Posts Tagged ‘Peng-Peng Lee’

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.

Helping Taylor Lindsay-Noel

September 8, 2008

Olympian Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs trained with Taylor Lindsey-Noel at Sport Seneca in Toronto.

Olympian Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs trained with Taylor Lindsey-Noel at Sport Seneca in Toronto.

Gymnastics Coaching was the first to blog about Canadian hopeful Taylor Lindsey-Noel’s paralysis after a bars dismount went awry in training in July.

It’s always sad to read about young people being injured in gymnastics, but coming in the wake of all the Olympic glory, the story of Lindsey-Noel, a 2012 hopeful who trained at Sport Seneca with Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs and Peng-Peng Lee, feels especially tragic.

Toronto Star opinion columnist Royson James and Lindsay-Noel’s mother Rowena both seemed outraged at the small amount of attention Lindsey-Noel’s injury initially got. But thanks to James’ article, coupled with this one in the Globe and Mail, Taylor’s story is spreading around — including to one big-hearted person, who donated $10,000 to her cause.

Just yesterday, a donor sent $10,000 to the Star to bolster the trust fund set up to assist Olympics-bound gymnast Taylor Lindsay-Noel, 14, in her battle to walk again.

“In your article, you described the perfect and decent human being. Her tragic injury pains me,” reads the handwritten note accompanying the cheque. “Please forward this to Taylor and family in their need of support. More people should have moments of compassion; it would make them more human.”

When they talk about her bieng a 2012 hopeful, they weren’t kidding. According to a very old thread from the Gymnastics Gossip Message Board (GGMB), in 2007 Taylor’s tumbling passes were a double layout, double Arabian, 1.5 to layout front, double tuck side pass and a double pike. At 13. This kid was undoubtedly on her way up.

Taylor’s injury is preceded by that of Dutch junior Imke Glas and China’s Wang Yan, who also sustained a major injury on a bars dismount. Both can walk today.

Best of luck to Taylor in her recovery.

Canadian women name Olympians

June 10, 2008

Nansy DamianovaIn the midst of the media frenzy that was the U.S. women’s championships, the Canadians quietly held their own Nationals and named Nansy Damianova and Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs as the two who would wear the Maple Leaf in Beijing.

Left out is 2007 Canadian champion Kristina Vaculik, a waif-like 16-year-old who is excellent on bars and beam but a bit weak on vault and floor.

Hopfner-Hibbs, who had been concentrating on her specialties (bars and beam) made an impressive return to the all-around to win the Canadian title over Vaculik and young Charlotte Mackie. Young Peng-Peng Lee was also impressive, winning the senior beam and floor titles.

Adam Wong won the Canadian men’s title, although his victory was somewhat overshadowed by the continuing saga of Kyle Shewfelt, who made a media splash even though he didn’t compete.

Most were betting that the two to go would be Hopfner-Hibbs, the only Canadian woman in about two decades to have won a World medal (bronze, balance beam, 2006), and Vaculik, who was sent to the Olympic venue for the Good Luck Beijing International Invitational in December.

Damianova has been viewed as no. 3 to Vaculik and Hopfner-Hibbs in international exposure, media coverage and probably readiness — everything but the complicated, confusing system Gymnastics Canada Gymnastique installed to choose its Olympians. A month ago, Damianova led the qualifying, having racked up 32 points to Hopfer-Hibbs’ 30 and Vaculik’s 19.

Vaculik has become the first of what will undoubtedly be several women who are Olympic-caliber but will not be granted an berth to the Games because their countries didn’t qualify a full team or because the wildcard process screwed them over didn’t work out for them.

We already know who many of these people are on the men’s side: Krisztian Berki, Vlasios Maras, Yuri van Gelder, Jeffrey Wammes, Philippe Rizzo, Yernar Yurimbetov and others (for full list, see Gymnastics Coaching.)

Damianova was impressive at the 2008 Pacific Rim Championships in April.

Nansy Damianova, 2008 Pacific Rim Championships, Floor Exercise:

Canadian Peng-Peng Lee: Huge difficulty on beam

February 5, 2008

OK, so she falls twice here. And during the all-around of Elite Canada in December she fell three times. Nevertheless, the difficulty in Canadian Peng-Peng Lee’s beam routine rivals the best in the world.

Peng-Peng Lee, 2007 Elite Canada Event Finals, Balance Beam:

This routine carries a start value of 7.3, and according to Lee’s coach Carol-Angela Orchard, she’s got more in her bag of tricks — namely an illusion turn that can be added in for more difficulty.

Lee has been making waves as a junior in Canada since 2004, but is just beginning to get international exposure. She represented Canada at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janiero (the Brazilian crowds laughed at the beginning her floor routine but cheered when she landed her first pass well.) More international exposure is likely to follow.

Peng-Peng Lee, 2004 Elite Canada, Floor Exercise:

Vaculik, Hopfner-Hibbs, Lee win Elite Canada event finals

December 17, 2007

Canada's Elyse Hopfner-HibbsFrom International Gymnast Magazine:

Canadian world team members Kristina Vaculik and
Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs each won one event and tied for another as Elite Canada concluded Sunday in Abbotsford, B.C.

Vaculik, winner of Friday’s all-around competition, vaulted a clean Yurchenko full (13.7) and an Omelianchik (13.4) to place first, ahead of Missassauga’s Alyssa Brown and Gymnix Montreal’s Nansy Damianova.

Vaculik continued her success on bars (clear hip full to Tkatchev, full pirouette to Gienger, double front dismount), tying Sport Seneca’s Hopfner-Hibbs (Markelov, Jaeger, toe-on piked Tkatchev, double layout) with a 15.1. Ontario’s Peng-Peng Lee, second in the all-around, was third with a 14.2.

On balance beam, Hopfner-Hibbs turned in a solid routine that included a McCool (front handspring) mount to immediate back tuck and a side aerial to two layout stepouts to edge Vaculik, 15.300 to 14.95. Vaculik also performed a McCool mount but wobbled on her switch leap, back tuck combination.

Hopfner-Hibbs, who won the bronze on beam at the 2006 World Championships, said she is focusing on uneven bars and balance beam leading up to the Olympic Games.

“I’m trying to use all the competitions I get to go to as preparations for Beijing,” she said. “For me it’s just practice.”

Lee, who debuted a back handspring, tucked full combination Friday night, missed it Sunday but managed to place third with a 14.35, despite also falling on a tucked barani. Lee’s 7.0 A score was the highest of any in the competition.

Canada's Peng-Peng Lee

Undeterred, Lee turned in a clean, jazzy floor routine (full in, Arabian double front, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 twist, double pike) to take top honors ahead of Damianova and Oakville’s Aisha Gerber.

Gerber, who formerly trained with Elvira Saadi at Cambridge Kips, took off five months between October 2006 and March 2007. She is now training with Kelly and Sue Manjak at Oakville Gymnastics in Ontario and said she is attempting to make the Olympic team.

“We are thinking Olympic Games,” Gerber said. “That is my goal and we are building step by step toward that goal.”

In the junior division, all-around runner up Ti Liu of Gymnix was the day’s big winner, placing first on uneven bars (13.85) and balance beam (14.4). Kristen Klarenbach of Ortona Gymnastics in Alberta won vault (13.325), while Laurel Clouston of Salta Gymnastics in Alberta was the top competitor on floor (13.85).

Vaculik wins Elite Canada

December 15, 2007

Canada's Kristina VaculikFrom International Gymnast Magazine:

2007 Canadian national champion Kristina Vaculik overcame a fall on floor exercise to take top honors in the senior women’s all-around at Elite Canada, held Friday night in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

Vaculik scored a 56.9 to hold off challengers Peng-Peng Lee of Seneca, Ont. and Nansy Damianova of Gymnix in Montreal. Although she overrotated her double pike on floor exercise, Vaculik said she looks at the meet as just another stepping stone to next summer’s Olympic Games.

“I just came here and basically told myself to do the same thing I did in Beijing,” said Vaculik, who was sixth in the all-around at the “Good Luck Beijing” International Invitational earlier this month.

Vaculik posted the highest score of the night on uneven bars with a 14.8 and balance beam with a 15.2. Lee put up a 14.6 to qualify first to Sunday’s floor exercise final. Damianova, born in France to Bulgarian parents, was the top qualifier on vault with a 14.5.

2006 world championships bronze medalist Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs competed uneven bars and balance beam only. Hopfner-Hibbs matched Vaculik’s 14.8 on bars and qualified third to the balance beam final with a 14.2.

Competition such as Elite Canada have taken on added importance for those vying for the Canadian women’s two individual berths to the 2008 Olympic Games. (Canada finished 14th at the 2007 World Championships; the top 12 nations qualified full teams.) Gymnastics Canada Gymnastique, the governing body of the sport in Canada, has instituted a selection process through which gymnasts earn points based on their apparatus scores at national and international meets.

The two gymnasts with the highest number of points come June will be selected to represent Canada at the Olympic Games, but special consideration will be given to those who excel on one or two events, said Lise Simard, women’s artistic director for Gymnastics Canada Gymnastique.

Lee, 14, had the lead going into the final rotation but faltered on balance beam, falling on a tucked barani and a front flip and balking on her dismount. She did, however, make her back handspring, back full combination, which she said she had been training for only two months.

“It didn’t feel any different competing at a higher level,” Lee said. “Everything felt really good. I was very confident with my performance.”

Competition continues Saturday in Abbotsford with the second day of men’s all around competition. The University of Calgary’s Nathan Gafuik leads Ken Ikeda and Hugh Smith.

2007 Elite Canada
Dec. 14, Abbotsford, B.C.

Senior Women’s All-Around
1. Kristina Vaculik (Gemini, ON) 56.900
2. Peng-Peng Lee (Sport Seneca, ON) 56.150
3. Nansy Damianova (Gymnix, QC) 56.100
4. Sydney Sawa (CalGym, AB) 53.950
5. Aisha Gerber (Oakville, ON) 53.900
6. Emma Willis (Bluewater, ON) 53.750
7. Alyssa Brown (Mississauga, ON) 53.600