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Sweden's Stenberg Swings Back Into Action
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IG's John Crumlish finished his Scandinavian road trip in Stockholm, where Swedish standout Mans Stenberg outlined his plans for 2011, including a successful return to competition after injuring both feet.

"I was out for three or four months, and I couldn't do anything except power training and conditioning," said the 20-year-old Stenberg. "Then, when I came back I had made progress on floor, vault and everywhere. My all-around score is maybe one or two points higher than before."

Stenberg injured both feet during a tumbling pass (2.5-twist, punch front-full) at last spring's Tournament of Masters, a World Cup meet in Cottbus, Germany.

"When I was landing the two-and-a-half, I (makes crunching sound) both feet," Stenberg said. "Both feet were strained, and there was some kind of bone injury in the left one."

Stenberg has earned his best international results on floor exercise: fifth at the 2009 World Cup of Osijek; 19th at the 2009 Europeans in Milan; and 31st at the 2009 World Championships in London.

Stenberg said his injuries forced him to improve on pommel horse, his lowest-scoring event.

"Pommel horse has always been the weakest link in my all-around score, so when I was just working on a lot of upper-body strength, I did a lot of pommel horse," he said. "So I improved my pommel horse very much."

Stenberg, who is coached by Russian-born Alexander Manyakin, said he is gradually returning to form.

"I still sometimes feel sore when I do a tumbling pass, but it doesn't bother me that much," he said.

Stenberg said his next big target is a sold performance at Europeans in Berlin in April.

"My goals there are to make the all-around final and the floor final, and maybe make the vault final if I have a strong enough second vault to qualify," he said.

Following a relaxing holiday week, Stenberg is ready to return to hard work.

"For two months I've been sick, and for two weeks I've had some small injuries," he told IG. "I've had to take it quite easy. I've just come back to hard training. I went home for Christmas for three days. There are holidays on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Then it's back to hard training."

Read more about Stenberg in the March 2010 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe or order back issues, click here.

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