The C Score (2.0)

Archive for the ‘Injuries’ Category

According to the latest rumors, Anna Pavlova is indeed planning to return to competition after she recovers from her ACL injury (sustained at the DTB Cup).

Pavlova was recently at the Voronin Cup. She’s walking (albeit with a serious brace):

Ana Maria Tamirjan is recovering from a cracked femur, an injury apparently sustained before the Olympics in Beijing.

Apparently Tamirjan took a bit of a break after the Olympics, but Nicolae Forminte told Pro Sport here: “Ana is progressing very well, and she’s very motivated.” She is now training with the American Cup in mind! Apparently she even refused to go on winter vacation!

The Romanian gymnastics team will be in the mountain retreat Poiana Brasov for winter vacation from the 18th to the 19th.

Video is Tamirjan on floor in prelims in Beijing:

No update on Anna Pavlova just now, but some news on Rebecca Bross, Deng Linlin, Beth Tweddle and Dariya Zgoba, who are all injured.

Rebecca Bross:

I have finally confirmed for myself the long-circulating rumor that Bross’s injury at the most recent training camp was not minor, as originally suggested, but actually a fairly serious injury that could have her out for all of next season. Also, as I understand it, it was not to the leg that has caused her trouble in the past, but was an acute trauma to her knee on her good leg. Too bad, especially since a lot of people were expecting a big senior debut at the American Cup.

ETA: I’ve since heard that the surgery was to remove a bone chip, but I can’t confirm that.

Deng Linlin:

Deng Linlin apparently had fairly serious surgery and will not be participating in any competitions for the rest of the year.

Beth Tweddle:

Tweddle recently had a shoulder operation according to British Gymnastics (see here), explaining her absence on the WCF roster.

Dariya Zgoba:

Slightly more interestingly, Zgoba had to scratch at the Glasgow Grand Prix and the DTB Cup because of an injury, and then was scheduled to have surgery. Either she had it in October and is sufficiently healed to participate in the WCF, or she has postponed it.

A new article from Pro Sport announces more bad news (and brief good news) for Russian gymnastics.

Alexander Kiryashov has said that Liudmila Grebenkova-Ezhova will not compete in the World Cup Final in Madrid in December. Why? Ironically, a knee injury.

Liudmila Grebenkova

Liudmila Grebenkova at the 2008 Olympics

Grebenkova was qualified in 13th place on beam. This leaves the Russians with few people for the WCF — Anna Pavlova (qualified on beam and vault) is out with torn knee ligaments suffered at the DTB Cup earlier this month; and Ksenia Semenova (qualified on bars and beam) has an elbow injury. Elena Zamolodchikova (qualified on vault and floor) is back — she was at the DTB Cup — but not performing at the highest level.

Enter Yulia Lozhecko.

Yulia Lozhecko at last year's World Championships

Yulia Lozhecko at last year's World Championships

According to this same article, Lozhecko has experienced “psychological problems” after not being selected for the Olympic team. But things are going better, according to Kiryashov. She has been training again at Round Lake since November 6th and her chances of attending the WCF are “more realistic” now that Grebenkova cannot attend.

The whole thing is a little ironic given that Lozhecko is actually ranked 12th to Grebenkova’s 13th on beam, but so national gymnastics politics goes. I’d be very happy to see Lozhecko at this year’s WCF, and given her 12th-place ranking, she should have no trouble qualifying. (Pavlova, ranked above her, is out. Nistor is retired, Liukin and Johnson will undoubtedly not attend, etc.)

For the record, Semenova is ranked 23rd on beam, with Ksenia Afanasyeva 26th. Other than Zamolodchikova and Pavlova, the Russians have no one in the top thirty on vault. Irina Isayeva is the only Russian other than Semenova who is in the top thirty on bars. Zamolodchikova is ranked 14th on floor, with Ekaterina Kramarenko tied for 29th.

Anna Pavlova underwent surgery last Thursday in Moscow, and reported to her Web site administrator that it went well. However, as hinted early on by the German media (Pavlova herself would not confirm it until she was diagnosed in Moscow), she did tear two ligaments in her knee.

Tearing a cruciate ligament often requires a six-month recovery period, so there is no way Pavlova will be able to compete in the World Cup Finals in Madrid in December, or even at the early events next year (I’m guessing the American Cup would be a stretch).

UPDATE 6:01 p.m.: Unfortunately, Pavlova told All Sport today that she is not confident about a return to gymnastics:

“I hope, of course, that I’ll be able to return to gymnastics, but I don’t have full confidence in that yet.”

For coverage (in Russian) see here (from Live Sport) and here (from All Sport).

Pavlova is still at the hospital, and says she is waiting to see how her body will react to the procedure. She has not discussed a return to training, and says (as I predicted) that it will not be for at least six months.

My montage of Pavlova’s career, which includes the 2.5-twist beam dismount at this year’s DTB Cup, where she injured her knee, is below. I’m still *hoping* I can update it someday.

For those who don’t know, Pavlova has a (new) Web site.

