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Written by John Crumlish    Tuesday, 14 April 2015 14:02    PDF Print
Kirmes Geared Up for Europeans
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

After winning his first Challenger Cup earlier this month, Finland’s Oskar Kirmes told IG he aims for solid results at the European championships that begin Wednesday in Montpellier, France.

“My focus for the Europeans is the all-around,” said Kirmes, who placed second on floor exercise at the Challenger Cup of Ljubljana held April 3-5. “Of course I want to do a good floor routine, but, I don’t think my D(ifficulty)-score is high enough for making the floor final at this championship. I hope I can make a good competition with no serious mistakes, and then I will see how far it gets me.”

Kirmes, who set a personal best of 15.05 in qualifications in Ljubljana, said his strategy for his medal-winning performance in Ljubljana was to maximize his Execution scores.

“I knew that I had one of the lowest D-scores in the final so I just had to do a clean nice routine if I wanted to win a medal,” he said. “So the key was just to do as clean routine as possible and trying to stick all the landings, not taking any risk with a higher D-score.”

Kirmes said he plans to emphasize execution as he gradually increases his difficulty level.

“I am always thinking about the E-score, and trying to perform the cleanest routine as possible,” he told IG. “When I can perform this routine nicely, I can start to build a more difficult routine but still keep a high E-score. I think it’s better to do a nice, clean routine with a high E-score and from there start to work on a better D-score. Like (Japanese superstar Kohei) Uchimura, for example. He doesn’t always have the highest D-score, but a very high E-score.”

Written by John Crumlish    Friday, 10 April 2015 10:11    PDF Print
Switzerland's Barloggio Bolstered For Europeans
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Swiss gymnast Caterina Barloggio told IG that, although she competed on only one apparatus at the 2012 European championships in Brussels, she is eager to test herself anew at the upcoming European championships in Montpellier, France.

"In 2012 it was a team competition, but this year it will be all individual," said Barloggio, who placed sixth on uneven bars and balance beam at the Tournament of Masters in Cottbus, Germany, March 19-22. "I think that this year I'm better prepared than three years ago. My goal is to try to do my best and to perform a clean competition. I have also a new floor routine and I'm happy to have the chance to perform it at the European championships."

Caterina Barloggio (Switzerland) at the 2014 World Championships in Nanning

Barloggio, who was a member of Switzerland's 19th-place team at last fall's world championships in Nanning, said she is hopeful her team can improve at this fall's worlds in Glasgow. The top eight teams in Glasgow will qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Four additional teams will qualify for the Games at a test completion in Rio early next year.

"I think we have to work a little bit psychologically," Barloggio said. "We were all well prepared for the competition but we made a lot of mistakes. We should try to be more united as a team, even if a mistake happens. We will also work to have solid and clean routines."

Born August 29, 1996, Barloggio hails from the Italian part of Switzerland. Her first language is Italian, and she learned French, German and English in school. Barloggio's maternal grandmother is Italian, but her other grandparents are Swiss. She has a few relatives in Italy but most of them are Swiss.

Barloggio lives and trains in Ticino, where her coaches are Alberto Tolomini and Patrizia Zuffinetti. Tolomini is her main coach, while Zuffinetti coaches her primarily on balance beam and floor exercise. Zuffinetti also works with here on the other apparatuses.

When preparing for major competitions or participating in national team training camps, Barloggio trains in Magglingen under Swiss national team head coach Zoltan Jordanov, and other national team coaches Sznezsana Jordanova and Fabien Martin. Barloggio plans to train in Magglingen all of this summer.

Barloggio said she plans to upgrade her routines so she can contend with Swiss standouts Giulia Steingruber, Ilaria Käslin and others for positions at the Rio Games.

"In this period we have competitions so I'm not trying any new elements because we are doing routines and routines," she told IG. "But I'm looking forward to learning some new skills when competitions are over, to add some more difficulty and be more competitive with higher D-scores."

International Gymnast magazine's coverage of Swiss gymnasts includes:
"No Turning Back" - Claudio Capelli profile (June 2011)
"Swiss Hit" - Ariella Käslin profile (December 2008)
"Swiss Thrill-seeker" – A. Käslin short profile (January/February 2007)
"A New Swiss Standout" - Ilaria Käslin profile (December 2013)
"Full Force" – Giulia Steingruber interview (June 2013)
"A New Hit for the Swiss" – Steingruber profile (December 2009)

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

Written by John Crumlish    Friday, 03 April 2015 10:09    PDF Print
British Win 'Brilliant' To Veteran Purvis
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Recently crowned British all-around champion Daniel Purvis told IG he was thrilled to regain the title he previously won or shared three times, especially among a field that included talented younger gymnasts.

Daniel Purvis

"It feels brilliant being British champion again, especially as the upcoming youngsters are pushing us 'old hands' harder and harder all the time," said the 24-year-old Purvis.

Purvis said a shaky performance at the American Cup held March 7 in Arlington, Texas, motivated him for his steadier performance at the British championships that took place March 27-29 in Liverpool.

With an all-around total of 88.50 points, Purvis easily finished ahead of silver medalist Frank Baines (86.35) and co-bronze medalists Sam Oldham and James Hall (85.70) in Liverpool.

"I made an early start to the season once Christmas was over," Purvis said. "The challenge of the American Cup spurred me on to get competition fit as soon as possible. Although the American Cup didn't go as well as planned, it helped me get closer to competition readiness. So I felt good approaching the British championships, and confident that if I could go clean there was a good chance of a podium finish."

In previous British all-around championships, Purvis tied for first place in 2010, won outright in 2011 and 2012, and finished second in 2013 and 2014.

Purvis now aims to fortify his routines so he will be selected to compete at the European championships in Montpellier, France, later this month.

"Hopefully my performance at last weekend's British will see me in the line-up for the Europeans," he told IG. "I've tried to upgrade most of my routines but I still need to consolidate them. So it's all about deciding with my coaches what my routines will contain and then get them as clean as possible. It's always an honor to represent Great Britain at the Europeans so I'm keeping in as good a shape as I can in the hope of selection."

International Gymnast magazine's coverage of British gymnasts includes:
"Nervous Purvis" – Daniel Purvis profile (November 2012)
"Pure Purvis" – Purvis interview (March 2012)
Purvis cover photo (November 2011)
"Shooting Star" – Brinn Bevan profile (June 2013)
Imogen Cairns, British men's team on cover photo collage (March 2012)
"No Turning Back Now" – Cairns profile (January/February 2012)
Becky Downie cover photo and interview (June 2014)
Claudia Fragapane interview (December 2014)
"10 Questions with Paul Hall" – interview (January/February 2010)
"European Brilliance" - interview with Ruby Harrold (September 2013)
Daniel Keatings interview and center poster (June 2009)
"Royal Ambitions" – Marissa King interview (April 2008)
"Bridging the Gap" – Lisa Mason interview (February 1998)
Sam Oldham on cover photo collage (July/August 2010)
Oldham interview (June 2010)
"Bright for Britain" – Niamh Rippin profile (July/August 2010)
"Sibling Revelry" - Angel and Venus Romaeo profile (September 2010)
"Royal Treatment" - Louis Smith profile (December 2008)
"10 Questions with Adrian Stan" – interview (June 2009)
"Welsh Wisdom" - Raer Theaker profile (October 2013)
"Divide and Conquer" – interview with Kristian Thomas (May 2012)
Neil Thomas update (December 2009)
Beth Tweddle cover photo (September 2009)
"The British Invasion" – profiles on Tweddle, Hannah Whelan, Becky Downie, Smith and Purvis; Keatings interview and center poster (June 2009)
"The Good Shepherd" – Ed van Hoof interview (April 2013)
"Lord Max" – Max Whitlock interview (June 2013)
"Lilleshall: Backstage in Britain" – cover story on British national program (November 2011)

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

Written by John Crumlish    Tuesday, 17 March 2015 22:54    PDF Print
Injured Bretschneider Aims for 'Realistic' Quick Recovery
(5 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

German high-bar sensation Andreas Bretschneider, who ruptured his right Achilles' tendon earlier this month, told IG he hopes to recover in time for the world championships later this year.

German high-bar sensation Andreas Bretschneider, who ruptured his right Achilles' tendon earlier this month, told IG he hopes to recover in time for the world championships later this year.

Bretschneider suffered the injury on March 7 while warming up on floor exercise at the National Team Cup in Saarbrücken.

"It was a shock for me when I realized that something really bad happened to me," Bretschneider said. "But now I am working hard to reach my goal, the world championships in Glasgow at the end of October."

Bretschneider was a member of Germany's fourth-place team at the European championships in Sofia last May, and its eighth-place team at worlds in Nanning last October.

At the DTB Team Cup in Stuttgart last November, Bretschneider became the first gymnast to perform a double-twisting Kovacs on high bar in competition. The skill now bears his name in the FIG's Code of Points, and is the first element in the Code to earn a difficulty level of 'H, the highest possible ranking.

The day after the injury, Bretschneider underwent surgery in Chemnitz. He said he is optimistic about competing at the world championships taking place this fall in Glasgow.

"I think it is a realistic goal, which is possible for me," he told IG.

International Gymnast magazine's recent features on German gymnasts include:

"Tough Lesson" - Janine Berger interview (October 2012)
Kim Bui interview (April 2013)
Maike Enderle profile (September 2014)
"Renaissance Man" – Fabian Hambüchen cover story (December 2013)
"New View from the Top" - Lisa Katharina Hill profile (July/August 2013)
"Leaps and Bounds for Germany" - Nadine Jarosch profile (January/February 2012)
"Silver Streak" – Marcel Nguyen interview (November 2012)
"Quick Chat: Pauline Schäfer" (January/February 2015)
"Calm, Clean Style" - Sophie Scheder profile (December 2013)

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

Written by John Crumlish    Wednesday, 11 March 2015 22:52    PDF Print
Vaculik: 'I've Been the Luckiest Person In The World'
(5 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

2012 Canadian Olympian and Stanford University senior Kristina Vaculik told IG she is already reflecting with pride and pleasure as her gymnastics career comes to a close this spring.

Kristina Vaculik (Canada) on beam for Stanford University

"Looking back and realizing all I've done, I've been seriously the luckiest person in the world," said Vaculik, who is preparing for the upcoming conference, regional and national collegiate championships. "I've had the chance to experience both international and college gymnastics. Both experiences have been amazing for me."

Coached by 1980 Olympic all-around champion Yelena Davydova at Gemini Gymnastics Club in Oshawa, Vaculik won the Canadian national all-around title in 2007, 2010 and 2012. She enrolled at Stanford in 2011, but took the 2012 season off to train at home for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

At the London Games, Vaculik helped Canada finish fifth in the team final, its best team result in Olympic history. She returned to Stanford following the Games and resumed her collegiate gymnastics career.

Vaculik credits her successful transitions to the cooperation of her club and university coaches.

"I've been so lucky to have the support from my coaches at home, and support from my Stanford coaches with my international and college goals," she said. "I'm glad for their support in developing me as a person, and helping me reach for other goals, and academically, too."

Vaculik said she is enjoying her final season of competition, which was delayed by a bout with mononucleosis.

"I went home for Christmas with my family, and came back and was diagnosed," she said. "I was supposed to be out for three weeks, as a precaution, and then work my way back. But I couldn't do anything. I couldn't raise my heart rate at all. That was a little tough. I guess I was just lucky, and my immune system was able to fight it off pretty quickly."

Vaculik, who will graduate with a degree in human biology this spring, is eager to begin her life outside the gym.

"I'm excited because I know that, when I graduate from Stanford, I have something else to look forward to," she said. "I'll be applying to medical school, finding new passions and following those. It's going to be really sad to leave gymnastics, but I'll always love and follow it."

Vaculik has a particularly personal reason to keep tabs on the sport, especially collegiate gymnastics. Her younger sister, Canadian national team member Natalie Vaculik, competes for the University of Georgia.

"It's so exciting to watch my sister do it, too, because it's her freshman year and she's having an amazing time," Vaculik said of Natalie. "She's doing so well, and it's exciting to see her go through that and relive those moments with her."

Vaculik is more cheerful than nostalgic as she draws near the end of her own competitive years.

"Looking back it's incredible what I've been able to experience, and I'm so thankful to everyone who's helped me along the way," she told IG. "I'm just so thankful for everything I've done."

International Magazine's coverage of Kristina Vaculik includes:
"Veteran Presence" – Vaculik profile (July/August 2010)
Vaculik cover photo (April 2010)
"Canadian Conquerors" – Vaculik profile (September 2007)

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


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