Posts Tagged ‘Vanessa Ferrari’

12 days of up and coming gymnasts, day 12

January 3, 2009
Frances Benoit Caranobe is gunning for 2009.

France's Benoit Caranobe is gunning for 2009.

Benoit Caranobe, France: Gymnastics fans know his name, but until then probably didn’t know too much else about him. There’s nothing like a come-from-nowhere Olympic all-around bronze to make people take notice of you — and to heighten the expectations for the next season.

To take a page from the excellent Triple Full blog, here’s a Dec. 28 article from Reuters regarding Caranobe and his plans for the future (there’s wine involved).

Caranobe, somewhat like Vanessa Ferrari pre-2006, does not train in ideal conditions. According to the article, Caranobe has to split his training between several gyms in order to work out on different pieces of equipment.

Caranobe gets ready to live a delicate season

COURCHEVEL (Savoy) (Reuters) – Owing to his work in Insep, gymnast Benoît Caranobe, bronze medalist in Beijing, is today obliged to run from room to room to be able to train correctly.

Third in the all-around competition of the Games, the gymnast from Noisy-le-Grand is not up in arms, however.

“To be at the top in general competition, the ideal is to work the six apparatuses in the same session. But this season, owing to work in Insep, that will be impossible,” he explains.

So the all-arounder will pass from gymnasium to gymnasium between Noisy-le-Grand, in Seine Saint-Denis, and Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, in Val-de-Marne, in spite of the presence of the students and the absence of a pit in which to work his new elements.

“The first challenge will therefore be to learn skills on a hard surface without hurting myself. Second, to continue going up on the podium even if I am going to be waiting [editing note: I assume he means waiting a long time before beginning his routine]. When I raise my arm, it will consequently be necessary me to assure my rank,” he says.

A future cellarman

At the end of three difficult years interspersed by injuries, Caranobe, 28, expects new difficulties.

“Not only am I going to have less parallel parkings, [?] they won’t be stretchy. And because of my great age, I have to take more and more time to warm up my rusty body,” he says with humor.

His first international all-around competition will be at the renowned American Cup on Feb. 21 in Chicago. Then in April in Milan, the man from Noisy would well like to carry off the title at the European Championships. In 2004, the French team acquired a bronze medal there.

Oct. 12-18 at the World Championships in London, Caranobe would like to “well confirm” his Olympic medal, or to show that he can also be “a specialist of all apparatuses.”

Between Milan and London, the Mediterranean Games, June 26-July 5 at Pescara in Italy, will be of use for “preparation and regulation.”

In 2009, Caranobe will also launch another challenge — that of assuring his arrears. In order to do that, this son of an Alpine ex-hunter will open a winecellar in Noisy-le-Grand.

The treasure of the future cellarman will be principally composed of vineyards harvested by the ancient big names of French sports.

The weeks in review

November 25, 2008

There should be a blog that keeps tabs on all the gymnastics blogs.

Tidbits of the week: Triple Full reports that 2006 World Champion Vanessa Ferrari is having a sort of identity crisis. Ongoing injuries have hindered her training, and she’s gained some weight. Nothing precipitates an identity crisis in gymnastics like the expansion of a couple inches of waistline. It seems doubtful that the feisty 2006 World Champion will be able to make a tremendously successful return to elite international competition.

Rick at Gymnastics Coaching reports that Georgia is once again on top of the yearly NCAA coaches poll, followed by perennial runner-up Utah. And that Bela Karolyi called accusers Trudi Kollar and fellow defector Geza Pozar “trash” for their accusations of Bela and Martha Karolyi’s abuse. Tactful. Very tactful.

Before becoming U.S. Team Coordinator, Martha Karolyi was the shadow behind Bela, who obviously prefers the spotlight. Rick calls for her to address the abuse allegations, as well. I kind of doubt she will. Or that USA Gymnastics will make her.

A flurry of competitions, including the Milan Grand Prix, Toyota Cup, Massila Cup, Asian Championships and DBT Cup have taken place in recent days. The rule of thumb has generally been that if you dominated during the Olympics, you dominated these competitions too. Stars include Cheng Fei, Jiang Yuyuan, He Kexin, Sandra Izbasa, Koko Tsurumi, Lauren Mitchell, Fabian Hambuchen, Maxim Deviatovskiy.

“Competing” against a weak field, U.S. gymnasts Samantha Shapiro, Corrie Lothrop and Olivia Courtney steamrolled everyone else at the Pan American Union Championships. Lothrop won vault, Shapiro bars and beam, and Courtney floor.

Team prelims: A real show

August 10, 2008
uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise.

Nastia Liukin qualified to three event finals: uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise.

In the end, I cheated a little bit. On the U.S. west coast, we’re lucky to have in our cable packages the Canadian Broadcasting Network, which showed men’s and women’s team prelims basically as they were going on. Hence, whereas NBC is showing women’s team prelims tonight, I saw parts of the competition last night.

And boy, what parts.

Nastia Liukin sitting down her bars dismount. Chellsie Memmel missing her Tkatchev. Samantha Peszek not competing her best events. Alicia Sacramone, a tough but not stoic gymnast, looking focused but at times a little sad. The only person who looked like she was really having fun was the one who had the best day: reigning World champ Shawn Johnson.

The great thing about the Olympics is you can analyze and speculate about what’s going to happen, but you can’t know. Perhaps depressing is that more people seemed to have bad surprises than good ones: British favorite Beth Tweddle banged her foot — hard — on the low bar doing a giant. Italian star Vanessa Ferrari looked deflated and out of shape.

Aussie Dasha Joura, a total package gymnast and the best Oz has ever produced, had the worst meet of her life and didn’t qualify for the all-around or any event final.

It was different for the men. The U.S., rocked by the departures of Paul and Morgan Hamm, looked respectable if perhaps not medal-worthy. They made team finals. Aside from a botched rings routine by Sasha Artemev, who hit a great pommels set to make up for it, everyone “did their job,” as the commentators said. (Except perhaps NBC, whose job it is to show the competition, not a few myriad routines that gave every indication of being a highlight reel instead of real coverage.) It might have been worse.

What’s up with Vanessa?

May 26, 2008

2006 World Champion Vanessa Ferrari competed only on uneven bars at this weekend’s Italian National Championships, International Gymnast Magazine reported — and scored a disheartening 13.1.

Injury? Don’t know. Ferrari, who looked out of shape at the beginning of the season in February, performed well at the 2007 European Championships in March, although she did not earn a medal.

Lia Parolari won the all-around title. Francesca Benolli was second. The artistic and flexible Paola Galante was third.

Memmel’s big scoring potential shouldn’t be overlooked

April 22, 2008

It’s easy to underestimate Chellsie Memmel.

Chellsie MemmelFew gymnasts are given less credit for being World Champion. Maybe it’s because she basically tied for the title with Nastia Liukin in 2005 at a time when many thought Liukin was more artistic and easier to watch.

It’s easy to forget that she nearly accomplished the same feat in 2006, leading eventual World Champion Vanessa Ferrari after the qualifying round. Ferrari went on to become the first World all-around champion in memory to count a fall during the all-around finals, something that hasn’t upped her credibility much since Aarhus either.

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Wrapping up the 2008 Europeans

April 9, 2008

Vanessa FerrariNorthernriver at Difficulty Plus Execution has it right:

…It still looks like Shawn doesn’t have any brutal competition for that all-around title, even with Nastia upgrading uneven bars like crazy. With Steliana Nistor still competing all-around at about the same level that she did at Worlds, and Vanessa Ferrari stumbling along…one wonders how Jade Barbosa is doing.

Ferrari didn’t have the best competition, but even with the fall on beam in team finals, what she displayed was a heck of a lot better than at earlier meets this season. She’d save herself a big deduction if only she’d do a regular full turn on beam instead of grabbing her leg, though.

