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American Cup Notes [Feb. 21st, 2009|06:42 pm]
The Gym Junkies


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In keeping with tradition, here are my notes while watching American Cup.


2009 American Cup – NBC broadcast

February 21, 2009


As with every NBC broadcast of American Cup, we begin with rotation four of the competition. Women are finishing up on the uneven bars, while men are finishing up on vault. No Al today. Will also note that in catching us up, there are a few clips from previous rotations.


Jordyn Wieber (USA) – VT – Does a Yurkenko 2 ½. Very quick rotation. Legs are apart as she comes off the horse. Huge step. Ow, locked legs.


Jordyn Wieber (USA) – UB – Not her best event; still lacks in execution in places. Nice high Tkachev.  Nice pirouette skills and a good swing, but a little off on the angles. Huge double-double (Ray) dismount with a crossing of the ankles.


A quick look at the results. On the women’s side, as it seems to be the last few years, the US gymnasts are one and two. On the men’s side, it’s David Sender leading. Fellow US gymnast Joey Hagerty is in fourth.


Benoit Caranobe (FRA)-- VT– That vault was huge; looked like a Tsukahara with a double back in piked position.(Checked after the meet – it is in fact that) Landed with his hands on the mat though, which is a shame because it is such a huge vault to do.


Shot of Sender complete with smile. Is very nice to see he has returned to the sport.


David Sender (USA) -- SR – The clip only shows his dismount, which looked very nice.


Joseph (Joey) Hagerty  (USA) – VT – Wonderful. It looked beautiful in the air with great form, and just a small hop on the landing. He may not do the hardest skills, but he does them well.


After that vault Joey has moved up to second with a few guys to go. Not surprising considering rings, the event before this, was his weakest. From here on he’s fairly strong, ending with his strongest event.


David Sender (USA) – VT – Can I just say wow right now? Yurchenko 2 ½; he makes that look way too easy. Good-sized step there, but still nicely done. Great form too.  16.2 score to keep him in the lead.


We see Bridget Sloan on the podium. It is strange to hear a 16-year-old be referred to as a veteran.


Bridget Sloan (USA) – UB – Huge Tkachev and toe-on Tkachev (Ray) there. She flows between the bars and while on them. Nice handstands. Looked like her knees were locked on that dismount, as if she wasn’t ready for the ground. Nice set from Bridget. The score I think was a little harsh.


Amelia Racea (ROM) – UB -- More labored swing than Bridget. Handstands are off. Fall on the straddled Gienger release; a total body slam on the mat. Second half of the routine looked better, yet still labored a little. Great double-front dismount with a stick.


Ah, the usual Lincoln Financial Sports Report. I’m wondering if they do this during the warm up period? Hm. Nothing too exciting here; moving on to the gymnastics again.


Rotation Five:


Jessica Lopez (VEN) – BB – Lovely look to her skills. Some wobbles here and there. Two falls; the first one looked very painful; seems she banged her legs on the beam while attempting a side somi. Big step on dismount.


Wait a second; we get one athlete then commercials? That’s not cool NBC; not cool at all. Also, what is this about a point being taken off for a fall? Hopefully they clear this up later.


Fabian Hambuechen (GER) – PB– Perhaps it is the angle, but that double back seemed to be cowboyed. Good handstands and everything.  Double pike dismount with a hop. A nice event and routine for Fabian.


Look at that, another mention of Paul Hamm! He’s not even competing this year. That boy has some serious skills. We get an interview with Nastia Liukin; mostly chit-chat about what she’s been up to since her Olympic win.


Benoit Caranobe (FRA) -- PB– An interesting arrangement of skills. Does them fairly well. Nice double back piked with a stuck landing. Nothing too spectacular, yet gets the job done.


Brittany Rodgers (CAN) – BB – A press handstand to begin; many girls do this skill. Solid on her aerial walkover to side somi. Oh ouch; a double turn during which she slipped off on the beam.  Another fall on her layout combination.  Her spit leap wasn’t at 180 degrees.  Good dismount, though.; two handsprings to a double pike.


