Gymnastics Injuries Jan-Mar 2015

2:03 PM Arabian Punch Front 3 Comments

I was hesitant in continuing this injury list because it's depressing to put it simply. However, I've decided to continue (at least through this quadrennium) to see if we get any interesting data and also for the reason shared below. Thankfully, injuries have been slow in the start of 2015. Italian Iosra Abdelaziz has not competed at Serie A due to injury, status unknown. In comebacks, all the 2013 injuries are resolved! Or relatively. Chantysha Netteb competed for the first time since her ACL tear at World Championships in 2013. Sabrina Vega has been back at camp for some time now but has not officially competed. For 2014, Gabriella Douglas is back after multiple surgeries. Giorgia Campana returned on uneven bars after hurting her ankle while showing a new skill on floor exercise.

I was debating about doing this list for some time, which is why I'm only now posting it in February, when I saw this tweet. The injuries are saddening, there's no doubt about it. But there's hope. You have to remember there's always hope.

The list consists of national team members that have had some injury that keeps them out of competition. (c) indicates gymnasts that have returned to national team camp or control competition but not yet to a "public" competition.


Name (Country)InjuryReturn to Competition
Iosra Abdelaziz ITA??? (Jan)
Teal Grindle GBR??? (Mar)
Julie Croket BEL??? (Mar)
Axelle Klinckaert BEL??? (Mar)
Laura Waem BEL??? (Mar)
Yao Jinnan CHNShoulder surgery (Feb)
Ashton Locklear USAShoulder surgery (Mar)
Sabrina Vega USAShoulder surgery (Mar)
Ana Maria Ocolisan ROUElbow surgery (Feb)
Anastasia Grishina RUSKnee injury (Mar)
Gabby JuppACL tear (Mar)
Carlotta Ferlito ITAFoot injury (Feb)Mar 2015
Larisa Iordache ROUFoot injury (Mar)
Lara Mori ITAAnkle injury (Mar)
Vanessa Ferrari ITAMedical (Mar)


Name (Country)InjuryReturn to Competition
Elisa Cherino GERFractured cervical vertebrae (Mar)FB; site
Miriana Almeida MEX??? (Aug)
Sandra Collantes PER??? (Sep)
Anne Kuhm FRACollarbone (Jan)Feb 2015 (c)
Mar 2015
Kirsten Beckett RSAShoulder surgery (Aug)
Peyton Ernst USADislocated shoulder + surgery (Aug)
Ida Gustafsson SWEShoulder (Aug)
Rebecca Tunney GBRElbow (May)
Bailie Key USA jrElbow (Jul)Oct 2014 (c)
Ayelen Taribini ARGDislocated Elbow (Sep)
Madison Kocian USAWrist surgery (Nov)
Yuna Hiraiwa JPNBroken Finger (Sep)
Elisa Meneghini ITABack (Oct)Mar 2015
McKayla Maroney USAKnee surgery (Feb) + medical
Jade Barbosa BRAKnee surgery (Aug)
Diana Bulimar ROUKnee surgery (Aug)Mar 2015
Cintia Rodriguez ESPKnee surgery (Nov)
Aleeza Yu CANKnee injury (Oct)
Vanasia Bradley USA jrTorn ACL & meniscus, broken patella (Jun)
Nadine Jarosch GERTorn ACL surgery (2013)
Torn ACL surgery (Jul)
Janine Berger GERTorn ACL surgery (Aug)
Maria Paula Vargas ESPTorn ACL & partial meniscal tear (Sep)
Laura Longueville FRATorn ACL surgery (Oct)
2nd surgery (Mar)
Kristyna Palesova CZETorn ACL, meniscal tear, ligament tear (Nov)
Roxana Popa ESPTorn ACL & meniscus (Dec)
Anastasia Grishina RUSTorn meniscus & broken patella (Apr)Feb 2015
Laurie Hernandez USA jrFractured wrist (Jan)
Torn patellar tendon & dislocated kneecap (Jun)

Nov 2014 (c)
Maggie NicholsDislocated kneecap (Aug)Jan 2015 (c)
Tyesha Mattis GBR jrAnkle (Mar)Dec 2014 (c)
Mar 2015
Wendy de Jong NED jrAnkle (Jul)
Lauren Mitchell AUSAnkle (Oct)
Giulia Steingruber SUIKnee bone bruise (Mar)
Ankle ligament sprain + 2 stress fractures (Nov)
May 2014
Mar 2015
Gabriella DouglasAnkle surgery (Aug)Feb 2015
Rachel Gowey USAAnkle break (Aug)Nov 2014 (c)
Maelys Plessis FRAAnkle stress fracture (Sep)
Lexie Priessman USAAchilles tendon strain ('13)
Torn fibular ligament (Aug)
Mary-Anne Monckton AUSTorn peroneal tendon (Oct)
Evgenia Zhukova RUSTorn Achilles (Apr)
Valentine Sabatou FRATorn Achilles (Sep)
Francesca Deagostini ITAFoot injury/fracture (Jun-Aug)Feb 2015
Elisabeth Seitz GERFoot injury (Aug)
Foot surgery (Nov)
Sep 2014

Giorgia Campana ITAFoot injury (Nov)Feb 2015
Simone Biles USAShoulder (Feb)Jul 2014
Louise Vanhille FRAElbow (Mar)Nov 2014
Alyssa Baumann USAElbow (Aug)Sep 2014
Kyla Ross USABack (Jan)Mar 2014
Mariya Livchikova UKRTorn ACL (Aug)retirement
Loan His FRA jrHyperextended knee (Jun)Nov 2014
Carlotta Ferlito ITACalf strain + medical issue (Mar)Sep 2014
Sophie Scheder GERSprained ankle + 2 torn ligaments (Mar)May 2014
Maria Paseka RUSSprained ankle (Sep)Nov 2014
Ksenia Afanasyeva RUSAnkle surgery (Apr)Nov 2014
Viktoria Komova RUSAnkle surgery (Apr)Aug 2014
Maria Bondareva RUS jrSwollen ligaments in ankle (Apr)May 2014
Rebeca Andrade BRA jrToe injury (Jul)Nov 2014


Name (Country)InjuryReturn to Competition
Sabrina Vega USAShoulder surgeryNov 2014 (c)
Chantysha Netteb NEDACLFeb 2015
Katelyn Ohashi - USAShoulder surgery + BackJan 2015
Julie Croket - BELElbowAug 2014
Sarah Finnegan - USAElbow surgeryJan 2015
Enus Mariani jr - ITABack injury (May)Nov 2014
Eythora Thorsdottir - NED jrBackOct 2014
Gabby Jupp - GBRTorn ACL at Europeans; surgeryAug 2014
Kim Janas GER jrACL; surgeryOct 2014
Lisa Ecker AUTR PCL and meniscusAug 2014
Luo Peiru - CHNAchilles & fractured kneecapretirement
Céline van Gerner - NEDAnkle surgerySep 2014
Adrian Gomes - BRAretirement
Koko Tsurumi - JPNAchillesNov 2014

This is a whittled down list that does not include 2013 resolved injuries from prior to July 2014. You can find the complete list here.


WOGA Classic Live Blog

6:54 PM Arabian Punch Front 5 Comments

The international session of the WOGA Classic starts at 7pm ET/6pm CT. There are also some NCAA meets going on but I'll do my best to share what's going on at the WOGA Classic. I'm probably not going to get to every single person, just writing them out so I can blog quickly.

... I think this meet is actually starting at 7:30... They're warming up their last event now and I imagine they need to do presentations and everything.

Alyona has some foot form to worry about on beam. She fell on two attempts of her Onodi. Adeline Kenlin has a super ambitious switch ring to switch half on beam.

I haven't seen Ohashi and someone that's there said they can't see Polina Shchennikova.

I'm looking at UB now. Seems to be going ok. I haven't seen Ohashi. Everyone stares as Baumann, the World Champion, warms up. Irina fell and Laurent slowed the fall and picked her up with one arm. Just in case you wanna swoon. Baumann was close on her Jaeger so Laurent semi-saved. She might've been fine but was being cautious.  Katelyn's in her warm ups tying her shoes.

7:34 Music is still playing but think we're getting ready to start soon. Looks like people are putting their warmups on and we probably have presentations.

7:43 Announcements. A GB acro team is performing.
7:46 Took some screen caps. They're insane.
7:50 Presentation of gymnasts. Alyona gets pretty loud cheers!
7:52 The mayor says hi. National Anthem time!

