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Scouting 2009's New Senior Standouts: Part 3
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In a four-part online series, IG Contributor Albert Minguillón i Colomer scouts the female gymnasts eligible for senior competition in 2009.

The Olympic Games are the main goal of most athletes, and it's not unusual that once the dream is fulfilled, some gymnasts decide to stop the sport and transition to a life with fewer sacrifices. This situation opens the door for new faces, some unknown and some expected. In 2009, there's a new crop of gymnasts turning senior and it's important to start getting familiar with the new names. Let's take a look at the gymnasts born in 1993 who will be age-eligible for senior competition this year.

Part Three: Israel though Romania

Three Israelis gymnasts turn 16 this year but none of them competed at Europeans, but they've participated in some other meets in 2008 like Zelena Jama Open, the Rushmoor Rosebowl and the Nadia Comaneci International Invitational.

Roni Rabinovich is the most successful 2008 junior in Israel. She is the current junior national champion and also champion on uneven bars, beam and floor. She vaults a handspring front pike but wants to learn a Yurchenko-entry vault. Her scores are higher than some of the senior gymnasts so her chances to success as a senior are high. On floor, she does a double pike, front full, front tuck through to double full and 2 1/2. She has a good repertoire of skills on beam (flic - back tuck, aerial, side somi, back pike). On bars, she does a Jaeger and double pike dismount, but the form could be better in this apparatus.

Hadas Koren took the silver at Israel Championships and her best event is beam (flic - layout, back tuck, front tuck, side somi, front full off). She has potential on bars but doesn't have a release move yet, she shows originality with a double-twisting flyaway. On floor she is a twister (2 1/2, front tuck through full, front full, double full).

Naama Bernstain placed third at Israel Junior Championships and won vault (handspring front pike), but she is the weakest of the three. She is a much taller gymnast with lower start values.

The Japanese juniors showed great skills and execution at 2009 Australian Youth Olympic Festival, but those gymnasts will have to wait a year to compete as seniors. Due to the language barrier it's always difficult to get news about the Japanese juniors but, at least, there are two names to talk about.

Mai Yamagishi joins the senior ranks with the mission to continue with the Japanese success of the last quad. She is a very clean gymnast with a nice body line. She vaults a Yurchenko 1 1/2. On bars she does a Jaeger and a Pak. She mounts beam with a round-off layout, and performs an Onodi, flic - layout, 2 1/2 off.

Chinami Ohtaki also turns 16. She is a graceful gymnast with a good twisting technique (1 1/2, double twist, 2 1/2 on floor). She also performs a double pike. On beam, she does a front tuck mount, aerial - flic - layout and ro double pike dismount.

Two Lithuanian gymnasts are new seniors this year, but none of them is Laura Svilpaite, the great hope of Lithuanian gymnastics. Laura Burzinskaite and Karolina Vilkelyte will be able to compete as seniors but their level of difficulty is not high enough.


Daniela Espinosa competed at 2008 Pacific Rim where she had average results. She showed better results at the 2007 Junior Pan Americans where she broke 50 points in the all-around.


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