Friday, March 29, 2013

Iordache & Zeng 2013 Doha Cup Balance Beam

Larisa Iordache's beam is full of difficulty. Everyone is raving about the two full twist saltos in her routine but I love her dismount, round off + bhs + 3/1 twists :D. She will be a major contender on beam for European and Worlds. I like her beam but she is a bit scrappy with her toes but I generally like her routine more than dislike. I understand that every style is different. Romanians like to move quick on beam and it works for them. I just prefer more slow fluent artistry than scrappy fast paced movements.

D-score 6.7 + 8.8 E-score = 15.5 1st. When I calculate her beam I get 6.8. I'm thinking she lost the front aerial + wolf jump connection but it looked connected enough.

FF + Tuck 1/1 (F) 0.2CV
RO + Layout 1/1 (G) 0.2CV
Switch leap (C)
Switch leap 1/2 (D)
Front Aerial + Wolf + Split Jump (D) 0.1CV
Y-Spin (C)
Side-Somi (D)
RO + BHS + 3/1 Twists (F) 0.1SB

3.7 + 0.5CV + 0.1SB = 4.3 + 2.5CR = 6.8 D-score

Another favourite BB routine I liked was Zeng Siqi. I like the switch ring leap + sheep jump combination. I'm always impress with the Chinese dance element connections. Zeng placed 2nd D-6.6 + E-8.55 = 15.150

FF + FF + Layout + sissone (E) 0.1SB 0.2CV
Switch Ring + Sheep Jump (E+D) 0.2CV
Front Tuck (D)
Front Aerial + Split Jump (D) 0.1CV
Aerial Cartwheel (D)
Switch leap + tuck (C) 0.1CV
Full Turn
RO + dbl Pike (E)

3.4 + 0.6CV + 0.1SB = 4.1 + 2.5CR = 6.6 D-score

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ri Se Gwang's 6.4 Vaults From 2013 Doha Cup

So exciting. There are only three 6.4 vaults in the MAG CoP. Gwang competes two 6.4 vaults! He does his own vault, Tsuk dbl 1/1 and the Dragulescu piked. His execution scores are great too. I'm not sure which vault he did first but his execution were 9.250 and 9.050. It looks like the old vault averaging score is back for good. His average vault score for QF is 15.550 QF 1st.

2013 European Nominative List

Ksenia Afanasyeva 2013 Russian Championships
The 5th individual MAG & WAG Europeans will take place in Moscow, Russia. Aliya Mustafina, Anastasia Grishina, Ksenia Afanasyeva and Maria Paseka will represent Russia. Here is the rest of the Nominative Registration 

It's been 3 years since Afanasyeva has been to a European Championships. So happy she made it.

The competition will start April  17-21.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Grishina's 2013 Cottbus Beam

Yes, she finally hits a clean beam routine. Okay the double pike was a bit off but everything else was well done. Her routine was watered down. She is capable of more difficulty, like double turn and switch ring leap. I hope she can re upgrade her routine again but I guess if she is consistent with this set then it's better she focus on consistency than falling off.

Grishina D-score 5.8 + Execution 8.8 for a total of 14.600. 1st place.

RO +Layout (E) 0.1CV
Side -Somi (D)
Front Aerial + sissone + split jump (D) 0.1 CV
Onodi + Illusion spin (D+D) 0.2
Full turn (A)
Switch leap (C)
Dbl Pike (E)

3.0 + 0.4 CV = 3.4 + 2.5CR = 5.9 D-score. Most likely Grishina didn't get credit for her front aerial + sissone combination, hence the 5.8 she got credited for.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Yang & Nguyen 2013 French Cup Vaults

Yang Hak Seon of S. Korea and Nguyen Ha Thanh of Vietnam went 1-2 at the French Cup on vault.

Yang didn't do the FHS 3/1 or his training upgrade 5/2 Kas. Only FHS 5/2 (6.0) & Kas 2/1 (6.0) VT Score: 14.500

Nguyen did a cool piked Melinassanidis (6.0) his second VT Kas 3/2 (5.6) VT Score: 13.666

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Some Videos From La Roche sur Yon (2013 French Cup)

1) FX Ksenia Afanasyeva: D-6.0 + E-8.633 = 14.633

She seems to be getting stronger. I like the new one lunge rule. On her DLO landing there will be no deductions. Her double pike has improved and it looks like she almost over rotated her round off to 5/2 twists. I think she can do better. She is improving on this event. 2) FX Diana Bulimar: D-5.9 + E-8.633 = 14.533

She got the exact same e-score as Afanasyeva. This little gymnast has a lot of energy. She will be a threat for floor title this year. She's so tiny she can do round off + bhs into 3/2 twists round off + bhs to double tuck :D 1) BB Carlotta Ferlito: D-5.8 + E-8.5 = 14.300

Really nice beam routine and well deserved gold.

