Sunday, 21 July 2013

EYOF in a nutshell


- Eythora Thorsdottir on beam. Refreshingly Soviet and glorious.
- Kim Janas' floor choreography. Not so much that it flowed wonderfully, it didn't, but the actual movements were great.
- Laura Jurca's DTY! Really excellent first showing.
- In general, 2 more DTY's for Romania. They now have 3 in the junior ranks.
- Tyesha Mattis' double double. So unneccessary (skills are capped at E value) but awesome, great landing.
- Solid Russian beam. How very unusual! Great routines by Maria Kharenkova and Maria Bondareva.
- Andreea Iridon's beam. Love.
- Quality performances by Britain. Team gold, AA gold and silver, rings and pommel gold, parallel bars and floor silver in MAG, team silver, AA bronze and vault gold and bronze in WAG. Awesome! They could have done even better but they had some issues in WAG team finals.
- Maria Kharenkova's double arabian. Lovely and neat. Jury's still out on her double pike- sheep jump. She needs a B jump for that connection so your average leap won't do but the very nature of a sheep jump makes it slow. Maybe a double stag if that's a B? Any other suggestions?
- Martina Rizzelli on bars. Deserving bars champion. She's a new one on me and I really loved her swing and lightness.
- Emma Larsson's bounciness on floor. Great tumbles from her.
- Eythora Thorsdottir on floor. Because who can't be enthralled even from the way she walks on before saluting?
- Silvia Zarzu on floor. She looks better, more 'on'. Despite the loss of her much-loved floor music from last year (to me anyway) I really enjoyed her on this event.
- 2/3 hit routines for Eythora Thorsdottir on beam, and no falls! Her usual beam routine is almost guaranteed to have a fall. Nice 2.5 upgraded dismount too.
- The resurgence of Laura Jurca. She's been relagated to an alternate type but she really showed what she's made of at this competition. Sadly she wasn't great in the AA but did so well on the first day and in vault finals. Super DTY!

Not-so highlights

- The absence of Andreea Munteanu (hand surgery), Madalina Blendea (stomach issues), Enus Mariani (back problems) and Elizabet Vasileva (???).
- Tiebreakers. Particularly the AA one, a tiebreak for gold is extra unfair. Poor Kim Janas! Does everything with Olympic in the name employ tiebreakers?
- Falls, like Andreea Iridon on bars, Russians on bars, Silvia Zarzu on vault, Tutya Yilmaz' meltdown on bars in the AA and more.
- Russian steadiness on beam seeming to come at the cost of their bars. Even Viktoria Kuzmina was not great, short handstands, no upgrades. They do have good basics of course..
- Very harsh scoring, particularly on floor. Scores were also too close, which resulted in several ties.
- The livestream. Would not work on firefox, had to use Chrome. Way too much focus on the audience and on gymnasts after their routine. Nice variety of gymnasts shown but many of the top contenders had only 1 or 2 routines, or in the case of Maria Bondareva- none, shown.
- Super bouncy floor. This is the floor that was used a few times so far this year with numerous out of bounds, and will be used in Antwerp. There's getting used to a different floor and then there's a floor that is just too bouncy.

Best routines

Beam- Eythora Thorsdottir, EF
Floor- Ooh. Kim Janas, Emma Larsson or Eythora. 
Vault- Laura Jurca, EF
Bars- Martina Rizzelli, EF

Best leotards- Netherlands TF, Romania TF

A great competition, though marred by notable absences, falls and tiebreakers. Not the best competition for Russia and Romania though a valuable experience for them I think. What were your highlights? Has Eythora won over the masses yet?

Nothing else will embed! A pity she doesn't have the difficulty for gold but a silver is such a boost anyway for her most troublesome apparatus, and in front of a home crowd too.



  1. Eythora Thorsdottir is so lovely on beam! She has great low beam work! It's by far the best these days! I also love her spin combo!

    The Russian juniors are quite good at beam, but need a lot of help on bars. Once the juniors become seniors, Russia will have a good mix of athletes on each apparatus.

    1. Yes, it will be a nice mix if Aliya and Vika are still around- if only for bars- in 2015. That said, Bondareva and Kuzmina do have enormous potential there, I'd be pretty hopeful they can be very strong on bars.

