Sunday, September 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Aliya Mustafina

One of my favourite Mustafina moment, winning Olympic uneven bars GOLD! Love the Pak to Shaposhnikova stalder 1/2 and her dismount from connection is sick.

Aliya MUSTAFINA UB from javier collados on Vimeo.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Evgeny Grebenkin In as New Russian WAG Head Coach

The new Russian WAG head coach will be Evgeny Grebenkin. He was the main coach for the gymnasts on uneven bars through most of the '09-'12 quad. Source

Grebenkin (to the right) helped Mustafina win UB 2012 Gold.
Alexandrov's contract will expire on Dec 30th and it is unknown if he will continue to coach Aliya Mustafina. Anastasia Grishina has departed from her coach Sergey Zelikson. Alexandrov and Zelikson had some kind of personal beef with each other. It will be interesting to see what will happen to Mustafina and Grishina. Heck, I am interested in seeing how Russia will do in the next quad. Source

Alexander Alexandrov No Longer the Russian WAG Head Coach!

I just saw this article today. Alexandrov was dismissed as the head coach of the Russian women's artistic gymnastic team. He is also the personal coach of Aliya Mustafina. I'm not sure who will be replacing him. Apparently he was a failure because the Russian team was not successful in London. I personally think that's bullshit. Russia's WAG team was pretty successful at the Olympics. I'm guessing the Russian Federation really wanted team GOLD. Source  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana - Banquine Act

Latest Ksenia Afanasyeva News 2012

Afanasyeva did not go on a training vacation trip with the Russian national team. Afanasyeva has been to Mallorca many times before. She's been keeping herself busy though. She recently visited a town called Bogoroditsk, where she visited a rhythmic gymnastic club, a palace museum and park. She was there to show support for the rhythmic program. Afanasyeva, "thanked the students for featured performances and expressed the wish that the school had all the conditions for students to train at full capacity, and then to win the most prestigious competitions." Source

Ksenia Afanasyeva is also organizing a gymnastic competition in her hometown Tula. The Cup Honoured Masters of Sport is a competition to honour the three beautiful famous successful gymnasts that come from Tula. They are Ksenia Afanasyeva, Ksenia Semenova and Maria Zasypkina. The competition will begin in October on the 17-21. It has been noted that Afanasyeva ordered special medals and cups for the competition, maybe she personally designed them? Source 

I thinks it's pretty cool that Afanasyeva is supporting rhythmic gymnastics. She once wanted to be a rhythmic gymnast.

So that's all the news I got so far on Afanasyeva.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just Because

I'm not sure what's going on with my blog but it's back up now hmm. Just some random stuff for today. If a gymnast could dance like this I would be happy forever. Alex Wong is an incredible dancer. Even though this dance clip is old it's still amazing. The Alex Wong video linked me to another dancer I had never heard of, Milena Sidorova. Her spider dance is stunning, I love the creativity of that piece.

Alex Wong- Capture of the Tiger


Milena Sidorova - The Spider

Monday, September 17, 2012

2013 - 2016 MAG CoP Analysis

Edit: The link don't work no more. You can download MAG code from the FIG site.

Here is my analysis of the MAG code of points. If I misinterpreted anything please correct me in the comment section. I am still learning the MAG CoP and will hopefully understand it more by the time 2016 Olympics games rolls around. I compared the the '12 CoP with the new '16 and there seems to be very little changes, which is a good thing for me I guess. I already mildly know how to calculate D-scores for each apparatuses. Vault is obviously the easiest to determine D-scores. I'm most familiar with FX, VT and HB. Men count the top 10 skills. The skills are grouped into 5 different groups and the gymnast must compete one skill from each group. A maximum of 4 skills can only be used from one same group.

Floor Exercise: Not a lot has changed from the old code. By now pretty much everyone knows that only one rollout salto can be performed. The skills from the '12 code and the new one still seems to be the same. Pretty much floor scores will still be closely the same as the '12 code.

Pommel Horse: This apparatus is hard for me to understand. It's kind of like the equivalent to understanding WAG's Uneven bars. From what I can see not a lot has changed from the '12 code. But honestly I don't know enough about PH.

Still Ring: This apparatus still seems the same as from the '12.

Vault: A lot of vaults have been downgraded a point lower. The Shewfelt vault (Yurchenko 5/2 or Amanar) is 5.6, a lot different from the WAG code now. There are three 6.4 vaults, the Yang (3/1 front handspring), Ri (Tsuk dbl tuck 1/1 twist) and Piked Dragulescu. Those three vaults are the highest difficult vaults in this code. I'm going to have to get use to the lower vault D-scores. The calculations for vault finals will be (DVT1 + DVT2)/2 + 10.00 – (VT1 ex deductions + VT2 ex deductions), same as the WAG.

Parallel Bars: The Bilozerchev - Peters, and Dimic are all consider the same elements now. Tsolakidis I is now a G element instead of E. 

High Bar: Not much has changed. The connection value for on bar D/E/F + flight D/E/F or vise versa will now be worth 0.1CV instead of 0.2CV. C+C or more (both flight) is new for 0.1CV. I suspect C+C to be very popular. 

So that's my attempt at analyzing the MAG CoP. From what I understand not a lot has changed. I could be missing some valuable information. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New Balance Beam "Series Bonus"

Edit: The link don't work no more. You can download from the FIG site.

Basically a gymnast will get 0.1 SB for doing 3 connected acro elements in a row. The formula starts with B + B + C or more in any order. The key is to remember the two letter skills for 0.1 and 0.2 connection values.

  • The Formulas for 0.1CV are C/D + D (or more, without rebounding), C + C, and B + E.
  • The Formulas for 0.2CV are C/D + D (or more, with rebounding), B + F (or more e.g B+G), B+D (rebound forward direction only) 
  • These are very important formulas to remember when adding up the series bonus (SB). I know it might sound confusing but bare with me. 
For example the overused D+B+C (Front Aerial + flic flac + laid out step out) will now be only worth 0.1CV instead of 0.2. If you look at the D+B+C it has all the required “series bonus” B+B+C or more in any order. So it will get 0.1 for SB. Now you will have to look at the connection value parts (CV). This was posted in the bullets above. Remember that CV only works for two acro skills, no dance skills. If you look at D+B+C it does not meet the required CV. There is no D+B (forward + backward) connection value and there is no B+C connection value. Therefore no CV is rewarded for doing D+B+C, only the SB will be rewarded. Here is the calculations, 0.1SB + 0.0CV= 0.1 connection point.

  • This is great news for a gymnast like Komova. The famous old school flic flac + laid out step out + laid out step out will now receive a total of 0.2 connection points. Example B+C+C meets SB requirements so add 0.1. B+C no CV. C+C = 0.1CV. So 0.1SB + 0.1CV = 0.2 connection points for difficulty score (D-Score).
  • Another Example, B+B+F dismount. Take Iordache’s RO + BHS + 3/1 Twists for example. B+B+F meets SB requirements add 0.1. B+B = 0.0CV, B+F = 0.2CV. The whole B+B+F will be worth 0.3. That’s good news for some gymnasts.
Edit: I totally misread the CoP. So there will be no CV for dismounts. I think that's a stupid rule. I really like dismounts in connections for more value. IMO there really is no point in doing connection dismounts now. You'll only get 0.1 for SB, that's lame.

I really like the SB formula. This SB thing might also make a lot of older gym fans happy. We’ll most likely see a lot of old school combos coming back e.g lots of laid out step outs in connections.

2013 - 2016 WAG CoP Analysis

Edit: The links don't work no more, boo. You can all download from the FIG site.

Alright, so I got a chance to read the women’s new 2016 CoP. I’ve read some of the men’s CoP but I don’t even know where to begin in discussing that code. I only understand men’s floor, vault and high bar. I probably won’t make a MAG post. You might get bored to death reading my analysis but here goes nothing.

Vault: Not much has changed from the provisional one. The calculation for vault finals will be (DVT1 + DVT2)/2 + 10.00 – (VT1 ex deductions + VT2 ex deductions). The most difficult vaults have been devalued. 

  • Cheng 6.5 to 6.4
  • Rudi ( FHS 1 ½ ) 6.3 to 6.2
  • Produnova (FHS 2/1 Tucked) 7.1 to 7.0
  • Tsukahara 2 ½  6.7 to 6.5
  • Amanar (Yurchenko 2 ½ ) 6.5 to 6.3 – This is good because a team with all Amanar vaults will not have a huge advantage. This will also be good for the AA competition and maybe vault finals.
  • Mustafina (ro 1/2 on fwd 1/1 twist) 6.1 to 6.0

Uneven Bars: Connection Values (CV) are a bit simpler to understand now. There are three formulas.

  • D+C or more (low bar to high bar only) will still be 0.2CV. An example would be shaposh (D) + clear hip 1/2 (C).
  • D+E (both flight elements) will get 0.2 CV. For example, Beth Tweddle’s signature move Toe-on Tkatchev to mix el grip (F) + Ezhova (D) will get two tenths. Another example, Piked Tkatchev to Pak Salto (E+D) 0.2CV.
  • The E+E connection has been removed. I actually liked the E+E pirouettes that the Chinese were doing. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chinese will still do them. It will still get 0.1CV because of the D+D or more rule. It seems that FIG is trying to encourage more high flying release skills and less connection bonus value. One skill that I am disappointed to see not get upgraded was the Seitz (Toe-on Shap 1/1 to high bar), it is still an E and should be at least F in my opinion.
  • The Shushunova will now be an E element. It used to be a G.

Balance Beam: There have been some significant changes here.
  • Some mounts have been upgraded to one letter higher. Most of these mounts will probably never be used anyway, like a round off flic flac ½ walkover forward. It used to be a C now it’s a D element. Also if you add a full twist it will be E instead of a D.
  • Remember all the front tuck mounts in the 90’s? God I got so bored of seeing them but kind of missed them now. Well they have been upgraded to D’s and the Pike to E (à la Alicia Sacramone’s mount). I feel like the FIG is bringing back the 90’s code. I just hope the skills and CV won’t be overused.
  • Kochetkova (flic flac 1/1 twist) and Gainer flic flac 1/1 twist have been upgraded to E’s. I really like those skills. The catch is that 3/4 of the twist must be finished before hands touching the beam. I could see a gymnast doing Kochetkova/Gainer 1/1 + flic flac + laid out step out (E+B+C) for 0.2CV, beautiful series. EDIT: These two skills have both been downgraded back to D.

Connection Values for beam got a little bit more confusing. If you’re already having trouble with connection values (CV) you’ll be even more confused because there is a new “series bonus” (SB). Example (CV+SB=)! It took me awhile to understand it but I finally get it. I’ll explain more about it in a new post: Click Here

  • Most of the connection values are pretty much the same from the ’12 code.
  • New CV combos are mixed ones. D(salto) + A(Dance) 0.1CV e.g. Front Aerial (D) + Wolf Jump (A). D + D 0.2CV e.g. Onodi + Sheep jump, Front aerial + Sheep Jump etc. 

Floor Exercise: Not much has changed. Most of the connection values are still the same.

  • Remember how the provisional CoP had 0.3 CV? Well there will be no 0.3 CV. I’m HAPPY to see it not being approved, YAY.
  • There will still be an “H” value on floor. H skills will be the tucked double double and full twisting double layout
  • Some dance elements have been upgraded too. I’m not sure if any gymnasts will actually do them though. Cat leap 2/1 and tuck hop/jump 2/1 are now C elements. The split ring leap is now C, basically it is the same value as the switch ring leap. I suspect that most gymnasts will just do the split ring leap now. EDIT: some cat leaps have now been removed from the CoP.
  • The D (Salto) + A (jump) is here to stay. I must say that when a gymnast performs the D+A well, it can look pretty but most of the time I hate them. I mostly hate backwards D saltos with A jumps because they look a bit awkward, especially when not performed well. EDIT: D (salto) + A (jump/dance) must be D+B. E (Salto) + A (dance) is allowed.
  • The connection turns will materialize. So D + B (with step allowed) or B + B (no steps allowed). I hope to see some creative spin combos e.g. Memmel + Illusion or Double L-Turn + Illusion. Although we could be in for some disastrous combos.
  • The gymnasts are now allowed “one” lunge step.

FIG talks a lot about artistry for beam and floor in this CoP. If you read the ’12 CoP there is barely any mention of artistry. In the new code, artistry is the first thing mentioned for beam and floor. I think artistry should be taken very seriously. I love that FIG stated artistry first for beam and floor rules.

