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Written by Dwight Normile    Tuesday, 28 August 2007 11:41    PDF Print
Surgery Successful for Spring

U.S. national team member Justin Spring, who tore his right ACL while vaulting at the U.S. Championships on Aug. 17, underwent surgery today in Champaign, Ill.

Spring is expected to be full strength in six months, said his personal coach Jon Valdez.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Robert Bane, who trained in Birmingham, Ala., under Dr. James Andrews, a leader in his field. Andrews did surgery for three-time U.S. Olympian Blaine Wilson in 2004.

"The surgery went great," Valdez told IG. "It was a clean tear to the ACL, with no other damage to the knee. His doctors say he'll be tumbling in four months and at full strength in six months. Justin's spirits are high, and our goal is to do the all-around in 2008 and grab one of the guaranteed spots on the Olympic team."

Written by Amanda Turner    Monday, 27 August 2007 11:18    PDF Print
Shewfelt Out of Worlds

2004 Olympic floor exercise champion Kyle Shewfelt (Canada) will miss the upcoming world championships after breaking his knees during training on Monday in Stuttgart.

Shewfelt suffered small fractures to both knees during a landing on floor exercise. He is expected to be out six to eight weeks. The Canadian men will compete in Subdivision 2 on Sept. 4.

At the 2006 World Championships, the Canadian men's team placed a best-ever fifth place in preliminaries and sixth in the team final. The top 12 teams in Stuttgart qualify full teams to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

2006 world team member Adam Wong has been called to Stuttgart to serve as the team alternate. Wong, who suffered a torn Achilles tendon in March, said he would be able to compete four events if needed in Stuttgart.

"Kyle was a very important part of the team, and contributed a lot to our overall score," Wong told IG on Monday evening. "However, we still have six very strong gymnasts who are capable of a great team finish. They are all very well prepared for this competition, and it will definitely show on Sept. 4th."

Shewfelt, the defending world bronze medalist on men's floor exercise, had told The Calgary Sun he had a new, more complex routine planned for Stuttgart.

"It is ultra-difficult, yes, and it kills me every time I do it, but I love doing it," Shewfelt told The Sun. "I have my sights set on doing something no one else does."

Written by Admin    Monday, 27 August 2007 11:16    PDF Print
Germans Ready to Host Worlds
Veterans Fabian Hambüchen and Oksana Chusovitina will lead the German teams at the World Championships, Sept. 1-9 in Stuttgart.

Named along with Hambüchen to the German men's team were Thomas Andergassen, Philipp Boy, Robert Juckel, Marcel Nguyen and Eugen Spiridonov. Brian Gladow is the team alternate.

Anja Brinker

At the 2006 World Championships, held in Aarhus, Denmark, Hambüchen won bronze medals in the all-around and on high bar. He placed second all-around and first on high bar at the 2007 European Championships, held in Amsterdam.

Noticeably absent from the team is Matthias Fahrig, bronze medalist on floor exercise at the 2007 Europeans and gold medalist on floor exercise and vault at the 2006 Glasgow Grand Prix. Fahrig was removed from the team "because of disciplinary reasons" following last month's German Championships, a team spokesperson told IG.

The German men will compete in Subdivision 8 on Sept. 4.

Joining the 32-year-old Chusovitina on the German women's team in Stuttgart will be Katja Abel, Anja Brinker, Jenny Brunner, Marie-Sophie Hindermann and Joeline Möbius. Kim Bui is the team alternate.

Chusovitina, a naturalized German citizen and winner of the 2007 German national all-around title, competed at Worlds for the first time in 1991. Representing the Soviet Union there, she tied for the gold medal on floor exercise and tied for the silver medal on vault.

For the Unified (former Soviet Union) team and then her native Uzbekistan, Chusovitina competed at the 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. She made her German team Worlds debut in 2006, when she won the bronze medal on vault and placed ninth all-around.

A veteran of the 2001 and 2003 Worlds, the 24-year-old Abel broke both bones in both forearms in a 2004 training accident. She placed third all-around at the 2007 German Championships.

Brinker finished 10th all-around and seventh on uneven bars at the 2007 Europeans, and second all-around at the 2007 German Championships.

Hindermann won the all-around bronze medal at the 2006 Junior Europeans, and was fifth all-around at the 2007 German Championships. Brunner was sixth all-around at the 2007 German Championships.

Möbius, who turned 15 on August 26, is the team's youngest member. She won the all-around title and all four events at the 2007 German Youth Champinoships.

The German women will compete in Subdivision 2 on Sept. 1.

Germany is hosting the World Championships for the fourth time. Stuttgart also hosted the 1989 Worlds, and Dortmund was the site of the 1966 Worlds and 1994 Team Worlds.

At the 2006 World Championships, in Aarhus, Denmark, the German women's team placed 16th and the German men's team placed seventh. The top 12 women's and men's teams in Stuttgart will qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

IG will be on hand at the 2007 World Championships in Stuttgart, so look for continuing coverage online and in the October issue.

International Gymnast Magazine Related Features
Hambüchen on cover, 2007 Europeans coverage (June 2007)
Hambüchen center poster (April 2007)
"German Giants" - Hambüchen profile (May 2003)
"Giving It His All" - Fahrig profile (July/August 2007)
"On Good German Terms" - Chusovitina profile (January/February 2007)
2006 World Championships special issue (December 2006)
"Double Break" - Abel profile (July/August 2006)
"Wünderbar!" - Bui profile (August/September 2004)

To subscribe to IG Magazine or order back issues, click here.

Written by Amanda Turner    Friday, 24 August 2007 11:14    PDF Print
Russia Names World Teams

European all-around champion Maxim Devyatovsky and European beam champion Yulia Lozhechko will lead the Russian teams at the upcoming World Championships, to be held Sept. 1-9 in Stuttgart.

Nikolai Kryukov

The men's team is Devyatovsky, Sergei Khorokhordin, Yuri Ryazanov, Nikolai Kryukov, Alexander Safoshkin and Anton Golotsutskov. The alternate is Anatoly Vasilyev.

The women's team is Lozhechko, Yekaterina Kramarenko, Svetlana Klyukina, Ksenia Semyonova and Yelena Zamolodchikova. The alternate will be decided between Kristina Pravdina and Daria Yelizarova.

At the 2006 Worlds, the Russian men finished second and the women finished third, but head coach Andrei Rodionenko continued to stress the teams' goals of a top-12 finish.

"The primary goal for this world championship is to achieve full representation for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing," Rodionenko said. "Medals and victories are the second tier of importance."

Absent from the team is veteran Anna Pavlova, who is suffering from an ankle injury. 2006 Junior European Championship gold medalists Karina Myasnikova and Yelena Kokareva are still recovering from injuries, and 2004 Junior European gold medalist Nadezhda Ivanova has been sidelined indefinitely by a hip problem.

Rodionenko said a solid performance at the recent University Games helped Zamolodchikova make her seventh consecutive world team.

"I'm a grown up and I understand perfectly that right now I am not at my peak," said Zamolodchikova, who will turn 25 on Sept. 19. "I don't doubt that I wouldn't even be on the team if there weren't any injuries. I feel like the team needs me and I need the team. But as soon as I feel like they don't need me anymore, I'll leave then and there."

Zamolodchikova, like Kryukov a gold medalist at the 1999 World Championships, won two gold medals at the 2000 Olympics. She told the All-Sport Agency the camaraderie among the Russian gymnasts is better than in previous years.

"I love that that now there is no bitterness, that someone can beat out someone from the team, takes someone's place," she said. "Yes, we constantly compete against each other, but, nevertheless, as a team we're pumped up."

Read "Great Heights," a profile on Lozhechko, in the July/August 2007 issue of International Gymnast magazine. Devyatovsky and Ryazanov appear on the cover of the June 2007 issue, which features the 2007 European Championships. To subscribe to IG magazine or order back issues, click here.

Written by Admin    Thursday, 23 August 2007 10:33    PDF Print
U.S. Women See Golden Potential At Worlds
Newly crowned U.S. champion Shawn Johnson and teammate Shayla Worley told IG the American women have the potential to win the team title at the World Championships, Sept. 1-9 in Stuttgart.
Shayla Worley

"We'll be one of the strongest teams there," said Johnson, just after winning the all-around title at the U.S. Championships that took place August 15-18 in San Jose. "I want to go in as a team and definitely come out with a gold. But individually, I want to do my best and have fun."

Immediately following the U.S. Championships, Johnson and six other women were named to the U.S. team for Stuttgart. Six of the gymnasts will compete, and the alternate will be determined prior to competition.

In addition to Johnson and Worley, the team includes Nastia Liukin, Ivana Hong, Bridget Sloan, Alicia Sacramone and Samantha Peszek.

The U.S. women won their first and only world championships team title in Anaheim in 2003. The team finished second in 1991, 1994 and 2006 and third in 1995 and 2001.

Liukin and Sacramone are the only members of the U.S. team for Stuttgart who have prior World Championships experience. At the 2005 Worlds, held in Melbourne, Liukin finished second all-around, first on uneven bars and first on balance beam; and Sacramone finished first on floor exercise and third on vault. At the 2006 Worlds, held in Aarhus, Denmark, Liukin finished second on uneven bars, and Sacramone finished second on vault.

2005 world all-around champion Chellsie Memmel, the sole member of the 2003 gold-medal winning team still competing internationally, competed on only floor exercise on the first day of the competition. She was not named to the U.S. team for Stuttgart, but was named to the U.S. national team for 2007-2008.

Johnson said the team for Stuttgart is an ideal combination of veterans and newcomers.

"As a group, I think we're the strongest team ever," she said. "We have Nastia and Alicia who bring the experience. And then the younger ones like Shayla, Bridget, Ivana, Sam and I bring energy and spirit. I think that, when mixed together, we will make a perfect team."

Like Johnson, Worley said she is optimistic about her prospects, as well as the team's chances, in Stuttgart.

"I'm super excited that hopefully I will compete my skill on beam (Onodi to two feet), and it will be named after me," Worley said. "The biggest goal is to help our team win the World Championships - to win that gold! All we need to do is hit. We are, in my opinion, by far the best team out there. All we have to do is get together that day and go out there and do our stuff, and I don't think anybody can beat us!"

Worley said she was pleased with her second-place performance in San Jose, where she competed in her first U.S. Senior Championships.

"Of course, my ultimate goal is always winning, but I try not to think of the outcome," said Worley, who placed third at the 2005 U.S. Junior Championships but did not compete in 2006 because of injury. "I focus on one skill at a time and not get ahead of myself. My goal are winning and making the team and all that great stuff, but you just have to take it slowly."

Worley said she was especially confident on the second day of competition in San Jose.

"The first day, I was a little more nervous than usual, but (on the second day) I walked in there and knew it was going to be a great day," said Worley, who trains at Orlando Metro in Florida. "I could just feel it. I felt confident, and I went out there and did my stuff."

To read IG Online's live coverage of the 2007 U.S. Championships, click here.

IG Magazine Related Features
"Back in Focus" Worley cover story (July/August 2007)
Peszek center poster (July/August 2007)
Johnson on cover (April 2007)
"A Taste of China" - Johnson feature (November 2006)
Johnson on cover, Johnson center poster (October 2006)
Peszek profile (November 2006)
Liukin and Sacramone on cover, 2005 Worlds special issue (January/February 2006)
Sacramone interview (April 2006)
"Shooting Star" - Johnson profile (January 2006)
Liukin on cover, Liukin center poster (October 2005)
Liukin on cover (April 2005)
Sacramone on cover (March 2005)
"A Model Gymnast" - Worley profile (November 2004)
"Coming On Strong" - Sacramone profile (June/July 2004)
Liukin on cover (June/July 2003)
"An Unstoppable Force" - Liukin profile (November 2002)

To subscribe to IG magazine or order back issues, click here.


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