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Written by Amanda Turner    Sunday, 05 April 2009 06:42    PDF Print
Tweddle Reclaims Uneven Bars Title
(5 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Two-time Olympian Beth Tweddle (Great Britain) recaptured her uneven bars title Sunday at the European Gymnastics Championships in Milan.

Beth Tweddle (Great Britain)

Tweddle, the 2006 European champion on uneven bars, punctuated her difficult routine with a stuck dismount on her way to the gold. Defending champion Ksenia Semyonova, the all-around champion Saturday, settled for silver over Germany's Anja Brinker.

It was Tweddle's best result since her banner year of 2006, when she took the gold on uneven bars at the Europeans, World Championships and World Cup Final. She finished fourth at the 2007 World Championships, 2008 Europeans and 2008 Olympic Games.

"It is nice to be back," said Tweddle, 23. "Since 2006 I have had my share of fourth positions, and all week I have been so focused on getting everything right. I was a touch short on the Tkatchev-half, and I think it was pure determination that got me through."

Her coach Amanda Kirby was asked her if this title was more satisfying than others.

"No, not the medal but the courage Beth has shown every day to keep going 100 percent," Kirby said. "I get my appreciation every time she comes into the gym and completes the training. She is a brilliant champion."

The Netherlands' Yuri van Gelder (still rings) and Krisztian Berki (pommel horse) defended their individual titles. Van Gelder held off defending champion Alexander Vorobyov (Ukraine) and veteran Jordan Jovtchev (Bulgaria) to take his third title, after winning in 2005 and 2008.

Berki (15.600) took his third consecutive title on pommel horse, edging the British pair of Louis Smith (15.550) and Daniel Keatings (15.500).

In another tight final, men's all-around champion Fabian Hambüchen won the floor exercise gold (15.450), half a tenth ahead of teammate Matthias Fahrig (15.400). Greece's Eleftherios Kosmidis tied Alexander Shatilov (Israel) for the bronze (15.350).

Ariella Käslin, who won the Swiss women's first European medal Saturday with the all-around bronze, went one better Sunday by winning the gold on vault. Top qualifier Yulia Berger (Russia) finished second over Ukraine's Anna Kalashnyk.

Competition concludes Sunday afternoon with the second half of the apparatus finals.

2009 European Championships
April 5, Milan, Italy

Women's Vault FinalD PanelE PanelNDScoreAverage
1.Ariella Käslin6.38.82515.12514.625
2.Yulia Berger5.58.92514.42514.325
3.Anna Kalashnyk5.88.87514.67514.275
4.Aagje Van Walleghem5.39.2000.114.40014.200
5.Kim Bui5.48.70014.10014.150
6.Becky Downie5.88.62514.42514.025
7.Wyomi Masela5.38.80014.10013.950
8.Jana Komrskova5.29.12514.32513.875

Uneven Bars FinalD PanelE PanelNDScore
1.Beth Tweddle6.78.87515.575
2.Ksenia Semyonova6.59.00015.500
3.Anja Brinker6.08.80014.800
4.Youna Dufournet6.18.55014.650
4.Ksenia Afanasyeva6.18.55014.650
6.Becky Downie6.18.42514.525
7.Anastasia Koval6.08.35014.350
8.Valentina Golenkova5.27.50012.700

Men's Floor Exercise FinalD PanelE PanelNDScore
1.Fabian Hambüchen6.39.15015.450
2.Matthias Fahrig6.49.00015.400
3.Eleftherios Kosmidis6.58.85015.350
3.Alexander Shatilov6.39.05015.350
5.Anton Golotsutskov6.29.00015.200
6.Alexander Yakubovsky6.28.87515.075
7.Enrico Pozzo6.18.9250.114.925
8.Eddie Penev5.98.52514.425

Pommel Horse FinalD PanelE PanelNDScore
1.Krisztian Berki6.78.90015.600
2.Louis Smith6.59.05015.550
3.Daniel Keatings6.59.00015.500
4.Andrei Perevoznikov6.68.60015.200
5.Alberto Busnari6.48.77515.175
6.Donna-Donny Truyens6.77.85014.550
7.Daniel Popescu6.47.12513.525
8.Saso Bertoncelj6.07.15013.150

Still Rings FinalD PanelE PanelNDScore
1.Yuri van Gelder6.69.15015.750
2.Alexander Vorobiov6.88.80015.600
3.Jordan Jovtchev6.78.85015.550
4.Matteo Morandi6.78.82515.525
5.Danny Pinheiro-Rodrigues7.08.42515.425
6.Konstantin Pluzhnikov6.68.72515.325
7.Matteo Angioletti6.68.67515.275
8.Dimosthenis Tambakos6.78.27514.975
Written by Paul Ziert    Saturday, 04 April 2009 16:41    PDF Print
Ziert Alert: Europeans Blog Part Five
(9 votes, average 4.56 out of 5)

IG Publisher Paul Ziert offers his impressions of Saturday's all-around finals at the European Championships in Milan.

Blog Five: All-Around Finals

Although I arrived more than an hour early, I got to talking to friends in a restaurant and got to my seat a little late, and although the Italians don't seem to be driven by their watches most of time, they have been right on time with the start of every session so far!

They are staggering the performance, usually vault and beam are together and floor and bars. It certainly makes it easier to follow!

I am quite surprised to see Ksenia Afanasyeva competing, because she actually had Russia's third-highest score in the all-around qualifying, which would have meant that Ksenia Semyonova and Kristina Goryunova should have been the Russians here in the final, but I guess I should just think back to the 1985 World Championship in Montreal where the Soviets replaced Olga Mostepanova and Irina Baraksanova with Yelena Shushunova and Oksana Omelianchik, who went on to tie for first place in the all-around final. Could this be an omen? Plus Afanasyeva only placed 20th in the qualifying round with a 54.575.

Women's All-Around: First Rotation
Ksenia AfanasyevaVTYurchenko double twist14.525
Vanessa FerrariBBpress planche, aerial walkover ff layout, switch leap to tuck back, sheep jump, simple full turn, switch leap (she stopped here; I'm sure she left something out), pike double, nailed. There is really nothing in this routine although it is very clean. Looks like she is going to play it safe and see what happens. 5.2/8.87514.075
Emily ArmiBBPress on end stag planche,ff layout with stumble, aerial walkover, nice turn with leg up , sheep jump, side aerial and jumps off, 2 1/2 dismount. 5.4/7.52512.925
Anamaria TamarjanFXdouble layout - stumbled forward and put her hand down - full-in, 2 1/2 punch tuck front, tuck double back. It is unfortunate that she put her hand down, because she has a huge presence on this event. She also got a .5 neutral deduction. 5.6/7.612.700
Aagje Van WalleghemUBShaposhnikova, overshoot half to low bar, shoot to high bar, toe on half to Jaeger, free hip 1/2, Khorkina, double layout dismount-nice form throughout. 5.6/8.52514.125
Women's All-Around: Second Rotation
Yana DemyanchukBBro high layout two feet, front to sheep jump wobble, aerial walkover to side somie, pike double with one step back. 5.9/8.614.500
Diana ChelaruFX16 years old but looks 12. Full-in tuck, whip triple full, 2 1/2 turn, 2 1/2 to tuck front, audience is really getting in to her music, pike double - very nice routine. 5.6/8.814.400
Becky DownieUB6.2/8.815.000
AfanasyevaUBToe-on Shaposhnikova half, very nice, toe-on blind to Jaeger, huge Tkachev to immediate Pak, toe full immediate tucked full-twisting double. 6.1/8.82514.925
Ksena SemyonovaBBaerial walkover, ff pike back, Onodi ff layout, pike double dismount. A beautiful routine. 6.0/8.814.800
FerrariFXsame as qualifying: full-in tuck, 1 1/2 punch front full, tuck double back, pike double back. She really put everything into the presentation of this routine to milk every tenth she could, and she seemed to enjoy the roar of the home audience. Both Ferrari and Armi are wearing black based leotards which is much better than the white and tan from qualifying, especially in such a fashion-knowledgeable country like Italy. Plus these leos really compliment the girls rather than distract from their performances. 5.4/9.12514.525
TamarjanVTnailed her Yurchenko double full, 5.8/8.8514.650
VanWalleghemBBgot in to this routine in the middle: aerial cartwheel, front, switch ring, bad full turn with leg up, tuck back, sheep jump, nice pike double back with a jump back. 5.2/8.47513.675
Youna DufournetUBShaposhnikova, free hip full, Stalder blind to Jaeger, Stalder full to Gienger between the bars (fall). Nice layout double dismount. 6.0/7.713.700
Halfway through:

Semyonova RUS 29.725
Afanasyeva RUS 29.45
Downie GBR 29.325
Ferrari ITA 28.6

Women's All-Around: Third Rotation
AfanasyevaBBPunch front and her foot slipped and she fell off, aerial walkover ff pike back, side somi, switch full, perfect full turn with leg up, switch leap to wolf jump, pike double dismount. WOW! After the fall her routine was almost perfect. 5.7/7.87513.575
FerrariVTShe has flashed a Yurchenko double full and looks very nervous, pacing but here she goes... She landed on her face. OOPS. 7.4/5.3. Although she flashed a 5.8 for a Yurchenko double twist, the judges gave her a Yurchenko 1 1/2, a 5.3 vault. With just a little luck and some more adrenaline, she might have made that vault.12.700
SemyonovaFXfull-in pike, 2 1/2 punch barani, double arabesque turn, 1 1/2 punch layout full, pike double but she stepped out with one step back. What a wonderful routine; she really plays very big with her expressions and movements, and she has a very unique use of her arms in her leaps that make them look even bigger than they are. 5.5/8.825/.1 neutral deduction.14.225
Anamaria TamirjanUBclean routine with a layout double dismount. 5.8/8.67513.975
VanWalleghemFXfull-in pike, 1 1/2 to front full layout, double twist, switch leap full, very high pike double. She presents very nicely. 5.2/8.713.900
DownieBBpress to handstand, front, ff tuck back and jumped off, nice full turn with leg up, aerial walkover, kickover front, switch leap wolf jump (apparently now a required element), aerial cartwheel, side somi, switch ring, pike double and sat down. 5.1/6.6. What a disaster when she was doing so well! 11.700
ChelaruVTYurchenko double twist with a nice landing. 5.8/8.875. She's very short, so I'm sure it is hard for her to show great distance from the table, but I couldn't see that from my seat. 14.675
After three events:

Semyonova RUS 43.95
Afanasyeva RUS 43.025 (remarkable because she fell on beam)
Izurieta ESP 42.325
Käslin SUI 41.975

Downie is in 14th with 41.025 - less than a point from fourth.. 41 must be the number to be; that's an average of from 13.67 to 14.00. Obviously that's the area the biggies who missed share with the safer/solid gymnasts.

Women's All-Around: Fourth Rotation
FerrariUBthis kid is really tough---she did a very nice routine but landed short on her full-in dismount and staggered forward but did NOT put her hands down. She is just not fit enough to compete at this level now, but if she can get motivated to focus on her conditioning she can get back in the mix of all around. 6.0/7.875.13.875
SemyonovaVTYurchenko 1 1/2 very nice landing-8.925/5.3. She was the first vaulter and with this vault no one can beat her; she can start enjoying the title of European all-around champion - she really deserved it today and it looked easy for her!!!14.225
TamarjanBBShe did a wonderful routine except she had to stop after her aerial walkover and did not connect the ff layout. I love this girl's gymnastics. Of course she needs some cleaning up and a couple more elements of difficulty, but she does not panic at all and she can handle the heat! Remember she fell on her first event! 6.0/8.614.600
VanWalleghemVTYurchenko 1 1/2 although she has some leg separations, she really finishes early enough to show a very nice open before the landing. 5.3/8.914.200
KäslinVTshe is presently in second place right now with only Afanasyeva able to pass her. Sorry but I didn't follow her at all! I guess since Roger Federer lost yesterday in Miami, I thought it would be a bad weekend for the Swiss!15.300
DownieFXfull-in tuck, 1 1/2 to double full, switch ring-sort of, pike double, very nice triple turn, 2 1/2 to a stuck landing. I love her work on floor, but her music is terrible, probably the worst in the competition. I'm sure it doesn't fit her personality either - at least I hope it doesn't. Please, please change her music! 5.3/8.7514.050
AfanasyevaFXfull-in pike, 2 1/2 punch layout front, 1 1/2 layout front full, double turn in arabesque, looks like Kathy Johnson, double turn with leg up, still looks like Kathy Johnson, pike double to nailed landing. This was a very nice routine under maximum pressure! 5.5/9.075. 14.575
All-around final results

Semyonova RUS 58.175
Afanasyeva RUS 57.600 (3 points higher than in qualifying)
Käslin SUI 57.275
Izurieta ESP 56.325
Tamarjan ROM 55.925
VanWalleghem BEL 55.90
Petit FRA 55.600
Brinker GER 55.425
Ferrrari ITA 55.175
Pihan-Kulesza POL 55.15
Downie GBR 55.075
Demyanchuk UKR 55.000

RUSSIA IS BACK!!!! These two girls performed beautifully today even with Afanasyeva's fall on beam! And again the Russian coaching staff knew something we didn't and made a smart substitution. I'm not sure this could have been done in some countries without a lawsuit.

Plus what is historic here is that Ariella Käslin has just won the very first European Championship all-around medal for Switzerland. I'm sure the cow bells are ringing all over that wonderful country. Hop Suisse!

Men's All-Around: First Rotation
Since I covered most all of Hambüchen's and Keatings' routines in qualifications, I'll try to pick up some guys I missed and just report Fabian's and Daniel's scores!
Daniel KeatingsHBnice routine. 5.4/9.02514.350
Fabian HambüchenSR5.9/8.8514.750
Jeffrey WammesPBhis hand slipped on a Tippelt to the end at the first of his routine. 5.4/7.57512.975
Daniel PurvisPHhe actually swings horse much better than his body type would indicate. Plus he knows when to separate his legs to avoid falling as he did twice in this routine. 5.8/7.9513.750
Dmitry SavitskyPBhit a very nice routine including a front uprise Diamidov. I really like this guy's gymnastics, but he just can never hit! 6.1/8.92515.025
Philipp BoyHBa very nice routine with Kolman to his fingertips, layout Tkatchev, Takamoto to Voronin, double-double almost stuck. 6.6/
Benoit CaranobeFXsaw only a punch pike double front, layout Thomas, 1 1/2 punch front full layout to middle of one side of the floor. He ended with a full-out to his face for a dismount. 6.2/8.114.300
Yuri RyazanovFX 14.375
Men's All-Around: Second Rotation
SavitskyHBa very nice routine until the dismount, a double double that he underrotated and put his hand down. 5.7/7.913.600
HambüchenVTYurchenko 2 1/2 with a small jump to the side out of the area. 6.6/9.525/neutral deduction of .116.025
KeatingsFXunderrotated his tucked Arabian double front and put a hand down. He stuck all the other landings but for a small hop on his 2 1/2 dismount. Now the pressure is on for him to medal. 5.8/8.67514.475
Men's All-Around: Third Rotation
RyazanovSRhe's quite good here for an all-arounder, good strength and does a pike double front dismount. 6.2/8.42514.625
KeatingsPHhe hit this routine under a lot of pressure. A little tight at the end, but he can do this apparatus. 6.5/8.975 taking him from 11th to second at this point.15.475
HambüchenPBstarted nicely but did a whirly bird instead of a Diamidov, and had to jump off. 6.5/7.725. But he's still in first place, putting Keatings now in third!14.225
Men's All-Around: Fourth Rotation
CaranobeVTHe has had mistakes in the first three events and is presently in last place in the all-around. Remember he is the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in this event. And he sat down his Tsuk double pike. 7.0/8.17515.075
HambüchenHBhit here but a little rough with the handstands, but he stuck the landing. 6.3/8.52514.825
BöschensteinFXhe is presently in second place so I better cover this routine: double layout, front handspring double twist layout front, 2 1/2 twist punch barani landed out of the area, whip layout Arabian 1 3/4, double Arabian tuck. 5.9/8.575/.5 neutral deduction13.975
Men's All-Around: Fifth Rotation
KeatingsVTTsuk double twist with a step to the side behind the other foot. 6.6/9.3515.550
HambüchenFXa great routine here including a stuck full-in tuck for his dismount. 6.3/9.2015.500
KocziVThuge score to move him into third place all-Around so far.... What a jump!!16.475
BoyVTHe butted his handspring double front-6.6/8.475/.1 neutral deduction14.975
BöschensteinPHhit his routine and looked very psyched. He only scored an 11 in qualifying!! 4.9/8.35. Much better, no wonder he was so happy!13.250
Men's All-Around: Sixth Rotation
KocziPBhit a very nice routine. 5.9/8.72514.625
RyazanovHBin and out of his double Germans better today. One step on his double double dismount, but a nice routine on what is not his best event. 6.1/8.75. He is in first place right now . Keatings will need more than 14.925 to surpass him today. Hambüchen will need more than 12.875 on Pommel horse to win.14.850
BoyPBa very nice routine for him here. 5.6/8.7514.350
HambüchenPHa very good routine with this kind of pressure - to close on this his worst event is great experience for him. 5.3/8.5513.850
KeatingsPBa very nice routine for him here. 6.0/9.0015.000
All-around final results

Hambüchen GER 89.175
Keatings GBR 88.275
Ryazanov RUS 88.200
Boy GER 86.825
Koczi ROM 86.775
Pozzo ITA 86.40
Purvis GBR 86.075
Shatilov ISR 85.95
Böschenstein SUI 85.75
Sabot FRA 85.125

It is obvious that the European men are deeper than the women, with both their numbers and strength of performance. I think that the Germans and the Brits are showing very good depth in both their men's and women's program. Plus they seem to have a strategy that works well for them. And for me I was so impressed with the change not only in the results, but also the entire look of the Russian gymnasts. This should be a wonderful encouragement for that program that had seemed to be approaching a point of no return! Congratulations to them for making the difficult decisions that were necessary to start the climb back.

Now I'm off to enjoy the Italian food and wine one more time!

All-Around Photos, 2009 European Championships

Written by Amanda Turner    Saturday, 04 April 2009 09:50    PDF Print
Hambüchen Takes European Title
(6 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Two-time German Olympian Fabian Hambüchen won the men's all-around title Saturday at the European Gymnastics Championships in Milan.

Fabian Hambüchen (Germany), 2009 European champion

Despite a fall on parallel bars, Hambüchen defeated top qualifier Daniel Keatings (Great Britain). Russia's Yuri Ryazanov finished third, defending his bronze medal from the 2007 European Championships in Amsterdam.

Hambüchen, the 2007 and 2008 European high bar champion, took his high score in the second rotation with a 16.025 for a 2 1/2-twisting Yurchenko vault. He fell off parallel bars on a Diamidov in the third rotation, and in the fourth rotation broke form on high bar. The 21 year old came back strong with the high score of the day on floor exercise (15.500), with stuck tumbling passes (layout double-double mount, full-in dismount). In the final rotation, he scored 13.850 on his weakest event, pommel horse, but it was enough to give him the title.

The gold medal is Hambüchen's first major international title, and the first European all-around championship for the German men. Hambüchen finished third all-around at the 2006 World Championships, and second all-around at both the 2007 European Championships and 2007 World Championships. He was a medal favorite at the 2008 Olympics, but errors dropped him to seventh in Beijing.

Keatings touched down on an Arabian double front on floor exercise in the second rotation, and took his lowest score, 13.475, on still rings in the fourth rotation. He was the only gymnast to score above 15.000 on pommel horse (15.475). His silver medal is the best all-around result for a British gymnast in senior European championships competition.

The European Championships conclude Sunday with the event finals for both men and women.

Click here to download results.

2009 European Championships
April 4, Milan, Italy

Men's All-Around FinalFXPHSRVTPBHBTotal
1.Fabian Hambüchen15.50013.85014.75016.02514.22514.82589.175
2.Daniel Keatings14.47515.47513.42515.55015.00014.35088.275
3.Yuri Ryazanov14.37514.57514.62515.00014.77514.85088.200
4.Philipp Boy14.60013.87513.82514.97514.35015.20086.825
5.Flavius Koczi14.30013.57513.22516.47514.62514.57586.775
6.Enrico Pozzo14.80013.57513.40015.60014.12514.90086.400
7.Daniel Purvis14.85013.82513.57515.65014.60013.57586.075
8.Alexander Shatilov14.47513.67513.62515.67514.35014.15085.950
9.Niki Böschenstein13.97513.25014.12515.77514.82513.80085.750
10.Hamilton Sabot14.02513.20014.17514.65014.62514.45085.125
11.Vahang Stepanyan14.10013.95014.22514.85014.37513.10084.600
12.Manuel Campos14.30013.85013.77515.15014.55012.95084.575
13.Samuel Piasecky13.70013.70012.77515.42514.85013.95084.400
14.Sami Aalto13.85013.55013.90015.55013.55013.60084.000
15.Dimitrios Markousis15.05011.60013.95015.55013.92513.47583.550
16.Artyom Bykov13.87513.22513.72515.45013.52513.72583.525
17.Benoit Caranobe14.30010.90014.12515.07514.57514.17583.150
18.Christos Lympanovnos13.25013.02513.55015.47513.77513.75082.825
19.Helge Vammen13.77513.17513.10015.07513.67513.65082.450
20.Dmitry Savitsky13.47512.82512.50014.87515.02513.60082.300
21.Jeffrey Wammes14.40011.25012.70016.15012.97514.60082.075
22.Marius Berbecar13.55013.15013.57515.20013.25013.02581.750
23.Gustavo Simoes14.17512.97513.75015.12512.32512.25080.600
24.Sergio Munoz14.02510.57513.67515.95013.67511.37579.275
Written by Amanda Turner    Saturday, 04 April 2009 07:12    PDF Print
Semyonova Captures European Crown
(8 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

2008 Olympian Ksenia Semyonova (Russia) captured the all-around gold medal Saturday at the European Gymnastics Championships in Milan.

Ksenia Semyonova (Russia), 2009 European champion

Semyonova (58.175) and teammate Ksenia Afanasyeva (57.600) finished 1-2 in a strong comeback for the Russia women, who won no medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Switzerland's Ariella Käslin (57.275) won the bronze, a historic best for the Swiss women.

Semyonova led throughout the competition despite an uneven performance on uneven bars (14.975), where she is the reining world and European champion. She used a simpler routine, overarched several handstands and stumbled to the side on the dismount, but stayed on the apparatus. Her routines on balance beam (several balance checks) and floor exercise (low landing on full-in mount, step out of bounds on double pike dismount) were not error-free, but her artistic flair combined with the mistakes of the rest of the field helped her float to victory. She clinched the title in the fourth rotation with a 14.225 on vault (Yurchenko 1 1/2).

Both Semyonova and Afanasyeva hail from Tula, and are coached by Marina Nazarova.

"After the results of the qualification, it already was clear that Ksyusha has the highest start value among all participants at this competition," Nazarova said of Semyonova. "Therefore today it was all about, as they say, making this competition 'her own.' [Perform] stably, cleanly, without errors. It is even good that she fell on bars in qualification — after that I pretty much did not worry about this event in the final. Ksyusha is one of those girls who does not make the same mistake twice, they only focus on the skill even more. And today she proved it."

Afanasyeva redeemed herself after placing 20th in Thursday's qualification (three falls). In Saturday's finals, she was a replacement for teammate Kristina Goryunova (16th in qualification). Afanasyeva began the competition with a clean double-twisting Yurchenko, and matched Semyonova's score on uneven bars (Shaposhnikova-half). She fell off balance beam in the third rotation on a punch front, but remained in second place, and clinched the silver medal on floor exercise (14.525) with stuck tumbling (piked full-in, 2 1/2 punch layout front, double pike).

Fourth after three rotations, Käslin clinched a surprise bronze medal with a 15.300 on vault in the final rotation. The previous best result for a Swiss female at the Europeans was ninth by Melanie Marti in 2005.

Romania's Anamaria Tamarjan, second in qualification, took herself out of the running with a fall on floor exercise (double layout) in the first rotation (12.700). She finished fifth behind Spain's Ana Maria Izurieta.

Tamarjan's teammate Diana Chelaru, 14th, also fell in the first rotation, coming off beam on a side somi.

At the halfway mark of the competition, defending champion Vanessa Ferrari of Italy was in fourth place after hit routines on balance beam and floor exercise. She attempted to upgrade her vault to a double-twisting Yurchenko but crashed badly, failing to get the twist around and falling onto her stomach. She finished ninth.

The competition continues Saturday afternoon with the men's all-around final.

Click here to download results.

2009 European Championships
April 4, Milan, Italy

Women's All-Around FinalVTUBBBFXTotal
1.Ksenia Semyonova14.22514.92514.80014.22558.175
2.Ksenia Afanasyeva14.52514.92513.57514.57557.600
3.Ariella Käslin15.30013.97514.30013.70057.275
4.Ana Maria Izurieta14.85013.17514.30014.00056.325
5.Anamaria Tamarjan14.65013.97514.60012.70055.925
6.Aagje Van Walleghem14.20014.12513.67513.90055.900
7.Marine Petit14.15013.65013.80014.00055.600
8.Anja Brinker13.65015.00013.25013.52555.425
9.Vanessa Ferrari12.70013.87514.07514.52555.175
10.Marta Pihan-Kulesza13.60014.20013.65013.70055.150
11.Becky Downie14.32515.00011.70014.05055.075
12.Yana Demyanchuk13.62513.70014.50013.17555.000
13.Yasmin Zimmermann14.10012.92513.50014.00054.525
14.Diana Chelaru14.67513.52511.90014.40054.500
15.Mayra Kroonen13.97513.50013.32513.67554.475
16.Kim Bui14.15014.40011.57514.25054.375
17.Hannah Whelan13.55013.92513.75013.10054.325
18.Valentyna Holenkova13.60014.40013.32512.82554.150
19.Youna Dufournet13.70013.70013.87511.75053.025
20.Valeria Maksyuta14.02511.80013.72513.27552.825
21.Wyomi Masela14.05012.52512.45013.65052.675
22.Naomi Ruiz Walker14.25010.65013.05013.65051.600
23.Laura Gombas13.40010.05011.17513.07547.700
24.Emily Armi13.6252.00012.92513.82542.375
Written by Paul Ziert    Friday, 03 April 2009 21:17    PDF Print
Ziert Alert: Europeans Blog Part Four
(6 votes, average 3.83 out of 5)

IG Publisher Paul Ziert offers his impressions of Friday's men's qualification competition at the European Championships in Milan.

Blog Four: Men's Qualification

First Subdivision
I missed the first rotation of Subdivision 1. I honestly thought the competition started at the same time today as yesterday, but it started at 10 a.m., not 10:30. OOPS!
Christos LympanovnosVTTsuk double twist, nice vault.15.450
Daniel PurvisVTYurchenko double twist that he faced, since I'm at the end of the runway at the far end, it looked good in the air, very high, but... 6.2/8.17514.375
Daniel KeatingsVTTsuk double twist with great form-legs together even on the landing, just a small hop to the side. 6.2/9.315.500
Dimitrios MarkousisPBpresently in second place all around with 29.45. Peach, Diamadov 1 1/4, Stutz to one bar, staddle press up, healy Stutz, pike double with two steps back. Looks like a nice routine with no difficulty. I guess I've been conditioned to seeing so many doubles between the bars that a routine without any looks too simple. 5.4/8.8514.250
Yuri RyazanovPBin first after two rotations including vault which might mean nothing. He has worked on preparing the bars for the entire time we have waited for the previous score. This kind of preparation of an apparatus has to be curtailed. Peach, peach 1/2, giant, giant double, healy, double back, Diamidov, Stutz, pike double. He landed and one foot slipped back, but he held that position much like what Boginskaya started, to show a more secure landing. 6.1/8.8514.950
Daniel KeatingsPB I missed the mount, front 1 1/4, healy, Stutz diamadov, peach straddle, pike double stuck. He has a wonderful gymnastics sense, beautiful swing and a very calm presentation. Very impressive, score brings him to second place all-around behind Ryazanov at this time. 6.0/9.3515.350
I missed the mount because Zahava Zissman, the head coach of the Israeli women's team, came by to show me the video of what happened to Roni Rabinovitz yesterday when she fell just before her entry to the board for vault, but touched the board which meant the judges would need to give her a zero. However, from a video of the incident, you can actually see the runway carpet slip, which means it was an equipment failure. What an embarrassment to Jansen-Fritsen... ... And, of course, the judges now can say there is nothing they can do and ask Zahava why she didn't say something right there! Of course, that is not something that one can see when it actually happens especially with the shock that settles in. Maybe Jansen-Fritsen will outfit her gym in Tel Aviv to show their remorse. NOT!
Fabian GonzalezVTYurchenko double twist, completely stuck landing. 6.2/9.475. Second vault 5.4/
Matthias FahrigVTdid a huge handspring double front and he walked halfway down the runway. 6.6/9.425. This kid is powerful! Tsuk 2 1/2, great. 6.6/9.42516.025/16.025
RyazanovHBTakemoto to Voronin, double german, hop full, Stalder full to el grip, Ono, Stalder, double-double dismount. Although he has very flexible shoulders, he really muscles this event, but he did make the routine. 6.1/8.32514.425
KeatingsHBsorry I just watched this routine. He presents so well and especially here he has the Paul Hamm look, very precise and great extension of the toes and legs. This was more of a performance than a routine to be judged for me. The only weakness might be the full-twisting double layout dismount, although he does it very well. 5.4/8.87514.275
RyazanovFXlayout front to punch double twist, tuck Arabian, double full along the side, double tuck, flair hs, flair, 2 1/2 dismount. Not the usual great Russian tumbler, but very solid. 5.7/8.9514.650
KeatingsFXfull-in tuck, 1 1/2 to layout front, Arabian double tuck to middle of side, flairs and Russians, double full, 2 1/2. 5.5/9.1514.650
RyazanovPHscissors, Russians across, Russians on the end, two Sivados with pommel loops all over the place. A very nice routine but he got a little stuck going up to the handstand for his dismount. 5.8/9.0014.800
Keatings PHscissors, triple Russian between the pommels, triple Russian on the end and lots of piros on the dismount plus a lot more than I could write down. 6.3/9.2. He was in second place throughout the competition until horse where he was able to move ahead of Ryazanov. Later I asked his coach, Paul Hall, to write down his routine, because he is a gymnast who can make his presence known not only in the all-around, but on this event also: Shgar full, circle, stockli, stockli, loop, loop, step forward to reverse kehre to triple Russian between the pommels, B travel, full spindle, Wu Guonian, triple Russian on the end, Magyar, Sivado, reverse stockli to handstand with full turn plus 3/3 travel to dismount. WOW!! 15.500
All around after the first subdivision:

Daniel Keatings GBR 89.150
Yuri Ryazanov RUS 88.900
Daniel Purvis GBR 85.100
Dimitrios Markousis GRE 84.300
Christos Lympanovnos GRE 83.400
Hamilton Sabot FRA 83.350
Marcell Hetrovics HUN 82.875
Herre Zonderland NED 81.225

Second Subdivision
Eddie PenevFXlayout double-double, Arabian double front punch front, double front to middle of one side, 2 1/2 punch front full to a corner, 1 1/2 punch double full, full-in dismount for second place so far!! 6.4/8.915.300
Fabian HambüchenHBlayout Kovacs, fell on the tucked Kolman, Stalder hop 1 1/2 to el grip, Takemoto to Voronin, Takemoto way out of line, barely made the giant out, double-double. Not a good routine for the best high bar man in the world. 6.8/7.32514.125
Jeffrey WammesFXjust caught some of this routine: whip to layout Arabian 1 3/4, 2 1/2 twist to barani, triple twist dismount. 6.3/8.65/.1 neutral deduction14.850
Igor CassinaHBCassina (layout Kolman), Kolman tuck, tuck Kovacs, Takemoto to Voronin, full-twisting double layout with one step. Very clean this time. 6.7/9.115.800
Phillip BoyFXArabian double front 1/2 out, 2 1/2 to front full, layout Arabian 1 3/4 , flairs, 1 1/2 to barani, double full dismount stuck-better be. 5.7/9.0014.700
Benoit CaranobeVTTsuk double pike, 7.00/9.375. Pike double front - made it but landed very low maybe even a three-point landing. 6.6/8.116.375/14.700
Thomas BouhailVTTsuk double pike with two small steps back. 7.0/9.025. Double front with a very small jump forward, very nice. 6.6/9.52516.025/16.125
HambüchenFXlayout double-double, 2 1/2 to Rudi, tucked Thomas, 1 1/2 to full to front 1 3/4, flairs, full-in tuck to small jump forward. A very nice loaded routine. 6.3/9.075. First so far. WOW! What a comeback after high bar. 15.375
Dmitry SavitskySRmissed the routine but 6.1/8.225. He's fifth of this group in the all-around after horse and rings, two of the hard events to score high in the all-around.14.325
Vlasios MarasVTYurchenko 2 1/2. Very nice in the air but he sat it down. 6.6/8.15. Tsuk double pike low landing and had to stagger forward two steps out of the area. 7.0/8.5514.65/15.250
HambüchenPHstarting on the end, Russians across to triple Russian, Magyar, Sivado, moore, scissors, flairs to handstand pirouette dismount. Very clean for him and seems to be easy for him. 5.3/8.82514.125
BoyPHRussians across, Magyar, Sivado to Russians on the end, moore, flairs to handstand pirouette dismount... seems like I just typed this routine; must be the compulsory routine for German all-arounders. 5.4/8.07513.475
SavitskyVTbutted his double front. 6.6/8.1514.750
Yann CucheratPBpeach, peach 1/2, giant to inlocate, giant double, Tippelt, healy, Stutz to one bar, pike double stuck. Very nice routine for first place so far. 6.3/9.415.700
Mitja PetkovsekPBMissed this routine except for the stuck double pike dismount. 6.2/9.55, moving him to first place so far.15.750
Jordan JovtchevSRput his hands down on his full-twisting double layout dismount, putting him in danger of not qualifying for finals. 6.9/
CaranobeHBVoronin, layout Tkatchev, kipped and stopped, weird, double-double dismount. 6.6/7.97513.575
CucheratHBWas watching Penev on vault, so I saw only his Kolman, which was beautiful and his dismount, which also was very nice. 6.5/8.42514.925
WammesVTYurchenko 2 1/2 with a very small jump on the landing, very nice. 6.6/9.5. Front handspring layout double twist. 6.6/9.575.16.175/16.100
PenevVTYurchenko 2 1/2 with a small jump to the side. 6.6/9.3. Tsuk double twist with one step to the side 6.2/9.125. Fourth place so far!15.9/15.325
HambüchenSRCross, straddle planche, back roll to cross, back uprise to inverted cross, pike and tuck double fronts between the rings to back uprise handstand, pike double front 1/2 twist dismount. 5.9/8.8. This is a very nice routine for Fabian's all-around. Again, he appears very relaxed with this routine.14.700
Matteo MorandiSRmissed the routine except the dismount which was a full-twisting double back in somewhere between layout and pike. 6.7/8.925 and overtakes Yuri van Gelder for first place so far. After all, we are in Italy!15.625
CaranobeFXPunch double front pike, layout Thomas, handspring double-twisting front to front full, Russians and flairs, full-out dismount. 6.2/8.92514.825
Alexander VorobyovSRmissed the routine except for the dismount, a double front pike with one step back. 6.8/8.62515.425
HambüchenVTbeautiful Yurchenko with 2 1/2 twist with one step forward. 6.6/9.4. Tsuk double full with another nice landing. 6.2/9.37516.00/15.575
MarasHBI can't believe he's 26 years old now; he still looks 12. He hit a very nice routine with a Pegan, Takemoto to Voronin and double-double dismount, putting him in second place so far. 6.7/8.92515.625
Iordotos GeorgallasSRlooked very good and dismounted with a triple back with a big step forward. 6.9/7.825. I thought this score was a little low!14.725
WammesHBhit a very nice routine with Takemoto to Voronin and a stuck double-double dismount. 6.0/8.614.600
Epke ZonderlandHBlayout Koman, tucked Kolman, Takemoto, hop full, double-double stuck cold. Very nice routine. 6.9/8.715.600
HambüchenHBfront uprise double, back toss, double back, Diamidov, Tippelt, healy, pike double. I missed the first part of this routine, but Fabian can really handle this high level of difficulty quite easily. 6.5/8.5515.050
Marek LyszczarzVTA beautiful double front, virtually stuck. 6.6/9.35. Tsuk 2 1/2. 6.6/9.275. Another very explosive vaulter from Poland. In fifth place so far!15.95/15.875
All-around after two subdivisions:

Daniel Keatings GBR 89.150
Fabian Hambüchen GER 89.050
Yuri Ryazanov RUS 88.900
Benoit Caranobe FRA 87.775
Flavius Koczi ROM 86.950
Jeffrey Wammes NED 86.025
Dmitry Savitsky BLR 86.025
Philipp Boy GER 85.625
Manuel Campos POR 85.150
Daniel Purvis GBR 85.100

Finally, we're at the third and final subdivision. To say that this competition dragged is an understatement!

I missed a few of these routines at the top of this subdivision because the wonderful Ulrich (Uli) Spieth who was the 2006 recipient of the International Order of Merit presented by the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. He has recently had a knee replacement, but looks forward to going skiing with his beautiful wife, Helga, in the next couple of weeks.

Third Subdivision
Louis SmithPHhit his routine and tied teammate Keatings for first so far although he was listed second. 6.4/9.2. I think they break the ties with the higher of the two E-panel scores.15.500
Nikolai KryukovPHWas swinging very well then fell off. Remounted and did a great finish. He literally touches very square inch of the horse. There will be no final for him on horse! 6.5/7.62514.125
Dmitry KasperovichVTa great Dragalescu. 7.00/9.3. Pike double Tsuk. 7.00/9.325. First place so far!16.325/16.300
Krisztian BerkiPH12 flops on one pommel and then a double Russian on the same pommel, scissors up to handstand, triple Russian on the end, Russians across, Magyar handstand pirouette dismount and a lot more that I couldn't keep up with. A really beautiful routine, very well done. 6.6/8.875. Third place so far!15.475
Luke CarsonHBVoronin, two Weiler kip combinations, triple back. 4.8/8.22513.025
Alexander TsarevichPBpeach 1/2, peach, giant diamidov, giant, giant double back, healy, Stutz to one bar, Stalder up, pike double. 6.1/8.7514.850
KasperovichPBfront upise double, Diamidov, giant, peach, giant double, Tippelt, healy to immediate front 1 1/4, pike double. 6.2/8.77514.975
TsarevichHBWOW! I just watch this routine which had a very high Kovacs and a triple dismount, but it was beautifully presented so relaxed and great execution. Sixth place so far. 6.4/8.3514.750
Denis SavenkovHBHas a gut on him now... just did a very nice routine with a Stalder reverse hecht, and a Kolman and a stuck double-double dismount with great execution. 5.7/8.77514.475
Daniel PopescuPHnailed his routine for third place at this time. 6.4/9.115.500
Anton GolotsutsukovVTsat down his first vault. 7.0/8.075. Tsuk double pike - very nice with one step back. 7.0/9.275. He won't make finals; he's in 10th right now.15.075/16.275
SavenkovFXPunch double front, 1 1/2, full, Rudi; flairs; front 1 3/4; layout Thomas; 2 1/2. 5.8/8.67514.475
Sergei KhorokhordinPBpeach 1/2, peach, giant double, healy, front 1 1/4, Stutz, pike double with a big step back. 5.9/8.914.800
KryukovPBpeach, peach 1/2 and fell to shoulder stand and jumped off. I stopped watching then but the scores are 5.4/6.075. He's now 0-2 today. What happened to him?11.475
Alexander ShatilovFX2 1/2 punch double-twisting front, tucked double-double, 1 1/2 Rudi punch 1 3/4, flairs and Russians, tucked Thomas, Arabian double 1/2 out. What a great routine. Not only does he have a lot of original gymnastics, but he presents it in such a relaxed way with great style. 6.3/9.175 for second place so far.15.475
PopescuVTa nice Tsuk triple twist, a little messy legs, but very well-landed. 7.0/9.475. Handspring front layout with 1 1/2 twist. 6.2/
KryukovHBMissed here too when he didn't go over on his Takemoto to Voronin, then fell off on his Gaylord, then fell on the dismount. Siberia, here he comes. 4.2/6.12510.325
Top 10 all-around at the end of a very long day:

Daniel Keatings GBR 89.150
Fabian Hambüchen GER 89.050
Yuri Ryazanov RUS 88.900
Benoit Caranobe FRA 87.775
Flavius Koczi ROM 86.950
Alexander Shatilov ISR 86.050
Jeffrey Wammes NED 89.025
Dmitry Savitsky BLR 86.025
Philipp Boy GER 85.625
Manuel Campos POR 85.150

I must say that there was some wonderful gymnastics today, but, in general, the meet was quite boring. I saw many of the media watching other sporting events while the meet was going on. After some deep thought, I have finally figured out why gymnastics is in such decline.

Although I opposed this code right from the beginning, I have grown to accept it merits. I do belief that it can, in a perfect world, rank the gymnasts correctly; however, it is not possible for it to be used because no one can do what this Code requires correctly in any reasonable amount of time. What I am saying is that this code was brought to us from the academic world based on it pure logic. Fine! But I must say no one can produce an accurate score in time to keep a meet interesting. We have passed the human level of performance. I remember that this type of system was first introduced to me by Canadian Hardy Fink; he's a guy who within three minutes of meeting him will find some way to let you know that he is a member of MENSA. (If you don't know what that mean, don't worry. It's just a way of labeling someone as smart.) Plus, please remember the FIG president wants to be introduced as "Professor" Grandi. So in this academic environment, where I spent 12 years of my life, is where this judging system fermented. Remember the slogan, those who can't do, teach!

The real world cannot accommodate this judging system, period! Today, we sat most of the time totally bored while so many very bright and dedicated people tried to make the system work. It just can't! We are expecting too much from these judges especially if we want to grow our sport which right now is dying. In the lab this system looks great; it just doesn't work in the real world. How many times have we heard that? I always thought that it was stupid to enact laws that cannot be enforced. That's what we have here! Let's find some way to reduce the work the judges need to do so that we can have a rather correct score (which is all we're getting now) within 15 seconds of the completion of the routine. Can you imagine in the NBA, if the referee blew his whistle, the action stopped and then the audience waited for two or three minutes before the ref gave us his call? Not something that I would like to propose to the NBA.

Now off to dinner and wine, of course!


Men's Qualification Photos, 2009 European Championships


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