Monthly Archives: May 2008

What’s Going on at the Moscow World Cup

Here are some reports (mostly scoreless) from the qualifying rounds of the 2008 Moscow World Cup. You can also youtube it up here.

  • Sui Lu fell on both beam and floor. I believe she still qualified to beam finals though. I think the score was in the 15.100 range. I wonder if this hinders her Olympic chances. Her beam was solid though other than the fall which I think happened on a flipflop-layout.
  • Deng Linlin also fell during her beam routine. On a side-somi. Everything else looked pretty good. She still got I believe a 15.425.
  • Lauren Mitchell lead the qualifications on beam. 15.700. Nice. She got a 13.925 on floor.
  • Ksenia Semenova is 2nd on beam with a 15.500. I like that girl. I think she is going to end up in the beam finals in Beijing.
  • Anna Pavlova did well. From what I understand she qualified into both vault and beam finals. Supposedly didn’t want to do floor because she didn’t like the way it felt. Her beam was nice. I watched it.
  • Dasha Joura supposedly got a 14.550 on floor. I wonder what went wrong there.
  • Jade Barbosa– 15.250 on beam and a 13.950 on floor. I believe she still qualified even with that score.
  • Ksenia Afanasyeva got a 14.125 on floor.

Advertisements

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Buying Gymnastics Meets

I just wanted to throw it out there if anyone is interested.

If you want to own pretty much any broadcast of a gymnastics meet, you can. Click here to look at a great store of my “gymnastics dealer”. Her email is on there and whatnot if you want to purchase anything.

Let me just say that this site and the person who runs it is awesome. She is quick and friendly. Plus, all her listings give an honest rating of the quality PLUS a list of exactly who you will see and on what apparatus. Also, she tends to own several different broadcasts of some of the major meets. (For example, I own both the BBC and Eurosport broadcasts of 2005 Worlds). Oh, one of the best things is that her broadcasts are complete and the COMMERCIALS HAVE BEEN EDITED OUT.

I’m not sure if I stated this in an earlier post, but I stated buying gym meets on Ebay, and when I happened to buy one from her, I thought she was really well organized, more honest, and cheaper than other buyers. We then became friends, because she is cool, and prior to starting this site and discovering message boards I had never had a place to discuss the wonderful sport of artistic gymnastics.

What more can I say? She is honest, trustworthy, nicely priced, has an IMMENSE collection, and when new meets come up she gets them awfully quick!

Let me know if there are any questions. Even if you don’t want to buy anything I highly recommend looking at the very vastly awesome collection!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Who Will Be…In Beijing. Event Finals Predictions

So with a few more competitions that have happened recently, a look into whom is virtually locked, should be, and who I want to be in event finals this August.

Vault-

1. Cheng Fei– Duh. She can fall and still qualify.

2. Hong Su Jong– Same deal. If she throws both those 6.5ers she’s in.

3. Alicia Sacramone

4. Oksana Chusovitina

5. Jade Barbosa– Don’t know how I forgot her! Again she throws enough difficulty (and cleanly enough) that I can’t envision her NOT being in finals.

All of the above I would say should be in finals because they have the highest vault difficulty. I cannot even begin to predict the other 50%. But I am hoping for Anna Pavlova, because I want her to be in everything she can be in. Also Elena Zamolodchikova as she is a sentimental favorite.

Bars

1. He Kexin

2. Nastia Liukin

3. Yang Yilin

4. Ksenia Semenova

5. Beth Tweddle

I think those five will be in finals, the first three again could fall and still qualify! Others that I think have a good chance of making it are maybe Steliana Nistor. Maybe Daria Zygoba. How cool would it be if Chellsie Memmel got in there!!!

Beam

These are just my predictions in no order:

1. Shawn Johnson

2. Nastia Liukin

3. Ksenia Semenova

4. Sui Lu (I really think she is going to be on that team)

5. Cheng Fei or another Chinese qualifier

6. Yulia Lozcheko

7. Steliana Nistor

8. Sandra Izbasa?

I really think that the top eight spots will be 2 USA, 2 China, 2 Romania, 2 Russian. Maybe one or two of those not happening and someone from another country getting in. I think it would be awesome if Stefani Bismpikou or Anna Pavlova were in there. NOTE: Someone pointed out in the comments that Pavlova is way awesome and that she is more than just vault finals. Yes, I completely agree. Her style is one of my favorites, and I actually like her on beam the best, I was just thinking in the last post that vault was just most likely for her to make.

Floor

1. Shawn Johnson

2. Alicia Sacramone

3. Cheng Fei

4. Sui Lu or Jiang Yuyuan

5. Sandra Izbasa!!!!

6. Dasha Joura

7. EDIT- Beth Tweddle. She’s in the 6.4 and higher club.

Who else I would really like to see is Daiane Dos Santos. I also would like Vanessa Ferrari to be in there. Yes, I am a Ferrari fan. I like her on floor. Yes, I put Joura in there. She just turned in a 6.3 A-score at Australian Nationals and got like 1 15,700! She should be in this final. She better be. I think the 6.5 and above crowd is who will be battling for gold.

Overall, I think Cheng Fei has the best chance to make 3 event finals. That would be so cool if she scored 4 gold medals. 4 medals of any color would be awesome.

This was rather quickly typed. I am so excited about Nationals. I can wait to reevaluate the O-Team predictions after Nationals are over.

By the way, NBC is broadcasting the senior women event Saturday, June 7th from 4pm to 6pm Eastern time. I am wondering, are they doing both days coverage that day? Usually we get 1 hour on one day, and another hour on another day. So I am wondering how they are doing this. Both days, or just a lot of coverage on Day 2 with some flashbacks of the first day. Hmmmm. I swear that the 04′ Nationals was like an hour and a half each day of competition. This is important dammit us gym fans need to see what is going on! So I guess I am hoping for extended coverage of Day 2. Sigh, anyone remember 2005 Nationals? Yes, they only showed the same 4 girls both days.

Whatever, I am excited.

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The He Kexin Age Debate Continues

Wow. Here is an article written in which it is stated that He Kexin in fourteen years old. Please check it out here. Now please keep in mind that this article also says that Nastia Liukin is a three time balance beam world champion (only two, 2005 and 2007) but it is quite interesting to see this.

My new thought about the age falsification is how it is unfair to the age eligible athletes on the team. What if this becomes a huge controversy and suddenly ALL the Chinese are banned from competing. All hypothetical, but it would be awful if suddenly Cheng Fei would be punished from being able to make history on vault and win Olympic medals.

Like I said, I think that the age rule is rotten. The best should be allowed to compete regardless of age, and the rule is unfair when you are not allowed to enforce it amongst everybody.

Who knows. Maybe this will become the “scandal” of the year with gymnastics. Let’s see:

2004- Paul Hamm/Yang Tae Young controversy over the AA gold. And let’s not forget the Men’s high bar where the insane crowd protest actually caused Alexei Nemov‘s score to be changed. Not to mention other scores that experts claimed wrong.

2000- Women’s AA vault set at the wrong height.  EDIT- Duh.  Andreea Raducan‘s gold medal being stripped.

1996- Crowd control? The fact that the cheering for the Americans was so loud Roza Galieva was unable to hear her FX music…TWICE. I am unfamiliar with anything that may have happened on the men’s side.

1992- ? Tatiana Gutsu being put into the place of Galieva? I am not sure if that meets the criteria.

So what will the controversy of 2008 be?

38 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Reflections, Thoughts, and Hopes of the Olympics

The history of my love for gymnastics plays like this:

I always loved watching gymnastics.  My earliest memories were the 1992 games in Barcelona.  Here, I remember rooting for Shannon Miller.  I was 10 years old, and even then I can remember that I had heard of Kim Zmeskal.   I was shocked at all I remember.  I remembered that Shannon scored a 9.912 in beam finals and got second.  I could remember the routine of Kim Gwang-Suk, and I remember the falls of Yang Bo and Lavinia Milosovici on beam, Milo and Lu Li‘s perfect ten’s, etc.

In Atlanta 1996, I remember watching it all and being so excited.  In 2004 I was flipping through the channels and landed on the qualifications.  I again got excited and made sure I watched Team Finals, AA, and EF.  It took me two days to realize why I had no memory at all of the Sydney Games; I was traveling across the country with Drum Corps International, another subjectively scored event.

This is where my obsession was born.  I wanted to know what happened in 2000, I wanted to see World Championships.  I consulted Ebay, where anything you want in the world you can buy.  I began buying burned DVD broadcasts and before long made an online friend who became my ‘gymnastics dealer.’  (Although many of my friends call her my crack dealer due to my obsession).  The more I came in possession of, the more I learned.  I own somewhere around 100 individual discs, and have watched them countless times.  Mostly while eating, and late at night to get my mind of school and analyze something that wasn’t ‘work’.  I watched them over and over to learn about scoring, why certain gymnasts would get deductions though nothing appeared wrong, etc.  (Yes, I am a huge dork, I know)   And now in the age of youtube, I can see whatever I need to see that I don’t have.

So this is the first time I will watch the Olympics with complete knowledge of what to expect, who will be there, who may win.  I can’t imagine how angry I would be if this upcoming Olympics was the Sydney Games.  I would go crazy over the incredibly poor coverage shown.  I would feel cheated.  And I can’t imagine this upcoming event I have waited for four years for to contain a controversy such as the All Around Vaulting Debacle.  I realize I haven’t and can’t prepare for what is out of my hands.  Will there be scoring controversies?  That seems inevitable, as I can’t think of any World or Olympic event that doesn’t contain at least one.

And so now, here are some things in the past that I have been thinking about.

  • Mohini Bhardwaj.  Two things about her.  1.)  She is why I keep reiterating the bubble gymnasts  needed consistency throughout Nationals and Trials.  But Bhardwaj wasn’t even a factor at Nationals.  I wonder if this will happen with anyone else.  2.)  Who else thinks there may have been a scoring error with her FX during Athens qualifications?  9.525 I thought was too high.  Especially since the two performances after that garnered 9.3ishes.  I have conflicting pieces of what her SV was.  From 9.7 to 9.9.  And as far as I know, weren’t all three performances pretty much the same?  (Although sometimes I do not catch flubbed or short dance moves/combos.)  Any thoughts on this?  
  • Courtney McCool.  1.)   Did anyone else think a 9.112 in qualifying was too low on beam?  Yes she bent the hips and broke form on the switch leap- Onodi- sheep jump combo.  But like, that was it.  Anna Pavlova made a break on her Kotchetcova-BHS-layout combo in EF.  Though the  break was not a bend the waist type, she did have the break in her connection, and got a 9.587 and I believe a 10 start value.  2.)  I think she should have been in beam finals over Bhardwaj. 
  • Vanessa Atler.  Would have put her on the 2000 team.  I know she was a headcase and had a major meltdown at trials, but I really think she would have brought in some big scores on vault and floor.  I wonder if it would be different if she were in the now.  This quad.  She is in some ways, the Alicia Sacramone of this quad.  She wouldn’t have had to deal with bars.  And oddly enough, Sacramone used to be a headcase type, but has now transformed into one of team USA’s rocks.  And one thing I would have to say about Atler is on floor when she did dance combos and leaps, her feet STOPPED.  She did not have to take a step or another fluffy jump out of it.  She had nice grace too.   
  • Svetlana Khorkina.  I hate to say it, but I think she was one of the most overscored gymnasts of all time.  And when I say this I mean floor.  Again, she looked so sloppy to me.  She got the benefit of the doubt just too many times.  Her floor score in the 2003 World’s AA (9.675) was ridiculous to me.  I often wondered  if it were more than a coincidence that one of the sponsors was the company that Khorkina modeled for.  Hmmm.  And I think she is crazy if she thought she should have beat Carly Patterson in Athens.  I never cared for Patterson’s attitude, but I always respected her gymnastics.  I did feel bad for her for the Sydney Games.
  • Give Andreea Raducan her medal back.    
  • 2000 Olympics again.  Okay, so Elena Zamolodchikova gets a 9.725 on bars during the AA, and then Elise Ray scores a 9.750 when she throws the never-competed-before layout double double?  Uhhhh, right.  And Elise Ray had some of the most beautiful style and form I have ever seen.  I am not hating on Zamo, she is one of my sentimental faves, and one of the best vaulters of all time.
  • I have never understood what was so great about Ling Jie.  Bar Finals in Sydney she misses handstands, looks sluggish, hops on the dismount.  She always had this sluggishness that I didn’t like and thought looked bad.  Something about how she did her kips bothered me too.  In EF, she hops on the dismount.  Now Yang Yun I thought should have had the silver.

