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Written by John Crumlish    Tuesday, 03 April 2012 20:15    PDF Print
Slovenia's Šajn Shines Despite Olympic Letdown
(9 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

In China for the Zibo World Cup taking place this weekend, 2008 Slovenian Olympian Adela Šajn told IG her success in recent FIG meets has encouraged her to continue her career despite failing to qualify for this summer's Olympic Games in London.

2008 Slovenian Olympian Adela Šajn

"I'm very pleased with the results and I'm happy I am also able to make floor finals at World Cups," said Šajn (pronounced "shine"), who last month tied for seventh on floor exercise at the Tournament of Masters in Cottbus and placed sixth on floor exercise at the Challenger Cup in Doha. "I can make up with style and artistry a little bit as my tumbling passes are not the strongest, so I never expect too much from floor."

Šajn, who will turn 22 on April 14, said she has regained her enthusiasm for gymnastics following the Olympic test event in London in January. Teammate Saša Golob outscored her at the test event to earn the Slovenian women's sole berth for the London Games.

"It was quite difficult to get back to the gym after the test event, knowing I didn't make it to the Olympics," said Šajn, who trains under coach Silvo Marincic in her hometown of Ljubljana. "I was very tired, physically and mentally. But it wasn't as hard as it would be if I hadn't already been in Beijing in 2008. I took a few weeks off and then started training, as I will participate in several World Cups and the European championships. I hope to do well, but I will mainly focus on next year, as there are very few competitions after the Olympics."

Šajn said she is eager to improve her performances – even at this point in her career.

"I hope I have fewer problems with my ankles in the future so I could add more difficulty," said Šajn, who since 2008 has won six medals on balance beam and floor exercise at World Cup and Challenger Cup meets. "Beam is still my best event, so I hope to improve my consistency before the European championships (next month in Brussels), as I added a few tenths in difficulty."

Šajn said fitness training plays a key role in her gymnastics, and may lead to a professional fitness career.

"In the preparation time I also go to fitness to increase muscle activation, which helps me a lot on floor and vault," said Šajn, who is studying psychology at university. "My boyfriend and I are also co-owners of two fitness centers in Ljubljana, and he also participates in fitness competitions. When I quit gymnastics I think I will keep training in fitness because I think it's a good way to stay fit."

Despite missing out on the 2012 Olympics, Šajn said she is considering a shot at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"I love gymnastics very much, so it's hard to think about quitting," she told IG. "It mostly depends on how my body will hold up. For now I have 2016 in my mind, but I will take one step at a time."  

Written by Amanda Turner    Saturday, 31 March 2012 17:22    PDF Print
China Hands Bronze from 1999 Worlds to Ukraine
(25 votes, average 3.36 out of 5)

The Chinese Gymnastics Association has forfeited the team bronze its gymnasts won at the 1999 World Championships in Tianjin, more fallout over the falsified age of gymnast Dong Fangxiao.

The Chinese Gymnastics Association has forfeited the team bronze its gymnasts won at the 1999 World Championships in Tianjin, more fallout over the falsified age of gymnast Dong Fangxiao. Ukraine, fourth in Tianjin, officially awarded the bronze medals to its 1999 world squad in a ceremony Saturday in Kiev.

The Chinese team lost the team bronze from the 2000 Olympics in April 2010, when the International Olympic Committee ruled that Dong's birth year had been altered from 1986 to 1983 to allow her to compete as a senior in 1999 and 2000. The U.S. women, fourth at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, received their bronze medals in a ceremony at the 2010 U.S. championships.

Dong's age came under scrutiny in 2008 following the Olympic scandal in Beijing, where there were accusations that China had falsified the ages of some of the gymnasts on its gold-medal team.

In Tianjin, the Chinese team of Dong, Bai Chunyue, Huang Mandan, Ling Jie, Liu Xuan and Xu Jing finished third behind Romania and Russia. But the team was only a fraction ahead of Ukraine, 152.423-152.338.

Nearly 13 years later, Ukraine received the bronze medals Saturday in Kiev at the Zakharova Cup. The gymnasts on the 1999 team were Natalia Gorodny, Viktoria Karpenko, Olga Roschupkina, Inga Shkarupa, Olga Teslenko, Tatiana Yarosh and alternate Galina Tyryk. It is the first world team medal for the Ukrainian women, who were also fourth in 1997.

Two weeks ago, FIG President Bruno Grandi was in Kiev and gave the medals to Ukrainian coach Igor Korobchinsky, coach Lyudmila Korolenko told IG.

Only Teslenko, a judge at the competition, and Gorodny were on hand for the ceremony. Coaches Svetlana Kutsenko, Zinaida Gorbach and Korolenko accepted the medals on behalf of their former gymnasts.

Written by Amanda Turner    Thursday, 29 March 2012 14:44    PDF Print
Tweddle Takes Title at Doha Challenger Cup
(10 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

British star Beth Tweddle claimed the uneven bars title Thursday as competition continued at the 5th Doha Cup, held at the Aspire Dome in the Qatari capital.

British star Beth Tweddle claimed the uneven bars title Thursday as competition continued at the 5th Doha Cup, held at the Aspire Dome in the Qatari capital.

Tweddle, who scored 15.900 in qualificiation, did not connect her planned back-to-back transitions of toe-full to toe-on Tkatchev-half to Yezhova into a Maloney-half. But the three-time world champion still pulled out a victory, scoring 15.125 over China's Jiang Yuyuan (14.875). Hoping for an Olympic victory in London this summer, Tweddle could follow in the tradition of He Kexin, who won the bars title in Doha in 2008, a few months before taking gold in Beijing.

Jiang, also a member of China's gold-medal squad at the 2008 Olympics, performed a difficult set (full pirouette into elgrip, full back to elgrip, Jaeger, Pak salto; 1 1/2 out of elgrip into Tkatchev, double layout) but late pirouettes and a step on her double layout dismount cost her.

Swiss standout Giulia Steingruber upgraded to a layout Rudi on vault (15.325) to take the women's title comfortably. Qatar's Aljazy Al-Habshi placed eighth for the host nation.

The Chinese men took two titles: three-time Olympic champion Zou Kai won floor exercise, while teammate Liao Qiahua won still rings. Slovenia's Saso Bertoncelj defeated Liao to take the title pommel horse.

Competition concludes Friday with the remaining events.

External Link: Official Website

5th Doha Cup/FIG Challenger Series
March 29, 2012, Doha, Qatar

Women's Vault FinalDENDScoreAverage
1.Giulia Steingruber6.39.02515.32514.662
2.Nadine Jarosch5.38.92514.22513.837
3.Teja Belak5.38.87514.17513.812
4.Kirsten Beckett5.38.90014.20013.587
5.Demet Mutlu5.08.65013.65013.287
6.Togzhan Manassova4.68.60013.20012.850
7.Monika Frandofert4.68.15012.75012.787
8.Olga Antipenko5.08.50013.50012.762
9.Aljazy Al-Habshi4.27.72511.92511.762

Uneven Bars FinalDENDScore
1.Beth Tweddle6.98.27515.175
2.Jiang Yuyuan6.68.27514.875
3.Lisa Katharina Hill6.18.47514.575
4.Larisa Iordache6.28.32514.525
5.Marta Pihan-Kulesza5.78.57514.275
5.Diana Bulimar5.68.67514.275
7.Giulia Steingruber5.78.07513.775
8.Nadine Jarosch5.48.32513.725

Men's Floor Exercise FinalDENDScore
1.Zou Kai6.68.90015.500
2.Tomislav Markovic6.48.62515.025
3.Vlad Cotuna6.38.52514.825
4.Andrew Smith6.28.37514.575
5.Jimmy Verbaeys6.08.25014.250
6.Rok Klavora5.68.42514.025
7.Huang Yuguo6.67.17513.775
8.Alexander Batinkov6.17.3500.313.150

Pommel Horse FinalDENDScore
1.Saso Bertoncelj6.09.22515.225
2.Liao Qiuhua6.28.62514.825
3.Cyril Tommasone6.77.92514.625
4.Artur Davtyan5.59.07514.575
5.Zoltan Kallai6.28.35014.550
6.Cristian Bataga5.98.62514.525
7.Vid Hidvegi6.47.67514.075
8.Robert Seligman5.56.97512.475

Still Rings FinalDENDScore
1.Liao Qiuhua6.68.97515.575
2.Vahagn Davtyan6.68.95015.550
3.Danny Rodrigues6.78.82515.525
4.Artur Tovmasyan6.48.87515.275
4.Andreas Toba6.68.67515.275
6.Federico Molinari6.28.75014.950
7.Cristian Bataga6.18.77514.875
8.Ali Ramadan Zahran6.48.27514.675
Written by Amanda Turner    Tuesday, 27 March 2012 21:04    PDF Print
Hamm Announces Competitive Retirement
(8 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

2004 Olympic champion Paul Hamm (U.S.) has dropped his bid for a third Olympic appearance, announcing his competitive retirement Tuesday from the sport of gymnastics.

Hamm, 29, told the AP he has not been able to overcome an ongoing shoulder injury. He underwent surgery in January 2011 to repair a torn right labrum and rotator cuff. He competed at the U.S. Winter Cup in February but was not named to the national team.

Paul Hamm (U.S.)

"It's come to that time," said Hamm, who competed along with his twin brother, Morgan Hamm, at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. "Your mind wants an outcome a certain way, and it used to be a certain way, but you can't get your body to perform that certain way. And I can see it."

Hamm is the most successful U.S. male gymnast in history, becoming the first American man to win the all-around title at both the world championships (2003) and Olympic Games (2004).

"Paul's achievements in gymnastics and contributions to the men's program were significant in helping the United States emerge as a world power," Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics, said in a statement. "Becoming the world and Olympic all-around champion was an unprecedented accomplishment for our country. Not only did he enjoy individual success, but he also was a force in our team's success and raised the bar for men's gymnastics in the United States."

Hamm's outstanding career is notable for its extreme highs and lows. A scoring controversy erupted after the all-around final at the 2004 Olympic Games, when it was discovered Korean gymnast Yang Tae Young had been shorted 0.10 on his parallel bars routine. Yang appealed to the FIG, the IOC and the Court of Arbitration in Sport, all of which declined to alter the results.

Hamm took a hiatus following the 2004 Olympics but returned in time for the 2008 Olympic Games. In 2008, he was headed toward his fourth U.S. all-around title, but suffered a broken hand on parallel bars during the competition. He successfully petitioned to the Olympic team, but withdrew days before the competition because of injury.

In September, Hamm made headlines again, this time after being arrested for an alleged assault on a taxi driver. Hamm, whose arrest video was widely circulated, lost his job as assistant coach at Ohio State over the incident. In February, he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges and is serving a suspended sentence and one year of probation.

"I hope I am remembered for my gymnastic accomplishments, and as a kind person," he said in a statement. "Gymnastics has given me so much and now it is my turn to give back. I will always have gymnastics in my heart, and I will continue to stay involved with the governing body and all aspects of the sport."

Hamm plans to pursue his master's degree in business at Marquette University.

Written by Amanda Turner    Tuesday, 27 March 2012 09:18    PDF Print
Gymnastics Stars Head to Doha, Zibo
(7 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Sixteen world and Olympic champions are on the rosters for two upcoming FIG events, the Challenger Cup this week in Doha and a World Cup the following weekend in China. Pictured: Three-time world champion Beth Tweddle (Great Britain)

Sixteen world and Olympic champions are on the rosters for two upcoming FIG events, the Challenger Cup this week in Doha and a World Cup the following weekend in China.

The Challenger Cup series — which began last weekend in Cottbus, Germany — continues Thursday in Doha, Qatar. Three-time world champion Beth Tweddle (Great Britain), three-time Olympic champion Catalina Ponor (Romania) and Chinese superstars Jiang Yuyuan and Zou Kai along with gymnasts from 31 nations are scheduled to compete Thursday at the famed Aspire Academy in Doha.

The roster also includes a number of gymnasts hoping to make their own Olympic mark this summer in London, including Larisa Iordache (Romania), Kieran Behan (Ireland) and Jessica Lopez (Venezuela).

"Gymnasts like to come here because we provide them with world-class facilities," said Ali al Hitmi, president of the Qatar Gymnastics Federation. "They appreciate the high quality event and hospitality that they experience here."

Following the American Cup in early March, the FIG World Cup series marches on to Zibo, China, for an apparatus-only competition April 7-8. Two-time Olympian Cheng Fei is scheduled to make her return to international competition in Zibo, Shandong province. China is sending a top team, including Shandong's own Zhang Chenglong, the 2010 world champion on high bar; world and Olympic champions Chen Yibing and Teng Haibin, world champions Feng Zhe and Yan Mingyong, and world bronze medalists Huang Qiushuang and Yao Jinnan.

World champions Lauren Mitchell (Australia), Krisztian Berki (Hungary), Yuri van Gelder (Netherlands), Mitja Petkovsek (Slovenia) and Danell Leyva (USA) are also on the roster, as is five-time Olympian Oksana Chusovitina (Germany).

Several gymnasts are scheduled for back-to-back FIG events: Behan, Lopez, Huang Yuguo (China), Yann Cucherat and Cyril Tommassone (France), Eleftherios Kosmidis (Greece), Vid Hidvegi (Hungary), Marek Lyszczarz (Poland), and Slovenians Saso Bertoncelj, Rok Klavora, Teja Belak and Adela Sajn.

2012 Doha Challenger Cup
March 28-30, Doha, Qatar

Women's Competitors
Ashleigh Brennan
Georgia Rose Brown
Mary Anne Monckton
Priscila Cobello
Ethiene Franco
Gabriela Soares
Jiang Yuyuan
Mira Boumejmajen
Aurelie Malaussena
Valentine Sabatou
Beth Tweddle
Hannah Whelan
Lisa Katharina Hill
Nadine Jarosch
Amalia Fauziah Nurun Nubuwah
Novia Nabila Putri
Olga Antipenko
Togzhan Manassova
Monika Frandofert
Katarzyna Jurkowska
Marta Pihan-Kulesza
Aljazy Al-Habshi
Shaden Wohdan
Diana Bulimar
Larisa Iordache
Catalina Ponor
Kirsten Beckett
Claudia Cummins
Nicole Szabo
Lim Heem Wei
Tam Jing Ying Joey
Teja Belak
Ivana Kamnikar
Adela Sajn
Nadia Mülhauser
Giulia Steingruber
Sema Fidel Aslan
Demet Mutlu
Ozlem Ozkan
Goksu Uctas
Jessica Lopez
Men's Competitors
Nicolas Cordoba
Juan Manuel Lompizano
Osvaldo Martinez
Juan Sebastian Melchiori
Federico Molinari
Matias Silva
Artur Davtyan
Serob Soghomonyan
Artur Tovmasyan
Davtyan Vahagn
Tomas Thys
Jimmy Verbaeys
Alexander Batinkov
Velislav Valchev
Yaroslav Vovk
Du Wei
Guo Weiyang
Huang Yuguo
Liao Qiuhua
Zou Kai
Filip Borosa
Tomislav Markovic
Marijo Moznik
Robert Seligman
Kristijan Vugrinski
Sherif Hossameldin Gawdat
Islam Mohamed Shahin
Ali Ramadan Abuoelkassem Zahran
Yann Cucherat
Gael Da Silva
Danny Pinheiro-Rodrigues
Cyril Tommasone
Paata Nozadze
Waldemar Eichorn
Ivan Rittschik
Andreas Toba
Vid Hidvegi
Zoltan Kallai
Ronny Sabputra
Muhammad Try Saputra
Kieran Behan
Luke Carson
Andrew Smith
Ali Saadi Mohsin Al-tameemi
Layth Hasan
Viktor Kocherin
Azizbek Kudratullayev
Fahad Al Ghannam
Mohammad Ali
Naser Alothman
Dmitrijs Trefilovs
Adam Kierzkowski
Roman Kulesza
Marek Lyszczarz
Manuel Campos
Gustavo Simoes
Ahmed Aldayani
Nasser Alhamad
Mahmood Alsadi
Malek Alyahri
Cristian Bataga
Ovidiu Buidoso
Vlad Cotuna
Saso Bertoncelj
Ziga Britovsek
Alen Dimic
Rok Klavora
Gregor Saksida
Ziga Silc
Pablo Brägger
Claudio Capelli
Haikel Bannouri
Wajdi Bouallegue
Ferhat Arican
Coskun Boncuk
Ozgur Sanli

2012 Zibo World Cup
April 7-8, Zibo, China

Women's Competitors
Larrissa Miller
Lauren Mitchell
Jade Barbosa
Madeline Gardnier
Victoria Moors
Cheng Fei
Huang Qiushuang
Yao Jinnan
Tijana Tkalcec
Kristyna Palesova
Yamilet Peña
Oksana Chusovitina
Alexa Moreno
Teja Belak
Sasa Golob
Adela Sajn
Yana Demyanchuk
Jessica Lopez
Phan Thi Ha Thanh
Men's Competitors
Fabian Leimlehner
Jackson Payne
Chen Yibing
Feng Zhe
Huang Yuguo
Teng Haibin
Yan Mingyong
Zhang Chenglong
Yann Cucherat
Cyril Tommasone
Louis Smith
Eleftherios Kosmidis
Eleftherios Petrounias
Krisztian Berki
Vid Hidvegi
Kieran Behan
Alexander Shatilov
Yuri van Gelder
Roman Kulesza
Marek Lyszczarz
Marius Berbecar
Flavius Koczi
Andrei Muntean
Saso Bertoncelj
Alen Dimic
Rok Klavora
Mitja Petkovsek
Steven Legendre
Danell Leyva
Alexander Naddour
Brandon Wynn

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