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Competition Reports

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.

 
Written by John Crumlish    Friday, 16 November 2018 07:21    PDF Print
Derwael: 'It Was Just A Relief'
(4 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

Second in a series of flashbacks to the 2018 World Championships in Doha

Although Belgium’s Nina Derwael won gold on uneven bars by a convincing margin of 0.50 points, she modestly assessed her history-making performance as among her finest.

“It was one of my best routines that I’ve done here so far,” said Derwael, who outscored the field by 0.30 in Difficulty and 0.20 in Execution to win Belgium’s first world title. “I slightly over-rotated my full turn before my dismount, but my dismount was great, so I’m very, very happy with my performance.”

Derwael said her winning routine looked easier than it felt.

“I felt a lot of stress before mounting the bars, but once I got into my rhythm, I could feel, ‘Yeah, it’s going great,’ and continued like that,” she said. “Then, when I stuck my landing, it was just a relief.”

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

Next up: Australia’s Clay Stephens cuts ties with past injury

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 editions, or to order back issues, click here.

 
Written by John Crumlish    Thursday, 15 November 2018 08:00    PDF Print
Biles And Hurd: Role Models For Younger Teammates
(8 votes, average 4.75 out of 5)

First in a series of flashbacks to the 2018 World Championships in Doha

Simone Biles and Morgan Hurd have won five world all-around titles between them, but their most meaningful honor may be serving as mentors and role models for the newcomers in their gold medal-winning U.S. team.

For Kara Eaker, the squad’s youngest member, the duo embody the resilience she needs when things don’t go according to her plan.

“Watching them in the gym is really inspiring,” said Eaker, who finished sixth on balance beam. “Watching their determination and confidence, even though they make mistakes, I know they can keep going. It makes me more determined to keep going.”

Grace McCallum looks to Biles and Hurd to help navigate what is, for her, uncharted territory.

“They definitely push you in the gym and make you work a lot harder, and make it a lot of fun,” said McCallum, who turned 16 on the day of the team final. “They have been here (at previous Worlds), so they know what to do. They show you around and show you what to do.”

The 21-year-old Biles enjoys providing encouragement and leadership based on her seniority and leadership.

“We worked very hard to be where we are,” Biles said. “I’m excited I could cheer them on and make them believe in themselves.”

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

Next up: Nina Derwael of Belgium describes what she thought, from start to finish, of her gold medal-winning performance on uneven bars.

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 editions, or to order back issues, click here.

 
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.

 


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