The British Are Coming! The British Are Coming!

4:02 PM Arabian Punch Front 2 Comments

It's been more than a month now since the British Championships but there were many exciting things to see like the crowning of a new champion in Gabby Jupp and the return of Becky Downie and Ruby Harrold. The Espoirs are the athletes that particularly caught my attention. In Great Britain, the Espoirs are the current 12-13 year olds meaning some will be eligible for Rio 2016 but we'll see most of them in the next quad.

The two names most often talked about are Catherine Lyons (senior in 2016) and Louise McColgan (senior in 2017). Lyons represented Great Britain at the Australian Youth Olympic Games and made an impression for her great flexibility and grace on beam and floor. Louise McColgan is often praised for having unique choreography in her floor routine.

Below is Catherine Lyons 1st place floor routine as part of a playlist of Espoir beam and floor event finalists. My strong recommendation is for you to watch Lyons' beam, Louise McColgan's floor, & Georgia-Mae Fenton's bar routine (senior in 2016).

The gymnastics that the Espoir gymnasts are showing is truly exciting. There's a lot of talk of the new Code of Points and how it's bringing back the "old school" 3 combination passes on beam and taking artistry into account on floor. The Espoirs, however, seem to just have interesting routines, regardless of the new code. It ranges from different mounts on beam to interesting and unique choreography on floor. I'm curious how their floor routines will evolve. Currently, these young ladies are just 12 and 13 years old and this choreography may not work when they turn 16 and 17. I just hope the level of choreography and the interpretation of movement remains. They do such a great job for being so young!

Check out gifs of the beam mounts from the beam finalists here
And watch Catherine Lyons practice beam mounts with teammate Georgia-Mae Fenton here - includes a switch split mount!

Aspen835/@katie_holden17 made a montage introducing the Espoirs. Take notice! I'm looking forward to following their gymnastics through the next quad.

Photo Credit: Catherine Lyons on twitter


Montage Monday: More European Championships

7:42 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Giulia Steingruber - Champion
I am thrilled that people are now on the Steingruber bandwagon! It's hard to find a montage about gymnasts that aren't from the USA, Russia, or Romania (we'll talk about men's gymnastics another time). Steingruber is known for her vaulting, which has been progressively getting cleaner and cleaner. She has a lovely floor routine to Carmen and debuted a full twisting double layout at European Championships. She finished 4th in the AA with the help of a steady beam routine and a new Markelov release on uneven bars. The hazy editing isn't my favorite, but, alas, a Steingruber montage is a montage worth watching!

2013 Euros AA Montage - I Still Have a Soul
For those of you that loved the Beauty of Gymnastics montage, this is a montage for you. Lots of the slow motion clips from the European Championships are used here and as the music picks up, so does the intensity of the gymnastics that we watch.

What was your favorite moment at the European Championships?

If you have a montage that you would like to share, feel free to email me at arabianpunchfront[@] or contact me online on facebook or twitter (@ArabianPF_blog).


Montage Monday: European Championship Edition

11:01 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

The video editors have already managed to crank out a few montages as footage from 2013 European Championships is still being uploaded. Here are the first few.

Team Russia. 2013 Euros.
This is my favorite of the bunch. It's a great video highlighting the highs and lows of the Russian team. "All of them had some rough times and came back strong! They did an amazing job and were absolutely beautiful to watch."

Aliya Mustafina - Army of Me (2013 Euros)
Highlights of Aliya's performance at European Championships. The segment near the beginning of Aliya on balance beam, reminds me a bit of a video game and Aliya powering up as she does her difficult combination.

This is a more general montage and features gymnasts from many countries at the European Championships.


GymFan Apr 17: European Champs & NCAA Edition

4:40 PM Arabian Punch Front 1 Comments

We just did our first #gymfan night. Hope you enjoyed it! This was done on April 17, the evening we learned the qualifiers for AA and EF at European Championships and the night before NCAA Women's Gymnastics National Championships. Read a few responses below and check out the related video! This doesn't include all of the responses but I tried to include at least one per person.

Q1: Rank the 4 WAG events in order from favorite to least favorite (ties allowed) and why
@ArabianPF_blog: UB - breathtaking to watch, VT - amazing when done well, falls change things quickly; FX(3rd) - some interesting choreo (sometimes) and mindblowing tumbling, BB (4th) - boring, everyone does the same thing

@DoubleDoubleGymBlog: beam- it's awesome to see their confidence, floor, you get to see their personality, vault, such an adrenaline rush, and I hate bars [We were complete opposites!!]

@elliemdi: speaking as a gymnast: beam, floor, bars, vault! speaking as a #gymfan: bars, floor, vault, beam.

Q2: Name 2 routines from European Championships that you will be most excited to watch once video becomes available
@ArabianPF_blog: Steingruber's VTs and I actually have no idea for the 2nd one. Maybe her FX since she did a full twisting double layout.

@MrsMcLean11 1. Ruby Harrold bars love the routine 2. Afan floor love her artistry

candycoateddoom (tumblr): Didi’s floor in EF and… let’s go with Lari’s beam in AA and EF.

@AllFlippedOut This may sound bad but Mustafina's two beam falls… curious to see what went wrong.

Mustafina on BB in Qualifications - user has link to Russians in qualifications but currently unlabelled


Live Blog: European Championships VT/UB EF

6:19 AM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Refresh the page for more updates
Live feed in Europe: UEG

Tkalcec - Tall gymnast, first vault was front handspring tuck full out (5.3/12.866) with a fall; VT2: 1.5TY with deep squat but stood up (5.3) - well, may count it as a fall actually that's how deep the squat was 13.5; avg: 13.183

Teja Belak - spider leo with lace VT1: same fhs 1/1 but stands it, hop to the side - 14.2; VT2: 1.5TY squat to 90 degrees or so. She's happy, coaches (one with green hair?) are happy! Great work - very clean! 14.133; average: 14.166

Larisa Iordache - in the pink flame leo with black lace arms; VT1: nice DTY - the Romanians were scaring me yesterday on vault but this looked very good. 14.9; VT2: Tsuk full - had to pike down but she's happy and coach is happy (not B&B, the bars coach? Belu and Bulimar are waiting for her) 14.033; avg: 14.466

Netteb - in the American Cup leo in RWB - red bodice, white upper half, blue swirlies by the shoulder, her knee is taped; VT1 - went for the DTY but was nowhere near completing it. Facing sideways when she landed and hopped backwards. Netteb was tucked but I think was just unsure given what happened to her yesterday - 12.766, -0.1ND after downgrading to 1.5; VT2 - Tsuk full, small step back, better than Iordache in air in my opinion but maybe not as much height? 14.1; avg: 13.533

O Nezer - FHS full again - squat and hop back, she landed ok but her body was still turning when she landed if that makes sense, 14.2; VT2 - Tsuk full, ok in air (pike down clearer on replay), low chest on landing and hop forward 14.133; avg: 14.166

Giulia Steingruber!!! VT1 - nailing the Rudi like she's ASac!!!! Small pike but definitely more laid out than usual. 15.3 - 9.1 e-score!; VT2 - Tsuk full - unmatched height on it thus far, she does pike down though, 14.2; avg: 14.750 she smiles.

Noel van Klaveren - VT1 - she makes her DTY with no real problems compared to her teammate, low chest on landing but pretty straight throughout so good for her! 14.9; VT2 - Tsuk full - arm out in a weird way, not sure if she tries to flair out but it doesn't really work - pikes down and low chest - 14.466; 14.033

Maria Paseka :O Russian crowd applauding like mad VT1 - Amanar! She falls (in a safe way if that's possible?) because I don't think she got the height she needed so once her feet hit, she just falls. She's unhappy but I mean, that Amanar... 13.966; VT2 - oh no! She falls on ro-bhs 1/2, 1/2 off, no where near making it, lands to her knees. Baby girl goes to the gymnasts and gets a quick hug and cries to Afan. Finishes in 7th.

Steingruber 1st, van Klaveren and Iordache tie for 2nd!

I apologize. The feed went out and I'm not sure I'll find another for UB.

Here is the entire video for MAG and WAG Day 1 via ChainChomp2.


#gymfan Night

8:14 PM Arabian Punch Front 1 Comments

Tomorrow (Thursday, Apr 18) at 8:30pm ET, we'll be doing #gymfan night. I'll pose a question here and if you have a twitter, use "#gymfan Qx" (#gymfan Q3, #gymfan Q4, etc.) when you answer the question (or gymfan on tumblr).  I'll try to post 2 questions earlier in the day so that those of you on the other side of the world can participate too at 2:30pm ET.

The hope is that you can search #gymfan on twitter (here) and find other people who think like you and follow them or find people you disagree with and have a discussion. I'll post the questions on tumblr and you can reblog them (or reply) and on facebook so you can comment directly. If twitter (and it's 140 characters), facebook, and tumblr still don't work, the comment box right below will gladly accept what you have to say :)

I'll retweet some of them and will also post a few of my favorites here - keep in mind, these opinions are NOT my own. So, check back here April 18 at 2:30pm and 8:30pm ET for the questions. The questions will be posted 10-15 minutes apart. Feel free to ask any questions or suggest questions for next time.

Not sure if we can trend but, hey, you never know.

#gymfan: Question 1 - Rank the 4 WAG events in order from favorite to least favorite (ties allowed) and why

#gymfan Question 2: Name 2 routines from European Championships that you will be most excited to watch once video becomes available

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Q3: For your favorite event (that you mentioned in Q1), what is your ideal podium at Euros?
Q4: If you could change the “Olympic order” (VT, UB, BB, FX) for WAG, what would you change it to or would you leave it as it is?
Q5: Name 1 person you wished made a European Championships final but didn’t - name the gymnast and the final (please do NOT tag the gymnasts).
Q6: NCAA - Name 1 gymnast and the event final that you hope she makes (please do NOT tag the gymnasts).

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Gymternet Videos

3:37 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

This video is pure genius, I can't get over it. Both Aliya and Vika are shown vaulting together and someone on tumblr (anontube) noted how in sync they are (1:28 for vault, on beam at 0:37). The youtube commenters acknowledge that only Kohei can be compared to Kohei (1:47). Many compared Maroney and Paseka's Amanar vault (1:33). While I don't think the timing is right, you can tell Maroney gets so much more height because she's out of the frame for a significant portion of it and she lands facing forward.


Montage Monday: The World's Greatest

10:41 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Three videos featuring all different athletes. The 2nd one has injuries and falls so if that's not your cup of tea, watch the Aliya routine that is linked.

Viktoria Komova: Champion Of Elegance!
by AshM
Music: 'The winner is' by Mychael Danna and DeVotchKa (may recognize from Travis Wall choreography How It Ends)
I feel like this montage could be used for a fluff piece - there are lots of clips of Vika training and clips of her competing throughout her junior and senior career. Ainsling uses some commentary as well to get the point across of how beautiful of a dancer she is or how spectacular her floor exercise performance was. I can't wait to see more of her work!


Fun Things: March Twitter Edition

12:59 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Victoria Moors Fan Page (Apr 9)

Twitter's new bffs. I think the kids are calling them #moohashi these days.

Katelyn just got a keek and posted this adorable video of her doing gymnastics and begging to go to the UB via @creatureitis.

In case you missed it: Katelyn dances to "Everybody Dance Now" here

Catalina started reminiscing about the Olympic village

Youna Dufournet soon responded

And we learn that the entire British team got in on it too!

Catalina Ponor wins


Routines to Watch: Team USA & The International Exchange

6:12 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Team USA just finished a set of meets in Jesolo, Italy, a friendly meet in Germany against a German and Romanian team, and Peyton Ernst continued on to the Tokyo Cup where she placed 2nd.

The athlete that most impressed me was Maggie Nichols. Maggie's a first year senior out of Twin City Twisters in Minnesota. She placed 6th at Jesolo with a 55.850 after a very rough time on the balance beam. On bars, Nichols hits every handstand and does a nice Ray (toe-on straddled Tkatchev). However, her Pak and Shaposhnikova 1/2 needs some work. On floor, Nichols gets nice height on all of her tumbling passes - double layout, piked full-in, 2.5 twist (some leg issues) and double tuck. VT - 5.8/15.000; UB - 5.7/14; FX - 5.7/14.4

Simone Biles took titles like no one else was competing. Most impressively, she stuck her Amanar (below). Biles showed her second vault which is a round off backhandspring 1/2 on, 1/2 off - watch here.


Routines to Watch: Doha and Cottbus

10:02 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Of course, the moment I have finals is when the elite season really picked up. Here are a few routines to watch from the World Cup meets.

Giulia Steingruber is back with a vengeance claiming many vault titles. Along the way, Steingruber revealed a new routine, I think, on uneven bars where she debuted a Markelov. She definitely competes uneven bars in attack mode and the Markelov can be improved but I think Steingruber shows good potential as an all-arounder.
Not sure if this routine is qualifications (5.9/13.7) or event finals (5.9/13.825).