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Competition Reports

Written by Admin    Saturday, 12 October 2019 00:00    PDF Print
Nagornyy Wins Maiden World All-Around Title
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

With a dominant display of gymnastics, Russian Nikita Nagornyy won the all-around title at the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. Nagornyy, who was third in the all-around last year in Doha, scored 88.772 to win his first ever-individual gold medal by a wide margin. Nagornyy was impressive on floor competing his Liukin (triple back) with confidence, and he also stuck a double front piked half out and 2 ½ twists to punch double front to post a 15.041/6.4. His 6.2 pommel horse routine was well executed for respectable 14.566. On rings the 22 year-old posted 14.633, the highest score on the event of the day despite not sticking his double twisting double tuck. He made up for the landing on vault where he stuck his Dragulescu for another top score of the day at 15.066. At this point in the competition Nagornyy had a slight lead ahead of the rest of the field. He hit his p-bar routine cold (front toss, peach to one bar, Healy from one bar, peach half, Makuts, Healy, Diamidov, Diamidov full, double front half twist stuck) for 15.3/6.4 to establish almost a .6 lead ahead of Xiao Ruoteng who was standing in second. Competing last in the competition, Nagornyy delivered a great routine on high bar under pressure to secure the coveted gold medal. This was Nagornyy’s first individual world championships gold medal.

Finishing second with 87.165 was last year’s champion Artur Dalaloyan. The Russian posted the top score on floor, 15.2/6.5 for his impeccable routine (front layout to double front piked half twist, front full to front double pike, 1 ½ twists to Randi, double twisting double tuck, 2 ½ twists to front double full and stuck triple twist) to take the lead after the first rotation. He almost sat down his Blanik (front handspring double front piked) vault to drop in the standings. But two strong performances on p-bars and high bar propelled him to the silver, his second world all-around medal.

With a consistent performance, Oleg Verniaiev took the bronze posting 86.973. The Ukrainian started on pommel horse and recorded an impressive 14.866 for the most difficult routine in the final (D-score 6.6). Verniaiev was steady on rings and vault, and posted the top score on p-bars 15.475 where he also performed the routine with the most difficulty (6.7). The 26-year-old was just solid enough on the last two events, high bar and floor, to capture his first ever all-around medal from world championships, and the first all-around medal in history for Ukraine.

Fourth was 2017 all-around champion, Xiao Ruoteng. Being behind almost .6 with one rotation to go the Chinese took a big risk and went for a high difficulty routine on high bar. He started with a Liukin (full twisting layout Tkatchev), which he performed very well, but on the next combination of layout Tkatchev to Tkatchev to Tkatchev half he came in too close to the bar and had to jump off. Had he not fallen on the event, Xiao would have secured the silver medal.

Hitting six-for-six Sun Wei from China and Kazuma Kaya from Japan placed fifth and sixth scoring 86.523 and 85.899, respectively. Sam Mikulak, who led after three rotations, was in the hunt for a medal until his fifth event. The American suffered a fall on pommel horse on his Busnari, which cost him, and he placed seventh at the end with 85.697. Eighth was Joe Fraser from the Great Britain with a total of 85.098.

The world championships continue tomorrow with the first day of individual event finals (men’s floor, pommel horse and rings, and women’s vault and uneven bars).

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Written by Admin    Thursday, 10 October 2019 15:00    PDF Print
Simone Biles Wins Record Fifth World All-Around Title
(6 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

Simone Biles won the all-around title for a record fifth time at the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. For a third competition in a row in Stuttgart (qualifications and team finals) Biles hit all four events solid to score an impressive 58.999 to run away with her latest title. The American posted the highest score of the day on vault 15.233 for her Cheng (.1 ND for stepping over the line), beam 14.633/ 6.2 (triple wolf turn, ff-layout-layout, ff-ff full in) and floor 14.4/6.6 (triple twisting double tuck, double twisting double tuck dismount). “It feels great, but I have to stay grounded because I have four more finals”, she told the press afterwards. By winning her second gold medal in Stuttgart (also team) Biles’ tally of world gold medals goes to record 16, and her total medal count escalates to 22, the most by any female and one short of male gymnast Vitaly Scherbo who has 23.

Tang Xijing from China won the silver with a score of 56.899. Tang, who was 21st in the all-around after the qualifications, was a late replacement in the final for teammate Liu Tingting who had to withdraw just before the competition. Tang was impressive throughout the day. She posted 14.233 for her double twisting Yurchenko on vault, 14.533/6.0 on bars for her clean work (Maloney to Pak, Maloney half, Healy to Healy to full to el grip to piked Jaeger) and 14.6/6.1 for her typical textbook Chinese routine on beam (round off layout two feet, variety of ring jumps and leaps and round off double pike). “The sliver medals means that I am just doing my job well”, Tang said after the competition. “I had a small mistakes on vault, but all of the other three events finished pretty well”, she added.

Angelina Melnikova from Russia won the bronze scoring 56.399. Melnikova who placed fifth last year in Doha had a clean competition minus a nervous routine on bars where she had to muscle her inside stalder blind turn and toe full pirouette before her full twisting double tuck dismount. The Russian was very stable on beam hitting a wobble free set, and presented a well balanced floor routine with strong tumbling (full twisting double layout, double layout, double pike dismount) and elegant presentation to secure her first ever-individual medal from world championships.

Ellie Black was in a hunt for a medal throughout the day but finished in fourth. The Canadian was perfect on bars, beam and floor, and attempted a front handspring Rudi on vault (usually competes front handspring front full), despite landing it for a solid score of 14.566 she remained just 0.167 behind Melnikova. It also appeared that Black injured her ankle during the vault landing, which jeopardizes her participation in the balance beam final on Sunday.

Fifth was last year’s fourth place finisher Nina Derwael form Belgium. Derwael posted the top score on bars 15.2/6.5. Home crowd favorite, Elisabeth Seitz, finished sixth with a 56.033. Seventh was Brazil’s Flavia Saraiva with 55.732, while American Sunisa Lee placed 8th 55.632, after falling on her best event, bars, after a Pak salto. Ninth and tenth were Li Shijia from China and Sarah Voss from Germany.

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Written by Christian Ivanov    Wednesday, 09 October 2019 14:02    PDF Print
Russian Men Win First Ever World Team Title
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

In a hard-fought competition Russia edged the team from China 261.726 to 260.729 to win their first ever team title at the world championships held in Stuttgart, Germany. Russia was trailing China by over a point heading to the last rotation, but on the first high bar routine for China, Sun Wei missed his layout Tkatchev to open the door for the Russians. Ivan Stretovich, Artur Dalaloyan and Nikita Nagornyy hit three brilliant high bar routines for the team to secure the first ever world championships team gold medal for the Russian men. It was a sweet revenge for the team who lost the gold to China by less than a tenth a year ago in Doha, Qatar. The Russian team posted top team totals on floor, rings, vault and high bar. In addition to the high bar trio, the team featured David Belyavskiy who was a strong contributor on pommel horse (14.0) and p-bars (15.133), and Denis Abliazin who competed only on rings.

Despite a weak routine by Xiao Ruoteng on parallel bars, the Chinese men outscored the field on the event thanks to the incredible routine of Zou Jingyuan (uprise Makuts, Makuts, uprise Diamidov, peach half, peach, Bhavsar, Tippelt, double front half stuck), which received a massive - 16.383/7.0. In addition to Sun, Xiao and Zou the Chinese team also included Deng Shudi and Lin Chaopan.

Without Kohei Uchimura and Kenzo Shirai on the team, Japan captured the bronze medal ahead of the Unites States 258.159 to 254.578. The Japanese men (Daiki Hashimoto, Yuya Kamoto, Kakeru Tanigawa, Wataru Tanigawa, Kazuma Kaya) competed without any major mistakes until the very last rotation when they had to count a fall on the floor exercise. Regardless they easily retained their bronze medal from a yaer ago.

Led by Sam Mikulak who competed on all six events, United States had a near perfect competition hitting every single routine, but lack of difficulty on some of the events prevented them from challenging the top three countries. Great Britain was in the running for a top placement until the fourth rotation when Joe Fraser missed a Kolman on high bar. The team placed fifth with a 251.611. Sixth was the much-improved team from Chinese Taipei who posted 248.243; they finished in 17th place in Doha a year ago. Switzerland placed 7th with 247.038, while Ukraine used Oleg Verniaiev on pommel horse only and placed 8th with 246.593.

The world championships continue tomorrow with the women's all-around competition.

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

Written by Christian Ivanov    Tuesday, 08 October 2019 13:38    PDF Print
Biles Leads the U.S. To Fifth Straight World Title
(5 votes, average 4.20 out of 5)

In an error filled-competition, Simone Biles led the United States to their fifth straight world championships title in Stuttgart, Germany. Biles competed on all four events for the team and posted the highest scores of the competition on VT-15.4 (Cheng), BB-14.443 (full twisting double tuck dismount) and FX-15.333 (triple twisting double tuck mount) to help the U.S. total 172.330 for their fifth title in a row. The U.S. team had to count falls on bars (Grace McCallum-toe full) and beam (Sunisa Lee-ff-ff layout two feet), but the rest of the performances were on point and with plenty of difficulty and poise. Lee earned the highest bar score for USA at 14.733/6.4 (Nabieva to Pak to Maloney to Bhardwaj). Jade Carey contributed big scores on vault (15.166) and floor (14.333), while Kara Eaker posted a worthy 14.0/6.0 for her difficult beam routine.  With her first gold medal in Stuttgart, Biles made history by earning her 21st medal from world championships, surpassing Russian legend Svetlana Khorkina who has a total of 20 world medals.

The Russian team defended their silver medal from a year ago in Doha posting 166.529. The team began on bars and earned the highest total of the day on the event (43.665), but then had two falls on the next event, beam. Strong floor and vault rotations by Angelina Melnikova and Lilia Akhaimova helped the team climb up in the rankings for a second consecutive team silver medal.

Italy was the Cinderella team of the competition and earned the bronze medal with 164.796. With four first year seniors on the squad the Italian team qualified in 8th place to the final. But with nearly perfect competition led by their strongest all-arounder, Giorgia Villa, the team won the bronze, their first team medal since 1950. “I am so proud of these warriors. I told them before beam: do great gymnastics, don’t worry about falling”, head coach Enrico Casella said after the competition. The Italian team suffered multiple falls on beam during qualifications, and had to end the competition on that event during the final. Their last gymnast Elisa Iorio fell on her mount (round off layout step out) but the team had established enough lead to be able to hold on to the third place finish. Italy was particularly impressive on bars where their three routines tied the score of the U.S for second best of the day, and vault where they competed three double twisting Yurchenko vaults.

Finishing in disappointing fourth was China scoring 164.230. The Chinese began on vault and managed to hit three double twisting Yurchenko vaults. But on bars Liu Tingting fell off twice on her Healy move, and then had another fall on beam (front handspring front), which distanced the team from the top contenders. The Chinese rallied to compete strong on floor but it wasn’t enough to catch the Italians.

After nearly a perfect qualifying round France started the competition with two falls on bars by Claire Pontlevoy (piked Jaeger and double front dismount) and then a fall on beam by team leader Melanie dos Santos crushed their hopes for a team medal. Sixth was Great Britain who had to count falls on floor and bars. Becky Downie eanred the top score of the day on bars at 14.9/6.5.  The teams from Canada and Netherlands finished in seventh and eighth place respectively.

The world championships continue tomorrow with the compelling men’s team final competition.

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

Written by Christian Ivanov    Saturday, 05 October 2019 17:28    PDF Print
The U.S. and Simone Biles Dominate Qualifications At Worlds
(5 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Competing in the last subdivision of the women’s qualification at the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, the U.S. team led by Simone Biles dominated the women’s competition. Counting a fall on beam on their last event, the U.S. team posted 174.205, five points higher than second place finisher China who posted 169.161. With a clean competition, third after qualification was Russia scoring 168.713.

Simone Biles successfully debuted her triple twisting double tuck on floor and double twisting double tuck off beam, and the two skills should be named “the Biles” after the FIG officially reviews the quality of the performances.

Four-time world all-around champion Biles tops the all-around standings with an impressive 59.432. Biles also qualified to all four individual event finals, posting the highest scores on beam 14.8 and floor 14.833, and second best score on vault 15.199, just .001 behind teammate Jade Carey.

Second in the all-around standings is Sunisa Lee (USA) who had to count a fall on her layout to two feet on beam. Lee’s best performance was on uneven bars where she posted a 15.0/6.4 and qualified to the bars final with third best score behind Nina Derwael from Belgium 15.141/6.5, and Daria Spiridonova from Russia 15.016/6.3. Lee also qualified to the floor final with the second highest score behind Biles, posting a 14.2, which tied teammate Carey, but Lee advanced to the final due to higher execution score.

The competition ended in a somewhat controversial way for the U.S. team as balance beam medal hopeful Kara Eaker received a score of 13.866 and the U.S. team inquired it. After the inquiry, instead of the score being raised, it was lowered to 13.466, which cost Eaker the final; she is now the first alternate for the beam final.

Third in the all-around standings is Melanie dos Santos who had a stellar performance resulting in 56.782. In addition, the French star qualified to the beam and floor finals, and France also qualified to the team finals in 4th place. Russia’s Angelina Melnikova posted the fourth best all-around at 56.599. Melnikova also advanced to the bars and floor finals.

The Chinese team led by Liu Tingting and Li Shijia who were sixth and seventh in the all-aruond managed to earn one final on both vault and bars, and two finals on beam.

The shock of the competition was Brazil who failed to qualify a full team to the Olympics by placing outside of top 12. The teams that earned tickets to Tokyo in order of placement are: 1. United States, 2. China, 3. Russia, 4. France, 5. Canada, 6. Netherlands, 7. Great Britain, 8. Italy, 9. Germany, 10. Belgium, 11. Japan and 12. Spain. The top 8 teams qualified to the team final on Tuesday.

According to the FIG qualification procedures the following all-arounders whose countries did not qualify to Tokyo have also earned their Olympic qualification:

1. Flavia Saraiva – Brazil

2. Giulia Steingruber – Switzerland

3. Georgia Godwin – Australia

4. Diana Varinska – Ukraine

5. Lee Yunseo – Korea

6. Zsofia Kovacs – Hungary

7. Martina Dominici – Argentina

8. Alexa Moreno – Mexico

9. Danusia Francis – Jamaica

10. Kim Su Jong – North Korea

11. Aneta Holasova – Czech Republic

12. Marcia Vidiaux – Cuba

13. Maria Holbura – Romania

14. Elisa Haemmerle – Austria

15. Anastasiya Alistratova – Belarus

16. Farah Ann Abdul Hadi – Malaysia

17. Mandy Mohamed – Egypt

18. Nazli Savranbasi – Turkey

19. Barbara Mokasova – Slovakia

20. Filipa Martins – Portugal

Unofficially, there should be 12 more spots available for Olympic qualification, 3 on each individual event final. Since most of the finalists are competitors whose teams have already qualified, these remaining spots should be given to the next all-arounders in line (one per country).

1.Yeo Seojeong – Korea – vault finalist

2. Ana Derek – Croatia

3. Caitlin Rooskrants – South Africa

4. Jonna Adlerteg – Sweden

5. Gabriela Janik – Poland

6. Simona Castro – Chile

7. Lihie Raz – Israel

8. Julie Erichsen – Norway

9. Ariana Orrego – Peru

10. Oksana Chusovitina – Uzbekistan

11. Ting Hua-Tien - Chinese Taipei

12. Marina Nekrasova – Azerbaijan

For full results click here.

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


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