Rotation 1
Maile O'Keefe - toe giant, maloney, tkatchev (very low), and dbl arabian dismount.
Irina Alexeeva - toe 1/1, maloney, bail, toe shoot to high muscles; tkatchev nice height, toe 1/2, L grip giant to Jaeger and falls. giant 1/2. double layout
Isabela Onyshko - starts on LB, maloney, clear hip 1/1 to straddled tkatchev, to Hindroff to straddled pak. shiza. think it was a shaposh variation up. missed her hands and fell. toe 1/2, endo. dbl front. she fling s out her double front. hop forward. her warmups were pretty good.
*disclaimer: there were 2 Japanese girls and one hit her face on a close Jaeger in warmup so I'm not sure which one is competing.
Kajuta Nagi - inbar 1/2 to Jaeger; pak; toe on, toe shoot to high; clear hip giant; stalder 1/1; full twisting double tuck.
Yuka Momiyama
Katelyn Ohashi - NS
Alyssa Baumann - shiza again. toe 1/1 but doesn't quite make it over and comes off.. shiza because i don't know if she hurt her shouler. toe 1/1-maloney-pak is straddled and lands on bar. shiza. attemps van leeuwen and falls sideways. laurent tells her to stop.
Sae Miyakawa - stalder 1/2. jaeger. giant 1/2. DLO step back.

Angel Romaeo - solid triple series, wobble on switch half;
Morgan Hurd - front aerial to sheep if my eyes didn't fail me. bhs-bhs-loso with a little check. switch ring with a big wobble. sissone-side aerial. split jump-pike jump. switch split (soft back leg) back tuck. 2.5 dismount.
Areli Medina Navarro - one of those nice straddle-y mounts. single Y turnsde aerial-bhs so.; split leap-side somi. dbl turn. thnk it was a 2.5 dismount but she missed her foot a little so she fell.
Raer Thaeker - front tuck mount onto beam. split jump not 180. side aerial-loso? falls. switch split. split. falls on double turn.
Georgina Hockenhill - bhs-loso. switch split. switch side. front aerial-sissone. full turn. side aerial. split full? side somi. she's so calm on the beam. dbl tuck with near stick.
Elena Arenas - full turn. bhs-bhs-loso. split combo. dbl pike dismount. Papa is happy too! Grabs her for big bear hug
Aria Brusch - wolf turn. front aerial-sissone-split. bhs-loso. switch 1/2. switch split-back pike with just a little wobble. full turn. dbl pike. hit routine.

Alyona Shchennikova - dbl pike; fhs-2/1 to stag; 2.5 dismount was good. I think I missed a pass but Papa looks happy.
Yufen Xie full in tuck, heard she went OOB , dbl pike was low
Polina Shchennikova - NS
Adeline Kenlin (no VT, no FX)
Yawen Bai - full in potentially landed OOB, 2.5 twist with step to face forward. dbl pike dismount
Xiaofang Zhu - missed
Celine van Gerner - dbl pike mount. dbl L. dbl tuck. saw she had a twisting pass in one of the other feeds. missed dismount.

Rotation 2
Mirai Sekiguchi
Natsumi Sasada
Nachiko Kimura
Koko Tsurumi - missed it ahhhhh!!!!!
Adriana Popp - she fell on her jaeger
Akiho Sato
Honoka Koga

Isabela Onyshko - bhs so-bhs 2 ft-lo2ft. front aerial wobble-front aerial-1/2 illusion? switch ring-beat-jump-side aerial. Y turn-full turn. switch split-gainer loso. switch 1/2. split hump-wolf jump. sits back a little too much in dbl tuck dismount and falls. she has choreo at the beginning of her routine but not much near the end. lots of elements. curious to see what her D is in the end.
Kajuta Nagi
Yuka Momiyama - dbl turn. switch ring (questionable). bhs-loso and a step back. front aerial-split-wolf. side aerial-sissone. fhs-side somi. interesting! switch split. dbl y (huge lunge into it and a little wobble out). dbl full. and a bow.
Katelyn Ohashi - long long wait. bhs-bhs-layout 2 feet. switch ring. side somi. full turn. side aerial-sissone-wolf jump. dbl pike near stick (foot shuffle). so someone has calculated her D score from her L10 routine and said it was a 5.4. 14.05 score here.
Alyssa Baumann - NS
Sae Miyakawa - switch split-split --> back leg issues. front aerial. front tuck. she has very soft choreo. high back tuck. full turn. ro-layout 2 feet and comes off. dbl pike.
Maile O'Keefe - missed her first sequence. front aerial-looso. front aerial-sissone.  switch ring. split-wolf. dbl tuck and falls back.
Irina Alexeeva - falls on twisting split and slides down the beam. falls a 2nd time. dbl pike dismount.

Areli Medina Navarro
Raer Thaeker - dbl turn. switch full. full in steps forward. fhs-2.5 and puts a leg up to control herself so she stays in. fhs-double full. right on the line. back 2.5. not sure if she's hurt again but she basically didn't care at all during that routine. she looked nervous at the start. think this is her first competition since commonwealth games.
Georgina Hockenhull - missed the leap. dbl arabian. 2.5 punch tuck. switch ring. switch full-split jump. dbl tuck.  dbl turn. dbl pike. solid routine. needs to work on presentation quality.
Elena Arenas - piked full in! some form issues. front double full.  dbl pike. dbl L - full turn. switch ring. switch half. 2.5 dismount?
Aria Brusch - piked full ni. she looks like she's grown taller. 1.5 through to double pike. 2.5 twist. front aerial. switch half. she likes doing this shoulder flexibility choreo. it's on her BB and FX. dbl pike.
Angel Romaeo - dbl pike and steps back oob. 2.5. switch full. haha. she has this sassy moments in her choreo. triple turn. dbl tuck short and step forward.
Morgan Hurd - missed first pass because of Alexeeva's fall. front full, front double full. 2.5 dismount. what i saw was great!

Rotation 3
Celine van Gerner - rather Bai is helping chalk for Celine. What I saw - toe giant-toe 1/2-jaeger. stalder full to full in dismount which she fell on.
Alyona Shchennikova - totally missed because a photographer stood in front of the camera haha.
Yufen Xie - low bar maloney-pak; van leeuwen; giant 1/2, full pirouette another full (I don't know my L-grip pirouettes),  1/2 to tkatchev. DLO with just a hop.
Polina Shchennikova - NS
Adeline Kenlin (no VT, no FX) pak salto; stalder 1/2; stalder shoot to high; toe 1/2; giants to dismount
Yawen Bai - so my feed froze but she froze in a lovely stalder position - stalder full; endo then straddled jaeger; pak; stalder 1/2 -toe shoot to high and muschles up. dbl pke dismount. wasn't sure if bai and then she bowed so bai haha.
Xiaofang Zhu

Nachiko Kimura
Koko Tsurumi - woo! front aerial. switch split-split jump. onodi wobble bend at hips. sheep jump. side somi. bhs-loso wobble. full turn. side aerial. switch ring - ring didn't quite get up.  STUCK 2.5!
Adriana Popp
Akiho Sato
Honoka Koga
Mirai Sekiguchi
Natsumi Sasada

Yuka Momiyama
Katelyn Ohashi - piked full in. 1.5-front full punch front pike. switch ring-switch 1/2. switch full. dbl pike. steps to the side which causes her to step out.
Alyssa Baumann - NS
Sae Miyakawa - dbl dbl lands a little low. front layout to nice tight ivana hong double front. leaps. front double full. goes for the double layout dismount and just misses it. hands down.
Maile O'Keefe - triple twist mount. dbl turn. 1.5 to 2.5. switch ring to switch full which was nicely at 180. double pike. Tori's music by the way. switch ring 1/2. double tuck. nice ending.
Irina Alexeeva - 2.5 punch front full right at the line. 1.5 punch front double full?  she's also grown so much i can't get over it. memmel turn (could bring higher but think it gets credit). switch ring - switch full. double L - drops below horizontal. switch half that might've wanted to be a ring. double pike lands short but holds it.
Isabela Onyshko - piked full in (kinda tucks the full part); leaps. 1.5 to double tuck. goes for Memmel but doesn't hold her leg in tight enough so the 2nd rotation doesn't quite get around. think she wants to do Memmel-full turn. dbl pike with legs apart.
Kajuta Nagi - 2.5 punch front tuck. fhs-double full. 1.5 to front layout full. Memmel. dbl tuck.

I'm going to do UB and BB here.
Rotation 4
Aria Brusch - FTDLO! saw a Maloney in there too. Solid. Jaeger was her release.
Angel Romaeo - high bar. giant 1/2 straddled jaeger a little low. toe 1/2 and can't get over.  toe-full. straddled tkatchev soft knees. bail stalder shoot to high.
Morgan Hurd - rushes in bar and doesn't make it up. coach holds her back to calm her down before starting again. in bar stalder to tkatchev. pak salto. 1/2. stalder full. stalder shoot to high. giant 1/2. stalder. full in.
Areli Medina Navarro - think she went for a shaposh and fell. 1.5 pirouette to piked jaeger. dbl front dismount and falls.
Raer Thaeker - weiler and changes grip. not sure if intentional. feed skipped. saw a pak salto. then fell over on a handstand. van leeuwen with loss of leg form. straddled tkatchev. toe full. full in. jeez. one of her giants wasn't great so she didn't have the momentum going into dismount.
Georgina Hockenhull - endo 1/2 maloney-pak; shaposh bail giant half. i'm getting all confused. stalder shoot to high and catches too close. low straddled tkatchev. DLO. think she only did two giants so she didn't make it at all. knees hit the ground.
Elena Arenas - think she's the last athlete to compete. [I think Papa Liukin is watching in the background.] low bar. toe giant. maloney. tkatchev.  toe full to pak! you go girl! kch 1/2 stalder shoot to high. giant in l grip. DLO. Yayyy!!!That was the sweetest thing in the whole wide world. Dad picks her up and gives her a big kiss on the cheek.

