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Written by Amanda Turner    Wednesday, 25 April 2007 22:33    PDF Print
Kupets Repeats as NCAA Champion

Georgia sophomore Courtney Kupets successfully defended her all-around title Thursday during the preliminaries of the NCAA Championships, held in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Kupets led Georgia in the first of two sessions, with the GymDogs posting a meet-high 197.700. Top-ranked Florida was second with 197.400, and Nebraska also grabbed a spot in the Super Six berth from the afternoon session with 196.625. Oklahoma (196.250), Alabama (196.125) and Oregon State (195.100) were eliminated.

In the evening session, home team Utah posted a winning 197.325 to edge Stanford (197.200). UCLA earned the final berth to Friday night's Super Six final with 196.475. Completing session two were LSU (196.275), Denver (195.575) and Michigan (195.100).

Following Kupets in the all-around for the second year in a row was Utah junior Ashley Postell (39.600). Florida freshman Amanda Castillo was third with 39.550.

The NCAA team finals will be held tonight, and apparatus finals will be contested Saturday evening.

Written by John Crumlish    Wednesday, 25 April 2007 22:30    PDF Print
Ferrari Leads Qualifying at Europeans
World champion Vanessa Ferrari led Thursday's qualifying round at the European Championships, taking place in Amsterdam through Sunday.
Vanessa Ferrari

Enrico Casella, Ferrari's coach, said he was satisfied with her performance and her total of 61.575. She was the top qualifier on both uneven bars and balance beam.

"Podium training was good, and today was good, so I think Vanessa has shown that she is competitive with anyone," Casella told IG.

Ferrari's 16.000 score on balance beam was the highest score of the day on any event. In the all-around standings, she finished 1.500 above Romania's Steliana Nistor, who was second over teammate Sandra Izbasa.

Ferrari, who competed in the third of four subdivisions, began on floor exercise. Her tumbling passes were solid (double-double, full-in, triple twist, 1-1/2 twist to layout front, double pike), although she had a form break on the triple twist. In the second rotation, Ferrari took her lowest mark of the day for a double-twisting Yurchenko vault.

Ferrari's routine on uneven bars featured a Comaneci salto between the bars, a Jaeger and a double layout dismount. Her routine on balance beam was slightly shaky, but she did not have any major wobbles. Ferrari's skills included a flip-flop, full; front aerial; sheep jump; back tuck; and switch ring leap.

Casella said he thought the scoring on balance beam was generous overall, even to Ferrari.

"I thought the scores on beam were too high," he said, "For Vanessa, it was too high—even to me."

Nistor and Izbasa, who competed in the second subdivision, were steady throughout. In the first rotation, each performed a 1-1/2 twisting Yurchenko vault.

On uneven bars, Izbasa took her lowest score, but Nistor's routine included five flight elements (Gienger; toe on, Tkatchev; Pak salto; Jaeger; Tkatchev). The Romanians earned their best scores on balance beam in the third rotation, and finished the day with clean tumbling on floor. Izbasa edged Ferrari for the top qualifying spot on floor exercise by one tenth.


Alina Kozich
Ukraine's Alina Kozich, who won the all-around title at the 2004 Europeans in the same arena, qualified fourth after problems on uneven bars. She said she has been training more on balance beam and floor exercise lately, but expects to be competitive on uneven bars soon. Kozich said expectations for her to regain her title from 2004 did not add pressure.

"The fans really helped my performances, and gave me faith in myself," she told IG.

Great Britain's Beth Tweddle, who was expected to challenge for an all-around medal, competed on floor exercise only. She said she is not yet "competition-fit" on uneven bars, following shoulder surgery in January. Tweddle was originally planning to compete on three events in Amsterdam, but scratched vault and balance beam after stretching ligaments on her foot, landing an Arabian on balance beam in podium training.

Tweddle's floor exercise routine included only three tumbling passes. She said she and her coach Amanda Kirby decided to avoid a fourth pass, in order to avoid aggravating her foot.

Tweddle, the reigning world and European champion on uneven bars, said missing the chance to vie for an all-around medal was a bit frustrating, but she was happy to perform on at least one event. She qualified sixth to the floor exercise final.

