The C Score (2.0)

Posts Tagged ‘Brazilian gymnastics scandal

Amidst the turmoil of a major gymnastics coaching scandal, the Brazilian Gymnastics Federation has made a largely lateral move in electing Maria Luciene Resende as its new president. Resende replaces Vicelia Florenzano, who has been president of the CBG for 17 years. The news is announced here by Globoesporte

Vicelia Florenzano, right, with Simona Amanar and Yelena Davydova, at the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, where she received the International Order of Merit in 2007

Vicelia Florenzano, right, with Simona Amanar and Yelena Davydova, at the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, where she received the International Order of Merit in 2007

Resende was previously the president of the Sergipe Gymnastics Federation and has served as Florezano’s second-in-command as vice-president of the CBG since 2006. To be fair, the other choice, Marco Martins, is the current president of the Brasilia Gymnastics Federation (of the capital city of Brasilia, not to be confused with the CBG) and was vice-president of the CBG until Resende took over, so neither choice would have been radical.

Resende won by 13 votes to 5. This might not be surprising given that Martins was the previous vice-president of the CBG, leaving in 2006 due to differences of opinion, presumably at least partly with Florenzano.

Naturally, the main goal for Resende will be to “clean up” the image of the CBG following Jade Barbosa’s accusations that she had been submitted to an overly difficult training regimen (amongst other things), an accusation that was backed up by Daiane dos Santos and Lais Souza. Barbosa has since moved from Curitiba, site of the national training center, to train with Daniele Hypolito, amongst others, in Rio de Janeiro.

Resende has said that dialog is the best soution to the problem. On the other hand, Resende is up for leaving Irina Ilyashenko, Oleg Ostapenko’s former assistant coach, in charge of the national team. (Ostapenko returned last month to the Ukraine after declining an offer from Russia.) She also was less eager than Martins to devolve power to the regional clubs. Like Martins, she has also been quite praising of Florenzano, which would have made sense earlier — given that it was under Florenzano’s leadership that Brazil took its current place on the gymnastics map — but seems somewhat discouraging given recent events. Usually one tries to distance oneself from incumbents that have presided over scandal. Then again, if gymnastics politics can be described as anything, it would be as a patronage system.

If you want to compare the views of the two candidates, you can do so here, from UOL Esporte. Martins has been much more detailed in his proposals, with Resende’s limited to finding new talent, choosing good gymnasts, and having good coaches and referees (um, duh?).

Either way, it seems we’ll have to wait to see what changes Resende will bring, since she was even less forthcoming than Martins about how she would like to restructure the CBG and the training program.

For those who are still sketchy on the details of the Brazilian coaching scandal, it goes like this: Barbosa accused her coaches of overtraining her in preparation for the Olympics. These allegations were substantiated by dos Santos and Souza. Meanwhile, Ostapenko took off for Ukraine, leading somewhat of a leadership void — at least in the gym — anyway. Then Barbosa moved to Rio de Janeiro. Barbosa, dos Santos and Souza are are all injured. The only one who seems to have escaped both scandal and injury is Hypolito, who will compete at the World Cup Final next week. For the full drama, see And Now a Brazilian Scandal and The Brazilian Scandal: Part II on Triple Full.

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According to this article in Globoesporte, Jade Barbosa is happily training in Rio de Janeiro after leaving what she claims was an abusive atmosphere in Curitiba. She was also recently told by doctors that her wrist has good chances for recovery.

She says:

Technically, it is not different from Curitiba, but I am closer to my family and friends, and that makes all the difference.

Sounds like she really has quite the life now, hanging out with the Hypolito siblings, going to the spa, going shopping.

Daniele Hypolito and Jade Barbosa

Daniele Hypolito and Jade Barbosa

I’m happy to hear it. I really like Barbosa, and I’d be very happy to see her back competing soon.

I haven’t really done justice to the Brazilian scandal, but Triple Full has some great stuff on it. Read it here.

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.

