Posts Tagged ‘Philippe Rizzo’

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?

A second chance at an Olympic berth

October 6, 2008

In gymnastics, the 2007 World Championships served as the only way to qualify for the 2008 Olympics short of receiving a wild card. That was unfair to injured athletes.

Then there was the idea that to qualify as an inidvidual you had to win a gold medal on your speciality (or any event, whether it was your specialty or not) in event finals.

Numerous athletes who well deserved a trip to Beijing got shorted because of these rules. Among them: Aljaz Pagan, Jeffrey Wammes, Krisztian Berki, Philippe Rizzo, Yuri van Gelder and Vlasios Maras. And those are just a few.

At least the FIG is thinking about trying to correct its errors.

STUTTGART, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) — For the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the gymnastics governing body (FIG) will adopt a second qualifying event in additional to the current world championships to qualify gymnasts, FIG said here on Monday.

The second qualification for Olympics is required by the International Olympic Committee in order to provide a second opportunity for athletes who, for reasons such as injury, were unable to participate in the only qualifying competition — the world championships.

This second opportunity is one of the issues up for debate by the FIG executives, who will deliver its conclusions to the Council, the entity with the authority to approve changes to the technical regulations.

Hey FIG — while you’re at it, you should get rid of the age limit that partially tainted the women’s competition in Beijing. Or move it back to 14.

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: