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Written by Amanda Turner    Friday, 05 January 2018 18:15    PDF Print
IG Online Interview: Alyssa Baumann (USA/Florida)
(10 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

Five-hundred fifty-five days after a freak fall derailed her dreams and delayed her plans, 2014 world championships gold medalist Alyssa Baumann (United States) will march out on the competition floor for the first time for the University of Florida. The freshman spoke with IG about the struggle and strength behind her incredible comeback to gymnastics.

Five-hundred fifty-five days after a freak fall derailed her dreams and delayed her plans, 2014 world championships gold medalist Alyssa Baumann (United States) will march out on the competition floor for the first time for the University of Florida. The freshman spoke with IG about the struggle and strength behind her incredible comeback to gymnastics.

Baumann on beam during team finals at the 2014 World Championships in Nanning, China, where she helped the U.S. women win the team gold medal

This evening, Baumann will resume her competitive career, this time as a member of the University of Florida team, which begins its season on the road against the University of West Virginia at WVU Coliseum in Morganville. The Dallas native, who will turn 20 in May, arrived in Gainesville last August one year later than planned, but is overjoyed to be back after undergoing major surgeries on both arms that required extensive and painful rehabilitation.

On June 29, 2016, 10 days before the U.S. Olympic Trials, Baumann was training on uneven bars at WOGA in Plano, Texas, where she began gymnastics at age 3. Baumann didn't catch the bar completely on a Shaposhnikova and fell hard, landing on her stomach and left arm.

Cécile Canqueteau-Landi, who had coached Baumann alongside her husband, Laurent Landi, since 2007, said she didn't realize what she had seen.

"It was scary and looked like a 'good' fall, but then she screamed and I ran to her," Canqueteau-Landi told IG. "She was looking at me, screaming 'NO!' and holding her elbow. Her elbow looked good, but she was in so much pain we knew something was wrong, but we had no idea how bad. A day later her mom called and all she said, in tears, was 'It's over.'"

Scans had revealed that Baumann had torn several ligaments and muscles in her elbow and needed immediate surgery. Her lifelong dream of competing for a spot on the Olympic team was not going to be realized. She shared the news on Instagram herself the next morning.

"This is obviously not how I wanted things to end, and I'm still in shock and completely devastated," she wrote. "I can't thank everyone enough for (their) support and for always believing me. My coaches have put absolutely everything into me and it kills me that I can't show off their hard work."

Canqueteau-Landi, who represented France at the 1996 Olympics, said Baumann pushed aside her pain to support clubmate Madison Kocian, who was favored to make the team to Rio if she hit at trials.

"It was a very difficult moment for all of us, but we had to rally for Maddie," Canqueteau-Landi recalled. "Alyssa was so supportive — it was amazing to see."

With beautiful extension, flexibility and artistry, Alyssa Baumann's gymnastics has long been amazing to see. She first shot to national attention in 2010 when, just shy of her 12th birthday, she won the all-around, bars and beam titles at the Level 9 Western National Championships. She made the leap to elite that summer, skipping Level 10 and qualifying to the U.S. junior national championships in Hartford, Connecticut. In December 2010, she traveled to Moscow to compete at the Voronin Cup, where she finished fifth all-around and fourth on bars and beam.

Baumann at the 2013 U.S. Junior Championships

Baumann's road was never an easy one, and every achievement came through hard work and belief in herself. Over the next five years, she fought her way through battles with injuries and illness, all while somehow steadily improving and upgrading her gymnastics from each competition to the next. After qualifying as an elite in 2010, injuries kept her out of competition the next two years, but she returned in 2013 to make the U.S. junior national team following a seventh-place finish in the all-around at the U.S. junior championships in Hartford. The next year, her first as a senior, she placed fourth all-around at the U.S. championships in Pittsburgh and won the silver medal on balance beam. Days later, a hyperextended elbow knocked her out of the Pan American championships in Canada, but Baumann fought through it once again.

Following a training camp in mid-September, Baumann earned a spot on the U.S. team to the 2014 World Championships in Nanning, China. The youngest member of the American team in Nanning, she competed three events in qualification (vault, beam and floor), scoring among the top 10 on vault and floor and in the top 15 on beam. In team finals, she was chosen as the leadoff gymnast on balance beam for the Americans, earning 14.500 for the second-best score for the team on that event behind Simone Biles' 14.966. The Americans trounced the Chinese by nearly 7 points to take the gold medal.

In 2015, Baumann finished seventh all-around at the U.S. Classic in July and national championships in August. Following a training camp, she was named a non-traveling alternate to the world championships in Glasgow. What few knew was how rough of a year she had had. Chronic illness, including bouts of bronchitis and mononucleosis, left her barely able to train. But she didn't bounce back like a healthy teenager, and she was too fatigued to even flex her muscles. Eventually, further tests revealed she had a chronic condition called Celiac disease (gluten-sensitive enteropathy), an allergy to gluten that triggers an immune response, which can cause severe exhaustion, headaches, joint pain, anemia and many other symptoms.

Baumann reclaimed her health with a special diet and was ready to go all out in 2016. In June, she finished third all-around and second on balance beam and floor exercise at the U.S. Classic. Two weeks later at the U.S. championships, she had a solid competition. She missed her toe-hecht on bars on the first day and stumbled back out of bounds on floor exercise on the second day, but hit cleanly elsewhere to place a solid seventh, easily qualifying to the U.S. Olympic Trials two weeks later in San Jose, California.

"Had so much fun competing tonight and the journey continues...OLYMPIC TRIALS BOUND!!!" Baumann tweeted on June 26. "So excited for this amazing opportunity!"

The next part of the plan was to peak in San Jose. With four solid, clean events and world championship experience under her belt, Baumann had a chance of making the U.S. team to Rio de Janeiro or earning one of three spots as an alternate. Whatever the outcome at trials, the way from San Jose would ultimately end up in Gainesville in August to join the Florida Gators gymnastics team, fulfilling another long-term goal.

Baumann with coaches Laurent Landi and Cécile Canqueteau-Landi following the 2014 World Championships

Neither plan was realized. The fall changed everything, including Baumann. After undergoing major reconstructive surgery on her left elbow, it did not take long to realize what lay ahead and that trying to recover in time for the spring of 2017, while attending classes full time, was not realistic. On July 15, she announced she was going to defer for one year to recover completely. That August, she watched the Olympics on TV and cheered for the Americans in Rio, especially Kocian, who helped the U.S. win the team gold medal and then won an individual silver on uneven bars.

On August 31, Baumann underwent a second surgery on her right wrist to fix an issue that had pained her for some time. The rest of 2016 was spent in rehabilitation therapy, devoted to healing an injured body and injured soul, fighting the frustration and pain while finding light in the darkness. Still limited, she returned to WOGA in January 2017, a world champion unable to do a handstand, a kip, a chin-up or even a back tuck. The new plan was to be 100 percent ready for today, in January 2018, when Florida begins its new season. It would be several more months before she was medically cleared to start training full-time.

It was a struggle Baumann documented in October for her Educational Technology course. She chose to tell her own story for a video assignment, showing training footage of her slowly coming back, improving a little bit every day and never giving up. She got an A. (Her younger sister, Rachel Baumann, a former elite who competed Level 10 last year and who has committed to Georgia, also made a montage dedicated to Alyssa's comeback.)

"She came back slowly to the gym, and it was hard, but she had new goals, which was to be the best for Florida," said Canqueteau-Landi, who along with her husband is now coaching Biles and other gymnasts in Houston. "I'm so proud of her and how determined she was and is! I can't wait to see her compete and shine!"

Baumann's unique shine is apparent from a quick visit to her official website,, which is noticeably different than the typical gymnast website. She maintains a blog, but there's no photo gallery or links to videos yet. Instead, she has a gallery of her favorite inspirational quotes, and a section about Celiac disease to help educate others about a condition that frequently goes undiagnosed. "I hope to help people overcome their own obstacles by seeing what I did to come back from my injuries and illnesses," she explains in a note on the front page.

At Florida, Baumann has been in good hands under Jenny Ester Rowland, who is in her third year as head coach. Rowland, an alternate on the 1989 U.S. world team, was forced to retire from elite gymnastics because of a serious back injury, but came back to compete in college. The team's assistant coaches are Adrian Burde, a former Romanian team member who coaches vault and tumbling; and Owen Field, who coaches bars. Florida is ranked No. 2 behind reigning national champion Oklahoma in the preseason coaches poll.

Baumann found time to catch up with IG as she traveled to West Virginia. She opened up about her long recovery, the importance of self-care and self-confidence, where she sees herself in Florida's deep lineup, and some unexpected adventures her time off afforded her.

IG: Alyssa, first of all, congratulations on your comeback! You look amazing in all the training videos. A lot of fans may not know that you also had surgery on your right wrist. What was the recovery like for that? Is your right wrist much better than before the surgery?

AB: Thank you very much. That surgery was an ulnar osteotomy. Basically, I had a piece of my ulna taken out because the bone was too long and was taking pressure that it shouldn't be. They put in a plate and six screws (which are still in my arm).

The recovery for that was actually very rough. For the first part of that recovery, my arm wasn't healing. When I first started running, one of my screws began to back out. To avoid another surgery, I had to go a while without any sort of physical activity. That was extremely difficult for me, as I haven't ever been that restricted in my career. It finally started healing once I stopped moving it and now that it is fully healed, it feels much better than before.

Baumann following her second surgery on her right arm

IG: Recovering from elbow surgery is really hard for any athlete but especially for a gymnast. How long did it take before you were able to fully straighten your arm? When were you first able to put weight on it?

AB: I had full range four months post-op (end of October). I was able to start weight bearing a little after I had full range, but because of complications with my second surgery (wrist) I waited until I was about six months out to start weight bearing. I was released after nine months, but was careful until I was 12 months out.

IG: After your surgeries, did you take a few months off from the gym while just doing physical rehab, or did you still go to do any leg conditioning or whatever you could? When were you able to return to full-time training?

AB: I took the first couple months off completely while I was first recovering from my elbow surgery. For a long time I was doing several hours of therapy every day — that was my main focus. The next couple months after that I went in a few times a week to do what conditioning I could and stay mentally in the gym. I would go over my skills mentally because I think that can be just as beneficial as doing the skills. I returned to full training after I was released from both my wrist and elbow, around May.

IG: You have video of you attempting a handstand and not getting very close. That must have been so frustrating and painful. Did you ever have any doubts that you would fully be able to come back on all four events?

AB: Coming back from these injuries was unlike anything I have ever done before. I couldn't do very basic skills such as a kip or handstand. It was very frustrating, especially since I am a perfectionist. Luckily, I had people, like Laurent and Cécile, who were there to support me and remind me that it would be a slow process and to be patient. Even though the doctors and many people around me told me that I probably wouldn't be able to do everything that I was able to do before, I never thought that. I believed in myself more than anyone else and knew that I could do it.

IG: What you went through in 2016 must have been a psychological trauma as much of a physical one. Everything changed in an instant, but you had to forge ahead with the unexpected, very difficult challenge of recovering physically while dealing with your disappointment. Can you tell us some things that helped you cope? For example, were there any particular books, songs or quotes that inspired you, or really good advice you got that you'd like to share?

AB: These injuries were just as mentally challenging as they were physically. My whole life was changed, I went from training for the Olympics to not being able to do basic activities. During this time I realized that I couldn't control what had happened, but I could control how I handled the situation. I chose to set a new goal for myself, to overcome this obstacle and inspire other gymnasts/athletes to never give up. I watched lots of motivational videos and read many quotes to get me through this time. Shortly after I injured my elbow I posted a quote on Instagram that really helped me. It said that unexpected things are always going to happen in life and the only thing we can control is how we handle them.

Some advice I want to give is, especially in rehab, to focus on your everyday accomplishments, which helps keep you motivated and moving forward. Recognize your progress, look at what you did today that you couldn't necessarily do yesterday or last week. Most of all, you cannot control the things in life that might happen but you can control how you chose to deal with them.

Baumann with Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols during their May vacation to Turks and Caicos

IG: Since you deferred your enrollment to recover completely, you did get a "bonus" year at home to train with Cécile and Laurent, and your sister Rachel, but not under any pressure from the elite schedule or academics. Did you get to do anything fun in your downtime? How often did you check in with your future coaches (and teammates) at Florida?

AB: I took many trips and went on vacations that I could never do before. I visited Simone for New Years, I visited Florida in the fall and again in February, I went to California, and in May I went to Turks and Caicos with Sydney Ewing, Maggie Nichols, and Aly Raisman. That was my favorite trip. It was great to be able to spend time with my close friends outside of gymnastics. We got to do so many fun things including snorkeling, jet skiing, and horseback riding in the ocean. Also, before I came to school I went to Boston to see Aly.

I checked in with my coaches often to let them know how my recovery was going. My teammates at Florida also would check in on me and ask how things were going with rehab. I kept up with all their meets and I am happy to finally be a part of the Florida family.

IG: You committed to Florida when you were 14. What led you to decide on Florida? Is there any aspect of being a collegiate gymnast that has surprised you, or was it an easy transition from elite to NCAA?

AB: There are so many reasons why I loved Florida. Florida's combination of great academics and athletics is almost unbeatable. Also, I fell in love with the atmosphere when I visited the campus. For me, it was a fairly easy decision and even though I committed when I was so young, I haven't regretted it a day since.

The only thing that was different about college gymnastics is the emphasis on conditioning, and I think that will be essential to be able to make it through a season that is much longer than what I'm used to.

IG: You're about to return to competition for the first time in 18 months and you look great. On which events do you feel you can contribute to Florida's lineup this season?

AB: I feel like I can contribute on beam and floor right away, and hope to be contributing on bars and vault by mid- or post-season. The coaches and I are trying to be smart about bars and vault so that I don't rush anything or risk any injuries. I'm excited to be competing this season as it has been so long since I last competed and I overcame a lot to get to this point.

IG: You deferred a year to properly rehab your injuries because you wanted to be 100 percent for Florida. Do you feel you've reached that goal? If so, what is the next goal ahead of you?

AB: Deferring a year was not an easy decision, but I feel like it was the best one. I do feel like I reached that goal of being 100 percent for Florida. By staying home and focusing on rehab I am in a much better place now and I'm ready to give everything I have to this team.

My new goal is to do everything possible so that I give my team every opportunity to win our meets. Also, I want to enjoy gymnastics more than I ever have before. This Florida team is special and I expect that we will accomplish big things this year.

Update: Baumann competed two events in her NCAA debut Friday evening to help the Florida Gators top West Virginia, 195.90-194.425 . She scored 9.900 on balance beam (tied for first) and 9.750 on floor exercise (sixth).

Baumann performing a Shaposhnikova on bars in December 2017 during an intrasquad competition for the Florida Gators
Written by John Crumlish    Friday, 29 December 2017 08:27    PDF Print
2017 Successes Spark Egypt's El Zeiny Toward Fourth Olympics
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

International Gymnast Online's annual series of holiday-themed features concludes with this update from three-time Egyptian Olympian Sherine El Zeiny, who, despite an injury that hindered her at this fall's world championships in Montreal, celebrated another successful year in her lengthy career.

International Gymnast Online's annual series of holiday-themed features concludes with this update from three-time Egyptian Olympian Sherine El Zeiny, who, despite an injury that hindered her at this fall's world championships in Montreal, celebrated another successful year in her lengthy career.

"Putting the competitions of 2017 aside, one of the best feelings I had was reaching my best physical form in all my athletic career," said El Zeiny, who was born in the Netherlands and trains there at SV Pax Haarlemmermeer under coaches Patrick Kiens and Daymon Montaigne-Jones.

El Zeiny, pictured at the 2004 Junior European Championships in Amsterdam, began her international career as a member of the Dutch team.

El Zeiny, who will turn 27 on February 23, said the highlights of her year were winning her first Egyptian national all-around title and gamely finishing qualifications at Worlds on an injured knee.

"In March I participated in the Egyptian nationals for the first time since I started competing for Egypt, and won the all-around gold as well as helped win the team gold with my new club, Wadi Degla," said El Zeiny, whose training partners at SV Pax Haarlemmermeer include Dutch star Eythora Thorsdottir. "It felt really nice performing in front of a home crowd and having everyone cheering for me without even knowing them or seeing them before."

El Zeiny finished 36th all-around in qualifications in Montreal, where a knee injury contributed to her two falls on balance beam. Although her performance there was less than ideal, she said the overall experience was meaningful.

"The most satisfying result for me was being ranked 20th all-around at worlds after three apparatus and knowing I had a very big chance of making the all-around final if I hadn't injured my knee before the last event," she said. "I am also very proud of being number 22 in the world on uneven bars with a score of 13.533, even with a bad landing."

Aiming for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, El Zeiny will enjoy a brief training break to ring in the new year.

"I usually celebrate New Year's in Egypt with my family because we get five days or a week off from training, depending on the competition schedule," El Zeiny told IG. "But since I have already been to Egypt last month due to my injury, I am staying in Holland this year and I am planning on spending New Year's Eve with my parents. We usually watch a show on the French channel TV 5 and then go out to watch the fireworks, since fireworks are one of the things I really love. Maybe my teammates and I will meet up after the fireworks."

Written by John Crumlish    Thursday, 30 November 2017 23:04    PDF Print
Van Gerner: 'I Just Couldn't Let Go Of Gymnastics'
(9 votes, average 4.11 out of 5)

After nearly a year out of the gym, two-time Dutch Olympian Céline van Gerner gives IG Online an update on her life since the 2016 Rio Olympics, and details her decision to resume her competitive career.

After nearly a year out of the gym, two-time Dutch Olympian Céline van Gerner gives IG Online an update on her life since the 2016 Rio Olympics, and details her decision to resume her competitive career.

Céline van Gerner at the 2010 World Championships in Rotterdam

Van Gerner, who turns 23 on Friday, competed as an individual at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where she finished 12th all-around. Four years later, she was part of the Dutch team that made history at the Olympics Games in Rio, finishing seventh in the team final.

A native of Emmeloord, Van Gerner trains at Turneren Sportstad Heerenveen with coach Gerben Wiersma. She made her senior debut in 2010, finishing fourth on uneven bars at the European championships in Birmingham and 19th all-around at the world championships in Rotterdam. That year she was named the Royal Dutch Gymnastics Federation's Athlete of the Year. She recovered from a broken right ankle in time for the 2011 Worlds in Tokyo, finishing 17th all-around. The following month, she underwent surgery on her foot after it was diagnosed that her foot was also broken.

Unable to compete at the 2012 Olympic test event, Van Gerner returned to form in time to defend her Dutch national title. She was eventually selected to represent Netherlands at the 2012 Olympics in London, during a controversial selection that involved lawsuits in civil court.

She took some time off after London but returned in 2013, only to break her right ankle again. After a lengthy recovery and a hamstring injury that kept her out of the 2015 World Championships, she qualified for the Dutch team to the 2016 Olympic Games, the first time since 1976 that the Netherlands had a full team at the Olympics.

After time away from the sport, Van Gerner has been drawn back to the gym. In this IG Online interview, she talks about the status of her comeback.

IG: What have you been doing with yourself since the 2016 Rio Olympics, in terms of gymnastics and life outside the gym?

CVG: The first half-year after Rio I spent my time by doing shows, clinics and demonstrations, and giving presentations. By the end of January I fully stepped out of the gym. It was time to recover, because, while in Rio, I was and got more injured on my left calf. During that time I went to an acting class on Mondays for eight weeks. I went to Norway, cheering on my younger sister in a speed skating competition. That was really fun because normally I'm the competitor and she is cheering me on, but this time it was vice versa. Overall I got time to do whatever I wanted to do, and I was trying to find out what my future could be like, for example, school-wise. From May till September, I was teaching cardio lessons for 13 hours a week in a local fitness club.

Van Gerner training in Heerenveen in 2015

IG: What motivated you to get back into training, and what is the incentive for you to resume your career?

CVG: By June, I stepped into the gym once – just for fun, and checking out which skills I was able to do. By that one time I was super fit and feeling healthy. My calf didn't give a reaction in training, for the first time it a year and a half, so I was pretty excited about that. But then the hardest part came – the "What if?" game. What if I could still do gymnastics? My body was better healed than I had ever expected, so I just couldn't let go of gymnastics. Twenty years from now, I will be too old to do gymnastics, you know. The time is still now. So I guess that's why I decided to give it one more shot.

IG: How far ahead are you looking?

CVG: Right now I'm building my gymnastics level very slowly. I'm taking it day-by-day, month-by-month. When my body doesn't feel good, I make sure I do a light day, or even take the day off. I need to listen to my body. It's been out of the gym for like a year, so it needs time to adjust again. I'm sore for two months already, almost every day, even while taking it slowly!

IG: How much more do you think you can still accomplish? Do you foresee a return to international competition?

CVG: We will find out. Right now I'm trying to figure out the new Code of Points and how it will work for me.

IG: Turning 23 on December 1, what do you think about the number of gymnasts who are still competing in their 20s?

CVG: I love how the sport is changing. I really like the sport's development, that you're not old anymore when you are in your 20s. I think it's good for the younger girls to see, as well, that you still can do gymnastics in your 20s and can ever get better by then. I'm really happy with the age going up.

International Gymnast magazine's recent coverage of Dutch gymnasts includes:
Eythora Thorsdottir chat (May 2017)
"Dutch Master" – Thorsdottir interview (April 2016)
"Marked for Success" – Casimir Schmidt profile (July/August 2014)
"Just Verdict" – Céline van Gerner interview (June/July 2012)
"Ready to Rise for the Netherlands" – Noel van Klaveren profile (June 2013)
"Skilled and Studious" – Epke Zonderland cover story (March 2014)

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

Written by Amanda Turner    Sunday, 26 November 2017 13:07    PDF Print
Chinese Takes Two Titles as Cottbus World Cup Concludes
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

China won two more titles Sunday as the 42nd Turnier Der Meister tournament concluded in Cottbus, Germany. Russia, Germany and Japan each took one event title as the 2017 FIG World Cup season concluded. Pictured: China's Wang Cenyu won balance beam over Germany's Pauline Schäfer and Russia's Maria Kharenkova.

China won two more titles Sunday as the 42nd Turnier Der Meister tournament concluded in Cottbus, Germany. Russia, Germany and Japan each took one event title as the 2017 FIG World Cup season concluded.

One of the longest-running tournaments in gymnastics, the 2017 Turnier Der Meister was the 12th and final FIG World Cup/Challenge Cup event of the year. This year's edition attracted 140 gymnasts from 28 nations to Cottbus, where a junior men's tournament was also held with teams from Germany, France, Great Britain and Switzerland.

Wang Cenyu (China) won her first World Cup title Sunday on balance beam

China, which sent five men and two women to Cottbus, dominated this weekend's finals with eight medals, including three gold medals. The host German team won five medals, including two golds. Russia also won five medals, while Ukraine won three, and Japan and Slovenia won two each. Australia, the Netherlands, Norway, the United States and Uzbekistan each won one medal.

First-year senior Wang Cenyu, the bronze medalist on uneven bars, took the gold medal in a beam final that included the reigning world and Olympic champions. Wang showed a relatively simple routine (RO, pencil-straight two-foot layout; side somi; double twist dismount; 5.4D) but edged Germany's own world champion Pauline Schäfer (5.2D), 14.166-14.000. Schäfer showed off a very polished and elegant performance that earned the highest Execution score of the final with 8.800. Top qualifier Maria Kharenkova of Russia, the 2014 European champion on balance beam, won the bronze with the highest D-Score (6.2) of the final, where a few wobbles cost her the title (punch front; ff ff two-foot layout; switch ring; ff ff double pike).

Olympic champion Sanne Wevers (Netherlands) had a fairly solid routine going with just one major wobble, but crashed her layout gainer full dismount to finish fifth.

Russia's Lilia Akhaimova, the silver medalist on vault, won gold on floor exercise, her first World Cup title and first big international success. The Saint Petersburg powerhouse was an alternate to Russia's Olympic team last summer thanks to her tumbling, but she's improved her consistency this year as well. She tumbled an Arabian double front, punch front; double layout (out); piked Arabian double front; and the rare full-in dismount (6.0D). Akhaimova, who turned 20 in March, adds much-needed depth to Russian team on floor exercise, their weakest event during the past quad, and appears capable of upgrading both her vaults.

Kharenkova, who was first in qualification on floor as well, took silver behind her teammate. Kharenkova missed a year of competition owing to an ankle injury and growth spurt, but appears to be a much stronger and more confident gymnast. She tumbled a new double layout, and though her choreography needs improvement, her turns and leaps were very impressive. Schäfer, who was Germany's Athlete of the Month for October, picked up another medal with the bronze.

Japan's Keisuke Asato won a close contest on men's vault thanks to his well-landed Ri Se Gwang (full-twisting Tsukahara double back) and just a large step on his layout Randi. Still rings champion Igor Radivilov of Ukraine, second on vault at the world championships, took another silver Sunday with his Dragulescu and Tsukahara double pike.

Australia's Christopher Remkes won the bronze using the same vaults as Radivilov, with Remkes' remarkable power standing out even in a strong vault final. It was the third World Cup medal this year on vault for Remkes, who took gold in Melbourne and silver in Baku.

Tan Di, competing in his first World Cup event, won parallel bars with the highest score of the competition, 15.566 (6.4D). He also won the bronze medal on pommel horse on Saturday.

Olympic champion Oleg Vernyayev (Ukraine) won the silver (15.166/6.7), overarching a handstand and making a few tiny errors in his lengthy routine. Vernyayev competed only pommel horse and parallel bars in Cottbus, where his exhaustion is apparent after more than five years of heavy competition without a lengthy break. In addition to the European championships in the spring and world championships in the fall, Vernyayev competed in six World Cup events (including all three all-around competitions), the University Games in July, the Arthur Gander Memorial and Swiss Cup two weeks ago, in addition to national competitions and frequent competitions for TG Saar in the German Bundesliga. Following next weekend's Bundesliga final, Vernyayev is expected to take significant time off and undergo surgery to repair torn ligaments in his shoulder and leg that have plagued him since before the Olympic Games.

Three-time Olympian Marcel Nguyen brought Germany another medal with the bronze, throwing his full-twisting double dismount (15.133/6.5). Teammate Andreas Bretschneider ended the competition on a golden note for the home team on high bar. Bretschneider, who also won in 2013, 2015 and 2016, left out his eponymous skill (double-twisting Kovacs) but still won his fourth title comfortably, scoring 14.566 (5.9D). American Marvin Kimble picked up the silver (14.033/6.2) over Norway's Pietro Giachino (14.000/5.5), who bumped Tan Di for the bronze in a tie-break. It was the first World Cup medal for Giachino, born in Oslo to an Italian father and Norwegian mother.

In a repeat of his performance of the world championships finals, Japan's Hidetaka Miyachi caught the layout Bretschneider (now the Miyachi), then fell on the original tucked version before successfully attempting it again. He ended up sixth, under .3 from the bronze.

The 2018 World Cup season has 13 events on the calendar, including four all-around events. The first event is an apparatus World Cup scheduled for February 22-25 in Melbourne.

External Link: Official Website

42nd Turnier Der Meister/FIG World Cup
November 26, 2017, Cottbus, Germany

Balance Beam FinalDENDScore
1.Wang Cenyu5.48.76614.166
2.Pauline Schäfer5.28.80014.000
3.Maria Kharenkova6.27.56613.766
4.Katarzyna Jurkowska-Kowalska4.88.63313.433
5.Sanne Wevers5.97.3330.113.133
6.Lilia Akhaimova5.57.30012.800
7.Diana Varinska5.47.30012.700
8.Rose-Kaying Woo5.67.03312.633

Women's Floor Exercise FinalDENDScore
1.Lilia Akhaimova6.08.1000.114.000
2.Maria Kharenkova5.58.10013.600
3.Pauline Schäfer4.98.60013.500
4.Rose-Kaying Woo4.98.26613.166
5.Maisie Methuen4.98.16613.066
6.Elisabeth Seitz4.48.60013.000
7.Laura Bechdeju4.87.70012.500
8.Diana Varinska5.08.0000.612.400

Men's Vault FinalDENDScoreAverage
1.Keisuke Asato6.09.16615.16614.966
2.Igor Radivilov5.69.20014.80014.883
3.Christopher Remkes5.69.30014.90014.816
4.Andrei Makolov5.29.43314.63314.549
5.Felix Remuta5.29.1330.114.23314.316
6.Qu Ruiyang5.68.2000.113.70014.100
7.Tseng Wei-Sheng5.68.26613.86613.666
8.Mizuki Hasegawa5.68.2002.013.70012.050

Parallel Bars FinalDENDScore
1.Tan Di6.49.16615.566
2.Oleg Vernyayev6.78.46615.166
3.Marcel Nguyen6.58.63315.133
4.Vladislav Polyashov6.08.66614.666
5.Ivan Rittschik5.77.63313.333
6.Rubén López5.67.40013.000
7.Petro Pakhnyuk5.87.16612.966
8.Hidetaka Miyachi5.17.26612.366

High Bar FinalDENDScore
1.Andreas Bretschneider5.98.66614.566
2.Marvin Kimble6.27.83314.033
3.Pietro Giachino5.58.50014.000
4.Tan Di5.98.10014.000
5.Mitchell Morgans6.17.80013.900
6.Hidetaka Miyachi6.47.33313.733
7.Sascha Coradi5.77.63313.333
8.Anton Kovačević6.06.96612.966
Written by John Crumlish    Wednesday, 01 November 2017 08:46    PDF Print
Kocian: 'I Stay Positive And Trust The Process'
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

In this IG Online update, 2016 Olympic gold and silver medalist Madison Kocian of UCLA comments on staying motivated after shoulder surgery, and more. Pictured: Kocian with coach Laurent Landi at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio

In this IG Online update, 2016 Olympic gold and silver medalist Madison Kocian of UCLA comments on staying motivated after shoulder surgery, the prospect of returning to competition and the new training partnership between her former WOGA coach Laurent Landi and her 2016 Olympic teammate Simone Biles.

Prior to enrolling at UCLA last year, Kocian trained under Landi and his wife, 1996 French Olympian Cécile Canqueteau-Landi, at WOGA in Plano, Texas. This month Landi begins coaching Biles, a quadruple Olympic gold medalist at World Champions Centre, in Spring, Texas. The gym was built by Biles' parents.

The 20-year-old-Kocian, who enjoyed a successful freshman season at UCLA in 2016-17, underwent surgery in August to repair a torn labrum. She is in the process of rehabilitation ahead of the NCAA competition season that begins in January. In this IG Online update, Kocian shares her thoughts on her surgery, recovery and the fresh Landi-Biles partnership.

Madison Kocian (UCLA)

IG: How successful do you feel your shoulder surgery was, in terms of completely fixing the problem and fortifying you for the upcoming seasons?

MK: My surgery went very well. My surgeon was pleased with the outcome of the surgery, and so far I'm feeling great. It was the right decision for me since my pain was continuously increasing after pushing through the injury for so long.

IG: With the 2018 season starting in a couple of months, when do you think you'll ready to compete, and on which events?

MK: Right now, I'm taking it day-by-day but my timetable for a comeback can't be determined. I'm working hard on my rehab plan with my therapists and surgeon, but we also have to be patient with the healing process so that I don't risk damaging the repairs.

IG: How are you staying motivated, knowing you need to take the necessary steps and time to heal, while your teammates are busy honing their routines for the new season?

MK: I keep the motivation by reminding myself of my goals every morning. Some days are definitely harder than others, but I stay positive and trust the process. I'm doing everything in my control to help my shoulder heal, and in the meantime, I'm finding new ways I can help my teammates work towards our goal. I'm super excited to be back on the competition floor with my Bruins soon!

IG: You have a unique perspective on Laurent's coaching attributes since he was your personal coach at WOGA. What do you feel were his greatest strengths and skills in helping you reach your potential?

MK: I'm very excited for Laurent, Cécile and Simone. Laurent and Cécile changed my life, and I couldn't have achieved my dreams without them. Laurent knew when to push harder on the tough days, but also when to back off so that I wouldn't break. He was very smart in devising training plans in order for me to peak at the right time, and I believe that is what allowed me to reach my potential.

IG: Having trained under Laurent, and knowing Simone well, what do you believe he can do to improve Simone's gymnastics at this point in her career?

MK: I know it will be an adjustment and learning experience for all of them at the beginning, but I'm confident he can help Simone achieve the goals she puts forward.

Read "New Life," a cover story/interview with Madison Kocian, in the March 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions, or order back issues, click here.


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