Kirsten Beckett Carries Torch for 2014 Commonwealth Games

9:22 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

JGC Gymnastics

South Africa was the last stop on the African continent for the Queen's Baton Relay and gymnast Kirsten Beckett had the honor of carrying the torch. The relay is the equivalent of the Olympic Torch Relay but is held instead for the Commonwealth Games set to take place in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014. BBC had a chance to speak with Beckett about her start in gymnastics and goals for the future. Her coach Isle Roets talks about the problem that many countries are facing when trying to develop a strong gymnastics program.

BBC World

To learn more about Kirsten Beckett, you can check out my interview with her here: Kirsten Beckett: Hungry for More


Gymnastics Calendar to Euros

10:35 PM Arabian Punch Front 6 Comments

The elite season is kicking into gear and here are the meets that you should look out for as we wait for the 2014 Women's European Championships. This the most complete gymnastics calendar I could find for dates (link) and hope you can use this calendar to find nominative lists, times, links to live streams where available and results!

DatesMeet Info
Mar 13-16World Challenge Cup / Turnier der Meister (GER)
Results: Turnier der Meister (on left column)
Mar 14-16English Championships
Results: (for now)
Mar 22-23Jesolo Trophy (ITA)
Coverage: Full vid of EF via FGI!
Results: here
Mar 24-Apr 1African Gymnastics Championships (RSA)
Results: SAGF
Mar 26-28Doha Challenge Cup (QAT)
Results: here
Mar 26-30JR Pan American Championships (BRA)
Results: CBG
Mar 28-30British National Championships (GBR)
Results: BG Score app (facebook)
Mar 31-Apr 6Russian Championships (RUS)
Apr 5Tokyo World Cup (JPN)
Results: Tokyo Cup 2014
Apr 5-6French National Championships (FRA)
Results: FFGym
Apr 9-12Pacific Rim Championships (CAN)
Apr 10-14Junior Asian Championships (UZB)
Results: 13th Junior Asian Championships
Results: Juniors ; Seniors
Apr 18-20Llubjana Challenge Cup (SLO)
Nominative List: Salamunov Memorial Nominative ; website (for start list)
Athletes to Watch: The Netherlands will be sending their Euros team including Epke Zonderland. Oleg Vernaiev (UKR) will compete. Newly minted Azerbijani gymnasts Anna Pavlova and Yulia Inshina will also be present
Coverage: TBD
Apr 19WAG Juniors & Seniors FRA/ROU/BEL (FRA)
Nominative List: FFGym
Athletes to Watch: Looks like the entirety of Romania's senior team is going!
Coverage: TBD
Apr 19-20Korean Cup (KOR)
Nominative List:
Athletes to Watch: USA is sending Orozco, Dalton, and Wynn.
Coverage: TBD
Apr 25-27Osijek Challenge Cup (CRO)
Nominative List:
Athletes to Watch:
Coverage: TBD
Apr 26-27Stella Zakharova Cup (UKR) (updated date)
Nominative List:
Athletes to Watch:
Coverage: TBD
May 9-13Chinese National Championships (CHN)
Nominative List:
Athletes to Watch:
Coverage: TBD
May 10-11Japan (AA) National Championships (JPN)
Nominative List:
Athletes to Watch:
Coverage: TBD
May 12-18European WAG Championships (BUL)
Nominative List:
Athletes to Watch:
Coverage: TBD


Upgrades for 2014: Beam and Floor

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Part 2 of the 2014 Upgrades continued! Check out Part 1: Vault and Uneven Bars here

Balance beam is hard to predict upgrades when it will likely be a matter of combinations to increase connection bonuses. Floor was more exciting!

Double double dismount
Simone Biles - of all of Simone's upgrades, this is the one I most want to see! At Nationals, I had that view of the beam and thought "Who is doing a double double off beam?!" It seems possible and I'd love to see it! More than the triple double on floor and more than the triple twisting Yurchenko.

Top by gif mustafeener; Bottom gif by julia-lipnitskaia

Double turn on beam
GIF by shutupmckaylasvaulting

Patterson/arabian double front dismount
Video just became available today of Ellie Downie doing a Patterson dismount (link). Mykayla Skinner is also training one. Could Aliya Mustafina potentially do this upgrade?

Laidout Double Double
Simone Biles - the tucked double double seems too easy for her and she always hops out of it. If you look at where she finishes twisting and flipping, she's at least two feet off the ground!

gif made by fantasticsgymnastics

Elizabeth Price - Ebee's first salto in her tucked double double was always a bit laid out. She also has good air time and has been sticking it lately. I'd like to see the laidout double double but she is working a full twisting double layout. Maybe I'll have to wait...

