Tag Archives: Sandra izbasa

2008 Olympics: Heartbreaks! Event Finals, Night One

So I accidentally saw too many of the results online before I got to watch the broadcast.  I WILL NOT let that happen the next two nights!  I will be banning myself from going online tomorrow until after the broadcast.

My heart broke wide open with the results way too many times tonight…

Cheng Fei–  I cried.  I did.  To hold every major title in the last three years and blow it the night it counts!  Floor was even worse, and oh how I cried for Cheng.  She should have had 3 golds these Games, and walked away with the only individual medal of a bronze.

Alicia Sacramone–  I WISH SHE WOULD HAVE HAD THE AMANAR!  Another person who has medalled at every event she has entered on vault.  Sigh.  I wonder if she hadn’t been up first….would she have won the bronze?

Three cheers for Oksana Chusovitina!  The highest AA placement ever for her, and during her fifth Olympics.  But more importantly, AN INDIVIDUAL SILVER MEDAL FOR HER!  How glorious!  I am soooo happy for her!  One of the best things to happen.

Shawn Johnson…..when will you earn your gold?  It might not happen.  But I will tell you this, if the Olympics awarded medals in the categories of consistency, maturity, graciousness, and heart….well then Shawn would have gold medals in all of those!  I am rooting for her heavily during beam finals.  It won’t be easy with Nastia Liukin slated to compete right after her.  Her comments in the news are just amazing.  I also think had she and Izbasa switched places in the lineup, so would the medals!

But I have no qualms with Sandra Izbasa winning the gold.  I really like her.  I just wish she didn’t have two full-ins in her routine.  Her reaction was adorable.  Way to go Romania for winning a gold!

Oh, Anna Pavlova!!!!  What is it with Russia and taking a zero on vault?  Then there was her floor routine, which is one of my favorites this Games.  That routine is just gorgeous.  I can only hope her beam routine goes very well for her so that she won’t end the Olympics on a low point.

One of the best things tonight was the fact that NBC showed ALL EIGHT ROUTINES IN FLOOR FINALS!  Now THAT is awesome.

I feel bad for Sasha Artemev.  If he had hit, he would have medalled, no doubt.  A great composition, my favorite of all the pommel workers.

Diego Hypolito also made me cry.  I feel so bad for him.  He is young, so I really hopes he stays around another quad and blows everyone away in 2012.

Marian Dragulescu also made me sad.  I am rooting SO HARD for him in vault finals tomorrow.

I wish Jordan Jotchev hadn’t drawn so soon, I want him to get a gold medal darn it.

Congrats to Xiao Qin. I felt soooo bad for him in Athens.  He was one I really wanted with the gold.

That is all for now.

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Updated thoughts on Event Finals

So now that we are only two weeks from the start of the Olympic Games, I thought I would update what and who of the Event Finals.  After all, we know who is competing minus two spots on the Russian Team which will be announced shortly.  Remember guys, this is just my opinion!

So here is my post from my previous predictions and I will also look at how my viewpoint now varies.

Vault-

The Finalists-  Cheng Fei, Hong Su Jong, and Alicia Sacramone will be finalists.  Period.  There is no way I see them unable to qualify.  I also still think that Cheng and Hong can qualify even if they count a fall (assuming they both do the 6.5 A-score vaults).

Rounding out the other five spots I think will be Oksana Chusovitina and Jade Barbosa, both are very good vaulters, the same which I thought before.  Who else is doing well on the vaulting scene?  I am thinking at least one Russian will be in there, and I think Anna Pavlova is the front runner on that side.  They may even nab another spot, a couple girls featured on gymnast.com have some exceptional DTY’s.

Differences from previous post- Elena Zamolodchikova isn’t going, so she won’t qualify.  Pretty much is the same.  Also, I think an Italian may possibly sneak in there, I have been hearing Amanar rumors about (I think) Carlotta Giovanni.

Guesstimate on the Medalists- Cheng, Hong, Sacramone. (No specific order)

Uneven Bars-

The Finalists- Without a doubt I think Nastia Liukin, He Kexin, and Yang Yilin will qualify.  I also think that Beth Tweddle, Ksenia Semenova, and (probably) Steliana Nistor will find themselves in there.

That leaves two spots left.  I think Marie Sophie Hindermann and Chellsie Memmel will do it.  The British have been getting a lot better on bars so maybe they will change this.  Who knows.

Differences from previous post- Seems I replaced Memmel for the thought of Daria Zygoba.

Guesstimate on the medalists– He, Yilin, Liukin.  (No specific order)

Beam-

Finalists- Without a doubt I think Shawn Johnson and Li Shanshan will make finals.  Rounding out the other six spots I think there will be one more American, two Russians, two Romanians, and probably another Chinese.  Although I would normally put Nastia in there automatically, I am not so sure anymore.  Memmel and Sacramone are capable of scoring higher due to higher A-scores, but we will have to see because I don’t think they can match the execution scores of Liukin.  I also can’t speak about how scoring will ride in Beijing because it always seems to vary.  The last World Championships seem to favor difficulty, but I have a feeling execution may be weighed a bit more.  Two Russians in the spot are between Pavolva, Semenova, and also Lyudmilla Yezhova  Grebenkova (if she is selected onto the team).    Steliana Nistor and Sandra Izbasa have room to sneak in there.   For the last Chinese member I would say Deng Linlin or maybe Cheng Fei.  I think there is room for Australia’s Lauren Mitchell to come in there and bump someone out of this lineup.

Differences from previous postYulia Lozechko and Sui Lu are not on the teams, so aren’t qualifying.  And orginally I didn’t factor in Pavlova.  I also mentioned Stefani Bismpkou whom I now don’t think will qualify but would LOVE to see qualify.  Mitchell wasn’t in my orginal post either.

Guesstimate on the medalists- Johnson, Li, 2nd American (No specific order)

Floor-

Finalists- Shawn Johnson, Cheng Fei, and Sandra Izbasa  WILL be in this floor final.   I don’t have Sacramone in there because at this point I think it is questionable that she will even make it!  It is quite possible (if all the upgrades do make that 6.5 or 6.4) for Memmel to bump her off the line here.  Now, if Sacramone upgrades (I hear her score will be at least a 6.4) then with clean routines I think Sacramone will be the one with the higher execution scores.  Regardless, one more American besides Johnson will advance to finals.  So there is half the lineup.  Others who have a shot at this final in my opinion are Daiane Dos Santos, Anna Pavlova, Dasha Joura, Beth Tweddle, Jiang Yuyuan, or even Yang Yilin.  I can’t think of anyone else, I hear Cassy Vericel is still limping around.  I don’t think Vanessa Ferrari will make it due to her foot making her A-score lower.  Out of those mentioned above, I would like to see the last four spots got to Dos Santos, Pavlova, and Joura.  I didn’t pick a last person.  I am not sure.  And I keep thinking I am missing someone key.

Differences from previous post–  Not much.  Sui Lu was mentioned as a possibility and that’s not happening.

Guesstimate on the Medalists- Cheng, Johnson, Izbasa.  (No specific order.  Note:  How happy I would be if Dos Santos won.)

Without a doubt it is going to be a blast.  I can’t decide which EF I am most excited about.  Here is what I am generally looking forward to most in each event:

Vault-  Cheng Fei.  Hands down.  I want Olympic Glory for her.  Sacramone doing her absolute best, and of course the anticipation of her Amanar.  Chusovitina competing her last moments in her final Olympics.

Uneven Bars-  The race between the 7.7 A-score Club.  Without a doubt.  And because I am really thinking Memmel will be in the lineup, another lovely Memmel moment.

Beam-  Shawn Johnson competing.  Beam is also my favorite event usually.  It’s the event with the most adrenaline for me to watch as it is the make or break event.  I really want Shawn to win gold here.

Floor-  Cheng and Johnson again make this for me.  But the list of competitors that I have the potential to see makes it quite thrilling.  Remember, I am one of those who loves the sentimental favorites.

I can’t believe it all starts in just two weeks.  By the way, I have no idea what the text did to itself in this post.

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What’s Going on in the World of Gymnastics Right Now

I have been vacationing since Thursday and have just caught up on the gymnastics scene.

It is now 32 days until the Olympic Games begin and there are numerous things going on in the world of gymnastics. Here are the random things going on that have caught my interest…

Russian Cup Happenings-

Russia has the potential for a GREAT beam lineup in Beijing. Anna Pavlova won the Russian Cup with a 16.075, followed by Lyudmila Grebenkova with a 16.000, and Yulia Lozhecko with a 15.925, that’s pretty solid! It looks like Pavlova is really pulling it together. She has the potential to make both beam and vault finals, and it would also be great to see her on floor as her new routine is very pretty.

Russia announced their training squad which is Ksenia Afanasyeva, Kristina Goryunova, Lyudmila Yezhova Grebenkova, Svetlana Klyukina, Yekaterina Kramarenko, Yulia Lozhechko, Anna Pavlova, Kristina Pravdina, Ksenia Semyonova and Daria Yelizarova. The biggest shocker of course is that Elena Zamolodchikova is not apart of the training squad. That is really sad. I wanted to see her in a 3rd Olympics. Furthermore, I am a sucker for the sentimental stories and veterans which is why I would have loved seeing her on the team.

