Friday 25 April 2014

What's the story with YOG?

YOG is the Youth Olympic Games. This August, 16-18th to be exact, they will take place in the city of Nanjing, China. Not to be confused with Nanning which is thousands of miles away and is where worlds will be held.

There is only one female gymnast per country allowed, who must have been born in 1999 i.e. turning senior next year. The US have declined this opportunity and will not be sending any WAG. This is disappointing but is probably no bad thing..Bailie Key has had a lot of experience with wiping the floor with her competitors, and this leaves podiums more open and exciting.

Gymnasts qualify at a number of events. These include: Jr Euros, Jr Pan American Games and Jr Asian Championships. Ultimately it is down to the federation who gets to go, but it seems to be the case that the gymnast must have competed at one of the qualifying meets.

Note: Skills can be named at this meet. Viktoria Komova had one of her bars transitions named here. This will be only the second ever YOG.

So, who's in the running?

Russia have a number of options:

Maria Bondareva
Anastasia Dmitrieva
Seda Tutkhalyan

Maria Bondareva would have been seen as the forerunner of this for quite some time, however over the last year she seems to have stagnated quite a bit. Anastasia isn't consistent enough to really impress at this point either. Seda is the best option but isn't too consistent just yet.

Romania have two that I know of:

Laura Jurca
Andreea Iridon

This one isn't near as open, the spot should be Laura's. Andreea has some beautiful work but doesn't seem to be an all-arounder, which is the focus of this competition.

China have two major contenders:

Wang Yan
Yuan Xiaoyang

This one will I think go to Wang Yan if she is healthy. I mention her a lot, she's quite the star on vault and beam in particular although Asian Junior Championships did not go her way recently..

Britain have three:

Ellie Downie
Tyesha Matthis
Amy Tinkler

Now this will be close, all three are powerhouses with quite a lot of difficulty. We will I believe see amanars from this bunch when senior.

Japan have two:

Aiko Sugihara
Sae Miyakawa

Both girls are strong on floor. Sae also has a nice DTY under her belt.

Brazil have two:

Rebeca Andrade
Flavia Saraiva

Rebeca has had her name on this for years. Super springy, with an amanar, DLO and improved bars. However, Flavia is extremely promising and will hopefully be given a fair chance in the running for the spot.

Netherlands also have two, though I don't know a huge amount about these girls. Update: Both are currently injured. Many of their seniors are too - Chantysha Netteb, Noel Van Klaveren, Eythora Thorsdottir. The new CGA??

Mara Titarsolej
Dana de Groot

Sadly, the star that is Kim Janas is injured and won't be ready to compete. She could have given the big 3 a run for their money.

Elizabet Vasileva of Bulgaria won't be in medal contention but she WILL turn heads on floor and beam if she goes. She used to be a rythmic gymnast and incorporates this to stunning effect on both events. Australian Darcy Norman is another to look out for also. Edit- Elizabet may be 2000 born and therefore not elegible. We will see her at Euros though.

Now is the time to have fun on youtube looking up the contenders. It should be a great battle, some enormous potential and talent with no real obvious winner from looking at the lists of those elegible.

To me, the AA is anyone's game. On vault, looking forward to seeing who can contest Rebeca Andrade, hopefully Wang Yan can. On floor I'd love to see Sae Miyakawa holding her own, she has a super neat double front and double layout last pass. If this lot go of course. Beam and bars are harder to puzzle out.

Who are you most looking forward to seeing?


  1. Seda will most certainly go for Russia if she remains healthy. She scores full points higher than Dmitrieva and Mikhailova in the AA and Bondareva is struggling with injuries and illness. Seda is also the strongest vaulter which will be crucial in beating the powerhouses of Andrade and Downie should they attend. It's nice to see that Russia has a good set of up and coming seniors, these girls along with Melnikova once she is senior will make a great Rio squad. Fingers crossed everyone stays healthy!

  2. I think Noel van Klaveren is currently sitting out competition because her father is ill with cancer.

    And I read that Tyesha Mattis was/is injured and so isn't going to Europeans (hence not on the nominative list)... Hope she is soon up and running!

    For Russia, I really like Seda Tutkhalyan. I can't tell you why I like her best of the four, I just do! I like Iridon AND Jurca. So either :) And I like both Andrade and Saraiva! And please let Wang Yan go! Pleeeease! I think Amy Tinkler seems most likely for GB (and has been getting some international experience lately).

    Eh let's go nuts, let everyone go :P

    1. Oh wow, okay. Yes, Tyesha is injured so that will probably scupper her chances of qualifying to have her shot at YOG if the rules are to be believed- there's a lot of misunderstanding as regards qualifiying.

      I like her best too, there's something about her and I haven't seen many routine of her even, because they don't exist on youtube. Wang Yan will go if healthy.

    2. I just read on the FIG (or UEG? website) that the trampolining YOG entries are non-nominative ie the gymnast at the qualifier just gains a spot for their country, not necessarily for themselves. So I'd guess if GB do qualify a spot, Tyesha may be back in the mix come summer. If it's the same in WAG as in trampolining!

    3. I heard somewhere that Tyesha had foot surgery? But I can't remember the source so don't quote me. I think it's relatively minor, and would explain why she's had some issues on beam and floor this season. If she's recovered I expect she'll be in strong contention for the spot, but if someone else has a very successful Euros she might find it hard to sneak in! I could see Amy or an on-form Catherine medalling AA at Euros and Ellie D will easily medal on VT if she stands everything up.

  3. byrdisthewyrd1 May 2014 at 16:51

    This is off the subject but I just saw that you were part of the Love it or Hate it blog by the Couch Gymnast! That's so awesome for you! Okay, now I'll go read the article. I was just excited and had to come by and say congrats!

    1. Hehe thank you! I also feature in the other love it or hate it choreo articles :) It's great to be part of a panel, ha.

  4. Just a technical detail. Gymnasts do not qualify to the YOG via the Pan Am Games which are held every 4 years with the next one in 2015 well after the YOG. Pan-American Countries qualified a non-nominative spot at the Jr. Pan Am Championships (which are different) held this past March.

    There are Jr Pan Am Championships (3/14 - gymnastics only), Sr Pan Am Championships (8-9/2014- gymnastics only, sometimes apparatus only (2013)) and Pan Am Games (2015 multisport competition).

    1. Oooh, this is totally unrelated, but you're Elizabeth Price's aunt, correct? If so, please let her know what a great role model she is! I volunteer with an elementary school girl scout troop, and one of the girls (who does gymnastics) was talking about how she had stayed up to watch Pac Rims with her mom, and that they "really liked the girl who won." When I explained to all of them that not only is Ebee a world-class gymnast, but she's also going to a top school to study science (biomedical engineering is what I heard?) the girl got really excited because she "wants to be a gymnast and be really smart, too."

      Obviously you are all extremely proud of Ebee already, I just thought you and she might enjoy knowing that. :) I wish her best of luck at Stanford!

  5. Some training videos for Chinese nationals are out - Yao Jinnan (Ziyi) looks so healthy! Her tuck full on beam is still there which was much discussed on your blog - I'm ok with it if she does it in competition how she did it in training.

  6. Looks like it will be an interesting competition no matter who goes! Its a shame that the 2000 born girls can't go, it would be nice to see Lyons, Melnikova and others competing for a spot as well.