Sunday, 24 May 2009

British Team Championships 2009

I just came back from this years British Teams in Guildford. Overall there was some impressive gymnastics consiering it is early on in the season but there was also some not so good and scary performances! This year the results were:
1 - 169.550 - City of Liverpool
2 - 168.600 - Heathrow 'A'
3 - 161.100 - Notts 'A'
4 - 154.000 - Cardiff Central
5 - 150.850 - Huntingdon
6 - 149.700 - Heathrow 'B'
7 - 148.050 - Horsham
8 - 145.000 - Bristol Hawks
9 - 144.550 - The Academy

The City of Liverpool team consisted of Beth Tweddle, Hannah Whelan, Jenny Pinches, Alex Cooper and Abbie Caig. Beth received a (slightly inflated) score of 15.70 on Bars, 15.450 on Floor and she also competed a Yurchenko 1/2 on pike front off on Vault for 13.950, so it seems she is training the other events. Her bars was impressive live but not as good as at the Europeans and floor was flawless but I still don't like her choreography. Hannah Whelan won the All Around (Becky Downie didn't compete all around) and had a good, consistent competition. Her scores were Vault 14.050, A-Bars 14.050, Beam 14.150 Floor 14.150, Total: 56.400. Her floor routine has Nastia Liukin's 2004-06 music and included a nice triple twist. Jenny Pinches semmed to be having an off day with falls on her standing tuck bk full on beam (13.20) and her straight full in dismount off bars (13.050). Although I did like her floor routine (14.40) with a Double Arabian and back 1 1/2 through to back 2 1/2 twist. Just a quick mention of little Abbie Caig (12 years) who had a very solid routine including a difficult beam routine with Onodi into split change+tuck back, Flick Layout and double tuck back dismount.

Heathrow 'A' Team consisted of Danusia Francis, Nicole Hibbert, Backy Wing and Laura Mitchell. Danusia (3rd AA) presented some nice elegant work but she needs to up her difficult level and she seems to be well capable of doing that. Her highest score was on Bars (14.200) where she showed a nice combination of stoop in to pike seat circle fwd (in L grip) in hstd phase into Straddled Jaeger. Nicole Hibbert came 2nd in the All Around with a score of 56.250 she had some big skills on floor (double arabian and full in) and an improved Bars (Tkatchev into pak, Toe on Shapshnikova into overshoot 1/2), but I think she needs to work on her presentation as she doesn't really sell her floor and beam. Becky Wing looked in very good shape and her routines were better presented than in the Europeans. Her bars with good with a beautiful Tkatchev into Pak Salto and a very elegant floor and dance work on beam where she scored 14.00. She came 4th all around and if she hadnt had a fall on floor (double arabian) she could have won. Laura Mitchell had a nasty fall on her bars dismount, she was meant to do a double straight but her hand guards got stuck to the bar and her first tuck back was onto her back on the high bar and she then bounced backwards onto the low bar! I have never seen a fall like it before. but thankfully she was fine with no injuries at all.

Becky Downie only competed Bars (14.90) and Beam (13.650) where she had a silly fall on her free cartwheel. I think she is still recovering from an ankle injury but she still managed to stick her double pike dismount on beam. She also debuted a new skill on bars which was a Toe on Piked Tkatchev and finished her routine with a stuck full in dismount.

I will post other comments tomorrow and hopefully by then some videos will be up on youtube.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

FinGym 2009

This is a small competition but it attracted some good quality junior gymnasts including Laura Svilpaite, Sara Catanzaro and Naoual Ouazzani-Chahdi.
Laura Svilpaite from Lithuania is one of my favourite gymnasts and her form is beautiful. She earnt a gold medal on beam with 13.90 and a silver medal on Bars (12.90) with a fall. Her bars routine has a D Score of 5.70 and includes a tkatchev, pak salto and double layout dismount. In qualification she scored 14.850. Her routine from the WOGA Classic where she performed better is below:

Naoual Ouazzani-Chahdi from the Netherlands earnt gold medals on Vault and Floor with scores of 13.950 and 13.850. Her floor routine was entertaining and although she didnt do the harder tumbles her form was good.
Sara Catanzaro from Switzerland has high D Scores including 5.90 on beam but needs to work on her execution and form but she has a lot of potential. She got 2 silvers on Vault (13.775) and Floor (13.60). Her routine had Double Arabian, tucked full in, 1 1/1 through to double and double pike to finish.
Full results and videos can be found here

Glasgow Grand Prix 2009

Full results can be found here. As every1 has already reported on the results I'm just going to write a few of my comments and favourite videos.
Beth Tweddle was impressive in finals hitting both routines after having trouble on Bars in qualifying. Her bars routine has a D Score on 6.70 and I think it is the most difficult routine in the world, however recently at the Chinese National Championships Jiang Yuyuan performed a routine which had a D Score of 6.90. Comparing the two I still prefer Beths rouutine but she will definitely have some competition at this years Worlds from Yuyuan's routine as she scored 15.00 and 15.150 which strict judging, and there is still room for improvement. Which routine does every1 else prefer?

