Thursday, August 21, 2014

Feat of Clay / That's Watts Up

Two commendable results out of the Youth Olympics in China this week.

Flippin', flyin' West Australian Abbie Watts qualified, and then finished, 6th overall in the women's individual trampoline event with stiff competition from China and Russia. You can see a brief profile of Abbie from before her departure for the meet here on Perth's Today Show.

Pacific Rim vault gold medallist Clay Stephens (who I learned is cheekily nicknamed "Nemo" by teammates due to the fact he only has one pectoral muscle!) fell short of qualifying for the men's all-around final by one place, but is confidently through to the vault final on Sunday. Clay popped by the Nanjing athlete's village video booth here. Best of luck to Clay.

Taking to the floor soon will be our rhythmic gymnasics representative, Tara Wilkie!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

After The Dust Has Settled...

"I say after every major comp I'll reassess and see where I am and probably during this competition I reassessed and I was like 'I'm not done yet, I want to go to worlds." -- Lauren Mitchell

"Let England have a turn. We'll get back. Next year in 2015 and 2016 we have a couple of little hot shots that are turning 16, because they have to be 16 before they can compete at this level. So we've got some 14 and 15-year-olds back at home that will be 'our Claudia' next year." - Peggy Liddick

From here.








YAY MEZ!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 1, 2014







Glasgow 2014: Apparatus Finals Day 1



Australia can celebrate its first individual gymnastics medal in Glasgow with a Larrissa Miller thriller, nailing one of her best ever uneven bars performances.

Up against fancied Englanders Ruby "WAIT WHAT THAT RIGHT THERE WAS SO AWESOME SHOW THAT AGAIN" Harrold and Rebecca "Made of grit, guts, elbow grease and sparkly eyeshadow" Downie, Larrissa held her nerve through her signature release combination and picture-perfect stalders. The icing on the cake was a stuck full-out dismount that the crowd roared for. It was an agonising .1 off of first place, that went to a gracious Downie. But as with Vivian's fifth place the night before, from Miller's joyous and humbled reaction it was definitely as good as gold. Fittingly, she was seen off the podium to the strains of Oz rockers AC/DC.

 If you get the chance I urge you to go back and watch the slow-motion replay of her dismount. The leg form and foot form is absolutely textbook. She could school other gymnasts with it. As one tweeter noted, standing for photographs next to the Brits, Larrissa had her feet in a perfectly dainty fourth position!

Alongside Larrissa in the purple all-around leotard was Georgia Rose Brown, possibly still catching her breath from putting up a neat performance in the vault final for 7th place. Georgia was introduced with an "Aussie Aussie Aussie!" from the crowd started by the cheery arena announcer and it seemed to be just the thing to spur her on. She, too, showed lovely form throughout (it is always a relief when she gets the geinger around) and a very satisfying stuck double tuck dismount but it was not quite enough to reach the medal podium. 5th in such a tough field is a great effort.

Larrissa and Georgia will now get to rest and cheer on Lauren Mitchell and Maryanne Monckton in the beam final, and Lauren solo in the floor final, both bound to be exciting contests. With medals from World Cups and World Championships between them, not to mention each being senior national title holder at least once, beam prowess holds the twosome in great stead.

I'm cheering them on with the hashtag #LozMezerables (until I think of a better one of course).

Australia's other finallist last night, Naoya Tsukahara, also came close to a medal in the rings final. His outstanding form on the apparatus put him in 4th place, which he can hopefully better in tonight's parallel bars and high bar finals (does he ever get tired!?), the latter of which will be an absolute stormer for the crowd as gymnastics for Glasgow 2014 comes to a close. He will share each of his finals appearances with Luke Wadsworth and Sean O'Hara.

The finals will take place at approximately 10:50pm AEST, aired live on Glasgow6 on TenPlay. Also watch out for Kent Pieterse, who will kick off Australia's campaign on vault!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Glasgow 2014: MAG/WAG All-Around

What an emotional gauntlet being a fan of this sport can be!

Last night Australia threw everything it could in the men's and women's disciplines, with Naoya Tsukahara and Olivia Vivian each making our best finishes in 5th.

Naoya had nerves of steel throughout,  even equalling Max Whitlock's score on rings, but fell victim to pommel as so many do and didn't have the difficulty on floor (but certainly had the execution) to contend with any of the fancied Brits. He was greatly encouraged by his teammates along the way, who also had the happy conclusion of ranking within the top 12 - Luke Wadsworth in 9th, Sean O'Hara in 11th.

Naoya will compete in tonight's first apparatus finals day on rings and Kent Pieterse will appear in the vault final -- watch live on the TenPlay website or OneHD if they deign to show it from 11:30pm AEST.

Have to say I love this little shout-out from Kent, especially the main photo!

If you do one thing these Commonwealth Games, go back on TenPlay and watch Olivia Vivian's all-around competition. What she pulled off last night was nothing short of phenomenal.

After not competing in a major event for Australia in 6 years, after not competing all-around on the world stage for even longer, after a broken back, after a fractured hand, after a devastating loss to her family, after having a less than ideal second day of the teams event, after all of that... she hit every single skill to her feet and finished inside the top 8. Her beam was remarkable considering the disasterous round she had the day before, her flip mount and y-scale earning audience applause. And through it all she never lost her smile. Resplendent in the purple leotard (congrats voters!) while Georgia Rose sported the pink, Olivia patiently waited for each gymnast in her rotation to finish their routine and speak with their coach, then immediately offered a high-five or a hug. I wanted to cheer but desperately didn't want to wake my housemate!

 In a touching moment after beam, she flashed her wrist strappings to the camera that had [what looked very much like] "RIP Dad" scrawled on in marker. "That was for you, Dad!" she said down the barrel with a big smile. And wouldn't he have been half proud of what had come before it. I am devastated my feed dropped out mere moments before her vault. What a joy and relief it must have been for her to get through four intense rotations, and I only wish it gone as well for her in the team final. The result mattered, but at the same time it mattered the least. This 90 minutes of performance was the embodiment of Olivia: stylish, daring, enthusiastic. She became an internet sensation before she'd even mounted the podium for the last rotation and I hope it serves her well in her ambitions to be an ambassador for gymnastics. It's true she will never be a balletic Hollie, an explosive Trudy or a stoic Slater. But if there's one thing that defines this girl it is guts.

It is then with a heavier heart that I review Georgia-Rose Brown's performance. It was definitely not her best outing and I sincerely hope that if it was down to nerves or a niggling injury she can get the assistance and self-belief she needs as soon as possible. She cuts a striking figure (even in pink!) and the Khorkina comparisons continued unabated throughout the competition, especially after a tidy bars and neat Yurchenko full. Unfortunately the eye-catching illusion turn on beam saw her come undone once again, and she worryingly substituted her arabian on floor for a front layout full twist before going out of bounds on her double tuck. She finished an unlucky 13th. As I always say - onwards and upwards from here. The future is still very bright for her.

Tonight, the hopefully unsinkable GR Brown will take to vault and bars, while her compatriot Larrissa Miller will also contend bars against six fierce Commonwealth rivals. I believe it will be approximately 2:45am AEST. Happy to be corrected on this.

There's still a chance, Aussies. Give 'em hell!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Glasgow 2014: MAG/WAG Team Final

There might not be an 'i' in team but there sure is an "och aye"!

Australia's women go into the beam and floor component tonight ranked 2nd behind England, AEST approx 2:45am. Last night was absolutely electric with 8 hit routines from 8, and you can re-watch the stream at > Catchup > Gymnastics > Artistic > Part 2. Looooove those new leos, you can't beat the green and gold.

The Aussie men kick off their day 2 on high bar RIGHT NOW!


In every raincloud there's a silver... medal.

Australia's women chased but couldn't catch the imperial English.

Some lowlights (two beam falls from Vivian she took with good grace; an uncharacteristically haywire floor from Miller) swerved into highlights (Mitchell stamping her beam and floor finals berths with barnstorming routines on both; Monckton shakily but happily slotting herself into the former as well), dipped back down again (gorgeous Georgia buckled multiple times) and on and on it went agonisingly, until the final results flashed up and Australia conceded its long-held title. Peggy and the girls gave their thoughts here.

On the men's side, a better round of competition brought happier news - while they finished a commendable 4th, all-around final placings were cemented for O'Hara, Tsukahara and Pieterse. They will take to the floor (and pommel!) at 10:00pm AEST tonight. Short of stature but angelic of complexion, newbie Jack Rickards won himself some female fans last night, if social media is anything to go by!

In the women's all-around, Georgia Rose-Brown and Olivia Vivian get another medal shot, with Georgia starting her campaign on vault in subdivision 1, Olivia on bars in subdivision 2. This will be taking place around 3:30am AEST. And you can vote on Liv's leotard for the competition!

MAG AA Start List 
WAG AA Start List Sub 1
WAG AA Start List Sub 2

For apparatus finals we have
*Kent P on vault, Naoya on rings/pbars/high bar, Luke W on p-bars also and Sean on high bar.
* Georgia-Rose on vault, Larrissa and Georgia-Rose on bars, Lauren and Maryanne on beam and Lauren on floor.

A reminder you can catch all the gymnastics as it streamed live on TenPlay's Catchup page.

"We’re just going to get better and better from here. We came in ranked third so we were expected to get the bronze.“And we won the silver and I’m thrilled with that." -- Peggy Liddick

One team, one dream!