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Written by Admin    Thursday, 25 October 2007 13:37    PDF Print
DTB Cup Begins Friday
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)
Four world champions return to Stuttgart for 25th annual DTB Cup, which begins Friday at the Hanns-Martin Schleyer arena.
Mitja Petkovsek

Brazil's Diego Hypolito, China's Xiao Qin, Poland's Leszek Blanik and Slovenia's Mitja Petkovsek (pictured at right), gold medalists at the 2007 World Championships held last month in Stuttgart, headline this weekend's competition.

The qualification competition takes place Friday, and the top eight gymnasts will advance to the finals on Saturday and Sunday.

German superstar Fabian Hambüchen, who won three medals at the 2007 Worlds, will not be competing at this year's DTB. Hambuchen, who turned 20 on Thursday, is preparing for next month's Olympic test event in Beijing, China, but will be in Stuttgart this weekend to participate in autograph sessions.

The DTB offers a live ticker of the action in Stuttgart.

2007 DTB Cup Participants List

Australia: Dasha Joura, Lauren Mitchell
Austria: Marco Baldauf, Fabian Leimlehner, Andreas Höller, Dinah Nagel, Kathrin Nussbacher, Andrea Rührlinger
Belgium: Donna-Donny Truyens, Aagje Vanwalleghem
Belarus: Dzimitry Savitski, Aliaksei Ihnatovich
Brazil: Diego Hypolito, Victor Rosa, Jade Barbosa, Daniele Hypolito
China: Xiao Qin, Zhou Zhuoru
Croatia: Tomislav Markovic, Kris Marcek, Robert Seligman, Tina Erceg
Czech Republic: Nicole Pechancova
Denmark: Helge Fammen, Matthias Lee Hansen, Florin Purge
Egypt: Waleed El Deriny, Mohamed Sayed Serour, Rawan Tarek Abou Shosha, Sherine El Zeiny, Heba Mostafa
Finland: Olli Torkkel
France: Johan Mounard, Raphael Wignanitz, Danny Pinheiro Rodrigues
Great Britain: Daniel Keatings, Luke Folwell, Kristian Thomas, Marissa King, Hannah Clowes
Germany: Robert Juckel, Robert Weber, Marcel Nguyen, Helge Liebrich, Oksana Chusovitina, Kim Bui, Katja Abel
Greece: Eleftherios Kosmidis, Xenofon Kosmidis, Stavros Kekelos, Ioannis Zacharidis
Hungary: Krisztian Berki, Robert Gal, Vid Hidvegi, Laura Gombas, Enikö Korcsmaros
Italy: Enrico Pozzo
Kazakhstan: Maxim Petrishko, Stanislav Valiyev
Latvia: Yevgeni Sapronenko
Luxembourg: Sascha Palgen
Netherlands: Yuri Van Gelder, Jeffrey Wammes, Herre Zonderland, Lichelle Wong, Stephanie Tijmes
Poland: Marek Lyszczarz, Kamil Hulboj, Adam Kierzkowski, Leszek Blanik
Portugal: Manuel Campos, Luis Aranjo
Romania: Razvan Selariu, Daniel Popescu, Flavius Koczi, Robert Stanescu
Russia: Dmitry Barkalov, Vladimir Olennikov, Konstantin Pluznikov, Dmitry Gogotov, Anatoly Vasyliev, Yevgeny Vasilyev, Lyudmila Yezhova Grebenkova, Karina Myasnikova, Leysira Gabdrakhmanova, Daria Yelizarova
Slovenia: Aljaz Pegan, Mitja Petkovsek, Saso Bertoncels, Adela Saja
Switzerland: Claudio Capelli, Nicolas Böschenstein, Claude-Alain Porchet, Christoph Schärer, Carina Fürst, Linda Stämpfli
Slovakia: Samuel Piasecky, Alexander Benko, Natalia Paulickova, Maria Homolova
Tunisia: Wajdi Bouallegue
Ukraine: Valery Goncharov, Alexander Vorobyev, Andrei Isayev, Alexander Suprun, Olga Scherbatykh, Irina Krasnyanskaya, Daria Zgoba, Tatiana Valova
USA: Gerlan Stack-Eaton
Uzbekistan: Anton Fokin

Written by Admin    Thursday, 25 October 2007 13:34    PDF Print
Brown Sees Bright Future for Herself, Canada
Although the Canadian women did not qualify a full team for next year's Beijing Olympics, Alyssa Brown hopes to win one of two individual Olympic spots they earned at last month's World Championships.

