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Competition Reports

Written by Christian Ivanov    Monday, 29 October 2018 14:05    PDF Print
China Regains Number One
(6 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

In a thrilling contest until the last routine of the competition, China edged Russia (256.634 to 256.585) by a margin of .049 to win the men’s team title at the Doha World Championships. Thanks to Zou Jinqyuan’s incredible parallel bars routine, which received a 16.2/7.0 (the highest score here in Doha), China had built near a full point lead going into the last rotation, high bar. Three hit routine for China would have sealed the deal, but the last competitor, Xiao Ruoteng missed his Liukin (full-twisting Tkatchev) and gave a chance to the Russians. A perfectly hit routine by Nikita Nagornyy would have done it, but he bent his arms on a front giant after his layout Tkatchev-half, and his score of 13.733 was just short of what the team needed.

With the compelling three-up-three-count format, China had to count falls early in the competition on floor and pommel horse, but slowly it gained momentum as the day progressed. China’s p-bar total was nearly three points higher than the next best and put the team in the winning circle.  China last won the team title on home soil in Nanning in 2014, but lost to Japan and Great Britain in 2015 in Glasgow.

The Russian team, which had entered the competition with the top qualifying score, posted the highest team totals on floor, rings and vault, but untidy routines on pommel horse and a fall on p-bars by Arthur Dalaloyan (peach on one rail mount) cost the team.  Despite losing the gold by the narrowest of margins, the Russian team, who last won a team medal at worlds in 2006, was in good spirits.

Defending champion Japan, led by Kohei Uchimura, who competed four events for the team, took the bronze posting a 253.744.  Japan was having a great competition until Yusuke Tanaka’s p-bar routine, where he struggled on his unique Makuts coming from a peach position and scored mere 11.566.  Had he posted the score he earned in qualification, 14.833, Japan could have won the title.

The spirited team of the U.S., led by Sam Mikulak, was in the mix for the bronze until the very end of the competition. But when Japan’s Kenzo Shirai hit a floor routine for the top score of the day (14.933), the U.S. had to settle for fourth place.  With Mikulak competing on all six events, the U.S. had a really strong competition counting only one fall (pommel horse), but their lower difficulty on some of the routines turned out to be a factor at the end.

Great Britain started the competition well, hitting rings and vault, but errors on p-bars and high bar pushed them down in the rankings and they placed fifth. Switzerland, Brazil and the Netherlands rounded out the rest of the field placing sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.

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Written by dwight normile    Monday, 29 October 2018 13:31    PDF Print
Can The U.S. Women's Team Win Its Sixth World Title?
(4 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Now that Simone Biles is back and better than ever, the U.S. women’s team can likely be on cruise control. The women’s team final is tomorrow, October 30, and the squad of Biles, Morgan Hurd, Riley McCusker, Grace McCallum and Kara Eaker will attempt to win its sixth world title.

Their first was on home soil, at the 2003 World Championships in Anaheim. The team’s second was the 2007 Worlds in Stuttgart.

The next three were consecutive: 2011 (Tokyo), 2014 (Nanning) and 2015 (Glasgow).

The other teams in the women’s Team Final: Russia (paired with the U.S. on vault); China and Canada (uneven bars); Brazil and Japan (balance beam); and France and Germany (floor exercise).

In you’re a betting person, put your money on the Americans.

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

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


Written by Admin    Monday, 29 October 2018 06:45    PDF Print
Can The Japanese Men's Team Go Back-To-Back?
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

The Japanese men’s team are the defending World Champions, having won the 2015 Worlds in Glasgow, Scotland.

Years ago they won five consecutive World Championships: 1962 (Prague), ’66 (Dortmund), ’70 (Ljubljana), ’74 (Varna) and ’78 (Strasbourg).

Japan also won five straight Olympic Games: 1960 (Rome), ’64 (Tokyo), ’68 (Mexico City), ’72 (Munich) and ’76 (Montreal). They also won the team title and the 2004 Olympics in Athens. That’s quite a dynasty.

Read the complete coverage of the 2018 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, 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 Christian Ivanov    Sunday, 28 October 2018 13:46    PDF Print
Field for Finals Set as Qualification Concludes
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

Top contenders in day two of qualification, Russia and China, posted the highest team scores of the day 165.497 and 165.196 to join the US (174.429 in day one) as the top three qualifiers into the team final.  The Russian team was particularly impressive in their opening rotation on floor, where both Angelina Melnikova and Lilia Akhaimova tumbled full twisting double layouts and double layouts and both qualified to the floor final.

On their second event, vault, Russia however had issues where Angelina Simakova scored a zero for her crashed front handspring Rudi.  Fortunately for them the score didn’t affect the team’s total as countries are allowed to drop one score on each event in their qualification competition.

In addition to the two floor finals, the Russian team qualified Aliya Mustafina to the bars final with the sixth best score - 14.433/5.8.  “I am very happy to be back.  I missed the emotions, the competition, the events, my opponents and all the girls who I know.” Mustafina reflected after the meet.  Hitting four-for-four, Melnikova and Irina Alekseeva qualified to the all-around final with the 5th and 12th best scores.

Despite not performing their absolute best, especially on beam, China was able to qualify Liu Tingting and Zhang Jin to the final there.  Liu Jinru and Luo Huan qualified to vault and bars finals, respectively.  The Chinese presence in the all-around final will be Luo and Chen Yile.

Led by Ellie Black Canada was a pleasant surprise of the day posting the fourth highest team score overall.  In addition, the team earned five individual event finals.  Shallon Olsen (Cheng and Yurchenko double full) qualified with the second highest average on vault and will be joined by Black in the final.  Black and Ann-Marie Padurariu (side aerial to layout-layout) will be present in the beam final.  While Brooklyn Moors will repeat as a floor finalist from last year for her artistic routine which now features a Podkopaeva (double front half twist).  Black and Moors will also repeat as all-around finalists.

Brazil and France both had strong days and made their first team finals in 11 years.  Melanie dos Santos (France) and Flavia Saraiva (Brazil) qualified to all-around and floor finals, while their teammates Lorette Charpy (France) and Jade Barbosa (Brazil) will join them in the all-around final.

Due to four shaky beam performances Great Britain just missed on the team final placing 9th. Beckie Downie’s 6.2 bar routine earned a 14.4, which was just enough to get her in the finial.  She plans to compete her original routine in the final, which is valued at a 6.6 difficulty.

Mexico’s Alexa Moreno made the vault final with two strong vault landings (front handspring Rudi and Tsuk double twist).

Team standings after qualifications (top 8 teams advance to the team final, while the top 24 advance full teams to the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany):

1. USA 174.429

2. Russia 165.497

3. China 165.196

4. Canada 163.897

5. Brazil 162.529

6. Japan 162.180

7. France 161.629

8. Germany 161.071

9. Great Britain 160.964

10. Netherlands 159.029

11. Belgium 158.970

12. Italy 156.830

13. Romania 153.763

14. Korea 153.237

15. Australia 153.231

16. North Korea 152.796

17. Hungary 152.395

18. Spain 152.364

19. Mexico 152.197

20. Ukraine 150.329

21. Switzerland 149.865

22. Poland 149.671

23. Argentina 149.603

24. Czech Republic 147.396


All-Around Finalists:

1. Biles - USA - 60.965

2. Hurd - USA - 56.465

3. Murakami - Japan - 55.632

4. Derwael - Belgium - 55.564

5. Melnikova - Russia - 55.465

6. Black - Canada - 54.999

7. Dos Santos - France - 54.798

8. McCusker - USA - 54.765 (will not qualify due to two per country rule)

9. Luo - China - 54.131

10. Saraiva - Brazil - 53.999

11. E. Downie - Great Britain - 53.532

12. Alekseeva - Russia - 53.532

13. Chen - China - 53.499

14. Teramoto - Japan - 53.466

15. Simm - Great Britain - 53.099

16. Hatakeda - Japan - 52.932 (will not qualify due to two per country rule)

17. Visser - Netherlands - 52.832

18. Seitz - Germany - 52.798

19. Golgota - Romania - 52.765

20. Barbosa - Brazil - 52.733

21. Moors - Canada - 52.632

22. Zhang - China - 52.266 (will not qualify due to two per country rule)

23. Mori - Italy - 52.199

24. Kovacs - Hungary - 52.165

25. Charpy - France - 52.165

26. Perez - Spain - 52.132

27. Klinckaert - Belgium - 52.074


Individual event finalists:



1. Biles - USA - 15.666

2. Olsen - Canada - 14.550

3. Yeo - Korea - 14.483

4. Moreno - Mexico - 14.466

5. Chusovitina - Uzbekistan - 14.2

6. Pyon - North Korea - 14.133

7. Black - Canada - 14.124

8. Liu - China - 14.116


Uneven Bars:

1. Derwael - Belgium - 15.066/6.5

2. Biles - USA - 14.866/6.2

3. Seitz - Germany - 14.566/6.2

4. Luo - China - 14.466

5. Hurd - USA - 14.466/6.1

6. Mustafina - Russia - 14.433/5.8

7. Adlerteg - Sweden - 14.433/6.2

8. Beckie Downie - Great Britain - 14.4/6.2


Balance Beam:

1. Biles - USA - 14.8/6.4

2. Eaker - USA - 14.466/6.4

3. Zhang - China - 14.1/6.0

4. Wevers - Netherlands - 14.033/5.4

5. Padurariu - Canada - 13.966/6.1

6. Derwael - Belgium - 13.766/5.2

7. Black- Canada - 13.733/5.5

8. Liu Tingting - China - 13.733/6.0


Floor Exercise:

1. Biles - USA - 15.333/6.7

2. Murakami - Japan - 14.1/5.8

3. Melnikova - Russia - 14.033/5.9

4. Hurd - USA - 13.933/5.5

5. Saraiva - Brazil - 13.9/5.5

6. Dos Santos - France - 13.9/5.6

7. McCallum - USA - 13.8/5.5 (will not qualify due to the two per county rule)

8. Akhaimova - Russia - 13.6/5.7

9. Moors - Canada - 13.5/5.4

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Written by Christian Ivanov    Saturday, 27 October 2018 21:52    PDF Print
Biles and the US Dominate Day One of Qualifying
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

Simone Biles and the U.S. team were the highlight of day one in the women’s qualifying. Biles debuted her new vault, a Yurchenko half-on double-twisting front layout off, and scored an imposing 15.966 for it. Her second vault was a sky high Amanar for an average that was more than enough to take the lead in that event’s qualification. The new vault will be called “the Biles” as she is the first person in the world to perform it successfully at an international competition.

Additionally, the three-time world all-around champion posted the top scores on beam and floor, and the second highest mark for the day on bars. Biles’ all-around score tallied at astounding 60.965, which was four points higher then teammate and defending world all-around champion Morgan Hurd, who is currently holding the second-highest total. “I give myself a 7 out of 10,” she reflected after the competition in her usual bubbly attitude. Hurd performed strongly on all four events, and admitted herself that it was the best competition of the year for her. Hurd’s solid performances could land her in the bars and floor finals in addition to the all-around.  Kara Eaker performed a near error-free packed difficult routine on beam for 14.466/6.4, for the second-best mark on the event behind Biles.

After the first six subdivisions, Japan is in second place, over 12 points behind the U.S., but the team looks strong to make the top eight and get into the team final. Mai Murakami performed solidly on all four events and is in third place in the all-around behind Biles and Hurd, and second on floor behind Biles.

Competing in the very first subdivision, Belgium’s Nina Derwael hit her incredible 6.5 bar routine (toe-on layout Tkatchev, Stalder- Tkatchev-half to Yezhova to Stalder Shaposhnikova to full-twisting Pak salto) and leads qualifications there with a 15.066. Derwael’s clean all-around performance ranked her in fourth place currently behind Murakami.

Netherland’s Sanne Wevers hit cleanly her trademark beam set. Despite leaving some difficulty out her 14.033/5.4 should be plenty to put her in the final. Oksana Chusovitina (Uzbekistan) landed her front handspring front-full and a Tsukahara 1½ and is currently in third place for the vault final.

Yeo Seojeong (Korea), daughter of Olympic silver medalist Yeo Hong-chul, performed a good front handspring Rudi and a Yurchenko-double twist, and her average is currently second best on the event, just behind Biles.

Led by Elisabeth Seitz, Germany had a strong day of competition and is currently third in the team standings, just behind Japan.  Seitz has a good chance to make the bars final where she posted 14.566/6.2 for third-best of the day. Sweden’s Jonna Adlerteg, twice-European silver medalist on bars, hit her routine for 14.433, which might be on the border for the final there depending on day two of competition.

Ukraine’s Diana Varinska, all-around and bars finalist from last year's worlds, had a disastrous bar routine and will likely miss the all-around final this year.

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