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Written by Admin    Tuesday, 11 September 2007 11:47    PDF Print
IGHOF Announces Class of 2008

Four Olympic champions will be inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2008.


Ma Yanhong
Stoyan Deltchev (Bulgaria), Ma Yanhong (China) (pictured at right), Lilia Popdkopayeva (Ukraine) and Shuji Tsurumi (Japan) will be honored Feb. 9, 2008, in Oklahoma City, Okla. during the the 12th annual induction ceremony.

The IGHOF will also present the the International Order of Merit to German professor Ludwig Schweizer of the Institute for Sport and Sport Sciences at the University of Freiburg.

To date the IGHOF has honored 60 of gymnastics' greatest stars and contributors, representing 15 countries.

External Link: International Gymnastics Hall of Fame

Written by Amanda Turner    Monday, 10 September 2007 11:45    PDF Print
Devyatovsky, Lozhechko Suspended through 2007
Russia suspended European champions Maxim Devyatovsky and Yulia Lozhechko for their respective behavior at the World Championships which concluded Sunday in Stuttgart.

Russian head coach Andrei Rodionenko said the two gymnasts are suspended from the national team through the end of the year, at which time their status will be re-evaluated.

Rodionenko said both gymnasts were disciplined because of their attitude and not their rankings, though the suspensions come after Russia's worst worlds showing in history. Ksenia Semyonova's gold medal on uneven bars was Russia's only medal in Stuttgart.

Deyvatovsky was suspended for his behavior during Friday's all-around competition, when he left the arena before the sixth rotation. It is a violation of FIG rules for a non-injured gymnast to leave the competition area before the end of the tournament.

In the all-around final, Devyatovsky had been second in the rankings before he fell on the parallel bars in the fifth rotation. He did not finish his routine and he received a score of 3.725. Rodionenko said the team doctor examined Devyatovsky and, finding no injury, cleared him to compete on the high bar.

Devyatovsky, however, having lost all chance of a medal, shrugged off the last event, saying, "I don't have any interest in finishing outside of the top three. There's no difference to me between seventh place or 24th."

Rodionenko said the national team coaches declared Devyatovsky's attitude "unworthy" of the Russian team. He singled out 2005 world champion Hiroyuki Tomita (Japan) as an example of a gymnast who performed with dignity in the men's all-around final. In the sixth rotation, Tomita fell heavily from the high bar, and yet finished his routine despite also having no hope for a medal.

"(Tomita) finished the way you'd expect from a world champion," Rodionenko said in an interview posted on the Russian Gymnastics Federations official Web site. "Maxim just doesn't have these same qualities. He could have finished an honorable 24th place, and now it is a shameful 24th place."

Rodionenko said Devyatovsky has been a problem in the past, and has not had a personal coach since parting ways with veteran trainer Gennady Stolyarov in 2005.

"It seems to me that winning the European Championships has made him feel more entitled than he deserves to be," Rodionenko said. "He was acting disorganized, undisciplined and selfish. If Devyatovsky does not figure out that there's a problem, I have a suspicion that he's going to find it very hard to get onto the Olympic team."

He said Lozhechko was disciplined for defying her coaches and altering her balance beam routine in qualifications. Lozhechko, the 2007 European champion on beam, fell on the dismount. He said her goal was to reach the individual final and that she instead ended up costing the team points.

Rodionenko, a senior trainer for the Soviets in the 1970s and 1980s, said the current generation of Russian gymnasts needs to understand that the team comes first.

"I have come to the conclusion: if athletes are unable to put aside their personal interests for the sake of the team, they need to leave," he said. "To keep up team moral is much more important than the whims of a single, even a very talented, individual."

Written by Amanda Turner    Thursday, 30 August 2007 11:43    PDF Print
Tamârjan Out of Worlds with Leg Fracture

Romania's Ana Maria Tamârjan will miss the 2007 World Championships in Stuttgart after fracturing her leg Wednesday in podium training.

Ana Maria Tamârjan

Tamârjan was training on uneven bars when she slipped from the bar and hit her knee to her mouth, Romanian head coach Nicolae Forminte told Romanian newspaper Prosport.

"The worlds are over for her," Forminte said.

Tamârjan was ranked fourth on the Romanian team, behind Steliana Nistor, Sandra Izbasa and Catalina Ponor and ahead of newcomer Cerasela Patrascu and 2006 world team member Daniela Druncea.

Alternate Andreea Grigore will now take Tamârjan's place in the lineup when Romania competes Saturday in the team qualification, Forminte said.

"It won't be the same routine but we don't have another solution," he said. "I hope we survive Saturday's qualification. After that it will be easy."

At the 2006 Worlds, the Romanian team was fourth, finishing out of the medals for the first time since the 1981 World Championships. The Romanian women have won seven world team titles, including five consecutive titles between 1994 and 2001.

Tamârjan is not the first gymnast to sustain a serious injury while training in Stuttgart. Japan's Takehiro Kashima broke his hand training on pommel horse on Aug. 23 and Canada's Kyle Shewfelt broke both his legs Monday on floor exercise.

Written by Admin    Thursday, 30 August 2007 11:42    PDF Print
Sacramone Ready to Lend Experience
Veteran Alicia Sacramone will try to use her experience to guide the U.S. women's team at the upcoming World Championships in Stuttgart.
Alicia Sacramone

Sacramone, a four-time world medalist and college sophomore at Brown University, is the oldest member of the U.S. team at 19. Besides Sacramone, the only member of the team that has competed at a world championships is Nastia Liukin. Both were members of the U.S. team that finished second to China at the 2006 Worlds in Aarhus.

"I'm probably going to take on the role as captain of the team," said Sacramone, who trains at Brestyan's Gymnastics in Massachusetts. "Nastia and I have been through it all—the good, the bad and the ugly. I know the younger girls will come to us when they're thinking, 'What are we going to do?' I will be like, 'It's OK, it's not new, so don't freak out."

Team newcomers are new national champion Shawn Johnson, Ivana Hong, Samantha Peszek and Shayla Worley. Bridget Sloan will serve as alternate, sources with the U.S. team confirmed to IG on Thursday. Johnson, Liukin and Worley will compete all events on Sunday.

Sacramone is the defending silver medalist on vault and the 2005 world champion on floor exercise. She is scheduled to compete on vault, balance beam and floor exercise when the American women compete in Sunday's qualification.

Although Sacramone is a veteran, she said she will also rely on her own advice to the team's Worlds debutantes.

"They still freak about stuff that we kind of freak out about, too," Sacramone told IG. "So telling them it's OK is like telling myself it's OK. I try to keep myself cool, calm and collected. I don't do 'freak-out' well!"

Written by Dwight Normile    Tuesday, 28 August 2007 11:41    PDF Print
Surgery Successful for Spring

U.S. national team member Justin Spring, who tore his right ACL while vaulting at the U.S. Championships on Aug. 17, underwent surgery today in Champaign, Ill.

Spring is expected to be full strength in six months, said his personal coach Jon Valdez.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Robert Bane, who trained in Birmingham, Ala., under Dr. James Andrews, a leader in his field. Andrews did surgery for three-time U.S. Olympian Blaine Wilson in 2004.

"The surgery went great," Valdez told IG. "It was a clean tear to the ACL, with no other damage to the knee. His doctors say he'll be tumbling in four months and at full strength in six months. Justin's spirits are high, and our goal is to do the all-around in 2008 and grab one of the guaranteed spots on the Olympic team."


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