The C Score (2.0)

Archive for the ‘Competition reports’ Category

Sydney Sawa and Anysia Unick came back from fifth place in qualifications to win the senior and junior Canadian Championships.

Sawa performed decently on Day 1 on every event except floor, where she wound up with a devastating 10.050. Unick’s problems on Day 1 came on beam.

Sawa was a member of the 2007 World Championships team, and placed second at 2008 Elite Canada. International Gymnast did an interview with her leading up to the Championships. She shares a few thoughts on being considered a “veteran” on the young Canadian national team.

Full results are not yet posted.

Short interview with Sawa here.

As Coach Rick points out, the senior turnout was not amazing at this weekend’s 2009 Canadian Championships. Qualifications were yesterday, with finals today.

Actually, the senior turnout was so underwhelming that Charlotte Mackie, who only competed three events (no bars), may actually be competing in the finals.

Cynthia Lemieux Guillemette leads seniors going into finals today

Cynthia Lemieux Guillemette leads seniors going into finals today

Meanwhile, Cynthia Lemieux-Guillemette goes into finals in first place, followed by Kristin Klarenbach and Ashley Quinton. Better-known seniors Dominique Pegg, Sydney Sawa and Mackie (with the only 1.5-twisting Yurchenko of the competition) are fourth, fifth, twelfth and fourteenth, respectively. (Brittany Rogers appears to have pulled out at the last minute.) Lemieux-Guillemette took first on all events but vault.

Lemieux-Guillemette 19, is a member of the senior national team. She was fifth at Elite Canada in 2008, and fifth all-around at the 2009 WOGA Classic. Klarenbach and Quinton were tenth and eleventh at Elite Canada. That meet was well-attended, with Rogers first, followed by Mackie, Sawa, and Pegg.

Rochelle Hurt leads a good junior group, with Madeline Gardiner and Coralie Leblond-Chartrand rounding up the top three. Anysia Unick is fifth, and Dominique Nadeau competed only bars.

The top three is not shocking if you recall the results of Elite Canada 2008, where Leblond-Chartrand pulled off a (then considered an upset) first place, with Gardiner (2008 Canadian Championships novice champion) second and Hunt third. Unick finished a disappointing tenth in that competition.

Notably missing among juniors this time around is Caitlyn Keates, but Mikaela Gerber and Jimena Lopez are currently placed seventh and eighth. Probably the most exciting results are for Bianca Dancose-Giambattisto and Riley Cholod, currently fourth and sixth. (The two tied for eleventh at Elite Canada.) Best name award goes to Demi Pas.

Full results here.

Jordyn Wieber, 2009 SCAM Champion

Jordyn Wieber, 2009 SCAM Champion

Just watching the American Cup coverage, and decided to check in. This blog is officially (and unfortunately) on hiatus until I have defended my dissertation proposal and taken the MCAT … however, I have decided that I definitely will be back (with a bit of restructuring).

In fact, if you have any suggestions, please post them here.

ETA: May 3rd, 2009.

In the meantime, 100% heartfelt congratulations to Jordyn Wieber. We have not seen someone with this level of ability at such a young age in a very long time. I am pretty sure this makes her the youngest American Cup winner ever. This makes her the youngest winner since Tracee Talavera in 1980.

While I’m at it, I should say that I was a bit disappointed by Youna Dufournet‘s performance, but happy to see Amelia Racea holding her own (relatively speaking).

Viktoria Komova had a big day at the Mikhail Voronin Cup, a small international competition featuring gymnasts from former Soviet states (for women, Russia, Kazhakstan, Latvia and Ukraine were represented).

Komova finished with a final score of 61.250, over three points above her nearest competitor, Diana Sapronova and over a point above Kristina Goryunova, the gold medalist in the senior all-around.

Komova — Vera Kolesnikova’s daughter — and Goryunova recently competed on the same team at the Massilia Cup, where they finished second in team finals with Aliya Mustafina. Massilia Cup champion Irina Sazonova placed only fourth in the all-around.

Komova is one to watch. She was third in my series of Up-and-coming juniors because of her excellent placement at Pacific Rim and the WOGA Classic this year (third in both).

Check out how the press release describes her gymnastics: “Her gymnastics is practically irreproachable. Precise. Beautiful.”

The Russians do have a tendency towards verbal dramatics. But still.

Komova’s victory notwithstanding, Sapronova is one to watch. She recently placed second at the Massilia Cup. Anastasia Novikova is also promising, particularly on vault.

Also present for the junior competition was Latvia’s Laura Svilpaite, who was the first reserve for bar finals at Europeans this year. (She would have been ranked much higher had it not been for a fall.) Check out her Pak salto.

Senior all-around:

1. Kristina Goryunova (59.950)
2. Anna Mizdrikova (58.400)
3. Jana Demianchuk (57.150)
4. Irina Sazonova (55.000)
5. Angela Golovina (51.700)
6. Karina Topalova (51.650)

Junior all-around:

1. Viktoria Komova (61.250)
2. Diana Sapronova (58.000)
3. Anastasia Novikova (57.900)
4. Diana Sviridova (57.350)
5. Laura Svilpaite (56.700)
6. Galina Ivanetz (56.150)

So at the World Cup Final, during beam, Cheng Fei and Lauren Mitchell had a brief attempt at conversation that was serendipitously captured by the live feed. Everyone’s talking about it.

The transcript goes something like this:

Cheng: Hey! Very good.
Mitchell: Oh! Thank you!
[they look around awkwardly]
Mitchell: [pointing toward the vault] Your vault, yesterday?
Cheng: Uhhh …
Mitchell: Your vault? [makes international hand gesture for vault] Yesterday. Was good. [gives thumbs up]
Cheng: Ah! [laughs]
Mitchell: [laughs]
Cheng: [all of a sudden, pointing to floor] You do floor?
Mitchell: No.
Cheng: [shrugs, goes back to winding up her tape]
Mitchell: Good luck for floor.

Beautiful.

In the second day of competition for seniors and juniors, Brittany Rogers kept up her great streak at Elite Canada, competing in all four event finals and placing first on beam and vault, tying for second on floor, and nabbing the bronze on bars.

Meanwhile, Dominique Pegg took first on floor and Ti Liu placed first on bars. Pegg also took silver on vault and bars.

Perhaps a bit of a disappointment for Charlotte Mackie, who qualified, along with Rogers, Pegg and Sydney Sawa to four event finals but finished out of the medals on all, except on beam where she placed third. Sawa had a good day, taking silver on floor (tied) and beam, and third on vault. From the scores, it looks like both Mackie and Sawa had falls on bars.

On the junior front, no one qualified to all four event finals, but the medalists each qualified for three. Coralie Leblond-Chartrand took the bronze on bars (tied) and floor, and fourth on beam. Madeline Gardiner had a great day, taking gold on beam and floor. And Rochelle Hurt took the silver on beam. Dominique Nadeau was first on vault, and Bianca Dancose-Giambi was first on bars.

My coverage of the senior all-around is here. Junior all-around coverage here.

Full results for seniors here and juniors here. Note that Elite Canada is the first competition to use the 2009 Code of Points (according to IG) so scores are significantly lower on bars, vault and beam than they would have been last quad.

Seniors:

Vault:

1. Brittany Rogers (14.300)
2. Dominique Pegg (13.975)
3. Sydney Sawa (13.825)

Uneven bars:

1. Ti Liu (13.90)
2. Dominique Pegg (13.45)
3. Brittany Rogers (13.40)

Beam:

1. Brittany Rogers (14.35)
2. Sydney Sawa (14.20)
3. Charlotte Mackie (14.15)

Floor:

1. Dominique Pegg (14.10)
2. Brittany Rogers/Sydney Sawa (13.95)
4. Charlotte Mackie (13.40)

Juniors:

Vault:

1. Dominique Nadeau (13.650)
2. Paige Blaney (13.075)
3. Ellie Black (13.025)

Uneven bars:

1. Bianca Dancose-Giambi (13.50)
2. Dominique Nadeau (13.00)
3. Coralie Leblond-Chartrand/Caitlyn Keates (12.45)

Beam:

1. Madeline Gardiner (14.85)
2. Rochelle Hurt (14.00)
3. Melissa Fontaine (13.60)

Floor:

1. Madeline Gardiner (14.30)
2. Mikaela Gerber (13.85)
3. Coralie Leblond-Chartrand (13.70)

Day 2. Let’s do it. Big surprises on beam, with Lauren Mitchell taking gold. Fei made it two golds on floor after major problems on beam. I managed to get a bit of live-ness from Brazilian TV station BAND, so I saw from Zamolodchikova on on floor: scroll down for my thoughts.

Beam:

In a bit of an upset, Mitchell took the gold on beam in the World Cup Final while the two highest-ranked competitors, Cheng Fei and Sandra Izbasa placed out of the medals.

Lauren Mitchell, Yulia Lozheckho, Li Shanshan

The beam podium: Lauren Mitchell, Yulia Lozheckho, Li Shanshan

Actually, the whole podium is somewhat of a surprise: Yulia Lozhechko was second, and Li Shanshan placed third. Sanne Wevers unfortunately scratched at the last minute with an elbow injury.

Fei, who I totally expected to win, fell off the beam on her sheep jump and put her hands down on her front tuck to finish with a 13.825, placing her sixth. Overall, a wobbly routine, rated “not her best effort” by the live commentators at IG. Isbaza was a different story. Her routine was fine but watered down, with a 5.9 start value (including a 2/1 twist dismount) in a field of 6’s; she finished with a 14.925, which actually placed her fourth. Not bad considering she had the second-lowest start value of any gymnast.

The lowest start value award goes to Dariya Zgoba, who has been dealing with a foot injury — **she apparently had surgery but is still recovering — and started at only a 5.4. To give you a sense, her dismount was a round-off-layout. Sad. On the other hand, despite this, she finished above Cheng — the two falls did her in — and Daniele Hypolito, who also finished poorly in the vault finals. Hypolito had a fall on her mount (a round-off layout). Without this, she would have finished ahead of Cheng and Zgoba. Too bad.

Mitchell had the highest start value (6.6), and a seemingly nice routine, but with a few wobbles. Lozhechko actually had the second highest (6.4), a tenth above Li, which made the difference — their scores were only .5 apart. She apparently almost fell on her standing Arabian, and somehow managed to cowboy a back double tuck, but the rest of her routine appears to have been consistent. Li did her flic-flic-layout-Korbut series and a double pike dismount.

I’m totally distraught that Wevers wasn’t in this final. I really wanted to see her leg-up double turn. It is amazing. Would have been named after her too. On the turn front, though, at least we got Zgoba’s full turn with leg at head, which is awesome. By the way, since I’m using this as an opportunity to consider the level of originality on the apparatus, let’s consider mounts, shall we? Hypolito fell on her round-off-layout, Zgoba did her great planche, and everyone else did a hop up. It’s tragic. While we’re at it, dismounts were 2/1 (Cheng and Izbasa), double backs (Hypolito and Lozheckho) and double pike (Mitchell and Li). Interesting statistics: 7/7 did a switch jump (6/7 did it in combination); 6/7 did a switch leap; 5/7 did a front tuck (Mitchell did hers standing). Only one (Lozheckho), thankfully, did an aerial to scale. Also thankfully, only two did side somis: Lozhechko and Izbasa. Lozheckho was also the only one to do an Arabian. Naturally, there was an epidemic of full turns with leg at horizontal, although Zgoba does her awesome turn with leg at head, and Mitchell did hers with leg in lunge.

Cheng Fei, Jiang Yuyuan, Sandra Izbasa

The floor podium: Cheng Fei, Jiang Yuyuan, Sandra Izbasa

Floor:

Redeeming herself after beam, Fei took first on floor with an excellent, precise routine (15.375), ahead of Jiang Yuyuan (15.225) and Sandra Izbasa (15.000). Fei and Jiang had the best routines of the night: Fei’s was precise and clean, Jiang’s was happy and bouncy, as usual. Izbasa looked tired.

