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Written by John Crumlish    Monday, 07 September 2015 15:57    PDF Print
Pan Am Gold Motivates Black For Worlds
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

In an interview in the September 2015 issue of International Gymnast magazine, 2015 Pan American Games all-around champion Ellie Black of Canada says her success at the Games has inspired her and her team for next month’s world championships in Glasgow.

“Competing at the Pan Am Games with my team was a great experience for us all,” said Black, who won three golds, a silver and a bronze at the Games in Toronto in July. “It was a great stepping stone for our team looking forwards to this worlds.”

Read the complete interview in the September issue of International Gymnast magazine, available now in digital and print editions. To subscribe, click here.

Written by John Crumlish    Tuesday, 01 September 2015 08:17    PDF Print
Consistency Will Be Key In Australia’s Worlds Selection, Liddick Says
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Australian women's national team coach Peggy Liddick told IG that several factors will come into play in determining her squad for the world championships in Glasgow in October.

2012 Olympian Emily Little

"The girls just returned home from the August training camp and will return to Canberra on September 28 for the final selection camp/trial," Liddick said. "This trial will certainly determine competition readiness, but the previous year's results and training consistency will also come into strong consideration for selection."

At the Australian championships in Melbourne in May, Georgia Godwin earned her second consecutive all-around title. Emily Little, who placed 15th all-around at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, won the silver medal. Madelaine Leydin, the 2014 all-around silver medalist, took bronze.

Godwin, Little and Leydin scored within 1.40 of one another after two days of competition in Melbourne, but Liddick said the team for Glasgow may or may not be primarily all-arounders.

"It is hard to tell at this time, as a few other top all-arounders and specialists did not participate at nationals due to injury, so I will look forward to how they pull up at this upcoming camp," Liddick told IG. "It is always good to have several strong all-arounders on a team."

The Australian women skipped the 2013 Worlds, but made the team final at the 2014 Worlds in Nanning., finishing seventh. The top eight teams in Glasgow, plus four additional teams at a test event in Rio de Janeiro early next year, will earn berths to next summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Read more from Liddick and the Australian team in the October 2015 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions or order back issues, click here.

International Gymnast magazine's recent coverage of Australian gymnastics includes:
"Alysha Djuric profile (July/August 2014)
"The Lowdown from Liddick" – comments from Peggy Liddick (June 2014)
"Catching up with Allana Slater" – profile (April 2014)
Georgia Godwin cover photo (March 2014)
"10 Questions with Naoya Tsukahara" - interview (September 2013)
"Aussie Long Shot" - Daria Joura profile (July/August 2012)
"10 Questions with Olivia Vivian" - interview (March 2011)
"Golden Surprise" - Lauren Mitchell cover story (January/February 2011)
Peggy Liddick interview (January/February 2011)
"Late Bloomer" - Amelia McGrath profile (October 2010)
Lisa Skinner chat (September 2010)

Written by Amanda Turner    Thursday, 27 August 2015 13:35    PDF Print
Five-Time Olympic Medalist Erika Zuchold Dies at 68
(10 votes, average 4.40 out of 5)

Two-time East German Olympian Erika Zuchold died Saturday in Asunción, Paraguay, where she had been living since June. She was 68.

The innovative Zuchold was a star for East Germany in the 1960s and 1970s, winning five Olympic medals, five world medals and seven European championships medals during her career.

Zuchold on beam in 1964, the year she debuted the first back handspring on balance beam

Zuchold was born Erika Barth in post-war Germany in the town of Lucka, near Leipzig, where she trained at SC Leipzig. She is the first gymnast on record to compete a back handspring on beam, which she did at the 1964 East German championships in Halle. She also invented an eponymous move on uneven bars, a stoop-jam-dislocate transition from the high bar to the low bar.

She made her world championships debut two years later in Dortmund, where she won the bronze on vault. At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, she helped East Germany win the bronze in the team competition, and individually she won the bronze in the vault, She tied Larissa Petrik for fourth in the all-around.

Zuchold's most successful competition came at the 1970 World Championships in Ljubljana, where she was crowned world champion on both vault and balance beam, and won silver medals in the team competition and in the all-around. For her achievement, she was recognized as East Germany's Female Athlete of the Year in 1970.

Zuchold ended her career at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, where she won silver medals with the team, on vault and on uneven bars.

After retiring, she worked as an artist, dancer and art teacher. She was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2005. She continued to paint and show her artwork, and in February exhibited 70 of her paintings and scultupres at a gallery in Leuna, Germany.

Zuchold's husband,former Leipzig cyclist Dieter Zuchold, died in February 2014, aged 77. This summer Zuchold immigrated to Paraguay, where her mother and sister were living.

Zuchold was buried in Paraguay.

Written by John Crumlish    Sunday, 23 August 2015 20:06    PDF Print
USA's Kimble Revels in Reserve Role
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Marvin Kimble told IG that his fifth-place finish at the recent P&G (U.S.) championships and his appointment as a world team alternate have inspired him as he aims for next summer’s Olympic Games.

"This is huge for me, just knowing that I’m so close to being exactly where I want to be," said Kimble, the only teenager among the top 11 men’s all-around finishers at the P&G championships in Indianapolis last weekend. "It gives me motivation to improve in my weak areas and fight for a spot on the Olympic team."

Kimble, who tied for the gold medal on pommel horse at the Pan American Games in Toronto in July, said his relaxed attitude helped him perform steadily in Indianapolis.

"Looking back I would say it was more consistency than any performance but also just having fun competing at the highest-level," he said. "Also, since I moved out to the (U.S. Olympic) training center (in Colorado Springs), I practice a lot more than I used to and we do tons of routines. So I feel like that was a huge factor in my success in Indy."

Kimble credits his move to the USOTC for his leap from 14th place at last year’s championships.

"Moving to the Olympic Training Center and training with all of the best guys in the world helped me a ton," said Kimble, who will turn 20 on October 27. "Just having them in the gym and seeing them training so hard every day has made me want to train harder and smarter. It’s really teaching me a lot and is a great experience."

Kimble said his ambitious nature has enabled him to develop into an all-around contender among veterans at his relatively young age. Among the gymnasts he outscored in Indianapolis included 2012 Olympic all-around bronze medalist Danell Leyva, 2008 Olympic double medalist Jonathan Horton and 2012 U.S. Olympic team alternate Steve Legendre.

"Growing up I was very competitive and really didn’t like to lose to anyone," Kimble said. "Being so competitive made me work on every aspect of my gymnastics and work to be the best in the world."

Even though he is the second alternate to the world team, Kimble is now training for the possibility that he will compete at the world championships in Glasgow in October.

"We have a set training plan," he said. "I will be following that training plan, and focusing on hitting sets and being ready if I am called upon to compete."

With the Rio Olympic Games less than a year away, Kimble said his position on the U.S. team bodes well for a starting spot at the Games if he boosts his scoring potential and remains consistent.

"I need to make sure that I work really hard to increase my execution score on every event, raise my difficulty level by a few tenths and, of course, hit sets," he told IG.

Read coverage of the P&G (U.S.) championships in the September 2015 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition, click here.

Written by John Crumlish    Thursday, 20 August 2015 02:16    PDF Print
Derwael '100 Percent Committed' to Olympic Goal
(2 votes, average 3.00 out of 5)

Belgium's Nina Derwael, who won three medals at the recent European Youth Olympic Festival in Tbilisi, is eying a spot on her country's team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Belgium's Nina Derwael, who won three medals at the recent European Youth Olympic Festival in Tbilisi, is eying a spot on her country's team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The 15-year-old Derwael is age-eligible for the Rio Games, for which the Belgian team will try to qualify at this fall's world championships in Glasgow. The top eight teams in Glasgow, and the top four teams at a test event in Rio early next year, will qualify for the Games.

"Of course I'd like a spot on the team next year," Derwael told IG. "I'm 100 percent committed and will do my very best, but we will see what the future brings."

In Tbilisi, Derwael helped Belgium place second as a team behind Russia. Individually she won the silver on bars and bronze on floor exercise.

Read "Belgian Beauty," a profile on Derwael, in the June 2015 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To order back issues, or subscribe to the print and/or digital edition, click here.


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