Jade Barbosa and Daiane dos Santos, two of the gymnasts involved in the developing Brazilian gymnastics scandal, will not be competing in the World Cup Final in Madrid this December, according to the Brazilian news media (see here, e.g.).

Jade Barbosa and Daiane dos Santos

Jade Barbosa and Daiane dos Santos

Following the new rankings, Barbosa is currently ranked sixth on vault and dos Santos is ranked third on floor. But because of injury, neither will compete. Dos Santos won gold in 2004 and 2006 on floor, but will not be able to defend her title. Daniele Hypolito, currently ranked 12th on floor and 15th on bars, will only be able to defend her 2006 silver on bars if enough higher-ranked gymnasts choose not to compete.

I had to grade papers tonight, so naturally I decided to make a montage of Anna Pavlova. It’s my first montage! Seems like a time-consuming activity; not sure it’ll be something I take on as a hobby! Anyway, I used clips of Pavlova from 2000, including her win in EFs at the Junior European Championships of that year, through her injury on the beam at the 2008 DTB Cup. The music, of course, is “Winter” by Bond, her music from the 2004 Olympics and the floor music of hers I’ll probably remember most. And here’s hoping to see her back — healthy — soon!

Here it is, “Anna Pavlova: The Next Russian Princess”:

Incidentally, I used this FX footage from the Canadian Gymnastics Challenge from 2000 only briefly in the montage, but the whole routine is worth a look. It is incredible, tumbling, presentation, dance, everything:

As for the injury, I’ll be reading the Russian news sources and will update if I come across anything new.

As I already reported, Anna Pavlova injured herself this weekend at the DTB Cup during her dismount (a 2.5 twist) on the balance beam.

Anna Pavlova being carried off the podium after her injury at the DTB Cup in Stuttgart, Germany

Anna Pavlova being carried off the podium after her injury at the DTB Cup in Stuttgart, Germany

According to reports, Pavlova completely tore the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in her knee. (This article does not specify the diagnosis but does suggest that the German doctors had given one.) Rumor has it that the ligament was already weakened from an injury sustained seven years ago that was improperly treated. However, according to Pavlova’s official Web site, none of this is confirmed, and will only be after her return to Russia.

In an article from “All Sport” (“Весь спорт”) she said:

Right now, I am still in Germany, and will return to Moscow only on Monday. Then I will go for a check-up and it will be clear how serious the injury is. Right now I don’t have a firm diagnosis. They have stabilized my knee and I can walk, every thing is fine. Now, as for when I will be able to start training again, nothing is certain. I won’t get the full check-up until I am home.”

The article goes on to mention that Pavlova’s performance on vault in Stuttgart has guaranteed her spot at the World Cup Final in December. Of course, if the injury is truly to her ACL, that is unlikely to happen.

The new Webmaster for Pavlova’s Web site, Alan, is collecting get-well wishes, which can be sent to Webmaster@Anna-Pavlova.net.

Video of the unfortunate event:

The DTB Cup Finals were contested today, and Cheng Fei walked away with dominating victories on her three events, vault, beam and floor.

Cheng Fei on floor at the DTB Cup

Cheng Fei on floor at the DTB Cup

Before I go into the details, the news and how this affects world rankings. Results are at the bottom. This event was only televised in China as far as I know, but video of Cheng’s three victory routines is available on youtube from WangXiangu.

News:

  • Anna Pavlova was hurt on beam with torn ligaments in her knee
  • Yang Yilin came back from her problem on bars in qualifications to take third on beam and floor
  • Australia’s Lauren Mitchell performed extremely well, taking silvers on beam and floor
  • Cheng’s floor win moves her into first place in the world rankings

Rankings:

Fei will remain second in the vault rankings, unable to overtake Oksana Chusovitina’s giant lead. However, it looks like Chusovitina will probably not be able to compete in the World Cup Final in Madrid, meaning Fei will go into that event as the highest-ranked vaulter. Pavlova will remain in third. Aasje Van Walleghem will move into the high teens from a rank of 22.

He Ning‘s finish on bars won’t move her into contention for the WCF. Anastasia Koval, currently 15th, will move up, but she’s behind a number of strong contenders and even long-retired Emilie Lepennec.

Fei’s win on beam will move her ahead of Shawn Johnson and into fourth in the world rankings. She would have gone to the WCF on this event anyway. She will not, however, pass Pavlova, currently in third. Mitchell, currently ranked 27th, will move into the high teens in rank, but that probably won’t do much for her. Yang is not currently ranked in the top thirty.

The big news is that Cheng’s win on floor will move her above Sandra Izbasa into the first rank on floor. Neither Yang nor Mitchell are in the top thirty anyway.

Detailed report:

Bars was competed before vault today, but I’m going to do my discussion in Olympic order. By the way, I’m getting all of my information from the DTB ticker, which was incidentally a nice addition to the organization of this meet.

Cheng and Pavlova, given their start values, were the two to beat on this event, and wound up finishing 1-2. Both competed a a DTY and round-off half-ons with layout front half-offs. Fei completed her DTY with a small step for a 15.125 and also performed a solid second vault. Pavlova finished with a substantial enough step on the Yurchenko to finish with a 14.700 and a fall to the knee on the half-on layout front half-off for a 13.400. Aagje Van Walleghem of Belgium competed a Yurchenko 3/2 with a big jump forward on the landing and a well-done half-on piked front half-off to take the bronze. For those not familiar with the name, Van Walleghem has been around for quite some time (she is now 21) and competed at Athens, but missed qualifying to Beijing after a below-par performance at Worlds in 2007. Incidentally, Elena Zamolodchikova competed the same two vaults as Cheng and Pavlova, but with major missteps, including a bent forward landing on the DTY (14.625) and a fall forward on her half-on layout front half-off (13.825). She finished sixth. Despite the highest start value of the day on a laid-out Rudi (6.3), Ariella Käslin finished fourth after falling on the Rudi and competing only a Yurchenko full as her second vault.

Bars was a fairly low-key affair with only He Ningand Koval as legitimate contenders. They both began with 6.9 start values. Kim Bui and Jenny Brunner (6.6 and 6.5 start values) could possibly have competed against them, but had major mistakes and wound up with B-scores in the 7’s. He Ning threw both straddled and piked Jaegers, showed nice el-grip work and finished with a solid double layout dismount. Koval, the fifth-place finisher in Beijing, performed a piked Hindorff, a Stadler full-in to a high Tkatchev and a stuck double front dismount. The Germans, Brunner and Bui, placed third and fifth. Brunner performed a piked Jaeger and a layout front with half-twist dismount. Bui went from fourth in qualifications to fifth in finals after a problem on the low bar despite a nice Shapashnikova and a good Geinger with a Tsukahara dismount. Note that Yang probably would have been in this final if it hadn’t been for a fall on a 1.5 pirouette and a few steps on her dismount in qualifications.

The beam final finished in A-score order, with Cheng on top and Australia’s beam specialist Lauren Mitchell taking silver. Yang, depsite the problems on bars, came back for a third-place finish on beam (and floor, see below). Cheng had no major errors despite a step sideways on her 2.5 twisting dismount dismount, though she had some small steps, notably on her standing pike. Mitchell continues to do the squat double turn, which I hate, and had a problem hafter her layout stepout layout back, but finished solidly after perofrming a good aerial to two feet and a standing front tuck and a flick-flack to double pike. Yang performed an Onodi flip-flop layout step-out combo and had no major errors except a small step on her 2.5 twisting dismount. Yulia Lozhecko was wobbly on her front aerial to scale and side somis and performed only an OK double pike dismount to finish sixth. Most importantly and sadly, Pavlova had some major wobbles during her routine, including on the full turn, and fell on her dismount, injuring her knee.

Maybe the biggest news on the floor final is that Bui tied with Yang for third. Yang went OOB on her 2.5 twist and underrotated her triple twist mount. Apparently her triple turn was very pretty, and was quite nearly a 3.5. Bui performed a Tsukahara with a small step and nailed her 2.5 twist to layout with a half, 1.5 forward twist and double pike dismount. Cheng took first, as noted, with a piked Tsukahara, triple twist, 1.5 twist to full and a 2.5 twisting dismount. Mitchell finished second with a piked Tsukahara (OOB), a double Arabian, a nice double twist and a double pike dismount, all with generally strong landings, but fell out of her triple turn. Daniele Hypolito was a disappointment, finishing wiht a score in the 12’s with a double pike mount and an underroted 2.5 twisting dismount.

Vault

1. Cheng Fei (CHN) 14.900
2. Aagje Van Walleghem (BEL) 14.275
3. Anna Pavlova (RUS) 14.050

Bars

1. He Ning 15.350
2. Anastasia Koval 15.050
3. Jenny Brunner 14.150

Beam

1. Cheng Fei (CHN) 15.425
2. Lauren Mitchell (AUS) 15.150
3. Yang Yilin (CHN) 15.075

Floor

1. Cheng Fei (CHN) 15.250
2. Lauren Mitchell (AUS) 14.675
3. Yang Yilin (CHN)/Kim Bui (GER) 14.075

Full results are available here.

According to this article, Ksenia Semenova, reigning World uneven bars champion and fourth-place finalist in the all-around in Beijing 2008, is currently hurt and unable to train. The article says that she may miss the World Cup Final in Madrid in December.

Apparently Semenova saw a German doctor about this hand/wrist problem, but the recovery time is unclear and she is now taking medication for the pain. The article mentions that they have been working out some new routines, but that they are essentially completely sparing any possible trauma to Semenova’s hand.

Ksenia Semenova

Ksenia Semenova

This really is too bad. When Semenova won over Nastia Liukin at the 2007 Worlds, lots of people seemed bitter because they thought Liukin’s routine was more refined. But Semenova had higher difficulty and prevailed. By the time of the Olympics, Liukin and several others had passed Semenova in difficulty level. But honestly the last laugh was Semenova’s, because she had been dismissed as a bar-and-beam specialist, and then wound up stunning us with a fourth-place finish in the all-around. Her floor was actually quite adorable, if a little immature and with a music selection not to my taste. I seriously want her back in competition!


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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