  3. all three chinese gymnasts are age eligible for last year's london olympics

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