Celine van Gerner - bhs-loso. split leap-side aerial. switch half. switch full. BEAUTIFUL! full turn. switch split-switch side. think the dismount was dbl pike. big hug from coach.
Alyona Shchennikova - sissone?-wolf. bhs-loso. switch split. onodi with a leg up wobble. front aerial. sheep. side aerial slightest check. full turn. side somi. double? triple? i dunno hit routine. then that half in dismount but falls.
Yufen Xie - press handstand mount. she reminds me of YJN mixed with SCS. bhs-bhs-loso solid. L turn overrotates. front aerial-sheep and falls. oh no! side somi. switch split-back tuck. wolf-sissone-side aerial. dbl pike just a step.
Polina Shchennikova - NS
Adeline Kenlin (no VT, no FX) - switch ring. switch full was questionable. my feed froze but she fell on something.  front aerial-sissone-split. switch split-switch half (not 180)-back tuck. bhs-bhs-dbl tuck was low.
Yawen Bai - switch ring with a little check. ro-layout 2 feet and she fell. fell on it in warm ups too. front aerial-sheep.side aerial that was kinda a somi. side somi. my feed skipped a bit. dbl pike dismount and bows.
Xiaofang Zhu - also falls on ro-layout 2 feet. my feed froze but split jump-wolf jump. switch oversplit - back tuck. just does a layout dismount.


At the Ranch: "Junior" Team

4:10 PM Arabian Punch Front 4 Comments

Emily Gaskins
Photo Credit: Christy Ann Linder

This week, we saw the start of the USA training camp videos coming in. We had 10 videos - 9 featuring specific juniors and 1 highlighting the first year seniors. In the group of first year seniors, we have Bailie Key, Alexis Vasquez, and Nia Dennis and Martha's opinions on each of the athletes. Bailie Key is the star of the group after being the 2013 Junior National Champion and winning every all around competition she entered that season. Key's greatest quality is her consistency. She has high difficulty but is also able to hit her routines time and time again and US National Team coordinator Martha Karolyi values that.

Alexis Vasquez was plagued by injuries throughout 2014 that kept her out of the all around at Secret Classic. She did manage to compete all around at 2014 P&G Championships and won the balance beam with a 14.7 on both days. Karolyi acknowledges Vasquez's early season injuries but also notes her ability to push through the injuries and compete at a high level.

Nia Dennis has been one of the strong and most discussed juniors for the past few years - the exclamation point being the height on her Tkatchev on uneven bars. Despite finishing in 2nd place, Dennis had some trouble at Nationals. Karolyi sends a very clear message: "She has some big skills... On her we need to work on her consistency level and to realize not only big skills are important but we have to have the patience and the consistency on working on details and doing the number of repetitions which are necessary to build up the consistency." Dennis is an athlete who, like Key, has the difficulty but, unlike Key in 2013, needs the consistency if she hopes to make a team. Her upgrade video only shows her on uneven bars and her ankles are heavily taped. Hope she's healthy come the domestic season.

Of the videos, Ragan Smith was probably the most interesting to me. Her standing layout full looks better than the instagram video we saw a few months ago. The way the code stands, it won't recognize a standing pike full so she'll likely get credited as a standing layout full and get deductions for body position. Smith has a double layout that is new along with a Dos Santos II or piked double arabian. It will be interesting to consider which ones she shows in competition which could be as early as March at Jesolo. The most interesting for me with Ragan Smith is how she's so young and so little but very clear about her goals. I feel like she genuinely, in her heart of hearts, sees herself at the Olympics and is doing everything in her power to let everyone else see it.

