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Written by John Crumlish    Sunday, 05 February 2017 04:17    PDF Print
Kröll Coming On Strong For Germany
(4 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)



German gymnast Carina Kröll told IG that winning two medals in her first World Challenge Cup meet last November boosted her confidence, and could well boost her position on the German team that is preparing for this year's European and world championships.

German gymnast Carina Kröll told IG that winning two medals in her first World Challenge Cup meet last November boosted her confidence, and could well boost her position on the German team that is preparing for this year's European and world championships.

"The success in Cottbus was a reward for the hard work in training, and gave me a lot of self-confidence and motivation for 2017," said Kröll, who placed first on floor exercise and second on balance beam at the Challenge Cup of Cottbus. "It makes me very proud that my victory attracted a lot media attention to me, and my name as the youngest Challenge Cup winner in Germany went into history. It is also nice to have contact with international companies like Alpha Factor (apparel) through international competitions that help me in my sport."

Kröll said her lack of experience actually helped her perform calmly in Cottbus.


Carina Kröll (Germany)

"As I was the youngest gymnast, I was able to do my routines relaxed and without big pressure," she said. "In the end I was very happy about the result."

Born December 29, 2000, in Filderstadt, Kröll lives in Neuhausen and represents MTV Stuttgart/TSV Berkheim. Her coaches are Marie-Luise Probst-Hindermann and Robert Mai on all apparatuses; and Yelena Dolgopolova, a member of Russia's silver medal-winning team at the 1996 Olympic Games, primarily on balance beam.

Kröll said she plans to make her performances even steadier and more substantial in 2017.

"I will try to stabilize my routines and improve the difficulty as much as possible," she said. "In the new Code of Points more emphasis is placed on execution and connections, so I am working on learning and perfecting new skills and adding them to my routines. My focus on beam is on the jumps, spins and my very special dismount. I would love to show my routines in as many competitions as possible and gain experience."

Kröll said she is hopeful that she can break into the lineup of the German team at the European championships in Cluj in April and the world championships in Montreal in October.

"I am working hard for my goals but participation is not yet sure," she said. "In the qualification competitions, the form on the day is decisive and a bit of luck is also part of it."

Although Kröll did not make the German team for last summer's Olympic Games in Rio, she has been a steady presence at the junior and senior levels. She placed sixth all-around at the 2012 German Junior Championships, fifth all-around at the 2013 German Junior Championships and third all-around at the 2014 German Junior Championships. Kröll was a member of Germany's fourth-place team at the 2014 European Junior Championships in Sofia, and she finished ninth all-around at the 2016 German Senior Championships.

Kröll said she considers herself a potentially valuable contributor on each apparatus.

"I see myself as a specialist for beam as well as a solid all-arounder," Kröll told IG. "I am able to do all four events and I enjoy them all. I work hard, I am diligent and I am a team player, and that is what a team needs. I'm going to do my best to help the team in everything that I can do, but also fight for my own goals."

International Gymnast magazine's features on German gymnasts include:

Sophie Scheder chat (October 2016)
"New Digs" - visit to German men's training center in Kienbaum (July/August 2016)
Erika Zuchold obituary (October 2015)
Hall of Fame induction feature including Johanna Quaas (June 2015)
"Shooting Star" - Tabea Alt profile (May 2015)
"Quick Chat: Pauline Schäfer" (January/February 2015)
Maike Enderle profile (September 2014)
"Renaissance Man" – Fabian Hambüchen cover story (December 2013)
"Calm, Clean Style" - Sophie Scheder profile (December 2013)
"New View from the Top" - Lisa Katharina Hill profile (July/August 2013)
Kim Bui interview (April 2013)
"Silver Streak" - Marcel Nguyen interview (November 2012)
"Tough Lesson" - Janine Berger interview (October 2012)
"Leaps and Bounds for Germany" - Nadine Jarosch profile (January/February 2012)
"Seizing the Moment" - Elisabeth Seitz interview (July/August 2011)

To order back issues, or subscribe to the print and/or digital edition of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

 
Written by dwight normile    Monday, 30 January 2017 08:08    PDF Print
Liukin Aims To Strengthen U.S. Team In Numbers
(7 votes, average 3.86 out of 5)

In an interview in the January/February 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine, recently appointed U.S. women’s national team coordinator Valeri Liukin said the integration of younger gymnasts into the team’s training camps is his key priority.

“My biggest dream is to make this team a little bit larger since we do have seniors and juniors practicing together,” said Liukin, a double gold medalist at the 1988 Olympic Games and father of 2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin. “So that’s my goal. Have more juniors involved because this is our future.”

Liukin said he is optimistic that team standout Simone Biles, who won four gold medals at the 2016 Games, will return after 2017.

“Normally the first year is very busy after the Olympics for superstars like her,” said Liukin of Biles. “So I don’t think she will be back this year, but I really do hope that she’ll come back in 2018.”

The January/February 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine also includes interviews with recently appointed FIG Women’s Technical Committee President Donatella Sacchi and Romania’s Andreea Raducan, and an A-to-Z Review of 2016. To subscribe to the print and or digital edition, or order back issues, click here.

 
Written by John Crumlish    Tuesday, 24 January 2017 15:35    PDF Print
Austria's Mader Ready To Raise The Bar in 2017
(5 votes, average 4.20 out of 5)


 


Austrian veteran Jasmin Mader told IG that her successes at the national and international levels late in the year remind her why she continues her lengthy career.

Although veteran Austrian gymnast Jasmin Mader did not qualify for last summer's Olympic Games in Rio, she told IG that her successes at the national and international levels late in the year remind her why she continues her lengthy career.

"It wasn't that hard for me to have such a long competition year," said Mader, who won her first Austrian senior national all-around title on Nov. 5 and teamed with partner Daniel Kopeinik to finish third at the Brno Grand Prix, a mixed-pairs meet, held Nov. 26 in Czech Republic. "I'm feeling like I'm enjoying doing gymnastics more and more every day. That's why it's really fun for me to prepare for all those great competitions, and that's also why the results are quite good."

Mader, who turned 24 on Dec. 26, said competing at the Olympic test event last April in Rio de Janeiro was a dream come true, even if she did not qualify from it for last summer's Games. Mader hurriedly traveled to the test event to replace teammate Elisa Hämmerle, who injured an Achilles' tendon. Lisa Ecker, the other Austrian woman to compete at the test event, went on to qualify for the Games.

"As you know, it was a surprise for me to take part in the test event," Mader said. "One day before the competition I was lying in my bed at home in Austria, and I was thinking about the test event and how awesome it would be to take part and be in Rio for just once. I was shocked when I got the phone call and they told me that Elisa was injured. A few hours later I was on the plane to Rio."

Mader said she returned from the test event with valuable experience and new inspiration.

"I expected that the competition would be tough, but I decided to take that chance and try to do the best I could," she said. "In the end I didn't qualify, but it was OK for me. I mean, 24 hours before, it was just a wish from me to be in Rio. After my weekend trip to Rio I was motivated to work hard for all my further goals. I learned a lot in those few days. It is always a really small gap between a dream and a nightmare."

Mader's all-around victory at the 2016 Austrian Championships reflected the versatility that previously earned her at least one Austrian national title on each of the four apparatuses. She placed first on vault in 2009, 2011 and 2012; first on uneven bars in 2011, 2014 and 2015; first on balance beam in 2014; and first on floor exercise in 2009.

For 2017, Mader wants to modify and fortify her program.

"I need to arrange my routines to the new Code of Points," she said. "But my focus is on my uneven bars routine, in which I'd like to add a little more difficulty."

Among Mader's main competitive aims for 2017 are April's European Championships in Cluj, Romania, and August's University Games in Taipei.

"It is a long-term target for me to qualify for the all-around final at Europeans," she said. "Hopefully I can achieve it this year. If I get the chance to participate in the Universiade, it would be my first Universiade. That's why this would be a really special competition for me. But I'm also looking forward to all the other competitions. I want to show my best in every single one of them."

With several years of achievements behind her, Mader appreciates the hardy physical condition that has contributed to her long-term enthusiasm.

"The most important thing for me is that I'm healthy," Mader said. "That means that I have the chance to continue doing what I love most. It is so much fun for me to practice and compete in this sport, and I have a few targets left for the last years of my gymnastics career."

 
Written by dwight normile    Friday, 20 January 2017 11:17    PDF Print
Great Britain's Keatings Announces Retirement
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Daniel Keatings has announced his retirement, but he definitely left his mark on British gymnastics.

One year after wining the all-around gold at the 2008 European Junior Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland (pictured), Keatings, coached by Paul Hall at Huntingdon Olympic Gymnastics Club, became the first Brit to win a World Championships all-around medal when he placed second to Kohei Uchimura in London. His successful competitive strategy relied on clean execution over risky routines.

Following is what Keatings, 27, remembers from the 2009 Worlds.

“I qualified in fourth place with a fall on the pommel, so I knew there was a good shout of a medal in the final if I could go six for six clean. I had an awesome competition and remember finishing my high bar dismount, smiling as I landed, because I knew I had done it.

“It was my first full year as a senior gymnast and had just came second in the all-around at the Europeans in Milan, so there was expectation for me to do well and hopefully get a top five finish. But as I was still young, I didn't put any pressure on myself and just went out there and enjoyed it.”

 
Written by John Crumlish    Thursday, 12 January 2017 18:07    PDF Print
Canada's Olsen Launches Toward New Goals
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)



2016 Olympic vault finalist Shallon Olsen of Canada told IG that her goals for the new year include bettering her performance on the apparatus on which she placed eighth at last summer's Olympic Games in Rio.

2016 Olympic vault finalist Shallon Olsen of Canada told IG that her goals for the new year include bettering her performance on the apparatus on which she placed eighth at last summer's Olympic Games in Rio.

"I'm hoping to improve my form and make my vaults a lot cleaner," Olsen said. "I'm thinking of upgrading in the near future but right now I just want to focus on that."

Even with Olsen's individual achievement in Rio, she said the highlight of her year was the team spirit she experienced in qualifications, from which she advanced to the vault final. Canada finished ninth in team standings, missing a berth to the team final by 0.168 points.

"The moment that was probably the most memorable for me was when we worked together as a team and supported each other the best we could during qualifications," said Olsen, who turned 16 on July 10, less than a month prior to the Games. "Yes, we all may have been a bit nervous, but the support from my teammates was amazing."

Olsen, who competed on vault and floor exercise in Rio, enjoyed other successes in 2016. She placed first on vault and third on floor exercise at the International Gymnix Senior Cup in Montreal in February; first on vault, third on floor exercise and seventh all-around at the Pacific Rim Championships in Everett, Wash., in April; and first on vault, second on floor exercise and fourth all-around at the Canadian Championships in June.

This year Olsen is ready for new challenges and opportunities. Canada will play host to this year's world championships, September 27 – October 9 in Montreal.

"What motivates me now is there are so many more competitions, and it gets me excited to show everybody what I've been working on," she told IG. "I have so much more work to do and improve upon, and I'm excited for the upcoming competitions for me in the near future. I don't have any New Year's resolutions. I'm just excited for 2017 and what 2017 will bring me."

International Gymnast magazine's recent coverage of Canadian gymnasts includes:
"Canadian Pace-setter" - Ana Padurariu profile (December 2016)
Jade Chrobok profile (April 2016)
Jade Chrobok and Meixi Semple cover photo inset (March 2016)
"Canadian Beacon" – Ellie Black interview (September 2015)
Chat with Christine Peng-Peng Lee (April 2015)
Megan Roberts profile (April 2015)
Isabela Onyshko profile (July/August 2014)
"Canadian Promise" – Ellie Black chat and Robert Watson profile (July/August 2014)
"Making Tracks" – Scott Morgan profile (December 2013)
"Aiming to Top the Charts" – Maegan Chant interview (October 2013)
"Canadian Diversity" – Ellie Black and Hugh Smith profiles (July/August 2013)
"Sudden Impact" – Victoria Moors interview (January/February 2013)
Aleeza Yu two-page photo spread (May 2014)

To order back issues, or subscribe to the print and/or digital edition of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

 


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