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Written by John Crumlish    Sunday, 07 January 2018 05:50    PDF Print
Eaker On Elegance: 'It Starts With Our Basics'
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

"We work on our precision and grace, and we focus on form," 2017 U.S. junior all-around bronze medalist Kara Eaker told IG.


Featured in the December 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine, 2017 U.S. junior all-around bronze medalist and balance beam gold medalist Kara Eaker told IG that her elegance is the product of meticulous attention to quality in her training.

"In the environment of our gym, we work on our precision and grace, and we focus on form," said Eaker, who trains under coaches Armine Barutyan-Fong and Al Fong at Great American Gymnastics Express in Blue Springs, Missouri. "It starts with our basics and continues through our exercises."

The December 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine includes "Up the the Challenge," a profile on Eaker, and "Sure Bet," a cover story on two-time U.S. junior all-around champion Maile O'Keefe. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions of International Gymnast magazine, or purchase individual issues, click here.

 
Written by John Crumlish    Thursday, 04 January 2018 13:15    PDF Print
Fragapane: 'I Found A New Determination'
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)



Featured in the December 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine, 2017 world floor exercise bronze medalist Claudia Fragapane of Great Britain told IG she found a new passion for the sport after narrowly missing the final at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Featured in the December 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine, 2017 world floor exercise bronze medalist Claudia Fragapane of Great Britain told IG she found a new passion for the sport after narrowly missing the final at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Fragapane, a finalist on floor exercise at the 2014 and 2015 World Championships, was bumped from the floor final in Rio by a tie-break. In qualification, Fragapane tied Italy's Erika Fasana for the eighth and final spot with 14.333. However, the tie-break rules favored Fasana, as her Execution score (8.233) was .1 ahead of Frapagane (8.133), who ended up as the first alternate to the final.

After helping the British women place fifth as a team, Fragapane starred on Strictly Come Dancing, the popular celebrity dancing show on the BBC, from October to December 2016. Fragapane and partner A. J. Pritchard were eliminated in week 11, finishing fourth.

"Once I was back I the gym, I soon fell back in love with gymnastics," said Fragapane, who turned 20 on October 24. "I found a new determination to make sure I didn't miss out on finals in the future."

In Montreal, Fragapane qualified to the floor final for a third consecutive time, finishing fourth in qualification. Eighth in 2014 and seventh in 2015, Fragapane finally made it to the podium in Montreal, placing third behind Japan's Mai Murakami and American Jade Carey. It was her first individual world medal and second overall; Fragapane helped the British women win a historic bronze medal at the 2015 Worlds.

Fragapane is the defending Commonwealth Games champion in the all-around, balance beam and floor exercise, and is favored to make the English team again this year. The quadrennial event takes place April 4-15 in Gold Coast, Australia.

The December 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine includes "Montreal Milestones," a collection of profiles including Fragapane, Giulia Steingruber (Switzerland), Diana Varinska (Ukraine), Tin Srbić (Croatia) and Jorge Vega (Guatemala). To order back issues, or subscribe to the print and/or digital edition of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

 
Written by dwight normile    Wednesday, 03 January 2018 14:12    PDF Print
Emma Malabuyo Eager For 2018
(5 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

The January/February 2018 issue of International Gymnast includes a feature on Emma Malabuyo, who made a great comeback in 2017 after sustaining a sprained lateral collateral ligament while vaulting in 2016. That injury prevented her from competing in the 2016 P&G Championships, but she still made the junior national team, an exclusive club of only eight gymnasts.

A California native, Malabuyo moved in 2013 to Texas Dreams, where she is coached by Kim Zmeskal-Burdette and her husband, Chris Burdette.

Last July she won the U.S. Classic in Illinois.

“That was a very big win for me because we were competing with the seniors and I added a lot of new skills,” says Malabuyo, who is a senior this year. “And it was my first time winning a competition.”

At the 2017 P&G Championships, she placed second all-around in the junior competition to Maile O’Keefe. She also placed first on floor exercise.

In September both juniors were sent to the International Junior competition in Japan, where O’Keefe and Malabuyo placed 1-2 in the all-around, respectively, and Malabuyo won floor exercise again.

Says Zmeskal-Burdette: “Emma is chomping at the bit to play with the big dogs (in 2018), and I’m excited to stand by her side in this pursuit!”

A photographer’s dream, Malabuyo makes her gymnastics look easy. And she’s not afraid to use her entire body to express herself on floor exercise.

“Her smile is definitely her secret weapon!” Zmeskal-Burdette says.

New National Team Coordinator Valeri Liukin has taken notice as well.

“She is very expressive and can definitely set herself apart on floor and beam,” he says. “At the same time, she is a very calm and a mentally strong athlete.”

Read the full story in the January/February 2018 issue. To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition or to order back issues of IG, click here.

 
Written by John Crumlish    Monday, 01 January 2018 11:54    PDF Print
Croatia's Tin Srbić: 'I Can Fight To Stay No. 1'
(4 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)



Featured in the December 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine, world high bar champion and Croatian Athlete of the Year Tin Srbić told IG he will need to continue progressing to stay at the top. Srbić, pictured here at a press conference after returning home to Zagreb, was treated to corrective laser eye surgery by the Croatian Olympic Committee, which named him its 2017 Male Athlete of the Year.

Featured in the December 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine, world high bar champion and Croatian Athlete of the Year Tin Srbić told IG he will need to continue progressing to stay at the top.


Tin Srbić (Croatia) during the high bar final at the 2017 Worlds in Montreal

"I can fight to stay No. 1 only if I improve myself even more," Srbić said.

Srbić was the surprise winner on high bar at the 2017 World Championships in Montreal, where he scored 14.433 to defeat former world and Olympic high bar champion Epke Zonderland (14.233) and his Dutch teammate Bart Deurloo (14.200) on the final day of competition, October 8. Srbić, who just celebrated his 21st birthday on September 11.

"I didn't expect to win gold at my first world championships, at age 21," said Srbić, who qualified to the final in third place behind Zonderland and Switzerland's Pablo Brägger.

Srbić is the first world or Olympic gymnastics champion for Croatia and its third medalist overall. Filip Ude won silver medals on pommel horse at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and 2014 World Championships in Nanning. Marijo Možnik also picked up the bronze medal on high bar in Nanning.

Srbić has racked up more awards since returning home to Zagreb. Most recently he was named "Male Athlete of the Year" for 2017 by the Croatian Olympic Committee on December 20. Track and field athlete Sandra Perković, the two-time Olympic champion in the discus throw, was named Female Athlete of the Year after winning her second world title in 2017. Srbić and Perković were also named Athletes of the Year by sports daily Sportske Novosti — which conducted a poll of more than 350 Croatian journalists — and by the Zagreb Sports Association.

In addition to his year-end honors, Srbić was treated to laser eye surgery (Lasik) by the Croatian Olympic Committee to correct his severe myopia, or nearsightedness. Prior to the surgery, Srbić had 20/125 vision (-1.75 diopter), but he competed without his glasses nonetheless.

The December 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine includes "Montreal Milestones," a collection of profiles including Srbić, Giulia Steingruber (Switzerland), Diana Varinska (Ukraine), Jorge Vega (Guatemala) and Claudia Fragapane (Great Britain). To order back issues, or subscribe to the print and/or digital edition of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

 
Written by dwight normile    Thursday, 28 December 2017 11:34    PDF Print
Simone Biles' New Coach: 'I'm Not Going To Change [Her]'
(4 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

After working at WOGA for 10 years, former French gymnasts Laurent Landi and his wife, Cécile Canqueteau Landi, got a special surprise last fall. They became the new coaches of three-time world and 2016 Olympic all-around champion Simone Biles.


Laurent Landi coached Madison Kocian to two medals at the 2016 Olympic Games

It made sense for the Landis to become Biles' new coaches since they've known her for a long time. It also was a short drive from WOGA to Spring, Texas, where Laurent is also the director of the competitive program at World Champions Centre, the state-of-the-art gym that Ron and Nellie Biles built.

Following are excerpts from our exclusive interview with Laurent Landi, which will appear in the January/February 2018 issue of International Gymnast.

… "I feel very fortunate that I have to coach Simone, but it's not as easy as people may think. Aimee (Boorman) did such an incredible job in the past 12 years of Simone’s life. She brought her to the top and was able to accomplish something that's never been done before—the most successful gymnast in the U.S.—it's quite a resume."

… "I'm not going to change Simone Biles; I would be a very bad coach if I would do that. I will help her as much as I can with my technical knowledge and my understanding of how to plan and how to produce at the right time. I’m not going to change who she is."

Asked what he likes about Simone's personality.

… "That she doesn’t take herself too seriously. … At the end of the day, everybody that tries to fight for gold at worlds and Olympic Games, they're all almost as good as each other. But the difference is between the ears, and I think Simone is one of the best at that.”

And about Cécile's role as a coach.

"She's her coach on the beam. …I'll have an input, and I want the start value to be as high as possible. But … she needs to perform very well, and on beam, only a woman can know that…."

Read the the complete interview in the January/February 2018 issue. To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition or to order back issues of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

 


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