Posts Tagged ‘David Sender’

Artemev’s Olympic dream comes true

August 7, 2008

Morgan Hamm on pommel horse at the 2007 U.S. Championships.

Morgan Hamm on pommel horse at the 2007 U.S. Championships.

New U.S. Men’s team: Bhavsar, Tan, Spring, Horton, Hagerty…and Artemev.

From International Gymnast Magazine:

Two-time Olympian Morgan Hamm withdrew from the Olympics in Beijing on Thursday because of an ankle injury, and has been replaced by alternate Sasha Artemev.

“I have been dealing with this for the last year and it has gotten worse here in Beijing,” Hamm said in a statement Thursday. “Right now I am unable to perform my tumbling skills at the level that I need to. This has an impact on my ability to contribute to the team’s goals and I believe by continuing I would be putting myself at further risk.”

During podium training on Wednesday in Beijing, Hamm’s ankle was clearly bothering him. He tumbled only one pass on floor exercise, a 2 1/2 twist, and fell on it. He watered down on vault as well, performing a double-twisting Tsukahara instead of his usual 2 1/2.

U.S. men’s head coach Kevin Mazeika said he needed to be able to see a full floor routine from Hamm during Thursday’s practice.

It’s a very sad ending to what began as a hugely promising comeback for the twins who literally did half the work in the 2004 Olympic team finals. Paul and Morgan’s comeback was supposed to herald the return of U.S. men’s gymnastics as a true international contender — at least for these Games.

It’s hard to know what to expect from the two they’ve been replaced by, except form errors (and thus lower B scores) from Bhavsar and inconsistency from Artemev — the most notable things about each one’s gymnastics, respectively.

This seems a slightly more advanced prototype of the team that finished a respectable fourth at the 2007 World Championships. It’s strength on rings is excellent thanks to Bhavsar and Tan, and Artemev, provided he hits his pommel horse routine in team prelims, has a good shot at moving to finals on that event.

Artemev, who once said in an interview that Paul Hamm’s return took the pressure off of people like him to be as “perfect”, is a brilliant gymast on nearly every event. His lines, form and artistry are truly Olympic-caliber. Even with a fall, he’ll carry in a better score on pommels than literally everyone else on this team.

Two withdrawals before anyone even salutes a judge in competition is a lot, and even with alternate David Durante still waiting in the wings, one wonders if it wouldn’t behoove the U.S. to fly another person out to Asia to train — just in case. David Sender, anyone?

Bad news for David Sender

June 19, 2008

David SenderThe 2008 U.S. champ reportedly was taken to the hospital after sustaining an ankle injury training at the Olympic Trials in Philadelphia.

It didn’t exactly happen on his double-double on floor exercise.

From USA Today:

After finishing his practice session on the high bar, the bar was vibrating. He jumped up to tap the bar to make it stop. When he came down, his foot rolled off the mat.

“It’s one of those things you do every day in the gym,” men’s program director Dennis McIntyre said. “It’s really unfortunate.”

McIntyre said Sender wasn’t talking much: “He knows what’s on the line.”

Doesn’t matter, men’s team coordinator Ron Brant assured The Kansas City Star. The U.S. has plenty to choose from.

“We have more depth to choose from than I can ever remember,” Brant said Wednesday. “This isn’t going to be an easy process.”

And the nation’s most outstanding collegiate gymnast is…

April 17, 2008

Jonathan HortonOklahoma University’s Jonathan Horton, or so say the powers behind the Nissen-Emery Award, which, according to the Associated Press report, goes to the nation’s most outstanding senior collegiate gymnast.

Horton, who placed fourth in the all-around at the 2007 World Championships, beat out six other male gymnasts, including Illinois’s Wes Haagensen, OSU’s D.J. Bucher and Stanford’s David Sender for the honor.

Can more accolades for Horton at this weekend’s NCAA Championships be far behind?

Quick men’s NCAA update

April 10, 2008

Jonathan Horton has become the most decorated gymnast in University of Oklahoma history.By all indicators, the 2008 NCAA men’s championships be a battle between three schools: Stanford, Oklahoma and Penn State.

Oklahoma has a strong one-to-three punch in Jonathan HortonSteven Legendre (Hypolito on floor!) and Taqiy Abdullah-Simmons. The team also has strong traditions, having nabbed four of the last six NCAA team titles. Oklahoma showed its strength by defeating no. 1 Stanford at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships last weekend.

