Tag Archives: ivana hong

2011 Will be an AWESOME Year for Gymnastics

I haven’t blogged in quite awhile, and can someone explain how we are already into the qualifying year of the Olympics?  How did it get here so fast?  I dropped out of blogging and gymnastics news for a good six months following the Olympic Games, feeling no quad would ever top the last…..I was wrong.  So wrong I can hardly believe it.  If you would have told me while I was experiencing postpartum Olympic Depression that the next Olympics would have nearly everyone on the US team making comebacks, Russia being on top, and a true fight amongst the AAers and the Team Final I would have told you that you were delusional.

Now a lot of hardcore fans felt that the last couple of years has been less than thrilling and I beg to disagree.  Why?  Because the 2012 Olympics are going to be very 1996ish.  Oh yes they are.  No matter what, amazing gymnasts are going to be left home due to 5 per country.  Amongst at least the Americans and Russians, an amazing gymnast is going to be left out of the AA because of two per country.  This is just like 96′ and even 00′ for the Russians.  In the US we have Rebecca Bross, Jordyn Wieber, and possibly even Shawn Johnson contending for those 2 AA spots.  Russia has Aliya Mustafina, Viktoria Komova, and Anastasia Grishina competing for their spots.  Prelims will be a battle for simply that reason.

As for the Team Final, I would first like to point out that it was all China and US last quad for the team battle.  Not so for this quad.  China, US, and Russia are all going to be pretty equal most likely.  A lot of people may disagree with this, but look at the splatfest of the 2010 World Team Final.  This WILL be like 1996, you MUST hit, or someone else will and take that spot.  For this we cannot forget Romania, who has a history of taking other countries medals because they hit and others just didn’t.  For the last three Olympics that is exactly what they have done.  Russia’s current top 2 will cover 2/3 of their 3 up 3 count.  Grishina is supposedly upgrading on floor and training a much more difficult vault.  If they come out with all 3 of their AAers capable of being the entirety of their TF, then they have 2 spots left for specialists, no other country can currently match that.  But it is still a long way away and anything can happen.  Russia’s got 2 gymnasts that don’t appear to have dealt with puberty yet, and who knows when that will strike and what it will do to them.

I would also like to point out, when comparing this quad to 96′, that we also have our old-school coaches back.  The soviet coach Alexander Alexandrov has returned and I feel like that is odd that the Russian resurgence aligns with that.  And Ocatavian Bellu and and Mariana Bitang have returned to Romania.  I personally feel that you can see their work in Ana Porgras.  Porgras wasn’t the most consistent gymnast, and since their return tell me you can’t see the improvement on beam.  Consistent as hell, and not to mention her speed, rhythm looks just like your classic Romanian….except Porgras does add her grace 🙂

I claimed millions of times that Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin were never going to compete again, yet here we are with both of them making comebacks.  Nastia IS, for those of you that don’t believe it, we just have to see how much she will come back for.

Another comeback (from injury) that I am eagerly awaiting is what Ivana Hong will bring.  there are rumors of completely revamped bar sets that look GOOD, and there was a small rumor out there of her competing a very 2006 Catalina Ponor series of Onodi+front aerial+BHS+LOSO.  I will believe all these things when I see them, but I have to wonder what Valeri Liukin has done to work his magic.  After only 6 months with Valeri we saw a slightly improved Hong.  And notice the changes in Bross from 2009 to 2010; there were definitely elements in her FX to show flexibility, as well a tiny move on BB to emphasize that as well.  I feel as if many people see flexibility and thus assume artistic so this was a smart move.  Valeri is masterful at hiding weaknesses and showcasing strengths, so I am eager to see what Hong does next weekend at the WOGA meet.

The US has so many people right now that you would think would totally make the Olympics, Bross, Wieber, Alicia Sacramone, Alexandra Raisman, Johnson, Liukin…but right there that is already 6 members.  Raisman is someone I would like to highlight, because the more time goes on the more I like her.  She has proven herself by being an anchor on half the events in team finals as a fist year senior.  She also apparently doesn’t BS us.  The recent video of her at the training camp showed a potential 6.4 beam routine that looked SOLID, not to mention the fact that her leaps look improved!  Anyone watching all the training footage going on at Worlds saw Alicia trying to help Raisman with performance, and I think we are going to see a difference there as well.  I also firmly believe she will have the Amanar back by Nationals at the latest, and I would expect that she is upgrading floor.  With an Amanar, high start values and solid, consistent routines on beam and floor, how can you deny her?  This could spell doom for Sacramone and possibly Jonhson (or ANYONE else that is a 3 event gymnast that doesn’t include bars).  We cannot take more than one 3 event gymnast to the Olympics.  It just doesn’t seem possible.  2 AA spots, a 3 eventer, and I would say the last spots go to bars people.   Keep in mind that there is no way Nastia won’t be included if she is ready to go on bars.  She is too valuable on this event and could be taken for that one spot alone.  However,the number of bars specialist spots depend on what the others are doing.  Wieber does have the potential to get up in the mid 6’s on bars.  If she did, and Bross upgrades which I highly suspect she will, then you have 2 bar sets included in your potential AAers.

