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Written by John Crumlish    Thursday, 09 November 2017 10:39    PDF Print
Männersdorfer: 'The Key to My Victory Was Self-Confidence'
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Although several factors contributed to Marlies Männersdorfer's all-around victory at last weekend's Austrian Championships, she told IG that faith in herself carried her to her first senior national title.
Although several factors contributed to Marlies Männersdorfer's all-around victory at last weekend's Austrian Championships, she told IG that faith in herself carried her to her first senior national title.

Although several factors contributed to Marlies Männersdorfer's all-around victory at last weekend's Austrian Championships, she told IG that faith in herself carried her to her first senior national title.

Marlies Männersdorfer (Austria) in Montreal

"Before the competition started I was pretty nervous, because I wanted to win and I wanted to get rewarded for my hard work," said Männersdorfer, whose score of 48.700 points placed her ahead of silver medal-winning defending champion Jasmin Mader (48.500) and bronze medalist Tamara Stadelmann (46.200) at the 71st annual Austrian Championships held November 4-5 in Mattersburg. "During the competition I was focusing on my performance, not on the outcome, so I stayed focused. The key to my victory was my self-confidence. I knew I did a lot of training this season and I felt pretty good that day, so I knew I had a chance to win."

Männersdorfer, who turned 20 on September 7, said important training and logistical changes contributed to her improvement from the 2015 and 2016 Austrian Championships, both at which she finished fourth all-around.

Until February 2015 she trained 2.5 hours daily, five days per week in Gänserndorf in northeast Austria, just outside of Vienna. "I knew this was not enough and the gym was too small," she said. "We didn't even have a floor area, and on vault we just had 15 meters to run."

Männersdorfer then got an invitation from the national coach to train with him in a larger gym. She accepted and moved to Vorarlberg in western Austria. Two months after Männersdorfer graduated high school in June 2016, she joined the army so she could focus on training.

The ability to concentrate on gymnastics has enabled Männersdorfer to train and compete with more frequency and composure.

"I participated in many more competitions this year than in 2015 or 2016, so I had the chance to gain experience and self-confidence," said Männersdorfer, who is coached by Daniel Rexa (vault, uneven bars and floor exercise) and Katka Rexa (balance beam, floor exercise) at Turnerschaft Jahn-Lustenau at LSZ Dornbirn. "This helped me during the Austrian Championships. Another contributing factor is that I'm doing specific strength training with the help of the coaches of the Olympic Center Vorarlberg."

Männersdorfer's performance in Mattersburg marked a 3.401-point improvement from her all-around result at last month's world championships in Montreal, where she struggled on uneven bars and elsewhere. She said an elbow injury in late July hindered her preparation and hurt her self-confidence heading into Montreal, but she was able to devote the time between Montreal and Mattersburg to bettering her routines.

"I had to take a break for three weeks, so I didn't get the chance to prepare very well for Worlds, and my bars routine wasn't practiced that well," Männersdorfer said. "I was under pressure because I knew I didn't practice as much as I would have needed to. After worlds, I had one spare month in which I could practice normally so I could improve not only my bars routine but also work on my execution."

Männersdorfer's win in Mattersburg has made her even more inspired for important international events of 2018.

"I'm so happy that I won this competition, and I got a lot of motivation out of it to prepare for the next season," she told IG. "I performed well, and therefore I am confident that I am capable of also doing so on Europeans or worlds next year."

Written by John Crumlish    Thursday, 19 October 2017 10:31    PDF Print
U.S. Junior Braunton Takes Aim At 'Big Dogs'
(4 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

Featured in the October 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine, U.S. 15-16 junior all-around champion Garrett Braunton told IG he is eager to add difficulty to his routines so he can keep pace with the best.

"Now that I know I can hit those routines, I need up up my D-scores a little bit so I can compete with some of the big dogs," said Braunton, who recovered from a back injury last fall to place first all-around, first on floor exercise and first on still rings in his age group at the P&G (U.S.) Championships in August.

Read a profile on Braunton in the October 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions, or order back issues, click here.

Written by John Crumlish    Friday, 29 September 2017 08:10    PDF Print
Dudnik on Life: 'You Have To Push Yourself Through It'
(9 votes, average 4.11 out of 5)

Featured in the cover story of the October issue of International Gymnast magazine, former Soviet star Olesya Dudnik told IG that, through the triumphs and sorrows she has faced during and since her competitive career, she remains determined and faithful.

