Aliya training Beam

#WCHNanning2014 WAG podium – 1st session CAN, BEL, EGY, RUS

Russia looked pretty good overall. Destined for 3rd place as a team, I reckon, behind USA and CHN.

Aliya made some small mistakes, as she normally does in training. No doubt she’ll hit everything when it counts. The leg up triple turn on FX is perhaps her greatest risk of a stumble.

Canada has a young but enthusiastic team gaining great experience here. Without Victoria Moors, however, they won’t have much of a chance to qualify to the Team Final.

Ellie Black is one impressive athlete. She was under-rotating her Rudi on Vault. But I expect, like Aliya, she’ll hit when it counts.

I’ve seen Egypt twice now and have not seen a Handspring double front. Perhaps I missed it. Perhaps Fadwa only chucks it for competition.

Commonwealth Games Durban 2022

On 22 January 2014, The BBC reported that the organisers of the Commonwealth Games were concerned about the future of the event, after no member country had expressed serious interest in hosting the 2022 edition with only two months to go before the March 2014 deadline for applicant cities. …

Happily, two cities are prepared to take on the Games:

Edmonton, Canada
Durban, South Africa

Edmonton has hosted CWG in the past and did a great job. I know, as I was there as a volunteer. :-)

It’s Africa’s turn. Let’s hope the Games go to South Africa when announced September 2015.

Click PLAY or watch their bid video on YouTube.

Everything shown in that video is true. (Aside from the boast about internet connectivity. It’s crappy throughout South Africa.)


In a related story, two Durban gymnasts are struggling.

Siphamandla Ngcobo and Siphesihle Biyase are quality guys just arriving at an international FIG level. Both competed Commonwealth Games Glasgow. They are trying to raise $5000 in donations to support their full-time training with coach Jesse Kitzen-Abelson, former Temple co-captain.

It’s not much to ask. These are young men trying to live Mandela’s dream for them.

Chinese National Day

The streets are crowded in Nanning, people already celebrating National Day of the People’s Republic of China:

The PRC was founded on October 1, 1949 with a ceremony at Tiananmen Square. …

Men’s Podium day 1


China, Canada, GBR …

Chiu Inside Gymnastics

Sam Mikulak – Pommel

In podium training USA started on their favourite apparatus :-)Pommel Horse.

Everyone HIT aside from Orozco who took one large deduction.

Click PLAY or watch Sam on YouTube.

@theliukin watched the USAG LIVE stream:

Overall not a bad training session. There were some good things and bad things, but mostly good things. Everyone has room for improvement.”

Our Olympic H Bar champion has a new website.


GymCastic has a cute new look, as well.

Max chasing Kohei

Many name Max Whitlock as the contender with the best chance to upset the greatest gymnast of all time.

Donald McRae:

Whitlock is honoured to compete against Uchimura but can he actually beat the world and Olympic champion?

“I really don’t know,” he says, with a laugh. “I’d have to have a perfect day but that’s my target. I’d love to be close to the best gymnast in the world. That would be a massive achievement.”

“Last year at the worlds [in Antwerp] I was just a few tenths from a medal [in the all-around competition]. It’s been a massive target of mine and Scott’s to hit the 90-point mark, and to have finally done it twice at the Commonwealths means I’m well happy. I got 90.6 on one of those days – so I only need 4/10ths to get to 91, which is my next goal. If I’d got that 90.6 mark last year I’d have been second at the worlds.” …

Max Whitlock

Max Whitlock’s entertainment strictly limited to the gymnastics arena

(via Liukin)

GBR Men are contenders

Coach Eddie Van Hoof told us that the team has no major injuries. They’re ready to go.

Men’s Worlds apparatus set-up

China v Japan


In training, China looks weaker than expected. Japan looks great.

As usual, I’ll predict that Japan will win Team. … As usual, many are cautioning me that China always looks bad until it counts. They’ve only lost once at Worlds in the past 20 years, or so. AND they are in China.

Both nations will qualify to the Team final, so prelims priority will be qualifying for AA and Apparatus Finals. Prelim team ranking doesn’t matter.

Japan will win FX as a Team. Be top 3 on Pommels.

China is much stronger on Rings. Much.

Vault is difficult to predict. In a 3-up, 3-count Team final, anyone can fall. Both China and Japan rely on twisting vaults rather than double somersaults, so it’s likely they will be close on this apparatus. If Kohei and Kenzo stick, as they often do, give the edge to Japan.

Conventional wisdom is that China is strongest on P Bars. They are stronger than Japan. But it could be close.

The least impressive event for China is Horizontal Bar. Yet they continue to score well despite low risk routine construction. On the other hand, they had two Kolman releases in podium training. Let’s wait and see if they risk using those in Team.

Japan should be ahead on pipe. The memory of Tokyo 2011 lingers, however. Recall that King Kohei missed Kovacs by a mile in that Team final.

I chatted with Tim Daggett following the Japanese session. Consensus was … the Men’s Team final will be interesting.

Nico linked to this CHN vs JPN rivalry news item.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Brenna’s Best Bar Routine

Posted by Al Fong:

… an ankle sprain one week prior to the P&G Championships took the momentum out of her preparation phase for the selection camp, and the rest is history. Not one to make excuses, she tried valiantly to push forward to vault in spite of her pain. But the ankle simply wouldn’t respond to the demands of the strength and speed needed to make the Amanar vault during the selection camp competition. …

During the 5 days of camp, she made 27 out of 29 bar routines!

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Fans are sorry she’s not in Nanning. :-(

I particularly like the dismount giant. Just the opposite of the Russian giant. Brenna literally bounces off the bottom of the tap. And it works.

Update – it looks like Brenna has the Amanar back now (VIDEO posted Sept 29th)

Thanks Cordelia.

American depth

It looks to one and all in Nanning that the American girls are unbeatable in Team at Worlds. And Team USA has more true Olympic contenders training back home than any other nation.

These two, for example.


Triple Twist – Buckeye’s Dynamic Duo Aim Towards Rio

China in the training hall


Piibunina has training videos of the Chinese girls up on youku. I assume those are not geoblocked.

We feared they’d be tired and sore having just competed Asian Games. But they look quite fresh. So far. This is a long, long competition.


If you’ve not yet seen it, be sure to read Albert Minguillon’s detailed Women’s World’s analysis. Albert crunches the numbers for The All Around.

via GymFever2012