"It was quite hard, but it was a case of not competing at Europeans, or do a couple of events and getting back on the international stage again," she said. "Obviously, later in the year (World Championships) is more important than this. It wasn't worth pushing the injury, which could make it worse for later in the year."

Ferrari's teammate Carlotta Giovannini took the top qualifying spot on vault, over defending champion Anna Grudko (Russia) and naturalized German Oksana Chusovitina.

The competition continues Friday with the men's qualifying rounds.

IG is on hand in Amsterdam, so look for complete coverage in an upcoming issue of IG Magazine.

Full results can be downloaded from the official site,

2007 European Gymnastics Championships
April 26, Amsterdam

All-Around Finalists
1. Vanessa Ferrari ITA 61.575
2. Steliana Nistor ROM 60.125
3. Sandra Izbasa ROM 59.750
4. Alina Kozich UKR 57.950
5. Anja Brinker GER 57.875
6. Daria Zgoba UKR 57.125
7. Cassy Vericel FRA 57.075
8. Patricia Moreno ESP 56.875
9. Federica Macri ITA 56.725
10. Oksana Chusovitina GER 56.700
11. Yekaterina Kramarenko RUS 56.075
12. Stefani Bisbikou GRE 56.000
13. Jana Sikulova CZE 55.975
14. Hannah Clowes GBR 55.725
15. Kristina Pravdina RUS 55.500
16. Lichelle Wong NED 55.450
17. Veronica Wagner SWE 55.250
18. Gaelle Mys BEL 55.200
19. Anastasia Marachkovskaya BLR 55.125
20. Kristina Palesova CZE 55.125
21. Verona Van De Leur NED 54.750
22. Viktoria Karpenko BUL 54.700
23. Mercedes Alcaide ESP 54.450
24. Yelena Zanevskaya LTU 54.425
R1. Tina Erceg CRO 53.700
R2. Viktoria Tsakalidou GRE 53.275
R3. Enikoe Korcsmaros HUN 53.225

Vault Finalists
1. Carlotta Giovannini ITA 14.737
2. Anna Grudko RUS 14.462
3. Oksana Chusovitina GER 14.237
4. Yulia Lozhecko RUS 14.212
5. Jana Komrskova CZE 14.187
6. Sandra Izbasa ROM 14.125
7. Marissa King GBR 14.100
8. Enikoe Korcsmaros HUN 14.087
R1. Cassy Vericel FRA 14.050
R2. Anastasia Marachkovskaya BLR 13.987
R3. Veronica Wagner SWE 13.825

Uneven Bars Finalists
1. Vanessa Ferrari ITA 15.600
2. Jana Sikulova CZE 15.275
3. Daria Zgoba UKR 15.250
4. Steliana Nistor ROM 15.225
5. Anja Brinker GER 15.100
6. Lichelle Wong NED 14.725
7. Yekaterina Kramarenko RUS 14.675
8. Katheleen Lindor FRA 14.550
R1. Cassy Vericel FRA 14.400
R2. Kim Bui GER 14.300
R3. Andreea Grigore ROM 14.200

Balance Beam Finalists
1. Vanessa Ferrari ITA 16.000
2. Sandra Izbasa ROM 15.700
3. Steliana Nistor ROM 15.650
4. Irina Krasnyanskaya UKR 15.650
5. Yulia Lozhecko RUS 15.575
6. Alina Kozich UKR 15.575
7. Stefani Bisbikou GRE 15.425
8. Kristina Pravdina RUS 15.300
R1. Oksana Chusovitina GER 15.150
R2. Laura Campos ESP 15.075
R3. Veronica Wagner SWE 15.050

Floor Exercise Finalists
1. Sandra Izbasa ROM 15.350
2. Vanessa Ferrari ITA 15.250
3. Steliana Nistor ROM 14.775
4. Alina Kozich UKR 14.725
5. Beth Tweddle GBR 14.725
6. Cassy Vericel FRA 14.625
7. Patricia Moreno ESP 14.500
8. Oksana Chusovitina GER 14.450
R1. Anna Grudko RUS 14.400
R2. Kristina Pravdina RUS 14.350
R3. Anja Brinker GER 14.275

Written by Ayako Murao    Sunday, 15 April 2007 22:24    PDF Print
Near Sweep for Romanians in Ploiesti
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

With 10 out of 12 gold medals, the home team again dominated the 50th Romanian International, held this past weekend in Ploiesti.

Steliana Nistor

Steliana Nistor defeated defending champion Sandra Izbasa to take the women's title. Nistor, 2004 Junior European champion, won gold medals on uneven bars and balance beam in Sunday's apparatus finals.

Canadian junior Charlotte Mackie, 13, won the all-around bronze medal behind Izbasa. Mackie, the younger sister of 2004 Olympian Gael Mackie, also picked up bronze medals on balance beam and floor exercise.

Mackie's teammate Dominique Pegg, fourth all-around, prevented a Romanian sweep by winning the gold medal on vault in the event finals. The 13-year-old Pegg, who also won the bronze medal on uneven bars, was the all-around champion at the Canada Games, held last month in Yukon.

Razvan Selariu defended his all-around title from 2006, holding off France's Hamilton Sabot by a mere .050. Romanian Flavius Koczi won the all-around bronze.

In the event finals, Sabot tied Puerto Rico's Angel Ramos for the gold on high bar. The remainder of the gold medals went to the host Romanians: Marian Dragulescu on floor and vault, Koczi on pommel horse, Selariu on rings and Daniel Popescu on parallel bars.

Olympic gold medalist Catalina Ponor performed an exhibition beam routine in Ploiesti. Click here to watch a video of Ponor's performance on YouTube.

50th Romanian International
April 13-15, 2007, Ploiesti

Women's All-Around
1. Steliana Nistor ROM 61.050
2. Sandra Izbasa ROM 60.200
--. Cerasela Patrascu ROM 58.350*
--. Aluissa Lacusteanu ROM 58.200*
--. Gabriela Dragoi ROM 58.150*
--. Andreea Grigore ROM 57.700*
--. Andreea Acatrinei ROM 57.400*
3. Charlotte Mackie CAN 56.000
--. Adriana Tamarjan ROM 55.300*
4. Dominique Pegg CAN 54.900
5. Petra Witjes NED 54.400
--. Florica Leonida ROM 54.350*
6. Chloe Henry BEL 53.500
7. Tal Liak ISR 52.350
8. Vered Finkel ISR 52.050
9. Demet Mutlu TUR 50.350
10. Farida Shoukry EGY 49.050
11. Israa Afifi EGY 47.050
12. Marilena Georgiou CYP 46.650
--. Salma Mahmoud EGY 45.400*
13. Tatiana Barcar MDA 44.950
14. Athena Stavrinaki CYP 42.950
15. Al-Jazy Al-Habsi QAT 41.350
16. Amira Ayari TUN 33.850
17. Arij Trabelsi TUN 33.250

Men's All-Around
1. Razvan Selariu ROM 89.150
2. Hamilton Sabot FRA 89.100
3. Flavius Koczi ROM 88.600
4. Angel Ramos PUR 85.100
--. Ovidiu Buidoso ROM 84.400*
5. Arkatiz Garcia ESP 83.600
--. Adrian Bucur ROM 83.400*
6. Ivan Tovar VEN 83.000
6. Alessandro Di Quinzio ITA 83.000
--. Marius Berbecar ROM 83.000*
8. Mohamed Sherif El Saharty EGY 82.200
9. Florin Purge DEN 82.050
10. Jorge Tallon ESP 81.900
11. Andreas Bretschneider GER 80.900
12. Aristotelous Panagiotis CYP 80.750
13. Robert Payne GBR 79.300
14. Muhammed Akkavak TUR 76.200
15. Vasile Scuratcov MDA 73.900
16. Papallis Andreas CYP 67.750

* = exhibition competitor

Women's Vault
1. Dominique Pegg CAN 14.025
2. Cerasela Patrascu ROM 13.975
3. Aluissa Lacusteanu ROM 13.650
4. Chloe Henry BEL 13.600
5. Athena Stavrinaki CYP 13.425
6. Charlotte Mackie CAN 13.375
6. Tatiana Barcar MDA 13.375
8. Farida Shoukry EGY 12.900

Uneven Bars
1. Steliana Nistor ROM 15.800
2. Aluissa Lacusteanu ROM 14.750
3. Dominique Pegg CAN 14.000
4. Charlotte Mackie CAN 13.500
5. Chloe Henry BEL 13.450
6. Tal Liak ISR 12.800
7. Demet Mutlu TUR 12.450
8. Petra Witjes NED 12.150

Balance Beam
1. Steliana Nistor ROM 16.100
2. Andreea Grigore ROM 15.550
3. Charlotte Mackie CAN 14.700
4. Petra Witjes NED 13.600
5. Chloe Henry BEL 13.050
5. Dominique Pegg CAN 13.050
7. Vered Finkel ISR 13.000
8. Israa Afifi EGY 12.200

Women's Floor Exercise
1. Aluissa Lacusteanu ROM 15.100
2. Steliana Nistor ROM 15.050
3. Charlotte Mackie CAN 14.000
4. Chloe Henry BEL 13.900
5. Petra Witjes NED 13.850
6. Dominique Pegg CAN 13.500
7. Vered Finkel ISR 13.150
8. Farida Shoukry EGY 12.700

Men's Floor Exercise
1. Marian Dragulescu ROM 15.900
2. Razvan Selariu ROM 15.400
3. Angel Ramos PUR 14.700
4. Jorge Tallon ESP 14.250
5. Florin Purge DEN 13.450
6. Mohamed El Saharty EGY 13.200
7. Aristotelous Panagiotis CYP 13.050
8. Andreas Bretschneider GER 13.000

Pommel Horse
1. Flavius Koczi ROM 15.150
2. Hamilton Sabot FRA 14.800
3. Alessandro Di Quinzio ITA 14.000
4. Daniel Popescu ROM 13.900
5. Florin Purge DEN 13.400
6. Angel Ramos PUR 13.300
6. Ivan Tovar VEN 13.300
8. Mohamed El Saharty EGY 12.550

Still Rings
1. Razvan Selariu ROM 15.150
2. Adrian Bucur ROM 14.900
3. Hamilton Sabot FRA 14.550
4. Jorge Tallon ESP 14.000
4. Florin Purge DEN 14.000
6. Andreas Bretschneider GER 13.800
7. Arkatiz Garcia ESP 13.700
8. Jens Uebel GER 13.600

Men's Vault
1. Marian Dragulescu ROM 16.350
2. Flavius Koczi ROM 16.250
3. Jorge Tallon ESP 15.575
4. Spanos Georgios CYP 15.050
5. Angel Ramos PUR 14.875
6. Vasile Scuratcov MDA 14.800
7. Mohamed El Saharty EGY 14.750
8. Florin Purge DEN 14.125

Parallel Bars
1. Daniel Popescu ROM 14.850
2. Hamilton Sabot FRA 14.750
3. Razvan Selariu ROM 14.650
4. Alessandro Di Quinzio ITA 14.600
5. Ivan Tovar VEN 14.050
6. Aristotelous Panagiotis CYP 13.650
7. Arkatiz Garcia ESP 13.000
--. Marius Berbecar ROM 14.800*

High Bar
1. Hamilton Sabot FRA 15.100
1. Angel Ramos PUR 15.100
3. Flavius Koczi ROM 14.450
4. Arkatiz Garcia ESP 14.250
5. Alessandro Di Quinzio ITA 14.200
6. Marian Dragulescu ROM 14.000
7. Ivan Tovar VEN 13.900
8. Andreas Bretschneider GER 12.100

Written by John Crumlish    Saturday, 14 April 2007 22:23    PDF Print
Chinese Women Complete Maribor Sweep
Cheng Fei completed the Chinese women's sweep of the event finals at the 40th annual Salamunov Memorial, a World Cup event held this weekend in Maribor, Slovenia.

In Sunday's finals, Cheng won balance beam and floor exercise by more than a point over her closest competitor. Cheng's teammates, Li Ya and Han Bing, each won a medal.

Cheng and Li were members of China's gold medal-winning team at the 2006 World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, where Cheng placed first on vault and floor exercise.

In the men's competition, home-country favorite Mitja Petkovsek won the gold medal on parallel bars. He was the world champion on the event in 2005, but missed the 2006 World Championships and World Cup Final with a finger injury.