But it is still too early to tell.  Things always happen and people unfortunately get injured.  Who knows what will happen?  The point is that there is enough to keep us highly entertained as we watch the pre-Olympic year unfold.

On a side note, I have the Florida Gator Gymnastics team to keep me excited as well, as I watch intently.  I am hoping this will finally be our year.

On a last side note, I am sitting 6th row, center section with a very good friend at the American Cup on March 5th.   I WILL do a blog for that!

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2009 Worlds: Event Finals Commentary

Wow.  So I must say that I have heard a lot of comments about this Worlds being boring.  Um….no.  This was WAY better than 2005 (comparable because there is typically a bit of a lull the year following the Olympics) and I think the quality of gymnastics that we saw we typically much higher than what we usually see after the Olympics.

So let me just say that Worlds interrupted my life a little bit (and happily so).  I was very behind in school work, forcing me to come home directly after the nail biting Gator Football game and write a paper.  I watched the first night of EF until about 4am, and woke up at 7:45am to watch Day 2.  I nodded off during parallel bars a little bit.

But here were the things that made me yell out loud.

1.  Kayla Williams.  Well, her life just changed.  She will definitely be on the next world team.  The first American woman to win a world vault title.  But it’s not just that…..the quickness in which she has improved over the last few months is of Chellsie Memmel quality.  I am also willing to nominate her in the gruop of “Best DTY Vaulters” because I have seen what….5 or 6 DTYs from her and she has stuck….well, like all of them!  Hello the new Vanessa Atler (minus the nerves).  Can we also talk about how awesome her attitude is?  She is all business, and look at the way she runs off the podium when she is done, adorable.  Then she fights back tears.  Hello to one of my new favorites.

2.  Beth Tweddle if this is your last competition I am glad it ends with a gold medal for you.  Nice last pass.  Sad she didn’t make bar finals.

3.  Anna Myzdrikova would have beat Tweddle if not for that last pass.  The whip double arabian was one of the best pieces of gymnastics I have seen in quite some time.  (Or since Kayla’s DTY haha)  The Triple back tuck combo is also something of great originality.  I love this girl’s floor.  I am sad she didn’t come away with a medal.  But her awesome performances put hope into my, ‘Will the Russians reemerge as a gold medal threat?”  i can wait and hope.  bet you she will be on the World Team next year.

4.  Ana Porgras is another person I am excited about.  3 EF’s and some really great style!  Her Memmel turn  on floor is amazing!  Really excited about this girl’s future.  How I wish she wouldn’t have fallen off the beam!

5.  Yay for Marian Dragulescu winning two gold medals!  How I wish this would have been the Olympics!

Side notes-

He Kexin is looking even better.  WOW.

-I wish Ivana Hong hadn’t wobbled all over the place, I think she could have gotten gold.

Rebecca Bross didn’t do the Gogean, she only did a half.  In the AA I thought this was a mistake….was this planned?  Also, I like her double L.  These elements could have made her bronze on floor.

-After Chinese Nationals, I said that if Deng Linlin didn’t fall, she would be world champion on beam.  This happened.

Ksenia Semenova I am hoping just didn’t have enough time to perpare (I also heard she has a back injury, dunno if that is true) which I hope is the reason for her poor showing.  I really like her style.  Also I have that Russian hope for 2012.

Lauren Mitchell is now a force to be reckoned with.  Watch out world.  i am still hoping that Dasha Joura will come back better than ever next year.

-I hope Anna Pavlova is continuing and coming back.

– I am not a big fan of Sui Lu‘s FX.  Sorry.

-My biggest complain is the stupid bonus gymnasts get by doing jumps after passes (like Mitchell’s stag after her double arabian, though she does it nicely).  This completely negates the “stick your tumbles” rule.  Hate it.

-Beam and floor routines are a lot smoother and look better with the code cutting it down to 8 skills.  Much better.

-These execution scores are ridiculous.  Let’s take William’s DTYT score….a 9.175?  I think that was actually the HIGHEST execution score of WAG Worlds.  That should have been like at least a 9.5.  I would take a tenth for the split legs on the preflight, one for the slight crossing of the ankles toward the end.  MAYBE a tenth for distance.  You know what?  Let’s take a tenth for height too.  She lands ON THE LINE so no deduction there.  Okay, well that E-score is a 9.600.  What the heck is with all that anyway?

Here is a list of what I wish would have happened at Worlds….

