Abierto Mexicano de Gimnasia 2013: Results

9:05 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Today is the first half of the competition for the men and women. A live stream is available here but is geo-blocked. I'll be keeping track of scores and things here! Bear with me as I try to fill this in.

Total scores have been confirmed. Awaiting proper BB/FX results.

Roxana Popa (ESP)15.10013.70013.95014.60057.3501
Maggie Nichols (USA)15.25014.25014.60057.3002
Peyton Ernst (USA)15.10014.45057.1503
Oksana Chusovitina (UZB)15.00013.85014.00012.95055.8004
Evgenia Shelgunova (RUS)13.75013.45013.85013.70054.7505
Angelina Kysla (UKR)13.70013.75053.7006
Francesca DeAgostini (ITA)13.55012.25013.45013.45052.7007
Amaranta Torres (MEX)13.95012.80012.35051.4008
Zeng Siqi (CHN)12.95013.25050.7509
Mariana Valentin (BRA)13.65012.50012.00050.70010
Sabrina Gill (CAN)13.90012.05012.05050.20011

- Oksana Chusovitna vaulted a Rudi. Evgenia Shelgunova and Amaranta Torres vaulted a FTY. Popa vaulted a DTY
- Popa did a full twisting double layout dismount off bars. It seems like it's saying Chuso did a double double but...

via @sbregman87:
- Chusovitna BB: pike front mount; front tuck; switch, split; ff, layout (?); RO, double tuck
- Maggie Nichols FX: double layout (a little piked in the air); pike full-in; Gogean; 1.5 to 2.5; switch ring + switch half; double tuck.
- Zeng Siqi BB: She did a FF and then stopped. Walked back up and went for it again.  She slid down the beam, though.
- Peyton Ernst BB: Switch ring; ff, ff, layout (fall); front aerial, sheep; switch, back pike; front tuck, wolf; ff, ff, double pike (stuck).

Rotation 4:
- Nichols BB: front tuck; switch, switch half; ff, ff, layout (big wobble and some form issues); switch ring (small wobble); Aerial walkover
- Ernst FX: double layout (small hop); 1.5 to 2.5 (fell? it was close...); double tuck; switch full; double pike... [editor: Was it a fall or was it not a fall? Will she medal?!]
- editor: Apparently, Roxana Popa hit beam.


Gymnastics Injuries Nov 2013

5:49 PM Arabian Punch Front 37 Comments

Chantysha Netteb (NED) tore her ACL at the 2013 World Championships
source: trouw.nl

There seemed to be a lot of injuries in the lead up to Worlds. I figure I'd start to keep track of athletes that are injured and when they've returned to competition. I'll update this again at the end of December/early January, so feel free to give input on who has what injuries and whether or not they had surgery for it. This list will only include injuries that the gymnasts or their federation have reported.

Name (Country)Injury
Kim Janas GER jrACL; surgery
Chantysha Netteb NEDACL
Lisa Ecker AUTR PCL and meniscus
Jessica Lopez VENankle
Cintia Rodriguez ESPankle; surgery
Simone Biles USAbone spurs; surgery
Maria Paseka - RUSBack pain
pre-Worlds Injuries
Gabriella Douglas - CANshoulder surgery
Katelyn Ohashi - USAShoulder surgery
Sabrina Vega USAShoulder surgery
Giorgia Campana - ITAElbow
Julie Croket - BELElbow
Sarah Finnegan - USAElbow surgery
Lou Nina - CHNElbow
Diana Bulimar - ROMKnee injury
Youna Dufournet - FRAknee surgery
Elisabetta Preziosa - ITAKnee
Adriana Crisci - ITATorn ACL after DTY
Nadine Jarosch - GERTorn ACL at German Champs; surgery
Gabby Jupp - GBRTorn ACL at Europeans; surgery
Ana Lago - MEXTorn ACL; surgery
Erika Fasana - ITATibia
Marine Brevet - FRATorn Achilles tendon; surgery
Wyomi Masela - NEDTorn achilles tendon; surgery
Luo Peiru - CHNAchilles & fractured kneecap
Lexie Priessman - USAAchilles tendon strain at P&Gs
Ksenia Afanasyeva - RUSAnkle surgery
Madison Kocian - USAAnkle sprain at P&Gs
Céline van Gerner - NEDAnkle surgery
Anastasia Grishina - RUSBack pain/pinched nerve
Adrian Gomes - BRA
Koko Tsurumi - JPN
Jade Barbosa - BRALigament rupture
Returned to Competition
Tatiana Nabieva - RUSconcussion
Maria Livchikova - UKRACL (both her ACLs have been torn. Now we pray!)
Lisa Top - NEDdislocated elbow
Elizabeth Price - USAHip injuries (both sides)
Janine Berger - GERnot enough prep time after her knee injury at World Cup
Lisa Hill - GERinjured at German team training visit to Brestyan's
Evgeniya Shelgunova - RUS
Anne Kuhm - FRAElbow - cracked radial head and cartilage

Name (Country)Injury
Jake Dalton USAthumb; surgery
Alex Naddour USAhand; surgery
Jonathan Horton - USAShoulder surgery
Danell Leyva - USAShoulder issues
Chris Brooks - USAtorn ligament in thumb; surgery
Oleg Stepko - UKRHand injury; surgery
Luke Carson - IRLshattered tibia; surgery
Marcel Nguyen - GER

Name (Country)Condition
Jonna Adlerteg - SWEInflammation
Viktoria Komova RUSViral Meningitis

This list was compiled with the help of @CordeliaGymFan on twitter. If you have any additions or corrections, please add them in the comments.


Abierto Mexicano de Gimnasia 2013

11:30 AM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

The Abierto Mexicano de Gimnasia/Mexican Open will be held this weekend! It features a star studded lineup. There will be both a junior and senior competition. Times in Acapulco, Mexico are CST (add 1 hr for EST).

Thursday, Nov 28
18:00-21:00 (7-10PM ET)II Pegaso International Junior Mexican Cup (AA & Team)
Friday, Nov 29
19:15-21:00 (8:15-10PM ET)AA Competition 1st half (WAG: VT, UB; MAG: FX, PH, SR)
Saturday, Nov 30
18:00-20:00 (7-9PM ET)AA Competition 2nd half (WAG: BB, FX; MAG: VT, PB, HB)
20:15-21:00 (9:15-10PM ET)Gymnastics Gala/Closing Competition
21:00-21:30 (10-10:30PM ET)Awards Ceremony

Sabrina Gill (CAN)
Zeng Siqi (CHN)
Roxana Popa (ESP)
Francesca DeAgostini (ITA)
Amaranta Torres (MEX)
Evgenia Shelgunova (RUS)
Angelina Kysla (UKR)
Peyton Ernst (USA)
Maggie Nichols (USA)
Oksana Chusovitina (UZB)

Francisco Barretto (BRA)
Joshua Stuart (CAN)
Zhang Yang (CHN)
Jossimar Calvo (COL)
Rubén López (ESP)
Ludovico Edalli (ITA)
Koji Uematsu (JPN)
Kevin Cerda (MEX)
Vlad Cotuna (ROM)
Nikita Ignatyev (RUS)
Yevgen Yudenkov (UKR)
Josh Dixon (USA)

Official schedule can be found here
Photos from Abierto de Gimnasia Facebook
More info: abiertodegimnasia.com
Last year, a live stream was available through that webpage but it may require a Mexican IP and we're unsure of which days of competition it will show. Check back here for updates!


Book Review: Letters to Nowhere

6:19 PM Arabian Punch Front 1 Comments

I'm excited to do my first book review to an excellent novel entitled Letters to Nowhere by Julia Cross. It's about the life of an elite gymnast, Karen, who recently lost both her parents at only 17-years old. Her coach invites her to live with him and his son as she learns to deal with grief and coming of age in elite gymnastics.

The book is amazing and is perfect for gymnastics fan. It has a heart-wrenching plot dealing with the struggle that comes with losing a loved one at such a young age but also has a strong gymnastics back story to keep us gym fans engaged and involved. Julie Cross was a gymnast herself and coached gymnastics as well. This is reflected in the way that a Yurchenko vault is so perfectly explained and how you can feel the air leave your own lungs as you read how Karen falls on her Jaeger.

Even though the plot is a heavy topic, the book is an enjoyable read and reminds you of the excitement and terror that comes with young love. Parts of the book are so intimate and personal that you can't help but get a little invested in Karen's life, especially when some of the pages seem to reflect the pages of your own diary. Cross's writing has you going from laughing to crying in just a matter of pages because of the relationship you build with the characters.

I strongly recommend this book, especially for gymnastics fans that have been looking for a book that fits into "our" realm. There's a Martha Karolyi equivalent in the book. There's the older gymnast that reminds you of Alicia Sacramone (who Cross imagines would be played by Mattie Larson should there be a movie, I fully support this), the best friend dealing with a growth spurt, and the junior wonder child. There's also talk of college gymnastics versus competing through the next elite season. It makes you wonder if these are the conversations that athletes like Amanda Jetter or Jordyn Wieber had with their parents.

In the acknowledgements, Cross says, "Thanks to the gymnastics community for being some of the most passionate and dedicated people in the entire world." Get the book! You won't regret it.

There is already a sequel, Return to Sender, and a third book is being written, Letters to You.

Buy Letters to Nowhere on Amazon - there is both an ebook version and paperback version. There is currently a giveaway on goodreads.com. Check if it's available in your country.
Follow Julie Cross on twitter: @juliecross1980


Mykayla Skinner: Sights Set on 2016

11:29 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Mykayla Skinner at Podium Training for 2013 US Classic
Credit: USA Gymnastics

Mykayla Skinner is an American gymnast known for having one of the most difficult floor routines in the world. She finished third on vault and floor at 2013 US Nationals and 6th in the all-around earning herself a spot on the 2013 US National Team. This marks Skinner's 2nd year on the National Team - her first was in 2011 as a junior. She did not have the chance to qualify for the team in 2012 since she was dealing with inflammation in her back. Despite this, Skinner says that starting elite and making the National Team have been highlights of her gymnastics career thus far.

Skinner is most well known for the double twisting double layout, a skill she debuted at a Level 10 meet earlier this year. She is one of only two women to compete this skill. Although she did not make the World Championship team, this skill was given an I-rating - the highest possible in women's artistic gymnastics.

"When I first learned it, I wasn't too scared but when I moved it to the floor it was scary so I just had to stay calm and not freak out in the middle. When I competed it for the first time, that was challenging. I was really nervous but I just kept myself focused and remembered what it felt like to practice it in the gym."

The elite season was off to a rough start for Mykayla as multiple falls kept her out of the top group at both the 2013 Secret Classic and Day 1 of 2013 US Nationals.

"I knew I had to work a lot harder so during the training practices before Day 2, I just tried to stay focused and get done what I needed to in order to get better. Every night, I would visualize all of my routines until they were perfect. It helped a lot to stay focused, repeat every skill, repeat the tightness, repeat everything."

She rebounded well on Day 2 of Nationals to finish 3rd on vault and floor and 6th in the all around. Skinner managed to stick the double twisting double layout earning a gasp from the crowd and a jaw dropping reaction from US Olympian Sam Mikulak.


Montage Monday: Greatness

6:47 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

edited by me. :)

Sadly, this might be the last Montage Monday until Christmastime until exams are out of the way.

Greatness is for all of us...
This montage should have been featured last week but it's here now. In the opening section, Ashley used the audio from a Nike commercial that aired during the Olympics. It's quite powerful. I love that the editing was simple and all you really had was the overlay of the athlete - then and now. It features many of the big names in USA gymnastics through the years and is really touching.
It’s just something we made up.
Somehow we’ve come to believe greatness is a gift, reserved for a chosen few.
For prodigies. For superstars,
And the rest of us can only standby watching.
You can forget that.
Greatness is not some rare DNA strand.
Its not some precious thing.
Greatness is no more unique to us than breathing.
We’re all capable of it.
All of us.”


RESULTS: Elite Gym Massilia

6:11 PM Arabian Punch Front 2 Comments

The Elite Massilia competition held in France was off to an excellent start yesterday with the Open Division and continued today with the Master Division. Results and links to videos are posted below. The competition continues tomorrow at 3pm local time (9am ET) with apparatus finals. Of note, the juniors and under were given some bonus.

Team Results

AA 1-17


Exciting Gymnastics Weekend

5:37 PM Arabian Punch Front 3 Comments

Team GBR at Massilia

We have three exciting events going on in the world of gymnastics this weekend!

Gala Gimnastica Internacional
November 15 7pm and 16th 6pm
Athletes: Catalina Ponor will be present along with boyfriend Tommy Ramos of Puerto Rico. Arabian Punch Front personal favorites Giulia Steingruber will be present along with Elsa Garcia, who missed the World Championships due to coaching drama. Daniel Corral, the first Mexican gymnast to earn a World Championship medal will also be there.
More info: This is a gala so it's a bit unclear what level of performance we'll see. The USA is sending Josh Dixon and I imagine he's "competition ready." Please note that this is different than the Abierto meet in Mexico Nov 28-30.
(Thank you, Carolina, for the link)

Elite Gym Massilia
Athletes: Most exciting is probably that British Olympian Rebecca Downie is joined by little sister Ellie Downie who is really starting to make a name for herself on the junior team and in British gymnastics. This is the first time the 2 sisters will compete together internationally! Basically, all of Canada will be competing - the Woo sisters will be there, along with star Shallon Olsen. Of note, Heaven Latimer is missing. France is sending a strong team with Anne Kuhm returning to competition after a post Olympic break. Region 7 in the USA will be attending, including standouts Alex McMurty and Alicia Boren. WOGA has also sent Samantha Ogden and Lauren Farley. Pictures show that Irina Alexeeava will also be there.
More info: November 16th at 16h (10am ET) and November 17th at 15h (9am ET).
@GymMassilia twitter

17th Bolivarian Games
Website (Concourse 1 and 2 are just subdivisions. No juniors will be present)
Athletes: Ana Sofia Gomez Porras should be present. She was not at Worlds for what I believe was a technicality (the federation didn't sign appropriate papers or something along those lines). Gomez has been training at WOGA and learned a new UB routine, Shaposhnikova's and everything. Hoppefully, she competes that new routine. Jessica Lopez will also be present but will only compete on bars and beam. Her ankle is still not healed from her injury sustained during the World Championship and she will need surgery afterwards. source
More info: For WAG:
AA & TF Nov 20th, 2:50pm (Peruvian Time = ET)
VT and UB on Nov 21st at 4:50pm
BB and FX on Nov 22nd at 4:50pm.
(Thank you, @cristygen, for the help)


Looking Back: Team Belgium at Worlds 2013

5:37 PM Arabian Punch Front 2 Comments

Gaelle Mys
via FIG

The 2013 World Championships in Belgium proved to be a success for the home country: this was the first time that 2 Belgian women were in the all around finals. Belgian phenom Julie Croket had to miss the home World Championships due to an elbow injury. This came just a short time after she returned to the sport from an ACL injury that kept her out of the Olympics. The team that attended the World Championships consisted of Lisa Verschueren, Laura Waem, and Gaelle Mys who went to the Olympics in place of Croket. Waem and Mys were the two that made the all around final.

Lisa Verschueren finished the all around in 36th place. What do you think of this floor routine? She got a 6.533 execution with a fall. I thought it was a bit low - judging a la non big 4 country. What do you think? "Turn is horribly imprecise (but only 0.1 deduction allowed), turning leap looked short. Plus, dance and music just don't seem to work together- artistry deductions." -@bririchardson. I agree with the artistry issue but it looked like a low 8s, high 7s (since she's a non big 4 athlete) on my first viewing of the routine.


Montage Monday: The Montage That Mattered

5:08 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Keystone for blick.ch

I've been sharing montages since the start of this blog and can never get a feel of whether or not people actually enjoy it as much as I do. I love how a 3 minute video can capture the emotion of an athlete, the triumphs and downfalls of a meet, and the beauty that is gymnastics. Maybe I'm alone in this passion. Maybe not. But something exciting happened for one video editor.

Mustafinauniverse made a montage called "Giulia Steingruber - Champion." I was just searching through youtube for montages and started with Steingruber. I decided to click on this montage even though I already shared it after European Championships because all I saw was "Edit: I'm kind of freaking out..."

Edit: I'm kind of freaking out right now...

Giulia has seen this montage! I kik'd it to her and she saw it :)

Edit: Giulia kik'd me again asking for the name of the music
and now this song is her floor music...

Song: Love and Loss - Two Steps From Hell

Wow! What are the chances?! It's one thing for an athlete to share the montage, it's another for them to decide to use the audio for their floor music. Great work, mustafinauniverse!

Here it is again in case you missed it in an earlier Montage Monday.


That Wonky Second Vault

6:33 PM Arabian Punch Front 5 Comments

McKayla Maroney will undoubtedly be on the list of greatest vaulters of all time which includes athletes like Oksana Chusovitna, Cheng Fei, and fellow American Alicia Sacramone. However, as time goes on, it is likely that her position as the greatest vaulter at the moment will be threatened. The more we see slow motions of her Amanar vault, the more we notice the slight break in form and the harder she pushes for the stick, the worse the potential landing errors seem to be.

