Posts Tagged ‘Marine Petit’

A new thought from Bruno Grandi

December 5, 2007

Bruno Grandi, President of the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique.FIG President Bruno Grandi  is saying he doesn’t want gymnasts competing internationally until age 16. Period.

China’s Xinhua news service reported today that Grandi, on hand for the Good Luck Beijing International Invitational, told a reporter he was pondering raising the age limit for all international competitions to 16 after 2008.

“Sports like gymnastics should not be there for kids,” said Grandi. “Gymnasts should only be allowed to compete in international stage when they are mature physically and mentally.”

A gymnast must already be 16 at the end of an Olympic year to be eligible to represent his or her country at the games. At the 2007 World Championships, several 14-year-olds, including the USA’s Ivana Hong, France’s Marine Petit and Japan’s Koko Tsurumi were allowed in because each be 16 by the end of 2008. The number of 15-year-olds who make an impact at international meets every year is beyond counting.

Junior international meets, while not necessarily indicative of who will be good once they reach the senior level, allow gymnasts to gain experience competing under pressure. Not only that, they get exposed themselves to international customs and friendships. Why Grandi would want to ban something so obviously beneficial seems extremely strange.

Grandi is already controversial for his outspoken stance on the current code of points. He was adament about shelving the perfect 10 system that was used before 2005 and still speaks favorably of the new system that seems to give difficulty an edge over execution.

“Gymnastics should not be framed by ‘a set mark ‘. The new scoring code is a way of encouraging athletes to challenge their courage and high-point.

“The increase of routine difficulty is a trend inevitable. This trend won’t change after the Beijing Olympics, but gymnastics is not acrobatics and keeps the traits of art and beauty in additional to competition,” commented Grandi, adding FIG won’t neglect the attraction of expressive force in the sport on its pursuit of difficulty.”

Debauve and LePennec: Un retour?

October 16, 2007

Gymnastic Greats is reporting that 2005 European champion Marine Debauve is trying to make a comeback for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Debauve, 19, who initially retired in 2006, was highly impressive in Athens in 2004, where she finished seventh in the all-around, as well as in 2005, when she was the star of the Europeans.

Marine Debauve on bars at the 2004 Olympics, All-Around:

And on beam at the 2005 DBT Cup in event finals:

There’s been no word on whether Debauve’s countrywoman Emilie LePennec is still planning on returning to competition. LePennec, the Olympic bars champion, took most of 2006 off to study for le baccalauréat, the highly difficult French high school exit exam.

LePennec, who actually led the all-around competition in Athens after the first rotation, looked like she was getting back into the swing of things at the 2007 Six Nations meet in Civitavecchia and the Ghent World Cup, but was not on the French team that placed sixth at the 2007 World Championships. A French gymnastics blog reported this was apparently due to pain in her heel.

Emilie LePennec’s moment at the 2004 Athens Olympics:

And on floor at the 2007 Six Nations competition:

Both may have some competition at the top of the French roster. Marine Petit gained valuable experience at the 2007 Worlds, and Cassy Vericel is now the reigning world bronze medalist on floor exercise, which basically makes her the new Ludivine Furnon.

Cassy Vericel on floor exercise at the 2007 World Championship, event finals: