Fabian Hambuechen – Horizontal Bar Champ

Fabian dominated this event. Throughout the competition. He is a sports superstar in Germany. And now the World.

(I don’t understand why there are not more superb High Bar specialists as there are on every other apparatus. )

Fabian Hambuechen’s set of medals is complete.

The German star capped off a stellar week at the world gymnastics championships with his biggest prize yet Sunday, a gold on the high bar. He adds that to a silver from the all-around and a bronze from the team competition.

“I just felt awesome today,” Hambuechen said. “I knew I had a good chance on the high bar, and I showed it. With the team, I never expected that we’d get third. All-around, I also expected three or lower places. Not second.”

Hambuechen and Alicia Sacramone of the United States were the only gymnasts to win a gold, silver and bronze at worlds.

“In Beijing, there will be another level than here,” he said. “The Chinese will be much stronger — they are very strong, but they’ll be much stronger than here. It will be very hard to get the same results like here there. We can just try to do our best and prepare and be in the best shape there.”

Regardless of what he does in Beijing, it will be tough to top the stir Hambuechen caused here.

He’s had rock star status in sports-mad Germany since winning the all-around bronze last year. Autograph seekers follow him wherever he goes, and even the volunteers at worlds lined up to get him to autograph their shirts. The tabloids breathlessly report on the latest developments with his girlfriend, and his mere appearance on the podium Sunday was enough to cause a thunderous ovation.

And Hambuechen loved it.

IHT

German Fabian Hambuechen celebrates after winning the gold medal in the horizontal bar final at the Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, southern Germany, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2007. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

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ESPN – Gymnastics Photo Wire

Liukin, Sacramone, Johnson – superstars

There is a lot of coverage of the American girls on this blog. True.

But they, so far, are the media focus from the World Championships. (Much better than the scandals in Men’s Gymnastics at the Athens Olympics.)

U.S. gymnasts Shawn Johnson, who won gold on the floor, Alicia Sacramone, who won silver on the floor, and Anastasia Liukin, who won gold on the beam, from, right pose for a picture at the Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, southern Germany, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2007. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

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ESPN – Gymnastics Photo Wire

These girls are terrific, certainly. Great role models for kids all over the world.

It’s a happy day for gymnastics.

Shawn Johnson World Champion on Floor

A good final for the USA. Shawn had fallen TWICE on Beam — but came back to get the highest score on Floor. Good experience for the Olympics, I’d say. Never give up.

Floor exercise is one of her favorite routines, and it’s easy to see why. Her bubbly personality comes out as she dances across the floor, playing to the crowd and the judges. So, too, does her power. She gets so high on her tumbling passes it would take a very large ladder to reach her, yet she lands them with ease.

Her score of 15.250 was good enough for first place, but Cheng, the defending champion, and Sacramone, the 2005 gold medalist, were still to go. Cheng’s chances ended when she went so far out of bounds, she practically toppled off the podium.

Sacramone did her usual dazzling routine that’s a mix of sass and power. But she had a slight skid at the end of one tumbling pass, and that was the difference between silver and gold.

Sacramone finished 0.025 behind her younger teammate and was crying afterward.

“Alicia worked so hard, she deserves everything,” Johnson said. “She deserves the gold just as much. I thought her routine was priceless, couldn’t be replaced. It deserved the same amount I got.”

Gymnastics: Johnson, Liukin win gold at worlds – The Honolulu Advertiser – Hawaii’s Newspaper

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ESPN

AWESOME – Liukin World Champion on Beam

After many setbacks this season, I could not be happier for Nastia.

And her Mom even watched the final this time. (Normally she is too nervous to watch her daughter.)

…. Liukin steadied herself on the beam to take her first individual gold of the meet and make up for her disappointing fall in the all-around.

“I’m still a world champion,” Liukin said. “Yeah, it’s not as big or prestigious as the all-around, but a world champion is a world champion and I’ll never lose that title.”

This medal, along with her somewhat disappointing silver on bars and the U.S. team’s gold, give Liukin nine medals to tie her with Shannon Miller as the most decorated American gymnast in the history of world championships.

ESPN – American Nastia Liukin wins gold on balance beam – Gymnastics

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ESPN

commentary – Dieter Hoffman on Vault Finals

Normally my favourite commentator on the major gymnastics competitions is Dieter Hoffman on GYMmedia.com.

Dieter is one of the most successful coaches of all time, many years the Head Coach of East Germany.

For Worlds in Germany, however, I found that his commentary was slow to be posted on-line. And slow to be translated to English.

For Day 1 event finals, it sounds like Women’s Vault was the most interesting apparatus:

GOLD — CHENG Fei CHN –
1. Yurtchenko, 2 1/2- … adjusting step … (16.5) – 16.000;
2. Rondat-1/2, salto fwd. stretched 11/2- … step back … (16.5) – 15.875
– total = 15.937

SILVER — HONG, Su Jong PRK –
1. Yurchenko, 2 1/2-, correcting step .. (16.5) – 15.850;
2. Rondat, 1/2, salto fwd., 1 1/2- secure landing .. (16.5) – 15.775;
total = 15.812:

BRONZE — SACRAMONE Alicia USA –
1. Handspring, salto fwd. stretched, 1 1/2- … (16.3) – 15.750
2. Yurchenko, 2/1 …..hop on landing… (15.8) – 15.075,
total =15.412;

4. HONG Un Jong PRK –
1. Yurchenko, 2/1 – … correcting step .. (15.8) – 15.000;
2. Rondat-1/2, salto fwd. stretched 1 1/2 … techn. posture fault… (15.8) – 15.400; = total = 15.200.

5. BARBOSA Jade BRA –
1. Yurchenko, 21/2, problems on landing… (16.5) – 15.625:
2. Rondat, 1/2, landed outside zone… (15.6) -14.700; – total= 15,162;

6. CHUSOVITINA Oksana GER –
1. handspring, stretched salto 11/2, … four point landing, out of zone… (16.3) -14.425;
2. Tsukahara, stretched, 1 1/2- … (15.7) – 14.950; – -total = 14.687;

7. KOMRSKOVA Jana CZE –
1. Rondat-1/2, salto fwd. peaked 1/2 … (15.2) – 14.450;
2. Yurchenko 1/1 … (15.0) – 14.375; -total = 14.412;

8. ZAMOLODCHIKOVA Elena RUS –
1. Yurchenko 2/1- … hop on landing .. (15.8) – 15.000;
2. Rondat-1/2, salto fwd. stretched 1/2 … fall on to front !! (15.2) – 12.750; total = 13.857;

>> Detailed Results

Commentary:

– a high class struggle between the quartet of Chussovitina, Cheng, Fei (title holder), HONG, Su Jong and Saramone was to take place…

– CHENG, Fei – performed last and and showed the same vaults as the Korean performing before her, the reason for the one tenth difference in the B-score that gave her gold remains the secret of the judges; nobody would have thought it strange to have two world champions!

– HONG, Su Jong – (for the first time ever two sisters qualified for a WCh-final; her sister HONG, Un Jong came fourth) she had two starting values of 16.5 and in the end came second by 1/10 due to the ‘interpretation’ of the judges.

– SACRAMONE – her first vault ‘only’ had 1 1/2 turns, and with a starting value of 15.8 for the second exercise a title is out reach, bronze is justified,

– CHUSSOVITINA – during her first vault she had to little rotation aroud her latitudinal axis… touched the mat with her hands (fall), which destroyed all hopes; even if the first vault had been a success, a starting value of 15.7 would not have been sufficient to beat her rivals!

Nevertheless the finals performance of this gymnast, at 32 an anomaly, deserves our respect!
**********************************************************************

* Hattrick of the threefold vault world champion CHENG, Fei who achieved her titles in series, but is also the only Chinese vault women’s world champion in gymnastics history;

* HONG, Su Jong (PRK) – wins the first silver medal for North Korea on vault and the second in total, after the contended (age of gymnast) uneven bars success for KIM, Kwan Suk 1991 in Indianapolis.

* Alicia SACRAMONE (USA) – after silver the year before, now her second bronze medal after Melbourne 2005 on vault,

… bad luck for co-favourites Samolochikova (1st WM 1999 and 2002) and Chussovitina (1st WM 2003)…

GymFamily.Com

Click PLAY or watch HONG, Su Jong vaulting at Asian Games 2006 on YouTube.

Hypolito wins World Gymnastics Championships FX

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Scores were lower than I would have hoped in the Men’s Floor Exercise Final. And I was disappointed that superbly artistic Brandon O’Neill from Canada did not qualify for the Final.

But congratulations to Diego Hypolito who seems always to qualify and often surprises me with a strong performance when it counts.

… Diego Hypolito regained his title on floor. The Brazilian was the world champion in 2005, then finished second to Romania’s Marian Dragulescu last year. But Dragulescu and Olympic floor champ Kyle Shewfelt both missed worlds with injuries.

“I’m very sad the other people are sick, and I hope they get better for the competition next year,” Hypolito said.

But nothing could take away from Hypolito’s happiness on this day. Not only was he the world champion, he won on big sister Daniele’s 23rd birthday. Daniele, a member of Brazil’s women’s team, rushed down from the stands to congratulate her brother.

“I gave her my flowers,” Hypolito said. “I will buy her something, but I couldn’t go out from the hotel.” …

Chinese piling up the gold medals at world championships – IHT

Chen Yibing strongest on Rings at Worlds

… Chen Yibing won his second title on still rings, beating out former world champions Yuri Van Gelder of the Netherlands and Jordan Jovtchev of Bulgaria.

Chinese piling up the gold medals at world championships – IHT

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Chen Yibing of China is seen in action to win the gold medal in the men’s rings final at the Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, southern Germany, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2007. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

ESPN – Gymnastics Photo Wire

Pomel Horse – World Gymnastics Finals

… Xiao Qin won his third title on pommel horse, topping Krisztian Berki of Hungary and Britain’s Louis Smith.

Chinese piling up the gold medals at world championships – IHT

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Xia Qin of China is seen in action to win the gold medal in the men’s pommel horse final at the Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, southern Germany, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2007. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

ESPN – Gymnastics Photo Wire

Cheng Fei World Vault Champion, again

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STUTTGART, Germany (AFP) — Cheng Fei became the first gymnast to win three consecutive vault titles …

The 19-year-old from Beijing, who has now five world titles to her name, scored 15.937 as North Korea’s Hong Su Jong took silver (15.812) and Alicia Sacramone of the United States bronze (15.412).

Sydney Olympic champion Elena Zamolodchikova, the winner in 1999 and 2002, finished last in the eight-woman final after falling badly on her second jump. …

AFP: Cheng leads China to fifth world title

Bars – World Gymnastics Finals

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Russia’s Ksenia Semenova performs on the uneven bars during the women’s qualifications of the 40th World Artistic Gymnastics Championships 02 September 2007 at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer hall in Stuttgart, southern Germany. … (OLIVER LANG/AFP/Getty Images)

Yahoo! Sports

Nastia was second, a decision openly criticized by her father coach, not normally known for being so outspoken:

Liukin Wins Silver in Uneven Bars

By EDDIE PELLS

STUTTGART, Germany (AP) — Nastia Liukin moved within one medal of joining Shannon Miller as the most decorated American gymnast in world championship history Saturday.

Maybe when she ties the record, she’ll do it by winning a gold.

This time, Liukin settled for the silver medal in the uneven bars finals, falling one spot short of becoming a world champion in her signature event for the second straight year. Ksenia Semenova of Russia beat Liukin for the gold by 0.05 points.

Liukin’s father and coach, Valeri, wasn’t pleased with the result — but not so much because of any mistake his daughter made.

Rather, he was miffed that an Australian judge gave his daughter an 8.8 execution mark in this event when the other judges awarded her at least 9.1s. There were similar discrepancies in preliminaries.

“It’s cheating, and it’s been going on this whole competition,” Liukin said. “Even when she’d stick it, the scores were bad. So, I don’t know. There’s something going on. …

Associated Press

We should study the Finals routines closely and see if the ranking is correct. I love Nastia’s Bars, but she does take execution deductions.