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Competition Reports

Written by dwight normile    Monday, 20 August 2018 07:17    PDF Print
Biles Wins AA And All Four Events At USAs In Boston
(4 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Simone Biles, coached by Laurent and Cecile Landi at World Champions Centre, won her fifth national title at the TD Garden Center in Boston, held from August 16-19. She broke Joan Moore Gnat's record of four national titles (1971-74).

She also won every event. The last time a gymnast won the all-around and all four events was in 1994, when Dominique Dawes accomplished that rare feat.

Her first event was uneven bars, where she performed a Shaposhnikova, counter swing to Tkatchev. She also did a Maloney-half and a clean tucked double-double dismount.

Biles only mistake was a wonky wolf turn on beam, but otherwise she made her incredible gymnastics look easy. The rest of her routine was solid and she almost stuck her tucked full-in.

She mounted floor exercise with double-twisting double layout, but she takes off without twisting and then wraps a quick double twist. Like she did on Friday, she bounced out of bounds on her stag jump following her Biles.

Her last event was vault and she did a roundoff half-on, layout rudi (Cheng) and a 21/2-twisting Yurchenko (Amanar). Both vaults were clean, high and traveled well past the table.

"It feels really special (winning a fifth national title)," said Biles, whose teal leotard was in honor of the survivors. Asked what grade she would give her performance, she said "I'd give it a B-plus." Yikes!

Morgan Hurd (First State Gymnastics) hit all eight routines over the two days, and maintained her second place finish from Friday.

Her vault was a double-twisting Yurchenko with a big hop backward. On bars she performed deep inside-Stalders, a Ricna to Pak salto and a full-twisting double back that was close the bar. On beam she hit her full-twisting back tuck, flip-flop layout layout and performed a roundoff double pike instead of the full-in she's capable of.

”I definitely think my execution could have been a little bit better, basically everywhere,” said Hurd, who is coached by Slava Glazunov, who was Coach of the Year. (Hurd was named Athlete of the Year). “But I’m really happy because I felt like I hit eight for eight.”

Coached by Maggie Haney at MG Elite, Riley McCusker also hit all eight routines, but her highlight was definitely bars. (She lost to Biles by 0.10 on bars.) She performed a Ricna to Pak salto to Stalder-half to the top bar. She also stuck her tucked barani-out from elgrips.

”I’m really proud from how far I’ve come from last year,” said McCusker, who received Sportswoman of the Year honors. “I feel like day one was like shaking off some nerves and getting into it. Tonight I wasn’t as nervous as day one.”

Grace McCallum (Twin City Twisters) placed fourth and had a great meet. She mounted beam with a smooth triple wolf turn followed by a double wolf turn. She performed a side aerial to layout and a roundoff double tuck dismount. On floor she stuck her tucked double-double as well as the next two passes.

For full results, click here.

Defending champion Ragan Smith (Texas Dreams) had another off night with a fall on a Jaeger on bars and, on floor, she touched down on an underrotated triple twist. She finished in 10th place.

Read the full story in the September issue of International Gymnast. To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition or to order back issues of International Gymnast, click here.

Written by dwight normile    Sunday, 19 August 2018 06:39    PDF Print
Mikulak Wins Fifth National Title
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

Sam Mikulak (USOTC) won his fifth U.S. Championships, tying Blaine Wilson with the most titles. Frank Cumiskey and George Wheeler also won five national titles. The event was held at the TD Garden Arena in Boston, August 16-19.

Mikulak avoided the falls he had on day one (pommel horse and high bar) and hit all six routines. He also had three stuck landings: tucked double-double off rings; tucked barani-out off parallel bars; double-twisting double layout off high bar.

"This is the favorite U.S. championships I've won so far," said Mikulak, who won floor exercise, parallel bars and high bar. Later he proclaimed, "It's time for me to go and get what I want."

Perhaps a sixth national title?

Athlete of the Year Yul Moldauer (Oklahoma) climbed from sixth on Thursday to second place. He fell on floor during a flair sequence but hit a clean pommels set. On rings he performed a Yamawaki to Jonasson and he stuck his tucked double-double. He might have been underscored on parallel bars, and he performed a clean high bar set but dismounted with a full-twisting double layout instead of the triple version on day one.

"Obviously on Thursday I wasn't prepared enough," said Moldaur, whose coach, Mark Williams, was Coach of the Year. "I knew if I could start well (on Saturday), just keep that flowing and keep the energy high. Today was fun. There were more people here, the guys were good and I was with my teammates."

Allen Bower (Oklahoma) finished third, the same rank he held on Thursday. He's definitely known for his consistency.

"I just try to stay within myself," he said. "I am pleased with [the result] but I know I can do better."

Alec Yoder, coached by Rustam Sharipov at Ohio State, finished fifth and he won pommel horse, where he performs a full kehre and full stockli. Considering that the men's program is often weak on that event, perhaps he could be added to the 2018 Worlds team. Those worlds are breaking the tradition of a six-member team and lowering it to five. Eight gymnasts will go to a training camp at the USOTC to select the team.

Sportsman of the Year Akash Modi, who is coached by Thom Glielmi at Stanford, had a couple of mishaps, the biggest being a fall on a Bhavsar on his best event, parallel bars, and on high bar he went the wrong way on a Takemoto. After placing second on Thursday, he dropped to sixth on Saturday.

For full results of the U.S. Championships, click here.

Read the full story in the 2018 September issue of International Gymnast. To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition or to order back issues of International Gymnast, click here.

Written by dwight normile    Saturday, 18 August 2018 06:03    PDF Print
Biles, Wong Lead The Field At USAs In Boston
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Simone Biles took the early lead at the U.S. Championships in Boston, August 16-19.

