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Written by John Crumlish    Sunday, 24 May 2009 21:04    PDF Print
Seitz Shines at Pre-Olympic Youth Cup
(36 votes, average 4.64 out of 5)

Germany's Elisabeth Seitz won the all-around title in the 16+ age group at the second annual Pre-Olympic Youth Cup, held Saturday in Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany.

Germany's Elisabeth Seitz won the all-around title in the 16+ age group at the second annual Pre-Olympic Youth Cup, held Saturday in Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany.

Seitz, who won the 14-15 division last year, scored 54.80 points to defeat German teammate Maike Roll (52.25) and Dutch gymnast Dianne Teunisse (50.65), who finished second and third, respectively. Fourth was Germany's Tina Jentsch (50.10), who at age 20 was the oldest competitor.

Seitz placed 10th all-around at the U.S. vs. Germany dual meet that her country hosted in Muehlheim earlier this month. Seitz finished sixth on uneven bars at the 2008 Junior European Championships in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

Naoual Ouazzani-Chahdi of the Netherlands improved two positions from her finish last year to win the 14-15 age group all-around title (56.30), over Switzerland's Sara Catanzaro (53.80). Tatiana Solovyova of Russia placed third (53.50).

At the FinGym International, held earlier this month in Tampere, Finland, Ouazzani-Chahdi and Catanzaro finished first and second, respectively, on both vault and floor exercise.

Click here to download detailed results.

2nd Pre-Olympic Youth Cup
May 23, 2009, Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany

16+ Age Group All-Around
1. Elisabeth Seitz GER 54.80
2. Maike Roll GER 52.25
3. Dianne Teunisse NED 50.65
4. Tina Jentsch GER 50.10
5. Meike Fernbach GER 49.50
6. Annabelle Hoelzer GER 48.25
7. Jessica Heinz GER 48.00
8. Myriam Boeschen GER 47.05
9. Sarah Reim GER 46.90
10. Andrea Ruehrlinger AUT 44.75
11. Jennifer Huniat GER 43.60
12. Meral Uygun NED 34.25 (3 events)

14-15 Age Group All-Around
1. Naoual Ouazzani-Chahdi NED 56.30
2. Sara Catanzaro SUI 53.80
3. Tatiana Solovyova RUS 53.50
4t. Desiree Baumert GER 53.35
4t. Alya Wilbrink NED 53.35
6. Lisa van der Burg NED 52.10
7. Ruby van Dijk GER 50.85
8. Nikki Olijve NED 50.45
9. Simone Kuhlmann GER 49.85
10. Anja Rheinbay GER 49.15
11. Tess Alberts NED 48.80
12. Katharina Fa AUT 48.55

12-13 Age Group All-Around
1. Yuna Nefedova RUS 50.45
2. Cagla Akyol GER 49.55
3. Sara Di Lascia SUI 49.00
4. Bente Berendsen NED 47.50
5. Finja Saefken GER 47.30
6. Julie-Sophie Wagner GER 46.95
7. Elin Wilde GER 46.85
8. Jennifer Kiesslich GER 46.50
9. Louisa Knapp GER 46.40
10. Anna Wienecke GER 46.25
11. Lara Wondrak GER 46.20
12. Antonia Lupa GER 46.00

Written by John Crumlish    Monday, 18 May 2009 14:01    PDF Print
Johnson Aims to Give 'Everything I've Got' in 'Dancing' Finale
(157 votes, average 4.90 out of 5)

Preparing for the Monday finale of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson told IG that winning the title would be a bonus, but her main missions are to entertain viewers and impress partner Mark Ballas.

"My one goal I had going into this season was to make the finale, and now that I'm here and have had nothing but fun the whole time, I am going into the finals looking for nothing but to entertain the audience, the judges and also to make my partner proud," Johnson said. "Of course, I am a born competitor and there is a title on the line, but I have achieved so much in this competition that anything else would just be the greatest gift ever."

Johnson and Ballas, the youngest couple on the show, will face two other couples in Monday's finale: actor Gilles Marini and partner Cheryl Burke, and "The Bachelor" contestant Melissa Rycroft and partner Tony Dovolani.

Johnson said she has benefited from special pre-finale advice provided by Ballas, who partnered with figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi to win the title two seasons ago.

"Mark has told me in previous weeks to really go for it so I can make the next one, but now that we've made it, he just wants me to show everybody what it is I have done and gone through," Johnson said. "And that means just going out and giving everything I've got."

Johnson, at 17 the youngest competitor in the show's eight-season history, said the excitement and tension she feels for the finale are different from, but no less strong than, the pressure she faced in Olympic and World Championships finals.

"I'm not representing the USA in this competition and I don't have that pressure on my shoulders like I did," said Johnson, the 2007 world all-around champion and 2008 Olympic balance beam gold medalist. "So with this, it's different just because it's all for a personal gain and pure enjoyment and to make my partner proud. It still adds ups to a lot of pressure, but in a different sense."

Although aspects of the finale will remain undisclosed until the show airs live at 8 p.m. Eastern, Johnson said she and Ballas hope to astound viewers and judges alike with their dances.

"We are trying to keep it as big of a secret as possible, just so they can be completely surprised," she said. "But I can tell you, you are definitely going to be entertained and will see things that have never been done on the show. I hope the crowd is on their feet - then we've done our jobs."

Dancing against Marini, Rycroft and their partners for the title, Johnson said she is prepared to perform at her physical and spiritual best.

"It's honestly going to be the hardest, most intense finale yet, but a very enjoyable one," Johnson told IG. "I am huge a supporter of both Gilles and Melissa, but if I want to win, I'm just going to have to go out there and give my heart and soul on the floor. May the best man, or woman, win!"

External Link: Dancing with the Stars

Written by Amanda Turner    Sunday, 17 May 2009 22:22    PDF Print
He Ning, Feng Jing Win Chinese Championships
(20 votes, average 4.55 out of 5)

Veterans He Ning and Feng Jing won the all-around titles at the Chinese National Championships, which concluded Sunday in Jinan, Shandong Province.

He Ning on uneven bars in Jinan

He, a member of China's gold medal-winning team at the 2006 Worlds, won her first national title. Huang Qiushuang finished second and Xiao Sha third.

"I have won a world title and the Asian Games all-around, but I have never won the national championship," He said. "A dream came true today, I am very happy."

Feng won the men's all-around over Guo Weiyang and Feng Zhe. Feng Jing is the youngest men's world champion in history, having won in 2001 at age 16.

World and Olympic gold medalist Cheng Fei won titles on vault and floor exercise. The two-time Olympian, who turns 21 on May 29, said she has no plans to retire.

"Age to me is just a number," she said. "If my health permits me, I am sure I will continue competing in order to contribute to Chinese gymnastics."

Jiang Yuyuan, who placed fifth all-around with a disastrous 11.900 on uneven bars, rebounded in finals to win the event.

Sui Li won balance beam over Li Shanshan, also a member of China's Olympic champion team from 2008.

Olympic uneven bars champion He Kexin, suffering from a hand injury, skipped her forte but competed on the other three events.

Chen Yibing was the only member of China's 2008 Olympic champion team to win a medal for the men in Jinan. The Olympic champion on still rings finished second to Yan Minyong on the event.

"I am very happy to be pushed by the young guy, which in Chinese gymnastics is a good thing," said Chen, 24. "Let a hundred flowers bloom, and China will be the future of gymnastics!"

The competition also served as the preliminaries for the 11th National Games, which will be held Oct. 11-23 in Shandong.

2009 Chinese National Championships
May 15-17, Jinan, Shandong Province

Women's All-Around
1. He Ning (Zhejiang) 58.100
2. Huang Qiushuang (Guangdong) 57.750
3. Xiao Sha (Guizhou) 57.050

Men's All-Around
1. Feng Jing (Guangdong) 90.300
2. Guo Weiyang (Yunnan) 89.700
3. Feng Zhe (Sichuan) 89.350

Women's Vault
1. Cheng Fei (Hubei) 14.962
2. Deng Shaojie (Shanxi) 14.450
3. Yang Pei (Shanxi) 14.300

Uneven Bars
1. Jiang Yuyuan (Zhejiang) 15.150
2. Xiao Kangjun (Shanghai) 14.525
3. He Ning (Zheijiang) 14.500

Balance Beam
1. Cui Jie (Hunan) 15.100
2. Li Shanshan (Guangdong) 15.050
2. Zhang Yujiao (Shanghai) 15.050

Women's Floor Exercise
1. Cheng Fei (Hubei) 14.825
2. Jiang Yuyuan (Zhejiang) 14.600
3. Huang Qiushuang (Guangdong) 14.400

Men's Floor Exercise
1. Du Wei (Guizhou) 14.975
2. Tong Yijing (Jiangsu) 14.825
3. Luo Zepeng (Sichuan) 14.725

Pommel Horse
1. Zhang Hongtao (Shanxi) 16.325
2. Teng Haibin (Beijing) (score unavailable)
3. Lu Chenxi (Zhejiang) 15.250

Still Rings
1. Yan Mingyong (Shanghai) 16.150
2. Chen Yibing (Tianjin) 15.800
3. Tao Zhuyong (Army) 15.725

Men's Vault
1. Huang Yuguo (Shandong) 15.900
2. Yang Jinhui (Guangdong) 15.725
3. Zhang Chenglong (Shangdong) 15.600

Parallel Bars
1. Feng Zhe (Sichuan) 15.825
1. Wang Guanyin (Tianjin) 15.825
3. Guo Weiyang (Yunnan) 15.150

High Bar
1. Guo Weiyang (Yunnan) 15.425
2. Zhang Chenglong (Shandong) 14.950
3. Li Peng (Guangdong) 14.775

Written by Amanda Turner    Sunday, 17 May 2009 12:22    PDF Print
Kanayeva Sweeps European Championships
(30 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

2008 Olympic champion Yevgenia Kanayeva (Russia) swept all four events at the Rhythmic European Championships, which concluded Sunday in Baku, Azerbaijan.
2008 Olympic champion Yevgenia Kanayeva (Russia) swept all four events at the Rhythmic European Championships, which concluded Sunday in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Kanayeva led Russia to the senior team title Saturday, and on Sunday took individual golds with rope, hoop, ball and ribbon. No all-around competition was held in Baku.

Russian veteran Vera Sesina performed with rope, hoop and ribbon, and won the silver on each. Olga Kapranova, the third Russian team member, performed with the ball only.

Azerbaijani duo Aliya Garayeva and Anna Gurbanova led the host nation to silver in the team competition, ahead of bronze medalist Belarus. Gurbanova won the bronze medal with the ball, leaving former world champion Kapranova in fourth place. Both Garayeva and Gurbanova train in Moscow with Russian coach Irina Viner.

"I am happy with the result, but there is no limit to perfection," Gurbanova said. "I will work more to please the fans, the coaches who put so much into me, and those people who pull for me so much."

Two-time Olympic all-around bronze medalist Anna Bessonova (Ukraine) won the silver on ball and bronze medals on the other events.

"After the Olympic Games I have drastically changed style – music and routines. I see the spectators enjoyed it, and I also enjoyed performing it," Bessonova said.

Russia earned a complete sweep of the competition, with its junior group defeating Azerbaijan and Belarus in the exercise with five ribbons.

The junior group from Azerbaijan won the silver medal in Baku with the five-ribbons exercise.

2009 Rhythmic European Championships
May 16-17, Baku, Azerbaijan

RopeD1D2D AvgArtisticExecutionNDTotal
1.Yevgenia Kanayeva9.5009.7009.6009.6509.60028.850
2.Vera Sesina8.9009.5009.2009.5009.5000.0528.150
3.Anna Bessonova8.3009.3508.8259.5009.30027.625
4.Anna Gurbanova8.6009.0008.8009.2009.20027.200
5.Lyubov Charkashyna7.8009.0008.4009.3009.10026.800
6.Silvia Miteva8.0008.7008.3509.3009.00026.650
7.Irina Risenson7.5009.1508.3259.2009.00026.525
8.Aliya Garayeva7.8008.5008.1509.1009.0000.1026.150

HoopD1D2D AvgArtisticExecutionNDTotal
1.Yevgenia Kanayeva9.6009.3509.4759.8009.60028.875
2.Vera Sesina9.1009.1009.1009.4509.40027.950
3.Anna Bessonova8.8009.3009.0509.4509.15027.650
4.Aliya Garayeva8.7009.0008.8509.4509.15027.450
5.Anna Gurbanova8.8009.0508.9259.2509.1500.1027.225
6.Irina Risenson8.5008.9508.7259.1509.10026.975
7.Silvia Miteva8.6008.8008.7009.1508.80026.650
8.Svetlana Rudalova8.5508.5008.5258.8508.80026.175

BallD1D2D AvgArtisticExecutionNDTotal
1.Yevgenia Kanayeva9.7009.8009.7509.7009.60029.050
2.Anna Bessonova8.7009.4009.0509.5509.40028.000
3.Anna Gurbanova8.9009.7009.3009.3009.25027.850
4.Olga Kapranova8.6009.5009.0509.3009.3000.0527.600
5.Aliya Garayeva8.9009.3009.1009.2009.25027.550
6.Melitina Stanyuta8.5009.5009.0009.0509.15027.200
7.Irina Risenson8.0009.2008.6009.2009.1000.1026.800
8.Lyubov Charkashyna8.2008.8508.5258.9008.80026.225

RibbonD1D2D AvgArtisticExecutionNDTotal
1.Yevgenia Kanayeva9.2009.2509.2259.7509.45028.425
2.Vera Sesina9.1509.2509.2009.5009.4000.0528.050
3.Anna Bessonova8.9009.3509.1259.3509.10027.575
4.Aliya Garayeva8.6009.1008.8509.4009.25027.500
5.Anna Gurbanova8.5508.7508.6509.3009.30027.250
6.Silvia Miteva8.7009.0008.8509.2509.1000.1027.100
7.Irina Risenson8.4008.9508.6759.2509.00026.925
8.Melitina Stanyuta8.6008.5508.5759.1009.15026.825

Junior Group: 5 RibbonsD1D2D AvgArtisticExecutionNDTotal

Senior TeamRopeHoopBallRibbonTotal
16.Czech Republic46.00044.20043.55045.525179.275
24.Great Britain40.45042.67541.40039.975164.500
Written by Amanda Turner    Saturday, 16 May 2009 15:50    PDF Print
Tweddle, Hypolito Double Winners in Glasgow
(9 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Britain's Beth Tweddle and Brazil's Diego Hypolito each took two titles Saturday at the finals of the Glasgow Grand Prix.

The British and Dutch were the most successful at the World Cup event, claiming three golds each. Britain's six medals overall were the most of any nation, ahead of five each from Netherlands and Russia.

Beth Twedddle (Great Britain)

Tweddle won uneven bars and floor exercise, the two events she entered and the ones she won at last month's European Championships in Milan.

Russian newcomers Yekaterina Kurbatova and Yulia Berger went 1-2 on women's vault. Sanne Wevers (Netherlands) defended her balance beam title from last fall's Glasgow Grand Prix, this time tying Ana Maria Izurieta (Spain). Izurieta, a first-year senior, took a second medal with the bronze on floor.

Hypolito won men's floor exercise but surprised himself by also taking the gold medal on vault, where he defeated top qualifier Ri Se Gwang (North Korea). Ri, who had stuck a piked Dragulescu in qualification, fell on the 7.2-rated vault Saturday.

"I am very surprised about my result because this apparatus is not my speciality," Hypolito said of his vault title. "This result is very important and is going to reflect in a positive way for men's artistic gymnastics in Brazil. It is very rare in the Brazilian gymnastics history that a Brazilian gymnast wins two gold medals in the same competition."

2008 Olympic pommel horse bronze medalist Louis Smith, third in qualification, pulled ahead of top qualifier Krisztian Berki (Hungary) to take the title Saturday.

"I feel very happy to have Louis as my big adversary," said Berki, the reigning European champion on pommel horse. "He is a good gymnast and I appreciate him very much."

World Cup staple Yuri van Gelder (Netherlands), who had placed only fourth in qualification, claimed victory in the final. Jordan's Ali Al-Asi showed the highest D-Panel score (7.0) of the final to place second, winning his first World Cup medal. Top qualifier Ri placed only fourth.

North Korea still managed a gold however, with Kim Jin Hyok winning parallel bars over Slovakia's Samuel Piasecky and Slovenia's Mitja Petkovsek.

Epke Zonderland brought a third gold for the Netherlands on high bar, outscoring top qualifier Aljaz Pegan (Slovenia).

The World Cup circuit moves next to Moscow, with the World Stars May 29-30.

For competition highlights and behind-the-scenes interviews from Glasgow, log on to British Gymnastics' BGTV.

2009 Glasgow Grand Prix
May 16, Glasgow, Scotland

Women's Vault FinalSVScoreNDSVScoreNDAverage
1.Yekaterina Kurbatova5.814.2000.15.213.80014.000
2.Yulia Berger5.514.2755.313.52513.900
3.Jessica Gil5.314.0005.013.60013.800
4.Annika Urvikko5.013.6000.15.013.62513.612
5.Yasmin Zimmermann5.512.6250.15.013.32512.975
6.Becky Downie5.013.7754.812.0750.112.925
7.Diana Chelaru5.812.7754.412.97512.875

Uneven Bars FinalSVNDScore
1.Beth Tweddle6.715.275
2.Becky Downie6.114.600
3.Yekaterina Kurbatova5.914.425
4.Lucia Tacchelli5.814.125
5.Gabriela Dragoi5.913.250
6.Jana Sikulova5.413.025
7.Khiuani Dias5.412.650
8.Diana Chelaru5.112.375

Balance Beam FinalSVNDScore
1.Sanne Wevers5.70.114.075
1.Ana Maria Izurieta5.714.075
3.Gabriela Dragoi5.613.950
4.Khiuani Dias5.113.725
5.Becky Downie5.013.300
6.Suzanne Harmes4.713.275
7.Adela Sajn4.912.325
8.Yekaterina Kurbatova4.912.150

Women's Floor Exercise FinalSVNDScore
1.Beth Tweddle6.014.900
2.Anna Myzdrikova6.014.700
3.Ana Maria Izurieta5.513.975
4.Yasmin Zimmermann5.513.850
5.Yulia Berger5.40.213.450
6.Diana Chelaru5.513.200
7.Naomi Ruiz5.413.175
8.Jessica Gil5.20.312.950

Men's Floor Exercise FinalSVNDScore
1.Diego Hypolito6.615.850
2.Kristian Thomas6.115.225
3.Alexander Shatilov6.80.315.050
4.Tomislav Markovic6.315.000
4.Jeffrey Wammes6.315.000
6.Rok Klavora5.90.314.550
7.Anton Golotsutskov6.214.500
8.Dimitrios Markousis5.80.212.550

Pommel Horse FinalSVNDScore
1.Louis Smith6.715.750
2.Krisztian Berki6.715.525
3.Daniel Keatings6.715.400
4.Andrei Perevoznikov6.215.325
5.Donna-Donny Truyens5.714.125
6.Vid Hidvegi6.013.600
7.Ri Se Gwang5.713.400
8.Mosiah Rodrigues6.013.125

Still Rings FinalSVNDScore
1.Yuri van Gelder6.615.650
2.Ali Al-Asi7.015.425
3.Konstantin Pluzhnikov6.615.350
4.Eleftherios Petrounias6.415.125
4.Ri Se Gwang6.715.125
6.Kim Jin Hyok6.615.100
7.Robert Stanescu6.815.075
8.Gustavo Simoes6.114.700

Men's Vault FinalSVScoreNDSVScoreNDAverage
1.Diego Hypolito6.615.9256.616.10016.012
2.Ri Se Gwang7.215.5757.016.42516.000
3.Jeffrey Wammes6.616.0500.16.615.7000.115.875
4.Luke Folwell6.615.7250.16.615.37515.550
5.Theo Seager6.615.7256.615.12515.425
6.Tomi Tuuha6.615.0006.215.65015.325
7.Victor Camargo6.215.1000.16.614.95015.025
8.Marek Lyszczarz0.0006.214.5257.262

Parallel Bars FinalSVNDScore
1.Kim Jin Hyok6.915.425
2.Samuel Piasecky6.215.275
3.Mitja Petkovsek6.215.125
4.Adam Kierzkowski6.015.025
5.Robert Stanescu5.814.375
6.Alexander Batinkov6.014.300
7.Roman Kulesza5.714.250
8.Epke Zonderland5.913.800

High Bar FinalSVNDScore
1.Epke Zonderland6.815.525
2.Aljaz Pegan6.315.350
3.Jeffrey Wammes6.214.775
4.Anatoly Vasilyev6.714.625
5.Marijo Moznik6.814.025
6.Kristian Thomas5.613.675
7.Ovidiu Buidoso5.912.725
8.Samuel Piasecky4.911.975


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