Tucked Triple Double
Simone Biles - Biles has been playing around with this and about 10 other passes on floor (including tucked and piked double arabians). She has so much on her plate that I'm not sure if she and Coach Aimee actually want to add that for this year or if they were just training it for fun... We shall see!
Mykayla Skinner - Skinner said in an interview I did with her that she wants to compete this. The last we saw was 2 months ago where she was landing it on a mat that might be over the foam pit.

Full Twisting Double Layout
Roxana Popa - the double layout looks to easy and she just showed after the American Cup that she is working a full twisting double layout! It's a little piked right now but I'm sure it will improve with time.

gif by hope-strongerthanfear

Elizabeth Price is also training one. Hers is also piked which makes me think the laidout double double may not happen this year. Le sigh.
Diana Bulimar/Ksenia Afansyeva - I have no idea where they stand in regards to training but both have had rumored full twisting double layouts that have never manifested themselves in competition. Hopefully, they recover well from their injuries and we get to see them both on floor again soon!

What do you think?


Upgrades for 2014: Vault and Uneven Bars

4:49 PM Arabian Punch Front 5 Comments

Brenna Dowell at the 2014 American Cup
Photo Credit: Christy Ann Linder

We like making lists of new elements and who has competed what on what events. This is a list of skills that I think are attainable upgrades for gymnasts.

Amanar/2.5 Twisting Yurchenko
Noel van Klaveren - has a solid DTY and has been training the Amanar for at least 6 months now
Roxana Popa - the double just seems to easy for her.
Phan Thi Ha Thanh - will try to succesffully compete it, I'm sure. Her DTY seemed to deteriorate a bit at a meet before Worlds yet she still went with the upgrade for Worlds. She basically landed a DTY and miraculously avoided injury. She'll try it again, I'm sure, I just hope that the added time and training under her belt will help.
Giulia Steingruber - Giulia normally competes a Rudi and Tsuk 1/1 but had difficulties upgrading it. Just three months prior to Worlds, she learned Yurchenko vaults and competed a double twisting Yurchenko. Her Rudi is stellar but if she wants to remain amongst the top vaulters and avoid the dreaded 4th place, she'll need the Amanar.

? Kyla Ross and Aliya Mustafina - both have downgraded from the Amanar to very solid double twisting Yurchenkos. Will either risk the form (and injury) for the extra seven tenths in difficulty? In early 2013, I would have said no to either doing the Amanar but both of their DTYs have gotten so consistent and higher that it might be worth it. Kyla needs to add difficulty to be a major all around gold medal contender. The same applies for Aliya if she wants to remain on the top. Aliya has also brought back her 2nd vault so if she wants to be a worthwhile vault medal contender, she will need the Amanar.

Simone Biles & McKayla Maroney - There have been rumors of both girls training the Cheng vault - round off half on with 1.5 twists off named after Chinese gymnast Cheng Fei. Simone is the first with video proof of it. It still isn't competition ready but at least we know it's real! Also, based on how Simone and McKayla are recovering from their injuries, a sore shoulder and knee surgery respectively, we may only see 1 of the vault upgrades.

GIF by hope-strongerthanfear

Triple Twisting Yurchenko
Simone Biles
McKayla Maroney
Hong Un Jong
We'll just leave this here.

The uneven bars and balance beam are hard to predict. It's not easy to say, "Oh, you have a nice Gienger, let's add another full twist to it and do a Def!" Most of the upgrades will probably be new combinations.

Brenna Dowell finally succesffuly completed her Tweddle to Ezhova or Ray 1/2 (toe on straddled Tkatchev) to straddle back half.

GIF by hope-strongerthanfear

1 gymnast posted a training video then promptly deleted it. We shall see...

Ida Gustafsson - Ida has competed it before but has not successfully competed a full bar routine since she added it. If she hits at European Championships, she can likely make the finals again and maybe even medal.
Here she is at Worlds with a 5.9D score. VIDEO

Fabrichnikova/Double Double tucked dismount
Mykayla Skinner - Skinner actually warmed this up at 2012 Nationals because both Lauren Hopkins of The Couch Gymnast and I thought we were going crazy when we saw it, but it was real!
GIF by shutupmckaylasvaulting

If Nabieva was still competing, I would have added her to the Mustafina dismount list because the full twisting double tuck just seemed to easy for her. Guess we may never know...

Part 2 - Balance Beam and Floor Exercise!

Do you think Kyla or Aliya will add the Amanar? Do you think British gymnast Rebecca Tunney could maybe join the Amanar club? Any upgrades you see as possible for vault and uneven bars?


All the Montages!

9:00 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Montage Monday has taken a little hiatus while school has gotten incredibly insane. Every now and then I wonder where all the gym montages are and then I remember they're hiding in a little playlist on youtube. Sorry all you video editors aren't getting the credit, views, and likes that you deserve! Alas, another month or so of this and then I may have time again...

1. First off, I found a playlist of Russia - "Team Russia Forever." If you're newer to the gymternet, you might not have seen any of these. Some of them have floated around at different points throughout the year. Most are great so I recommend it. Watch here.
*I found it on tumblr but can't remember where. If it's yours, let me know and I'll add the link!

2. February Montage Monday never had a post made and I apologize. There were some great montages and quite a few international - one each of Canadians Sydney Townsend and Talia Chiarelli and two of the French, one of which is MAG. Kyla Ross has become the new "it" girl as far as montages of World competitors goes and Bailie Key is representing the juniors. SuperGymmie made two great montages at the end of the playlist - one of Samantha Pezcek including both her elite and NCAA career and the other of Vanessa Ferrari.

3. March Montage Monday has started as well! Hopefully, I can go back to posting in April.


Gymnastics Injuries Mar 2014

5:38 PM Arabian Punch Front 1 Comments

Photo Credit: LEON Magazine
Kim Janas (GER), Sport Physiotherapist Cyrus Salehi, Ksenia Afanasyeva (RUS)

The list is updated for 2014. For new injuries, I'll add the month and year since it would be too time consuming to do this retroactively. I will also only include injuries that keep gymnasts out of competition or competition selection, otherwise the list could potentially include every rolled ankle in practice. If you have any other suggestions, let me know.

Name (Country)InjuryReturn to Competition
2014 Injuries
Elisa Cherino GERFractured cervical vertebrae (Mar)
Simone Biles USAShoulder (Feb)
Louise Vanhille FRAElbow (Mar)
Laurie Hernandez USA jrFractured wrist (Jan)
Kyla Ross USABack (Jan)Mar 2014
McKayla Maroney USAKnee (Feb)
Giulia Steingruber SUIKnee bone bruise (Mar)
Anastasia Grishina RUSKnee TBD (Apr)
Carlotta Ferlito ITAMuscle strain - location TBD (Mar)
Maria Bondareva RUSswollen ligaments in ankle (Apr)
Sophie Scheder GERsprained ankle + 2 torn ligaments (Mar)
Evgenia Zhukova RUStorn Achilles (Apr)
End of 2013
Kim Janas GER jrACL; surgery
Chantysha Netteb NEDACL
Lisa Ecker AUTR PCL and meniscus
Jessica Lopez VENankleFeb 2014
Cintia Rodriguez ESPankle; surgeryFeb 2014
Maria Paseka - RUSBack pain
pre-Worlds Injuries
Gabriella Douglas - CANshoulder surgery
Katelyn Ohashi - USAShoulder surgery Back
Sabrina Vega USAShoulder surgery
Giorgia Campana - ITAElbowFeb 2014
Julie Croket - BELElbow
Sarah Finnegan - USAElbow surgery
Lou Nina - CHNElbow
Diana Bulimar - ROMKnee injuryMar 2014
Youna Dufournet - FRAknee surgeryMar 2014
Elisabetta Preziosa - ITAKneeFeb 2014
Adriana Crisci - ITATorn ACL after DTYFeb 2014
Nadine Jarosch - GERTorn ACL at German Champs; surgery
Gabby Jupp - GBRTorn ACL at Europeans; surgery
Ana Lago - MEXTorn ACL; surgery
Erika Fasana - ITATibiaFeb 2014
Marine Brevet - FRATorn Achilles tendon; surgeryMar 2014
Wyomi Masela - NEDTorn achilles tendon; surgery
Luo Peiru - CHNAchilles & fractured kneecap
Lexie Priessman - USAAchilles tendon strain at P&Gs
Ksenia Afanasyeva - RUSAnkle surgeryApr 2014
Madison Kocian - USAAnkle sprain at P&GsFeb 2014
CĂ©line van Gerner - NEDAnkle surgery
Anastasia Grishina - RUSBack pain/pinched nerveApr 2014
Adrian Gomes - BRA
Koko Tsurumi - JPN
Jade Barbosa - BRALigament ruptureMar 2014
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)InjuryReturn to Competition
2014 Injuries
Steve Legendre - USATorn pectoralis major tendon (SR) + surgery
Paul Ruggeri - USATorn meniscus (VT) + surgery (removal)Mar 2014
2013 Injuries
Jonathan Horton - USAShoulder surgery
Danell Leyva - USAShoulder issuesFeb 2014
Chris Brooks - USAtorn ligament in thumb; surgeryFeb 2014
Jake Dalton USAthumb; surgeryFeb 2014
Alex Naddour USAhand; surgeryApr 2014
Oleg Stepko - UKRHand injury; surgery
Luke Carson - IRLshattered tibia; surgery
Marcel Nguyen - GER

Name (Country)InjuryReturn to Competition
Jonna Adlerteg - SWEInflammationApr 2014
Viktoria Komova RUSViral MeningitisApr 2014