Kim Bui (GER) -- BB -- Lovely Garrison mount. Good leaps. Not a full stretch (bent her legs just slightly) on the layouts. Big wobble on the front tuck. Lovely double turn. Nice side somi. Great, lovely 1 ¼ jump. Simple dismount done well.; we tend to see that more in NCAA competition than elite.


Hey, not everyone was surprised with the results of the Olympic men’s team competition, Tim! I’m glad he mentioned the 5% of us though. Haha. And it does indeed seem that a fall nowadays does cost you a full point from your score. I wonder if the FIG is reevaluating things following the Olympics last year.


Joey Hagerty (USA) – PB – Under rotated on the dismount and had to take a big step. Good look on the event.  Again, perhaps not the hardest skills yet he does them well. Few ‘steps’ with his hands, and during one skill didn’t quite make it to handstand. Stayed clean, though.


Bridget Sloan (USA) – BB – Bridget has such a lovely, long look on this event. Great high front tuck. Nice leap sequence. Slight wobble on the front aerial walkover. High back tuck following that split leap. Good form on the sheep jump. Beautiful double pike dismount.


I agree, Tim, Bridget should be closer to the lead.


David Sender – PB – Looks like a new mount – yes it is. Lovely. Bent his arms right off the bat. You can hear his coach David Durante cheering him on. Slight wobbles here and there – this isn’t his best event – yet he seems to be adding skills to up his difficulty. Great double pike dismount.


And we go back to last year and the shots of the athletes being cold. (Yes I kid, it’s still this year, yet it was the same last year) Where’s Nastia’s pink slippers? Haha.


Webber (USA)—BB – Solid at the start. Nice positions on her leaps. Back pike was nice and high. Big wobble on the side somi yet saved it. Good full turn with leg at horizontal. Side switch leap looked good. Solid full-twisting back flip. Good dismount with a small hop.


I do see the comparison to Shawn Johnson, yet not fully. I actually see more Chellsie in her than Shawn. She even resembles Chellsie slightly.


Youna Dufournet (FRA) – BB – Lovely first combination with a slight wobble. Good sheep jump. Struggle on the Onodi.  Fall on the double turn. And another fall on the layout combination. And yet another. As she attempts a Strug.Had a horrible time on the dismount – landed short.


End of the rotation. If David Sender wins this, that would be amazingly great (okay in my mind at least). The youngin’ Jordyn Wieber still leads by 0.600 over teammate Bridget Sloan. Brief clip of Kerri Strugg back in 1996, and an interview.


[Please note: At this moment I received a phone call, so my notes are non-existent from here on out. Am now going on memory only]


Rotation Six:


Youna Dufournet (FRA) – FX – Poor girl is having problems again. It seems with most of her passes that she just wasn’t ready for the ground. The choreography wasn’t the best, but she still has time to work on that aspect, and it wasn’t too horrible.


Koji Uematsu  (JPN)—HB – Lots of nice skills here. For some reason though, it alls seems very been-there, done-that. Still a nice routine though.


Koko Tsumuri (JPN) – FX – Little form breaks here and there, and a little trouble on her turns. She does very well with the dance elements, and her choreography is nice.


Yury Ryazanov (RUS) – HB – Looks like a few problems here and there with form. Falls on the Tkachev. Fairly nice dismount with a step.


Amelia Racea (ROM) – FX – Again some form errors. Looks like she stepped out on her triple twist pass. As with the last few girls, just falls slightly out of her triple turn. Fairly nice choreography.


Really makes me sad to hear that Romanian women’s gymnastics seems to be struggling. They were always a powerhouse as far back as I can recall. Hoping for the best in the future for them.


Luis Rivera (PUR) – HB – Does some more easier elements in this routine. Not the best with the handstands. Double layout for a dismount. Does a fairly good job.


Bridget Sloan (USA) – FX – Lovely lines from Bridget again. She came awfully close to the line after one of her passes as well.


Joey Hagerty (USA) – HB – Not the best we’ve seen from Joey. He seemed awfully close on his Coleman release element. Had some nice handstands though and good form throughout. Full-twisting double layout dismount. Was that a hop?


Kim Bui (GER) – FX – Certainly a fine competitor here. Some nice tumbling runs. Such a shame in that she went out of bounds at the very end.


David Sender (USA) – HB – This is one of David’s weaker events, and unfortunately today it showed. Handstands weren’t too great; huge layout Tkachev, so big he nearly missed the bar and had to take out his second release skill. Very nice dismount though. It’s been a good day for him, and Durante looks very pleased.


Jordyn Wieber on the podium now; she needs a 14.-something to win. It should be simple if she can stay on her feet and in-bounds.


Jordyn Wieber (USA) – FX – The full-twisting double back didn’t have great form. Very nice elements put together. It will be interesting to see what happens in her future.


Fabian Hambuechen is up next on high bar. In order to win he needs a 15.5 or so to win. Again, it should be simple, yet you never know with high bar what will happen.


Fabian Hambuechen (GER) – HB – He does the elements very well. Lovely release elements. Very nice dismount as well; just a hop on landing. Still a nice routine.


Rebecca Downie (GBR) – FX – Again some nice elements. The tumbling passes seemed low. Nice dance.


End results: Fabian Hambuechen of Germany takes the men’s title, followed by David Sender and Joey Hagerty of the United States. David doesn’t seem too disappointed by this, though, which is nice to see. He’s said his strategy is to not take things too seriously this year. On the women’s side, Ms. Jordyn Wieber takes the title followed by her teammate Bridget Sloan.


[User Picture]From: leftygirl02
2009-02-22 05:34 pm (UTC)
Aw the JR/Blaine days indeed. There did seem to be a different feel to it this year. A few years ago - 2006, maybe? - I got that feeling too. Think it all depends on who the competitors are.

The Daves had me smiling throughout. Is so nice to see that they have both not let last year deter them. Sender's pbar routine also caught my eye - I was thinking, "Oo is he mounting on the side? What is this?" So much in gymnastics is repeated, or at least feels repeated, because just about everyone does them. In a way it's good because you can compare (or in my case, become nit-picky) but it's always so wonderful to say, "Haven't seen that before!"

The Shawn comparisons got old very quickly. I'm amazed at how the commentators seem to latch on the 'next big thing' and stay on it, yet also compare constantly to one of the former 'new things'. Personally I didn't see the comparisons. Yes she does the same bars dismount and vault; so what?

That said, I was horribly comparative of Shawn to Kim Zmeskal. I will argue though that comparison makes some sense considering their styles. Same with Jon Horton and Blaine. At the same time though, they are their own gymnasts.
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[User Picture]From: renee3
2009-02-27 05:21 pm (UTC)
I definately agree about Sender's Pbars. The side mount was refreshing to see (and disappointing to think that such "originality" was once commonplace *sigh*).

It's ironic how NBC, at least, is already trying to build Jordyn up to be the next golden girl, while at the same time Tim is quoting Marta as saying she wants exactly the opposite. I guess the Karolyis' influence only goes so far, ey? She's definately one to watch, but I'm on Marta's side here... we've seen far too many girls propelled to the no. 1 status so early in the quadrennium, only to either flame out or be unable to live up to the impossibly high expectations before the Olympics. I wish there wasn't the constant need to compare newer gymnasts to past champions because in doing so, what they're basically saying is that because Gymnast A won this many medals, so should Gymnast B (if not more). At least they don't get so carried away with that on the men's side, although the men have seen their fair share comparisons since Paul won in '04. Can you tell it bothers me, just a tad? ;)
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[User Picture]From: leftygirl02
2009-03-08 07:05 pm (UTC)
Just a tad, my fellow Gym Junkie. :) As it does me.
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