Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Anadia Challenge Cup

First of all, I hope everyone got the chance to see this live. If not, there are plenty of accounts who've uploaded individual routines on youtube. I did say I'd post links to the livestream but I got caught up in trying to record and doing test recordings and forgot. And while I did upload a test recording to youtube, they totally betrayed me and the full-length ones won't even play for me, never mind convert or upload.


- The return of the lovely Julie Croket from Belgium, one year after an ACL injury took her out of contention for a London spot. She qualified to two finals, beam and floor, but sadly fell off beam in the final. Still, it's great to see her back and she can definitely build on this. Great floor choreography from her.
- Another opportunity to see the fabulous Noemi Makra of Hungary who I will continue fangirling over at any opportunity. Noemi qualified to bars finals, but was bumped out of beam where she qualified ninth and had some issues on floor. Her difficulty needs to be built on, it was nice to see the addition of a Church on bars though, and her connections need to be snappier on beam, though the skills are breathtaking in their execution.
- Diana Bulimar solid as a rock. Great to see her take gold on floor and bronze on beam, but her difficulty is a bit pitiful all things considering- a full one point behind Larisa on beam, and 5.9 on floor when she can do more there too. The good news she's getting a new floor routine soon!
- The incredible beam routines of Shang Chunsong, who looked like she'd never even heard the term balance check. Routines of the Fan Ye/Ekaterina Vandisheva level of precision and perfection.
- The return of Larisa Iordache's two fulls! She's also connecting her aerial to leaps, which brings her full beam difficulty to a whopping 6.9. That is higher than Katelyn Ohashi gets credited with.
- Jing Ying Tam's beam mount. It's one of my favourites.
- Anastasia Grishina's hit bars routine in finals. Awesome.
- Shang Chunsong's release fest on bars is just spectacular.
- The resurgence of Jade Barbosa! Her DTY in particular in finals was explosive. Pencil her in as a vault threat this long as she has the right leotard sponsor!
- Larisa Iordache's turns on floor in event finals. Nailed the Gomez and double L, so precise. Turn combinations would be great from her.
- Kim Bui making all 4 finals. Nice!

Not-so highlights

- Larisa Iordache, despite upgrading her beam routine for finals, looks to be hampered with injuries and/or recovery. This was hinted at after Euros. She has also of course grown quite a bit in the last year. Wobbling on her tuck full, crashing her Silivas, underrotating her triple..this is not a fully healthy gymnast.
- Shang Chunsong getting screwed on her beam execution. Yes, she was 0.4 behind in difficulty and yes her routine was not perfect perfect..the low dismount, the step...but it was significantly more perfect than Larisa's routine, which scored one tenth higher in execution despite having a wobble where her foot reached shoulder height, a step, a balance check and a hop on dismount. This is just like how clean FTY's get lower execution than a sloppy amanar- the judges allowed themselves to be wowed by Larisa's two fulls and/or reputation on this event. This is an FIG event, not some unimportant regionals. We can argue all day over who had better choreo and whether they received artistry deductions or not (they are both equal in that department) or whether Shang paused too much, but the fact is they applied maximum deductions to one girl and not to the other.
- Russia imploding, with the exception of Anastasia Grishina on bars in finals. However, she herself had falls and errors on other events, and Anna Rodionova, Ekaterina Baturina and Alla Sosnitskaya all crashed at least once.
- Noemi Makra only making one final.
- Jessica Lopez falling in bars finals. Love her and her routine.
- Shang Chunsong falling on the Shap both days. It's there to avoid dead hang as she is terrible at toe-shoots, but if she hasn't perfected it by National Games then it needs to be binned. Hopefully she grows a bit too. Utterly fabulous routine, and so difficult she still snatched bronze.

What did you think of the competition? Favourite routine? Should the beam judges be forced to watch Yang Bo beam routines on repeat?


  1. Hi Catherine! I posted my summary on my blog. My favorite routine was Shang Chunsong's beam. It was very precise, solid, and I love the double stag! Her bars were also very cool besides the fall. I really like her releases! I also loved Anastasia's bars. Yes, the judges should be forced to watch Yang Bo's routines (1989 China Cup, 1990 World Cup) and witness how perfection looks.

    1. Yes, I really like Shang- even with her questionable floor choreography and music, though she had no say in that. She's cleaned up, now she just needs to grow for a DTY to be in her grasp. 6.7-8 bars, 6.5 beam, 6.1 floor...and she will not 'need' an amanar.

  2. I can only say that as much as I adore Shang's precision, Larisa's routine had better flow of movements and was less robotic. This applies also to Larisa's watered down floor versus Diana superior tumbling with choreography that suited her before puberty hit (with her cute smile on).
    As much as I love bemoaning bad judging, I just can't help but like Larisa's scores lately. She's got her own style: maybe sloppy, but speedy, energetic and girl can dance through the crap she was given. One simply cannot hate the gymnast that make everything looks so easy:)

    1. Ha while neither gymnast has anything approaching amazing beam choreo, I prefer Shang's since hers is a bit quirky and she has much better form, whereas Larisa falls into the typical arm movement category. Neither have enough choreo, and both will probably have gotten artistry deductions. I've just seen a breakdown by an actual judge and it proves that max deductions were taken from Shang, and minimum from Larisa.