Biles, who is coached by Laurent and Cecile Landi at World Champions Center, led the scoring on all four events but had two .30 deductions on floor exercise. On her third pass she performed the Biles (double layout-half) but her stag jump landed out of bounds. Her dismount, a tucked double-double, also landed out of bounds. Her mount was a double-twisting double layout and her second pass was a layout front-full through to a tucked full-in, which she made look easy.

Biles received a good luck from her former coach, Aimee Boorman.

"I feel like I enjoyed championships a lot more than classics," Biles said. "Because I felt at classics I was easing back into everything and feeling the surroundings and getting used to competing again…I thought I would be completely drained (after day one), but I think I'll be OK for day two."

Second to Biles, Morgan Hurd (First State Gymnastics) also went four for four.

"I'd like to clean up landings and piking on vault, but otherwise I'm really happy with my performance," Hurd said. "I'm most proud of how calm I was the entire meet. The nerves are there but the nerves are what keep you going."

Riley McCusker finished third and hit all four events. On floor exercise she opened with a clean double layout and displayed beautiful dance, which is a trademark for many of Maggie Haney’s gymnasts at MG Elite.

"I did try ballet when I was little for about two years, and it definitely helped me, especially with this floor routine," said McCusker, whose coach choreographed her routine.

Defending champion Ragan Smith (Texas Dreams) didn't fall off uneven bars but she had a few intermediate swings. She did reasonably well on beam, with a few wobbles, but put her hands down on her double pike dismount. She finished in a tie for ninth with Shania Adams.

Leanne Wong (GAGE) led after the first day in the junior division.

For complete results, click here.

Written by John Crumlish    Friday, 10 August 2018 07:24    PDF Print
"We Can Do It," Says Turkey's Colak On Tokyo 2020
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

The Turkish men’s fifth-place finish in qualifications at the European Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, on Thursday may have surprised some rivals and fans, but team veteran Ibrahim Colak told IG that Turkey is on track for making it as a team to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“We are good individual gymnasts, but we want team success,” said Colak, who won the gold on rings and the 2018 Mersin Challenge Cup in Mersin, Turkey, July 6-8. “We want to go to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with a team. This is so hard, we know, but not impossible. We are the Turkish team and we can do it.”

Russia, Great Britain, Germany and Switzerland finished first through fourth, respectively, in qualifications in Glasgow. The top eight teams advanced to Saturday’s team final.

Following fifth-place Turkey, the other qualifiers for the team final are France, Spain and Italy.

Thursday’s qualifications also served to advance individual gymnasts to Sunday’s apparatus finals.

International Gymnast magazine’s coverage of male gymnasts who are competing at the 2018 European championships in Glasgow includes:

Russia’s David Belyavsky on cover collage (September 2017)

"European Ruler" - interview with Belyavsky (July/August 2013)

“Genuine Germans” - profile on Germany’s Nils Dunkel (June 2017)

“They’re Just Normal People” - short profile on Great Britain’s Joe Fraser (June 2017)

“There are No Limits” - profile on Cyprus’s Marios Georgiou (June 2017)

“I Can’t Ask for Much More” - profile on Great Britain’s James Hall (June 2017)

“Rok, Solid” - profile on Slovenia’s Rok Klavora (November 2009)

"Serious Contender" - profile on Russia’s Nikolai Kuksenkov (March 2011)

“Lifting Lithuania” - profile on Lithuania’s Tomas Kuzmickas (January/February 2018)

"Crossing the Border" - interview with Belarus’s Andrey Likhovitsky (December 2013)

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

Written by John Crumlish    Tuesday, 29 May 2018 07:09    PDF Print
Black, Cournoyer Win Canadian Titles
(2 votes, average 3.00 out of 5)

Ellie Black won her fifth senior women’s all-around title and Rene Cournoyer earned his first senior men’s all-around title at the Canadian championships that took place May 22-27 in Waterloo, Ont.

Black, the 2017 world all-around silver medalist, finished over five points ahead of the field with her two-day combined score of 111.607 points. Black placed first all-around at the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 Canadian championships, and second all-around at the 2016 Canadian championships.

Isabela Onyshko, the 2016 winner, finished second (106.406), and 2017 bronze medalist Jade Chrobok finished third (105.647).

Cournoyer, whose previous best all-around finished was second in 2015, scored 83.10 for first place. Jackson Payne, the 2016 winner and 2017 silver medalist, was second (81.50), and Cory Paterson was third (78.70).

2018 Canadian Championships, Waterloo, Ontario, May 22-27.

Senior Women’s All-Around (two-day total): 1. Ellie Black 111.607; 2. Isabela Onyshko 106.406; 3. Jade Chrobok 105.647; 4. Brooklyn Moors 104.440; 5. Sophie Marois 104.238; 6. Victoria Kayen-Woo 103.646.

Senior Men’s All-Around: 1. Rene Cournoyer 83.10; 2. Jackson Payne 81.50; 3. Cory Paterson 78.70; 4. Samuel Zakutney 78.65; 5. Zachary Clay 78.20; 3. Darren Wong 78.05

International Gymnast magazine’s recent coverage of Canadian gymnasts includes:

“Canadian Grace” - Brooklyn Moors interview (December 2017)

2017 World Championships special issue, incl. Canadians (November 2017)

Ellie Black on cover collage, 2017 Worlds preview (September 2017)

“Canadian Candor” - Ellie Black and Zachary Clay interviews (July/August 2017)

“Canadian Pace-setter” - Ana Padurariu profile (December 2016)

“Canadian on a Roll” - Jade Chrobok profile (April 2016)

Chrobok, Meixi Semple on cover inset photo and featured in 2016 Nadia International coverage (March 2016)

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

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