"Life gives you many things, and you have to push yourself through it," said Dudnik in a revealing sit-down interview with IG's John Crumlish in Marina del Rey, Calif., to where she recently relocated. "You cannot sit down and cry, and feel sorry for yourself. In my life, through many difficult situations, I think God has helped me, so I will continue the same way."

After a promising junior career, Dudnik, a native of Ukraine, made her biggest international marks in 1989. She tied for first place on balance beam at the 1989 European Championships in Brussels. She scored four 10s (compulsory floor exercise, optional vault, optional balance beam, vault final) at the 1989 World Championships in Stuttgart, where she finished first with her team, first on vault, second on balance beam and fourth on floor exercise.

On balance beam, Dudnik performed three combinations that are rare even today: side aerial, layout, layout; round-off, layout full; and round-off, flip-flop, triple twist dismount.

Dudnik said she was pleased to see her her side aerial, layout, layout series performed at the P&G (U.S.) Championships in Anaheim in August, which she attended.

"When I see girls do something like this, and they do it nicely, I am very happy because I understand it's not very easy," Dudnik said. "It takes hard work. By practice, you feel the elements. You feel everything, and it feels good. When people perform it now, it's what I felt before."

On floor exercise, Dudnik tumbled varied passes at the 1989 American Cup, 1989 European Championships, 1989 Soviet Championships, 1989 Worlds and 1990 Soviet Championships. Her glorious interpretation of Gershwin's "Second Rhapsody" in 1989 included an Arabian double front, 2-1/2 twist-punch barani and piked full-in at the 1989 Soviet Championships and her exuberant, poignant performance in the event finals at the 1989 Worlds.

Read "Higher Power," a four-page cover story in which Dudnik describes the personal, professional and spiritual challenges she has faced and overcome during her life, in the October 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions, click here.

Written by dwight normile    Friday, 01 September 2017 12:33    PDF Print
Scott Hann Interview in September IG
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

The September 2017 issue includes an interview with Scott Hann, who placed two gymnasts on the 2016 Olympic team: Max Whitlock and Brinn Bevan.

A former gymnast at Bush Harlow Gymnastics Club, Hann (shown here with Whitlock) is the Director of Coaching at South Essex Gymnastics Club.

In Rio last summer, Whitlock won the all-around bronze and gold medals on floor exercise and pommel horse. Great Britain qualified fifth in prelims and climbed to fourth in the team finals. Hann said Whitlock will not enter the all-around at the 2017 World Championships, but will focus instead on floor and pommels.

Hann, meanwhile, will receive the MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in October. Whitlock received the same honor in the 2017 New Year Honors.

Hann commented on what Whitlock's all-around success in Rio meant to both of them. "The all-around bronze medal in Rio was probably the proudest medal for Max and me, as we have both committed and sacrificed so much to get it."

He also described the differences between Whitlock and Bevan: "Max and Brinn are two very different characters who come from very different backgrounds. Max came to SEGC to work with me after trying to train in Slovenia with his first coach, who moved back there to start a family. Max’s family lived some 50 miles from the club but committed to making the journey every day until Max learned to drive, and later moved closer to the club.

"Max has always approached his gymnastics methodically with precision, accuracy and efficiency. A true gent, his forte has been his calm-natured approach to competition and ability to deliver under pressure at the right time.

"Brinn, whose mum and dad were equally as committed and supportive, started at the club as a preschool gymnast and has moved through the system from day one. But his upbringing has been tough. At times his family struggled for money, meaning he would miss meals. We combatted that by offering his mum a job at the club. Brinn then lost his father, who was his role model, which had huge psychological effects on him. He then suffered from multiple stress fractures as a junior before breaking his leg as a senior.

"Adversity I believe has helped Brinn get to where he has. His character is fiery fierce and he enjoys trying things and performing in front of an audience. His forte, like Max, is his ability to compete, but he is more of an animal who will take the event head on.

"Both are remarkable athletes and young men. I am privileged to work with them both and to be a part of their lives."

IG also asked the humble Hann if he had any coaching role models: "I have had many influences from coaches, mostly what not to do or say. A big role model for me was Paul Hall MBE, coach to Daniel Keatings and Louis Smith MBE, as he had a different mindset and approach to anybody else at that time. But after being inspired by him, I worked hard until my idol became my rival.

"I do not claim to be the best technician within our sport. I believe the gymnasts are the experts; we have to just provide them with the tools to do the job. I’m good at that. I do that by creating an inspirational environment to thrive and learn, develop and feel valued. I try to build the gymnasts’ confidence and ability to adapt to situations, rather than focusing on how hard you must work, and the techniques you must practice. If you inspire the gymnasts they will apply themselves. Simple."

Read the complete interview in the September issue of International Gymnast. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions or to purchase back issues, click here.

Written by Amanda Turner    Wednesday, 23 August 2017 18:55    PDF Print
Russian Cup Kicks Off in Yekaterinburg
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

The 2017 Russian Cup began Wednesday in Yekaterinburg, where Moscow's Nikita Nagorny fought off hometown hero David Belyavsky for the top spot in the all-around qualification.

The 2017 Russian Cup began Wednesday in Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Oblast, where Moscow's Nikita Nagorny fought off hometown hero David Belyavsky for the top spot in the all-around qualification.

The competition, held at Yekaterinburg's "Uralochka" Sports Palace, returned to the city in the Urals for the first time since 2011. Since then the event has been held in Penza, which is also the usual site for the spring national championships. It returned to Yekaterinburg this year largely thanks to the development of gymnastics in the Ural region and Belyavsky's continued success, said the Minister of Physical Culture and Sports of Sverdlovsk.

Third at last year's Russian Cup in Penza, Moscow easily won the men's team competition on Wednesday with 255.100, nearly 10 points ahead of defending champion Siberia (245.600) and Volga (244.400). This year's team size was reduced from six to four gymnasts each, with three scores counting, although the field was reduced to teams from only five of Russia's federal districts, down from six last year and seven at the Russian championships.

More interesting for the crowd was the individual qualification, which featured all five members of Russia's silver medal-winning squad from last year's Olympic Games in Rio. Denis Ablyazin (Penza), Nikolai Kuksenkov (Vladimir) and Ivan Stretovich (Novosibirsk) were back after skipping this year's Russian championships in March and the European championships in April.

Both Nagornyy and Belyavsky, who competed as specialists at the spring events, made their return to the all-around Wednesday, which featured individual qualification for the all-around and event finals. Nagornyy topped Belyvasky by half a point, 87.300 to 86.800. In the second rotation, Belyvasky fell off pommel horse, where he is the reigning European champion, but he ended strong with the top scores on parallel bars (15.250) and high bar (14.800).

Moscow's Artur Dalaloyan, who was second all-around to Ukraine's Oleg Vernyayev at the European championships, qualified third (85.000) over veteran Nikita Ignatyev (84.500) of Leninsk-Kuznetsk. Dalaloyan qualified first to the floor final

Ablyazin impressed with the top scores on still rings (15.100) and vault (14.600 and 15.400, for 15.000 average), and managed to qualify to the floor final in sixth with 14.100. Ablyazin took time off after the Olympics to recover ankle injuries and spend time with his new son, Yaroslav, born in January to his wife, 2008 Olympian Ksenia Semyonova.

Kuksenkov, who was the defending all-around champion from last summer's Russian Cup, competed three events, qualifying first on pommel horse and sixth on parallel bars. The Russians struggled on pommel horse, with Kuksenkov (14.100) the only gymnast to top 14 points.

Stretovich, who underwent surgery on his hand after the Olympics, competed high bar only, qualifying to the final in fifth.

Competition continues Thursday with the women's team competition and individual qualification.

External Link: Russian Gymnastics Federation

2017 Russian Cup
August 23, Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Oblast

Artur Dalaloyan14.75013.00014.70015.00015.20012.350
Dmitry Lankin14.40013.50014.60014.350
Nikita Nagornyy14.50013.90014.45015.00015.20014.250
Nikolai Kishkilov12.50013.05013.15013.60013.90012.900
Kirill Potapov14.00013.25013.50014.35014.10012.850
Kirill Kozin12.50011.85011.95013.80012.60012.750
Nikita Ignatyev13.65013.95014.70014.25014.60013.350
Andrei Cherkasov12.65014.45014.20013.300
Denis Ablyazin14.10015.10015.400
Andrei Makolov12.35011.35013.90014.30014.15013.150
Valentin Starikov14.0009.85013.70013.55014.10013.950
Ivan Tikhonov14.00013.45012.55014.55013.45011.900
David Belyavsky14.25013.80013.95014.75015.25014.800
Sergei Danilenko13.55013.50013.10013.50013.10012.250
Viktor Britan13.45011.35011.80012.80012.55012.650
Nikolai Ostaf11.40012.60012.20012.80012.80011.750
Konstantin Kuzovkov12.50011.10011.25014.00012.75012.250
Dmitry Govorov12.00011.20012.20013.75012.20011.650
Sergei Krivunets13.45013.35012.95014.00013.60011.600
Alexei Bogdanov12.30010.95010.90012.30013.15011.650
6.Saint Petersburg37.30034.60035.50038.35035.60036.350217.700
Alexander Bogatyrev10.8009.95010.55011.90011.55011.850
Sargis Arakelyan11.70012.65012.60013.65011.75012.450
Daniil Monakhov12.65011.50011.25012.40011.65010.600
Artyom Zhavnerchik12.95010.45011.65012.30012.20012.050

Men's All-Around QualificationFXPHSRVTPBHBTotal
1.Nikita NagornyyMoscow / Rostov-on-Don14.50013.90014.45015.00015.20014.25087.300
2.David BelyavskyYekaterinburg14.25013.80013.95014.75015.25014.80086.800
3.Artur DalaloyanMoscow14.75013.00014.70015.00015.20012.35085.000
4.Nikita IgnatyevLeninsk-Kuznetsk / Novosibirsk13.65013.95014.70014.25014.60013.35084.500
5.Kirill PotapovTomsk14.00013.25013.50014.35014.10012.85082.050
6.Ivan TikhonovSyzran14.00013.45012.55014.55013.45011.90079.900
7.Andrei MakolovTolyatti12.35011.35013.90014.30014.15013.15079.200
8.Valentin StarikovSyzran / Togliatti14.0009.85013.70013.55014.10013.95079.450
9.Nikolai KishkilovMoscow12.50013.05013.15013.60013.90012.90079.400
10.Sergei DanilenkoChelyabinsk13.55013.50013.10013.50013.10012.25079.000
11.Sergei KrivunetsVladimir / Volgograd13.45013.35012.95014.00013.60011.60078.950
12.Alexei KozlovMoscow13.90012.10012.80013.80013.20011.80077.600
13.Andrei LagutovLeninsk-Kuznetsky12.40011.60013.05013.60013.00013.40077.050
14.Vilyam KatynSaransk13.10013.20012.35012.30013.05012.80076.800
15.Stanislav KhegayMoscow12.85012.40012.70013.70013.10011.95076.700
16.Kirill Kozin Tomsk12.50011.85011.95013.80012.60012.75075.450
17.Sargis ArakelyanSaint Petersburg11.70012.65012.60013.65011.75012.45074.800
18.Viktor BritanChelyabinsk13.45011.35011.80012.80012.55012.65074.600
19.Konstantin KuzovkovKorolyov12.50011.10011.25014.00012.75012.25073.850
20.Nikolai OstafTyumen11.40012.60012.20012.80012.80011.75073.550
21.Ivan Tsvetkov Kostroma11.25012.20012.40012.35012.90012.35073.450
22.Dmitry GovorovYefremov12.00011.20012.20013.75012.20011.65073.000
23.Marat KhabibullinNizhnekamsk13.20012.00010.60012.90013.10011.15072.950
24.Artom ZhavnerchikSaint Petersburg12.95010.45011.65012.30012.20012.05074.600
25.Nikita LetnikovKrasnoyarsk12.15011.40012.35012.75011.05011.65074.350
26.Alexei BogdanovVladimir12.30010.95010.90012.30013.15011.65074.250
27.Daniil MonakhovSaint Petersburg12.65011.50011.25012.40011.65010.60070.050
28.Ilya ZakrevskyYekaterinburg11.75010.30011.00012.70011.65012.35069.750
*Vladislav MitrofanovYekaterinburg11.9009.80010.60012.25012.35011.25068.450
29.Alexander BogatyrevSaint Petersburg10.8009.95010.55011.90011.55011.85066.600
30.Maksim SinichkinKazan12.20012.50013.85014.15012.65065.350
31.Artom PleshkinSaransk13.00011.90012.85012.95012.40063.400
32.Dmitry LankinMoscow / Rostov-on-Don14.40013.50014.60014.35056.850
33.Andrei CherkasovLeninsk-Kuznetsk / Novosibirsk12.65014.45014.20013.30054.600
34.Matvei KunitsynChelyabinsk12.55013.60012.05011.25049.450
35.Denis AblyazinPenza / Moscow14.10015.10015.40044.600
36.Sergei YeltsovAstrakhan13.35015.05014.55042.950
37.Nikolai KuksenkovVladimir14.10014.40012.30040.800
38.Alexander ChicherovKazan12.00012.40013.25037.650
39.Ildar YuskayevPenza13.00010.55013.15036.700
40.Svyatoslav IvanovVolzhsky11.30011.95011.85035.400
41.Nikita SimonovSyzran / Petrozavodsk14.60044.600
42.Ivan StretovichNovosibirsk / Zvenigorod13.85043.850
* Exhibition competitor

Men's Floor Exercise QualificationScore
1.Artur DalaloyanMoscow14.750
2.Nikita NagornyyMoscow / Rostov-on-Don14.500
3.Dmitry LankinMoscow / Rostov-on-Don14.400
4.David BelyavskyYekaterinburg14.250
5.Denis AblyazinPenza / Moscow14.100
6.Ivan TikhonovSyzran14.000
6.Valentin StarikovSyzran / Togliatti14.000
6.Kirill PotapovTomsk14.000
R1Alexei KozlovMoscow13.900
R2Nikita IgnatyevLeninsk-Kuznetsk / Novosibirsk13.650
R3Sergei DanilenkoChelyabinsk13.550

Pommel Horse QualificationScore
1.Nikolai KuksenkovVladimir14.100
2.Nikita IgnatyevLeninsk-Kuznetsk / Novosibirsk13.950
3.Nikita NagornyyMoscow / Rostov-on-Don13.900
4.David BelyavskyYekaterinburg13.800
5.Sergei DanilenkoChelyabinsk13.500
6.Ivan TikhonovSyzran13.450
7.Sergei KrivunetsVladimir / Volgograd13.350
7.Sergei YeltsovAstrakhan13.350
R1Kirill PotapovTomsk13.250
R2Vilyam KatynSaransk13.200
R3Nikolai KishkilovMoscow13.050

Still Rings QualificationScore
1.Denis AblyazinPenza / Moscow15.100
2.Artur DalaloyanMoscow14.700
2.Nikita IgnatyevLeninsk-Kuznetsk / Novosibirsk14.700
4.Nikita SimonovSyzran / Petrozavodsk14.600
5.Nikita NagornyyMoscow / Rostov-on-Don14.450
6.David BelyavskyYekaterinburg13.950
7.Andrei MakolovTolyatti13.900
8.Valentin StarikovSyzran / Togliatti13.700
R1Kirill PotapovTomsk13.500
R1Dmitry LankinMoscow / Rostov-on-Don13.500
R3Nikolai KishkilovMoscow13.150

Men's Vault QualificationVault 1Vault 2Average
1.Denis AblyazinPenza / Moscow15.40014.60015.000
2.Nikita NagornyyMoscow / Rostov-on-Don15.00014.80014.900
3.Artur DalaloyanMoscow15.00014.00014.500
4.Dmitry LankinMoscow / Rostov-on-Don14.60014.20014.400
5.Konstantin KuzovkovKorolyov14.00014.50014.250
6.Kirill PotapovTomsk14.35013.85014.100
7.Ivan TikhonovSyzran14.55013.30013.925
8.Dmitry GovorovYefremov13.75013.45013.600
R1Ildar YuskayevPenza13.15013.85013.500
R2Matvei KunitsynChelyabinsk13.60012.85013.225
R3Sergei KrivunetsVladimir / Volgograd14.00011.15012.575

Parallel Bars QualificationScore
1.David BelyavskyYekaterinburg15.250
2.Artur DalaloyanMoscow15.200
2.Nikita NagornyyMoscow / Rostov-on-Don15.200
4.Sergei YeltsovAstrakhan15.050
5.Nikita IgnatyevLeninsk-Kuznetsk / Novosibirsk14.600
6.Nikolai KuksenkovVladimir14.400
7.Dmitry LankinMoscow / Rostov-on-Don14.350
8.Andrei CherkasovLeninsk-Kuznetsk / Novosibirsk14.200
R1Andrei MakolovTolyatti14.150
R1Maksim SinichkinKazan14.150
R3Kirill PotapovTomsk14.100

High Bar QualificationScore
1.David BelyavskyYekaterinburg14.800
2.Sergei YeltsovAstrakhan14.550
3.Nikita NagornyyMoscow / Rostov-on-Don14.250
4.Valentin StarikovSyzran / Togliatti13.950
5.Ivan StretovichNovosibirsk / Zvenigorod13.850
6.Andrei LagutovLeninsk-Kuznetsky13.400
7.Nikita IgnatyevLeninsk-Kuznetsk / Novosibirsk13.350
8.Andrei CherkasovLeninsk-Kuznetsk / Novosibirsk13.300
R1Alexander ChicherovKazan13.250
R2Andrei MakolovTolyatti13.150
R3Nikolai KishkilovMoscow12.900

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