Yaeger to Pak – Zhang Yufei

Andy Thornton has relaunched his Smooth Skills video blog on American Gymnast. (He formerly posted on the currently defunct Gymnast.com.)

In Episode 2 he looked at the Mo Salto (Gaylord 1 for Men) on Bars, comparing 4 different Chinese gymnasts who competed it.

One of those was Zhang Yufei, a name I only barely recognize. She was an amazing gymnast but her only big international meet was the 2005 World Championships.

Check her bars. Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

…love the Yaeger to Pak salto! It’s amazing how we NEVER see this combination anymore (except from He Kexin), and I don’t understand why. Everyone in the world is doing these Pak saltos from a cast handstand nowadays, and I’m sick of seeing it! So many Chinese gymnasts in particular are doing these huge Yaegers but for some strange reason don’t do the Pak salto immediately out of it – this reminds us how much better this looks when done connected.

Does anyone know what happened to this amazing gymnast?

Click through to American Gymnast to see her other apparatus. And the 4 Mo saltos, including the one competed by Zhang Yufei.

Smooth Skills Episode 2

Hey, I’ve heard a rumour that an American Level 10 female gymnast will be competing Kovacs this season. That would be a first worldwide.

5 comments ↓

#1 shergymrag on 10.09.09 at 8:56 pm

Just because you can do skill A and skill B doesn't mean you can connect the two. Maybe with all the skills gymnasts have to do these days connecting whatever to a pak is just too much fo rmost.

#2 PRT on 10.10.09 at 2:05 am

Chelsea Otto did a Kovacs in 1998/1999. She switched to a Gaylord II and that is only video that is currently up, but she definitely did a Kovacs, too.

I also wonder what Soviet gymnasts were training Kovacs and other crazy combinations that we never got to see!

#3 coach Rick on 10.09.09 at 11:22 pm

Right, PRT … I’ve often heard about that Kovacs. Never saw the video.

One day …

#4 ryantroop on 10.15.09 at 4:14 pm

I tell ya.. nice combo, but Im more impressed with the pirouetting skills.. I wish I could teach them as clean as that…

One day.. Ill get there :-P

#5 Mitch on 12.05.10 at 8:44 pm

After retiring from competitive gymnastics and pursuing college studies in China, Zhang Yufei moved to the United States in August 2009, taking up residence in San Diego. She now coaches at North County Gymnastics, San Diego.

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