Of Chow's girls, I have a special place in my heart for Alexis Vasquez. She has a Maloney (toe on Shaposhnikova) to immediate uprise full pirouette. She's also upgraded her balance beam dismount from a 2.5 twist to a double pike. There was a lot of talk about Norah Flatley's video and a skill in her uneven bar routine. To me, it seems like she's going for a sole circle (L-grip toe-on giant) but just missed her feet. It would be cool if it was an in bar stalder but, honestly, in a code that doesn't require as much L-grip as in the past, I think she should just drop the whole thing. L-grip isn't quite working for her at the moment. Of note, she's working a DTY so she won't get that FTY deduction. Victoria Nguyen looks amazing but she's a 2001 baby and will miss out on Rio. She's working a Li Ya (Jaeger 1/2) which isn't shown in the video. They do show her switch split-Onodi-split which is fabulous.

It's great to see Laurie Hernandez back from her knee injury. She's back on all events and doing well. She's grown some so it'll be interesting to see how she looks doing a full routine. Her most interesting skill is a front layout to front 2.5. In an era without much front tumbling in elite, it's interesting to see.

The other highlight for me was Emily Gaskins who connects her lovely beam mount to a back handspring-layout stepout. It's a truly beautiful piece of gymnastics. Gaskins left CGA and is back in Florida training with her old coach. Hopefully we get to see her beautiful gymnastics at Jesolo.

What were your highlights from the junior/new senior camp videos?


This Week in Training: Never Give Up

10:38 AM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Youna Dufournet

This week (last week, sorry!) in training, we have a lot of gymnasts that are coming back from injury - Youna Dufournet (a long time ago but still), Maggie Nichols, and Sam Oldham. Hope you enjoy the upgrades!

Youna Dufournet is working her new connected bar routine. On her instagram, you'll also find video of her working an Ezhova. She might be going a total Tweddle route with insane connections!

Maggie Nichols is back from her knee surgery and recently posted video of her training a full twisting double layout (as a full out).
A video posted by Maggie Nichols (@swaggiemaggie2016) on

Nadia Cho, a WOGA gymnast who is a new senior, recently posted video of her working a new Tkatchev which has a great amount of height and distance from the bar on her catch. What I'm showing here, however, is her whip to full in because that's super impressive! It's from 2 months ago so I must've missed it.

Kenzo Shirai was bored and figured a 3.5TY would keep him intrigues... It's in the early stages but it's February and he has a lot of time to perfect it. I wouldn't be surprised in the least to see it come Worlds. (Just because I remember thinking triple twisting Yurchenko! Ha, please!)
A video posted by @kenzoshirai on

I don't have eyes for things in MAG so you'll all have to help. Alexander Shatilov showed an instagram video of a new skill he's working on that "pushed the hand" of Sam Oldham to show what he's been working on. Shatilov seems to do a Rybalko (hop 1.5) to 1.5 twist one armed giant. Oldham seems to do a hop full to double twisting one armed giant. Both insane.

A video posted by Alexander (@alexander_shatilov) on

Oldham calls his a double turn to one armed giant. Maybe direction of the giant doesn't matter?

Last Week in Training - "The Thrill of the Skill"
You can also search this season's training upgrades by using the "upgrades" tag


International Ramblings: Ponor and Yao

7:50 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

There have been quite a few pieces of big news around the gymternet.

Catalina Ponor might return - and maybe Izbasa too!
Things were concerning for Romanian gymnastics last year, most notably when they lost a pre-Worlds Friendly Team competition to Germany. It became apparent that the 6-5-4 setup for qualifications could hurt the team and sure enough, it did. Romania finished qualifications in 7th place putting up only 4 gymnasts on vault and uneven bars and having to count a not-so-perfect 10 on the uneven bars. Team finals went much better, relatively speaking. Romania was leading Russia going into the final rotation, however, Russia was headed to vault and Romania was headed to the balance beam. The final score was 171.462 to 170.963 landing Romania in 4th place and off the medal podium. A fall by Stefania Stanila led her to tears when she saw the results.

"I'm sorry." "We'll just try harder next year."

 Romania does have quite a few juniors coming up - Laura Jurca was the 2014 Youth Olympic Games competitor and Andreea Iridon may help save some balance beam and uneven bar troubles. There are also quite a few gymnasts who will turn senior in the Olympic year. However, the situation at the moment is dire. Romania had exactly 7 uninjured senior gymnasts to take to Worlds - enough for a team and 1 alternate. Diana Bulimar was injured so that affected the team lineup and left a large portion of the work on Larisa Iordache's shoulders, which she handled excellently.