Horton, now the most decorated gymnast in OU history (he’s even eclipsed double Olympic gold medalist Bart Conner) scored a 16.000 on rings at the MPSF Championships and walked away with his third Gymnast of the Year award. 

Penn State, although its roster boasts no realistic U.S. Olympic hopefuls (unless you count assistant coach Kevin Tan), has some speed going in as newly crowned Big 10 champions.

And Stanford? Well, they’re ranked no. 1.

Canadian Casey Sandy, who gained valuable experience at the 2007 World Championships in September, is has been ranked the top NCAA all-arounder all season. Also in the hunt are Stanford’s David Sender and Illinois’ Wes Haagensen, currently ranked second and third.

David Sender, 2008 Windy City Invitational, Vault:

The NCAA men’s gymnastics championships will be hosted by Stanford April 17-19.

Nissen-Emery award finalists

March 24, 2008

In men’s gymnastics, the Nissen-Emery award is the Heisman trophy of collegiate gymnastics, at least according to CSTV.com.

Established in 1966, the Nissen-Emery Award honors the collegiate senior gymnast who has established an outstanding record of achievement in gymnastics, good sportsmanship, fair play, and scholarship throughout his collegiate career.

This year’s nominees are:

Jonathan Horton, Oklahoma

D.J. Bucher, Ohio State

Wes Haagensen, Illinois

Derek Helsby, Penn State

Tim McNeill, California

David Sender, Stanford

Luke Vexler, Temple

All are outstanding athletes — NCAA Champions, stellar Junior Olympic competitors. At least one has Olympic aspirations.

Horton was also nominated for the Sullivan award, presented to the top amateur athlete in the nation. Paul Hamm got this honor in 2004, and Kurt Thomas won it in 1979.

Whereas the Nissen-Emery is the Heisman of gymnastics awards, apparently the Sullivan is the Oscar.

Who do you think should win?

Hamm wins Winter Cup

February 11, 2008

Paul Hamm won the Winter Cup this weekend in Las Vegas.It was hard to say how well Paul Hamm would do returning to competition. He certainly appeared to be getting better and better, based on the training videos posted on his and brother Morgan’s Making the Olympics website.

But how well would he stack up against many of the nation’s best in a real live all-around fight?

Hamm’s performance at the Winter Cup this weekend is likely to put all nay-sayers to rest. Despite falling on his Kasamatsu one and a half vault — the same vault he fell on in the Olympic all-around — Hamm was so dominant, so perfect everywhere else that in the space of 12 routines he went from being a likely contender to the likely contender not only to make the U.S. Olympic team, but to challenge his old nemesis Yang Wei for an all-around gold. Again.

AP sportswriter Eddie Pells released this glowing article about the 2004 Olympic champ Saturday:

Yes, it’s still very early, but the giddiness is palpable among the Americans, who now officially have Hamm as part of their 14-man team, which will be culled to six for the Olympics.

After watching him perform in preliminaries Thursday, 2006 national champion Sasha Artemev called Hamm the man to beat at the Olympics and said his presence pushes the U.S. team into gold-medal contention.

Granted, no gymnast ever comes to Winter Cup at the top of his game. But that includes Hamm, who is coming back after a 2 1/2-year break, and the fact that he’s this good at this point can only be viewed as a positive sign.

Raj Bhavsar at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials.Raj Bhavsar made a strong statement for his inclusion on the U.S. team in Beijing as well, finishing second all-around with a 178.6. Perhaps most redeeming for Bhavsar is the fact that he finished ahead of Artemev, who is as brilliant as he is inconsistent. Reigning U.S. champion David Durante was fourth, followed by Joey Hagerty and David Sender.

Inside Gymnastics Magazine reported along with its coverage of the meet that Bhavsar will join Hamm and 2007 American Cup champion Jonathan Horton as part of the U.S. contingent at the 2008 American Cup March 1 in New York City.

Mazeika to coach Olympic team

February 10, 2008

USA Gymnastics has tapped 2004 Olympic team coach Kevin Mazeika to lead the men’s team in Beijing, the federation announced after a meeting this weekend in Las Vegas, where the 2008 Winter Cup is underway.

Mazeika, who coaches 2007 World Team member Sean Golden, 2001 World parallel bars champ Sean Townsend and 2004 Olympic alternate Raj Bhavsar at Houston Gymnastics Academy, led the U.S. men in 2004, when they sapped a 20-year dry spell by grabbing silver in the team competition.

But he’s come under fire from some in the gymnastics community, who claim he’s encouraged athletes to forgo accepting college scholarships.

Veteran Paul Hamm leads the standings at the Winter Cup with a healthy 92.8 after the first day of competition. Bhavsar, who many feel was jilted four years ago, is second with 89.0, one tenth ahead of 2006 U.S. Champion Sasha Artemev. 2007 U.S. champ David Durante and Stanford standout David Sender round out the top five.

Blaine Wilson, who is trying to make his fourth Olympic team, is currently eighth.

Is Wilson a factor for 2008?

January 17, 2008

Five-time U.S. Champion Blaine Wilson

Blaine Wilson was never the type to be all talk. Nevertheless, the fact that he’s made the announcement that he’s training for Beijing and nobody’s seen any skills seems a little suspect.

Even in Shannon Miller’s excellent recent interview on her show Gymnastics 360, there’s no in-the-gym footage, the way there is of Shawn Johnson and Paul Hamm.

Then again, not everyone is as nice about updating the public on their training progress as the Hamm twins are.

But now it appears that Blaine is ready to take his comeback public. He’s on the start list for the 2008 Winter Cup, vaulting in the same lineup as Paul Hamm.

So is almost everybody else who’s somewhat healthy (*cough*Justin Spring*cough*) and trying to make the Olympic team. That includes Jonathan Horton, Guillermo Alvarez, Alexy Bilozertchev, David Sender, David Durante and Sasha Artemev. Sean Golden is the only member of the 2007 World team not represented.

Longtime U.S. champion John RoethlisbergerWilson did a toned-down, almost soulful (as soulful as Blaine Wilson gets, anyway) interview with Miller, invoking U.S. great John Roethlisberger and the Rocky-like heart he put into every competition. Seems like life as a single father and struggles with drinking has mellowed him. A lot.

I like to win and the passion to be on the floor and look around and say, ‘Hey guys, take this all in because you may never be here again…I miss gymnastics, and I think it was a little premature as far as retiring and stuff. So I’m giving it another shot.

Blaine Wilson, interviewed by Shannon Miller:

Georgia opens 2008 campaign with loss to Utah

January 13, 2008

The top-ranked Georgia Gym Dogs lost their season-opener to third-ranked Utah at the University of Utah Friday night.

Georgia's Grace TaylorBut not by much. The final score was 196.3-196.2, Utah was at home, and Georgia was mostly without sophomore Grace Taylor, who competed uneven bars only, and senior Megan Dowlen. It’s likely that those two, particularly Taylor, would have made the difference in the meet.

Utah senior Ashley Postell, who clinched Utah’s win during her floor exercise in the final rotation (9.9), won the all-around, balance beam and floor. Ute standout Kristina Baskett was second and Georgia junior Tiffany Tolnay third, leaving Olympic silver and bronze medalist Courtney Kupets fourth.

(more…)

Hambuchen, China lead in Beijing

November 28, 2007

To the surprise of few, Germany’s Fabian Hambuchen is head and shoulders above the competition after the preliminary round of the Good Luck Beijing International Invitational.

German giant Fabian Hambuchen.

Hambuchen posted the highest all-around score in an all-around that isn’t being contested at the meet, and led event finals qualifications on floor exercise and high bar.

There are few of the sport’s top competitors there to challenge him. Japanese star Hiroyuki Tomita may still be recovering from exhaustion after the Stuttgart all-around, and Tomita’s teammate Hisashi Mizutori is absent as well. Also missing is the Chinese men’s A team, including two-time World champ Yang Wei.

The absence of China’s best male gymnasts didn’t stop the host country from dominating the first day of the team competition (363.625) over second place Japan (361.550) by more than two points. The Korean team (316.350) is right on their tails.

The U.S. men, competing with 2007 World team members David Durante, Sean Golden, and 2005 U.S. Champion Todd Thornton, along with Clay Strother, David Sender and Stanford standout Sho Nakamori, will likely want to better the 349.125 that left them in eighth after the first day.

(via International Gymnast Online)