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Written by Admin    Wednesday, 26 December 2018 07:36    PDF Print
Tjasa Kysselef: 'Every Result Makes Me Want More'
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

For Slovenia’s Tjasa Kysselef, 14th place on vault in qualifications at the 2018 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, was a personal triumph.

“I’m aware of my start values so I know I can’t get into the final,” said Kysselef, who won five vault medals at World or Challenge Cup meets earlier in the year. “This is the best World Championships result of my career. I’m so proud of myself because I have some issues, like injuries, that are an obstacle for me because of pain. So I have struggled a lot. I did all-around, which I couldn’t imagine I could do, and on vault I did an amazing personal result.”

The 25-year-old Kysselef said performances such as those she managed in Doha remind her of why she continues, and drive her toward higher D-scores and further challenges.

“If you stand in the same place all the time, you don’t want to do it anymore if something doesn’t push you on,” she said. “Every result that I make, and especially this one, makes me want more. So I want to do more twists and even better vaults. Gymnastics is my home, so this is what’s pushing me on. I have people around me that want the best for me and always tell me I’m too good to quit. But it’s in me. I have this inside, so I think that’s enough.”

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

 
Written by dwight normile    Friday, 14 December 2018 10:21    PDF Print
Artur Dalaloyan: 'I Can't Believe It Yet'
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

There were so many critical points in the men’s all-around final at the 2018 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

The first was the tie between the defending champion from 2017 Worlds in Montreal, Xiao Ruoteng of China, and Russian Artur Dalaloyan (87.598). Dalaloyan, 22, won with the five highest E-scores.

Said Dalaloyan: “I can’t believe it yet. I need to to probably go to my hotel, take a deep breath and realize that yes, I won this championship.”

Dalaloyan was the first Russian to win a world all-around title since Nikolai Kryukov won the title at the 1999 Worlds in Tianjin, China. Kryukov previously had coached Dalaloyan on the junior national team.

The next critical turn of events had to do with Ukrainian Oleg Vernyayev, who after three events (rings, vault and parallel bars), had a massive 1.532 lead over Xiao. But on high bar, he went the wrong way on a Takemoto and touched down on his dismount, a double-twisting double layout.

The final blow hit Sam Mikulak deep in his gut. The five-time U.S. champion was on fire through five events, and could have claimed a medal, but on high bar he caught too close on a Kolman, which required a severely piked giant to get over the top. The next trick sealed his fate, which dropped him to fifth place.

“Having my grip slip on a Tkatchev-half was not the way I would ever thought this to go down,” he said.

Said Russian Nitika Nagornyy, who placed third, “Simply, Sam Mikulak made a mistake and gave me a chance, and I took advantage of it. …If I was fourth, I don’t know what I would have done—maybe run back to Russia by foot.”

It wasn’t always smooth sailing for Dalaloyan. Kryukov was one of the coaches who guided him through his tumultuous career.

“I remember how he was in my youth team, and how I took him to the Japanese Junior International,” Kryukov said. “I remember saying to him, ‘Look what they are doing, the Chinese and Japanese gymnasts. Look, this is possible! But he still couldn’t believe in himself.”

The lack of confidence resulted in inconsistent performances, and he went through a rebellious period in his teens that finally resulted the 15-year-old being expelled from the national team for disciplinary reasons.

“I really understood a simple thing: I need gymnastics,” Dalaloyan said. “I did not do things the way professional athletes should do. When you are 18 or 19 years old, it is difficult to lock yourself in the gym and only train. I wanted to have fun, dance with girls, go for walks and much more.”

Dalaloyan was not selected for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Two years later he won the golds in the all-around and on floor, the vault silver and the bronze on parallel bars.

That’s quite a turnaround.

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, 12 December 2018 08:01    PDF Print
Sweden's Castles: 'I've Tried Not To Overthink It'
(8 votes, average 4.38 out of 5)

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

English-born Swedish gymnast Jessica Castles enjoyed a homecoming of sorts in Doha.

Castles, the daughter of a Swedish mother and an English father, began her gymnastics career at age 3 in Doha. She lived and trained there for nine years before moving back to England at age 12. Her father continues to reside there, where he works in the construction industry.

“I’m here mainly to get the experience, and try to perform my routines as best I can,” Castles said. “I’ve tried not to think about it too much, or overthink it..”

The 16-year-old Castles said the choice to pursue Swedish representation, based on her dual citizenship, came with relative ease.

“I didn’t really struggle with it that much, because I’ve always felt quite Swedish,” said Castles, who finished 47th all-around in qualifications in Doha. “My mother has always kept Swedish traditions in our family.”

IG’s John Crumlish was chief editor/reporter for the News Service at the 2018 World Gymnastics Championships.

Castles is featured as the center poster in the November 2018 issue of International Gymnast magazine; read complete coverage of the 2018 World Championships in the December 2018 issue.

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, 11 December 2018 07:40    PDF Print
Volleman: 'It's Amazing To Be So Close'
(4 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

After a couple of brushes with greatness in previous major competitions, Tisha Volleman of the Netherlands was poised to break through in Doha.

“I think it’s amazing to be so close in all the competitions, and I’ve done a lot of them,” said Volleman, who was a reserve for the Dutch team at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and first reserve for the vault final at the 2017 Worlds in Montreal. “I hope I can get good scores and help the team as much as I can.”

Volleman, who crashed her vault for a score of zero but ended up as first reserve for the floor exercise final, said the Dutch team’s combination of youth and experience benefits everyone in the program.

“It’s good that new people are in the team so they can have the experience of a big competition,” Volleman said.  “For 2020 (Tokyo Olympic Games) we hope to have a big team so we can choose the best girls at the best moment.”

Volleman finds it amusing that people sometimes mistake her for her better-known twin teammates, Sanne Wevers and Lieke Wevers.

The Wevers twins competed at the Rio Games, where Sanne won gold on balance beam. Sanne placed seventh on balance beam in Doha, which Lieke attended as a spectator.

“I think it’s funny that people think I’m Sanne or Lieke,” Volleman said. “It happens a lot in the Netherlands, but I don’t think we look like each other.”

IG’s John Crumlish was chief editor/reporter for the organizing committee’s News Service at the 2018 World Gymnastics 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    Wednesday, 05 December 2018 08:08    PDF Print
McClenaghan: 'I Didn't Have The Numbers Behind Me'
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

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

2018 European pommel horse champion Rhys McClenaghan of Ireland fell twice in qualifications in Doha, where he acknowledged that a recently suffered left shoulder injury restricted him physically and mentally.

“I couldn’t do the routines and I didn’t have the numbers behind me that would support me in competition, and that’s a big factor I rely on,” said the 19-year-old McClenaghan. “To perform my routine and not have that confidence hinders my performance. It’s a shame but that’s sport. It’s my fault, and I’m looking forward to getting back in the gym and getting the numbers in that I missed.”

McClenaghan, Ireland’s first European gymnastics champion, said he did not carry any extra burden of responsibility in Doha.

“I don’t let outside pressures get to me,” he said. “I know that when I put up my hand for my routine, I’m in the zone. I’m doing my routine, I’m doing my job, and I don’t let anything else disturb that. It’s back to my own mindset.”

In the moments following McClenaghan’s faulty performance in Doha, he was already plotting his vindication.

“I have to get over this and come back stronger, because I know I’m one of the best in the world,” McClenaghan said. “I’m looking forward to that time when I can stand on the top spot of the podium.”

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

 


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