The return of Catalina Ponor (and potentially Sandra Izbasa) is exciting from a medal perspective. They have both done the "comeback thing" once and can do it again. Both also have personal unfinished business. Both Olympic Champions that were unable to defend the title they most wanted - Ponor on beam (and floor really as 2nd place is never easy) and Izbasa on floor.

Izbasa is perhaps the most interesting to me. Her 2013 comeback seemed purely about that floor exercise medal. Unfortunately, she fell on the exact same pass she fell on in the 2012 floor exercise final. Will she come back again to change the story the 3rd time around?

Ponor, after an extended hiatus, was able to make a balance beam event finals at the World Championships in the year of her comeback and was able to make floor and beam event finals at the Olympics. I can't help but imagine what kind of force Ponor is in the gym - older than the new seniors enough to serve as an older sister mentor but also focused and determined enough to reach her own goals and help carry the team to theirs. In my eye, she was always very supportive of her teammates while constantly pushing herself to be better at the same time.

In my opinion, having Ponor (and potentially Izbasa) back is a good thing. Rather, it can be a good thing. Elite athletes have an intense focus and drive. In theory, these gymnasts should be motivated rather than discouraged by the addition of another gymnast to compete against. Another gymnast to force them to do and be better. I look at Stefania Stanila who was in tears after essentially blaming Romania's 4th place finish on herself. We will work harder. She must work harder. She joined Iordache as Romania's 2nd all arounder in the event final and did reasonably well. Hopefully that will motivate her to push harder. To not be the one at fault in the future. To make herself desirable and trusted in the lineup. I hope that having someone like Ponor who has had success but also heartbreak can be a reminder that it is possible because Ponor has shown that it can be done, not once but twice.

Maybe third time's the charm and she'll help Romania to a team medal and her own individual medal on beam and floor. You never know.

Yao Jinnan is out for the year pending shoulder surgery
Yao Jinnan of China is reportedly trying to get visa issues figured out so she can come to the U.S. for shoulder surgery and expects to be out for the 2015 season. As always, if there was a year to be out, it's this year. Having Yao out, changes a lot for China. They use an all arounder individually and a contributor on all 4 events for the team. In some ways, this allows some of the other athletes to step up, Tan jiaxin for example being 2-per countried out of uneven bars event finals. Even Shang Chunsong. I'm not familiar enough with the Chinese team to say if this is really a disaster or merely a bump in the road but I do know they have a few juniors coming up. I don't think there's a top 5 all arounder coming up but definitely a few event final worthy new seniors. It's too early for me to say for sure but the door is certainly ajar for Romania at the very least. Should be an interesting year.


This Week In Training: Thrill of the Skill

6:36 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Cintia Rodriguez (ESP)

This week is full of twists! New skills with twists. Upgrades with twists. Kohei being Kohei and being insane with twists. Enjoy :)

Spain's Cintia Rodriguez is recovering from knee surgery but that has not stopped her! She posted a video of her working a new skill on the uneven bars - a stalder shoot to high with a full twist! We're seeing a lot more Bhardwaj's and we know about the Seitz but we haven't seen extra twists added to the "conventional" shoot to high. Could be interesting if she gets to compete it!

Agnes Suto, the Hungarian gymnast who competes for Iceland has just moved to Finland. She is still training in the gym and working new skills. She links to a video of her working a Bhardwaj on her tumblr.

Mary-Anne "Mez" Monckton of Australia is still on the mend after her peroneal tendon repair surgery. Her boot was just removed and she continues to post videos of her rehab and training. Below is a video of her training exercises now that she can walk again. One of the great things about Mez's videos are the workouts that we couch gymnasts can do! My favorite video for exercise ideas was her med ball video that you can find here. Make sure to subscribe to her channel!

Varvara Zubova is a young Russian gymnast starting to make a splash on the gymternet. A lot of people love her opening floor choreo that you can find here. On instagram, there is video of her training a layout Gienger.
A video posted by варя (@varvara_gym) on

Dorina Boczogo says she is just playing around as she debuts a new Podkopayeva (double front tuck half out).
A video posted by Boczogo Dorina (@dorinaboczogo) on

An ankle injury kept Great Britain Olympian Lisa Mason out of contention for the Commonwealth Games. But nothing stops her! She continues to train high level skills. Make sure to follow her on instagram! Here she is showing a triple twist dismount off beam. - looks like it was taken down but it was a triple in the very early stages.

