Archive for April, 2010

FIG reinvents World Cup

April 27, 2010

A new attractive World Cup format will revolutionize artistic gymnastics. By 2011 a new series will attract all-arounders and event specialists in separate competitions with altogether a prize money of 1 million Swiss francs (700 000 Euros).

For the future four World Cups in each of the two series (all-around & event finals) the organizers have to put 100 000 Swiss franc on the table. At the moment the struggle goes on behind the scenes to get together 200 000 Swiss francs for the overall winners of both series. The FIG or sponsors are to raise the extra money. On May 25 all of the potential candidates are invited to Lausanne in order to agree on the modalities of the futures event series.

“We are delighted to overcome primary resistance in FIG-circles”, says Wolfgang Willam at the European Championships in Birmingham, who as the president of the FIG Competition Committee significantly initiated the series. “It couldn’t go on as before: The World Cup lacked the profile, the fields were huge”, confirmed the DTB (DeutscherTurnerBund / German Gymnastics Federation) Sports Director. In addition, the World Cup marketing has been insignificant, the media coverage has been moderate. All that is about to change.

Willam assumes that appealing big cities like New York, Tokyo, Moscow, Paris and Stuttgart, will attract the best of the best. Condition for the success of the series is a consistent branding, a fresh outfit and a professional TV marketing under one roof. “I’m sure the system will be adopted and I am glad that Japan is with its great all-arounders like World Champion Kohei Uchimura already in the boat“, says Willam.  Winners in the all around will receive 15 000 francs, 3 000 francs are payed to the winners of an event final. World Cup winners must participate in at least three of the four tournaments.

In his concept Willam has incorporated the experiences of the DTB in 27 years World Cup in Stuttgart and the Champions Trophy. “The trophy had a good response, but the women attract even more attention internationally,” he said. He doesn’t have reservations eight Cup tournaments next to the World Championships and continental championships (e.g. Europeans, Pacific Rim) would be too much. “We can only create what suits the athletes. The tournaments help the best gymnasts to prepare for the highlights – assuming that we can offer a good level. “Moreover, the stars themselves could decide in which of the two series they want to start – if are they qualified.

Only eight all-arounder and twelve event specialists are qualified. At the World Championships in October in Rotterdam the winner already receive their invitation for the new series. From 2012 the three medal-winning gymnasts at the Olympic Games and the World Championships are seeded for the World Cup, the rest will qualify on a world ranking, the organizer will receive a wildcard.

For the second rank of the world’s elite, the FIG will also call into being a Challenge Round, where the number of participants and events is open. “It was hard convincing, because many did not want this series at all”, conceded Willam. The prize money for each meeting will be 25 000 Swiss francs (17 500 Euros). One candidate is the traditional “Tournament of Masters” in Cottbus (GER), because each country may only host one A-series World Cup (DTB-Cup in Stuttgart). The first two gymnasts in the Challenge Series will join the “luxury class”.

external source (German) – translation by me & Google 🙂

What do you think?!

Komova & Grishina ECh podium training videos

April 27, 2010

Victoria Komova and Anastasia Grishina (RUS) at the 2010 Junior European Championships in Birmingham (podium training):

Click play or watch Victoria Komova’s uneven bars routine on YouTube:

Click play or watch Anastasia Grishina’s uneven bars routine on YouTube:

Click play or watch Victoria Komova’s balance beam routine on YouTube:

Click play or watch Anastasia Grishina’s balance beam routine on YouTube:

How many medals will these two girls win??

The All Around reported about the juniors and seniors podium training.

European Championships 2010 – Men

April 26, 2010

Why the hell was the arena in Birmingham so empty? Barely one-third of the seats were taken during event finals… 😦

Anyways, Gymnastics Examiner, The All-Around (they are also doing an excellent job on facebook!), UEG among others doing a really great job reporting about the European Championships. (There’s a German liveticker, too: men / women)

RussianCup2009 has almost all of the EF routines on YouTube (embedding disabled). You should watch Matthias Fahrig’s gold-medal winning floor routine (and his impressive first tumbling: front double twisting into double front) here. Epke Zonderland’s silver-medal winning high bar routine (Kovacs into Kolman) here & Jordan Jovtchev’s bronze-medal winning still rings routine here – his grey hair really seem even more grey. Unfortunately no routines from the Russians… I really missed them.

And now it’s time for a big CONGRATULATIONS!! The German team is really very strong – especially Matthias Fahrig, Philipp Boy & Marcel Nguyen do their best to take over Fabian Hambüchen‘s position as the gymnastics superstar. Good job, Matthias, Philipp, Eugen, Marcel and Fabian!

Results: TeamFloor / Pommel Horse / Still Rings / Vault / Parallel Bars / High Bar

I’m really looking forward to the women’s competition & (thank God!) the Russians could come!! 🙂

UPDATE: BGTV has some good interviews with the gymnasts!


April 26, 2010

… for the following reasons:

  • best commentary – the commentators not only mention the hard training or tell us that the gymnast (cause they can’t remember the name) stepped out of bounds (that’s the American way – thinking of the American Cup coverage…) but they really know every single athlete & their backgrounds, the name of the skills (for example the handstand positions in acrobatic gymnastics: flag, crocodile, mexican…), the requirements etc.
  • fantastic camera work – different perspectives, some close, some give a good overview, just perfect!
  • high quality
  • they are up-to-date – thinking of the Worlds in London… they had some good videos briefly after the competition + some interviews & features
  • variability – they cover artistic, acrobatic, rhythmic gymnastics, tumbling, aerobic; they report from competitions but also visit different gyms all over the country

They covered the recent British Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships 2010. Click through to see excellent routines and if you don’t know anything at all about acrobatic gymnastics it’s a great way to start learning the basics of the sport. Maybe you want to see Katie Axten & Nicolas Illingworth (Spelthorne Gymnastics) from the Spelbound group in action?! Click here to see their new combined routine!


UPDATE: BGTV also covers the 2010 European Championships (interviews)!

A whole bunch of… Acrobatic Gymnastics

April 26, 2010

Did I mention that I LOVE Acrobatic Gymnastics?!

That’s why I was very happy to read the following post on GymnasticsCoaching:

“This video is going ballistic. Must see. Post it to Facebook.

I’m so happy that Acrobatic Gymnastics getting this kind of popular recognition. It’s truly the most interesting discipline of all

Season 4 Ep. 2 — Britain’s Got Talent: Gymnastics group Spelbound all come from different backgrounds and are just trying to get as far as the Royal Variety Show. …”

Click play or watch them on YouTube:

The gymnasts (including my favourite gymnast Katie Axten) not only want to win the show but also promote the widely unknown gymnastics discipline (Simon Cowell: I’ve never seen anything like that in my life.) in order to make it an Olympic event.

“Britain’s Got Talent act Spelbound have revealed that they entered the talent show in a bid to make their sport an Olympic event. The 13 talented athletes in the group range in age from 12 to 24.

They travel the world taking part in acrobatic gymnastic competitions.

Spellbound said that they are “thrilled” to reach the next round of the talent show but also want recognition from sporting organisers.

Group leader Alex Uttley, told The Sun: “We thought that we would give Britain’s Got Talent a show to promote the sport so it can become and Olympic sport.” (complete article)

Spelthorne Gymnastics is one of the best clubs for acrobatic gymnastics in the world. They were successful not only at the recent British Championships 2010 (BGtv has an excellent coverage) but also at European and World Championships.

Good Luck!! (Especially for the Olympic Mission!)

UPDATE: Spelbound made it through to the final!

Rhythmic Gymnastics ECh – Competition Photos

April 17, 2010

Photograph Bernd Thierolf not only took pictures of the training but also of the actual competition.

Click here if you want to see more beautiful photos of the best rhythmic gymnasts in the world!

Junior Alexandra Merkulova (RUS) won three gold medals

Liubov Charkashina, Daria Kondakova, Melitina Staniouta, Evgenia Kanaeva, Neta Rivkin, Aliya Garayeva, Silvia Miteva, Alina Maksymenko

Euros 2010 – medal contender

April 17, 2010

Finally, I can pursue one of my favourite things: Predict the 2010 European Champions!

Okay, in the team competition, Russia should be able to defeat Romania. Great Britain (with the support of the homecrowd), France, Italy or even the Ukraine might grab the bronze medal. Thinking of the great achievements for the French gymnasts at the French International, I’ll predict France as the bronze medal winner.

And now for the event finals. On vault, I suppose Oksana Chusovitina Ariella Kaeslin (both former European Vault Champion) will go 1st and 2nd (if Chusovitina doesn’t fall). And Youna Dufournet will get the third place.

Chusovitina – Kaeslin – Dufournet

The uneven bars will be dominated by Beth Tweddle, the Russian girls Aliya Mustafina and Tatiana Nabieva (who scored 15.150 at the Jesolo Trophy) and maybe Ksenia Semenova, Youna Dufournet, Vanessa Ferrrari, the Romanians Ana Porgras & Amelia Racea or Nataliya Kononenko (14.750 at the Ukrainian Cup). If Tweddle hits, she will defeat her title. So I’ll put her in 1st place. Dufournet impressed not only the crowd but also the judges at the French International competing a Def and getting a D-score of 6.900 and that’s why I think she will win silver. Nabieva will maybe be in third place.

Tweddle – Dufournet – Nabieva

Beam: I’m hoping for Luisa Galiulina (UZB) to hit her routine not only in qualification but also in the final and get her well-deserved bronze medal. (UPDATE: Of course, Galiulina can’t compete at the Euros (see comments). What was I thinking!? – How about Mustafina for the 3rd place?) Who will place 2nd and 1st? Ana Porgras or Amelia Racea? Aliya Mustafina, the Greek beamworker Vasiliki Millousi or even Valeriia Maksiuta (ISR) who scored a 15.10 at the Stella Cup? Maybe it’s time for a Romanian sweep: Ana Porgras 1st & Amelia Racea 2nd! Of course, we shouldn’t forget the Italian girls (Elisabetta Preziosa or Vanessa Ferrari, who is already training her standing full). But hey, there are only three spots on the podium. By the way, I would love to see Sanne Wevers beam routine packed with single, double and triple turns in the EF.

Porgras – Racea – Mustafina

And now let’s talk about the floor. Here are the gymnasts who will most likely reach the final or even win a medal: Diana Chelaru & Ana Porgras, Beth Tweddle, Anna Myzdrikova, Ksenia Semenova or Ekaterina Kurbatova, Vanessa Ferrari

How about: Tweddle – Myzdrikova – Chelaru?

Now that I finish this post, the predictions (especially on VT & UB) seem pretty boring and well… predictable. So in the end I hope for one or two (or more) surprises which will prove me wrong (I surely have overlooked the one or other medal contender). 🙂

2010 Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships – Results

April 17, 2010

The Russians really won everything. Evgenia Kanaeva placed first in the all-around getting two 29-scores (hoop & ball). The Juniors Valeria Tkachenko and Alexandra Merkulova won every final as well as the team competition. And the Russian group defeated Italy, Belarus and Germany in the Group All-Around and won both finals (5 hoops / 3 ribbons + 2 ropes).

The UEG has good competition reports: senior all-aroundgroup competition, junior finals (rope + hoop)

Click on the headlines to see complete results.

Senior Individual All-Around

1. Evgenia Kanaeva RUS 115,900

2. Daria Kondakova RUS 113,725

3. Aliya Garaeva AZE 111,375

4. Liubov Charkashina BLR 108,875

5. Neta Rivkin ISR 108,400

6. Melitina Staniouta BLR 108,000

7. Silvia Miteva BUL 107,525

8. Alina Maksymenko UKR 107,42

Group All-Around

1. Russia 54,500

2. Italy 53,925

3. Belarus 53,600

4. Germany 52,150

5. Spain 52,925

6. Bulgaria 51,275

7. Israel 50,650

8. Azerbaijan 50,425

Group Final 5 Hoops

1. Russia 28,200

2. Belarus 27,650

3. Italy 27,625

4. Germany 26,450

5. Israel 26,200

6. Bulgaria 26,100

7. Azerbaijan 26,000

8. Spain 25,925

Group Final 3 Ribbons + 2 Ropes

1. Russia 27,600

2. Italy 27,300

3. Belarus 27,175

4. Germany 26,200

5. Azerbaijan 25,875

6. Spain 25,800

7. Bulgaria 25,650

8. Switzerland 24,875

Junior Team

1. Russia 103,000

2. Belarus 102,950

3. Germany 99,175

4. Bulgaria 97,850

5. Azerbaijan 97,775

6. Ukraine 95,950

7. Italy 95,500

8. Israel 94,300


Germany wins over Poland & Mix-Team

April 17, 2010

A last trial for the German and Polish gymnastics teams as well as Sascha Palgen (LUX) was held in Dessau (GER). The German team composed of Fabian Hambüchen, Matthias Fahrig, Marcel Nguyen, Philipp Boy and Eugen Spiridonov won with 269.000 over a Mix-Team (Anton Wirt, Sebastian Krimmer, Thomas Taranu (GER) and Sascha Palgen (LUX) / 254.150) and the Polish team for the European Championships (Prezmyslaw Lis, Kamil Hulboj, Marek Lyszczarz, Adam Kierzkowski and Roman Kulesza).

Fabian Hambüchen (SR – 14.80), Marcel Nguyen (VT – 16.00 / FX – 15.10), Philipp Boy (HB – 15.90), Roman Kulesza (PB – 15.55) and Eugen Spiridonov (PH – 14.70) achieved the highest scores on each apparatus.

complete results

The German team will go by bus to Birmingham instead of taking the airplane because of the volcano activity in Iceland. The UEG rescheduled the event after flight delays and cancellations.

Rhythmic Gymnastics ECh – Training Photos

April 15, 2010

Photograph Bernd Thierolf took a lot of phantastic and brand new training photos at the 2010 Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships.

The Russians - Evgenia Kanaeva & Daria Kondakova (in the back)

Click here to see more photos.

Check out his website for more beautiful pictures of rhythmic gymnasts.