Poland's Marek Lyszczarz placed first on vault over Spain's Isaac Botella, who earned his second medal of the competition. Botella finished second on floor exercise on Saturday, the first day of finals.

Germany's Robert Juckel, who competed in two events in the first day of finals, placed first on high bar. He defeated 1997 world high bar champion Jani Tanskanen of Finland, among others.

40th Annual Salamunov Memorial
April 15, Maribor, Slovenia

Balance Beam
1. Cheng Fei CHN 15.675
2. Li Ya CHN 14.350
3. Cloe Briand FRA 14.200
4. Vasiliki Millousi GRE 14.175
5. Nicole Pechancova CZE 13.950
6. Stefani Bisbikou GRE 13.300
7. Veronica Wagner SWE 13.200
8. Kristyna Palesova CZE 12.825

Floor Exercise
1. Cheng Fei CHN 14.825
2. Stephanie Tijmes NED 13.800
3. Han Bing CHN 13.475
4. Tunde Czillag HUN 13.450
5. Rea Kolbl SLO 13.400
6. Nicole Pechancova CZE 12.900
7. Melanie Roberts GBR 12.575
8. Tina Erceg CRO 12.450

Men's Vault
1. Marek Lyszczarz POL 15.725
2. Isaac Botella ESP 15.687
3. Eleftheri Kosmidis GRE 15.575
4. Filip Ude CRO 15.512
5. Vitaly Kardashovs LAT 15.450
6. Mohamed Serour EGY 15.275
7. Ng Shu Wai MAS 15.237
8. Abu Saleh JOR 7.662

Parallel Bars
1. Mitja Petkovsek SLO 15.775
2. Andreu Vivo ESP 15.150
3t. Filip Ude CRO 15.050
3t. Adam Kierzkowski POL 15.050
5. Samuel Piasecky SVK 14.675
6. Deniss Zbickis LAT 14.500
7. Sami Aalto FIN 14.375
8. Roman Kulesza POL 13.950

High Bar
1. Robert Juckel GER 15.350
2. Roman Kulesza POL 15.025
3. Marijo Moznik CRO 14.650
4. Yevgeny Bogonosyuk UKR 14.625
5. Dmitry Trefilovs LAT 14.525
6. Jani Tanskanen FIN 14.325
7. Alen Dimic SLO 13.950
8. Samuel Piasecky SVK 13.325

International Gymnast Magazine Related Features
Chinese team (including Cheng and Li) on cover (December 2006)
"Lucky Charm" - Cheng cover story (January 2005)
"Quick Chat: Cheng Fei" (May 2006)
"Raising The Bar" - Li Ya profile (February 2005)
Li Ya mini-poster (November 2005)
"Veronica's Date: 2008" - Wagner feature (February 2005)
"On the upswing" - Sikulova profile (July/August 2006)
"IG Close-Up: Han Bing" - profile (December 2005)
Cheng Fei cover story (January 2005)

Written by Dwight Normile    Friday, 13 April 2007 22:22    PDF Print
Horton, McNeill Win Twice in NCAA Finals
Jonathan Horton (Oklahoma) and Tim McNeill (California) each won two titles in the event finals of the Men's NCAA Championships, held Saturday in University Park, Pa.

Horton, who finished second in Friday's all-around competition, placed first on floor exercise and high bar. At the 2006 NCAAs, Horton won floor exercise and rings.

McNeill successfully defended his pommel horse title from 2006, and won parallel bars, as well.

Stanford's Alex Schorsch improved on his second-place rings finish from 2006 to win that event.

On vault, Stanford's David Sender repeated his first-place vault finish from 2006, but shared it with Ohio State's Pejman Ebrahimi. Third was Ohio State's Jimmy Wickham, the 2006 silver medalist.

All-around champion Taqiy Abdullah-Simmons (Oklahoma) competed on three events. His best finished was fifth place on vault.

Horton, McNeill and Sender are members of the 2006 U.S. national team. Kevin Tan, an assistant coach at Penn State (which won the team title), is also a member of the U.S. national team.

Horton, Sender and Tan competed for the U.S. at the 2006 World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark.

Tommy Ramos, a double event medalist for Penn State, competed for Puerto Rico at the 2006 Worlds.

Parallel bars and high bar finalist Sergei Dmitriev (Minnesota) is the son of Yelena Polevaya, who was a member of the first-place Soviet women's team at the 1981 World Championships.

2007 Men's NCAA Championships
April 14, University Park, Pa.

Floor Exercise
1. Jonathan Horton (Oklahoma) 9.65
2. Adam Reichow (Minnesota) 9.55
3t. Chad Wiest (Illinois) 9.525
3t. Russell Czeschin (Oklahoma) 9.525
5. Wesley Haagensen (Illinois) 9.475
6. Cole Storer (Minnesota) 9.45
7t. Tyler Yamauchi (Illinois) 9.425
7t. Nick Virbitsky (Penn State) 9.425
9. Chris Silcox (Illinois) 8.575
10.Chris Brooks (Oklahoma) 8.300

Pommel Horse
1. Tim McNeill (California) 9.650
2. Casey Sandy (Penn State) 9.575
3t. Jacob Becker (Iowa) 9.200
3t. Chris Harper (Stanford) 9.200
5. T.J. Schmidt (Nebraska) 9.075
6. Stephen Tetrault (Nebraska) 8.975
7. Kit Beikmann (Minnesota) 8.875
8. Justin Laury (Michigan) 8.675
9. David Sender (Stanford) 8.325
10. Derek Helsby (Penn State) 7.750

Still Rings
1. Alex Schorsch (Stanford) 9.750
2. Tommy Ramos (Penn State) 9.725
3. Jonathan Horton (Oklahoma) 9.675
4t. David Sender (Stanford) 9.650
4t. D.J. Bucher (Ohio State) 9.650
5. Peter Derman (Stanford) 9.600
7t. Taqiy Abdullah-Simmons (Oklahoma) 9.550
7t. Vladi Klurman (Penn State) 9.550
9t. Andrew Elkind (Michigan) 9.450
9t. Ralph Rosso (Michigan) 9.450

1t. David Sender (Stanford) 9.300
1t. Pejman Ebrahimi (Ohio State) 9.300
3. Jimmy Wickham (Ohio State) 9.275
4. Geoff Reins (Iowa) 9.175
5. Taqiy Abdullah-Simmons (Oklahoma) 9.025
6. Adam Reichow (Minnesota) 8.975
7. David Chan (Michigan) 8.950
8. Jonathan Horton (Oklahoma) 8.900
9. Dylan Carney (Stanford) 8.700
10. Tyler Yamauchi (Illinois) 8.050

Parallel Bars
1. Tim McNeill (California) 9.725
2. D.J. Bucher (Ohio State) 9.625
3. Colin Christ (California) 9.475
4t. Andrew Elkind (Michigan) 9.450
4t. Jacob Lee (Minnesota) 9.450
5. Tommy Ramos (Penn State) 9.400
7. Willie Ito (Ohio State) 9.150
8. Kyson Bunthuwong (California) 9.000
9. Sergei Dmitriev (Minnesota) 8.925
10. T.J. Schmidt (Nebraska) 8.600

High Bar
1. Jonathan Horton (Oklahoma) 9.675
2t. Tommy Ramos (Penn State) 9.375
2t. Colin Christ (California) 9.375
4. Chris Brooks (Oklahoma) 9.300
5. Chris Silcox (Illinois) 9.200
5. Wesley Haagensen (Illinois) 9.150
7. Dylan Carney (Stanford) 9.050
8. Taqiy Abdullah-Simmons (Oklahoma) 8.925
9. Sergei Dmitriev (Minnesota) 8.575
10. Jake Bateman (Ohio State) 8.050

Read coverage of the 2007 Men's NCAA Championships in the May issue of International Gymnast magazine.

International Gymnast Magazine Related Features

2007 NCAA Preview, "Kevin Tan: Captain's Duties" - short profile (January/February 2007)
"IG Profile: Jimmy Wickham" (July/August 2006)
2006 Men's NCAA Championships coverage, Jonathan Horton on cover (May 2006)
2005 Men's NCAA Championships coverage (May 2005)
2004 Men's NCAA Championships coverage (May 2004)


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