Shilese Jones is a young US gymnast who recently moved to Buckeye Gymnastics - home of Nia Dennis and Gabby Douglas. After the recent move, she is already posting video of her new skill - a Pak salto.
A video posted by Shilese Jones (@shicanfly) on

Gymnastics great Oksana Chusovitina is in training with her coach, who is also great, Svetlana Boginskaya. Chusovitina is working a new front pike mount onto beam. Boginskaya also posted video of Chuso doing a front pike on beam with weights (I assume) to work on height of the skill.
A video posted by SvetlanaBoguinskaia (@svetlanaboguinskaia) on

Chantysha Netteb has been out for over a year recovering from an ACL injury. Hopefully this is the year we'll see her back in competition. Known for her vaulting ability, Netteb was a strong all arounder for the Netherlands. Here she is on uneven bars working a Shaposhnikova to Pak and Maloney (toe on shaposh 1/2) to bail to handstand.
A video posted by Chantysha Fahrelle Netteb (@chantyshanetteb) on

Celine van Gerner has really impressed me with her comeback. She achieved her goal of making it to the Olympics in 2012 but she is back to help the Netherlands qualify a team to the Olympics. She was back strong in 2014 making the Worlds team and she's still working hard. Here she is showing a new full twisting double layout.

USA's Alex Naddour, best known for his pommel horse work, is upgrading his vault to a Tsuk double pike. IG: alex_naddour

Alexander Shatilov of Israel is upgrading his high bar showing a Walstrom - a full twisting Yamawaki. IG: alexander_shatilov

Edgar Boulet has created a training montage of the French men in training. It's a short video but it features a few of the French gymnasts and there might be more videos to come.

There has also been video of Kohei Uchimura training a QUADRUPLE twisting double tuck. It looks like a full in triple out but you'll have to help me. link

Related Posts
Last "This Week in Training" - No Rest for the Weary
You can also search this season's training upgrades by using the "upgrades" tag

What do you think of the new skill?


Elite Canada 2015

5:35 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Shallon Olsen (left) and Rse-Kaying Woo (right)
Photo belongs to Shallon Olsen

The first meet of the Canadian elite season has just wrapped up. Elite Canada had some surprises with a few returns and the addition of a few Rio-eligible juniors to senior ranks. Canadian women's national team direction Dave Brubaker said, "I asked all of the athletes eligible for the next Olympic Games to become seniors this year because they need the experience. It’s certainly nice to know we've got more girls coming into the mix."

Rose-Kaying Woo is one of the juniors asked to join the senior ranks early and she ended up winning the competition over 2014 World Team and Commonwealth Games Team member Isabela Onyshko. Shallon Olsen was the other junior asked to move up early. She first made a splash as a 12 year old with a very impressive double twisting Yurchenko. She finished the all around competition in 6th but went on to win the vault event final and earn the bronze medal on the floor final. Youth Olympic Games competitor Sydney Townsend made her senior debut and finished tied for 4th place in the all around.

Athletes returning to competition was a highlight of the meet. Victoria Moors, who abruptly left the 2014 Commonwealth Games came back to competition on vault and floor. Ella Douglas is back from multiple injuries and rehabilitation on the uneven bars. Sabrina Gill, who recently committed to Oregon State University, was back on the uneven bars and ended up winning the event final with a 5.9D/14.250 routine.

Missing from the competition were World Team members Aleeza Yu and Jordyn Pedersen who are both recovering from injuries. Ellie Black compete on just the balance beam which she won in the event finals with a 6.4D. Victoria-Kayen Woo, older sister to the all around champion, was also present and went into the uneven bar finals in first but had some mistakes that left her off the podium. Maegan Chant was also present but did not have a strong competition.

All Around
1. Rose-Kaying Woo ('00)54.800
2. Isabela Onyshko53.650
3. Audrey Rousseau52.650
Uneven Bars
1. Sabrina Gill14.250
2. Émilie Dumont13.750
3. Audrey Rousseau13.450
Balance Beam
1. Ellie Black14.950
2. Rose-Kaying Woo ('00)14.500
3. Isabela Onyshko14.300
Floor Exercise
1. Hélody Cyrenne13.850
2. Sydney Soloski13.800
3. Shallon Olsen ('00)13.350

Only single vault scores were listed with the order as Shallon Olsen ('00), Maegen Chant, and Hélody Cyrenne.

Full results can be found on gym-score-depot.
Additional video is available on Gymnastics Canada YT channel - currently has Ellie Black BB and Hélody Cyrenne FX, Sydney Townsend FX AA.