The C Score (2.0)

Archive for December 13th, 2008

Americans Corrie Lothrop, Olivia Courtney and Amanda Jetter swept the medals today at the 4th International Challenge in Woluwé Saint-Lambert near Brussels. Perhaps more importantly, Larisa Iordache, the twelve year-old phenom from Romania, finished only .05 points out of the medals!

Jetter on beam at Woluwé Saint-Lambert

Jetter on beam at Woluwé Saint-Lambert

This is another impressive showing for Lothrop and Courtney, who also competed extremely well at the PAGU Individual Event Championships earlier this fall. Lothrop, of course, was an alternate for the Olympic team, and Courtney is doing quite well also — she finished only .3 behind Lothrop. Also good to see Jetter out there.

Courtney has a great floor. Her second pass, a full in, nearly went out of the field of Dutchfan’s camera. She fell on her third pass, though, an Arabian double front. Without this fall, she would have had gold! A few wobbles on beam, and the form is still a little off, but solid double pike dismount.

it <em>was</em> MLT screeching

Thanks to USAG for the visual confirmation: it was MLT screeching

On floor, Lothrop nearly fell — but managed to not put her hands down — on a 2.5-front layout. Otherwise, nice routine, although I’m not a huge fan of the music choice. Jetter also had a very nice floor — although, is that MLT screaming in the background? Kind of ruins it. It’s hard not to like this girl. She has nice lines. And powerful for someone so tiny.

The participants at Woluwé Saint-Lambert

The participants at Woluwé Saint-Lambert

The field of fifteen was not particularly strong, but was still exciting. Of the listed participants, I do know that Emilie Ibragimova of Belgium had to scratch at the last minute because of a hamspring injury.

Tahnee Masela, Wyomi Masela’s sister, did not compete on vault and finished last. Honestly, though, there is not a gymnast out there whose style does not remind me more of Shawn Johnson. Check out this floor routine. For the first half, there are almost no pauses, which is refreshing. A little too powerful though, puts her hands down.

Speaking of sisters, Lieke Wevers, whose sister Sanne competes today on beam at the World Cup Final, finished a strong sixth with a very expressive floor routine.

The Romanians, besides Iordache, finished well out of the medals, but then they are much younger than many of the other competitors.

And then there’s Iordache. What can I say? Her floor routine is unbelievable! If she cleans up those landings — she propels herself almost too much — this thing is crazy. Check out the 1.5-punch front-punch front. More importantly, the choreography is incredible. Whoever did this should be doing all of the Romanian routines.

The event was filmed by Dutchfan and Gymcat.

Full results are here.

All-around:

1. Corrie Lothrop (58.35)
2. Olivia Courtney (58.05)
3. Amanda Jetter (57.10)
4. Larisa Iordache (57.05)
5. Jolien Eggermont (55.45)
6. Lieke Wevers (55.30)
7. Jocelyn Kraan (53.95)
8. Marrit Ewald (53.55)
9. Marieke Herteller (52.45)
10 Ana Maria Baicu (52.05)
11. Monica Dejardin (50.90)
12. Patricia Tiron (49.45)
13. Kim Van Limbergen (49.35)
14. Mihaela David (47.80)
15. Tahnee Masela (38.80)

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I don’t remember exactly when it was than I last discussed this shirt of Nastia Liukin’s, but did I mention I dislike it?

Liukin at a Vanilla Star shindig

Liukin at a Vanilla Star shindig

Although she is gorgeous in recently-printed WWD photos, I’ve got to say that her Vanilla Star collection is not to my taste. And apparently Yahoo! doesn’t appreciate it either: she made their OMG! What Were They Thinking? list. I’d like to thank Yahoo! for confirming my judgment of this outfit.

I don’t understand what this shirt is supposed to communicate. Love eating peace? Love eating peace, the bitter taste of which is masked by rose? I don’ t know.

It certainly is in the vein of Shawn Johnson’s peace-obsessed product line for GK, which is literally called “Peace, Love, Shawn Johnson” (see my post here). Ironically, one of Liukin’s t-shirts designed for VS reads “Peace, Love, Us.” We know they’re besties; is this some kind of peace-love conspiracy?

To be clear, I understand that I, a 26-year-old New Yorker, am not exactly the target audience. Still, I reserve the right to comment.

These are some great photos of the Chinese Olympians from a Chinese magazine (I don’t do Chinese, so I can’t translate the text, maybe someone else will be able to?):

We’ve got He Kexin, Li Shanshan, Yang Yilin, and Jiang Yuyuan.

The first day of the World Cup Final is over, and here’s the sitch:

Cheng Fei wins!

Cheng Fei wins!

Vault:

Cheng Fei, unsurprisingly, took vault with a DTY and a laid-out Podkopayeva for a 15.050. Ariella Kaeslin took second with a Rudi and a 1.5 Yurchenko, losing to Fei by less than .05 (she finished with a 14.912), although naturally Fei didn’t pull out her biggest vaults. And Aagje Vanwalleghem took third with a 14.425, just over Elsa Garcia‘s 14.400. It appears that Vanwalleghem and Garcia actually had aBeijing uneven bars finals moment: they had the same A-scores and B-scores, but Vanwalleghem won.

Elena Zamolodchikova performed a DTY and a Yurchenko half-on 1.5-off but sat both down to finish sixth. (The second was also devalued to piked.) Apparently, though, she’s in shape, which I believe means better than she was at DTB.

Hiu Ying Angel Wong finished last with a full-twisting Tsukahara and a handspring front tuck, which she fell on. On the other hand, it was the first time a Hong Kong gymnast had made the WCF. Jana Komrskova also had an off day, after giving up her spot in Beijing to younger gymnasts, with a Yurchenko half on tucked one-half off and a Yurchenko full. IG seemed to suggest that she was not at her top level, despite being in shape.

Honestly, we all knew the vault final wouldn’t be very interesting, and that Cheng would win. The next highest-ranked person was Zamolodchikova, who didn’t seem to be in top form at DTB. Despite being ranked above Kaeslin, Komrskova has been out of competition for quite a while, so it was hard to imagine her being in top competition form. Apparently Garcia got the most applause of everyone — I know a lot of people were excited to see Mexico’s best gymnast ever back in competition! I certainly was. Too bad she missed the medals. I’m happy to see Vanwalleghem come away with the bronze, especially after turning down the International Challenge in Belgium that was also taking place this weekend. This is Belgium’s first WCF medal.

What vaults did we see? Obviously Cheng wasn’t going to perform her hardest stuff in this field. She did a DTY and a laid-out Yurchenko half-on 1.5 off, which gave her actually only the second-highest combined A-score (5.8+5.6=11.4), after Kaeslin. Kaeslin performed a Rudi and a 1.5-twisting Yurchenko, for an A-score of 11.8. The only other person besides Cheng to perform a DTY was Zamolodchikova, who complemented it with a Yurchenko half-on 1.5-off (recorded as piked), for a combined A-score of 11. Unfortunately she was not able to exploit that A-score with a high enough B-score, landing on her knees on both. Garcia, Boczogo and Vanwalleghem also all performed 1.5-twisting Yurchenkos. Garcia and Vanwalleghem then both performed a piked Yurchenko half-on 1.5-off to Boczogo’s handspring front one-half piked, giving them a .2 advantage over Boczogo. (Boczogo also fell on her 1.5 Yurchenko.) Komrskova and Wong had the lowest A-scores: Komrskova did a tucked Yurchenko half-on 1.5-off for a 10.0 A-score; and Wong did a full-twisting Tsukahara and a handspring front tuck, which honestly is a junior vault (A-score is 4.4) for a total of 8.6 A-score.

We actually saw more diversity in vaults than we would see in the average vault competition, but vault still remains the most boring event. The only competitive vaults performed were: DTY, Rudi, 1.5 Yurchenko and Cheng’s laid-out Yurchenko one-half on 1.5-off. Everything else we wouldn’t usually see from the creme de la creme of vaulters. If there’s any apparatus on which I’d like to see a burst of originality, it’s vault.

The Chinese could have swept on bars, but Yang Yillin scratched at the last minute

The Chinese could have swept on bars, but Yang Yillin scratched at the last minute

Uneven bars:

Honestly, the biggest surprise on bars was Yang Yilin’s scratch — with a “waist” (lower back) injury, according to Lu Shanzhen, which sounds like a pulled muscle. Apparently it is not serious. I certainly hope not! The title went to He Kexin with a 16.250, unsurprisingly, followed by Jiang Yuyuan, over .5 behind (15.700). Bronze went to Koko Tsurumi, who has really just amazed me recently. She was nearly .5 behind Jiang, but far ahead of Dariya Zgoba, who took fourth.

Apparently He’s routine was a little shaky. She had trouble on the 1/1 on the low bar, which has actually given her trouble in the past, but did her Jaeger combo, etc. — she competed full difficulty, with a 7.7 A-score. Interestingly, she received B-scores in the 7.5 to 9 range, which is pretty huge. Not sure what happened there. The top three had by far the highest A-scores, which I think tends to be the case on uneven bars more than on any other apparatus. Jiang was also in the 7’s (7.1) and Tsurumi had a 6.8.

Ouch (Koval)

Ouch (Koval)

The next highest score was Zgoba with a 6.2, then Anastasia Koval and Jana Sikulova with 6.0s. Koval finished a disappointing seventh after landing her head on the bar on a Stadler toe-on piked Tkatchev. Yikes. Zgoba also had a mistake, on her Pak to Stadler, on which she went the wrong direction. She actually had the same problem (on a different skill) on one of her routines at Beijing. Sikulova’s routine hasn’t changed much recently; I find it pretty boring, if technically correct. She finished fifth.

The disappointment of the day was probably for Daniele Hypolito, who honestly isn’t very strong on bars anyway. She finished with an 11.875 — ouch. She fell on two different elements — transition to high bar, when her feet slipped; and a Stadler. Apparently her score was also lowered by three tenths for some kind of neutral deduction, but I’m not sure what it was.

I think overall that bars always promised to be more interesting than vault. The three Chinese competitors (which went down to two went Yang scratched), were actually not ranked at the top of the list because they are relatively new competitors. We knew He was going to win, and that it was all but certain that Jiang would place. He could have had a fall and that still would not have made up the difference in A-score between her and Tsurumi. Anyway, there were two Ukrainians in the final. We know they have a beautiful bars heritage — and both are quite lovely on bars — but they are inconsistent and have fairly humdrum routines. It was great to see Sikulova — kind of like it was great to see Komrskova and Boczogo — but I didn’t really expect a medal for her.

As for originality, I was surprised when I made my bars Top 8 list to discover that bars have ultimately been pretty boring recently. Take a look at the dismounts we saw today: three double fronts, three double layouts. He did the only unique (by which I mean, not done by anyone else at this meet) dismount, a Tsukahara.

The FIG:

Yesterday when I read that the FIG was doing a “live broadcast,” I took them at their word, but in fact I was slightly unconvinced because there was no information about where you might see it. I wish the FIG would hire a publicity person for the Web site whose first language is English. (“Broadcast” is not the same as “commentary,” among other things) Seriously.

I don’t hate the FIG nearly as much as other people, but honestly IG‘s coverage was far superior to FIG’s. The FIG’s commentary was barely live — it was consistently far behind what IG was posting, and far less complete. (And, incidentally, the IG coverage was also done by a non-native English speaker.)

Also, do you think the photo galleries have been updated? The answer is no.

Here's hoping Sandra Izbasa (seen here Friday during podium training) takes gold on floor

Here's hoping Sandra Izbasa (seen here Friday during podium training) takes gold on floor

Tomorrow:

Tomorrow we see beam and floor finals. We’ll finally get to see Sandra Izbasa, and Cheng will be competing for two more golds, both of which are entirely within her reach. It will be exciting to see Li Shanshan on beam, especially after all the rumors flying around about her weight gain and return to her provincial team. Meanwhile, Hypolito and Zamolodchikova both have a shot at redemption (Hypolito on both events, Zamolodchikova on floor). But honestly I don’t think Hypolito’s beam will medal, and while she is powerful on floor, I really dislike the sloppiness (also true of Daiane dos Santos and sometimes Lais Souza — it’s a problem). I don’t imagine Zamolodchikova will pull it off, but it would certainly be exciting. On beam we’ll also see Lauren Mitchell, who is lovely on that event, as well as Sanne Wevers who is just so clean. And finally, perhaps the part I’m looking forward to the most: Jiang’s floor.

See you then!

Vault:

1. Cheng Fei (15.050)
2. Ariella Kaeslin (14.912)
3. Aagje Vanwalleghem (14.425)
4. Elsa Garcia (14.400)
5. Dorina Boczogo (13.787)
6. Elena Zamolodchikova (13.475)
7. Jana Komrskova (13.262)
8. Hiu Ying Angel Wong (12.712)

Uneven bars:

1. He Kexin (16.250)
2. Jiang Yuyuan (15.700)
3. Koko Tsurumi (15.250)
4. Dariya Zgoba (14.500)
5. Jana Sikulova (14.300)
6. Anastasia Koval (13.625)
7. Daniele Hypolito (11.875)

While the rest of the world looks to the World Cup Final, which starts in just a few hours in Madrid, the Canadian gymnastics community had its eyes focused on Gatineau.

Brittany Rogers, 2008 Elite Canada champion

Brittany Rogers, 2008 Elite Canada champion

In the senior competition that took place Friday, Brittany Rogers took gold in the all-around, with Sydney Sawa and Charlotte Mackie rounding out the medals.

The junior all-around will take place Saturday, with junior and senior event finals to be contested on Sunday.

Rogers’ win should not come as a surprise. She placed second at Gymnix and sixth at Pacific Rim this year, and first in the Canadian Junior Championships last year. At this competition, she had the highest score on three events, all except floor, which went to Mackie. Mackie is also not a surprise: she was third at Yokohama and fourth at Gymnix and Pacific Rim. She also had the second-highest score on beam.

Sawa is a bit older than the other two. She competed at the 2007 World Championships, and took fifth at Gymnix as a senior this year. She was fifth in the senior division at the 2008 Canadian Championships. Sawa was second on all events except beam, where she was sixth. Not sure what happened there.

The one big Canadian senior we didn’t see is Peng Peng Lee, who is injured. Lee has also been dealing with the sudden closing of her training gym.

Also competing were Dominique Pegg, in her first senior competition, and Ti Liu. Pegg finished a strong fourth, nearly two points ahead of fifth-place Cynthia Lemieux Ti, unfortunately, did not compete four events, scratching on floor. Sky Corbett-Methot finished ninth.

The juniors compete tomorrow. Among them will be Anysia Unick, second at this year’s Junior Championships. Also competing will be Caitlin Keates and Coralie Leblond-Chartrand. All of them, including the new seniors Pegg and Liu, are discussed in my Up-and-Coming Junior series here. We’ll also see the 2008 novice champion Madeline Gardiner.

Full results here.

All-around:

1. Brittany Rogers (56.35)
2. Sydney Sawa (55.40)
3. Charlotte Mackie (54.90)
4. Dominique Pegg (53.90)
5. Cynthia Lemieux (51.00)
6. Laurie-Eve Gagne-Pepin (50.30)
7. Miranda Meyer (50.20)
8. Catherine Dion (50.15)


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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