I mostly talked about the skill upgrades and the D-score. There is still a lot more to the CoP, like execution. The CoP is very difficult to understand. I pay more attention to how a gymnast builds their difficulty scores because it is less subjective than the execution scores. Plus I find D-scores more interesting than execution deductions. Execution can be very subjective and sometimes I feel really obnoxious when I nitpick at a gymnast’s flaws.

To make it short a judge is only allowed to take 0.1/0.3/0.5 and a full point (falling off apparatus) off each skill a gymnast does. There are other special deductions like 0.8 on vault. There are a lot of little details as to how a judge can arrive to a skill getting 0.1/.3/.5 deductions. I won’t go into these details because then my post would never end.

Usually when I watch a gymnast perform I can naturally tell if she/he performed a good executed routine. Toes pointed, legs together, nice amplitude, straight arms/elbows, no crossed feet/legs in twists, good landing positions etc. A bad performance would obviously be not performing like the above list, wobbles, wobbles, wobbles, out of bounds, uncontrolled landings, sloppy form, not hitting handstands, deep landings, heavy laboured bar work, hesitations, takes long to perform a skill, lack amplitude, lack of precision etc. The execution deductions can be found on page 28 in the CoP.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

New '13-'16 MAG & WAG CoP

Edit: The links don't work no more, boo. You can all download from the FIG site.

Okay, I haven't been able to read the two CoP yet because I've been super busy. I might make a blog post about the CoP if I can find time.

Here are the two CoP :), MAG & WAG 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

News Roundup

According to New York Post Olympic AA bronze medalist Danell Leyva might join Broadway's Spider-Man show, lol.

Aliya Mustafina will definitely go for Rio 2016. If Mustafina makes it to Rio 2016 she will be 21 at the games and will be turning 22 that year. The article also talks about her University plans. Education seems like a big commitment for her right now. She plans to compete at the Universiade (University) Games in Kazan, Russia. Her next 2012 competition should be the Stuttgart Cup in Germany (Dec. 1-2). Hopefully she will compete :).

Anna Dementyeva is not over yet, YAY! She will be competing at the 2nd Mexico Open (Oct 11-13). This was the same competition where Afanasyeva won the inaugural Mexican Open in 2011. Dementyeva will be joined by Russian MAG David Belyavskiy. Other competitors, Sergio Sasaki (Brazil), Luis Sosa, Yesenia Estrada and Ana Sofia Lake, all from Mexico. Other countries that confirmed their place in the competition are USA, Italy, Australia and Colombia, there is no official roster yet.

According to People Magazine Gabrielle Douglas will write a book called, Grace, Gold and Glory, My Leap of Faith. I think I'll pass. 

Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Anna Pavlova. She turned 25 today. She will always be remembered for her elegance and ZERO vault. She should have known better!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ksenia Afanasyeva, A Politician Now?

According to this Russian news source, Afanasyeva has joined a political party group.
In an interview with news agency "Tula news" Afanasyev said:
- I want to help my family in Tula, and that's why decided to join the party and participate in elections.
And not always do I stay in the sport.

Afanasyeva seems like an intelligent woman and will surely have a successful life after gymnastics. She has not confirm any gymnastic retirement news yet. She is still unsure. I really hope she sticks around. It's really good for the sport when there are actual women in gymnastics.

Afanasyeva also recently visited her old school. She gave a speech and answered questions. To commence the first day of shcool she rang the school's bell. Pics via: CLICK HERE



Sunday, September 2, 2012

Just Because

Deng Linlin's Olympic gold beam finals gif. That's FF (B) + BHS (B) + Layout (E) + Korbut (B), 0.3 connection value. Huge difficulty.

(Source: monigymnastics.tumblr)

Ksenia Afanasyeva's beam combo. Onodi (D) + Side-Somi (D), 0.1 connection value. It took her awhile to perfect that combo. She had always had trouble making the connection but finally mastered it.

He Kexin's Uneven bars. I can never get tired of the Li Ya (Jaeger mixed grip) to Jaeger. That's E + D for 0.2 connection value. Not to mention that she does it after two very difficult pirouette skills. Healy (E) + Ling (E) + Li Ya (E) + Jaeger (D) for 0.6 connection value! I'm probably the only one who likes the E + E pirouettes, they are beautiful and very very difficult to master. Some people are celebrating that it might be removed in the new code but I'll miss it. Sometimes it can make a gymnast look very elegant on bars.