My biggest issue with calling Maroney the greatest vaulter of all time has very little to do with her Amanar, the vault that made her irreplaceable to the 2012 Olympic team and made her famous around the world for sticking it in team final. It has a lot to do with her 2nd vault, the round off half on, full twist off. This vault is sometimes called a Mustafina although it is not officially named for Aliya Mustafina in the Code of Points nor was she the first one to compete it. Something about that vault always rubbed me the wrong way and the best I could do was describe it as wonky. It wasn't until PQST made some screen caps comparing Maroney's block to Simone's that helped me realize what it was. Simone competes a round off half on, half twist off which is sometimes called a laid out Podkopayeva (who did it piked) or a Lopez.


credit: PQST

"Simone has a FAR superior block & technique on the roundoff 1/2 on entry than McKayla. If you look at them head on from behind the table, McKayla’s hands make contact with the table before she completes the 1/2 turn and therefore she blocks with her shoulders at different angles, one hand in front of the other and doesn’t get the height or rotation that she should. Simone, on the other hand, completes the 1/2 turn fully before her hands make contact and push off the table and gets a much cleaner, higher block. Out of the two, I’d say Simone is much more likely to master a good Cheng. The difference in their shoulder angles is pretty remarkable, IMO." - The Pushy Queen of Slut Town (PQST) on tumblr for quotes and screen caps


Looking Back: Team Spain at Worlds 2013

6:02 PM Arabian Punch Front 1 Comments

Cintia Rodriguez
Photo by Cordelia Price (@CordeliaGymFan)

Spain ended up sending 3 athletes to the 2013 World Championships after teammate Maria Paula Vargas was injured. The 3 remaining athletes were Roxana Popa, Silvia Colussi-Pelaez, and Cintia Rodriguez. It's been some time since Spain has been in the spotlight as a team but they're current set of athletes show that they are a force to be reckoned with and will be able to make waves this quadrennium.

Roxana Popa is Romanian born but has grown up in Spain for the majority of her life. She's a strong gymnast who excels on floor exercise, where she qualified to the event final at the 2013 European Championships. Popa also has a strong double twisting Yurchenko and I would not be surprised if we start to hear rumors of an Amanar later in 2014. The first year senior is also very strong on uneven bars with a unique Shaposhnikova to immediate in bar Gienger - she has difficult skills and will be able to get maximum D-score when she irons out a few more connections. She finished the all around finals in 12th place.
VT 5.8/14.8; UB (below) 6.1/13.533; FX 5.9/14.1

Silvia Colussi-Pelaez has quite the international story. She's a dual Canadian-Spanish citizen and has started her freshman year at the University of Florida in the USA and will compete for their gymnastics team this coming season. There has been talk of Colussi-Pelaez for quite some time since she competes the sideways side aerial on beam. Danusia Francis has competed this in NCAA while Colussi-Pelaez has competed it for a few years. She finally had the chance to get it named at Worlds and successfully competed it. Unfortunately, she fell later on beam - a point that would cost her a place in the all around final. She finished qualifications in 31st place.
BB 5.9/12.9

Cintia Rodriguez was featured in an earlier post recapping Worlds. Rick from Gymnastics Coaching mentioned her often in his live tweets because of her beautiful toe point. After Worlds, she is now taking some time to rehab an ongoing foot injury. If you're someone who enjoys good dance training, I think you'll enjoy everything about her floor exercise.
UB 5.4/12.566; FX (below) 4.9/13.1

I remember reading that this was the first time Spain had 2 men in the all around final as well (via Gym Fever?).

Fabian Gonzalez finished the AA in 11th place. FX 6.2/14.8 ; PH (below) 5.9/14.5

Nestor Abad finished the AA in 20th place. Abad attended the 2010 Youth Olympics for Spain. PH 4.9/12.825 ; PB (below) 5.6/13.4


Montage Monday: The Underdogs

8:11 PM Arabian Punch Front 1 Comments

I'm excited for this week's Montage Monday! It doesn't feature any of the US gymnasts nor does it feature gymnast of the moment Aliya Mustafina. Shocked? I was at first too but these gymnasts deserve the spotlight too.

Giulia Steingruber || How Am I Supposed to Die?

Victoria Moors || Shattered
Moors saw this and shared it. The video shows her journey from her senior debut to the naming of the laid out double double.