Other news in the world includes the Mediterraneo Gym Cup. For results of the Russian Cup and this event click here. Two stories have stuck out that I feel like discussing;

Daiane Dos Santos. First off, go watch her routine on youtube. She has improved A LOT on floor since the last event I watched her in. Speaking of sentimental favorites, she is also one. I believe that she is one of the best tumblers in WAG of all time. It is great to see her look this fantastic. Please note that the consensus among gym fans is that this meet was scored quite low, which makes sense because I don’t know how this floor routine received a 8.3 B-score. Although a couple of things got devalued, this is MUCH improved, and tumbling is getting close to being back to par. Dos Santos has also stated that she is upgrading more. Someone who performs only “E” or higher tumbling passes is just awesome. I hope it looks that way. I REALLY want her in Finals this August.

Vanessa Ferrari. Oh dear, what is going on? Vanessa has told Italian newspapers that her foot is just too damaged, and won’t be at her best for Beijing. I strongly believe that she will not medal. I really feel bad for her because I like the fact that someone was succeeding from a non-power country like Italy. I am also Italian so maybe I am biased. I wasn’t her biggest fan but I loved her 06′-07′ floor routine. I know I am in the minority with that one.

I am not a fan of Sandra Izbasa‘s floor routine. That’s right I said it. I don’t know why, but it doesn’t appeal to me whatsoever. But I really like Izbasa.  She and Rebecca Bross are my favorite twisters. (And I think Cheng Fei and Ivana Hong are among the prettiest twisters).  However, my own biased opinion does not like the fact that she does two full-ins.  It looks like the same skill to me.  I don’t mind a piked and tucked arabian; the aesthetic is much different between the two, and therefore more appealing.  Again, just my opinion.

On the men’s side, Marian Dragulescu is back and that makes me happy.  He is one of my favorite MAG’s.

Also, very interesting concerning the Chinese age-falsification debate;  to see a Chinese gym site, please go into the previous post, “Who Will Get the Last Spots….” and look at a commented submitted by David.  There is a link to see the athletes.  And as a comment from Catherine pointed out, there are some interesting birthdays on there.

That’s all for now!

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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.

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European Championships have started

Qualifications of the European Championships are completed. I am excitedly awaiting videos to start pouring out of Youtube. Here is what I have noticed thus far by looking at the numbers and messageboards.

2. Romania’s Sandra Izbasa scored a freaking 15.700 on floor! Other than Cheng Fei‘s 15.875 in 2006 event finals, I have NOT seen a LEGIT score that high on floor! Unbelievable. I hear that her A-score is 6.4. I wonder if A) that is correct, and B) What she may bring to Beijing!

3. Italy’s Vanessa Ferrari qualified 2nd in the AA, and DID NOT qualify to floor finals! She is the #1 reserve though. I love her on floor, though I have heard she hasn’t been doing the double-double which better be back for Bejing!

4. Several injuries. France’s Isabelle Severino tore her Achilles I think, and a Romanian went down.

5. Great Britain’s Beth Tweddle has a new combo I am excited to see on bars, which she qualified 1st into, with a 15.975. World Champion Ksenia Semenova of Russia qualified 2nd with I THINK a 15.875. A messageboard stated that both Tweddle and Semenova appeared to have watered down routines, and hopes they are saving themselves for EF. ME TOO!

6. What the hell is with the name Ksenia in Russia? I have never heard another gymnast having that name and now they have 2! Of course we once had Olympic squads with two Dominiques, then we had year of the Courtneys. God, we even had two elite Carlys.

7. Now that I look at more, Ferrari’s A-scores are in the hole here! Damn! 5.7 on floor (was up to a 6.4 at one time), 6.3 beam, (6.6), and I dunno what on bars. I hope she is just taking it easy after all the foot problems.

8. Romania qualified as a team a few points ahead of Russia, followed by Italy. Either one of those teams taking the title will be a big deal….Romania, saying a little, “We’re back! Gold, I missed you!” And Russia, who must redeem after the vaulting zero incident at World’s, “See Romania! We are better! Oh wow, I forgot what Gold feels like.

9. Oksana Chusovitina qualified 1st in vault, YAYY! I heard she has a new vault, maybe a double Tsukahara, which would be cool, she did score an average of a 15. Great. I heard she might be doing a full-twisting double layout on floor too! Dunno yet, but she did qualify to that final as well! yeah, just checked, new vault must be something bigger (thinkin the Tsuk double is right) as her first vault score was a 15.425.

10. Russia’s Anna Pavlova (another sentimental fave) qualified to both Vault (3rd) and floor (7th) but not beam! Crap!

11. Alina Kozich of Ukraine qualified to both beam and floor finals! Yeah girlie!

That’s all for now! COME ON YOUTUBE!

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