AA

1.  Bross

2.  Sloan

3.  Porgras

VT

1.  Hong Un Jong (wish she hand’t fell even if I love Kayla)

2.  Ariella Kaeslin (this really happened!!!!)

3.  Mzydrikova

UB

1.  Kexin

2.  Tweddle

3. Semenova

BB

1.  Deng (yay!)

2.  Porgras

3.  Bross

FX

1.  Tweddle (another ‘yes’!)

2.  Myzdrikova

3.  Mitchell (this is actually my favorite routine, but Myz’s tumbles I like better)

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2009 Worlds: WAG Qualifications Results – Rebecca Bross Leads With a Fall

Click here for live updates.

I will update this post all day long.  Turmoil for Bridget Sloan so far, fall on beam and messy floor has her behind Kayla Williams for FX!  Rebecca Bross can probably take away the FX Final spot.  Ivana Hong is currently 3rd on beam with a good routine (think she had a fall on bars)  Deng Linlin also had a good beam set but Romanian’s Ana Porgras leads beam so far!

UPDATES

Beth Tweddle fell and will not be in bar finals 😦  Awwww, and neither will Ksenia Semenova

Even with a bad beam set, not her best floor, Sloan is 3rd in the AA with 2 subdivisions left.  Deng is in second, Porgras 1st.

Sloan may be making bar finals (yay!)  And He Kexin received the only score in the 15’s with a 15.975 on her bar set.  (As a poster on wwgym said; Kexin could stop in the middle of her routine, go have a smoke break, and still qualify, hahahaha).

Yang Yilin will not be in bar finals 😦

Standings after 4 subdivisions (1 more left)

AA

1. Porgras (ROU) 57.300
2. Deng (CHN) 56.350
3. Sloan (USA) 56.075
4. Kurbatova (RUS) 55.950
5. Tsurumi (JPN) 55.925
6. Yang (CHN) 55.500
7. Semyonova (RUS) 54.900
8. Dufournet (FRA) 54.375
9. Morel (FRA) 54.200
10. Bui (GER) 54.175

Vault
1. Kayla Williams (USA) 14.812
2. Hong Un Jong (PRK) – 14.787
3. Ekaterina Kurbatova (RUS) 14.225
4. Youna Dufournet (FRA) – 14.212
5. Brittany Rogers (CAN) – 13.975
6. Marissa King (GBR) – 13.850
7. Jana Komrskova (CZE) – 13.812
8. Valeri Maksiuta (ISR) 13.675

Bars
1. He Kexin (CHN) – 15.975
2. Cha Yong Hwa (PRK) – 15.025
3. Koko Tsurumi (JPN) – 14.775
4. Larrissa Miller (AUS) 14.650
5. Bridget Sloan (USA) – 14.600
6. Ana Porgras (ROU) – 14.475
7. Ekaterina Kurbatova (RUS) – 14.200
7. Serena Licchetta (ITA) – 14.200

Beam
1. Ana Porgras (ROU) – 14.850
2. Kim Un Hyang (PRK) – 14.775
3. Deng Linlin (CHN) – 14.450
4. Ivana Hong (USA) 14.400
5. Koko Tsurumi (JPN) – 14.375
5. Yang Yilin (CHN) 14.375
7. Elisabetta Preziosa (ITA) – 14.275
8. Ksenia Semenova (RUS) – 14.075

Floor
1. Sui Lu (CHN) – 14.275
2. Ana Porgras (ROU) – 14.175
3. Beth Tweddle (UK) – 14.075
4. Deng Linlin (CHN) 14.00
5. Kayla Williams (USA) 13.900
6. Youna Dufournet (FRA) – 13.625
7. Bridget Sloan (USA) – 13.600
8. Ekaterina Kurbatova (RUS) 13.475

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Rumors From World’s Podium Training

Here is the word on the street…

Bridget Sloan has been rocking the DTY’s couple stuck, the full twist on the DLO looks great too.

Kayla Williams doesn’t appear to have thrown the Amanar yet, Rudi is being thrown, legs a bit messy. Changed around floor, triple twist isn’t a a side pass.

Rebecca Bross is looking well, good DTY, a little trouble on bars, but good releases and stuck landings.

-Ivana Hong– late bar turns, low Tkatchev, what’s new? 🙂 I must say I love Ivana though! I will be rooting for her on beam. Hopefully she’s fixed up that full turn!

Training Photos can be viewed here

Also, a really great preview can be found here

I am insanely excited! I will be blogging all throughout Worlds, and I think it is safe to say….”I’m back.” One of my grad school classes is Internet Technology/Instruction and I am learning A LOT! I have to make a customized search engine, and I am going to make a gymnastics one! It will be posted on my site when I am done with it, which will be before midnight on Sunday because that is when it is due!!!

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Get Ready for Worlds!

The US announced Sunday that the World Team will be Bridget Sloan, Rebecca Bross, Ivana Hong, and Kayla Williams.  The alternates will be Kytra Hunter and Mackenzie Caquatto will be the alternates.

A few interesting notes:

-Although placing 1st on bars and 2nd on floor at the Final Selection Camp, Cassandra Whitcomb was not even announced as an alternate.

-Kayla Williams will perform an Amanar and a layout Rudi vault!  In my opinion, if she puts both to her feet, that is a guaranteed medal.  And those vaults can DEFINITELY challenge for the gold.

-Bridget put her full twist back into her bars DLO dismount, and added another jump on beam, and a turn on floor.  I am still wanting her to throw the triple front full if she gets to FX finals (which she should with a clean prelims performance).

-I am wondering if Ivana and Rebecca have upgrades.  I would very much like to see Ivana’s double front back on floor.  She has lost a bit of time to a sore ankle and a bout of the flu.

Can’t wait…Prelims in a week!

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Rio, Chellsie, Russian Juniors, and Other Tidbits

I have been trying to get back into blogging.  I think about it all the time, but quite frankly graduate school is kicking my ass at the moment.

So Rio won the 2016 Olympic bid.  I have family near Chicago and really wanted an Olympic Games in my backyard.

Chellsie Memmel announced her withdrawal from the Worlds Selection.  WHY?  She was rumored to have a 6.7 D score on bars.  Damn it.  I just love Chellsie Memmel and want to see her with as many medals as possible!  She also supposedly had all her skills back on beam….which wouldn’t surprise me anyway.  Sigh, as much as I don’t want to wait, Chellsie is STILL VERY VALUABLE to team USA as long as she’s got bars.  Weird that our once strongest event is now our weakest….

Wuth Memmel’s announcement I am now sure of 3/4 Worlds Team members; Bridget Sloan, Rebecca Bross, and Ivana Hong.  Sloan and Bross will do AA, And Hong will do all but vault.  I see the last spot to go to Kayla Williams for vault only, OR Kytra Hunter (who I would prefer and who will be on UF’s gymnastic team in 2010!) who could possibly take away Ivana’s floor spot.  Either way I don’t think it matters; Bross and Sloan with clean performances will both advance to FX finals.  let’s look these girls possibilities:

Bridget Sloan-  definitely could win AA, has a good chance for UB and FX finals.  UB I don’t even think she will medal (and that’s if she advances) but FX on the other hand I think she could actually win gold on.  ESPECIALLY if she throws the rumored triple front twist.  I think she should, her Randi looked over rotated at Nationals.

Rebecca Bross-  Gymnastically, Bross is my favorite right now.  I love her ‘WOGA arms”, the way she hooks her hand as she goes into round off, and all her beam correography at the beginning to the standing arabian always gets me.  I think some of it needs to be improved on floor, but I love her National Teasure Suite, her bars, etc. etc. etc.  What I DON’T love about Bross is the fact that she is a Wogette.  I can’t have WOGA producing 3 Olympic champs straight; they will rule to the world.  No. No, no, no.  But I still root for her. She has the potential to make UB, BB, and FX finals though I think her only shot of a medal is FX.

Ivana Hong- Has a shot at a beam medal.  That’s about it.  I LOVE her on beam.  She has the prettiest Onodi.  Other than her turn, her switch leap needing a bit of work, and the low chest on the dismount, Ivana’s E score should be good, and a 6 or 6.1 D score is pretty solid.  Unfortunately Deng Linlin has a 6.7 and with a clean routine I think will hands down be the gold medalist.  Watch Deng’s current beam routine here

Kayla and Kytra battle it out mostly through vault.  Whomever has TWO vaults goes.  Rumor is that Kayla has a DTY and a Rudi.  I think she has the edge.  I really would like to see Kytra as a backup floor person in case Bross or Sloan waivers, I love her piked double arabian front.

I will post Worlds Predictions soon.

And my current hope is that for this quad, is Russia is coming back?  I want to see them be gold medal contenders by London 2012.  Aliya Mustafina and Viktoria Komova have both stolen my heart.  They are BAD ASS juniors.  I think they will be eligible in 2011?  God, I hope its next year…..I need to look up that information.  Also, Tatiana Nabieva interests me vault and bars-wise.  Komova and Mustfina could be in the running for the AA podium this worlds had they been eligible…..

That’s it for now.  Time to go slave some more over school.

Ahhhh, I have missed my blog!

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USA Women’s Olympic Team

So congratulations to the following girls-

Shawn Johnson

Nastia Liukin

Alicia Sacramone

Chellsie Memmel

Samantha Peszek

Bridget Sloan

Alternates- Jana Bieger, Ivana Hong, Corrie Lothrop

Go to NBCOLYMPICS.COM or GYMNAST.COM for commentary and info. I can’t blog right now, I want to go out and I have been sitting here for hours waiting.

Congrats girls!

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