The floor final was intersting Beth's routine was clean and her tumbling was impressive but I really do not like her dance work and I hope the GB choreographers can come up with something better. I also agree with others that Anna Myzdrikova's routine had much nicer dance and I liked her different tumbles including a back triple twist into a tuck back.
I really liked Diego Hypolito's floor routine esoecially with his new skill a Double Arabian Straight with full twist in the second somersault. I really love how he is motivated to do better and to compete more daring skills, so I'm glad he won both floor and vault.

Sanne Wevers and Ana Maria Izurieta won the Beam Finals with a score of 14.075. I like Wevers routine because it is very innovative, she does have a lot of turns but I was impressed with her triple spin and double spin with leg up. She had a D Score of 6.70 but she does need to improve her form although I saw an interview with her on BGTV where she hadnt been training much so it is a good performance!
Also well done to Becky Downie for finally proving herself and earning the silver medal on bars with a score of 14.60.

Monday, 4 May 2009

British Compulsory Finals

This Saturday I watched the British Compulsory Level 4 Finals for 8 and 9 year olds which is the youngest age gymnasts can go to a National Finals. This is the first step for gymnasts aiming to be elite.

The winner of the British Compulsory Level 4 Finals was Catherine Lyons who trains at East London Gymnastics Club. She scored 64.40 beating the 2nd place gymnast by 1.20 points. With scores 12.70 (Vault), 12.80 (Bars), 13.00 (Beam), 12.90 (Floor) and 13.00 (Range and Conditioning) all out of 13.5 she had some the highest scores that I have ever seen at a this level. she has extraordinary flexibility and composure for 9 years old and her Range & Conditioning is definetely the best I have ever seen. Check it out for yourself below:

After this there is the Voluntary Level 4 which is an Optional Level with difficulty limitations. The scores are added together from the 2 competitions to decide the Age Group National Champion and National Team members. This is the same for the following year at Level 3 (10 years) and Level 2 (11 years) and then after this is Espoir (11-13 years) which is the frrst level at the British Championships followed by Junior (14-15 years) and Senior (16+ years).

Sunday, 3 May 2009

USA VS France and France VS GBR May 8

On May 8 the USA seniors are competing against the French Seniors and at the same time the GB Juniors are competing against the French Juniors. The teams competing are listed below:

Marine Petit, Aurélie Malausséna, Rose-Eliandre Bellemare, Pauline Morel, Typhaine Pompilio, Magaly Hars, Léa Kémayou.
Bridgette Caquatto, Mackenzie Caquatto, Olivia Courtney, Kytra Hunter, Mattie Larson, Corrie Lothrop, Bridgette Sloan, Sabrina Vega.

Cindy Baquet, Mira Boumejmajen, Marine Brevet, Justine Crosato, Caroline Nieves, Aurélie Orivelle, Sophia Serseri .
Laura Edwards, Laura Mitchell, Danusia Francis, Niamh Rippin, Jennifer Pinches, Ruby Straw, Nicole Hibbert.

Interestingly Youna Dufournet is not competing, I hope they are taking time to sort her routines out before her next competition. Also some of the USA Team competing are not actually Seniors, Bridget Caquatto and Sabrina Vega are still Juniors. It will be good to see Pauline Morel competing again I really liked her floor routine last year.


The results were:
1. USA 232.400
2. GER 219.700
All Around
1. Bridget Sloan, USA 59.550
2. Corrie Lothrop, USA, 56.500
3. Mackenzie Caquatto, USA, 56.400
4. Olivia Courtney, USA, 55.95
5. Bridgette Caquatto, USA, 55.80
6. Kim Bui GER, 55.75
7. Mattie Larson, USA, 55.65
8. Anja Brinker, GER, 55.25

GymNiceTic has a full report with the live ticker translated into English and full results can be found here. Dutchfan33 has also put all the routines on Youtube.

Performances I was impressed with:
Bridget Sloan
She had the top scores on Vault (15.35), Bars (15.15) and 2nd on Beam (14.00) and Floor (15.05). Although her results were probably expected she did her job and led the team well.
Sabrina Vega
Her Beam routine was a very mature performance considering more experienced teammates had problems (Sloan, Lothrop). She scored the highest on the day (14.30) with a double pike dismount and solid leaps.

Kytra Hunter
She only did vault and floor but her floor had some impressing tumbling with a Double Layout, Piked Double Arabian, and a Tucked Double Arabian to finish! she had the highest score on floor with a 15.150 (to put that into perspective at the Europeans this score would have earnt her joint first place with Tweddle!)

Of the Germans Maike Roll had a good competition considering it was her first International for Germany, she doesn't yet have the difficulty needed but she is still only 14 so she has time. Kim Bui also did well to get amongst the Americans in the All Around and she had a nice floor routine scoring 14.250
Performances I was a bit disappointed with:
Mattie Larson
I have always loved this gymnast especially last year but she seemed to be having an off day yesterday. She had a fall on her Ricna on bars and a big step out of bounds on floor. I hope there is some problem I don't know about and she sorts everything out for worlds.
Bars Routines
I noticed that Mackenzie Caquatto and Corrie Lothrop both have a close bar element missing from their routines, which is a requirement in the new code:
3 – Min. two different grips (no cast, MT or DMT) and
a Close bar Circle element (non flight) award 0.50 (from the code)
So considering it is worth 0.5 it seems to be a crucial thing to miss out. What does everyone else think?