Posts Tagged ‘Ksenia Semyonova’

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.

10 things that should have happened during the Olympics…

October 7, 2008
Nastia Liukin was fabulous in Beijing -- as it should have been.

Nastia Liukin was fabulous in Beijing -- as it should have been.

…and did.

1. Nastia Liukin should have won the women’s all-around. With a highly respectful nod to 2007 World Champion Shawn Johnson, only Nastia combined the balletic artistry that makes gymnastics a truly special sport with the difficulty that makes people say wow. Not only that, she stuck almost all her critical landings during the all-around final — on vault, off beam and on that tricky front-full, front double full first pass on floor.

Liukin’s performance in that all-around final was a throwback to the “perfectionist” gymnastics of old — and hopefully, an inspiration to the perfectionist gymnastics to come.

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Women’s All-Around predictions

August 15, 2008
Could this be the woman at the top of the podium after tonights all-around final?

Could this be the woman at the top of the podium after tonight's all-around final?

Generally the feeling is that the United States will be on the podium — but in what position(s), it’s very hard to say. This blog’s official prediction is that Nastia Liukin comes back with a vengeance to take the title. Jiang Yuyuan takes second with a clean performance, and Shawn Johnson gets the bronze after a small mistake…somewhere.

The problem with saying this right out is that Nastia is, although always near the top, a gymnast that tends to make small errors (steps on landings, lots of going out of bounds on floor.)

Nevertheless, she looked on fire, determined and capable through the first two nights. Johnson, though she smiled and performed well, somehow (again, my opinion only) doesn’t look as unbeatable as she did in 2007. Could she have peaked before the selection camp?

Those who could surprise: Ksenia Semyonova, who qualified in fourth place, Anna Pavlova, and Yang Yilin, China’s other gymnast in this event. Any could climb onto the platform.

Yelizerova, Klyukina grab last two spots on Russian team

July 26, 2008

Daria Yelizerova and Svetlana Klyukina have secured the final two spots on the Russian team headed for Beijing, International Gymnast Magazine reports.

Ksenia Semyonova Other members of the team are Ksenia Semyonova, Ksenia Afanasyeva, Anna Pavlova and Yekaterina Kramarenko.

The rebounding Lyudmila Yezhova Grebenkova has been named team alternate. Grebenkova, 25, has already vowed to continue training after 2008.

No Olympics for Lozhechko

July 22, 2008

Russian Yulia Lozhechko on her best event.

From International Gymnast Magazine:

While the Russian women’s Olympic team has yet to be officially announced, veteran Yulia Lozhechko won’t be going to Beijing, head coach Andrei Rodionenko said Monday.

Lozhechko, the 2007 European Champion on balance beam, has lost all chances for the 2008 Olympics. Ksenia Afanasyeva, Yekaterina Kramarenko, Anna Pavlova and Ksenia Semyonova already have secured berths, and Svetlana Klyukina, Daria Yelizarova and Lyudmila Yezhova Grebenkova are vying for the remaining two spots, Rodionenko said.

Good grief! OK, so Lozhechko’s been a bit up and down since winning the 2007 Europeans on beam, but when she’s on, she could make event finals on that event easily, perhaps even medal. There must be something seriously wrong for her to be eliminated at this stage.

Then again, Lozhechko has a history of disobedience:

Lozhechko, a World Cup gold medalist and three-time world team member, was given a three-month suspension from the team last fall for defying the coaches at the 2007 Worlds in Stuttgart. In the preliminaries, Lozhechko was instructed to dismount balance beam with a simple double tuck, but attempted a more difficult Arabian double front to increase her chances of getting into the beam final. She fell on the dismount and was an alternate to the final.

Lozhechko was criticized by the coaching staff for “mental problems” following her subpar finish at the Russian Cup. After finishing 12th in qualification, fifth in the final and third on beam, she was nevertheless given the final invitation to the training camp in Leninsk-Kuznetsky. However, her Olympic chances ended there, Rodionenko said.

Yulia Lozhechko, 2007 World Championships All Around, Balance Beam:

She evoked Svetlana Khorkina in bodyline and movement, although apparently Rodionenko is less tolerant of “mental problems” than former Russian coach Leonid Arkayev was (hey, the man put up with The Diva for a decade, although Khorkina seemed to win more than she lost.)

With the more experienced four of the training camp — Pavlova, Kramarenko, Semyonova and Afanasyeva — confirmed, what an interesting choice between Grebenkova, Yelizerova and Klyukina for the final spot.

