Archive for March, 2009

Podium Training at European Championships

March 31, 2009

Gymmedia has a nice summary of the first day of podium training. I translated it (not word by word). Click here to read it in German.

Between 10.30 a.m. and 8 p.m. (March, 31st) 85 female gymnasts from 33 countries presented their routines for the European Championships held this weekend in Milan, Italy. 10.000 viewers would be able to follow the competition in the Milanese “Mediolanum Forum”, but this day, the arena was empty and quiet.

In contrast to 2006 World Champion Vanessa Ferrari (ITA), who wasn´t on top, vice-European Champion from Amsterdam (2007) Sandra Izbasa (ROU) was in great form. Izbasa, the Russians and some others will have better chances to win some medals.


Tamirjan - Izbasa - Semenova - Afanasyeva - Myasnikova

Who will be the next European Champion – Izbasa, Semenova or Afanasyeva? Tamirjan? Or someone else? (photo via gymnasticsunited)

After some “weak” groups in the morning, the gymnasts in the later runs showed more potential. Kim Bui (handspring – somersault layout foreward with half twist on vault)  and Anja Brinker from Germany did well. The Russians with the newcomers Yulia Berger and Kristina Goryunova showed great technique and nice acrobatic skills on uneven bars. Gabriela Dragoi and Diana Chelaru (both ROU) convinced with their skills and execution, as well.

One day before her 24th birthday, 2006 uneven bar-European Champion Elizabeth Tweddle (GBR) presented an interesting routine with a Tkatchev into a Tkatchev with half twist. Also on floor, she is in great condition. Because of her final degree as a physiotherapis, she had to reduce her training and so she doesn´t compete on beam and vault.

Unfortunately, Lieke Wevers (NED) injured herself by not bending her knee after the dismount on uneven bars. The Dutchman will be only in a threesosome: Wyomi Masela, Mayra Kroonen and Marrit Ewald. Olympian Suzanne Harmes was only in 5th place at the dutch qualification competition – she won´t replace Wevers.

It´s still open if Vanessa Ferrari and the Italian Gymnastics Federation decided wisely with her nomination. Weight gain, newstart after a post-Olympic break with a lot of motivating and convincing work to do, weight loss…perhaps it´s to early for the nineteen-year-old.

Now for the short news:

The Suisse sportswoman of the year, Ariella Kaeslin, cut a fine figure – not only on vault. The Russians Semenova and Afanasyeva became more feminine, which is positive for her presentation. The Ukrainian girls didn´t show much difficulty, but they were very solid. A lot of nations sent only one or two gymnasts, who were followed by multiple coaches and helpers.

World Cup cancelled!

March 31, 2009

There will be no FIG A category World Cup from June 3-7 in San Juan (PUR) this year because of a lack of money, as you can read on the FIG-website.

“President Jose O. Vargas and the Executive Committee came to this difficult decision for reasons that are entirely unrelated to the federation, but which stem from the global economic crisis. The sponsorship money they were counting on for the event has not materialised and could no longer be guaranteed, making it impossible for the organisers to host the World Cup this year. They’ re hoping for a May edition in 2010.”

It´s scary how influential the financial crisis is.

Perhaps the other A category World Cups in Glasgow (GBR), Moscow (RUS), Doha (QAT), Osijek (CRO) and Stuttgart (GER) this year will be better attended, after the competition in Puerto Rico is cancelled. But that would be the only positive thing in this case.

Texas State Championships

March 29, 2009

Check out this Coverage created by Anne Phillips on Gymnastike!

“The state of Texas consistently produces many of the best gymnasts in the US. This year Gymnastike will be covering the 2009 Level 9/10 Texas State Championships hosted by Texas Dreams Gymnastics in Coppell, Texas.”

Despite a lot of falls on the uneven bars, you can watch some nice balance beam and floor routines. For example, Lizzy LeDuc (Junior A Level 10, WGA Texans) presents a clean and original balance beam routine (Click here to watch it!).

And all-around-silver medalist Liz Green (Senior A Level 10) from Texas Dreams showed a really nice floor routine (9.825 – highest score!)! Click here to watch the routine!

List of Athletes for Europeans

March 29, 2009

The full list of Athletes for the upcoming European Championships in Milan is online!

Vanessa Ferrari (ITA) will compete, but therefore newcomer Serena Licchetta (ITA) is out :-(!

The competition starts next Thursday (2th April) with the womens qualification. On Friday, it´s the mens turn to qualify for the all-around (on Saturday, both men and women) and the apparatus finals (Sunday). There will be also a podium training on Tuesday 31th March (women) and Wednesday (men).

Oldest gymnasts in the field: Espen Jansen (NOR) – 40! & Jana Komrskova (CZE) – 25 (there´s a nice report about her on International Gymnast).

(Here´s the official internet site.)

A propos smiles in gymnastics…

March 28, 2009

Is there any competitor in the sport of gymnastics, who will be able to hold a candle to Irina Risenson (ISR)?

On the carpet…

Click play or watch it on YouTube!

…and off the carpet – she always gives us a beautiful smile!

Click play or watch it on YouTube!

I really would love to see more smiles in womens artistic gymnastics 🙂

Or do you prefer the serious look?

Anamaria Tamirjan (ROU)
Andreea Acatrinei (ROU)

(photo via

A bit of Aerobic Gymnastics

March 28, 2009

I´m doing aerobic on a very low level compared to what the elite shows us at competitions. As artistic, rhythmic and acrobatic gymnastics, aerobic gymnastics belongs to the FIG.

Here is Marcela Lopez (BRA) at the Suzuki World Cup last year, where she easily won. She is the 2006 and 2008 World Champion.

She has such a positive and energetic attitude, I like how she always smiles during the routine :-)!

Click here to watch it on YouTube.

The FIG published an interesting interview with Marcela on her profile site.

What is your background in sport? Did you begin your career in gymnastics or in another sport?
I started with classical ballet at the age of 4; one year later, I moved to rhythmic dance and jazz dance. Overall, I had about 12 years of classical ballet, 5 years of rhythmic dance as well as 8 years of jazz dance. I began to explore aerobics for the first time at the age of 10. As you well know, aerobics is just a step away from capoeira, our national sport that I have now been practicing for 8 years. Still today, I am very fond of all these disciplines.

Click here to see the profile and read the rest of the interview!

More Cottbus photos!

March 28, 2009

Since several years, I enjoy watching photos from national and international competitions in Germany on a really nice internet site, called

The owner, Bernhard Schwall, took and takes beautiful gymnastics pictures on events as the Pre-Olympic-Youth-Cup, the German Championships, the German Bundesliga, the Leverkusen-Cup or the recent World Cup in Cottbus.

Lu Sui won gold on floor last weekend.

Lu Sui (CHN) won gold on floor last weekend.

Lieke Wevers (NED) invented a new element on uneven bars ;-)!

Lieke Wevers (NED) invented a new element on uneven bars ;-)!

Take a look!

He photographs figure skating and rock´n´roll competitions, as well.

WOGA report about child care license

March 28, 2009

Gymnastics Coaching recently reported about a new bill, which could weaken heavily the sport of gymnastics in Texas, USA:

“Cliffnotes: a senator is getting a bill voted on soon that would require facilities where kids train more than 10 hours a week to be child care licensed. All the ways that would impact gyms, coaches, athletes, and parents are listed below …”

Read the full entry.

Texas Cable News covers these news with an article & a television report from the WOGA training center in Plano.

Ivana Hong

For a few seconds, you can see Ivana Hong training in the gym and hear what she thinks:

“We just want to come here and train,” said 2008 Olympic alternate Ivana Hong. “This is nothing like a day care at all.”

Update: Ferrari WILL compete at Europeans!

March 26, 2009

Vanessa Ferrari will definitly compete at the European Championships.

There´s a short post on the official website of the 2009 European Championships, held in Milan:

“Today the italian coach Fulvio Vailati has formalized the female team: among the 4 athlets there will be the european champion Vanessa Ferrari. Paola Galante, Lia Parolari and Emily Army will share her dream of a continental gold medal.”

But why is Serena Licchetta no longer on the team? That would be a pity! 😦

Italian women

Italian women

As the official site of FIG told us, both 2007 Individual All-Around Champions Vanessa Ferrari (ITA) and Maxim Deviatovski (RUS) will not compete at the upcoming European Championships 2009. In case of Vanessa Ferrari, this is obviously wrong.

On the website of the European Championships, Vanessa is on several photos entitled “female team” or “Italian team”.

I´m exciting to see her compete again – we have to see what she can do!

Ferrari at the 2006 World Championships

Ferrari at the 2006 World Championships


(Hopefully, I don´t have to do another update and this is a final decision! :-))

Nastia “joins the Circus”

March 26, 2009

Normally I prefer complete gymnastics exercises better than montages. But this montage about Nastia Liukin is really good!

I like it – and so does Nastia! (it´s on her YouTube-channel under the category “Nastia´s Choice”)

Click here to watch it on YouTube!