Tragically, Suzanne Harmes injured herself during her routine, twisting her ankle (gruesomely) on a front handspring. She wound up having to end her routine early, and somehow still wound up with a 12.650. Overall, alot of falls on floor. Besides Harmes, Koko Tsurumi fell on her double pike dismount and Elsa Garcia fell on her tucked full-in.

Live-ish commentary:

I actually finally scored a live feed of this final after some trouble with the plug-in. From Zamolodchikova on, I actually saw it with my own eyes. Nice.

Zamolodchikova looked good — and happy! She landed low on her double pike dismount, and stuck her 3/1 (despite crossed legs, which I hate). I had the same reaction to Hypolito: relief. Her routine was very good, she had good presentation and seemed into it, and she stuck her dismount (double pike — what else?).

First thought on Garcia was: I miss her old routine. She has quieter music now; I thought the old music suited her better. She fell to her hands on her full-in, but her mount of an Arabian double-front was good. After what seemed like a really low score for Garcia, the judges were on the phone for a while. At this point, the Brazilian commentators started going on and on about how Hypolito was in third place, as if they were unaware of the reputations of Izbasa, Cheng and Jiang on floor.

Anyway. Izbasa takes the floor. Sadly, she looks really tired. Still a good routine though. Her triple turn was only OK, and she underrotated her 3/1 dismount, but everything else was fine: 15.000. She just didn’t seem to want it as much as …

Fei is precise today. Very nice two first passes: piked full-in, whip-to-triple. You can tell from the first seconds that she is going to take this. And she does: 15.375.

Jiang was great. The presentation was somewhere between the level of TF and AA at the Olympics. Very very nice. Besides landing a bit short on a 5/2 and on a 3/2-3/1, her tumbling was very good. Great ending to the women’s competition. How can you not love her? And she takes silver! 15.225.

Other floor things:

Naomi Ruiz competed as the nominee from the host country, with what IG described as a routine with “no expression,” but she still managed to place fifth (13.900). Zamolodchikova’s 14.075 placed her fourth, nearly a point out of the medals, but ahead of everyone else. That is to say, eveyone else struggled: pretty significantly. Of course, Harmes finished last after ending her routine early. Tsurumi had a disappointing day, falling, as I mentioned, on her double pike dismount. Fortunately she still has that shiny bronze from the bars final.

Best presentation was by Jiang, Cheng and Garcia, at least of the ones I saw. Zamolodchikova looked better than she has. I was disappointed by Izbasa. Hypolito was good, but not great.

Cheng had the highest start-value (6.3), followed by Izbasa and Jiang (6.2). Garcia had the next-highest, 6.1, but still finished 8th after some sloppiness and the fall (which also went out-of-bounds). Everyone else had a 5.7/5.8.

Naturally, we saw a lot of double pikes: seven of them, to be precise, and Harmes didn’t finish her routine, so that could have made it eight. Of these, all were dismounts except Garcia’s. We saw two 5/2-punch front layouts, one of my favorite combination passes (if the layout doesn’t look like the gymnast is about to fall backwards). Lots of full-ins (six of them, to be exact, two of which were piked). Besides Cheng, everyone who did a 3/1, in combination or not, was short. This is a perpetual problem on this skill. Perhaps the best skill of the day was Jiang’s quadruple turn. I liked it.

The IG commentary is here.

Beam:

1. Lauren Mitchell (15.250)
2. Yulia Lozheckho (15.200)
3. Li Shanshan (15.150)
4. Sandra Izbasa (14.925)
5. Dariya Zgoba (14.000)
6. Cheng Fei (13.825)
7. Daniele Hypolito (13.425)

Floor:

1. Cheng Fei (15.375)
2. Jiang Yuyuan (15.225)
3. Sandra Izbasa (15.000)
4. Elena Zamolodchikova (14.075)
5. Naomi Ruiz (13.900)
6. Daniele Hypolito (13.700)
7. Koko Tsurumi (13.575)
8. Elsa Garcia (13.175)
9. Suzanne Harmes (12.650)