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Switzerland's Käslin Pleased With 'Legends' Win in Los Angeles
(4 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

2013 world all-around finalist Ilaria Käslin told IG she was happy with her winning all-around performance at the Gymnastics Legends International held Saturday in Los Angeles, despite its early place on her 2014 competition schedule.

"It was difficult, because my routines aren't ready now," said Käslin, who won the senior all-around division with a total of 53.45 points. "But I think it's a good preparation."


Ilaria Käslin (Switzerland)

Although Käslin did not show her full difficulty, she was steady and elegant throughout. She was most impressive on balance beam, where she performed Onodi, sheep jump; side aerial; Kochetkova; front aerial, wolf jump; and flip-flop, flip-flop, layout.

Käslin said she used the meet as an early tune-up for May's European championships in Sofia.

"I have new dismount on bars and beam that I'm working on, and I hope to make my routines without mistakes at Europeans," she said. "I want to help the team with my routines."

Mexico's Alexa Moreno, a vault finalist at the 2011 Worlds, placed second to Käslin with 52.50 points. She overcame a bad fall on balance beam (front aerial) with an aggressively tumbled floor routine that included a double layout, Arabian double front, 2 1/2 twist and double pike.

Canadian gymnasts dominated the junior division, in which Audrey Rousseau of Equilibrix place first (53.50) and Shallon Olsen of Omega placed second (53.15).

Rousseau's bars routine included a Maloney, Tkatchev and double front dismount. On beam she performed a front aerial; side salto; flip-flop, layout; switch leap-half; side aerial; and round-off, double back dismount. Rousseau's tumbling passes on floor included an Arabian double front, 1 1/2 twist through to double tuck, and double pike.

Olsen missed a standing Arabian on beam, but was solid elsewhere. She vaulted a double-twisting Yurchenko, and her tumbling passes on floor included a piked full-in; 1-1/2 twist through to double tuck; triple twist; and double pike.

In the junior division at the Elite Canada meet held earlier this month, Rousseau and Olsen finished third and second, respectively. Olsen won the 2013 Canadian junior all-around title.

Bulgaria's Elizabet Vasileva, who used to train in rhythmic gymnastics, showed rhythmic-inspired leaps, spins and flexibility on balance beam and floor exercise to place third in the junior all-around (51.35).

Hosted by All Olympic Gymnastics Center at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the competition honors Nellie Kim and Artur Akopyan.

Kim, who won five Olympic gold medals, serves as president of the women's technical committee of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG). She presented the all-around awards.

Akopyan, the 1983 world vault champion and 1983 world all-around co-bronze medalist, coaches Olympic and world champion McKayla Maroney at All Olympia. Maroney was on hand to sign autographs.

Among the other more experienced senior competitors were two-time Polish Olympian Marta Pihan-Kulesza, 2010 and 2011 World Championships competitor Pia Tolle of Germany, and Canadian national team member Jordyn Pedersen.

Former standout gymnasts who were present as coaches included 1988 Olympic team gold medalist Vladimir Novikov of Kazakhstan (Planet Gymnastics, Alabama), 2000 Olympic triple medalist Yekaterina Lobaznyuk of Russia (Omega Gymnastics, Canada) and 2004 Olympic vault finalist Filip Yanev of Bulgaria (Vasileva's coach).

2014 Gymnastics Legends International
Feb. 22, Los Angeles

Senior All-Around:
1. Ilaria Käslin (SUI) 53.45
2. Alexa Moreno (MEX) 52.50
3. Alma Kuc (All Olympia/USA) 51.95
4. Jordyn Pedersen (Manjak's Gymnastics/CAN) 51.25
5. Karla Retiz (Agymnasia/MEX) 50.60
6. Tamara Mrdenovic (SRB) 50.35

Junior All-Around:
1. Audrey Rousseau (Equilibrix/CAN) 53.50
2. Shallon Olsen (Omega/CAN)53.15
3. Elizabet Vasileva (BUL) 51.35
4. Talitha Jones (All Olympia/USA) 49.70
5t. Sarah Voss (GER) 48.10
5t. Molly Fiorito-Laplante (Equilibrix/CAN) 48.10

Read an interview with McKayla Maroney in the March 2014 issue of International Gymnast magazine.

International Gymnast Magazine Related Features:
"A New Swiss Standout" - Ilaria Käslin profile (December 2013)
"10 Questions with Nellie Kim" – interview (January/February 2008)
"Catching up with Yekaterina Lobaznyuk" – profile (April 2009)
"Natural Born Thriller" – Lobaznyuk profile (February 2001)
"Maroney on the Mend" – interview (January/February 2013)
"It's Showtime" – Maroney profile (May 2011)
"Parallel Lives" Marta Pihan-Kulesza/Roman Kulezsa profile (April 2010)
"All for One" – All Olympia Gymnastics Center feature (July/August 2009)

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