World Championships 2013 Antwerp Coverage

5:03 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

USA Gymnastics
click to enlarge

The 2013 World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium begin on Monday, September 30th and go through Sunday, October 6th. Coverage is available for the event finals - both all around and event finals.

BBC via Rewriting Russian Gymnastics
Universal Sports & USA Gym Worlds
RaiSport (Italy specific schedule breakdown here)

For prelims, viewers in the US only will have access to the rotations as they pertain to the US athletes.

The Start List for the Men can be found here
The Start List for the Women can be found here

All of these videos can be accessed via and will be archived afterwards.

Monday September 30, 2013 - Qualifications MAG
Subdivision 1: 4-6:30 a.m. ET
Sam Mikulak starting on PB

Subdivision 3: 12-2:30 p.m. ET
John Orozco starting on PB - rotating with Kohei Uchimura and Jossimar Calvo Moreno
Rot 1: Orozco PB
Rot 2: empty HB
Rot 3: Jake Dalton FX
Rot 4: Alex Naddour PH
Rot 5: Brandon Wynn SR
Rot 6: Jake Dalton VT

Tuesday October 1, 2013 - Qualifications MAG 4, WAG 1
Subdivision 4: 4-6:30 a.m. ET
Steve Legendre starting on FX - rotating with Ryohei Kato JPN
Rot 1: Legendre FX
Rot 2: Orozco PH
Rot 3: Naddour SR
Rot 4: Legendre VT
Rot 5: Wynn PB
Rot 6: Orozco HB

Subdivision 1: 8-10 a.m. ET - Watch Live Here
Kyla Ross starting on VT

Wednesday October 2, 2013 - Qualifications WAG
Subdivision 3: 7:30-9:30 a.m. ET
Simone Biles starting on UB - rotating with Tatiana Nabieva

Subdivision 4: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET
McKayla Maroney starting on FX - rotating with Ruby Harrold, same subdivision as Aliya Mustafina

Thursday, Oct 3 Men's All Around Final 2pm-4:30pm ET
Friday, Oct 4 Women's All Around Final 2pm-3:45pm ET

Saturday, Oct 5 Event Finals 8:30am-11am ET (MAG FX, PH, SR alternating with WAG VT, UB)

Sunday, Oct 6 Event Finals 8:30am-11:05am ET (MAG VT, PB, HB alternating with WAG BB, FX)

The schedule for AA final and event finals can be accessed via the 3 links above for USAG, BBC, or RaiSport. If another feed becomes available for qualifications, I'll update here or on twitter @ArabianPF_blog.


Dominic Zito: Something Different Part 2

11:48 PM Arabian Punch Front 1 Comments

Bridgett Anderson/Gymnastike

Part 2 of the Dominic Zito interview continues here.

Tell us more about working with Kyla Ross.
Well, for the entire routine, we definitely tried to show the difference between the supple arms to the stronger arms. The theme behind it was beauty and strength and so I tried to display both of that in the routine. It's not easy with an athlete that doesn't have a large dance background. Throughout the routine, you'll notice the chass├ęs into her leaps with the supple arms and turning her head to the side and all that detail, we worked on, not during the initial choreography process but it was the 3 or 4 visits that I did with her after the completion of the choreography.

With all my choreography, I try to use all three of the levels - high, medium, and low. I think it's important to the performance and... well, her ending is different because we ran out of time. I always end up putting in more choreography but her ending is actually down on one knee and she lays back which is really pretty but we don't have time to get her down to the knee! In the middle of the routine, after her leaps, she does a high jump and then she slides down to the floor so she shows the level change from the high to low and then the chin spin.

With all my choreography, I try to use those levels as much as possible without fatiguing the athlete. You know, their legs going up and down can burn sometimes between those passes.

Do you find that Kyla has a better understanding now of artistry?
The artistry has been there since the first routine was completed. I have the videos of it and it looks pretty much the same. We're using her head a little bit more now and a little bit more with her arms but the same... Every place I have her head, was the initial choreography, and the arm placement. Now, she's getting more comfortable with it and we're making it bigger and bigger each time I work with her. So, people are noticing that she's turning into a performer because she's getting more comfortable with the routine and performing it in front of crowds. She's performed it 3 times so far - at the US Classic and the USA Championships. Each time we see it, I think it's going to get better and better and I'm excited to see her on the international stage with the routine.


Dominic Zito: Something Different Part 1

11:45 PM Arabian Punch Front 4 Comments

Maggie Nichols
Credit: USA Gymnastics on Facebook

Dominic Zito has gained a lot of fame as a choreographer on the elite scene after choreographing Jordyn Wieber's floor routine to Wild Dances. This was the routine that she used when she became the 2011 World Champion and 2012 Olympic Team Champion. Now, Zito is working with Kyla Ross, another member of the Fierce Five, who hopes to follow Wieber's footsteps and win the 2013 World Championships All Around crown. He has given her beautiful beam choreography along with an elegant floor routine. However, Zito hasn't just worked with Kyla Ross this past year. He had a total of 12 routines on display at Nationals, helped choreograph Jordyn Wieber's new routine (that we will hopefully get to see in the future), and Katelyn Ohashi's routine that she performed at the American Cup. I had the chance to chat with Dominic about his thoughts on choreography, artistry, and what it was like working with many of the elite gymnasts in the USA.

Arabian Punch Front: Tell us about yourself.
Dominic Zito: I started gymnastics at the age of 7. My baby sitter taught me back handsprings in the living room in 1 day so my mom came home and signed me up for gymnastics. I did that through 1999, Class 1 - now it's Level 10. I competed all over the US, did different regional meets, National Championships, AAU, UAA, all the different leagues. At the time, in the 90s, there were all these different leagues. I started dance at 5 or 6. I started with jazz, took tap, ballet, modern. I did that through 1997 when I was getting more serious with gymnastics. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do college gymnastics or not. At that point, I took a break taking classes with dance and I did some musicals in high school and different things like that to continue working on that craft.

In 1995, I started doing choreography for a local club and high school that the girls couldn't afford to work with the choreographer that was coming in. I said to the head coach that I can make up routines and they kind of laughed at me! I knew about gymnastics and the women's side. I don't think the other coaches knew that at the time so they said, "Show us a routine." So I just went in, they shut the doors and I showed them a floor routine and they couldn't believe that I could do what I was doing. So they gave me the opportunity to work with several of the girls whose families couldn't afford to work with the choreographer and the routines turned out really great.

The following year another gym contacted me. I think at that point, I was charging $50 or $75 a routine which is really nothing. Choreographers now charge a lot more than that. From there, I went to school. Dance started as my major. It was just too easy - what they wanted us to do and what we were doing. I just felt like I knew more about what I wanted and what I was doing and these people were just doing it for the fun. So I decided to minor in dance instead and got my major in Marketing. I danced in college for the Cleveland Opera. I studied everything. I graduated with a Modern base and I studied a lot of Martha Graham style and Twyla Tharp.

I've done every style of dance you can think of. I've taken classes. I love everything. I really enjoy tap. I didn't have a lot of opportunities to work on tap since I was doing so much gymnastics and once the choreography got started, that was my 2nd job while I was in high school and I worked at a pizza shop.

That's how I got into gymnastics. That's how I got into dance and now I'm working with Olympic gold medalists which is crazy!

Arabian Punch Front: How would you describe your style?
A lot of people ask me that question and I honestly don't feel like I have a specific style. I feel that I bring out an entertaining value in each athlete I work with and people will always say, "I saw your routine on TV" or "I saw your routine at Nationals last week." There's a musicality with it - the movements matching the music, I talk about a lot - and eye contact; I think people can pick out my work. And I use a lot of 'on the ground.' I like to do something different and interesting on the ground. That's where the modern base [comes out]. I use down on the ground, around on the floor, rolling into a pose. I try to do something interesting.

So, my style varies. You can look at Emily Gaskin's routine and then look at Lexie Preissman's. To me, they're completely different. I feel like the athletes I work with, I feel like all their routines I try to pull out their own character and utilize the music in a way their comfortable. I mean Kyla Ross, Jordyn Wieber - not everyone's comfortable moving the same as me or with one another. The artistry and the movement, I feel like I do so much differently with each girl and I don't feel like I have a specific style. People pick out my work because of things like the eye contact, the sharpness, and then it goes to supple, the level changes. I think I'm all over the board depending on what the athlete requires.

Arabian Punch Front: What does artistry mean to you and how do you relate that to the gymnast?
Well, I work with every level - level 6 to elite. I do choreography with the little babies that are 7 or 8 years old and just starting so artistry is different for me with each level. Overall, artistry is a component of the musicality - matching the music, the overall performance - engaging the movements and displaying that to the audience, the movement quality - making smooth transitions, going from high to low such as a jump to the floor. All of these are components of artistry. And then above it all is the technical aspects. Their stepping, their turnouts, their turns. All the technique needs to be within the routine as well as the entertainment of the movement and the performance. All the movements from the eyes to the fingertips. All of this has to be artistry and be brought together. So artistry is one word but there are so many components of it that people don't even understand.

How do I get the girls to be artistic? Obviously the technique is there. Their turns are usually perfect at the elite level or hopefully they are. The musicality - I help them match the music. Every pose they do, every step, I try to have it right on. Even if there's a subtle beat in the background, I do something big on that and it brings out that beat in the music. So it goes hand in hand - the movement and the music. The musicality is something that makes a routine unique and interesting. Like Jordyn Wieber, how she hit all those different beats. I don't know if another choreographer would have choreographed it the same, using those same beats. But I think that made her routine very artistic. The movement quality, the transitions going from smooth and supple to sharp. You'll see that a lot in Kyla's routine. That's artistry. Feeling the music, making it her own with the sharpness, the strong movements but still exhibiting the control within the routine to get in those good tumbling passes.

Creativity, obviously, is huge. You can't have the same pose over and over which we've seen from other choreographers, not just in the USA but internationally. It's important to not just use your arms and your legs... but your head! A lot of gymnasts don't turn their heads! They don't turn look out into the audience and make that eye contact. I really try to do that with a lot of the elite girls and bring in the crowd. Everybody wants to see that and it makes the routine, overall, artistic. So all these components create one word - artistry.


G Force Gymnastics - Caribbean Fest Invitational

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The Caribbean Fest is January 25 & 26, 2014 and is a men's & women's USAG invitational that will be held at G Force Gymnastics in Ashburn, Virginia. The meet directors are 2x Silver Medalist Annia Hatch and nationally recognized men's coach Macey Watson. Competitors are Women's levels 3-10 & Xcel, and Men's 4-10.  The meet will serve as a qualifying event and all competitors from Virginia can earn qualifying scores which will allow them to compete at Sectional or State Meets.

One highlight of this meet is the importance it is placing on service and how that ties in with the long term goals. They have partnered with Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, as a way to give back to the community. In 2015 the Caribbean Fest will foster relationships and provide opportunities for athletes from the Island countries of the Caribbean where opportunities in gymnastics are not readily available.

Along with helping the international gymnastics community, the meet directors will aim to help the competitors at this meet. Annia Hatch will deliver a seminar on how to overcome obstacles and remain committed to one's dreams. Macey Watson will help the gymnasts that are starting to think about college by informing them of the steps that need to be taken to obtain a gymnastics scholarship.


Montage Monday: We Got the Fire

9:00 AM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

We Got the Fire
by AshleyakaFlipper/@ashley_flipper
This one is probably my favorite for the past 2 weeks - it does help that I love Ellie Goulding. Ashley made this montage using the television footage of US Nationals and highlighted the many skills by adjusting the speed. There were contrasts of regular speed with portions of the same clip that were slowed down or sped up. It reminded me of the Doha footage which is some of my favorite footage for that exact reason. There were also some epic faces that were highlighted - one being Mykayla Skinner after she successfully landed her Cheng.

Aliya and Nabs || Let me be your Ruler
by SuperGymmie/@SuperGymmie
This montage was actually a request since I love the song Royal by Lourdes and it's nonchalant but confident tone fits these 2 gymnasts perfectly. SG whipped this together and may make another version with Worlds footage. After Universiade, I was very excited for Tatiana Nabieva and Anna Dementyeva. Now that Nabieva has made the Worlds team and will attend the Championships with her best friend, Aliya Mustafina, for the first time since 2010 we all have a little more to look forward to. The bond between these two (and the faces they'll probably make) are sure to keep us entertained!


A Look at Worlds Nominative Registration - Sep 20

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Silvia Colussi Pelaez
Paul Gilham/Getty Images Europe

The Nominative list always causes speculation but with the recent slew of illnesses and injuries, the list has changed and will likely continue to change until the final deadline. Here's a look, country-by-country, of the some of the recent updates. I find that I miss a few things each time I look at it so hopefully this helps us all to notice some interesting things!

Nominative List can be found here as of 9/20

Canada is sending Ellie Black, Maegan Chant, Kaitlyn Hofland, and Victoria Moors. Black is doing all around and Chant is doing vault and floor exercise, as expected. Interestingly, Kaitlyn Hofland is doing VT, UB, BB while Moors is doing UB, BB, FX. Again, these are subject to change but it will be interesting to see what Moors does about that pesky double double.

China's team has not changed - Yao Jinnan and Shang Chunsong will both be doing all around. Huang Huidan will be doing UB and Zeng Siqi will compete on the beam.

Spain's (ESP) Maria Paula Vargas had to withdraw due to injury. Of note, Silvia Colussi-Pelaez has competed the sideways side so if she successfully competes it, she can have it named. However, she's started the school year at the University of Florida so I'm still confused...

This video shows the sideways side aerial but you can watch a video of her from PT for the Test Event here


As We Wait for Worlds - Vault Part 2

8:24 PM Arabian Punch Front 1 Comments

Giulia Steingruber (SUI), Unknown Source

We're a little under 2 weeks until the official start of the World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium. Most of the teams have been officially announced although it's subject to change as the injury list is getting longer and longer. Vault finals was shaping to be a very exciting final but we've lost a number of gymnasts to injury. Things are still exciting as athletes like Noel van Klaveren shows an upgrade and Giulia Steingruber shows an entirely different family of vault. There's still reason to be excited for the vault event final.

Noel van Klaveren - DTY and Tsuk 1.5

These are the athletes that should be present at Worlds as of September 18th.

Athlete SV 1 Name VT1 SV 2 Name VT2 Average
1. Hong Un Jong 6.3 Amanar 6.4 Cheng 6.35
2. McKayla Maroney 6.3 Amanar 6.0 Y1/2 on, 1/1 off 6.15
3. Fadwa Mahmoud 7.0 Produnova 5.2 ? Tsuk 1/1 6.1
3. Ellie Black 6.2 Rudi 6.0 Tsuk 2/1 6.1
5. Phan Thi Ha Thanh 5.8 DTY 6.2 Rudi 6.0
6. Simone Biles 6.3 Amanar 5.6 Lopez 5.95
6. Maria Paseka 6.3 Amanar 5.6 Lopez 5.95
8. Giulia Steingruber* 6.2 Rudi 5.2 Tsuk 1/1 5.7
9. Noel van Klaveren 5.8 DTY 5.5 Tsuk 1.5 5.65
9. Oksana Chusovitna* 5.8 FHS 1/1 5.5 Tsuk 1.5 5.65
11. Giulia Steingruber* 6.2 Rudi 5.0 FTY 5.6
12. Larisa Iordache 5.8 DTY 5.2 Tsuk 1/1 5.5
13. Yamilet Pena* 5.8 DTY 5.0 FHS front 5.4
14. Maegan Chant 5.2 Tsuk 1/1 5.4 FHS 1/2 5.3
Athlete SV 1 Name VT1 SV 2 Name VT2 Total SV
Yamilet Pena* 7.0 Produnova 5.8 DTY 6.6
Giulia Steingruber* 6.2 Rudi 6.0 Tsuk 2/1 6.1
Giulia Steingruber* 6.2 Rudi 5.8 DTY 6.0
Sandra Izbasa* 6.0 "Mustafina" 5.8 DTY 6.0
Oksana Chusovitna* 6.2 Rudi 5.5 Tsuk 1.5 5.85

We've lost a few vaulters along the way. Ksenia Afansyeva (5.95D) recently had surgery on her ankle and Jade Barbosa is recovering from an injury (5.7D). Janine Berger was not selected to go to Worlds since she has not been able to get back her Olympic level vaults (6.1D) due to a knee injury. Alexa Moreno was not selected to be on the team although the reason is not entirely known - perhaps political, perhaps injury. North Korea is only sending one gymnast and Ri Un Ha (6.1D) was not chosen.

I started to include athletes with D-scores below 5.3 but then I'd have to include everyone. There are rumors of Maegan Chant upgrading which is entirely possible since her current vaults are clean and seem too easy for her. Athletes like Ofir Nezir (ISR), Chantysha Netteb (NED), and Makarena Pinto and Martina Castro (CHI) are just a few of the athletes around the 5.2 range and could all sneak into the finals.

Has anyone else noticed that Phan Thi Ha Thanh tends to do an easier vault in qualifications than in finals? At Worlds 2011, she qualified with 5.9 (FHS pike 1.5) and 5.3 in vault difficulty, the second of which was upgraded to a 5.8. At the 2012 Olympics in London, she went qualified with a 5.3 and 6.3 in difficulty - the first we saw of her Rudi. Recently, at Osijek, she qualified with a 5.8 and 5.0 D-score. This second vault looks like it was a balked attempt since she had 1.1 in neutral deductions and probably decided to do a front handspring layout front. Her DTY was devalued by the judges to a 1.5TY in finals and she competed her Rudi.

Why is Steingruber on this list 4 times?! Steingruber competed the Rudi and Tsuk 2/1 vaults at the Olympics but fell on the Tsukahara and has not competed the double twist since. She competed a clean Tsuk 1/1 at European Championships where she earned gold and talked about upgrading again in an interview with GymNewstics. At Swiss Nationals, she showed a new FTY and is rumoured to be working a DTY for Worlds. Her Rudi is set but it remains to be seen what her second vault will be. Steingruber FTY here

Steingruber Rudi here or below
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* Explained:
- Pena has not competed the Produnova vault since the Olympics.
- Izbasa has not competed 2 vaults since the Olympics. According to Alex Mladinescu, it's unlikely that we'll see her perform 2 vaults here.
- Chusovitna has competed a front handspring full twist with a 5.8 D-score as her 1st vault but has not competed her Rudi this year.

The list was compiled with help of Uncle Tim's UTRS (9/9) as well as my Explaining VT EF from the Olympics.

Who are you thinking will make the VT podium?


Team USA: Medal Count

11:04 AM Arabian Punch Front 7 Comments

Credit: USA Gymnastics on Facebook

The USA will be sending 4 gymnasts to the 2013 World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium: Simone Biles, Kyla Ross, McKayla Maroney, and Brenna Dowell. Elizabeth Price was named as the non-traveling alternate. Although the team is named, we still do not know who will be competing what events. It seems most likely that Biles and Ross will compete in the all around, McKayla will compete vault and floor, while Brenna rounds out the group competing uneven bars and balance beam.

A lot of people are questioning Brenna's placement on the team since bars and beam aren't her best events. To be honest, there aren't many girls in the US that can call themselves bars and beam specialists. Madison Kocian had a shot at making the team after night 1 of Nationals but then succumbed to injury. Abby Milliet and Peyton Ernst are both strong beam workers with bars that can do the job, however, performances at both Nationals and camp meant that they were not placed on the team. Even Price, the alternate who would have likely been used for her bar work, is more a vault and floor exercise specialist. When you look at the big picture, we didn't have many bars and beam specialists to pick from in the first place. In this individual worlds, it worked out that a gap was left in the puzzle on bars and beam so our options were to pick strong all arounders who may not excel on those 2 events specifically, but who can compete strong sets and are still amongst the strongest in the USA.

Now, don't forget that although the team was chosen, "camp" hasn't ended. The athletes are still training and proving their place, and potential lineup, to Martha Karolyi. Perhaps McKayla Maroney has proven her all-around potential or at least enough to do more than the 2 events. Maybe Brenna Dowell is consistently hitting her Tweddle to straddle back combination on uneven bars and improving her all around potential in the process. Maybe it's enough to bump Kyla to the UB/BB specialist spot. Maybe Simone's consistency has become a question or her ankles have become an issue again, enough to warrant reshuffling of the lineup. We don't know. Yet.

Will Graves threw out a medal number of 4, Scott Bregman said 5, and Nancy Armour outdid them both and said 6. Honestly, I couldn't get pass 3. Where do you put Team USA in medals?

For the purpose, I'm assuming a lineup of Biles and Ross AA, Maroney VT/FX, and Dowell UB/BB.

AA - I can see both Biles and Ross medaling here. Although Ross doesn't have the difficulty, she does have the execution over many athletes that will compete in the AA. Biles has the difficulty and, as one of the power gymnasts, is very aware of her lines and how to play to her strengths.

VT - Perhaps vault is more of a sentimental issue for me. Maroney will medal. What she will get, nobody knows. I would be lying if I said Biles couldn't medal. She may not have the most difficult vaults but she's clean. Her Amanar doesn't have the same exclamation point that Maroney's has, but she vaults in a way that forces me to scrutinize Maroney that much further. Also, Biles has been training the Cheng - a round off half on, 1.5 twist off while Maroney's second vault has one half twist less. Should it be competition ready, she'll have one of the highest D-score averages in the world. The reason it's sentimental is because of athletes like Giulia Steingruber and Noel van Klaveren. There are only 3 medals! (If there's a tie for 3rd place...)

Now, we get to the other events and nothing quickly jumps out at me.
FX - Maroney has one of the highest floor scores in the World right now of athletes that have been chosen to World teams. Athletes with comparable D-scores or total scores are Sandra Izbasa, Larisa Iordache, Mai Murakami, and teammates Simone Biles and Brenna Dowell who probably is not competing on floor. Can Maroney win a medal on floor? Sure, why not! But, in my eyes, she's not a favorite in the way she's a favorite on VT.

UB - We're looking at Simone Biles, Kyla Ross, and Brenna Dowell. Only 2 will make the finals. Biles and Dowell aren't UB specialists by any means but let's not forget that Jordyn qualified to the UB EF at World Championships in 2011. Both girls have the D score and relatively clean execution of their skills, however, there are big names to watch on this event. China will have some combination of Yao Jinnan, Shang Chunsong, and Huang Huidan - all of whom have D-scores of 6.6 and above. Ross is the highest in the US with a 6.4. Also of note is Olympic Uneven Bars Champion Aliya Mustafina and her Russian teammate Tatiana Nabieva, who was the silver medalist at the 2011 World Championships. Great Britain will also have strong bar workers in Ruby Harrold, Rebecca Downie, and Rebecca Tunney. On UB, it's hard to say with any confidence that an American will be on the podium.

BB - For the USA, this one is a crapshoot because any of the 4 athletes could compete this event but we'll assume it's Ross, Biles, and Dowell. Biles has the highest difficulty score while Ross has the highest total score of these 3. Beam is where Zeng Siqi of China shines - provided she remains on the team and isn't swapped out for Sui Lu or Tan Sixin. China also has Shang Chunsong who has a 6.5 difficulty score. Romanian Larisa Iordache boasts the highest D-score in the world with a 6.9. Aliya Mustafina also makes the list for potential to score high. But, alas, this is the balance beam where a hop, missed connection, and a fall can change anything.

So, after all this analysis, where am I? I'm still at 3 medals - 2 AA and 1 on VT. Fine. 4 medals to give a 2nd medal on VT. Beyond that, it will be a matter of first qualifying to the finals and then hoping all the cards are in the right place on that day.

What do you think of Team USA's medal count?

Source: Uncle Tim's UTRS as of 9/9


Osijek Grand Prix Day 2

11:50 AM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

On Day 2, we have the 2nd half of event finals. The men will be competing on vault, parallel bars, and high bar. 2012 High Bar Olympic Champion will be competing on high bar. The women will be competing on balance beam and floor exercise with beam seeming like it will be the most competitive. Jessica Lopez of Venezuela and Sanne Wevers of the Netherlands were tied coming into these finals. Vasiliki Millousi was in 3rd with a 6.0 D-score. There have been rumblings of her capable of a routine with a 6.4 difficulty value. All 3 of these ladies boast high d-scores and have high hopes of making the event finals come World Championships. Of note, Russian, Polina Fedorova qualified in 4th. It will be interesting to see how she finishes as Russia's team seems to be in need of a beamer. Should she hit, could she possible take that 4th spot from Rodionova?

You can find results from qualifications here

They changed the order around, starting with HB. Ladies are finishing with BB.


Osijek Grand Prix Day 1

12:32 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Osijek VT Finals

Results from Qualifications via The Couch Gymnast
Van Klavern 5.5 and 5.8 D, 14.463 average
Netteb, 5.2 and 4.4 D, 13.950 average
Sosnitskaya, 5.6 and 5.0 D, 13.850 average
Makra, 4.4 and 5.0 D, 13.7 average
Phan, 5.0 and 5.8 D, 13.713 average
Rojas 4.0 and 5.0 D, 13.588 average
Plichta 5.20 and 5.0 D, 13.575 average
Cummins, 5.0 and 5.0 D, 13.475 average

Ema Kajic - pretty FTY, (.3) hop back. 5.0/13.925; VT 2 - FHS pike - slight tuck for landing, step back. 4.6/13.1

Alla Sosnitskaya - 3rd in quals VT1 Lopez, not very pretty. Not fully rotated on block (her hips were still sideways) and then piked on landing. 5.6/14.6 VT2 Clean FTY in the air but hop back with some steps, couldn't quite control the landing. 5.8/13.75

Paula Plichta - VT1 - clean FHS front pike 1/2, step back. Overall, nice vault. 5.0/13.950 VT2 - Tsuk 1/1 with a VERY deep landing. She's in a simple white leo with a butterfly on it. It's simple but I like it. 5.0/13.375

Noemi Makra - VT1 - FHS front pike 1/2 - she FLEW off the spingboard. I was terrified she would just fly over it... But the VT was clean, good block, didn't stick landing. 5.0/13.975 VT2 - Just a layout Yuchenko. Very pretty though. 4.4/13.575

Phan Thi Ha Thanh - VT1 - scary DTY, landed facing sideways but she seems ok. They gave her credit for 1.5. 5.3/14.0. VT2 - Rudi pretty piked and then had to barely got the last twist around. 6.2/14.575/-.1

Claudia Cummins - VT1 - FTY, clean in air but then took a big step forward and quickly saluted. 5.0/13.8/-.1 VT2 - FSH front pike 1/2 - bent legs for the 1/2 twist and quick step and salute. Low chest. 5.0/13.550

Noel van Klaveren - will she do the Tsuk 1.5?! VT1 - DTY strong. I have faith she'll have an Amanar next year, to be honest. Big hop back and step. 5.8/15.025 VT2 - She goes for it! Step forward! Small leg separation on pre-flight but I didn't notice it until the replay. Yes! 5.5/14.5 (9.0 e-score).

Chantysha Netteb - VT1 - 1.5TY almost stuck, small step forward. Huge smile. Bent legs noticed on replay. 5.3/14.6 VT2 - clean Tsuk 1/1. Coach is telling her about her landing. 5.2/14.425

Ivet Rojas Galean (VEN) - VT1 - strong FTY, small step back. 5.0/14.0 VT2 - FHS tucked front. She fell and did a forward roll out of it. Not sure what happened but she's fine. 4.4/11.625/-.3

1. Noel van Klaveren 14.762
2. Chantysha Netteb 14.512
3. Phan Thi Ha Thanh 14.287
4. Alla Sosnitskaya 14.175
5. Noemi Makra 13.775
6. Claudia Cummins 13.675
7. Paula Plichta 13.662
8. Ema Kajic 13.512
9. Ivet Rojas 12.813


The Piked Double Front

7:44 PM Arabian Punch Front 5 Comments

Is it named or is it not named?

The piked double front has been competed before. Tia Orlando is listed as competing the piked double front in 2003. The video I see links to a double front that's piked in the first salto and clearly tucked in the second. If anyone finds a better video of it, let me know. (pass at 1:12)

Next, we have Veronica Wagner of Sweden. Wagner has said herself that she's competed it 5 times "Nationals, Euros, Nordic Champ, Worlds 2005 and Worlds 2006." Wagner's was beautiful, fully rotated and controlled. Although she competed it at Worlds, she fell both times and, as per the rules, did not get the skill named after her.

Yessenia Estrada, a long time competitor for Mexico, has also attempted the front double pike but fell on it from the video I've seen.

That brings us next to Brenna Dowell who has a strong piked double front. At 2013 Classics, she tried to connect it to a leap for connection bonus. (2nd pass)

So, what do we call this skill?

This gets confusing because, although the skill has been attempted multiple times, no one has successfully landed it at a World Championships or Olympic Games. What makes it even more interesting is that the skill isn't even in the Code of Points!

Many people get angry when a round off half on, layout full twist off vault is called a "Mustafina" when it is not called that in the Code of Points. Best friend Tatiana Nabieva has also competed this vault but compatriot Anna Pavlova was the first of the recent Russians to compete the vault. So, why isn't it called a Pavlova? Apparently, the vault was already in the CoP, so Pavlova couldn't get it named after her either. Madness! The Tsuk 2.5 is also in the CoP but has never been competed before so, theoretically, the first person to compete it, won't get it named after herself either!

The piked double front is in a different situation because it's not even listed in the Code of Points. It's been given a provisional ranking of an F, which seems appropriate given that a tucked double front is rated an E. But what will we call it? If Brenna Dowell makes it to Worlds, it is likely that she will be the one to get it officially named after her. However, if Brenna doesn't make the Worlds team, we'll have to wait for another strong front tumbler to delight us with this skill at a World Championship or Olympic Games.

Handy Source - WAG Firsts
(Please correct any errors in the comments.)


Montage Monday: USA Gymnastics

1:17 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country. (Wikipedia)

This Labor Day, we celebrate all the gymnasts who work hard, day in and day out, holiday or no holiday, striving to be the best they can be.

USA Gymnastics - Roar
US Nationals wasn't too long ago but we now have a chance to celebrate USA Gymnastics... from the start. I love that every era is represented whether it's Mary Lou Retton or Bridget Sloan, Annia Hatch or Sarah Finnegan, many of the "greats" in USA gymnastics history are here. I particularly love the ending with our newest golden girls.