Monday, 28 July 2014

News and Stuff

Commonwealth Games are taking place, and only 5 days until Classics! And less than 3 weeks to YOG. Finally, competitions!

One of the big stories to emerge from CWG so far is the withdrawal of Victoria Moors, who was replaced with Victoria Kayen-Woo. Gymnastics Canada made a statement on this two days later which you can see here (click EN at the top). This is, well, a little dodgy. First, hurray that it doesn't appear to be injury. It's not surprising and is actually commendable if the statement is deliberately vague due to personal issues Victoria is facing, or mental block/anxiety. We don't need to delve deeper. It's just a little odd in that if the camp prior to Glasgow was to show readiness, why was she picked? The tone of the statement seems a little punishing if that's the correct term, rather than supportive. I also find it a little strange that she did not hang around to support her teammates, but that could well be because her credentials were then needed for the other Victoria and suitable accommodation was not found, or it wasn't her own wish to stay. After all, it is extremely expensive to get a last-minute Transatlantic flight. Anyway, wishing her a speedy return to top form and all systems go for Nanning.

In crunchily stale news, Gabby Douglas has found a new home. A temporary one, Nia Dennis' gym Buckeye Gymnastics. An interesting choice, not least because both gymnasts are quite similar and in more ways than the blindingly obvious. They are both lean with long lines, but powerful and springy. Decently strong tumbling, high-flying on bars, good flexibility. They could push each other to work harder. However, this could be another trial period and seeing as the last one with her star coach who got her to the top didn't work out, I'm very hesitant about this one.

It's not for us to criticise her choice. It's her life and there is obviously stuff in the background and more than likely other motivations that we're just not aware of. However, it's also hard not to criticise her choice. No matter her achievements, she can't be the centre of a gym and a coach's attention when he has a crowd of other elites with strong Rio prospects. I'm quite disappointed with Gabby's move as it's obvious she is massively talented and didn't reach her peak. On the other hand, I'm also quite disappointed in Chow with the news of his dodgy contracts for elites. I hope that Gabby thrives in her new environment and finds the motivation to stick with it if that's what she wants. But I'm not holding my breath for this fabulous comeback now.

I'm picking up tiny bits of CWG on twitter - Becky Downie nailed her bars routine which will more than likely be the highlight of the whole competition for me. I love the fact that she's getting more consistent and shaping up splendidly for worlds.

It's very sad that The Couch Gymnast appear to have lost their archives, here's hoping they can recover them. It's nice to see them back - and thrilling to see The Gymternet with my favourite writer/blogger Lauren Hopkins at the helm. It's shaping up to be something special I think and I'll definitely be registering for the message boards.

Counting down the days to Classics? What do you think of Gabby's move? She's the third top girl to move this year but will be the only one to face actual flak over it - is this deserved?

Monday, 14 July 2014

Tan Sixin has retired

This has been looming for quite a while and is now public news. She of the glorious oversplit leaps and particularly amazing beam, but also epic meltdowns such as 2011 TF floor, has retired. I'd hoped when she re-emerged last year with some very nice work that she'd make a full comeback, and we may see her yet at small competitions and maybe Asian Games if they need her, but she will not be in the running for major international competitions.

I know this would be better with a source, but Chinese news is secret and when made public as in this case, it doesn't come with official sources. Unfortunately, many girls fade away quietly, the prime example being Zeng Siqi earlier this year.

Wishing her a happy and healthy future.