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10 Things I Am Looking Forward to in London
(8 votes, average 3.25 out of 5)

IG Editor Dwight Normile kicks off his blog from the 2009 World Gymnastics Championships, which begin Tuesday in London.

1. Beth Tweddle: I am curious to see what type of response she will receive from a partisan crowd, and whether she will be affected by the IG cover jinx. Can Beth Tweddle win twice? I think she can.

2. Fabian Hambüchen: After injuring his foot in podium training, can the nicest guy on the planet win his first world all-around title? If he's a go, I'll have to give him the edge over favorite Kohei Uchimura in the experience department. (Update: Just learned Hambüchen ruptured ligaments in his ankle and is out of the meet. He reportedly will not need surgery.)

3. Uchimura: How will this 20 year old from Japan, a country deep in gymnastics tradition, handle the pressure and expectations?

4. Russia: I am interested to see how the rebuilding program is coming along, although I believe some of its top talent is still too young to compete in London. Still, the two Ksenias, Semyonova and Afanasyeva, have style to spare, but will it translate into gold?

5. Bridget Sloan: The Sloan I saw in Dallas looked much more confident and polished than what I remembered from 2008. London should be an excellent test to see what she has as a team leader instead of a role player.

6. Rebecca Bross: Aggressive and talented, Bross might have more difficulty to play with than Sloan, but she came unglued in Dallas. However, coach Valeri Liukin knows how to get the most out of his gymnasts.

7. The British Men: Louis Smith and Daniel Keatings are gymnastics stars in Great Britain, and each is in position for success at the O2 arena.

8. The American Men: Jonathan Horton seems to have found a comfort level in competing in big meets, so there is nothing holding him back right now, other than relatively weak pommel horse. I also can't wait to see the crowd react to Danell Leyva on high bar, and in particular, to his stepfather-coach, Yin Alvarez, who is just as entertaining on the sidelines.

9. China: The Chinese set a high standard last year in Beijing in terms of medals won. What can they do for an encore?

10: Fish and chips.

Gotta go. Plane about to leave from Houston to London. Until next time...

Comments (3)add comment

Isabella said:

And Diego Hypólito?
October 12, 2009
Votes: +0

Ksenia Afanasyeva Fan said:

Go Russia, go!!! Ai Ksenia Afanasyeva!! You`re the BEST ever!!! Good luck!
October 12, 2009
Votes: +0

Staceyb said:

You mean Pie, Mash & Liquor? You don't eat fish and chips in London.
October 13, 2009
Votes: +0

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