3) BB Vasiliki Millousi: D-5.2 + E-7.933 = 13.133

I quite like this beam routine. Really elegant style. Shame about the dismount and the accompanying music and claps were really inappropriate. Maybe a different type of music would have been appropriate. The music at this meet was weird. Some of the choices were opera music for the men's routines. And it was kind of weird to see that this meet was not on a podium.

More videos here: Rodolfo Ramos
Results:  WAG 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Anastasia Dmitrieva's & Maria Bondareva's Gymnix FX 2013

These two young Russian gymnasts will be seniors in 2015 and hopefully will be strong contenders for Russia's Rio 2016 Olympic team. I see a lot of potential in these two gymnasts. They both tied for AA gold at the Gymnix competition. Some people are raving over on how cute and special Bondareva's floor routine is but I prefer Dmitrieva's routine. Dmitrieva has upgraded her floor routine since last year. She is now doing a double tuck Arabian. She does need to work on her leaps but she is young and still has time to correct them. Dmitrieva's choreography is a bit overwhelming at times but she seems to be a mature performer. I hear some people calling her the next Afanasyeva or Semenova and I agree. The Russians really know how to put out performances. Bondareva has more of the classical elegant style, she watered down some of her difficulty. Bondareva does need to work on her Memmel spin though. Watching the Russians, I can tell that they work hard on their choreography and spend countless of hours at the ballet barre.

Anastasia Dmitrieva's FX: Check out her whips to double tuck.

Maria Bondareva's FX:

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thoughts on 2013 Russian Championships

These are just my opinions and impressions of this meet. I'm basing it on the live feed videos and interviews that I have read. This event was to determine which 4 WAG gymnasts would make it to the European Championships. The full WAG results AA EF.

Grishina, Mustafina, Shelgunova
My impressions of this meet is that it was basically a practice meet for the top gymnasts. They weren't all at their best shape and peak. My theory is that Mustafina worked really hard on her new beam routine and wasn't too worried about getting her other events. With time she will work to get her other events up to par. She was pulled out of day 2 event finals to rest her knee. This is good that Mustafina is gaining more confidence on beam. Her DTY vault is still great as always. Her bar set is still great. Even if it's a watered down routine, in my opinion she doesn't have to worry about upping her difficulty for this year. If she wants to make it to Rio I think she still has time to figure out a new bar routine mid quad. I think it's a smart idea that she is focusing on beam. For floor she might surprise us with some upgrades but for this competition she looked tired and rusty on this event. I don't think she was ready to compete floor at this event and she'll be ready by Europeans. Mustafina is the new Russian all around champion with 59.850.  Russia really needs to keep this girl healthy and safe.

Anastasia Grishina did well enough winning AA 2nd and gold on UB. She does need to get her DTY consistent though. She crashed it in team finals. It seems she is a bit weak in terms of endurance. It's really hard for her to finish up a floor routine without crashing or staying in the corner for a long time. It seems she just needs a lot of repetition and practice to get consistent. Apparently she was feeling fatigue for day 2 event finals so she scratched that finals. I think it's a shame because it seems she is not a strong enough gymnast. Most likely her coaches just wanted to keep her safe and free from injuries as she is most likely to be the 2nd AA for Europeans Championships.

Maria Paseka
Perhaps another reason for letting Grishina off the hook was to give competitive competition for Dementyeva, Afanasyeva and especially for new senior Evgeniya Shelgunova. This was particularly a weak day 2 event finals, well actually day 1 was pretty weak as well. With no Mustafina and Grishina it was a competition to see who would be the other gymnasts to compete with them at Europeans. In day 1 EF, Maria Paseka won vault with a decent enough Amanar. She is in the mix for contending for a European spot. Valentina Rodionenko stated that the team will be Mustafina, Grishina and Paseka. The others must prove themselves worthy, mainly Dementyeva, Afanasyeva and Shelgunova. I still think the team is undecided between Paseka, Afanasyeva and Shelgunova.

