The C Score (2.0)

Archive for September 3rd, 2008

Beth Tweddle, 2006 Worlds bar champion and the best gymnast to ever come out of Great Britain, has said that she may not retire after all. Before Beijing she was set to retire at 23 after Worlds in London next year. Now she’s saying that finishing fourth is “the worst place to finish” (I would have to agree!) and:

I am at the top of my game at the moment and it is not impossible to go on into my late 20s or even 30s with gymnastics if I stay fit.

She also said, though, that she was officially retired from the all-around, so she would go to London (in 2009 and 2012) as a specialist.

I never thought Tweddle’s bars were that beautiful, she’s certainly no Liukin, and she doesn’t rival the Chinese or Liukin on artistry. But her combination is really amazing, and she does a Shaposhnikova that’s among the best in the business (almost no one keeps her legs together on that thing). And actually she can be graceful on certain skills, including her Pak. I’d be happy to see her continue to 2012.

Here’s a video of Tweddle’s gold-medal performance in Aarhus.

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With the Olympics over, it’s time for the gymnasts who competed in the Olympics to think about retirement or not (or have it thought about for them by their governments).  Here are some people I hope will decide to stick around:

Jade Barbosa
Barbosa is amazing — powerful and controlled, like Shawn Johnson (and unlike some other powerful athletes who can’t always rein it in, maybe Alicia Sacramone would be a good example, or Tasha Schwikert from back in the day).  Barbosa placed an amazing third in the 2007 World Championships.  She is great to watch on every event (except maybe bars).  She and Johnson actually have a lot in common.

Daniela Druncea
Not really sure why.  She didn’t make the Olympic team.  Her floor at Worlds in 2007 was atrocious.  I guess I’d like to see if she can improve her artistry.

Ivana Hong
She didn’t make it to Beijing, but this girl has crazy potential.  For some reason the judges didn’t really appreciate her bars at 2007 Worlds, but I thought her artistry and creativity (remember the crazy German-giant-to-reverse-Hecht?)  I’d like to see her get some scores over 15 on the international level.

Jiang Yuyuan
The Chinese gymnast who looked like anything but a robot.  Her floor was the most charismatic of the games.  Her choice of music was excellent, and she just totally shined on that event, particularly in the team finals.  I want to see more of that, especially from China!

Shawn Johnson
If anyone can pull off a healthy trip to the 2012 Olympics, it’s Johnson.  She practices less than other elites (her talent clearly makes up for that) and has consequently suffered way less wear-and-tear.  For me, Johnson will always be a better *gymnast* than Liukin.  As much as Liukin is graceful, Johnson is powerful and an amazing tumbler, with perfect form anyway.  (Not to get too much into this debate, but I think Liukin has way more form problems than people admit.)  I think Liukin probably wanted the gold more, if you can even say that, but I think Johnson deserves one just as much.  Hopefully she’ll get it then.

Xiao Sha
Didn’t make the Chinese team for being inconsistent in practice.  But she was great at 2007 Worlds and in Cottbus.  Hopefully we’ll see more of her!


About The C Score

First there was A score and B score, now D score and E score. Where is the C score? Right here. In the form of my random thoughts about women's artistic gymnastics.

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