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2014 Worlds Championships News


Written by Amanda Turner    Sunday, 05 October 2014 00:37    PDF Print
Worlds Preview: Women's Qualification, Session 4
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)
Worlds Preview: Women's Qualification, Session 4

Competition continues Sunday afternoon in the fourth session of women's qualification at the 45th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Nanning, China.

The qualifications are a make-or-break event for all the gymnasts. At stake are spots in the all-around final (top 24) and apparatus finals (top eight on each event). Only the top 24 countries will advance full teams to next year's world championships in Glasgow, the first qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Games.


Elsa Garcia (Mexico)

Colombia: Vault

Colombia will hope to improve on its ranking after finishing last at the 2010 World Championships. The team qualified Olympians in 2008 (Nathalia Sanchez) and 2012 (Jessica Gil), but neither are competing in Nanning. The team has one of the oldest gymnasts in Nanning, 31-year-old Bibiana Velez. Melba Avendano is the country's top gymnast, finishing sixth at this year's South American Games.

Mexico: Uneven Bars

2012 Olympian Elsa Garcia is back in Nanning after skipping last year's world championships. The fan favorite has a chance at the floor final, showing both style and tumbling (double layout; full-in; Arabian double front). Ana Lago, the 2011 Pan American champion on floor exercise, is returning from a torn ACL and will compete vault, uneven bars and balance beam.

Ireland: Balance Beam

Ireland is fielding a full team this year after sending only individuals to the 2010 Worlds in Rotterdam. 2014 Irish champion Ellis O'Reilly leads the team alongside national runner-up Nicole Mawhinney. Several of the gymnasts competed train at Salto Gymnastics in Lisburn and represented Northern Ireland at this summer's Commonwealth Games. Irish veteran India McPeak is absent from Nanning as an incoming freshman this fall at the University of Michigan.

Argentina: Floor Exercise

Argentina is sending a full team this year for the first time since 2006, when it placed 25th. The team will be challenged to place that high this year without three of its top gymnasts: 2012 Olympian Valeria Pererya, 2014 national champion Camelia Ambrosio and World Challenger Cup gold medalist Ayelen Tarabini (out with injury).

Next Up: Defending world champion USA takes the floor!

Flip over to International Gymnast Magazine's official Facebook page for live commentary from the 2014 World Gymnastics Championships in Nanning!

 
Written by John Crumlish    Saturday, 04 October 2014 23:46    PDF Print
IG Interview: Veronica Wagner (Sweden)
(7 votes, average 4.86 out of 5)

Ten years after her Olympic debut, Sweden's Veronica Wagner is back in pursuit of success as she prepares for the world championships in Nanning.

Wagner competed at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, where she earned the Swedish women's first Games berth in 20 years. She left elite competition prior to the 2012 London Games, where she worked as a gymnastics commentator for Swedish television.

At 27, Wagner now hopes to help Sweden place among the top 24 teams in Nanning and thereby advance to the 2015 Worlds in Glasgow. Twelve teams will eventually qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Wagner shared her latest competitive status, as well as her athletic and professional aspirations, in this IG Online interview.


IG: What motivated you to give Nanning a try, and how long have you been training at full strength?

VW: After two years of studying at university, with no elite training anyway, I felt that I missed my sport a lot - like crazy, actually. I talked to a club other than my old one in Stockholm, and after some weeks, I decided to give gymnastics another try. But I wanted to end that semester because my program at university is at least three years and I didn't want to quit in the middle of it.

So I started to train again in June. I thought worlds was going to come too fast for any event. I have not been training full-out at all. I have been training since June, but since I needed a lot of just getting used to the pounding and training volume, I'm still in a process. Step by step everything is getting easier. The hard part for me was not really the skills, except the dismount on beam. That's going to take a little extra muscle work. The hard part was and still is the amount of hours we need to get back to elite level.


Veronica Wagner (Sweden)

IG: Where are you in terms of your academic and broadcasting careers?

VW: I've had four terms of university studies, for physiotherapy. It's been a change because I have not really been studying like normal since I was 14 or 15! But it's been fun, and, if I could choose, I would train and study. This term, term five, is 100 percent presence, so I'm only taking one course online right now. I will train and see how that goes, but, of course, I will do my Bachelor's degree after gymnastics, and maybe, if I want to, I'll do a Master's afterwards.

As for my broadcasting, I think it's way harder than I thought, because I did all the men's competitions as well at the Olympics. I have just done little things here and there. At (2013) Europeans, when (teammate) Jonna (Adlerteg) took silver on bars, it was kind of hard; I cried at the ceremony! But if I'm not competing myself, I surely want to continue doing that, and I love it. I could for sure do that full-time, but that's not possible in Sweden... yet!

IG: Where are you training these days, and what is your schedule like?

VW: I'm living in Stockholm, but my club right now is Eskilstuna Gymnastics Academy, the same club as Emma Larsson, Jonna Adlerteg, Ida Gustafsson and Kim Singmuang. So our plan is that I will train in Stockholm with my old club two or three days a week, and drive to Eskilstuna, a 75-minute drive, and train two, three or four days there. Right now, in these last weeks before worlds, it's four days. I'm training with Helena Andersson and Sebastian Melander. We are now a great group of seniors training together. We are a very ambitious group so it hard work, but that's what elite is about, and that is what I need and want.

IG: What was the aim of your participation at the Novara Cup in Italy two weeks ago?

VW: I didn't compete; I just trained with my team and cheered them on. We had one test competition some weeks ago and I somehow hurt my heel pad on my mount on beam, a front pike. So we decided not to compete on it, and I took away some skills to be able to compete at the Swedish Cup, as well. It's better now, though, but it will take some time to heal up, and I'm using heel protection in training.

IG: What is the focus of your training between now and worlds?

VW: Actually I didn't do much for three weeks on it, so right now I'm back doing routines on beam, just to get the consistency back. I will have to focus on getting the numbers but still keep the heel OK. It's a balance. It's kind of hard because I was in good shape before I hurt it, but the hardest part is to be patient. In real gymnastics terms I need to focus on getting my quickness back, because you just can't do a double front from beam without extremely quick leg muscles. And I have been using power all of my gymnastics career, so wake up, Type 2 fibers!

IG: What are your expectations for Nanning?

VW: I see this as a first step. I'm not where I want to be yet but I'm getting back. But I want to help out on beam and vault so Sweden can be top 24. That's the main goal for all of us right now.

International Gymnast magazine's coverage of Swedish gymnastics includes:

"Scouting Scandinavia" - IG's visit to Wagner's club in Stockholm (March 2011)
"Quick Chat: Veronica Wagner" (November 2008)
"Veronica's Date: 2008" - Wagner profile (February 2005)
"Swedish History-maker" - Jonna Adlerteg profile (November 2010)
"Swedish Upswing" – women's team feature including Adlerteg (November 2010)
"Swedish Achiever" - Ida Gustafsson short profile (June 3013)
"Sweden's Standout" - Mans Stenberg profile (March 2010)
"Swedish Sojourn" – Karolina Bohman profile (February 2003)
William Thoresson profile/Hall of Fame induction feature (August/September 2001)

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

 
Written by Amanda Turner    Saturday, 04 October 2014 23:18    PDF Print
Worlds Preview: Women's Qualification, Session 3
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

The Brazilian women, hosts of the 2016 Olympic Games, take the floor Sunday afternoon in the third session of qualification at the 45th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Nanning, China.

The qualifications are a make-or-break event for all the gymnasts. At stake are spots in the all-around final (top 24) and apparatus finals (top eight on each event). Only the top 24 countries will advance full teams to next year's world championships in Glasgow, the first qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Games.


Anna Pavlova (Azerbaijan)

Brazil: Vault

Four-time Olympian Daniele Hypolito anchors the Brazilian squad in its first step toward qualification for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil grabbed the last qualification spot for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Poland: Uneven Bars

Olympian Marta Pihan-Kolesza leads the Polish team, which placed 17th at the 2010 Worlds but chose not to send a full team to the 2011 Worlds. Pihan-Kolesza, primarily a beam and floor specialist on the World Cup circuit, is married to Roman Kulesza, a member of the Polish men's team in Nanning. Katarzyna Jurkowska-Kowalska has also had notable results for Poland, qualifying to the balance beam final at the 2013 Europeans.

Switzerland: Balance Beam

Two-time European vault champion Giulia Steingruber qualified to three finals at last year's world championships in Antwerp, where she placed seventh all-around, fourth on vault and fifth on floor exercise. Her excellent Rudi on vault should help her qualify to the apparatus final, but she will need to upgrade her relatively weak second vault (Yurchenko full) if she wants to bag her first world medal. Teammate Ilaria Käslin is elegant on balance beam and was an all-around finalist in Antwerp.

Azerbaijan: Floor Exercise

Azerbaijan is sending its first full team to the world championships, and all four gymnasts are Russian natives. Most notable is fan favorite Anna Pavlova, a two-time Olympian who is not ready to hang up her grips. Though she has suffered several knee injuries, Pavlova remains a medal contender on vault, taking the silver behind Steingruber at this year's Europeans. Teammate Yulia Inshina competed for Russia at the 2011 Worlds in Tokyo, winning a silver with the team and qualifying to the balance beam finals.

Next Up: Three Latin American teams – Argentina, Colombia and Mexico – and Ireland take the floor in session four!

Flip over to International Gymnast Magazine's official Facebook page for live commentary from the 2014 World Gymnastics Championships in Nanning!

 
Written by Amanda Turner    Saturday, 04 October 2014 20:06    PDF Print
Worlds Preview: Women's Qualification, Session 2
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)



Full women's teams from Netherlands and Spain take the floor Sunday morning as qualification continues at the 45th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Nanning, China. Pictured: Vietnam's Phan Thi Ha Thanh on floor exercise during podium training in Nanning

Full women's teams from Netherlands and Spain take the floor Sunday morning as qualification continues at the 45th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Nanning, China.

The qualifications are a make-or-break event for all the gymnasts. At stake are spots in the all-around final (top 24) and apparatus finals (top eight on each event). Only the top 24 countries will advance full teams to next year's world championships in Glasgow, the first qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Singapore: Vault

Singapore sent only one female gymnast, Zeng Qiyan, to Nanning. Zeng's top event is uneven bars, and she took the bronze medal on the event at this year's Singapore Open Gymnastics Championships.

Mixed Group 4: Uneven Bars

Mixed Group 4 contains gymnasts from Lithuania, Slovakia, Turkey and Vietnam. 2012 Olympian Phan Thi Ha Thanh is the star in this lineup. She made history for Vietnam with her vault bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships, becoming the first gymnast from her country to win a world medal in gymnastics. Phan is gunning for the vault final (double-twisting Yurchenko and layout Rudi). She also impressed on balance beam at the recent Asian Games, where her artistry and precision helped her win a medal on that event as well.

Spain: Balance Beam

Romanian-born Roxana Popa continues to improve and hopes to power Spain to qualify a full team to the 2016 Olympic Games. The team finished 12th at the 2011 Worlds but missed a berth to the 2012 Olympic Games. Popa is powerful on vault and floor exercise, and fun to watch on uneven bars.

The Netherlands: Floor Exercise

2012 Olympian Céline van Gerner is back in action for the Netherlands, which was 13th at the 2011 World Championships. Twin sisters Sanne and Lieke Wevers are competing at the world championships together for the first time. Sanne is hoping for a trip to the finals on balance beam, where her impressive repertoire of turns includes one named after her (double turn with leg horizontal).

Next Up: 2016 Olympic hosts Brazil take the floor, and Anna Pavlova makes her world debut for Azerbaijan!

Flip over to International Gymnast Magazine's official Facebook page for live commentary from the 2014 World Gymnastics Championships in Nanning!

 
Written by Amanda Turner    Saturday, 04 October 2014 18:36    PDF Print
Worlds Preview: Women's Qualification, Session 1
(2 votes, average 3.50 out of 5)

Competition continues Sunday morning at the 45th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Nanning, China. After two days of men's qualification, the women take to the floor at the Guangxi Sport Center with the first of 12 sessions of qualification.

The qualifications are a make-or-break event for all the gymnasts. At stake are spots in the all-around final (top 24) and apparatus finals (top eight on each event). Only the top 24 countries will advance full teams to next year's world championships in Glasgow, the first qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Games.


Yekaterina Kramarenko (Russia)

Egypt: Vault

Just like the Egyptian men, the Egyptian women drew the "unlucky" first session of qualification, when scores are often conservative. The team's top gymnast, Fadwa Mahmoud, is injured. Mahmoud is one of the few female gymnasts who attempt the 7.0-Difficulty double front vault (Produnova).

Belgium: Uneven Bars

Belgium finished 16th at the 2011 World Championships, advancing to the Olympic test event and final qualification in London. There the Belgians finished fifth, missing qualifying to the Olympic Games by approximately one point. Floor exercise standout Julie Croket is back after a torn ACL, while two-time Olympian Gael Mys anchors the team on three events.

Canada: Balance Beam

Canada finished a record fifth at the 2012 Olympics, but the team is rebuilding its ranks. Canada had a less-than-successful showing this summer, finishing out of the team medals at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Olympian Ellie Black leads the team in Nanning and has a shot at several finals, including vault and beam.

Russia: Floor Exercise

Russia's lineup features three veterans and three newcomers. Injuries to Olympians Ksenia Afanasyeva, Viktoria Komova, Anastasia Grishina and Maria Paseka means Russia has had to dig deep to field its strongest team. Superstar Aliya Mustafina is back along with 2008 Olympian Yekaterina Kramarenko and 2010/2011 world team member Tatiana Nabiyeva. The team's best event is uneven bars, but is weak on floor exercise. Mustafina, who grabbed the gold on balance beam and bronze medals in the all-around and uneven bars at the 2013 Worlds, should contend for several individual medals. She has also submitted a triple-turn in Y on floor exercise (Memmel with extra turn) that will be named after her if she competes it successfully in Nanning.

First-year seniors Maria Kharenkova (the European champion on balance beam) and Daria Spiridonova are also capable of apparatus finals. Alla Sotnitskaya is the team's only vault specialist and debuted her Cheng Fei vault in podium training.

Next Up: Full teams from Spain and the Netherlands, along with Vietnamese star Phan Thi Ha Thanh!

Flip over to International Gymnast Magazine's official Facebook page for live commentary from the 2014 World Gymnastics Championships in Nanning!

 


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