The DTB Cup starts on the 14th, and the start list reveals the first truly big-name competition since the Olympics. Naturally, the Americans are going to go ahead and send … no one … but here’s some people to look forward to:

Australia:

  • Lauren Mitchell: An Australian with a skill named after her in the upcoming CoP! (It’s a jump to chest stand to chest roll with a 1/2 turn. She performed it at the Olys.) Mitchell’s a star on beam: she matched Monette Russo’s fifth-place finish at a Worlds on that apparatus, and earned a silver at the Good Luck Beijing event. She also took silver on this apparatus at last year’s DTB! Mitchell underperformed on BB in qualifications at Beijing, but scored a respectable 15.550 in TF.

Brazil:

  • Daniele Hypolito: Well, Brazil has sent someone to DTB despite a fairly major scandal a-brewing back home. Of course, Hypolito left the national training center at Curitiba to train in Rio. But the girl is a legend: seven world championships, including Brazil’s first medal, and three Olympics. She wasn’t on FX in Olympic TF, so I’d be glad to see it.

China:

  • Cheng Fei: Everyone breath a collective sigh of joy/relief. The great Cheng has not yet retired! Honestly, of anyone, she inspires very little but admiration in the gymnastics community, which is saying a lot for people who curse each other over their disagreements about Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin. As Sandra Izbasa said in a recent interview, Cheng is an exceptional athlete and a perfectionist, and on top of that she has heaps of character.” And her FX is great, and I can’t wait to see her vault up to par again. After the Olympics, it became widely known that Fei had been on a punishing diet for nearly a year leading up to 2008. Hopefully this is no longer the case.
  • He Ning: Coming off her win at the Swiss Cup, Olympics almost-ran and member of the 2006 world-champion Chinese team, He brings solid UB and FX to this competition. Note that she was also second in the AA at Chinese Nationals only a few weeks ago. (The Chinese seniors are *deep*!)
  • Yang Yilin: I’m excited to see the newly crowned Chinese national champion and great UB worker Yang return to international competition. Best Chinese finish in the Olympic AA, taking bronze, despite really little international experience. ‘Nuff said. At her first WC event since the Olys, she took first on UB and second on FX.

Russian

  • Yulia Lozhecko: Lozhecko was last seen at Worlds in 2007 watering down her routine on BB (thereby losing her chance at EF qualification) and earning herself a ban from training camps for the rest of the year. She then came bouncing back at her first national competition in February to take gold over the likes of … well, the future Olympians. It’ll be great to see her back.
  • Anna Pavlova: I can’t wait to see some nice floor. I’m so psyched that Pavlova — considered to be the most classical Russian gymnast out there — will be continuing. She’s had a hard career, fourth in the Olympics in 2004, the scratch on the vault for a 0.000 and last-place finish in the 2008 EF, the fourth-place finish on BB. She took first on BB at this competition in 2006, and first on VT in 2004. Honestly, the girl is a solid three-event gymnast, and a powerful and elegant one at that. She’s great.
  • Elena Zamolodchikova: She’s baaaa-ack! She’s never been my favorite, but talk about longevity. Two Olympics, neither of which was 2008. She was in decent form at 2007 Worlds, but the lasting image of her there was sticking her vault after Ekaterina Kramarenko scratched on that apparatus, taking a 0.000 and leaving Russia in 8th. She didn’t quite make it to her third Olympics … is this evidence that she’s considering a FOURTH quad? (Too soon to tell.) She competed at DTB in 2002, taking second on BB and VT; in 2003, taking first on VT; in 2004, taking second on VT; and in 2006, taking third on VT. So basically, it’d be freaking awesome if she won VT again.

Ukraine

  • Anastasia Koval: Koval’s got a great UB routine and a decent start score, though she’ll face stiff and likely insurmountable competition from at least Ning and Yang. She’s young and a good one to watch — only sixteen, and with big international competitions limited so far to 2007 Worlds, 2008 Euros, and the Olympics.
  • Alina Kozich: Kozich is coming off a third-place finish on BB and a first-place finish on FX (with a beautiful routine, although curiously in that French leo with the silly slit down the front) at Glasgow. 2004 Olympian and European champion, and a nice second-place finish on BB at this year’s Euros, but she’s struggled a bit in the past quad. I hope this means she’s continuing!
  • Daria Zgoba: Zgoba has been floating around since 2004, and we know she’s good, but her competition has been really inconsistent. Still, she can be a great UB worker: first at the 2007 Euros, third at the 2008 Euros, and … first at the 2007 DTB! (Not to mention third at the 2006 World Cup Final.)

The full roster is available here.


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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