Preview: Swiss Hope to Move Up in Session 10
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Subdivision 10 features Switzerland, Korea, Turkey and Mixed Group 4.

The Swiss women would love a repeat of their effort at the European Championships in May, when they qualified for the team final. Switzerland continues to improve under new coach Zoltan Jordanov, who moved with wife Sznezsana to Switzerland after many successful years coaching the British team.

The Bulgarian-Hungarian-British Jordanov replaced ousted coach Eric Demay, who moved back to France after accusations of cruelty leveled by Swiss star Ariella Käslin. (Despite the controversy, the French nevertheless hired Demay as their new coach.)

The sessions featuring Switzerland are always memorable at worlds, with the long-standing tradition of Swiss fans ring cowbells and chanting "Hopp Schwiiz!" in unison.


Ariella Kaslin during podium training

 

Switzerland: Vault

The Swiss begin on vault, where Käslin is the defending silver medalist. But the Swiss star has been struggling to regain form after falling ill with a virus several months ago. Her training disrupted, Käslin competed simple vaults in September. With a slim field of vaulters in Rotterdam, the Olympic finalist has a good chance of reaching the final if she can perform her higher-level vaults.

The Swiss were 17th in 2006 and 18th in 2007, and a top-15 finish in Rotterdam would signify their improvement.

Korea: Uneven Bars

Despite the success of their male counterparts and northern neighbors, the Korean women have routinely failed to impress. The team was a forgettable 23rd at both the 2006 and 2007 World Championships.

The women's program has tried to boost its team by bringing in foreign experts, including Leonid Arkayev several years ago. Arkayev returned to Russia after a brief run, but his former coaching partner, Marina Bulashenko, remains with the South Korean squad.

Turkey: Balance Beam

With a limited history of success, the Turkish women have slowly been showing improvement over the past several years. Goksu Uctas is the team standout, and medaled at two Category-B World Cups in 2010. Her best result was at last month's World Cup in Ostrava, when she won the gold on floor exercise and silvers on vault and beam.

Mixed Group 4: Floor Exercise

Mixed Group 4 features one gymnast each from Bulgaria and Slovakia. Bulgarian women's gymnastics has reached an all-time low as for the first time they're unable to field a full women's team. Ralitsa Mileva is the only gymnast in Rotterdam, as a few other team members are injured or decided to quit. But the program is in desperate need of CPR. A top six team in the 1980s and early 1990s, Bulgaria was dead last at the 2007 Worlds. Nearly all the qualified coaches and former top gymnasts have emigrated, and despite funding for facilities or travel, the same equation remains: No coaches means no gymnasts.

The Slovakian entrant is 23-year-old Maria Homolova, who won three bronzes at the World Cup in Ostrava.

Next Up in Subdivision 11:: Mexico, Germany and Venezuela.

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