Archive for September, 2011

Fantastic Rhythmic Worlds in Montpellier & Favourite Routines

September 27, 2011

Last week I spent some hours watching the 31st Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships which took place in Montpellier via live streaming. It has been a fantastic event, not only gymnastics-wise but also organisation-wise. And now I really wish for an Artistic World Championship to take place in France. Everything from the first promotional video to the theme colour pink to the podium and to the award ceremony looked so nice, well-thought and just perfect (at least on screen, that’s all I can say). I especially liked the boys (instead of the usual girls) with their hats who brought the medals and flowers; it would be nice to see something similar for women’s artistic gymnastics. Plus, the FIG did an excellent job with the live scoring, their website updates and especially with all the excellent videos. Check out their channel on YouTube if you haven’t already.

The gymnasts were at their best, too. It has been one of two qualification events for the Olympics. So congratulation to Evgenia Kanaeva (who won everything she could), Daria Kondakova (both RUS), Aliya Garaeva (AZE), Liubou Charkashyna (BLR), Alina Maksymenko (UKR), Melitina Staniouta (BLR), Silviya Miteva (BUL), Joanna Mitrosz (POL), Ulyana Trofimova (UZB), Neta Rivkin (ISR), Yeon Jae Son (KOR), Delphine Ledoux (FRA), Senyue Deng (CHN), Julieta Cantaluppi (ITA) and Caroline Weber (AUT). All of them qualified for London 2012.

Here are my favourite routines of each apparatus. Of course, I could embed every routine from Kanaeva, but to mix it up a little bit I chose different gymnasts.

Alina Maksymenko is the first Ukrainian gymnast after Anna Bessonova (who is the 2007 AA World Champion) who has chances to bring home some medals again. The opening of her hoop routine left me speechless. She does a split leap and three rolls before she catches the hoop again with her right foot. Her artistry is great and she really knows how to use her beautiful doll-face.

Daria Kondakova had to take home silver – again. It must be frustrating for her to always come second even when Kanaeva does some serious mistakes. I love her passionate character which she shows very well in her routines. Here she is with the most difficult apparatus, the ribbon – it always has to be in motion in order to look good. And not everyone can master a music which is as fast as hers.

Daria Dmitrieva didn’t catch the ball twice in this routine (the second time it even rolled of the podium) but it’s still an extremely well choreographed routine with an, let’s say, “special” music, her execution and interpretation is excellent and entertaining to watch.

And finally Evgenia Kanaeva with another flawless clubs routine. Nothing more to say.

The groups were all on a very high level, too. Italy, Russia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Japan and Germany qualified directly to the Olympics.

Bulgaria presented an excellent balls routine which brought them the bronze medal. It’s not easy to pull off such a dramatic/heroic music.

And here we have Italy at its best with 3 ribbons and two hoops. Enjoy.

Leotards, leotards, leotards Special: Worlds

September 7, 2011

It’s leotard-time again! Milano, GK-Elite and Christian Moreau all have their new collections online. This time I didn’t want to do a normal preview of the pretty, funny and ugly new leotards but a special edition for the World Championships. So I tried to imagine which country and which gymnast might wear which new leotard.

First we have Christian Moreau who designed some really beautiful, classic and “grown-up” leotards.

France - with red instead of the blue stripes at the end of the sleeves and the neckline

Romania - with blue, yellow and red stripes instead of the green ones

Germany - with red incorporated, may in the middle of the neckline

Ukraine - in yellow and blue instead of grey and red

Izbasa in EF on floor

Seitz in EF on uneven bars

Ponor in EF on beam

Next is the new collection of gk-elite.

Netherlands - (I know, the word is that they will use the same leo as last year in green)


Ukraine - that's my second choice

Alpha Factor, who’s next, didn’t present a new collection yet.

Belgium - very similar to what they wore at Europeans

And last but not least: Milano!

USA - with red, blue and white stripes instead of blue and pink (and yes, I know the US will never wear Milano)

Pihan-Kulesza in AA final

I have no idea for whom this leo is typical but I like it - that's all.

part 1 / part 2 / part 3 / part 4 / part 5

Gymnastics News – Uchimura injured?

September 7, 2011
  • Okay, I have a question: Did Kohei Uchimura get injured? First, I read a short comment on STOI! about a sprained ankle, then I did a little research in the internet and found some articles in Japanes about the topic but as the translation is terrible I’m not sure what it actually says: Uchimura injured his right ankle several on August 10th and avoided to compete on floor and vault but he’ll recover until Worlds?!?
  • On YouTube I found a video of a promotional event for the World Championships in Tokyo. Uchimura and Tsurumi did some outdoor-gymnastics and helped some kids to get on the beam or high bar. 
  • Dutch gymnast and Queen of Turns on Beam Sanne Wevers definitely injured her ankle in training last week. As it will take her six weeks to recover, she won’t have a chance to make the team for Worlds which will be announced September 14th.
  • Former gymnast and Olympic gold medalist from Italy, Igor Cassina, will teach physical education as a professor in New York for at least one year.
  • And as you already know: The nominative registrations for the World Championships are on the FIG website.

Friendly Meets ITA/RUS & ESP/ITA/POR – Results

September 6, 2011

IG published the results of the two friendly meets between Italy and Russia (men) and Spain, Italy and Portugal (women).

Russia won with 356.250 over both Italian teams. Italy A got 349.250, Italy B 335.500. Best all-arounders were Emin Garibov,Matteo Morandi in second and Nikita Ignatyev in third place.

In the other friendly meet, Spain won once again with 222.95 over Italy 217.65. Vanessa Ferrari defeated Ana Maria Izurietaand Maria Paula Vargas in the all-around. Videos of the meet can be found on YouTube.

I didn’t see all of the routines but one of them really caught my attention just because of the beautiful toe-point through-out the whole floor exercise.

Click play or watch the Spanish gymnast (do you know who it is?) on YouTube:

The Best of Ghent – EF Videos

September 4, 2011

Only a few hours after the Ghent Challenger Cup concluded, videos of the winning performances are luckily already on DrMtzLizama’s YouTube-channel.

Ukrainian gymnast Mariya Livchikova won floor with extremely well executed tumbling and an elegant choreography. Even when she has to take a step on the landing it looks as if it’s part of the choreo. And her knees are glued together on the handspring + double front. (14.375)

Daiane dos Santos from Brazil put on her “dress-leo” and took the bronze medal with a completely different routine than Livchikova’s: Hops and steps on the landings, big tumbling with a piked double arabian and energetic choreo. (13.425)

Livchikova also won the silver on beam with interesting, unusual elements and combinations: front aerial + front tuck, “handstand” + standing arabian, side aerial + layout step-out. A few little wobbles here and there got her an overall score of 14.625 (6.2).

Of course, she couldn’t top Liufang Wu who won gold with an excellent routine, of which you have probably already seen the qualifications video. (14.975)

Stefani Bismpikou from Greece and Luisa Galiulina from Uzbekistan tied for the bronze (13.950). Viktoria Komova fell on her second layout. But she won gold on bars with impressive 15.650 points (6.7) where she stuck her dismount perfectly.

Yuyuan Jiang took the silver medal (15.375).

Yuyuan Jiang was only 0.025 points ahead of Liufang Wu (15.350).

Swiss Champions: Giulia Steingruber & Pablo Braegger

September 4, 2011

At the Swiss National Championships, which were held this weekend in Bellinzona, Giulia Steingruber won with 54.600 points over Jessica Diacci (52.300) and Linda Staempfli (50.750). Steingruber had the highest scores on vault, bars and beam, Diacci the highest one on floor. Sara Catanzaro didn’t compete due to an inflamed achilles. Last years National Champion, Ariella Kaeslin, retired earlier this year.

On the men’s side, surprisingly 19-year-old Pablo Braegger (84.850) defeated Lucas Fischer (83.650) and Pascal Bucher (83.200). Title-favorite Claudio Capelli suddenly got “weak legs” on vault, performed only a simple handspring front instead of a Roche and lost almost four points.

complete results

Friendly Meet NED/POL – Results & Videos

September 4, 2011

At a friendly meet between the Netherlands and Poland yesterday, the Dutch team won with 219.850 points over the Polish team (209.400).

In the all-around, Celine van Gerner (55.750) won over Joy Goedkoop (55.700) and Martha Pihan-Kulesza (54.450).

Videos of the meet are already on the YouTube-channel of gymcat67.

Celine van Gerner performed a very unique choreography in her new floor routine with one of the best double turns with horizontal leg I’ve seen.

Her bars routine including a very high Jaeger is also nice to watch.

Except for the double back dismount on which she put her hands on the mat, van Gerners beam routine isn’t bad either: round-off + layout, two split leaps full (on right, the other left), a front tuck…

Marlies Rijken finished 4th overall. On floor she performs a ballet-inspired choreography and some good tumbling including a double arabian and a 1.5 twists bwd. into round-off double twist + backhandspring step-out.

Unfortunately she fell on her layout step-out on beam, but still finished strong with a standing arabian and an interesting “round-off” double back which looks more like a cartwheel double back.

Lieke Wevers performed three different turns on beam in an overall very solid performance. Her sister Sanne injured her ankle in training.

Yvette Moshage had some serious problems on the uneven bars – something which I haven’t seen in a while. She came of twice, on a back giant and a toe-on + half but managed to finish her routine with a double layout dismount.

So far no videos of performances from the Polish team were uploaded on YouTube.

results: AA / team

Another Dutch Scandal: Endel, Harmes, Van de Leur, Wammes

September 4, 2011

Suzanne Harmes, Verona van de Leur

“The gymnasts Suzanne Harmes, Verona van de Leur, Renske Endel and Gabriella Wammes say they were abused by their trainers.”Insults, belittling and bullying were part of the daily routine.” Also, every now and then a corrective tap “were handed out”, they say.”

All four of them are accusing coaches Gerrit Beltman and Frank Louter in the journal “Helden” and the newspaper “Algemeen Dagblad”. Ex-coach Louter rejects the charge. The Dutch gymnastics association KNGU offered Harmes, van de Leur, Endel and Wammes a conversation.

full articles: (English translation) (second article) and

UPDATE: Here’s another link to the magazine “Helden”. Harmes and Wammes went to the presentation of the new issue of the magazine and talked about their experience (video in Dutch). And here’s another article of the magazine about the “terror of gymnastics” in general.

Competition Weekend

September 2, 2011

Not less than five gymnastics competition will take place this weekend in Europe.

Friendly Meet ITA/RUS in Porto San Giorgo (ITA) between the junior and senior men from Italy and Russia, a Friendly Meet NED/POL in Lekkerkerk (NED) – that’s why no Dutch or Polish gymnast compete in Ghent –, a Friendly Meet ESP/ITA/POR in Madrid (all of those meets take place on Saturday), the Swiss National Championships (without Ariella Kaeslin) in Bellinzona and of course the FIG Challenger Cup in Ghent, Belgium.

Five weeks before the World Championships the gymnasts need to get more competition experience and the federations can chose their World teams based on the scores and performances.

More new Tokyo Posters

September 2, 2011