On day 2 EF Dementyeva pretty much lost her spot. She fell on her 3/1 dismount off beam and had problems on floor, she botched her Memmel badly and fell. Afanasyeva still proved that she is relevant to team Russia. Like Mustafina, Afanasyeva is doing some interesting new beam combinations. She stayed on beam and looked good enough. Her beam was obviously a work in progress routine. She still did 6 acro skills in her routine so that tells me that this is her chance to just practice and not take this event so seriously. Her routine consisted of Kochetkova + split leap 1/1, truly impressive! Also Onodi + side somi + 1 1/4 spin! The 1 1/4 spin was unexpected for me. This routine is a risky routine but hopefully she'll get it down and figure out which skills she'll use and leave out. I'm guessing she most likely did not get credit for all her connections as her beam score was low 13.775, no D-scores posted. It's encouraging that Afanasyeva is working up the courage to do these combinations.

Goryunova, Afanasyeva, Polyan
Her floor was alright. Could have been much better. She is still the top Russian to have the highest floor difficulty. I think it's a bit sad for Russia but it does give Afanasyeva a better chance at making European and world teams. Her double layout is still sky high and powerful. She had some issues with her difficult whip + whip + 3/1 twists. Her spins are beautiful but at the end of her routine she went out of bounds on her double pike. Actually a lot of the gymnasts went out of bounds on their double pikes, hmm. Afanasyeva scored a low 13.600 and still won! It's great that Afanasyeva is still committed to continuing. It seems she will only get better on beam and floor with more work and time. Oh and she can still do a decent DTY which is good for her and Russia.

New Russian senior Shelgunova may have some bad form and execution faults but she is a steady and consistent competitor. She did a good job of staying on beam and doing an okay floor routine. She won beam with 14.050 and also won 3rd AA. Beam final scores were low but Grishina and Mustafina could have posted huge scores if they competed in EF.

Overall I was impressed most with Mustafina's and Afanasyeva's upgraded beam routines. It's great that Paseka can still do the Amanar, although it still looks scary with bad execution. Russia is not at full strength and they don't have the depth of USA so it's encouraging to see the Russian Olympians competing and getting back into the groove of things. It's early in the season so most of them will hopefully get better when the real competitions are on. I haven't forgotten about the talented Komova who is sitting out due to back injury. Hopefully she will be ready for worlds.

I think the Russian coaches still have a lot of decisions to make for the European team. Some things are still not clear. If they bring Shelgunova she could make AA finals if her other teammates falter but most likely that might not happen and she doesn't have much difficulty to contend for EF medals. So will the Russians just bring her for qualification? Or will they take Afanasyeva who could win a floor medal. Will Paseka still be able to do the Amanar in April for Europeans? As we all know she is not great on any other events. Paseka's bars is okay but if they have Grishina and Mustafina on the team Paseka's bars will not be received well by the judges. So basically she is a one event woman. I think Russia still has some internal competition. Also there are some up and coming world cup events. Afanasyeva and Paseka to the French Cup. Grishina, Shelgunova and Dementyeva to Cottbus Cup. Looks like Aliya will just compete at internal events.

Call me bias but I hope Afanasyeva makes it to European Championships. She missed 3 European Championships in a row, due to injuries or getting back in shape from injuries. Maybe this is her chance again? But on the other hand I feel Afanasyeva has been given many chances and maybe it's best for Russia to give other girls chances. I say maybe Shelgunova does need the experience and Paseka should be rewarded for her Amanar. I think Universiade will be perfect for Afanasyeva. Maybe Afanasyeva missing a lot of Europeans will be a blessing in disguise. Maybe she'll make it to worlds? I hope so.

I'm also glad to see that some other older veterans like Pavlova, Myzdrikova, Kramarenko etc are still competing. Pavlova's regional team won gold :)

*photo credits sportgymrus

Monday, March 4, 2013

Ksenia Afanasyeva's Beam TF Russian Championships

There are more videos of the team finals from this user wii5163

Ksenia is working on new beam connections. It looks like she is bringing back the Kochetkova (full twisting flic flac). I believe it was upgraded to E but then back to D. I guess I'll have to wait and see what they give it. I can say this for sure, Ksenia's beam is not completed. She does 6 acro skills which one of the skills will not be counted. Ksenia is trying to upgrade to switch leap 1/2 (D) and L-spin 3/2 (D). This was obviously a work in progress beam routine. I much prefer Aliya's routine but Ksenia has some interesting skills and combo. It's hard to come up with a D-score since it's not a complete routine but here is what she is going for:

Switch 1/2 (D)
Aerial cartwheel + leap series (D) 0.1CV
Kochetkova *(D)
Split leap 1/1 (D)
Front Aerial + L-turn 3/2 *(D+D) 0.2CV
Onodi + side somi (D+D) 0.1CV
Dbl Tuck (D)

3.2 + 0.4CV = 3.6 + 2.5CR = 6.1 D

 *didn't count DV for Kochetkova and she was trying to connect Front aerial + L-turn 3/2. Her connections are slow.