      Anyway, I DO really like Larisa on beam. But she was much snappier and more energetic and steadier at Doha and Euros. I hope she can get back to peak health soon. Both girls are getting new floors soon by the way, but it's a fact that with all the requirements and difficulty top routines have to put in, choreo- even the initial choreo given- falls by the wayside.

  3. I like Larisas gymnastics most of the time, but lately she looks a little sloppy. It was mentioned in another gymsite that she looked a little out of shape and I have to agree.

    Shang should have won gold on beam. Nuff said. I don't know how the judges could overlook tue numerous balance checks from Larissa.

    Ahh grishina. I always root for her even when I know shes gonna mess up.

    I seriously cannot wait for worlds because I want her to come in and kill it.

    1. Yes, sluggish. I'm thinking it's moreso a nagging injury rather than growth but whatever it is hopefully she bounces back.

      There are niggly things in Shang's routine. It's been broken down by a judge to be 8.6 execution (received 8.65) while Larisa's has been broken down to 8.3ish (received 8.75). Her added difficulty was a little too much of an obstacle, but if Shang had stuck her dismount she'd have been in a much better position. But absolutely, looks like the judges blinked too much when Larisa was on beam! Grishina rekindled hope when she hit bars ha. But so good at Euros...hope she gets back to that and upgrades..

  4. I'm glad Kim Bui is back and doing well! I feel like mid-quad there was a lot of chatter about her being Germany's it girl, but then she just faded out.

    I can't wait to see more of Jade Barbosa at Worlds! That'll show Brazil's Gymnastics Federation if she medals on vault :)

    I'm always rooting for the gymnasts from non-Big 4 countries, and there seems to be a LOT of talent from non-Big 4 countries this quad. Cannot wait for Worlds!!!

    1. Kim Janas is likely to overtake her, great to see they have strong gymnasts...Scheder too. Me neither!

  5. I just wanted to let you know that I love and really appreciate your blog. You always have great news and updates! I always look forward to reading what you write.

  6. Shang is looking very good and hopefully she is taken to Worlds as an AA-er over Huang Qiushuang. Her beam was lovely, totally agree with you on the scoring between her and Larisa. I def agree that Larisa is not looking at peak form but it mostly just looks like she is worn down/tired or has minor injuries which are stopping her from training at full strength. But I wish the China coaches could do something about the beam cheoro for Shang, it completely does not suit her - why not try more classical looking cheoreo like Sui Lu had, which was lovely?

    Didi is looking so sharp. Upgrade already Didi! Can't wait for her new floor, I hate her existing floor music which also tends to give the impression that it is less 'artistic' than it actually is

    Ah, Russia. Heartbreakers as always except for Aliya. Grishy, get your act together. Alla has potential to be competitive for the main team though I think..

    1. HQS is planning on retiring, I think. She cannot do her DTY anymore, so she's no longer a strong all-arounder really. I really really liked the choreo Shang has after her switch ring! Different, I like things other than arm movement here...foot shuffle there. But she's definitely lacking in the choreo department, as they all are.

      Alla could be valuable next year. I like her, such a pity nerves got the better of her. She did not compete floor, one of her best events.

    2. Wow I'm surprised.. a year ago she was trying the Amanar and I thought her DTY was always pretty decent. But she's such a headcase that I'd rather anyone else gets the opportunity to try really.

      Alla would be a good addition to the mix for floor. If she could vault she would be very useful... what are the chances?

    3. Well she can..but has to start further back than allowed, which is an 0.5 deduction. Same value as a 1.5 yurchenko so and I don't believe her coaches would let her take the DTY deduction in an international competition.

      I think she could develop into an FX/VT girl. She was senior last year but still bigtime lacks experience, I hope she's given the chance.

  7. The Couch Gymnast did a 2-part article on the dangers and history of gymnasts attempting the Produnova

    1. Ooo interesting. I'm definitely still up for banning it myself.

  8. I see several voices denouncing arguable judging in the beam final. Be sure these gymnasts know very well when they do right or wrong, so it would be a shame for someone to try to fool them.

    Shang Chunsong particularly interested me as the chinese dominated the BB event in the last years. She was good, very good, no wobbles at all, a possible world champion on beam. Why did she get a 8.650 execution score in the EF, and not a much higher one? I really don't know, I'm not such an expert in gymnastics to explain why. Overall, her routine is very good, but lacks that "something" to be impressive as well. And there is another question that I rise: why the chinese judges gave her a 8.467 on execution at the Chinese Nationals BB EF, not a long time ago, on a less difficult routine? (Chinese judges are harsh, one may say.)

    As for Larisa Iordache, after watching her in the qualifications, I thought Anadia would be a total disaster for her. Many, uncharacteristic wobbles on BB, a crashed Silivas, were all bad signs (I suspect a weight issue to be the source of all these troubles). But she redeemed herself on the day of the two EFs. The BB routine was much better (especially in the second half), but there was also a huge wobble (among other mistakes). 99 of other gymnasts would have fallen off, but she somehow managed and saved her routine, and I think the judges might have gotten impressed by that. The score was surprisingly high to me, with the execution almost as high as in Doha (her best routine so far this year). But saving a routine is also a matter of execution, isn't it? Still, I consider the final ranking to be right.

    I hope for the future not a single athlete to be gifted in competition, but rewarded according to the achievements.