Posts Tagged ‘Daria Joura’

Best Aussie ever? (cont’d)

October 18, 2008

Australian Gymnastics Blogger Mez has a wonderfully detailed answer to the question. Her response includes Allana Slater, Trudy Mackintosh and Daria Joura, among others.

She also points to Philippe Rizzo, Australia’s first (and currently only) gymnast to have won a world championship. Here’s that routine.

Philippe Rizzo, 2006 World Championships Event Finals, High Bar:

Like all the Australian gymnasts, Rizzo has excellent technique and really good form. He, unfortunately, was among those shut out from Beijing because, according to this article, he was not “the top Australian at the 2007 World Championships.”

Still, he’s only 27. He may not be done yet.

Mackintosh, by the way, had a true full-twisting double layout on floor. And she followed it up with a pretty effortless double layout.

Trudy Mackintosh, 2000 Olympic Games Team Qualifying, Floor Exercise:

Lastly, a post on the greats of Australian gymnastics wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Joanna Hughes, who was the first to get anyone not from Australia to pay any real attention to Aussie gymnasts. I hadn’t heard of her before readers commented on her, but she’s well worth watching.

Joanna Hughes, 1991 Seiko Grand Prix All Around, Uneven Bars:

Exceptional poise for a 13-year-old, wouldn’t you say?

This seems like a good time to try out the new WordPress poll function. Who do you think is Australia’s best ever?

Joura feels the call of London

October 12, 2008
Dasha Joura is full throttle for London in 2012.

Dasha Joura is full throttle for London in 2012.

Daria Joura, arguably the best Australia’s ever had, hasn’t been beaten down by her sub-par Olympic experience.

The darkhorse all-around contender who many would have placed in the top 10 if not the top three, had a nightmare of a Games — injured during team prelims, competed on one event in team finals, where she fell and apparently had to leave the arena with a bloodied nose. Didn’t even make the all-around cut.

Even Kim Zmeskal’s Olympics wasn’t that bad.

But Joura hasn’t spent much time feeling sorry for herself. Check out the interview in PerthNow:

Despite all of her bad luck, Joura said she enjoyed every minute of her Olympic experience and has already set her sights on competing in London in 2012.

“I could sit here and say ‘oh, poor me’ and just throw everything away but I’m choosing to take this experience and use it to motivate me for the future,” she said.

Good for her. See you in London, Dasha.

Olympic parade

June 30, 2008

Australian Daria Joura
More and more countries are naming their Olympic qualifiers. Here are the latest, in alphabetical order by country:

Women: Daria Joura, Lauren Mitchell, Shona Morgan, Ashleigh Brennan, Georgia Bonora and Olivia Vivian. Alternate: Emma Dennis.

Men: Sam Simpson

Women: Jade Barbosa, Daiane dos Santos, Daniele Hypolito, Lais Souza, Ana Claudia Silva, Ethiene Franco, Juliana Santos

Men: Diego Hypolito

Great Britain:
Women: Beth Tweddle, Becky Downie, Laura Jones, Marissa King, Hannah Whelan, Rebecca Wing. Alternates: Imogen Cairns and Kayleigh Cooke

Men: Louis Smith and Daniel Keatings

Pacific Rim redux

April 13, 2008

Al TrautwigThanks NBC, for broadcasting the women’s team competiton (and three half-performances from Paul Hamm.)

Many gymnastics fans don’t agree with everything NBC commentators say, particularly color commentator Al Trautwig, a basketball/hockey expert who often comes off as a buffoon in his attempts to translate the sport for the couch-potato watching public.

But they do slip interesting tidbits into their talk when not reminding viewers that the balance beam is only four inches wide (which, to their credit, I don’t believe they did in this broadcast.)


More dish from Dasha

March 26, 2008

Dasha JouraAustralian Daria Joura, in the U.S. to compete at the Friendship Classic at the Pacific Rim Championships this weekend, explains in her regular column for PerthNow why she competed only a Yurchenko full on vault at the friendship.

The reason: A dislocated middle finger.

Then there were adjustments to our competitive routines that were appropriate for our readiness and the environment we were in. There was a slight mishap in competition warmup on Vault when I dislocated the top joint in my middle finger. Stepping off the landing mats and informing my coach of the rearrangement to my anatomy, some time passed before the medical representative was to be found. It proved a futile exercise, because it seems she was just that, a representative.

She was not authorised to fix my problem and at this moment I was grateful for all the times I intentionally sought to gross out my coach with bleeding rips and the like. For someone so easily led to queasiness, she did the best job in popping it back in. I was very proud!


Dispatch from Dasha

March 13, 2008

Daria JouraAustralian champion Daria Joura’s latest column on Australian news portal PerthNow is likely to strike a chord with almost any athlete involved in serious training.

Fact of the matter is, year after year our favourite time is starting off our preparation for the competitive season. I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy getting into shape. All the lactic acid buildup, muscle soreness, tiredness and short temper. Love it!

Dasha Joura: Gymnast, journalist

February 27, 2008

Australian Daria Joura

“…as I embark on the journey to share my experiences on the journey to Beijing, I hope that I can captivate the interest of the community in our sport; help everyone respect our sport and the fantastic talent and perseverance of the athletes, coaches and staff; and be utterly charming, entertaining and inspiring at once. Not anything I can’t handle.”

So says two-time Australian National Champion Daria Joura in her inaugural column for PerthNow, an Australian news portal loaded with other goodies (currently on its homepage right now one can watch a video of a “wild monster python” that ate a local family’s dog.)

Joura will be penning a weekly column, sharing her views and experiences in the lead-up to the Olympic Games. Joura is widely recognized as Australia’s leading competitor and best hope for a medal (though, as Northernriver points out, Lauren Mitchell’s not bad either.)

In her first column, published Feb. 26, Joura crusades for more recognition for Australian gymnastics in her home country.

Gymnastics has never had a large following in Australia, though I don’t understand why there is seemingly little interest in this great sport of ours.

It is repeatedly one of the most, if not the most, watched sports when Olympic and Commonwealth Games are broadcast.

I believe the ratings were also sky-high during the airing of the 2005 Melbourne World Gymnastics Championships. So it is definitely not a question of entertainment – speaking from experience, people never seem to tire of pleading for a demonstration of a back flip.

It’s fairly apparent that the style and spunk that make her gymnastics so much fun to watch are present in her writing too.

(via Difficulty plus Execution)

Check out the Australian Gymnastics Blog

January 17, 2008

The golden 2006 Australian Commonwealth gymnastics team

The Australians — particularly the Australian women — are a fascinating gymnastics team.

They have a big-name former U.S. coach in Peggy Liddick, generally excellent taste in leotards and most importantly style, pizazz and excellent technique.

Australian Daria Joura, 2007 World Championships, Floor Exercise:

But the Aussies haven’t been recognized as a world powerhouse, despite surging onto the international scene about 10 years ago. Mez, a gymnastics connaisseur from down under, is exploring the question of why on the newly-created Australian Gymnastics Blog.

Her analysis is a fascinating look into the sport in Australia. Among other things, she calls out the team’s lack of “pep and vigour” and points out several areas where Gymnastics Australia, the governing body of the sport down under, could be better.

First and foremost, gymnastics deserves to be recognised in this country. You’ll find that a lot of Aussies think gymnasts train hard for four years’ straight and only come out at the Olympics, which they approach with a “we’ll never get close to the Romanians anyway” attitude. That’s our main problem right there. They’re not noticed an in a sense go into major competitions with defeatist clouds over their heads.

(via Gymnastics Coaching, Difficulty plus Execution)

Exit Dykes

January 10, 2008

Australian standout Hollie Dykes has said goodbye to gymnastics, Australia’s Courier-Mail newspaper reported today.

Hollie Dykes in a 2000 Olympic Exhibition of Australia’s young gymnastics talents:

Hollie Dykes, 2006 Pacific Alliance Championship, Balance Beam:


Women’s artistic gymnastics: 12 to watch in ’08

January 3, 2008

Shawn JohnsonFor so long, the Gymnasts to Watch have come from four countries of the world: The United States, China, Russia and Romania. As we move into 2008, it is quickly becoming apparent that the best gymnasts are not exclusively from these four nations.

With the help of coaches who have migrated from South America to New Zealand, Korea, Germany, France, Italy, Australia, Great Britain, etc., international gymnastics is flourishing in ways it never has before.

Some of those who will be contenders for numerous Olympic medals aren’t mentioned on the following list. We know who they are. But sometimes the stories of the underdogs are equally compelling. Oksana Chusovitina’s fifth Olympics? Come on. That’s an achievement even those who snap up most of the gold in Beijing will never accomplish.

Shawn Johnson, USA: The 2007 World Champion will have all eyes on her this season, but she’ll be dealing with maintaining her position at the top of the podium instead of simply claiming it, as she did in every contest she entered last year. Many fans may watch Johnson with apprehension. After all, Johnson’s idol Kim Zmeskal, whose gymnastics greatly resembled Johnson’s own, looked darn unbeatable too going into 1992.

Shawn Johnson, 2007 World Championships All-Around, Floor Exercise:

Beth TweddleBeth Tweddle, Great Britain: The most decorated gymnast in British history (a term I never thought I’d hear again after Shannon Miller retired) Tweddle is going into 2008 with what seems like all of England marching behind. Freak injuries in podium trainings and the like have robbed Tweddle the opportunity to compete her best at so many competitions.

Beth Tweddle, 2006 World Championships Event Finals, Uneven Bars:

Jiang Yuyuan, China: She’s China’s rising star and a potential late-blooming all-around threat. With the Olympics being held in Beijing, it’s hard to imagine that Jiang won’t do well.

Jiang Yuyuan, 2007 World Championships Event Finals, Floor Exercise:

Aisha Gerber, Canada: She looked like the next Yvonne Tousek at the 2006 American Cup. After a tumultous 2007, with new coaches Kelly and Sue Manjak cheering her on, a revitalized Gerber wants to compete for Canada in Beijing. In order to do so however, she’ll have to prove she’s more worthy than Kristina Vaculik and Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs.

Aisha Gerber, 2006 American Cup, Floor Exercise:

Vanessa Ferrari, Italy: The competitive spirit obviously rages inside this one. The question will be if she can hit all of her events — in the same day.

Vanessa Ferrari, 2006 World Championships All Around, Floor Exercise:

Daria Joura, Australia: She’s been a spunky and well-choreographed presence on the international scene since 2006. If she does everything she’s capable of in Beijing, she could be in the top five on several events.

Daria Joura, 2007 American Cup, Floor Exercise:

Hong Su Jong, Korea: Despite their particular prowess on vault and uneven bars, the Koreans have gone relatively unnoticed internationally. But at the 2007 World Championships, Hong showed the same vaults as Cheng Fei — an Amanar and Cheng’s own signature vault, which some argued Hong did better in Stuttgart. With Brazilian Jade Barbosa also performing the Cheng, it will be a battle to determine who’s going to do what in 2008.

Hong Su Jong, 2007 World Championships Event Finals, Vault:

Anna PavlovaAnna Pavlova, Russia: The gymnast once deemed Svetlana Khorkina’s successor on the Russian team has limped along since Athens, which was the last competition she really looked alive at. The rudderless Russian team has looked thrown for a loop most of the quad as well, despite immense depth and talent from upcoming juniors. The thing is, Pavlova nearly pulled off the upset of the quad in 2004 (many argue she should have had bronze), and there’s a feeling she does have more to give. If she puts the extra effort into her performance in Beijing as she did in Athens, we could see more from her and the Russians this year.

Anna Pavlova, 2004 Olympic Games All Around, Floor Exercise:

Bridget Sloan, USA: One of the USA’s “Bubble Girls,” the 2007 World Championships alternate is getting attention for her clean gymnastics, personality, consistency and self-choreographed floor routine.

Bridget Sloan, 2007 Beijing Test Event All Around, Floor Exercise:

Cerasela Patrascu, Romania: With veteran Catalina Ponor gone for good, this girl could be the top Romanian in Beijing. Her form is good, her skills are difficult and her presentation has a wonderful quality to it. Expect her — and not teammate Steliana Nistor, deserving as she is — to be the one to watch this year.

Cerasela Patrascu, 2007 World Championships Team Prelims, Uneven Bars:

Yulia Lozhechko, Russia: She’s got the long bodyline — if not the sass — of Khorkina, and her quality and steadiness on balance beam is thoroughly impressive. After being unceremoniously thrown off the Russian national team for disobeying her coaches in Stuttgart, one can only hope Lozhechko put her head down and kept training.

Yulia Lozhechko, 2007 European Championships Event Finals, Balance Beam:

Oksana Chusovitina, Germany: It’s taken four Olympiads, three countries and one child for Chusovitina to get to this point. Regardless of how she performs, whether or not she qualifies for vault finals, how could anyone not cheer for this woman?

Oksana Chusovitina, 2006 World Championships Event Finals, Vault: