2012 Olympic all-around champion Gabrielle Douglas of the U.S. said she is gradually returning to top form in the approach to next month’s world championships in Glasgow and next summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“I think I’m about 60 to 70 percent (in terms of difficulty),” said Douglas after she placed fifth all-around at the P&G (U.S.) championships in Indianapolis. “I don’t want to play all my cards at once.”
Read “Game of Threes,” in-depth coverage of the P&G Championships, in the September issue of International Gymnast magazine. The October issue will include much more on Gabby! To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions, click here.
Written by Amanda Turner Wednesday, 09 September 2015 07:04
The Russians swept the gold and silver medals in both events Tuesday at the 2015 Rhythmic World Championships in Stuttgart.
Reigning world all-around champion Yana Kudryavtseva captured the ball title over teammate Margarita Mamun. With a winning margin of .025, Kudryavtseva prevented Mamun from winning her third consecutive title with the ball.
Kudryavtseva and Mamun swept the individual titles at the 2014 World Championships in Izmir, Turkey. Kudryavtseva now has nine gold medals at the world championships, with more in reach in Stuttgart.
Kudryavtseva was able to win despite an injured ankle that has bothered her in Stuttgart.
"The feel of winning the gold medals are always very nice, but with each award brings different emotions," Kudryavtseva said. "This medal did not come easy, although they are rarely easy, but this one was twice as hard. I am grateful to my coaches who supported me."
Mamun claimed the gold with hoop, her fifth apparatus world title. The Bengali-Russian won world titles with the ball and ribbon in 2014, and with the ball and clubs in 2013.
Russia's Alexandra Soldatova took the silver on hoop behind her teammate. Ukraine's Ganna Rizatdinova won the bronze. Belarusian Melitina Stanyuta won the bronze with the ball.
The competetion in Stuttgart is the first qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The top 15 gymnasts in the individual all-around and the top 10 groups will qualify. Six more individuals and three more groups will be able to qualify at the test event next April in Rio de Janeiro. An additional five gymnasts and one group will earn a ticket to the Olympics as wild cards.
Competition in Stuttgart continues Wednesday with more individual qualification. The ribbon and clubs finals will be Thursday, and the all-around final on Friday.
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
Consistency Will Be Key In Australia’s Worlds Selection, Liddick Says
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
Five-Time Olympic Medalist Erika Zuchold Dies at 68
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.
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