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Written by Amanda Turner    Saturday, 04 March 2017 04:58    PDF Print
Vernyayev Headlines World Cup All-Around Series
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Olympic gold medalists Oleg Vernyayev (Ukraine) and Ryohei Kato (Japan) headline the field at Saturday's American Cup in Newark, N.J., the first of three all-around World Cups on the International Gymnastics Federation's 2017 calendar. Pictured: Kato, a two-time Olympian, is the defending American Cup champion.

Olympic gold medalist Oleg Vernyayev (Ukraine) headlines the field at Saturday's American Cup in Newark, N.J., the first of three all-around World Cups on the International Gymnastics Federation's 2017 calendar.

Now in its 42nd edition, the American Cup is part of the FIG's World Cup season. The second all-around World Cup is the DTB Cup, to be held March 18-19 in Stuttgart, Germany, followed by the London World Cup, scheduled for April 8 at the O2 Arena, site of the gymnastics competition at the 2012 Olympic Games. Gymnasts earn points based on their finish at each event, ranging from 60 points to first to 25 points for eighth.

Gymnasts are also eligible to win prize money at each event; the all-around champion at each event wins 12,000 Swiss francs (approximately $11,900), the second 10,000 and third 8,000. The overall winner of the World Cup series will win 25,000 Swiss francs from the FIG, with the runner-up earning 15,000 and the third-place gymnast earning 10,000.

The all-around World Cup events are invitation only; according to FIG guidelines, the top eight nations at the 2016 Olympic Games for men and women earned invitations. If a federation declines the invitation, the next-best country in the rankings will be invited, going back to the results of the 2016 Test Event. The host nation is given an additional wild card entrant to increase local interest in the event. According to the FIG, the nation with the most points after the three events will be declared the winner of the series.

Vernyayev and Venezuelan star Jessica López won the 2014-15 FIG World Cup Series. The new rules, in which gymnasts are invited to the World Cup events based on team finish, will exclude López and other individuals without strong countries from competing in the 2017 series. (Venezuela finished 26th the 2014 World Championships and did not qualify to the 2015 World Championships and 2016 Test Event.)

Vernyayev, the 2015 American Cup champion, and defending champion Ryohei Kato (Japan) lead a deep men's field in Newark, which also includes Olympians Lukas Dauser (Germany), Sam Oldham (Great Britain), Bart Deurloo (Netherlands) and Eddy Yusof (Switzerland).

Two-time Olympian Kato, the all-around bronze medalist at the 2013 World Championships, was a member of Japan's gold medal-winning teams at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In Rio, Vernyayev won the silver medal in the all-around, just .099 behind champion Kohei Uchimura, and won the gold medal on parallel bars.

Stanford University's Akash Modi, one of the alternates to the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, and Yul Moldauer (Oklahoma) will attempt to reclaim the American Cup for the home team. Two-time Olympian Sam Mikulak, the 2014 American Cup champion, was forced to withdraw after suffering a torn Achilles' tendon a few weeks ago at the Winter Cup.

China's Sun Wei, third all-around at the 2016 American Cup, rounds out the men's field in Newark.

None of the members of the U.S. women's gold medal-winning Olympic team are competing in Newark. Olympic alternate Ragan Smith, eighth all-around at the 2016 U.S. national championships, is favored to win the competition. Her toughest competitor looks to be first-year senior Riley McCusker, who trains at MG Elite Gymnastics in nearby Monmouth. McCusker won the recent verification meet at the national team training center in Texas, earning her a ticket to the American Cup. The U.S. women have not lost the American Cup since 2001 (with the exception of 2005, which was an apparatus-only World Cup).

Three Olympians are in the women's lineup: Amy Tinkler (Great Britain), Kim Bui (Germany) and Asuka Teramoto (Japan). Tinkler, the bronze medalist on floor exercise in Rio de Janeiro, was a late replacement for teammate Rebecca Tunney, who withdrew with injury. Two-time Canadian Olympian Ellie Black, third all-around at the 2016 American Cup, also withdrew because of an ankle injury.

France's Mélanie De Jesus Dos Santos, who turns 17 on Sunday, will make her major international debut in Newark. The Martinique native suffered a torn ACL in 2015 that derailed her chances of making the 2016 Olympic team. Australian Emily Whitehead, who suffered a torn calf muscle before the 2016 Pacific Rim championships, is also coming back from injury in Newark. China's Xie Yufen is competing in her third FIG event following World Challenge Cups in Anadia and Szombathely in 2016. Dutch gymnast Tisha Volleman, eighth at the 2016 American Cup, rounds out the women's field.

Dauser and Vernyayev are the only gymnasts on the roster for all three events. The DTB Cup field also includes Philipp Herder (Germany), James Hall (Great Britain), Kazuma Kaya (Japan), 2016 Olympian Oliver Hegi (Switzerland) and Allan Bower (United States).

Russia, whose teams finished second at the 2016 Olympic Games, declined to attend the American Cup due to a conflict with the Russian national championships that began Wednesday. The Russians are sending Olympian Angelina Melnikova and Olympic alternate Nikita Ignatyev to the DTB Cup, and Melnikova and Alexei Rostov to the London World Cup.

The Stuttgart women's lineup also includes 2016 Olympians Isabela Onyshko (Canada), Tabea Alt and Pauline Schäfer (Germany), and Eythora Thorsdottir (Netherslands), along with first-year seniors Alice Kinsella (Great Britain) and Morgan Hurd (United States). Romanian star Larisa Iordache was forced to withdraw from the Stuttgart event because of plantar fasciitis. A replacement has not yet been announced.

Tinkler will also compete in the London World Cup, along with fellow British Olympians Ellie Downie, Brinn Bevan and Sam Oldham. Superstar Max Whitlock, who won two golds and a bronze in Rio, will perform two exhibition routines at the O2.

2017 AT&T American Cup
March 4, Newark, New Jersey, United States

Women's Competitors
Emily Whitehead
Xie Yufen
Mélanie De Jesus Dos Santos
Amy Tinkler
Kim Bui
Asuka Teramoto
Tisha Volleman
Riley McCusker
Ragan Smith
Men's Competitors
Sun Wei
Sam Oldham
Lukas Dauser
Ryohei Kato
Bart Deurloo
Eddy Yusof
Oleg Vernyayev
Akash Modi
Yul Muldauer

2017 EnBW DTB Cup
March 18-19, Stuttgart, Germany

Women's Competitors
Isabela Onyshko
Zhang Jin
Tabea Alt
Pauline Schäfer
Alice Kinsella
Eythora Thorsdottir
Angelina Melnikova
Morgan Hurd
Men's Competitors
Sun Wei
Lukas Dauser
Philipp Herder
James Hall
Kazuma Kaya
Nikita Ignatyev
Oliver Hegi
Oleg Vernayev
Allan Bower

2017 iPro World Cup
April 8, London, England

Women's Competitors
Liu Jinru
Ellie Downie
Amy Tinkler
Tabea Alt
Tisha Volleman
Angelina Melnikova
Jordan Chiles
Men's Competitors
Luo Jianlin
Brinn Bevan
Sam Oldham
Lukas Dauser
Bart Deurloo
Alexei Rostov
Eddy Yusof
Oleg Vernyayev
Donnell Whittenburg
Written by Amanda Turner    Friday, 03 March 2017 12:26    PDF Print
Brestyan New Head Coach of Australian Women
(4 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

Romanian-born Mihai Brestyan has been selected as the new head coach of the Australian women's team, Gymnastics Australia announced Friday.

Romanian-born Mihai Brestyan has been selected as the new head coach of the Australian women's team, Gymnastics Australia announced Friday.

Brestyan has owned Brestyan's Gymnastics in Massachusetts since 2000, where he and his wife, Silvia, guided Olympians Alicia Sacramone and Aly Raisman to international stardom. He was the USA Gymnastics Coach of the Year in 2005, 2011 and 2013.

"This is a new chapter and an exciting challenge," said Brestyan, who coached in Israel for several years before immigrating to the United States. "I'm looking forward to sharing my learnings and experiences with the athletes and coaches in Australia and guiding women's gymnastics to a leading gymnastics nation."

Following the retirement of Peggy Liddick, Gymnastics Australia undertook a major international recruitment for a new head coach. The program is in a rebuilding phase following its 2016 disappointment, when Australia missed qualifying a full team to the Olympic Games for the first time since 1988.

"The recruitment process has been lengthy, but Gymnastics Australia was clear in its objective of securing a world best coach to drive performance standards of Australian athletes and coaches to be internationally competitive," said Gymnastics Australia CEO Mark Rendell.

Brestyan, who turns 64 in May, will begin his new role immediately. According to Gymnastics Australia, he will work specifically with Australia's national team via training camps at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

"Australian Gymnastics took a major step forward with the recent success of the World Cup event in Melbourne and we are looking to build on that momentum," said Sam McKay, president of Gymnastics Australia. "We are thrilled a coach with the experience and proven results of Mihai will be guiding our next generation of gymnasts and coaches as we look."

External Link: Gymnastics Australia

Written by John Crumlish    Tuesday, 28 February 2017 17:53    PDF Print
Adlerteg: 'I Still Think My Time Will Come'
(6 votes, average 4.33 out of 5)

Although 2012 Swedish Olympian Jonna Adlerteg missed last summer's Rio Games because of a knee injury and will sit out the Europeans in April in Cluj, she told IG she is eager to return by this fall's world championships in Montreal.

Although 2012 Swedish Olympian Jonna Adlerteg missed last summer's Rio Games because of a knee injury and will sit out the Europeans in April in Cluj, she told IG she is eager to return by this fall's world championships in Montreal.

"I would say that I've come a long way but I'm not really ready for competition yet," said Adlerteg, who injured her left meniscus on her dismount from uneven bars at the World Challenge Cup of Doha, Qatar, last March. "I still have to work on my strength in my left leg. We are taking it step-by-step and not stressing anything at this point."

Adlerteg at the 2015 World Championships

Adlerteg said the choice that she and coach Sebastian Melander made to not compete this spring was difficult but practical, especially in terms of her potential to compete in Montreal.

"It was a very hard decision for me because I really miss competing, but I think it was the right decision not to stress anything, and to take my time and work towards worlds instead," said Adlerteg, who tore her left ACL on floor exercise at the 2015 Europeans in Montpellier. "So right now I'm working on some new skills and combinations which I've been posting on my Instagram page."

Among those skills is a layout Jaeger on uneven bars, her best apparatus and one on which she hopes to perform well in Montreal. She won the silver medal on uneven bars at the 2013 Europeans in Moscow.

"I'm really enjoying training bars right now and I'm excited to bring my best work to worlds later this year," Adlerteg said.

Although Adlerteg was disappointed not to compete in Rio, her misfortune only reinforced her determination.

"It was a little bit of a shock to me when I realized I wouldn't be able to go to Rio, because I had just put my mind to it and really believed I could do it," she told IG. "Missing out on the Olympics was, of course, very hard, but it also made me realize more than ever that this is what I want to do. And when I want to do something, I just do it, and then it's not hard to stay focused or motivated. I still think my time will come."

International Gymnast magazine's coverage of Swedish gymnasts includes:
"Swedish History-maker" Jonna Adlerteg profile (November 2010)
"Scouting Scandinavia" – feature on IG's visit to clubs in Sweden and Norway (March 2011)
"Swedish Upswing" – women's team feature (November 2010)
"Swedish Achiever" Ida Gustafsson short profile (June 3013)
"Sweden's Standout" - Mans Stenberg profile (March 2010)
Quick Chat: Veronica Wagner (November 2008)
"Veronica's Date: 2008" – Veronica Wagner profile (February 2005)
"Swedish Sojourn" – Carolina Bohman profile (February 2003)

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

Written by Amanda Turner    Monday, 27 February 2017 08:34    PDF Print
Butcher to Hold New FIG Position of Technical Coordinator
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

American Steve Butcher was appointed to a new International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) position, Technical Coordinator of the FIG, which will oversee the technical committees of all the FIG's disciplines. Pictured: Butcher, right, with Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanning

Latvia's Artur Mickevic, pictured at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, is the new head of the FIG Men's Technical Committee.

American Steve Butcher was appointed to a new International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) position, Technical Coordinator of the FIG, which will oversee the technical committees of all the FIG's disciplines.

The new position was approved last October under outgoing FIG President Bruno Grandi.

"This new role, provided for in the new article 25 of the Statutes, has been integrated into the administrative structure of the FIG," the FIG announced. "The role consists of overseeing the technical committees of all disciplines in order to establish greater uniformity of the rules."

Butcher, who in October was re-elected to a second term as president of the FIG's Men's Technical Committee (MTC), has resigned that post to avoid any conflicts of interest with his new position.

Latvia's Artur Mickevic (pronounced "Mitskevich") will succeed Butcher as president of the MTC, based on his receiving the most number of votes during the election to the committee in October. China's Huang Liping will take up the vacant spot on the MTC, also based on last fall's election.

Butcher stated he will relocate to Lausanne, Switzerland, headquarters of both the FIG and International Olympic Committee. He takes up the position on March 1, the FIG announced.

Butcher's appointment was announced following last week's FIG Executive Committee, during which changes were also made to the FIG Women's Technical Committee. The FIG Executive Committee determined that Mexico's Naomi Valenzo will be unable to sit on the WTC due to a conflict of interest with her position as President of the Pan American Gymnastics Union (PAGU). Valenzo will remain on the FIG Executive Committee and was made appointed an adviser to the WTC. Syria's Radie Zinal, elected to the WTC in October, has decided to withdraw for professional reasons. Johanna Gratt (Austria) and Tatiana Perskaia (United States) will replace Valenzo and Zinal on the committee.

External Link: International Gymnastics Federation

Written by dwight normile    Wednesday, 22 February 2017 09:02    PDF Print
Uchimura Feature Part of a Jam-Packed March IG
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

The March issue will be out next week, and it includes "The Golden Streak: Kohei Uchimura shares his innermost thoughts on Rio."

IG was able to get an exclusive interview this month with Uchimura, who has dominated the all-around competition in the last two quadrenniums. Here's what he said about the thrilling all-around final in Rio.

"I was pleased with my performance, so, if I had lost, I would not have had any regrets. To be honest, after high bar I thought I had lost."

Uchimura said he took about four months off after the Rio Olympics. "I was so exhausted that I couldn't even think about gymnastics," he said.

He also said he will return to competition at the All-Japan Championships in April. "I am planning to compete in the all-around," he said.

The issue also includes interviews with NCAA freshmen Maggie Nichols of Oklahoma and Madison Kocian of UCLA, and a feature on Polish gymnast couple Marta-Pihan Kulesza and husband Roman, who coach at The Little Gym, a non-competitive gymnastics franchise whose motto is "Serious Fun." There also is a chat with Doug Hills, whose Gymnastics Study Guides (URL: have been pivotal in educating and training judges for the FIG.

There is plenty more is this packed issue, including a peek inside Simone Biles' amazing gym; a review of Laurie Hernandez's book, "I Got This" (with an unfortunate mistake about 1984 Olympic silver medalist Tracee Talavera); a Kids Klub profile on Italy's Martina Basile; and a quick update on Oksana Fabrichnova.

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