      Much as I love Eythora's low to beam, because it's STUNNING, it's taking up quite a bit of team. Since she's senior next year it will have to be cut down- even though it's new- if they want her to make beam finals at Euros even. :( Damn you to hell, code!

    2. I think Aliya and Vika will still be around. Russia needs to hold onto their older athletes. I do hope the juniors can become stronger on bars if Vika and Aliya do retire by then.

      Ugh, the code of points is ruining WAG! There is no creativity!

    3. Sure, and Afanasyeva, assuming they are healthy and happy to continue by then. Particularly Vika who's so prone to injury. Mustafina needs smarter management of her floor routine, particularly when she's not in peak form, in order to be preserved better.

  2. I thought it was an OK competition. It was good experience for all the gymnasts.

    The AA live-stream was a mess. The camera was too focused on the audience and the scoreboard. Yes, I understand that scores are important, but one time the camera was fixated on the scoreboard with the same score for a whole floor routine (not to mention others).

    Thorsdottir was awesome, especially her beam. I like how she combines three turns. Her bars dismount was also original (no DLO or full-in, in other words).
    Russia and Romania were definitely not at their best, but it was great for experience. I hope Munteanu and Blendea recover.

    What's with all the tie-breakers in every Olympic related competition? I think it's really unfair to downgrade someone/drop them out of the podium when in reality, the two gymnasts got the exact same score. And for what? A higher E-Score? Even if the gymnasts get the same D and E-Score, there's another tie-breaker. WTF? I mean, what was the problem of handing out more than one medal of the same color? They did this before. Who came up with this rule?

    1. Yes Russia in particular as they sent their best, two of whom are senior in 6 months. Kharenkova's toepoint is's there, now it's not, and her leaps on beam are weak. She needs to buck up in vault too or she won't get out of a specialist role.

      The floor bronze was not broken, I think because d and e were identical. They may have gone as far as the real Olympics do, bringing back dropped scores like the 08 bars tiebreaker and it may still have been equal, but I'm not sure they did that.

  3. Yes, the Russians won, but it was the British team that impressed me most. Strong and full of stamina, with great leaps and tumblings, very much alike with the American girls, I think (especially Tyesha Mattis, a very good vaulter, but also swinging bars very well).

    I'm most pleased to see the gymnastics field getting more and more democratic. Many promising juniors from different countries, full of qualities, with good chances of getting on top, upon the condition of proper coaching, and I mean the graceful Eythora Thorsdottir, Kim Janas, Tea Ugrin, very good on bars and floor and Claire Martin, with her special way of doing the beam routine. And I would keep on eye on the Dutch gymnastics, there are people doing a fine work there, so good news to come in the next years.

    All in all, I do believe the European youth has a bright future when it comes to gymnastics.

    1. Yes I'm liking the French on floor especially. Maelys Plessis is really awesome there. The British girls are extremely impressive, but a bit rough around the edges. A nice contrast to the fairy-like Catherine Lyons and Georgia Mae Fenton! I hope they clean up anyway because there really is immense talent in their junior ranks.

      Kim Janas is a superstar. I hope she can break through to top 5 AA. Eythora hopefully can upgrade enough to make finals in the future..she, like Noemi Makra, needs to be seen.

  4. I think Kim deserved to win outright. I hate anti-Big Four bias.

    1. Hmm, maybe. She would have had she not nearly fallen on beam, which is awesome.

  5. Yilmaz was actually a highlight for me. After her fall on bars I was a tad nervous about watching her on beam, but there was something gorgeously Soviet about her composition and choreo. The mount especially, and the switch split leap to standing LOSO combo ... just very pretty gymnastics, even if her execution wasn't always the best. On floor she had a fall and an OOB but I'm a sucker for a pretty back spin!

    1. I thought she had a nice lightness to her, and she did well in quals. Hopefully she bounces back even better.

  6. eythora thorsdottir convert. girl is fabulous.

    1. Haha excellent. And her floor doesn't even make the most of her, I thought her 2010 floor did a better job. She sells her current routine well but she should really be rocking a gorgeous swan lake piece or something like that soon.