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Competition Reports

Written by John Crumlish    Thursday, 17 October 2019 07:15    PDF Print
Mikulak: ‘I Know My True Potential’
(3 votes, average 3.67 out of 5)

Although a fall dropped U.S. gymnast Sam Mikulak out of medal contention in the all-around final at the World Championships that ended Sunday in Stuttgart, he said his seventh-place finish was even more satisfying than his fifth-place finish at the 2018 Worlds in Doha.

“Last year was a lot rougher because I did things I shouldn’t have,” said Mikulak, who fell on pommel horse in the fifth of six rotations in the all-around final in Stuttgart. “This time, I did everything I wanted to. It just didn’t end up my way. I’m going have to be a little better technically going forward.”

Mikulak, who went on to finish fifth on high bar in the apparatus finals on Sunday, his 27th birthday, saw the upside of his all-around ranking.

“In a way it helps me manage my expectations,” he said. “Going forward, if I ever have a bad day, I know I can turn it around right away. There’s nothing against performing bad because I know my true potential out there.”

Read complete coverage of the 2019 World Championships in the November 2019 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions, click here.

Written by Christian Ivanov    Sunday, 13 October 2019 15:16    PDF Print
Biles Breaks All-Time Medal Record In Last Day Of Worlds
(5 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Simone Biles captured two more gold medals in the second day of event finals at the world championships in Stuttgart (GER) to break the all-time record of most medals in world championships history. The American tied Belarusian Vitaly Scherbo’s all-time record during day one of event finals at 23 medals, but now stands alone as the most decorated in world championships history with 25 medals, 19 of them gold.

On Sunday afternoon at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle the 22-year-old won both the balance beam and floor exercises titles by wide margins for her fourth and fifth gold medals in Stuttgart. Biles did not compete her double twisting double tuck beam dismount, which she debuted during the qualifications, but still produced the highest beam score of the championships at 15.066/6.4. On floor she did perform her triple twisting double tuck to post a 15.133/6.7 and outscore the silver medalist, teammate Sunisa Lee, by a full point. “Overall it was a very happy worlds, probably one of my best ones yet, so I feel pretty confident going into the next Olympic year. I couldn’t be more thrilled with my performance and it gives me confidence moving forward”, Biles reflected after the competition.

Chinese duo Liu Tingting and Li Shijia won the silver and bronze on the balance beam with 14.433/6.2 and 14.3/6.1. It was Liu second world medal on beam as she came in as the defending champion, while for Li it was her first ever medal from world championships. Sunisa Lee's second place on floor (14.133/5.7) made it her third medal in Stuttgart (team gold and uneven bars bronze), while Angelina Melnikova from Russia captured the bronze on the event, also her third medal of the championships (team sliver and all-around bronze), with a 14.066/5.8.

The Russian men dominated the vault final by taking the gold and the silver. Nikita Nagornyy stuck his Dragulescu and landed exceptionally well his Tsukahara double pike to edge teammate Artur Dalaloyan 14.966 to 14.933 and take the title, his third gold medal in Stuttgart (team and all-around). Dalaloyan, who was also the silver medalist a year ago, vaulted a Yurchenko triple twist and Blanik (front handspring front double pike) but took a very big step on his second vault. Posting an average of 14.749 third was Ukrainian Igor Radivilov who competed the same vaults as Nagornyy, but they weren’t landed as cleanly. “I didn’t expect that one. I thought that maybe I could take third place, but then the other competitors had some mistakes and that allowed me to win the gold medal”, all-around champion Nagornyy said after the vault final.

With Zou Jingyuan (China) and Oleg Verniaiev (Ukraine) absent from the parallel bars final, arguably the top p-bars workers in the world, Joe Fraser seized the opportunity to become the new world champion on the event. He posted 15.0 for the most difficult routine in the final 6.6 (Tanaka-giant Suarez front, peach back tuck to upper arms, giant to one bar to Healy from one bar, double front with a half twist) to capture second gold medal for Great Britain following Max Whitlock’s win on pommel horse. “I’m still trying to process it to be honest – just wow”, Fraser commented in regard to his title. Ahmet Onder took the silver with 14.983/6.2, to make it second medal for Turkey in Stuttgart after Ibrahim Colak captured the first ever medal for his country by winning the rings title on day one of event finals. Kazuma Kaya won the bronze with a 14.966/6.3, which was the sole individual medal for Japan this year.

The high bar final produced yet another brand new world champion for the men. It was Brazil’s Arthur Mariano who mastered the best routine of the day for 14.9/6.3 (layout Tkatchev to Tkatchev to Tkatchev half, Winkler-full twisting layout Jaeger, double twisting double layout). “I feel amazing, it’s like a dream come true”, the champion reflected afterwards. The gold medal was Mariano’s first ever medal from world championships. 2017 high bar gold medalist, Tin Srbic (Croatia) took the silver with a 14.666/6.2, while Artur Dalaloyan won the bronze with a 14.533/6.1. It was Dalaloyan’s fourth medal in Stuttgart, the most of any male gymnasts in the competition.

Following the event finals FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) officially updated the list of individual gymnasts who have earned a nominative place from the 2019 World Championships for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. To access the list click here, and follow (event files and then click show files).

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, 12 October 2019 18:17    PDF Print
Five Nations Golden At First Day Of Event Finals In Stuttgart
(3 votes, average 3.67 out of 5)

Five different nations were golden during the first day of event finals at the world championships in Stuttgart, Germany. On men’s floor exercise Carlos Yulo made history for the Philippines as the first ever-gold medalist at worlds. Yulo, who won the bronze a year ago, performed an impeccable routine (full twisting double layout, double front piked with a half turn, 2 ½ twists to Randi, 3 ½ twists punch front layout half, front full twist to front double twists and triple twist) to score 15.3 for his 6.5. Artem Dolgopyat from Israel matched his result from 2017 by winning the silver with a 15.2/6.4 (Zapata-1 ½ twisting double front first pass). Xiao Ruoteng posted 14.933/6.2 for the bronze. All-around champion Nikita Nagornyy (Russia) landed out of bound his Liukin (triple back) for seventh, while defending champion Artur Dalaloyan (Russia) missed his 2 ½ punch front double full, which lowered his start value and he placed fourth.

Simone Biles easily defended her gold medal on vault by performing superbly her Cheng (Yurchenko half on front handspring Rudi off) and Amanar (Yurchenko 2 ½ twists) vaults, which averaged 15.399. This was Biles’ third gold medal in Stuttgart, which raises her total to record 17 gold medals in her career, and ties the record of legend Vitaly Scherbo at 23 total medals overall. Jade Carey from the U.S. competed last in the final and matched her results on vault from two years ago by winning again the silver. Carey posted 14.833 for her Cheng and Amanar (.3 ND on her Amanar for a large step off the mat). Ellie Downie from Great Britain took the bronze with a Cheng and double twisting Yurchenko, which she performed exceptionally clean for 14.816. This was Downie’s first ever-individual medal from world championships.

In the pommel horse final Max Whitlock reclaimed his title by performing the most difficulty at 7.0 and posting 15.5 for the win. This was the Brit’s third world title after previously being victories in 2017 and 2019. Improving on the bronze medal from last year second was Lee Chih-kai from Chinese Taipei who performed his unique flair routine with superb amplitude (flair to handstand down to flair, spindle in flairs, travels in flairs). Lee posted 15.433/6.5 for the silver. Rhys McClenaghan won a historic bronze medal for Ireland scoring a 15.4/6.4. McClenaghan posted the highest execution score of the final (9.0).

On uneven bars Belgium’s Nina Derwael repeated as the champion earning 15.233/6.5 for her masterful routine (Nabieva, toe on Tkatchev half to Ezhova to stalder Shaposhnikova to Pak to Maloney half, toe full to full twisting double tuck stuck). “I am just really happy the routine I did today, with all the pressure and how I handled it”, she commented afterwards. Becky Downie from Great Britain went one better than her sister’s vault result by winning the silver on bars. Downie competed a 6.5 routine (most difficulty in the final along with Derwael) to post 15.0 and capture her first ever world individual medal as well. Third place finisher was Sunisa Lee from the U.S. posting 14.8/6.4.

There was a lot at stake in the rings final as five of the eight competitors in the field were seeking to capture the three available qualification spots to the Olympics. Top qualifier Ibrahim Colak topped the filed with a 14.933/6.2 for another historic achievement of the day, the first ever medal of any color for his native Turkey. “I am really happy right now, and I also made the Olympics”, he told the media after the competition. Marco Lodadio from Italy improved on his bronze medal from a year ago by taking the silver with a 14.9/6.3. Competing last in the final Samir Ait Said won the bronze with a 14.8/6.2. The three medalists earned the right to compete at next year’s Olympics in Tokyo. Three-time world defending champion Eleftherios Petrounias from Greece placed fourth after not executing to his best standards. Petrounias was making his return to competition following a shoulder surgery after last year’s world championships. He will now have to seek qualification to the Olympics through the individual event World Cup Series, which he must win, in order to qualify.

The world championships conclude tomorrow with the second day of the individual event finals (men’s vault, parallel bars and high bar, and women’s balance beam and floor exercise).

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

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).

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

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.

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


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