"There is definitely more pressure now competing for one of two spots, but I plan to work extremely hard this year and just enjoy every minute of it," Brown told IG this week. "I'm focused on doing the best I can possibly do, and as long as I do that, I will have no regrets."

Brown was the top Canadian all-arounder (34th place in preliminaries) at the World Championships held Sept. 1-9 in Stuttgart, where Canada placed 14th in the team competition. The top 12 teams in Stuttgart earned team berths to Beijing, and teams that finished 13th, 14th and 15th earned spots for two individuals.

Brown, who trains at the Gymnastics Mississauga club in Ontario, said she was pleased with her individual performance in Stuttgart.

"I worked particularly hard on improving my B-scores all year in preparation for this competition, and it felt great to be able to go out and perform the way I have been in training," she said. "The one thing I could have improved was my difficulty. I had taken out some of my difficulty, especially on floor, in order to perform cleanly and ensure I hit for the team."

The 18-year-old Brown has been a mainstay on the Canadian team throughout the current Olympic cycle. She placed sixth all-around at the 2005 and 2007 Canadian Championships, and fourth all-around and first on balance beam at the 2006 Canadian Championships.

Internationally in 2006, Brown finished sixth all-around at both the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and the Pacific Alliance Championships in Honolulu; and 14th with her team at the World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark.

Brown said she does not believe one specific reason caused the Canadian women's mistakes in Stuttgart.

"We looked strong during all of our training camps, and the team was really motivated and focused on the same goal," she said. "It's a tough sport, and I guess it just wasn't our day. One thing I believe the team could have improved was our level of difficulty. We went out there hoping to hit clean routines, whereas the other countries were able to hit clean routines with a higher level of difficulty than we had."

Brown said she understood the need to offset her personal disappointment by encouraging the team's younger gymnasts, three of whom were competing at the World Championships for the first time.

"The reality of not qualifying a team to the 2008 Olympics is a very tough situation," Brown said. "I tried to help the team, especially the younger ones, by telling them to stay positive and not to get down on the reality of what happened. Instead, they should try and learn from some of the mistakes the team had and move forward."

Brown said the most important thing that future Canadian teams can do is gain as much experience as possible, competing on a podium in front of a large crowd.

"This is one advantage that I had coming into Worlds this year," Brown said. "I think that could have helped some of the younger girls on our team. It's overwhelming walking into the competition venue at the World Championships, and the more you can prepare yourself for that moment, the better."

Following next summer's Beijing Olympics, Brown plans to continue her career in collegiate competitions while studying at Stanford University in California.

"Stanford is such an incredible school with an amazing team and coaches," she said. "I am really looking forward to beginning a new stage of my life down there."

Brown is equally enthusiastic about the future of the Canadian women's program.

"I know there are great things to come for Canadian gymnastics, and that we will improve our international team ranking each year on the way to the next Olympics," she said.

Written by Admin    Tuesday, 16 October 2007 13:29    PDF Print
Iowa Celebrates 'Shawn Johnson Day'
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)
Oct. 17 is "Shawn Johnson Day" in Iowa, an honor bestowed on the 2007 world all-around champion by Iowa Governor Chet Culver.
Shawn Johnson

The 15-year-old Johnson will be welcomed by the governor of her home state at ceremonies taking place at the Iowa State Historical Building in Des Moines. Johnson, who trains at Chow's Gymnastics, resides in West Des Moines.

At last month's World Championships in Stuttgart, Johnson placed first all-around, and won additional gold medals on floor exercise and in the team competition. She won the all-around title at the American Cup, Pan American Games and Visa (U.S.) Championships earlier this year.

In a September 15 segment of ABC World News, Johnson was named ABC World News' "Person of the Week."

Read in-depth coverage of Johnson's gold-medal winning Worlds performances in the October 2007 (World Championships special) issue of International Gymnast magazine.

Shawn Johnson is featured in the following issues of International Gymnst magazine:
October 2007 - World Championships special issue
September 2007 - U.S. Championships coverage
April 2007 - Johnson cover photo, American Cup coverage
November 2006 - "A Taste of China" (Johnson/Chow's profile)
October 2006 - Johnson cover photo, Johnson center poster, U.S. Championships coverage
January 2006: "Shooting Star" (Johnson profile)
October 2005 - U.S. juniors gallery, includes Johnson

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

Written by Dwight Normile    Thursday, 04 October 2007 13:28    PDF Print
Morgan Hamm Injured, Scheduled for Surgery
Two-time U.S. Olympian Morgan Hamm tore his right pectoral muscle on Tuesday and is scheduled for surgery on Friday.

Hamm was injured while training on high bar at the Ohio State facility in Columbus. He was doing a Stalder-Rybalko to one arm, and the muscle pulled away from the humerus as he swung through the bottom, Ohio State men's coach Miles Avery told IG.

"He is upset about the setback but in pretty good spirits, understanding that these things happen," Avery said.

Hamm, who turned 25 on Saturday along with his twin brother Paul Hamm, will undergo surgery on Friday in Columbus.

Avery said he is confident Hamm will be still be in contention for next summer's Olympic team. At the U.S. Championships in August, the Hamms made a comeback after a three-year break from competition, competing floor exercise and pommel horse.

"No one here will believe for a second that he can't come back to be good enough to make the Olympic team," Avery said. "He has a month more than Lance Ringnald had back in 1992, when he tore his pec, and six months more than Blaine (Wilson) had in 2004 [after a torn biceps]."

Avery said that Morgan Hamm is not planning on training still rings after he recovers, but plans to train the other five events.

Written by Amanda Turner    Monday, 01 October 2007 13:25    PDF Print
Spring Making All-Around Recovery
Justin Spring told IG he is optimistic about returning to all-around competition next summer.
Justin Spring

"My coach and I took the injury in a positive way," Spring said Monday. "We are going to use this time to train rings and pommel horse and return to doing the all-around, and hopefully better my chances of making the 2008 Olympic team."

On Aug. 17, Spring fell on a crooked double-twisting Kasamatsu vault (Lopez) while competing at the U.S. Championships in San Jose, Calif. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee.

On Aug. 15, the first of two days of men's competition in San Jose, Spring was shaky, with falls on parallel bars, high bar and vault. On Aug. 17, prior to the injury on vault, he had performed cleanly, hitting his routines on high bar and floor exercise.

Spring, the gold medalist on parallel bars at the 2007 Pan American Games, had been a strong contender to make the team to this year's world championships, held Sept. 1-9 in Stuttgart.

Spring ended up finishing first on high bar and second on floor exercise in San Jose, but said he was unsure of his world team status prior to vault.

"It's always hard to say when the selection committee is deciding," he said. "I didn't think doing the vault was going to guarantee a spot on the team, but I knew it would help my chances. Nonetheless I still think I had a fair shot with only a (Tsukahara) 2 1/2 on vault, but I was ready to do the Lopez.

"The U.S. (men's) program committee has been pushing to see upgraded vaults for years and I was confident I could do this vault. I competed the Lopez at Pan American Championships and actually posted the high score of the meet on vault. I was ready to compete it at USAs but it was just an off day."

Spring underwent surgery on Aug. 28 to repair the torn ligament.

"My surgery ended up being a standard ACL (repair) with no other complications—I was lucky," he said. "Because of that recovery is going well. I have been walking for over two weeks now without any brace or crutches. I have been lifting in the weight room for the last four weeks and ring strength is coming along great. "I just started swinging on parallel bars and high bar to keep my hands in shape."

Spring was a 12-time All-American for the University of Illinois, and has been an assistant coach at the university since graduating in 2006.

Spring said he hopes to return to competition at the U.S. Winter Cup in February.

"I hope to do four events, everything except floor and vault," he said. "I should just start tumbling and vaulting around that time as well. Given the time line and the rehab schedule, I should be ready to compete all-around at U.S. Championships."

The U.S. Championships for men will be held May 22-24 in Houston and the U.S. Olympic Trials will be held June 19-22 in Philadelphia.

At the 2007 Worlds, the U.S. men finished fourth, rising nine ranks since the team's record low of 13th place at the 2006 Worlds.

"I was so impressed with the U.S. men's performance!" Spring said. "We have established ourselves as a medal-contending team for the Olympics. With everyone training to peak in 2008 I think the U.S. men stand a good chance to place in the top three at the Olympics... I just hope I am able to contribute."

Read "Spring Loaded," a profile on Justin Spring, in the February 2005 issue of International Gymnast.


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