These are just some random things I have always questioned.  By all means, give me insight I am lacking.  In closing, here is my wish list for Beijing…

  • NBC- Please show EVERY American competing during all events.  Do the same for China.  I want the broadcasts for Team and AA to be 2 hours + long.  Yes.  Please Al Trautwig, shut up for the most part and don’t say anything dumb.  Andrea Joyce, please refrain from asking the following questions, “Can you take us through the night?  How did you feel?”  “Did you ever expect this?”  And don’t start trying to get people to talk junk about another.  Oh, I also want some nice fluff pieces.  And show ALL EIGHT finalists during EF.
  • A Team and AA Final where the top 6 hit.  I can dream.
  • No scoring garbage please.
  • Set the equipment right.
  • Cheng Fei, please do well.  I want you to have that vault gold very much.
  • Shawn Johnson not to fall and make AA, BB, and FX finals.
  • Chellsie Memmel to make the Olympic Team and maybe even bar finals.  By the way, for the greatest written piece about Memmel’s story click here at Polish 101 who wrote a SUPERB piece on her.
  • Anna Pavlova and Elena Zamolodchikova to make the team and vault finals.
  • Daiane Dos Santos to come back to peak form and make FX finals.  I would love it if she medaled.
  • Vanessa Ferrari back in peak form.  With her double-double.
  • Yang Wei to win the AA.  ( I like him.  Sentimental fave.  Don’t keep up as much with MAG, but this year will be exciting!)
  • Dasha Joura to perform like never before.
  • Oksana Chusovitina to win a vault medal.

That’s all I can think of right now.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Thoughts and Answers to Some of the Comments on this page

There’s been some questions and thoughts on the comments of this blog (which I love, love, love!)  and since I have nothing particular to share I thought I would elaborate and what not.

  • First off, why Jana Bieger has a limited chance on making the Olympic Team.  The wide consensus among gymnastics fans and experts is that Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, and Alicia Sacramone are locks for the Olympic Team.  Since the main priority is the Team Final where 3 up 3 count, the selection will cater to those 12 routines needed.  Among the first half of the squad we have:

Vault- Sacramone, Jonhson, GAP

Bars- Liukin, GAP, GAP

Beam- Johnson, Liukin, Sacramone

Floor- Jonhson, Sacramone, GAP

For the 3 remaining spots on the team, we need to fill 2 gaps on bars, and one gap apiece on vault and floor.  So our weakest showing is coming on uneven bars, which unfortunately is not good since that is China’s strongest event and they will gain at least a point on us based off their difficulty in comparison to the US.

The best solution is to put on power event gymnast, a floor and vault worker, for one spot, and fill the two remaining gaps with two bar workers.  Samantha Peszek is the best choice for spot #4 in my opinion, because she is the 3rd best on vault and now holds the highest difficulty (along with Johnson) on floor.  As another person pointed out, Peszek has had some consistency issues, but I would say Nationals/Trials will pretty much let us know.

Bieger simply does not fill any of these spots.  She is a great vaulter, but not difficult enough.  Same with floor, if she had her 2006 form back I would say she has a better shot.  Her bars difficulty is not enough either.  I do think that she is a good choice as an alternate.  I would put Chellsie Memmel in the same boat if it weren’t for the fact that she just showed a 6.9 and 16.0 scoring routine on bars.

With regards to Chelsea Davis, Darling Hill, and Mattie Larson, I would say the same thing.  Larson has a 6.0 on floor, Hill a 6.1 (I am basing these off the most recent Friendly Meet) and we have 6.2’s and higher from more experienced athletes.  Hill stil has only a yurchenko 1.5 which we need doubles at bare minimum.  For bars, we really need nothing less than a 6.7 and realistically 7.0+ is what we REALLY need.  None of these athletes can match this.  (Or can they?  Does anyone know?)  But there is also the experience factor, experienced  athletes that prove themselves have a bigger shot, though that does not have anywhere near as much pull in the decisions as the difficulty/consistency factor in my opnion.  Regardless of anything though, gymnasts may add more difficulty by Nationals.  High difficulty performed consistently throughout June is going to be what matters.

  • The selection procedures allow for more than just the top 12 from Nationals to advance to trials.  Sacarmone will have no problem proceeding to trials.  Remember in 2004, Chellsie Memmel and Hollie Vise only did two events in Trials, and neither competed at Nationals and petitioned their way in.
  • In regards to the Nastia winning the AA.  So many thoughts.  But here is where I am coming from.  I like gymnastics that are “wow” skills.  I like huge tricks performed cleanly.  Whereas Nastia’s bar routine is loaded, even her beam routine I think isn’t so much.  She has no “F” or “G” skill anywhere in her routines.  She mostly loads with “D”‘s.  “D”s are the very middle skill.  Not one of the easiest, not one of the hardest.  But good respectable skills.  (and of course, the triple off beam will add in an “F”)  This is why I like He Kexin, she does amazing releases that nearly no one does.  But she does do some pirouettes.  (Li Ya had an amazing combination of both)  Mo Huilan and Kim Gwang-Suk type routines were what really would thrill me, stuff no one tends to do.  This is why I respect Johnson so much.  Her bar routine isn’t the best, but even there she is capable of something NO ONE else can perform consistently in their repertoire.

With regards to the twisting only elements on floor, it is not that I don’t like twisting combinations, but again, I think to be really good at an event you should show variety.  Nastia does not hold enough variety for me to think she is great at that event.

In regards to the old code, you could get away with scoring too high much easier.  Let’s first establish that regardless of the code, gymnasts with the reputation so very often get the benefit of the doubt.  This applies to a lot of gymnasts.  In the old code you could also get away with only twisting elements on floor.  I realize Nastia had won numerous competitions, but in 2005 Nationals remember her floor on one day was overscored because she was given difficulty not in her routine.  The only competitions I can think of her winning under the new code, were SCAM 08′ and Nationals 06′, which caused a lot of debate because many thought Natasha Kelley should have won.

I am not saying anyone is right or wrong, I just wanted to explain where I was coming from.  I like Nastia, I just don’t think she is the best at the All-Around.  Top Ten, but not top three.  And yes, I do agree, Nastia is better at floor than Sacramone and Cheng Fei appear to be on bars.

  • Lastly, Lilia Podkopayeva was the last triple crown winner: 1995 Worlds, 1996 European and Olympic Champion.  I did think at one time that Shawn would be that if she won in Beijing, (counting 07′ Worlds and Pan Am’s) but when I think about it the Pan Am’s can’t hold a candle to the Europeans 🙂    

I wrote this in a few sections and ran away from the computer a LOT.  So if there are mad grammatical errors or totally incomplete thoughts I apologize.  I don’t have time really to blog, but I really wanted to write a new post.

Thank you everyone for all your comments and opinions.  It’s so nice to hear it all and know it’s all out there.  I think we should make a huge petition to send to NBC that we want more gymnastics coverage, and if you broadcast Beijing even close to the way you did Sydney…a lot of angry gym fans are going to come storm NBC Studios!  🙂

19 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Memmel Makes her Case Stronger and Some (Finally!) Official Scores from the Friendly Meet

Here are some hardcore facts from the recent Friendly Meet. Go to USA Gymnastics webpage to look up more if you like.

Chellsie Memmel!!!!! She won EF bars with a 16.000 and a 6.9 A-score. I am so excited to hear that. Four hit routines in June will buy you an Olympic spot. Her beam is up to a 6.7 A-score. Floor is only a 5.9? Maybe there was a fall or something.

Ashley Priess‘s mystery A-score on bars turns out to be a 6.6. She scores well though. A 15.750 and 15.800. With Memmel going strong the next two meets, I think Priess and Shayla Worley are fighting over the last spot. I think Samantha Peszek has sold her case as the person to fill in the last spot on FX and VT for team finals.

Ivana Hong has only a 6.3 A-score for bars. I do not think she is going to Beijing. Even as the alternate.

Alicia Sacramone had A-scores of 6.8 EF and 7.0 AA for beam. Wow. You are soooo going to Beijing. Her FX A-score (which is rumored to possibly be watered down) is a 6.2.

So yes, to reiterate, Chellise now holds the second highest difficulty value on bars in the country as far as we know. Even if every other event is not up to par, should this bar routine continue to be performed cleanly, then I can totally see Chellsie going to Beijing even if for only one event.

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized