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Competition Reports

Written by John Crumlish    Monday, 26 November 2018 07:16    PDF Print
Mikulak: 'Another Year Will Be My Time'
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

A series of flashbacks from the 2018 World Championships in Doha.

Nobody was more surprised than Sam Mikulak of the U.S. when he lost his grip on high bar in the last rotation of the all-around final, dropping him from third to fifth place.

“Going in to that event, I felt really good,” said Mikulak, who qualified third to the all-around final. “I can look back to many other competitions where nerves were a factor, and I think I was beyond the nerves. I put my first releases a little close and played it safe. Having my grip slip on a Tkatchev-half was not the way I would ever have thought this to go down.”

Mikulak gained a reasonable share of redemption in the apparatus finals in Doha, where he finished third on high bar, fourth on vault, fourth on parallel bars and seventh on floor exercise.

Right after the all-around final, however, Mikulak was resolute that better all-around results are to come.

“I’m going to go home and get fired up,” he said. “I don’t know what more I could have done. I have to just keep plugging away, and another year will be my time.”

IG’s John Crumlish was chief editor/reporter for the organizing committee’s News Service at the 2018 World Championships in Doha.

Read complete coverage of the 2018 World Championships in the December 2018 issue of International Gymnast magazine.

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

 
Written by Christian Ivanov    Sunday, 25 November 2018 15:58    PDF Print
Event Specialists Shine in Cottbus World Cup
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

The Olympic qualification process continued with the first of eight world cup events for individual event specialists, which was held in Cottbus, Germany this weekend.  After the series have concluded in the spring of 2020 the top ranked athletes on each event could qualify as individuals to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.  Top three results for each athlete will be taken under consideration to determine the final rankings.

The Turnier der Meister in Cottbus was the first of the FIG individual event world cup competitions and featured deep fields on both men’s and women’s side with the presence of multiple world and Olympic champions and medalists.

In the men’s competition the floor title went to Artem Dolgopyat (Israel) who competed a 1 ½ twisting front double tuck, front full to Randi, double twisting double layout, 2 ½ to double full and dismounted with a double twisting double tuck for 14.8/6.6.  Casimir Schmidt (Netherlands) and Carlos Yulo (Philippines) tied for second best with 14.5 but the Dutch won the silver due to his higher execution score.

In the pommel horse final the top three gymnasts had 6.5 difficulty and their routines were done predominantly in flairs.  The final ranking came down to the execution, and deservingly the gold went to Chih Kai Lee (Taipei) 15.508.  The silver was earned by Hao Weng (China) 15.266, and the bronze went to Iraqi Saeedreza Keikha 15.133.

China dominated the rings final with Yang Liu capturing the gold (roll to Maltese, lower down to hang press up to invert cross, double twisting double tuck dismount) 15.2/6.4 and Hao You earning the bronze with 14.833/6.3.  The silver medal went to Samir Ait Said (France) 14.9/6.3.

With two strong landings on Dragulescu and Tsukahara double pike Igor Radivilov (Ukraine) captured the vault gold.  Mingqi Huang (China) and Loris Frasca (France) placed second and third respectively.

Oleg Verniaiev (Ukraine) easily won parallel bars (peach half, peach to one bar to immediate Healy from one bar, Makuts, Moy, Tippelt, double front half out) with 15.0/6.4.  Dmitri Lankin (Russia) was strong on his uprise Diamidov, uprise Stutz and dismounted double front half out to take the silver with 14.766/6.4.  Ferhat Arican (Turkey) scored 14.666/6.4 and placed third on the event despite some form issues on his uprise Diamidov and his Makuts.

The stacked high bar final featured some incredible routines.  Recently crowned world champion Epke Zonderland (Netherlands) again connected successfully his Cassina to Kovacs and Kolman to Gaylord 2 and took the gold with 14.866/6.7.  Tin Srbic (Croatia) as usual produced a clean routine (Tkatchev to layout Tkatchev to Tkatchev half) and stuck his full twisting double layout for the silver medal 14.733/5.9.  Japan’s Hidetaka Miyachi was sensational catching his (Miyachi-double twisting layout Kovacs), and followed with Cassina, Kovacs and Kolman to place third with 14.533/6.3

On the women’s side Brazil dominated the competition winning three gold and three silver medals.  Rebeca Andrade easily won the vault title with superb Yurchenko double full and a layout Podkopaeva 14.728.  Jade Carey (United States) competed the same vaults for second place 14.516, while the bronze went to Dipa Karmakar (India) 14.316 (front full and Tsuk double full).

Recent world champion on uneven bars Nina Derwael (Belgium) was victorious again with a 15.1/6.5 (Nabieva, stalder Tkatchev half to Ezhova to stalder Shaposhnikova to full twisting Pak, full twisting double tuck dismount).  With a clean execution and good precision on handstands Andrade won the silver 14.5/5.9, while the bronze went to Jiaqi Lyu (China) 14.433/6.1.  Top qualifier Yilin Fan (China) could have challenged Derwael but put her hands down on her dismount front half in back out.

With a rock solid routine, Andrade also captured the beam title (ff-layout step out, front aerial-split jump-ff step out, switch ring, side aerial, double pike dismount) 13.766/5.6.  Teammate Flavia Saraiva won the silver ahead of Ukrainian Diana Varinska who earned the bronze.

Brazil produced another one-two result in the floor final where Saraiva won the title (whip to full in, double layout, 1 ½ to front full and double pike) for 14.1/5.5, and Jade Barbosa took the silver (whip full in, full in pike, double pike dismount) 13.55/5.3. Polish veteran Marta Pihan-Kulesza captured the bronze with a 2 ½ to front pike, double Arabian to stag jump, quad turn and a front double full dismount 13.433/5.3.  Top qualifier Jade Carey tumbled double twisting double layout, full twisting double layout, front tuck step out to full in and dismounted with a double twisting double tuck.  But several short landings and out of bounds hurt her score and she placed fifth in the final.

The second FIG individual world cup event will be held in Melbourne, Australia 21-24 of February 2019.

2018 Cottbus World Cup Final Results:

Men's Floor:

1. Artem Dolgopyat ISR 14.800/6.6

2. Casimir Schmidt NED 14.500/5.9

3. Carlos Yulo PHI 14.500/6.2

4. Felix Remuta GER 14.333/6.2

5. Marcel Nguyen GER 14.266/6.2

6. Emil Soravuo FIN 14.200/5.5

7. Ahmet Onder TUR 13.933/5.9

8. Loris Frasca FRA 13.600/5.9

Pommel Horse:

1. Chih Kai Lee TPE 15.508/6.5

2. Hao Weng CHN 15.266/6.5

3. Saeedreza Keikha IRI 15.133/6.5

4. Harutyun Merdinyan ARM 14.800/6.3

5. Junwen Wang CHN 14.700/5.9

6. Robert Seligman CRO 14.300/6.1

7. Saso Bertoncelj SLO 12.566/5.3

8. Filip Ude CRO 11.433/5.8

Rings:

1. Yang Liu CHN 15.200/6.4

2. Samir Ait Said FRA 14.900/6.3

3. Hao You CHN 14.833/6.4

4. Igor Radivilov UKR 14.783/6.3

5. Ibrahim Colak TUR 14.766/6.2

6. Artur Tovmasyan ARM 14.700/6.1

7. Courtney Tulloch GBR 14.633/6.1

8. Ali Zahran EGY 14.300/6.2

Men's Vault:

1. Igor Radivilov UKR 14.941(5.6/5.6)

2. Mingqi Huang CHN 14.833(5.6/5.2)

3. Loris Frasca FRA 14.733(5.6/5.6)

4. Hidenobu Yonekura JPN 14.650(6.0/5.6)

5. Milad Karimi KAZ 14.450(5.2/5.2)

6. Jorge Vega Lopez GUA 13.983(5.6/5.2)

7. Ruiyang Qu CHN 13.966(5.6/5.2)

8. Wei-Sheng Tseng TPE 13.916(5.6/5.2)

Parallel Bars:

1. Oleg Verniaiev UKR 15.000/6.4

2. Dmitrii Lankin RUS 14.766/6.4

3. Ferhat Arican TUR 14.666/6.5

4. Marios Georgiou CYP 14.500/6.0

5. Marcel Nguyen 14.383/5.9

6. Andrey Likhovitskiy BLR 14.300/5.5

7. Julien Gobaux FRA 14.233/5.9

8. Lukas Dauser GER 14.166/6.3

High Bar:

1. Epke Zonderland NED 14.866/6.7

2. Tin Srbic CRO 14.733/5.9

3. Hidetaka Miyachi JPN 14.533/6.3

4. Bart Deurloo NED 14.300/6.2

5. Andrey Kikhovitskiy BLR 14.233/5.7

6. David Vecsernyes HUN 14.000/5.7

7. Arthur Mariano BRA 13.033/5.8

8. Carlo Macchini ITA 12.466/5.6

Women’s Vault:

1. Rebeca Andrade BRA 14.728(5.4/5.2)

2. Jade Carey USA 14.616(5.4/5.2)

3. Dipa Karmakar IND 14.316(5.4/5.6)

4. Alexa Moreno MEX 14.279(5.8/4.8)

5. Oksana Chusovitina UZB 14.279(5.8/5.2)

6. Lilia Akhaimova RUS 14.170(5.8/4.8)

7. Jade Barbosa BRA 13.983(5.4/4.4 )

8. Teja Belak SLO 13.466(5.4/5.0)

Uneven Bars:

1. Nina Derwael BEL 15.100/6.5

2. Rebecca Andrade BRA 14.500/5.9

3. Jiaqi Lyu CHN 14.433/6.1

4. Daria Spiridonova RUS 14.358/6.1

5. Kelly Simm GBR 14.233/6.2

6. Diana Varinska UKR 14.200/6.1

7. Kim Bui GER 14.033/6.0

8. Yilin Fan CHN 13.866/6.2

Balance Beam:

1. Rebeca Andrade BRA 13.766/5.6

2. Flavia Saraiva BRA 13.266/5.8

3. Diana Varinska UKR 13.200/5.4

4. Jiaqi Lyu CHN 12.500/4.7

5. Sophie Scheder GER 12.200/5.0

6. Marine Boyer FRA 11.733/5.8

7. Yurika Yumoto JPN 11.700/5.2

8. Denisa Golgota ROU 10.533/4.4

Women’s Floor:

1. Flavia Saraiva BRA 14.100/5.5

2. Jade Barbosa BRA 13.550/5.3

3. Marta Pihan-Kulesza POL 13.433/5.3

4. Lara Mori ITA 13.333/5.6

5. Jade Carey USA 13.300/6.1

6. Kim Bui GER 13.000/4.9

7. Axelle Klinckaert BEL 12.900/5.2

8. Leah Griesser GER 11.933/5.4

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

 
Written by John Crumlish    Wednesday, 21 November 2018 07:25    PDF Print
Murakami: 'That Is My Job, To Show Them The Way'
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

A series of flashbacks from the 2018 World Championships in Doha.

All-around silver medalist Mai Murakami is not the oldest member of the Japanese team, but she eagerly accepts the responsibility that comes with her experience.

Asuka (Teramoto) is actually the captain, but I want to lead my teammates with my performances,” said the 22-year-old Murakami. “I want to make lots of young gymnasts in Japan feel ‘I want to be like Mai.’ That is my job – to show them the way by my performance.”

Murakami, who finished third on floor exercise and led Japan to sixth place in the team final in Doha, said she and her teammates understand they will need to fortify their routines to challenge for a team medal in the future.

“I will have to put lots more difficult stuff,” she said. “I need to raise my difficulty score and we need to as a team.”

IG’s John Crumlish was chief editor/reporter for the organizing committee’s News Service at the 2018 World Championships in Doha.

Read complete coverage of the 2018 World Championships in the December 2018 issue of International Gymnast magazine.

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

 

 
Written by John Crumlish    Tuesday, 20 November 2018 07:37    PDF Print
Stephens: Cutting Ties With Past Injury
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

A series of flashbacks at the 2018 World Championships in Doha.

For Australian gymnast Clay Stephens, competing in Doha was the chance to literally cut his ties with the serious knee injury that crippled his performance at last year’s Worlds in Montreal.

Stephens was at last able to discard the bright yarn bracelet from his left wrist — an ornamental reminder of the injury he sustained in Montreal, where he tore his left anterior cruciate ligament on his last tumbling pass on floor exercise.

“I put this bracelet on the day I ruptured my ACL, and the plan was to cut it off at my next competition,” said Stephens, who in Doha went on to earn his two highest scores on vault and floor exercise and finish 61st all-around in qualifications. “So one year later, at this Worlds, it’s pretty cool to be able to do that.”

No stranger to challenges, Stephens was born without a right pectoral muscle. He insists his condition has not stifled his success in a sport that counts on every available muscle, and particularly upper-body strength.

“It’s easy to see this as a difficult thing for me to deal with,” said Stephens, who has chauffeured for the visually impaired. “Everyone is going through their own battles, whether mental or physical. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. It’s just that mine is very visible. Success for me is about smart training and picking skills that are going to be easier for me than for other people.”

Stephens, who referred to the training session alongside six-time world all-around champion Kohei Uchimura and his Japanese teammates as “cool,” said persistence and time should close the current scoring gap between the mighty Japanese and the aspiring Australians.

“We’ve been pushing our start values for a long time,” Stephens said. “We’re slowly starting to get there. It’s all about finding the balance between high execution and high difficulty. It’s going to be a long time until we get there, but it’s possible. It’s important for us to train smart and hard, and keep doing what we’re doing. We’re in the right direction. We’re working hard and we’re getting better.”

IG’s John Crumlish served as chief editor/reporter for the organizing committee’s News Service at the 2018 World Championships in Doha.

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, 19 November 2018 07:36    PDF Print
Ireland's Meaghan Smith: 'I Wanted To Keep Going'
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

A series of flashbacks at the 2018 World Championships in Doha.

Canadian-born Irish gymnast Meaghan Smith is a relative newcomer to international competition, but her motivation and pride extend as deep as her Irish roots.

Smith’s journey to Doha began three years ago when she pondered her lineage and her competitive future.

“My gymnastics career in Canada was kind of over,” said the 20-year-old Smith. “I was at the senior level, but I wasn’t at the top, so I knew I wouldn’t be going to international events, and I wanted that opportunity. I’m also proud to be Irish, so we thought, ‘Hey, I can compete for Ireland.’”

Smith, whose maternal grandmother is Irish, contacted an Irish club that welcomed her to become a member. She made her international debut for Ireland at the European Championships in Glasgow in August.

The chance to extend her career on behalf of Ireland gave Smith, who placed 86th all-around in qualifications in Doha, a fresh incentive to work towards her potential.

“Now, I have a goal,” Smith said. “I have things to look forward to, like the World Championships. I know they are on my calendar, so when I’m in the gym, I think, ‘OK, how can I be better, how can I improve for this competition?’ And, I love the sport. I didn’t want to give it up. I wanted to keep going.”

IG’s John Crumlish served as chief editor/reporter for the organizing committee’s News Service at the 2018 World Championships in Doha.

Complete coverage of the 2018 World Championships be in the December issue of International Gymnast.

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

 


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