Vanessa Ferrari, 2008 European Championships Team Finals, Balance Beam:

Ferrari the cannibal

April 2, 2008

Vanessa FerrariA new Guardian UK article about 2006 World Champion Vanessa Ferrari doesn’t enlighten gymnastics fans too much about the 17-year-old Olympic hopeful.

It tells us that she likes the car she shares her name with, that she’s soft-spoken and she has no time for boyfriends. The foot iujury that plagued her last year seems to be healed although it hurts sometimes.

The best part is her nickname: The cannibal.

Fans call her “the cannibal” for her competitive drive, a nickname which sits uneasily with her slight, 33-kg frame.

There’s no doubt Ferrari is competitive, but the cannibal has looked a little soft at meets earlier this year. Nonetheless, she’s likely to be a favorite to win the European Championships later this spring.

Training footage from a short British news segment can be found here.

Pressure’s on, Shawn

March 10, 2008

Shawn Johnson appears to be back on track.

After her first senior international defeat at last weekend’s American Cup, the Des Moines, Iowa native bounced back by winning her first all-around title of 2008 as the U.S. defeated Italy, Spain and Poland in a “fun” meet this weekend in Jesolo, Italy, about 20 miles northeast of Venice.

Johnson reportedly did not throw her Amanar vault, which she fell on at the Cup.

Not that she needed to. Her closest competition, 2006 World Champion Vanessa Ferrari, performed only a full-twisting Yurchenko and finished more than one and a half points behind Johnson, who apparently had some kind of stumble on floor exercise (15.0). Up-and-coming American Samantha Peszek, third at the American Cup, was third at this meet as well. Complete results are on International Gymnast Magazine’s website

More thoughts on Johnson’s performance at the American Cup, previously unposted:

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First Ferrari videos of 2008

February 23, 2008

In this all-important Olympic year, every competition matters. Olympic success for some is a combination of momentum and reputation, in addition to clean performances.

Youtube user Ram83160 has posted 2006 World Champion Vanessa Ferrari’s bar routine from what he or she says is the competition at the Italian Club Championships Feb. 9. Other videos are available from Youtube users Zorroinpensione and Ferdisixtyone.

Vanessa Ferrari, 2008 Italian Club Championships, Uneven Bars:

Balance Beam:

Vanessa Ferrari, 2008 Italian Club Championships, Floor Exercise:

Although Ferrari performs watered down routines, she doesn’t seem to have lost too much from last year, when she competed with a nagging foot injury at the 2007 World Championships. What she grapples with more than anything else seems to be form on some of her elements.

She’s not attending the American Cup March 1, so she likely has time to get in slightly better shape before the European Championships. There, the Olympic momentum really begins.

Women’s artistic gymnastics: 12 to watch in ’08

January 3, 2008

Shawn JohnsonFor so long, the Gymnasts to Watch have come from four countries of the world: The United States, China, Russia and Romania. As we move into 2008, it is quickly becoming apparent that the best gymnasts are not exclusively from these four nations.

With the help of coaches who have migrated from South America to New Zealand, Korea, Germany, France, Italy, Australia, Great Britain, etc., international gymnastics is flourishing in ways it never has before.

Some of those who will be contenders for numerous Olympic medals aren’t mentioned on the following list. We know who they are. But sometimes the stories of the underdogs are equally compelling. Oksana Chusovitina’s fifth Olympics? Come on. That’s an achievement even those who snap up most of the gold in Beijing will never accomplish.

Shawn Johnson, USA: The 2007 World Champion will have all eyes on her this season, but she’ll be dealing with maintaining her position at the top of the podium instead of simply claiming it, as she did in every contest she entered last year. Many fans may watch Johnson with apprehension. After all, Johnson’s idol Kim Zmeskal, whose gymnastics greatly resembled Johnson’s own, looked darn unbeatable too going into 1992.

Shawn Johnson, 2007 World Championships All-Around, Floor Exercise:

Beth TweddleBeth Tweddle, Great Britain: The most decorated gymnast in British history (a term I never thought I’d hear again after Shannon Miller retired) Tweddle is going into 2008 with what seems like all of England marching behind. Freak injuries in podium trainings and the like have robbed Tweddle the opportunity to compete her best at so many competitions.

Beth Tweddle, 2006 World Championships Event Finals, Uneven Bars:

Jiang Yuyuan, China: She’s China’s rising star and a potential late-blooming all-around threat. With the Olympics being held in Beijing, it’s hard to imagine that Jiang won’t do well.

Jiang Yuyuan, 2007 World Championships Event Finals, Floor Exercise:

Aisha Gerber, Canada: She looked like the next Yvonne Tousek at the 2006 American Cup. After a tumultous 2007, with new coaches Kelly and Sue Manjak cheering her on, a revitalized Gerber wants to compete for Canada in Beijing. In order to do so however, she’ll have to prove she’s more worthy than Kristina Vaculik and Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs.

Aisha Gerber, 2006 American Cup, Floor Exercise:

Vanessa Ferrari, Italy: The competitive spirit obviously rages inside this one. The question will be if she can hit all of her events — in the same day.

Vanessa Ferrari, 2006 World Championships All Around, Floor Exercise:

Daria Joura, Australia: She’s been a spunky and well-choreographed presence on the international scene since 2006. If she does everything she’s capable of in Beijing, she could be in the top five on several events.

Daria Joura, 2007 American Cup, Floor Exercise:

Hong Su Jong, Korea: Despite their particular prowess on vault and uneven bars, the Koreans have gone relatively unnoticed internationally. But at the 2007 World Championships, Hong showed the same vaults as Cheng Fei — an Amanar and Cheng’s own signature vault, which some argued Hong did better in Stuttgart. With Brazilian Jade Barbosa also performing the Cheng, it will be a battle to determine who’s going to do what in 2008.

Hong Su Jong, 2007 World Championships Event Finals, Vault:

Anna PavlovaAnna Pavlova, Russia: The gymnast once deemed Svetlana Khorkina’s successor on the Russian team has limped along since Athens, which was the last competition she really looked alive at. The rudderless Russian team has looked thrown for a loop most of the quad as well, despite immense depth and talent from upcoming juniors. The thing is, Pavlova nearly pulled off the upset of the quad in 2004 (many argue she should have had bronze), and there’s a feeling she does have more to give. If she puts the extra effort into her performance in Beijing as she did in Athens, we could see more from her and the Russians this year.

Anna Pavlova, 2004 Olympic Games All Around, Floor Exercise:

Bridget Sloan, USA: One of the USA’s “Bubble Girls,” the 2007 World Championships alternate is getting attention for her clean gymnastics, personality, consistency and self-choreographed floor routine.

Bridget Sloan, 2007 Beijing Test Event All Around, Floor Exercise:

Cerasela Patrascu, Romania: With veteran Catalina Ponor gone for good, this girl could be the top Romanian in Beijing. Her form is good, her skills are difficult and her presentation has a wonderful quality to it. Expect her — and not teammate Steliana Nistor, deserving as she is — to be the one to watch this year.

Cerasela Patrascu, 2007 World Championships Team Prelims, Uneven Bars:

Yulia Lozhechko, Russia: She’s got the long bodyline — if not the sass — of Khorkina, and her quality and steadiness on balance beam is thoroughly impressive. After being unceremoniously thrown off the Russian national team for disobeying her coaches in Stuttgart, one can only hope Lozhechko put her head down and kept training.

Yulia Lozhechko, 2007 European Championships Event Finals, Balance Beam:

Oksana Chusovitina, Germany: It’s taken four Olympiads, three countries and one child for Chusovitina to get to this point. Regardless of how she performs, whether or not she qualifies for vault finals, how could anyone not cheer for this woman?

Oksana Chusovitina, 2006 World Championships Event Finals, Vault: