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Competition Reports

Written by    Sunday, 24 November 2019 10:37    PDF Print
China, Japan and Ukraine dominate Cottbus World Cup
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

China won four of the titles, while Japan and Ukraine each won three events at the 44th edition of the Cottbus World Cup held November 21-24 in Cottbus, Germany. The competition was also the fifth of eight editions of the individual World Cup Series, which serve as an additional method of qualifying to next year’s Olympic Games for individual specialists who have not yet qualified through the World Championships in 2018 and 2019.

On day one of event finals the Chinese Yu Linmin took the women’s vault title with well-executed Cheng (Yurchenko-half-on-Rudi-off) and a Tsukahara double twist posting an average of 14.649. Teja Belak from Slovenia took the silver with a (14.216), just ahead of Cuba’s Yesenia Ferrera who won the bronze (14.199). Two-time world champion Maria Paseka (Russia) failed to land her second vault (Cheng) and placed sixth.

On uneven bars two-time world champion Fan Yilin (China) posted 14.8/6.4 (inside stalder to Komova II to Pak to stalder Shaposhnikova to Gienger, Healy to Ling to half in back off dismount) to capture the title, which was her third consecutive gold medal in the World Cup series. With her third win on the event Fan earns the maximum 90 points total in the series, which almost certainly guarantees her a qualification to the Tokyo Olympics. Anastasiia Agafonova (Russia) took the silver with 14.733/6.4, while Fan’s teammate Yin Sisi earned the bronze with a 14.566/6.1.

The new tumbling sensation from Japan, Kazuki Minami, easily won the men’s floor title posting 15.1/6.6 for his notable routine: (triple twisting double tuck, front triple twist, stuck 3 ½ to front full and 1 ½ to Randi, 2 ½ to front double full and triple twist dismount). And with the three remaining individual World Cup events in 2020 Minami certainly becomes a factor in the Olympic floor qualification race. Current leader in the series, Rayderley Zapata (Spain), took the silver posting 14.8/6.5 (1 ½ twisting double front, front double pike half out, 1 ½ to front double pike and front double tuck half out). Britain’s Hayden Skinner took the bronze with a 14.533/6.5.

On pommel horse Weng Hao from China won his third World Cup gold medal of the series with a 15.0/6.6 (two scissors to handstand, two on one 1080, triple Russian between the pommels and triple Russian at the end, Wu, Magyar, Sivado). With the win Weng also secures the maximum 90 points on the event in the pommel horse World Cup qualification race. Japan’s Kaito Imabayashi took the silver with 14.966/6.7, while Ukraine’s Oleg Verniaiev earned the bronze posting 14.866/6.6. U.S. hopeful Stephen Nedoroscik had a fall after his Wu and paced 8th.

In the rings final China captured their fourth gold of the day when Liu Yang produced mesmerizing level of strength to post 15.133/6.4, despite a fairly short landing on his double twisting double tuck dismount. With the win Liu is the leading candidate to earn the qualification spot on the event as he has now won three events out of three attempts. Taking a very low landing on his tuck double-double dismount Eleftherios Petrounias from Greece earned the silver on the event with 14.888/6.3, while Artur Avetisyan from Armenia took home the bronze posting 14.833/5.9 for his clean routine.

In the second day of the event finals Ukraine captured three of the five titles. Igor Radivilov (Ukraine) took the men’s vault title with a strong Dragulescu and a Tsukahara double pike, which received 14.849. Audrys Nin Reyes (Dominican Republic) earned the silver competing Ri (full twisting double tuck Tsukahara) and a Dragulescu 14.749. The bronze went to Belarus’ Yahor Sharamkou who earned 14.749 for his Kasamatsu 1 ½ twist and a stuck Dragulescu.

Oleg Verniaiev toped the field on parallel bars with a 15.4/6.7, a score that matched China’s You Hao 15.4/6.9, but the Ukrainian took the gold due to the higher execution score. Russia’s Vladislav Poliashov earned the bronze with a well-executed routine receiving 15.366/6.5.

Ukraine’s third gold medal of the day was on women’s floor exercise where Anastasiia Bachynska posted 13.533/5.1 for a routine with strong tumbling (full in, double Arabian, double pike, double tuck), beautiful choreography and superb execution on the dance elements. The home crowd was pleased to see German veteran Kim Bui take the silver with a 13.5/5.1, while Lara Mori from Italy earned the bronze with a 13.4/5.6.

Japan took the remaining two titles on the second day of event finals. Urara Ashikawa topped the field on beam with a 13.7/5.5 (ff-layout step out, ring jump, side aerial, split half sideways, switch leap to sheep jump, side somie, double turn, triple twist dismount). With a solid routine Diana Varinska from Ukraine took the silver posting 13.533/5.4, while top qualifier Li Qi from China earned the bronze after a large wobble on her round off layout to two feet 13.4/5.8.

Hidetaka Miyachi won the high bar title in a spectacular fashion performing superbly his Miyachi (double twisting layout Kovacs), Bretschneider (double twisting Kovacs), Cassina and Kolman and sticking his full twisting double layout dismount to post 14.933/6.4 for the gold. Ilias Georgiou from Cyprus edged Russia’s Alexey Rostov on a tiebreaker to earn the silver with a 14.166/5.6 (Rostov’s d-score 6.3). With the win Miyachi will surpass Epke Zonderland in the World Cup high bar rankings. The Dutch was originally scheduled to compete in Cottbus, but was not present at the competition. For full results of the competition on the host website of the event click here. The remaining three World Cup events which are part of the series are in Melbourne (Australia), Baku (Azerbaijan) and Doha (Qatar) in February and March of 2020. For current (unofficial) World Cup rankings (excluding the results from Cottbus) on each event click here.

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

 
Written by John Crumlish    Monday, 04 November 2019 08:46    PDF Print
'Duo Maintenant Soars On Global Stage'
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

To be featured in 2019 December issue, two-time French Olympian Ludivine Furnon and partner Nicolas Besnard, known professionally as the acrobatic pair “Duo Maintenant,” have been soaring on stages and televisions screens around the world since their audience-thrilling, judge-pleasing performance on “America’s Got Talent” this summer.

“That was by far the best acrobatic act I’ve seen,” said AGT judge Julianne Hough. Gabrielle Union described their performance as “seamless, beautiful and powerful.” Howie Mandel praised the act as “perfect and beautiful and dangerous.” Quipped Simon Cowell, “That was a 10.”

Since their AGT performance, Duo Maintenant have booked gigs in China, Dubai, Seychelles, Greece, Russia and Denmark. They recently performed on “Romania’s Got Talent.” “It's true that we won a lot of fans and many requests for special events and contracts thanks to our visit to AGT,” Furnon says. “Many other projects are under way.”

Furnon may not be content with Cowell’s perceived perfection of their act, though, as she and Besnard envision even more artistic expansion and expression.

“I think an artist never finishes evolving and has no limits precisely,” she says. “Our ideas come from a natural and passionate inspiration that can come at any time of the day and night. We love creating and renewing our numbers with different music and different energies, like actors who play different roles each time. We live the story of our numbers 1,000 percent.”

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

 
Written by John Crumlish    Thursday, 17 October 2019 07:15    PDF Print
Mikulak: ‘I Know My True Potential’
(3 votes, average 3.67 out of 5)

Although a fall dropped U.S. gymnast Sam Mikulak out of medal contention in the all-around final at the World Championships that ended Sunday in Stuttgart, he said his seventh-place finish was even more satisfying than his fifth-place finish at the 2018 Worlds in Doha.

“Last year was a lot rougher because I did things I shouldn’t have,” said Mikulak, who fell on pommel horse in the fifth of six rotations in the all-around final in Stuttgart. “This time, I did everything I wanted to. It just didn’t end up my way. I’m going have to be a little better technically going forward.”

Mikulak, who went on to finish fifth on high bar in the apparatus finals on Sunday, his 27th birthday, saw the upside of his all-around ranking.

“In a way it helps me manage my expectations,” he said. “Going forward, if I ever have a bad day, I know I can turn it around right away. There’s nothing against performing bad because I know my true potential out there.”

Read complete coverage of the 2019 World Championships in the November 2019 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions, click here.

 
Written by Christian Ivanov    Sunday, 13 October 2019 15:16    PDF Print
Biles Breaks All-Time Medal Record In Last Day Of Worlds
(5 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Simone Biles captured two more gold medals in the second day of event finals at the world championships in Stuttgart (GER) to break the all-time record of most medals in world championships history. The American tied Belarusian Vitaly Scherbo’s all-time record during day one of event finals at 23 medals, but now stands alone as the most decorated in world championships history with 25 medals, 19 of them gold.

On Sunday afternoon at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle the 22-year-old won both the balance beam and floor exercises titles by wide margins for her fourth and fifth gold medals in Stuttgart. Biles did not compete her double twisting double tuck beam dismount, which she debuted during the qualifications, but still produced the highest beam score of the championships at 15.066/6.4. On floor she did perform her triple twisting double tuck to post a 15.133/6.7 and outscore the silver medalist, teammate Sunisa Lee, by a full point. “Overall it was a very happy worlds, probably one of my best ones yet, so I feel pretty confident going into the next Olympic year. I couldn’t be more thrilled with my performance and it gives me confidence moving forward”, Biles reflected after the competition.

Chinese duo Liu Tingting and Li Shijia won the silver and bronze on the balance beam with 14.433/6.2 and 14.3/6.1. It was Liu second world medal on beam as she came in as the defending champion, while for Li it was her first ever medal from world championships. Sunisa Lee's second place on floor (14.133/5.7) made it her third medal in Stuttgart (team gold and uneven bars bronze), while Angelina Melnikova from Russia captured the bronze on the event, also her third medal of the championships (team sliver and all-around bronze), with a 14.066/5.8.

The Russian men dominated the vault final by taking the gold and the silver. Nikita Nagornyy stuck his Dragulescu and landed exceptionally well his Tsukahara double pike to edge teammate Artur Dalaloyan 14.966 to 14.933 and take the title, his third gold medal in Stuttgart (team and all-around). Dalaloyan, who was also the silver medalist a year ago, vaulted a Yurchenko triple twist and Blanik (front handspring front double pike) but took a very big step on his second vault. Posting an average of 14.749 third was Ukrainian Igor Radivilov who competed the same vaults as Nagornyy, but they weren’t landed as cleanly. “I didn’t expect that one. I thought that maybe I could take third place, but then the other competitors had some mistakes and that allowed me to win the gold medal”, all-around champion Nagornyy said after the vault final.

With Zou Jingyuan (China) and Oleg Verniaiev (Ukraine) absent from the parallel bars final, arguably the top p-bars workers in the world, Joe Fraser seized the opportunity to become the new world champion on the event. He posted 15.0 for the most difficult routine in the final 6.6 (Tanaka-giant Suarez front, peach back tuck to upper arms, giant to one bar to Healy from one bar, double front with a half twist) to capture second gold medal for Great Britain following Max Whitlock’s win on pommel horse. “I’m still trying to process it to be honest – just wow”, Fraser commented in regard to his title. Ahmet Onder took the silver with 14.983/6.2, to make it second medal for Turkey in Stuttgart after Ibrahim Colak captured the first ever medal for his country by winning the rings title on day one of event finals. Kazuma Kaya won the bronze with a 14.966/6.3, which was the sole individual medal for Japan this year.

The high bar final produced yet another brand new world champion for the men. It was Brazil’s Arthur Mariano who mastered the best routine of the day for 14.9/6.3 (layout Tkatchev to Tkatchev to Tkatchev half, Winkler-full twisting layout Jaeger, double twisting double layout). “I feel amazing, it’s like a dream come true”, the champion reflected afterwards. The gold medal was Mariano’s first ever medal from world championships. 2017 high bar gold medalist, Tin Srbic (Croatia) took the silver with a 14.666/6.2, while Artur Dalaloyan won the bronze with a 14.533/6.1. It was Dalaloyan’s fourth medal in Stuttgart, the most of any male gymnasts in the competition.

Following the event finals FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) officially updated the list of individual gymnasts who have earned a nominative place from the 2019 World Championships for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. To access the list click here, and follow (event files and then click show files).

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

 
Written by Christian Ivanov    Saturday, 12 October 2019 18:17    PDF Print
Five Nations Golden At First Day Of Event Finals In Stuttgart
(3 votes, average 3.67 out of 5)

Five different nations were golden during the first day of event finals at the world championships in Stuttgart, Germany. On men’s floor exercise Carlos Yulo made history for the Philippines as the first ever-gold medalist at worlds. Yulo, who won the bronze a year ago, performed an impeccable routine (full twisting double layout, double front piked with a half turn, 2 ½ twists to Randi, 3 ½ twists punch front layout half, front full twist to front double twists and triple twist) to score 15.3 for his 6.5. Artem Dolgopyat from Israel matched his result from 2017 by winning the silver with a 15.2/6.4 (Zapata-1 ½ twisting double front first pass). Xiao Ruoteng posted 14.933/6.2 for the bronze. All-around champion Nikita Nagornyy (Russia) landed out of bound his Liukin (triple back) for seventh, while defending champion Artur Dalaloyan (Russia) missed his 2 ½ punch front double full, which lowered his start value and he placed fourth.

Simone Biles easily defended her gold medal on vault by performing superbly her Cheng (Yurchenko half on front handspring Rudi off) and Amanar (Yurchenko 2 ½ twists) vaults, which averaged 15.399. This was Biles’ third gold medal in Stuttgart, which raises her total to record 17 gold medals in her career, and ties the record of legend Vitaly Scherbo at 23 total medals overall. Jade Carey from the U.S. competed last in the final and matched her results on vault from two years ago by winning again the silver. Carey posted 14.833 for her Cheng and Amanar (.3 ND on her Amanar for a large step off the mat). Ellie Downie from Great Britain took the bronze with a Cheng and double twisting Yurchenko, which she performed exceptionally clean for 14.816. This was Downie’s first ever-individual medal from world championships.

In the pommel horse final Max Whitlock reclaimed his title by performing the most difficulty at 7.0 and posting 15.5 for the win. This was the Brit’s third world title after previously being victories in 2017 and 2019. Improving on the bronze medal from last year second was Lee Chih-kai from Chinese Taipei who performed his unique flair routine with superb amplitude (flair to handstand down to flair, spindle in flairs, travels in flairs). Lee posted 15.433/6.5 for the silver. Rhys McClenaghan won a historic bronze medal for Ireland scoring a 15.4/6.4. McClenaghan posted the highest execution score of the final (9.0).

On uneven bars Belgium’s Nina Derwael repeated as the champion earning 15.233/6.5 for her masterful routine (Nabieva, toe on Tkatchev half to Ezhova to stalder Shaposhnikova to Pak to Maloney half, toe full to full twisting double tuck stuck). “I am just really happy the routine I did today, with all the pressure and how I handled it”, she commented afterwards. Becky Downie from Great Britain went one better than her sister’s vault result by winning the silver on bars. Downie competed a 6.5 routine (most difficulty in the final along with Derwael) to post 15.0 and capture her first ever world individual medal as well. Third place finisher was Sunisa Lee from the U.S. posting 14.8/6.4.

There was a lot at stake in the rings final as five of the eight competitors in the field were seeking to capture the three available qualification spots to the Olympics. Top qualifier Ibrahim Colak topped the filed with a 14.933/6.2 for another historic achievement of the day, the first ever medal of any color for his native Turkey. “I am really happy right now, and I also made the Olympics”, he told the media after the competition. Marco Lodadio from Italy improved on his bronze medal from a year ago by taking the silver with a 14.9/6.3. Competing last in the final Samir Ait Said won the bronze with a 14.8/6.2. The three medalists earned the right to compete at next year’s Olympics in Tokyo. Three-time world defending champion Eleftherios Petrounias from Greece placed fourth after not executing to his best standards. Petrounias was making his return to competition following a shoulder surgery after last year’s world championships. He will now have to seek qualification to the Olympics through the individual event World Cup Series, which he must win, in order to qualify.

The world championships conclude tomorrow with the second day of the individual event finals (men’s vault, parallel bars and high bar, and women’s balance beam and floor exercise).

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

 
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