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Competition Reports

Written by John Crumlish    Thursday, 05 September 2019 08:39    PDF Print
Rebeka Groulx: ‘Ready For The Rush!’
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

There is a feature in the 2019 October issue of International Gymnast magazine with Canadian junior all-around champion Rebeka Groulx may have been too young to compete at this summer’s World Junior Championships, but she won’t let her youth keep her from working hard and dreaming big.

“Of course, I was sad at the beginning and thought I deserved to go,” says 13-year-old Rebeka, who won the all-around and three events at the Canadian Junior Championships in May.

“But I figured it would only give me another reason to work harder this summer to have the chance to be there next year.”

Rebeka has been looking ahead and moving up since she chose gymnastics over dance, which she had also been practicing.

“My coaches wanted to put me in a higher level because I was pretty good, and I had to make the biggest decision of my life,” she says.“I chose gymnastics but I keep wondering what my life would be if I would’ve chosen dance. It would be completely different!”

Although floor is Rebeka’s favorite event, her composure on beam has proven to be key in her success. She has always been at ease on this worrisome event.

“Since I started, my beam made me change categories,” says Rebeka, the ’18 Canadian novice all-around champion. “For example, when I started in the recreational program, my coach wanted to put me in competitive since (in recreational) I could not do all the skills I was able to do. Also, I am very stable on beam and it’s an apparatus on which there are many falls. So, that benefits me.”

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

Written by John Crumlish    Wednesday, 04 September 2019 11:36    PDF Print
Alistratava: ‘The Strongest Wins’
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Profiled in the September 2019 issue of International Gymnast magazine, Anastasia Alistratava of Belarus told IG that she has reconciled her fourth-place finish on uneven bars at this spring’s European Championships.

"In the final, I tried to perform well,” said Alistratava, who earned the highest execution score of the final. “It is a pity that people who believe I was worthy of a medal were not among the judges. But sport is sport. The strongest wins.”

Born October 16, 2003, in Olga Korbut’s hometown of Grodno, Alistratava began training at age 4. She credits her previous and current coaches for assuring the foundation and continuity of her progress.

Irina Murza instilled a love of gymnastics, sports education and the original correct technique,” Alistratava says. “After that I continued to train with Olga Knysh (wife of Korbut’s late coach, Renald Knysh), whom I work with now. Thanks to her, I have successful performances. Many other coaches care about me. They help me develop in every possible way.”

Read the complete profile on Alistratava in the September 2019 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions, or to order back issues, click here.

Written by John Crumlish    Friday, 30 August 2019 07:30    PDF Print
Germany’s Rida Gains Confidence Through All-Around Bronze
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

First-year German senior Karim Rida told IG that his bronze medal-winning all-around performance at this month’s German Championships was as satisfying as it was unexpected.

“Third place was a real surprise for me,” said the 19-year-old Rida, whose all-around score of 81.60 points placed him third behind 28-year-old gold medalist Andreas Toba (83.10) and 31-year-old silver medalist Marcel Nguyen (82.35). “I was thinking about being in the top 10 perhaps, but then it happened and I got the bronze medal. It was a great feeling to stand on the winner’s podium beside the experienced athletes.”

Rida said his podium finish was the product of intense training in the lead-up to the competition.

“I trained very hard before the championships,” said Rida, who is coached by Robert Hirsch in Berlin. “It wasn’t always easy and it took a lot of effort, but I had a good feeling because my coach prepared me very well.”

Rida’s performance at the German Championships positions him well for this fall’s World Championships in Stuttgart and next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, but he has not burst into the German senior ranks as an unknown.

Rida placed first all-around at the 2017 German Junior Championships and second all-around at the 2018 German Junior Championships. Last year he was eighth all-around, second on parallel bars and eighth on floor exercise at the European Junior Championships in Glasgow.

Although Rida’s recent success has made him a strong candidate for Tokyo, he said he and his team must earn a Games berth through a solid performance in Stuttgart.

“We are still not thinking of the Olympic Games because first we have to qualify for them,” said Rida, a native of Eberswalde whose Moroccan father was born in Casablanca and whose mother is German. “Only if we will have passed the championships in Stuttgart we will know if we can take part in the Olympic Games. So a good result in Stuttgart is our next goal.”

To secure a spot on the German team in Stuttgart and hopefully Tokyo, Rida said he wants to demonstrate reliability and precision.

“I do not have much experience but I can improve my performances and try to clean up my exercises as well as possible,” he told IG. “I hope to show stable and well-done exercises, and I will train for this very hard.”

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

Written by John Crumlish    Thursday, 15 August 2019 07:28    PDF Print
Bhardwaj: ‘Balance, Diversity Are Keys To Longterm Success’
(6 votes, average 4.33 out of 5)

The July/August 2019 issue of International Gymnast includes an update on 2004 U.S. Olympic team captain Mohini Bhardwaj de Freitas, who told IG that a well-rounded lifestyle is key to longterm success in the sport.

“Rest days, sleep, rehab and diet are just as important as your training,” said Bhardwaj, who now competes in weightlifting and is gym director at OOA Gymnastics in Bend, Oregon. “Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to doing skills in gymnastics, so keep the pounding down to a minimum.”

Bhardwaj said gymnasts can and should enhance their gymnastics training by enjoying other forms of fitness.

“Do lots of cross-training,” she said. “Getting out of the gym is fun and any sort of training — yoga, spin class, weightlifting, hiking, paddle boarding, et cetera — are great ways to complement your gymnastics training without feeling burnt out.”

Read “Raising the Bar,” the complete update on Bhardwaj, in the July/August 2019 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions, or to order back issues, click here.

Written by Christian Ivanov    Sunday, 11 August 2019 17:54    PDF Print
Biles Wins Record Tying Sixth National Title
(6 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

Simone Biles (World Champions Centre) posted a 59.85 on day two at the 2019 U.S. Championships held in Kansas City, MO to easily win her sixth national all-around title (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018). Her total score from both days of competition was 118.5.

Biles began the competition on beam with nearly perfect routine, but did not compete her double twisting double tuck dismount, which she had successfully debuted on day one (she dismounted with a ff-ff full twisting double tuck) 14.7/6.2. On floor she mounted with a triple twisting double tuck and landed it successfully, after she had put her hands down on it during day one’s competition. She posted a 15.1/6.7 for the routine. In addition to the all-around title, Biles claimed the gold medals on vault (Cheng and Amanar), beam and floor. With the win Biles tied Clara M. Schroth, who won her last title in 1952, as the only other U.S. woman to have won the all-around six times.

Finishing second was Sunisa Lee (Midwest) who scored 113.55 (56.65 on day two). Lee won the gold medal on uneven bars with a spectacular bar set including a Nabieva (toe on layout Tkatchev) to immediate Pak salto to Maloney to Bhardwaj (full twisting Pak salto); giant 1 ½ to piked Jaeger and full twisting double tuck. She scored 15.05/6.4 on day two.

Grace McCallum (Twin City Twisters) had an excellent second day of competition posting 56.95 (falls on bars and beam on day one) to earn the bronze with a 111.85. McCallum’s strongest event on day two was beam where she performed two clean wolf turns, side aerial to layout-layout and a double tuck dismount to score a 14.45/5.9.

Morgan Hurd (First State) was solid on day two of the competition to finish fourth with a 111.7 (56.65 second day). Fifth was Leanne Wong (GAGE) 111.25 (55.85 day two). Wong struggled with her landings on floor (piked double Arabian and 3 ½ twists), but showed impressive work on beam for 14.45 on day two. Thanks to hitting 8-for-8 Jordan Chiles (World Champions Centre) finished sixth.

Jade Carey (Arizona Sunrays), in third after day one, fell on her stalder Tkatchev on bars, which dropped her to seventh place at the end. Carey again impressed on vault (Cheng and Amanar) and floor (double twisting double layout, full twisting double layout, double twisting double tuck) where she finished in second place, only behind Biles.

MyKayla Skinner (Desert Lights) and Trinity Thomas (University of Florida) finished eighth and ninth, respectively. Skinner competed well her Cheng and Amanar on vault to take the bronze medal on the event but had a fall on back handspring tuck full on beam, while Thomas had an excellent day minus a fall on her Biles (double layout half out) on floor. Tenth was Kara Eaker (GAGE). Riley McCusker (MG Elite), who was in fourth place after the first day, scratched the competition after the second rotation due to a reported illness. For full results click here.

The senior U.S. national team was announced at the end of the competition and included eleven gymnasts: Biles, Lee, McCallum, Hurd, Wong, Chiles, Carey, Skinner, Thomas, Eaker and McCusker.

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

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