Elisabetta Preziosa: Talented Beauty

2:56 PM Arabian Punch Front 4 Comments


Elisabetta Preziosa is an Italian gymnast best known to fans for her amazing flexibility, lines, and toe point. Recently, she had her inherent dance ability put on display in a photoshoot. Betta, as she is affectionately called, placed some of these photos on her instagram after a shoot with Giada Napolitano, @giady03.


Preziosa was named to the 2012 Olympic team where she competed on balance beam. Unfortunately, she fell in both team qualifications and team finals. With a strong crop of new seniors, it is hard to know where she falls on the Italian team since her difficulty score isn't always competitive with her teammates. However, no one is really able to match her elegance and what she may not have in difficulty, she earns with excellent execution.


Dutch World Championships Qualifications

3:39 PM Arabian Punch Front 4 Comments

Credit: ANP for metroniuews.nl

The first qualification for the Dutch World team was held this weekend. Six gymnasts participated with two important absences. Olympian Celine van Gerner is out of the selection process due to a right ankle injury that needed surgeru and Wyomi Masela has an elbow strain that kept her out of this competition but she hopes to rejoin in the next qualification meet.

Noel van Klaveren easily won the all-around. Of not, she did a Yurchenko double full (5.8D) along with a Tsuk 1.5 (5.5D). Van Klaveren is the European silver medalist on vault and this increase in difficulty helps give her a good chance of making the vault event finals. She has also been seen training an Amanar but it's unknown if that vault is competition ready. After a fall on the new Tsuk 1.5, one cannot be sure that this beautiful gymnast will attempt a more difficult first vault at her next competition.

Chantysha Netteb and Vera van Pol seem to be fighting for the 2nd all around position. Van Pol gained notoriety after becoming the 2013 Dutch Champion. Netteb had great success as a junior but has had some unfortunate injuries. I'm curious who will end up on top in the next qualification meet. Vera van Pol is coming into her own and scoring well in internal competitions. Netteb has the ability to outscore her but mistakes seem to be a problem. Netteb did finish in 2nd at this meet but fell to her head on her beam dismount. As much as I would love for Netteb to compete in the all around, I would see her losing the all-around spot as a safety precuation rather than anything else.

Sanne Wevers, like many of her fellow countrywomen, recently finished a training camp at Flicka Gymnastics in Canada. Sanne worked on lots of different skills while training. It seems like she's shooting for the UB/BB spot and has a good chance since she boasts a 5.8 D-score on beam. Consistency on this event will be key for her.

Funny blooper of Wevers training in Canada from her facebook page

Julia Bombach only competed on bars. There is mention of her training a clear hip piked Tkatchev, a skill that is not yet in the Code of Points. It is believed to be an F rated skill making Bombach one of the first Dutch gymnasts to compete a skill of such high difficulty on the uneven bars.

Wyomi Masela is the gymnast who complicates things for the Netherlands. She is a good all around gymnast and placed above Netteb and van Gerner at the Dutch Championships. However, she is not likely to take one of the all around spots and, like Netteb, is more of a VT/FX specialist making her spot on the team questionable with 2 already strong vaulters and another spot taken for an AA gymnast. Like Wevers, Masela recently returned from training in Canada. She was at the same gym as Olympian Dominique Pegg where she learned a Canadian choreographed floor routine and a new vault. Her floor opens with a nice double layout (below) and she now performs a FTY (here) and a round 1/2 half on, layout 1/2 off (here). She did have a DTY and front handspring front pike 1/2 in 2012.

Wyomi Masela FX

For the Osijek Challenge Cup, the Netherlands has submitted a team that seems entirely possible for the World Championships.
Noel van Klaveren - VT, FX
Chantysha Netteb - UB, FX
Vera van Pol - UB, FX
Wyomi Masela - VT, BB

The obvious problems are that there are no all around gymnasts and Netteb is not listed on vault. I think the Netherlands should adopt the same team that I have in my head for Russia. Van Pol (or Nabieva) should not compete in the all around so that the 3 vaulters are able to vault - in this case, van Klaveren, Netteb, and Masela and Mustafina (for AA), Paseka, and Afanasyeva for Russia.

My idea:
Noel van Klaveren - AA
Chantysha Netteb - VT, UB, FX, (BB)
Vera van Pol - UB, BB, (FX)
Wyomi Masela - VT, FX, (BB)

The other option is to have Sanne Wevers on the team who complement Netteb well - van Klaveren and van Pol would do AA, Netteb - VT, UB, FX, and Wevers - BB (or UB in place of Netteb).

A lot will depend on how all the athletes hit at the Friendly meet in Alphen aan den Rijn, NED August 31 - Sep 1 and if Masela or any of the other gymnasts decide to compete in additional events.

Dutch Gymnasts Begin Worlds Qualifying Battle
Gymnastics Calendar to Worlds - more info on the Friendly Meet
Follow Sports2Visuals for updates
Noel van Klaveren Amanar

What do you think?


Gymnastics Calendar to Worlds

10:11 AM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

We have quite the lineup of meets before 2013 World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium from Sept 30-Oct 6. This will be updated as we get more information on the various meets.

Worlds Definitive Registration here - number of spots open per country.

DatesMeet Info
Aug 30-Sep 8Chinese National Games
More info: here
Sui Lu, Deng Linlin, He Kexin, Huang Quishuang, Wu Liufang may all retire at the end of these Games
Results/Links/Videos: chinesegymnastics on tumblr
Aug 31-Sep 1International Friendly; Alphen aan den Rijn, NED
More info: here; Nominative List: here
Countries include Romania (Izbasa, Bulimar), Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Austria, Sweden and Belgium. This will also serve as the 2nd World Championships qualifying event for the Netherlands.
Sept 6 - 8Romanian Nationals
More info: here
Sept 7 - 8Magyar Grand Prix, HUN
More info: here
Competitors include Kriztian Berki and Epke Zonderland along with up-and-comer Noemi Makra on the women's side.
Sept 12 - 16US Worlds Team Selection Camp; Texas, USA
More info: here
Athletes: Biles, Maroney, Price, Nichols, Milliet, Skinner, Ross, Desch, Dowell, Ernst, and Baker.
Sep 13 - 15Osijek Challenge Cup
Nominative list: here (updated 9/11)
GBR is sending both Rebecca Tunney and Downie, Noemi Makra of hungary and Elsa Garcia of Mexico are listed in the all-around. Four Dutch girls will be competing in what appears to be a very probable Worlds team. Millousi will grace us with her presence on beam. Russia is sending Sosnitskaya and Rodionova and South Africa will be represented by Claudia Cummins and Kirsten Beckett.
Sept 14GER-ITA Friendly; Vigevano, ITA
Info/Italian competitors: here
German competitors: here
Ferlito, Ferrari, and Meneghini are set to compete. Campana and Fasana are both listed but both are reported to be injured. Francesca De Agostini, who just fell short of making the Olympic team will also be there
Sept 19-25Japan Junior International; Yokohoma, JPN
More info: WAG, MAG participant lists
USA will be sending Bailie Key and Laurie Hernandez. GBR will be sending Catherine Lyons and Georgia Mae-Fenton. Brinn Bevan, who impressed at EYOF, will compete in the men's competition with Nile Wilson.


Experience US Nationals MAG

7:05 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

I had the delight of also going to the men's competition and I'm glad I did. I thought I may never have the chance again but I've decided that I'm going to another meet.

I realized I left out some coach sightings. Was Chow on the floor for the seniors? He might've been. Either way, someone said I love you and he turned and blew a kiss to the crowd. When Mihai came over to the Hilton, all the little kids went up to him. There we are towering over 3 rows of 10 year olds. Mihai has a box in his hand and was looking for his wife. Then the little girl said, "Mihai, may I please have your autograph?" How could you deny someone so cute - that was literally the reaction on his face. He tried moving but the crowd moved with him. Then another little one asked politely. Chalk It Up and I looked at each other and decided we were never getting Mihai's autograph because we'd never be as adorable as a polite 10 year old. He walked away soon after anyway. 

On my way to MAG, I saw Chow smiling as he walked down the street. I didn't say anything because I was in my car and what would I say? "Hi, Chow!" So I went on and parked. 

I got to MAG late and I guess I missed shirtless warmups because you guys took too long to guess that I got Valeri's autograph. It's ok. 

The meet was insane! Not sure if you followed my attempt at live tweets but my face was literally like :O the entire time. 

Legendre's first pass
Seeing a "man prod" (handspring double front). 
Seeing a stuck man prod. 
Seeing a Dragulescu. 
Seeing Orozco's Liukin (full twisting laid out Tkatchev). 

source: alwaysthewriter

Maybe you thought I was crazy when I said in getting a lot of chalk on me. I'm at a gymnastics meet, what did I expect? In my defense, there are 2 extra apparatus with MAG so that much more chalk. AND it wasn't just me! The Michigan boys like the chalk a certain way as does one of their coaches.  

My favorite coach sweeping chalk off the parallel bars podium. Also, ALL the Michigan boys had to help chalk the bars. It takes a village to raise a child and it takes an entire team to chalk for Michigan.

See, it wasn't just me!


Experience US Nationals Day 2

7:35 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Going to Nationals was so much fun. I met Rick, Lauren, Spanny, Chalk It Up, and Cordelia. I took pictures with Olympians (and their dads) but most importantly, I got to see amazing gymnastics right in front of me.

Around Molly Frack - Alex Naddour, Ivana M Hong, Danell Leyva

Valeri Liukin You're all probably wondering how I got Valeri Liukin's autograph. We were leaving after the announcement of the senior national team and the moment we joined the wave of people walking towards the exit, I spotted him. I exclaimed, "Oh my God, Valeri!" but in a whisper because I didn't want to be that girl. Chalk It Up asked where but I ran behind him. "Valeri?" No response. "Valeri?" and I tapped his shoulder. He looked at me and I asked if I could have his autograph. He did that Valeri smirk and nodded but we had to keep walking. I couldn't find my marker so Chalk It Up caught up and gave him her marker and autograph book. Then, I gave him mine. By then, we were approaching the entrance where there would be even more people so he only got to write his name. He's one of those that signs and writes it. But whatever. I touched Valeri's shoulder. He smirked at me. And all is good in the world. We said thank you and he ran off. These ladies behind us told us we were lucky. Yes, very lucky indeed!

More WOGA - After the junior session, we were walking to the other side so that we could better see them present the athletes. Chalk It Up spotted Lexie Priessman talking to Katelyn Ohashi and Rebecca Bross and both agreed to give us their autographs. We both already had Lexie's so here begins the tail of us becoming Lexie's autograph bff.

Now, we'll go back in chronological order


Experience US Nationals Day 1

11:57 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

The picture is from My Crazy World of Graphics. Pretty sure she also runs The Magnificent "USA, Russia & Romania".

Today was Day 1 of the P&G Gymnastics Championships. It proved to be an exciting day although no blanket statements can be made as we wait for the finals on Saturday. I am lucky enough to be in Hartford and have tickets for the Junior and Senior WAG Finals on Saturday and the Senior MAG Finals on Sunday.

Today, I went to the XL Center to get a feel of what was going on. Yes, I wanted autographs but I also wanted to see where I could park, how bad the lines were, etc. It's a pretty cool place! I saw that podium with Rebecca Bross on it and there's one with Gabby Douglas closer to the entrance.

After I parked my car, I started walking towards the XL Center. I heard this guy and immediately turned. He turned to look at me and then I shyly asked for his autograph. It was Yin Alverez and he actually signs "Yeessoooo!" I had a chance to ask him about Jessica Gil of Colombia who trains at his gym and his wife is usually the coach on the floor with her. Gil qualified to the 2009 floor finals but had a scary fall. Since then, I haven't really been able to find anything about her. I asked Yin if I could ask him a question and he said of course. I asked if Jessica was still training at his gym. He looked at me and said, "You know Jessica?" His look was kind of quizzical. He was probably expecting 50 million questions about Dannell but, nope, I asked about Jessica. I mean, I'll see Danell tomorrow! I feel like I haven't seen Jessica in years!

This was a very long and drawn out way of saying that Yin answered. Jessica is recovering from knee surgery and is slowly getting back into things.

Of course, I have no idea what that means, so I'll try to find out more. Knee surgery? ACL? Meniscus? Knee cap? She's still in rehab? She's tumbling? She's going to Worlds? I need more info, Yin!

Then, I went inside. I don't know what I was expecting. Maybe a sea of juniors for me to run to for autographs. Instead, I didn't see anyone. Actually, that's a lie because I ran into Annia Hatch. It's a funny thing asking people for their autographs. They know what you're about to ask so it makes you feel just a little more welcome. A little. It's still pretty awkward. When Annia signed with the Olympic rings, I think it hit me that I was actually in a very amazing place.

I walked on. And now I was expecting my sea of juniors. I kept reading people's t-shirts trying to figure out who was from what gym but I had no real leads. I saw some Stanford boys walk by but none were Josh Dixon. I went to the side area - that might be the US Congress? They had a ton of gymnastics equipment and had people trying things out. It was cool. There were the little square trampolines, some beams, a few stability balls and other things. Seemed like fun and a good workout. They actually had you try out the different pieces of equipment and corrected your technique and such.

On my way out, I saw Nica Hults. Nica is extremely sweet and her face lit up when I asked for her autograph. She was with a friend that had an "Air Maroney" t-shirt on. She was super nice and signed all 3 of the photos I had. As I walked away I heard her friend ask, "Do you think a lot more people are recognizing you this year?"


The Return of Montage Monday

9:16 PM Arabian Punch Front 1 Comments

It's been almost a month since I last wrote a post. Life happens. Actually, school happens and tests happen. But that's all done now (hopefully) and so we start a new chapter! More posts will be coming your way so I figured this Montage Monday will be some of my favorite montages from meets I didn't get to blog about - mainly European Youth Olympic Festival, Universiade, and US Secret Classic.

First off, I had a playlist going of montages I liked throughout July 2013. You can check that out HERE. There are some gems in there including montages of gymnasts we don't usually see like Brenna Dowell and Carlotta Ferlito.

European Youth Olympic Festival
EYOF took place in Utrecht, Netherlands. The format was 3 members on the team with 2 athletes competing and 2 scores counting. We saw the showdown of the future starts of Romania vs. Russia but we also got a preview of what Great Britain will bring to the table, not only in WAG but also in MAG. Sports2Visuals, the same group that produces The Hard Way to Success documentaries, was there with some high definition footage and some great montages too. These 2 were my favorite. I thought they gave the best variety of gymnasts along with some great reactions of coaches and the crowd. For those of you that are still getting into MAG, make sure to watch the second one!

Team Competition Women

Apparatus Finals Men & Women