Posts Tagged ‘Cui Jie’

12 to watch in 2009 — a recap

January 8, 2009

Japans Kohei Uchimura is likely to be very successful in 2009.

Japan's Kohei Uchimura is likely to be very successful in 2009.

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, 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

Honorable mentions: Peng-Peng Lee and Charlotte Mackie, Canada; Becky Downie, Great Britain; Koko Tsurumi, Japan; Paola Galente, Italy, Ksenia Semyonova, Aliya Mustafina and Nailia Mustafina,  Russia; Sergei Khorokhordin, Russia; Alexander Vorobyov, Ukraine; Stephen Legendre, USA; Thomas Bouhail, France; Zou Kai, China; Louis Smith, Great Britain. Good luck to all in 2009.

12 days of up and coming gymnasts, day 11

January 2, 2009

Cui Jie, China: A series like this wouldn’t be complete without mentioning one of the immeasurably talented members of China’s junior squad.

Like the Russians, the Chinese juniors have so much promise that it’s hard to say definitely that this one or that one will be great. They all have the potential to be exceptional on the international level. In a country like China, it may be more difficult to win an intrasquad competition on your best event than to make a world final on that event.

So enter Cui. What makes her special? High level skills for someone so young, particularly on floor. And different skills, too, ones that represent a departure from the Chinese norm (example: a double Arabian on floor, and a double front off bars.) There’s also the fact that she scored a 16.025 on beam at the 2008 Pacific Rim Championships, tying her with Rebecca Bross for the event title. She’s definitely one to watch in the future.

I’m also excited to see whether Xiao Sha or Sui Lu, China’s almost Olympic team members, will continue. Both are extremely talented and have the potential to win big meets on their best event. Perhaps they could be like Li Ya, who despite Olympic disappointment went on to do her most memorable work in the years between the Games.

Cui Jie, 2008 Chinese Nationals Event Finals, Floor Exercise: