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Competition Reports

Written by dwight normile    Saturday, 03 November 2018 12:56    PDF Print
Biles Wins All Six Medals In Doha
(6 votes, average 4.33 out of 5)

The big story is that Simone Biles (USA) tied Svetlana Khorkina with the most medals at a world championships, at 20 apiece. She also won six medals in Doha. The last to accomplish that feat was the late Yelena Shushunova at the 1987 Worlds in Rotterdam.

BALANCE BEAM: Simone Biles' was first up on beam, but she didn't perform up to her standards. But since there were four falls, two from Zhang Jin (China), and one from Kara Eaker (USA), who fell on her switch leap mount. Sanne Wevers, the gold medalist at the 2016 Rio Games, fell on a side aerial, layout step-out.

Liu Tingting (China) captured the gold, and was last up, to boot. She mounted from the side, swinging her arms back to an inverted handstand. Her first acro series was a front handspring front. She performed a switch leap to ring leap and a side aerial to split leap. She dismounted with a double twist (14.533).

Anne-Marie Padurariu (Canada) claimed the silver (14.100) with same mount as Liu. She performed a side aerial to two layout step-outs. Her dismount was a clean double pike.

Biles won the bronze (13.600). Yes, she stayed on the beam on her barani, but she had to save it with one leg rising above her head. She didn't connect her next series and lost value there. The only things she did well were her triple wolf turn and her flip-flop to two layout step-outs. Her tucked full-in was clean with a small hop.

FLOOR EXERCISE: Biles and Morgan Hurd (USA) went 1-2 on floor exercise. Biles stayed in bounds on her double-twisting double layout (Moors), and she added the stag jump after her double layout, half-out. She made her layout front-full through to a tucked full-in look easy, and her tucked double-double, as well (14.933).

Hurd mounted with tucked double-double, and followed with a double layout. Her third pass was a layout front, punch front-full (usually she does a double-full) and she dismounted with double pike. She didn't stick any of her passes (13.933).

Mai Murakami (Japan), who one the gold on floor at the 2017 Worlds in Montreal, claimed the bronze. She started with a triple turn, on which she stumbled, but the rest of her tumbling was clean (tucked double-double, double layout 2-1/2 twist to front-full and a double pike dismount (13.866).

VAULT: Ri Se Gwang (North Korea) claimed the gold through the sheer difficulty of his vaults (14.933). His first vault was a piked Dragulescu and his second was a Kasamatsu-full-in. There was no semblance of good form on either vault.

Artur Dalaloyan (Russia) placed second with a clean triple-twisting Yurchenko and a high handspring double piked front (14.883).

Kenzo Shirai (Japan) also performed a triple-twisting Yurchenko but his chest dropped down fairly low. His second lacked start-value (Kasamatsu 1-1/2) but he still won bronze (14.675).

PARALLEL BARS: Sam Mikulak went up first and hit a beautiful routine and stuck his barani-out dismount. He held the lead with 15.233, and had the top score through the first four gymnasts.

Zou Jingyuan, p-bar gold medalist last year in Montreal, repeated his victory with an impressive set. He performed a Makuts from his upper arms, straddled front to giant glide kip. A huge Bhavsar and he stuck his barani-out (16.433).

Ukrainian Oleg Vernyayev took the silver. He did a peach-half to peach to one bar, Healy, Makuts and had just a small step on his barani-out.

Artur Dalalyon claimed the bronze (15.366), reaching to the far bar and doing a free hip, back pirouette to handstand. He had a good variety of skills, including a well-done Bhavsar. He had a small hop on his barani-out.

HIGH BAR: Epke Zonderland (Netherlands) claimed the gold with his first release a Cassina to Kovacs, followed by a Kolman to a Gaylord 2. He stuck his double-double layout with a couple of arm circles (15.100).

Twenty nine-year-old Kohei Uchimura (Japan) won the silver, starting with a layout Kovacs, followed by a Cassina, Kolman, Stalder-Rybalko, and stuck layout double-double (14.800).

Fourth time’s a charm for Sam Mikulak. Had had a great floor routine until his triple twist landed low. He placed fourth on pommel horse and fourth on p-bars. But he clinched the the bronze on high bar. He didn’t peel off on his straddled Tkatchev to mixed grip like he did in the all-around, thus redeemin himself on high bar (14.533) after the debacle that prevented him from medaling in the all-around. He eclipsed Tin Srbic (Croatia), the high bar gold medalist last year, by .033. So all is good for Mikulak.

Read complete coverage of the 2018 World Championships 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.

Written by dwight normile    Friday, 02 November 2018 13:57    PDF Print
Five Gymnasts From Different Nations Win Golds In Doha
(5 votes, average 4.20 out of 5)

Simone Biles (USA) won the team title and the all-around. On the first day of event finals she won the gold medal on vault (15.366) and the silver on uneven bars (14.700). She’s in both event finals on Saturday, November 3rd. If she medals on balance beam and floor exercise, she can tie Ukrainian Larisa Latynina, who won six medals at both the 1958 and 1962 World Championships. Latynina also won six medals at the 1960 and 1964 Olympic Games.

VAULT: Biles’ first vault was a Cheng (roundoff half-on, layout Rudi off). Her second vault was an extremely high Amanar. (Biles top right in image.)

Shallon Olsen (Canada) opened with a Cheng and her second vault was double-twisting Yurchenko. She placed second with an average of 14.516.

Alexa Moreno won the bronze, the first medal at a worlds for Mexico. Her first vault was a tidy handspring Rudi, and her second vault was a double-twisting Tsukahara (not a Kasamatsu).

UNEVEN BARS: Nina Derwael (Belgium, top left) won the uneven bars with a 15.200, five tenths higher than Biles. Her first skill on the top bar was a layout Tkatchev (Nabieva). She also threw Stalder-Tkatchev to mixed grip and a barani to the low bar (Yezhova). She also stuck her tucked half-in half-out.

Biles opened with a Weiler kip half turn to a Shaposhnikova. Later in the routine she did a piked Tkatchev to the low bar and a Maloney-half to the high bar. She ended with a clean tucked double-double with a tiny hop.

Elizabeth Seitz (Germany) placed third with a 14.600. She performed a piked Jaeger, a Maloney-half and half-in half-out.

Morgan Hurd (USA) had a great routine going until the dismount, when her half-in half-out landed too low and caused her to take two steps on the landing. She placed sixth.

FLOOR EXERCISE: All-around champion Artur Dalaloyan (Russia, bottom right) won floor exercise with a 14.900, eclipsing Kenzo Shirai (Japan), who scored 14.866. Dalaloyan performed a piked double front, a front layout to Randi, and ended with a triple twist.

Shirai opened with a tucked triple-double instead the layout version (the floor mat was too hard). He also performed his signature quadruple twist, a three and half twist to layout front-full, and he finished with a triple twist.

Carlos Edriel Yulo won the bronze on floor, the first medal at a worlds for the Philippines (14.600). He mounted with a piked barani-out, a three and a half twist to barani and he stuck his triple twist dismount.

Yul Moldauer (USA) opened with a Randi, stuck his half-in half-out and the next three passes, including his triple twist dismount. He placed fourth with 14.566.

Moldauer’s teammate Sam Mikulak had a sensational routine until his roundoff triple twist, which landed low, which made him bounce forward. He finished seventh (14.233)

POMMEL HORSE: Xiao Ruoteng (China, bottom left) tied Max Whitlock (Great Britain) with 15.166, but since Xiao’s execution score was higher, he won the gold. He mounted with a spindle on the end, two Russians on the end, and a flair handstand combination. Whitlock hit cold. He was last up and also did a flair handstand, and handstand pirouette dismount.

Lee Chih Kai (Taipei) won the bronze (14.966), whose routine consisted of flairs from start to finish, which bump the level of difficulty (his D-score was 6.3, third highest behind Whitlock, 6.8, and Xiao, 6.6). There was only one circle with his legs together.

Mikulak hit an amazing routine from start to finish, but his D-score was 5.8. He finished the dreaded fourth (14.333).

RINGS: Eleftherios Petrounias (Greece, center image) won the gold on rings with steady strength holds (two Malteses), a Jonasson to back uprise handstand, and he stuck his tucked double-double (15.366). He also won rings at the 2015 Worlds in Glasgow, Scotland, and also at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Arthur Zanetti (Brazil) mounted with a roll to Maltese, planche, Jonasson to Maltese, bounce cross and stuck his full-twisting double layout. He claimed the silver medal with 15.100. He won the gold on rings at the 2012 Olympics, as well as at the 2013 Individual World Championships.

Newcomer Marco Lodadio (Italy) won the bronze (14.900), mounting with a pull to planche. He performed a Yamawaki, Jonasson to cross and landed his tucked double-double with a tiny hop.

Read complete coverage of the 2018 World Championships 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.

Written by dwight normile    Thursday, 01 November 2018 12:40    PDF Print
Simone Biles Wins Fourth World All-Around Title In Doha
(7 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

You’ve got to hand it to her. Simone Biles had two falls and still won a record fourth world all-around title at the 2018 World Championships in Doha, Qatar (57.491). Her margin of victory was 1.693, the largest since Biles beat teammate Gabby Douglas by 1.083 at the 2015 Worlds in Glasgow, Scotland. She won both the world titles in 2013 and 2014 by less than a tenth.

Russian Svetlana Khorkina won three all-around world titles: 1997, 2001 and 2003.

Biles sat down her new vault, roundoff half-on, double-twisting layout front, which will bear her name. She also dropped off the balance beam on her barani. But give her credit for fighting back to win the gold.

“I’m still pretty disappointed (with) myself because I know what I can do out there,” she said. “It doesn’t show who I am, and that’s kind of disappointing. But we have finals so hopefully I’ll redeem myself.” Biles insists on doing the same vault tomorrow in event finals.

Biles had the highest score on floor exercise (15.000), and second-highest on uneven bars (14.725). Belgian Nina Derwael had the top score on bars (15.100).

2017 world floor champion Mai Murakami had a steady meet to claim the silver (55.798), .066 ahead of 2017 all-around champ Morgan Hurd, who clinched the bronze (55.732). Murakami was crying after her floor routine, one would assume in delight. She had the second-highest score on floor behind Biles (14.000).

Said Hurd: "I feel pretty good. I’m not super happy with my beam performance, but I did the best I could do for today. I feel I started really strong with one of my best doubles (Yurchenko), and I had a really solid bar routine. Beam, I had a wobble on my (tucked standing) full, and I touched the beam on (my) side aerial. A little disappointing, but I felt like I really left it all out there on floor with one of my best floor routines I’ve ever done.

Derwael placed fourth (55.699), despite performing a Yurchenko-full and being relatively weak on floor (4.9 D-score). But she hit a solid beam set (13.733). Derwael’s bars routine opened with a toe-on layout Tkatchev (Nabieva).

Angelina Melnikova had a steady meet to place fifth (55.598). She had the fourth highest score on bars (14.433) and sixth-best on beam (13.466) and floor (13.633).

From fifth to 10th in order were Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos (55.599); Chen Yile (54.632); Flavia Saraiva (54.366); Luo Huan (54.332); and Asuka Teramoto (54.299).

Read complete coverage of the 2018 World Championships 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.

Written by dwight normile    Wednesday, 31 October 2018 12:43    PDF Print
Russia's Artur Dalaloyan Wins All-Around In Doha
(4 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

In the Aspire Dome at the 2018 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, Russia’s Artur Dalaloyan won the all-around final, tying Xiao Ruoteng of China with 87.598 apiece. But they take the top five scores, so Dalaloyan won the gold. Xiao, who won the the all-around in Montreal last year, won silver.

Dalaloyan placed first on rings (14.533), second on floor exercise (14.800) and parallel bars (15.566), and third on high bar (14.166).

Nikita Nagornyy, also Russian, claimed the bronze with 86.331. All three medalists went six-for-six.

Sun Wei (China) placed fourth with 85.898, and five-time U.S. champion Sam Mikulak placed fifth with 85.273.

Mikulak was having the meet of his life, placing third on pommel horse (14.300) and third on parallel bars (15.441). Then disaster struck on high bar. He caught his second release (Kolman) a little close and had to pike his giant over the top. But the biggest blow was a Tkatchev to Tkatchev-half to mixed grip (Moznik). He placed fifth with 85.273.

A similar issue happened to Mikulak at the 2013 World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium. And once again he was ambushed on high bar. He shot too low on his Takemoto and ended up doing two extra giants in a mixed grip. He was in a position to medal but he placed sixth.

"Just probably (the) biggest disappointment,” Mikulak said. “I thought this was my year, and had it in my grasp and just let it go. My goal is to get individual medals; all-around is definitely the one I wanted the most.”

Said Yul Moldauer, Mikulak’s teammate: “(Sam) has worked so hard. I can’t even imagine what’s going through his head." Moldauer placed 12th (81.932), lacking the difficulty to contend. He also fell off pommel horse.

The sixth through 10th in order were Kazuma Kaya (Japan) 84.765; Kenzo Shira (Japan) 84.531; James Hall (Great Britain) 84.298; Artur Davtyan (Armenia) 83.140; and Marias Georgiou (Cypress) 82.032.

Ukrainian Oleg Vernyayev had a huge lead after parallel bars, but high bar ruined his chances for gold. He went the wrong way on a Takemoto and put his hands down on his layout double-double. He placed 14th with 81.564.

Read complete coverage of the 2018 World Championships 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.

Written by dwight normile    Tuesday, 30 October 2018 12:29    PDF Print
Six-Time World Champions!
(8 votes, average 4.75 out of 5)

Simone Biles and company won their sixth World Championships, defeating second-place Russia. The Americans scored 171.629 and the Russians tallied 162.863, a winning margin of 8.766. Biles, of course did all four events. She also totaled 14.866 on uneven bars, the highest score of the Team Finals. Biles also had the highest vault score (15.500) and the best score on floor exercise (14.766). Kara Eaker performed only on balance beam, but her score there was the highest, as well (14.333).

Brazil was in third place after the third rotation, when China was in seventh and Canada occupied last place in the eight-team final China claimed the bronze medal (162.396) and Canada placed fourth (161.644). Both China and Canada finished on vault, one of the highest scoring events.

In order of finish were France (161.294); Japan (160.262); Brazil (159.830); and Germany (159.428).

"It’s very exciting because we put in a lot of hard work … into our performances tonight,” Biles said. “We hold ourselves to high expectations every time we step on the mat, so it’s a little bit scary, even when we have mistakes … (people say) you guys are going to win anyways. But it’s our personal performance is how we feel rather than the scoreboard.”

Read complete coverage of the 2018 World Championships in our 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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