Ksenia's floor D-score is at 6.0. She opt out the split leap 3/2 for split ring leap (C). She does a beautiful spin connection, dbl L-turn + leg split spin (D+B) 0.1CV. Basically she counts 4 acro + 4 dance. She now does 5/2 twists instead of the twisting combination. I think this is a risky routine because she can get downgraded for her twists and spins. What interested me the most was that her 5/2 twists is just from round off. She used to compete 5/2 twists during the years of 2008-2009 but from back handspring + connection. Hopefully she can get her 3/1 twists around all the time. Seems like she will get a new choreographed routine. She wasn't really committed to this routine. I love the Kill Bill sirens but it's time for it to go. Hopefully she has some more interesting skills to add to her floor.

Some 2013 Russian Championship Routines

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Aliya Mustafina BB 2013 Russian Championships

Here is what she is attempting to do and get credit. Ambitious connections. Very creative but it will be interesting to see how the FIG will judge it.

Arabian (F)
Switch leap 1/2 + Onodi + 2/1 Spin (D+D+D) 0.4CV
Front Aerial + wolf + Aerial Cartwheel (D+A+D) 0.2CV
Switch ring leap (E)
Dbl Tuck (D)

3.5 + 0.6CV = 4.1 + 2.5CR = 6.6 D-Score

Ksenia Afanasyeva's Russian Championship AA FX '13

She is still looking good. I'm surprised that she did AA and finished 4th. Her UB was watered down and she dismounted with single layout. She is now doing a split ring in her floor routine. She used to do switch ring in her younger years but it didn't look quite good so now that a split ring has been upgraded to C it is worth doing and she does it beautifully. She is also doing spin connections. From what I can see if she cleans it up it will look very beautiful. She does dbl L-turn + single leg split spin. She is still using old music and choreography. There are more videos here.

Afanasyeva's routine, pay attention to her dance elements:

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Some Thoughts on American Cup '13

First congratulations to Dalton and Ohashi for winning. Results here I missed the first half of the competition for MAG: FX, PH, SR and WAG: VT. I watched the German coverage which had Philipp Boy commentary. Of course I didn't understand any of the commentary but he seemed to of enjoyed Ohashi's beam and I think he even asked his co host if Ohashi's Memmel spin was elegant, and it was.

I kind of felt sorry for Danell Leyva :( Apparently he was sick so hopefully that was the reason why he was faltering. I'm happy that Victoria Moors came in 3rd AA. I like her floor routine but what is up with her spin? I might sound like an ass for saying this but I hate the spin. Someone please enlighten me on it. I don't get it. One of my friend said that it looked like she was covering up a hurt knee :D I just don't like how she falls to the ground. I know that she does it on purpose but why?

I thought the judges were harsh on Asuka Teramoto's downgraded 3/1 twists but then it was fair game because Ohashi was also downgraded on her leap elements.

I'm still not sure if I like Ohashi's floor routine: Ohashi's beam is growing on me. Ohashi never connected what she intended to but the fact that her difficulty score was still 6.8 is astounding, it's just crazy that it can be up in the 7.3 range when she hits everything. Vanessa Ferrari is still kicking ass on floor with a dbl dbl tuck! Aside from Ohashi and maybe Teramoto's beam, I wasn't really impressed with the beam performances. Well Simone Biles two flic flac to full in tuck impressed me but not the other parts of her routine.

This competition is the beginning of the gymnastics season so I can understand that not everyone was at their best peak. I will say this though, I miss Kohei Uchimura's good form and execution.

*All gifs made by: jyosef

Friday, March 1, 2013

Yang Hak Seon Training Upgrade VT (5/2 Kasamatsu))

Here is a video of Yang training the Kasamatsu 5/2 (2 1/2) vault or 7/2 (3 1/2). I'm still confused about the differences but heck it doesn't really matter. I just say Tsuk 7/2. In the world of gymnastics Tsuk/Kas are acceptable terms IMO. I saw this news on gymnasticscoaching   and today I saw this video on Youtube