The 12 days of up-and-coming gymnasts

And while we’re at it, why not name a few who are poised to stun the world in 2009?

Peng-Peng Lee, Canada: You either love her floor routine or you hate it. The Canadians adore the youthful spirit behind Peng-Peng’s moves. The Brazilians laughed at it at the 2007 Pan American Games. Floor isn’t really Peng-Peng’s event anyway. Like Mackie, she excels on the balance beam. Her routine du jour contains: A back handspring, tuck full combination, a tucked brani, a punch front and a fairly unique double-twisting front dismount (last seen done by Bi Wenjing at the 1996 Olympic Games.) Oh, and sometimes she throws in an illusion. Just for good measure.

He Kexin, China: You likely won’t see her in Beijing, but this young Chinese gymnast has the chops to be World Champion on bars in 2009.

Rebecca Bross, USA: The latest greatest thing to come out of WOGA is being talked up big time in the USA. Bross doesn’t seem to have the “it” factor of Carly or the poise of Nastia (feel free to argue on this point) but hey, she’s only 14. And she’s doing the Patterson off beam. She’ll get there.

Charlotte Mackie, Canada: Expect Gael Mackie’s little sister to come out of Gael’s shadow in 2009 when she (finally!) becomes eligible to compete as a senior. The Canadian women — a team factor in 2012? With Mackie and Lee leading the way, it could happen.

Funny how things evolve in a year. I wrote the above after predicting 12 to watch in 2008, and have been waiting 12 months to post it. While all of these names certainly make the list as ones to watch in the upcoming year, the passing of 2008 (injuries to Bross and reportedly to Lee, and He Kexin’s excellent but controversial performance in Beijing) has changed the landscape a little.

So here it is — the great “who’s next” list of 2009. For the next 12 days, I’ll post a gymnast (or two) to watch. Feel free to argue or make suggestions.

Day One: Sabrina Gill, Canada.

Why she’s interesting: She’s still very young, but the novice champion of the recently concluded Elite Canada meet has captured a lot of people’s attention with her style and difficulty, especially on beam.

Also, she’s coached by Kelly Manjak, the man who is widely credited with crafting Kyle Shewfelt. Rick at Gymnastics Coaching predicts Oakville Gymnastics of Ontario may become the Canadian WOGA. Or something like that.

Still, Gill, recently named to the Canadian Espoir team, is kind of a mystery. No website. No interviews. No information on her posting on Gymnastics Canada Gymnastique, the Canadian Gymnastics Federation’s website. It might be a little early for all that. But here’s a cute picture of the beaming Sabrina and her Elite Canada medal:

Canada's Sabrina Gill, one of Oakville Gymnastics's up-and-comers.

Canada's Sabrina Gill, one of Oakville Gymnastics's up-and-comers.

And here’s that beam routine, from the 2008 Massilia Cup:

4 Responses to “The 12 days of up-and-coming gymnasts”

  1. Gymnastics Coaching » Blog Archive » 12 days of up-and-coming gymnasts Says:

    […] Sabrina Gill, Canada […]

  2. 12 to watch in 2009 — a recap « The Gymblog Says:

    […] Sabrina Gill, Canada Kohei Uchimura, Japan Jeffery Wammes and Epke Zonderland, Netherlands Viktoria Komova, Russia Fabian Hambuchen, Germany Larissa Iordache, Romania Samantha Shapiro and Jordyn Wieber, USA Alexy Bilozerchev, USA Tatiana Nabieva, Russia Nathan Gafuik, Canada Cui Jie, China Benoit Caranobe, France […]

  3. Gymnastics Coaching » Blog Archive » gymnasts to watch in 2009 Says:

    […] Posted late last month and early into this one, here are my picks for who will make waves in 2009: Sabrina Gill, Canada Kohei Uchimura, Japan Jeffery Wammes and Epke Zonderland, Netherlands Viktoria Komova, […]

  4. Gymnastics Grip Bags Says:

    Hello, I really enjoyed reading your article. Will bookmark for later. Lots of interesting stuff.

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