So few slots, so many questions

March 7, 2008

In theory, by March of an Olympic year, we should be getting a better idea of who’s going to be on the Olympic team in most countries.

China is not most countries.

Here are Deng Linlin and Guo Weiyang, two from the People’s Republic whose success at the just concluded Doha World Cup may contribute to their own Olympic surge. Guo won gold on high bar in Doha. Deng won gold on beam and silver on floor.

She didn’t do too shabbily on vault, either, winning a bronze behind Germany’s Oksana Chusovitina and Russian Anna Pavlova.

Deng Linlin, 2008 Doha World Cup Event Finals, Vault:

Guo Weiyang, 2007 Chinese Nationals Event Finals, High Bar:

Ksenia SemyonovaMatters aren’t much clearer when it comes to the prospective Russian women’s team, either. Ksenia Semyonova is the reigning world champion on the uneven bars, but Lyudmila Yezhova Grebenkova keeps coming up with big results at smaller meets. Ksenia Afanasyeva had a great competition at last week’s Russian Cup.  

Add veteran Pavlova to the mix, as well as the stalwart Yelena Zamolodchikova, Svetlana Klyukina, Yekaterina Kramarenko, Polina Miller, Kristina Pravdina, Anna Grudko, Irina Isayeva, Daria Elizarova and Yulia Lozhechko. There’s no dearth of talent in Russia.

Who goes? Who stays? Who knows?

Good grief.

Lozhechko, Khorokhordin rebound to win Russian Championships

February 29, 2008

Russian Yulia Lozhechko capped off her comeback by winning the Russian Championships.What a comeback for Russian veteran Yulia Lozhechko.

The timeline of Lozhechko’s last six months goes something like this: September: Competes at the World Championships in Stuttgart. Falls on her beam dismount (a Patterson, or an Arabian double front) in team preliminaries, which knocks the 2007 European balance beam champion out of event finals.

October: Is unceremoniously thrown removed from the Russian National team for not obeying her coaches and throwing a safer dismount on said beam routine.

February: Makes stunning comeback to win the all-around at her first competition back on the national team.

Lozhechko literally came from out of nowhere on the second day. She wasn’t even mentioned in International Gymnast Magazine’s rundown of the preliminary competition. Russian veteran Anna Pavlova, apparently on the strength of her new Amanar vault, bounded into the second place spot behind Lozhechko. A duo of Ksenias (Afanasyeva and Semyonova, the latter the defending world bars champion) took bronze.

“I trained this for a long time — in fact I learned it six years ago,” Pavlova said. “Awhile back Yelena Zamolodchikova was doing this vault, when I was just beginning, but for many years nobody was doing it. Certainly, I had some silly mistakes over the course of the competition, but of all the apparatus I am happiest with how I performed on the beam.”

Other than Simona Amanar, who threw the vault in competition once and only once, I believe Zamo was the first woman to do the 2.5-twisting Yurchenko. It was at the 2001 French International, if memory serves.

That competition also featured a fabulous vault by 2000 Olympic bronze medalist Yang Yun of China, who threw one of the more perfect handspring front layouts ever done in international competition. She literally looked like she was flying.

Yang Yun, 2001 French International, Vault:

Russian veteran Sergei Khorokhordin came from behind to steal the Russian Cup title from 2007 European Champion Maxim Devyatovsky, who was also pulled from the Russian team for bad behavior in Stuttgart in September. Deviatovsky’s crime was pulling out of the all-around in a show of poor sportsmanship after he took himself out of contention for the title with a fall on parallel bars.

He also left the arena before the meet was over, which may have gotten the Russian delegation in some hot water with the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) since it’s against the rules for a non-injured gymnast to do so.

Devyatovsky certainly limped around quite a bit after that rotation, but coaches seemed to think he was faking. Maybe the FIG did too.

Devyatovsky had been in position to make a Lozhechko-like comeback (he was first in the qualifying round) but finished fourth after a fall on high bar. Yuri Ryazanov was second, ahead of Dmitry Gogotov.

Anna Pavlova has an Amanar?

February 28, 2008

Russian Anna Pavlova is said to be training an Amanar vault.That’s the news of the Russian Championships, according to International Gymnast Magazine.

[Russian program head Andrei] Rodionenko praised the 2 1/2-twisting Yurchenko vault by veteran Anna Pavlova, who competed vault and floor exercise only; the new double-twisting Yurchenkos from [Ksenia] Afanasyeva and Klyukina; Afanasyeva’s double layout on floor exercise; and Semyonova’s new combination on uneven bars, which gives her a potential 7.6 A-Panel score on the event.

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