Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sims Not Saying Sayonara?

I received this latest piece of news from a Queensland source. Don't know what to make of it, myself. All I can say is what I said after I read it the first time: "Oh-kaaaaaay...?"

It seems Chloe Sims is not entirely retired after all. She competed last night as a Level 10 at a South East Queensland regional competition held at MBC and won her category despite the fact that she was clearly out of practice and out of shape and treated the competition like it was some kind of joke (she laughed after each botched routine and actually pumped her fist after her second fall on beam).

She started well on floor, performing a none too difficult but very well choreographed and presented routine to the Cranberries' hit, 'Zombie'. She then hit a decent layout Tsukahara on vault before things started to go pear-shaped for her. On bars she showed easily the most difficult routine of the night, including a Jaeger - possibly the first Jaeger ever shown at this level. Unfortunately she hit the low bar with her feet on her front giant, only to come off on the Jaeger that followed. She fell again on her dismount, a double tuck. Beam was even more of a splatfest. She fell three times, but still ended up winning the event because of her massive D score.

She clearly didn't know whether to be amused or disgusted with herself, taking her medals off as soon as they had been presented to her.

The second day of competition brought some other interesting performances forward.

Chloe Sims was competing at the SE QLD regionals again today, for a place on the Level 10 state team this time. She did a lot better than she did yesterday, winning the competition by a landslide. I think she only fell once on beam, or maybe it was just a big wobble. She also caught her Jaeger on bars this time, although she had to concede a few extra swings and had a wonky transition to the low bar. Her attitude towards the competition was a lot better than the night before, possibly because Peggy Liddick was in attendance. She was mainly there to check out MBC's junior international kids, Sharlee Clark and Georgia Rose Brown, both of whom competed watered down routines. Brown is turning into a beautiful gymnast. She has long legs and great form on nearly everything she does. She could do with some more leg power though. Clark is a bit untidier (her bars need a lot of work) but she has a catlike bounciness that is quite nice to watch. I don't expect these two to become superstars, but they're promising all right. Sadly Larrissa Miller (possibly Queensland's best bar worker) didn't compete.

On Saturday the crowd was treated to a glimpse of MBC's most promising youngsters, a tiny little girl called Tiana or Tiarna (International Level 6 if I remember correctly) and Georgia Godwin (International Level 8, I think), who showed a beautiful double pike on floor and a nice handspring piked front on vault. Godwin has a great array of skills on all events (especially for a girl so young - I think she is 11) and form to match, although her bars were a bit iffy on Saturday. Keep an eye out for her. If she stays healthy and motivated she could well be the next big thing.

QAS only sent a few lesser known girls to regionals and they were completely outclassed, which lends more credence to the belief that all is not well at QAS. Hopefully their better known gymnasts will show up at the State Championships and do a better job of it.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dasha Update

I know GA/WAIS are going to make an announcement about Dasha next week but the WA press have jumped the gun.

Many thanks to the correspondent who brought this to my attention.

I am not going to quote the article for teasers like I normally do. Some people might prefer to wait to see what gets said next week so you can choose to click through to the new piece, or you can choose not to.

We love you big time, Dasha. Stay strong.

Moscow to Melbourne

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE: Sellathurai Unstoppable!

Prashanth has qualified first to the pommel horse final and second to the rings final at the Moscow Stars of Gymnastics world cup competition. You can't spell "Proshy" without "pro"! Best of luck to him in the final, this will be a real confidence-booster.

Matthew unfortunately didn't have as much luck, only scoring an 11.950 on pommel.

Still, both athletes have represented the national program very well on their Russian sojourn. Good on you, boys.

Today was indeed the volunteer training session for Vic State Championships, and I'm very excited. There is a rather nice group of people taking part this year (one of them a former schoolmate of mine!) and for those of you wondering, I'm pretty sure you can still contact GV to offer your assistance, as there have apparently been some late pull-outs. I'd never been to the State Netball and Hockey Centre but I can tell from our brief tour it will fit the event and all its buzzing spectators fantastically. It's going to be a big year, with special acro, aero and rhythmic displays throughout the artistic competition.

ETA: Prashanth ended up with silver on pommel (damn you, Berki!) so he can add yet another medal to his collection. He also managed a 7th place on rings.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Whatever Happened To...

Victorian gymnast Rachel Kmetko?

Why, she's a stunt performer, aerial expert and Cirque alumna!

In this clip from 2008 she's showing off her "tissu" work for a church congregation. If that doesn't get them singing praises, I don't know what will.

One of my friends suggests "Trapezes for Jesus"...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Everything I Wanted To Know From GA...

...But Was Too Afraid To Ask.

Wow, are these guys hitting it out of the ballpark this week or what!? Some great news updates are happening, they are really answering demand (speaking of which, a few more videos from Saturday's trial are up so check those out if you're interested).

Ok then.

This is all from their latest news release:

With the 2009 National Championships due to kick off the 2009 domestic season, next week will see a number announcements relating to Women's Gymnastics.

1. Australian Team to the 2009 Japan Cup
Gymnastics Australia will be sending a team of five gymnasts to compete at the 2009 Japan Cup. The event will be held in Tokyo (JPN) from the 18-19th July immediately following the 2009 National Championships and will feature an International Team competition. The competition format will follow that of a Team Final (ie Comp IV rules) with five team members forming the team, three to compete on each apparatus and all three scores counting towards the team apparatus total. It is expected that the Australian Team will be named early next week.

2. Definitive Entries for the 2009 National Championships
Entries to the 2009 National Championships close next week, with states required to list their team members by name. In the year following an Olympic Games it is always interesting to see which athletes choose to participate in the National Championships and compete for national honours. It is expected that in addition to some familiar faces, we will also see some up and coming athletes take centre stage at the 2009 National Championships.

3. Athlete Update - Dasha Joura
Early next week, Gymnastics Australia in conjunction with the Western Australian Institute of Sport will provide an athlete update on Dasha Joura. It is well known that Dasha's participation in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was hampered by an ankle injury sustained in podium training and that this injury has further delayed her return to full competition preparation in 2009. Gymnastics Australia is aware that fans of Dasha are keen to hear of her progress and to this end will provide an update on Dasha and her plans for the 2009 competition season next week.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ditty-at... Dit-yat... That D Thing.

Some interesting outcomes transpired at the weekend's Dityatin Cup in Russia.

Matthew Curtis finished 15th all-around, where Prashanth Sellathurai (who is only ever able to compete pommel and rings due to permanent spinal problems) finished 31st, with a 4th on rings and a not-so-stellar 17th on pommel horse.

Due to a two-per-country rule for event finals, a few names were ruled out, allowing "Proshy" and Matt to progress through to finals they hadn't quite qualified for - pommel and rings/vault/floor/high bar respectively.

That said, here are their apparatus finals results according to GA:

Matthew managed a 4th on pommel horse and a 3rd(!) on floor.

Prashanth won pommel with a 15.600!

This adds one more first place to his current pommel tally- a World Cup gold, a World Cup silver, 5 national titles, a Commonwealth Games silver medal, three International Challenge/"vs Australia" titles, a Youth Olympic Festival gold and a motherflippin' World Championship silver.

I hear London calling...

ETA - GymAustralia have really outdone themselves - YouTube clips, including interviews with the competitors! Make sure you watch the interviews as they play, there are some great photos accompanying them.

The lads will now head to the Moscow Stars of Gymnastics World Cup. Good luck, boys. Great work so far.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

YouTube = Yawn.

I wasn't kidding when I said YouTube would take an eternity. I've already tried to upload one video three times, and it's taken ages, though my cantankerous web connection isn't helping much.

In my collection I have (unless I'm wrong with the IDs... again...):

Amelia McGrath (I think), vault

MLC beam. ID help please? I thought Alex B-A but I might be wrong.
Georgia Wheeler, beam (I had to listen for the cheers on this one, it's hard!)
Grace Claringbold, bars
Tierra Exum, floor
Amelia McGrath, beam
Isis Lowrey, floor
Grace Flood (I think), beam

More video links will be up in the coming days.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

AGB Goes to Vic State Trial 2

Right then. Secretarial minutes it is.

I have A LOT of notes to get through so please bear with me. I did capture some routines on my camera phone but YouTube will take an eternity. Your patience is greatly appreciated.

Apologies: My humblest apologies for any gymnasts I identify incorrectly. Hopefully I didn't confuse my Georgias and my Graces. I am still getting 'up to speed' with the names and faces of our streams, and it was hard to keep my eyes on everyone today. I pretty much had to go by people's cheers of encouragement to know who I was looking at! I also apologise for any incorrectly analysed routines. Those twists are tricky to count sometimes when everyone's doing different variations! And when you're there for six hours, your brain starts to run some things together.

Thanks: Epic thanks to the VWHPC and participating clubs today for an exciting day of women's gymnastics. The women of the HPC parents group not only maintained entrance fees but oversaw the warm-up times and even proffered refreshments. It was the loveliest white tea and the scrummiest muffin I've had in a long time and I thank you for that. You know who you are.

VWHPC Junior International, International Development Program Levels 10, 6 and 8
MLC Senior International, Junior International, IDP Levels 10, 6 and 8
Waverley Gymnastics IDP Level 6
Grips Gymnastics Senior International and IDP 10
Jets Gymnastics IDP Levels 8 and 8

Absent: Britt Greeley and Zoe Lorenzin (Senior Int'l and Junior Int'l respectively) did not compete today. Britt was in casual trackies and filmed routines throughout the day. I was in her sight line so I'm most likely featuring in just about every routine they watch back. Hello to any HPC girls who can spot me in their routines. Yes, I was sitting in the corner scribbling like mad.

Zoe was overseeing music for floor and had a personal commitment that saw her leave halfway through but return near the end to help the Level 6 and 8 girls prepare for bars. No Waverley senior gymnasts competed.

Business Arising: Did not get a look at Britt's foot to see if it was injured, as speculated at previous trial.

Notes from Warm Ups (Both sessions):
Leotards - VWHPC in white leotard with pink and blue flourish. MLC in green and black. Grips in purple. Jets in black with red and yellow crossed flames, 'interesting' black velour trackie with sparkly "Jets" written on back. I shall make no more comment on this.

Zoe Lorenzin deserves dual Australia-Munchkinland citizenship. She was seen carrying a 'fit'-ball that seemed a mere inch below her head height.

Gymnasts doing side leaps right near the judging tables came close to knocking laptops off said tables.

HPC and MLC coaches spotted vault together.

GymSock Watch: MLC, no socks. HPC, no socks. Waverley, no socks. Jets? Socks!

Grace Claringbold sported a compression bandage on her leg.

Isis Lowrey of Jets Gymnastics = long lost triplet of Monette Russo/Mattie Larson???


Session 1 - Seniors, Juniors and IDP 10's.

Teams were divided across two squads and alternated apparatus.

Rotation 1:

FX: Amie Martin, Grips. had the Moulin Rouge end credits music. Opened with a single layout; punch front layout to 1.5 twist. Low on leaps. Whip to back handspring layout full twist, a little messy. Finished with a double twist, just behind the music.

UB: Tierra Exum, HPC. Nice stalders and I'm pretty sure that's a fancypants new Deltchev she threw in!

FX: Amelia McGrath, MLC. *Great* double tuck to open, nice and high with a steady landing. Equally nice double twist. Solid double pike to finish, to cries of "GO MILLY!"

UB: Alex Byers-Armstrong, MLC. Lots of giants, not as good as I'm sure she can do them. Dismounts with a double tuck.

UB: Annaliese Varga, Grips. Over-rotated on a kip to handstand. Fumbled on giant half-turn. Dismounted with an inward-facing layout.

FX: Ebonie Boucher, HPC. Tango/accordian music. Stumbled on front 2.5 twist. Great front 1.5 twist to punch front. Back full twist. Single layout to finish.

FX: Grace Claringbold, HPC. Layout to open. Front layout to punch tuck. Has long legs and nice lines, leaps look great. Routine is to a hip-hop violin piece. Unsteady on two kinds of pirouette -knee up and leg at horizontal. Front full to finish, probably watered down to not hurt (bandaged) leg?

FX: Alex Eade, HPC. She's teeeensy tiny! Over-rotated double pike to open. Country bluegrass music, ergo quite a few cutesy boot-scootin' sticky-outy bum moves.

FX: Laura Hingston, HPC. Striking violin music. Front layout full to punch tuck. Gorgeous pirouette in Y-position. Slipped onto backside in last tumble but worked it into her ending pose. Claps for thinking on feet!

Rotation 2:

BB: Tierra Exum, HPC. Straddle press to handstand mount. Change leg split leap to back whip. BHS, back tuck. Looks nervous! Front aerial, form break, side somi. Two split jumps, Aerial cartwheel, pirouette. Roundoff layout dismount.

VT: Amelia McGrath, MLC. I have this on video, stay tuned.

BB: Alex Byers-Armstrong, MLC. I have this on video, stay tuned.

VT: Grace Claringbold, HPC. Handspring, back pike. Lots of steps backwards, runs into supporting mats against wall!

BB: Annaliese Varga, Grips. *Gorgeous* planche mount (think Olivia Jobsis at the Commonwealth Games!) but fell shortly after commencing the routine proper. BHS, back layout stepout (fall). Change leg split leap, wolf jump. Big wobble. Over-rotates on front aerial. Nice side somi. Aerial cartwheel (fall). Front full twist dismount.

VT: Laura Hingston, HPC. Same vault as Grace, with a few steps back.

Rotation 3:

UB: Clare O'Donnell, MLC. Hit feet twice on low bar in giants (I could hear it from halfway across the gym). Neat otherwise.

FX: Annaliese Varga, Grips. Uses Lisa Skinner's "Arabian Princess" music. Fell on opening twisting tumble. I think it was a 2.5 twist? Stumbled on last twisting tumble as well.

UB: Grace Claringbold, HPC. Didn't do any low bar skills but had a very nice tkatchev and single layout dismount.

FX: Georgia Wheeler, MLC. Big double tuck to open. Double pike to landing mat. Split jump full. *Great* pirouette with leg at horizontal. Whip, whip, BHS layout half. Back roll to handstand, double turn in handstand position. Punch front layout to front full twist.

UB: Alex Eade, HPC. Giant full turn, giant half turn to reverse grip (bars were far away so it was hard to see everything going on), single layout dismount.

UB: Amie Martin, Grips. Nice and neat work. Pak salto from high bar to low, missed a cast to handstand on the low bar. Dead hang to high bar. Fell on giant. Legs bent in giant (think she's 'too tall' for the bars distance...), layout dismount.

Rotation 4:

They start playing the Spice Girls album and I realise it's been a good twelve years or so since it was released... many of the people sitting in the audience - and competing today - were just, or not even, born then!


Alex Eade warms up a lovely, Dykes-esque front walkover onto a box.

Watching MLC girls warm up beam. One girl (who I will identify later) stands in a ready-for-dismount position for nearly a full 30 seconds.

VT: Georgia Wheeler, MLC. Very nice handspring front pike vault. It transpires that the judges had trouble scoring all aspects of the vault because they were seated nearer to floor, and beam girls were warming up right in front of them! Coaches are nicely reprimanded for this.

BB: Ebonie Boucher, HPC. Lovely BHS to layout stepout series! Could give our elites some pointers. Dainty leaps. Fell on side aerial. Roundoff to layout dismount.

VT: Unidentifiable MLC (Georgia Wheeler?). Back handspring vault.

BB: Grace Claringbold, HPC. Straddle press to handstand, step down. Nicely controlled. Needed mat on beam for BHS-stepout series (fall). Fell on front aerial. Korbut, nice. Full pirouette. Split jump, sissone. Wobbled on aerial cartwheel. Roundoff to layout dismount.

BB: Alex Eade, HPC. Front walkover mount, more unsteady than when done on floor. Split leap, back tuck. Stuck BHS, back whip! Big applause, smashing stuff. Big wobble on front aerial. Korbut. Pirouette. Back handspring, flic, layout.

BB: Laura Hingston, HPC. Straddle press through to pike sit, a la Emma Dennis. Change leg split leap, sissone. Back tuck. Front aerial, pause, Korbut. Needs mat for BHS-stepout series, NASTY FALL! Misses back foot and skims leg on beam as she goes down. Gets back on but falls on aerial cartwheel, is clearly rattled. Pirouette with a wobble. BHS, flic, back tuck.

BB: Simone Williams, HPC. Straddle press to handstand down to side splits. Change leg split leap. BHS-layout stepout with a huge wobble, arms flapping comically, audience does an urging "wooah, wooah!" murmur wanting her to stay on. She does, with an apparent sigh of relief. Audience laughs gently. Wobble on side aerial. Korbut. Side leap. Pirouette with a wobble. BHS, flic, back tuck dismount.

BB: Amelia McGrath, MLC. I taped this one. Has great acro work until a fall. MASSIVE pause before her dismount (so it was her during warm up)! It's a sight to behold.

BB: Clare O'Donnell, MLC. Straddle press to handstand, down to a stag handstand (think Jana Bieger but a tad nicer). Great BHS back tuck, audience and coach love this. Side leap. Korbut a little off centre. Roundoff back tuck to finish.

The real standout performers of this session were Amelia McGrath (despite that last remark), Georgia Wheeler and Alex Eade.

I should point out I originally had credited Georgia McIntosh's performances for much of this competition but the lovely Georgia Wheeler informed me that THAT Georgia didn't compete today. My bad, GW! I fixed it now!


Session 2 - IDP 6 and 8. These girls performed compulsory routines so there was not much variation, save for the way in which each girl made choreography and skills their own.

FX: Emma Curry, MLC IDP 6. Lots of crowd support for this girl. Roundoff to back layout. Front aerial to side aerial - note: some girls did an extra front aerial after the first one, some did a side. Front layout to tuck punch somi.

FX: Samantha Bognar, HPC IDP 8. Great punch layout 1.5 twist through to punch front. Team-mates on the sidelines imitating the choreo. I think I captured this one on video, stay tuned.

UB: Sarah Taig, Waverley IDP 6. Has a long body, nice execution in handstands, sticks the layout dismount.

UB: Isis Lowrey, Jets IDP 8. Neat, fluid work through giants, long body like Tierra Exum or Mattie Larson.

Rotation 2:

BB: Brigette Snell, Waverley IDP 6. Straddle press into handstand, into front walkover. Split jump. Carwheel, back tuck dismount.

VT: Celine Chang, MLC IDP 6. More crowd support for this girl - including posters. One step on landing of back handspring; does the same vault again but sticks it perfectly!

BB: Waverley girl slips very badly on sissone, scrapes the beam with leg.

VT: Several HPC IDP 8 girls did handpsring vaults with not a lot of push off the table, resulting in them landing dangerously close to the table. Two nearly hit their heads!

Rotation 3:

UB: Emily Haskayne, HPC IDP 6. Over-rotated slightly on handstand; otherwise nice giant halfs but flexed feet in layout dismount.

FX: Brigette Snell, Waverley IDP 6. Very powerful in tumbling, almost couldn't control landings (though I think all girls are meant to land their layouts with a jump to show they can do something out of it???), gets great height on jumps and is one of a few to actually finish with the music.

FX: Emily Dean, Jets IDP 6. Nice controlled layout to open. Under-rotates front aerial in to side aerial. Stuck front layout to tuck punch! Nice split roll-through on floor. Finishes just behind the music.

Rotation 4:

BB: Celine Chang, MLC IDP 6. Straddle press to handstand, walkover. Doesn't reach full split in leap. Had to attempt tic-toc twice (I do love that skill. I could watch it all day!) Beautiful scale into handstand swingdown. Sticks cartwheel to back tuck dismount.

VT: Brianne Allen, Jets IDP 6. Front handspring vault, lands very close to table like she didn't even push off it.

BB: Emma Curry, MLC IDP 6. Press to handstand, full circle in handstand through to v-sit. Both her knee and her ankle are taped up. Nice leap into back tuck. Wobble, form break between two back handsprings. Nicely controlled full pirouette. Back walkover, stops in handstand to swing down. Cartwheel to back layout, chest quite low on landing.

The IDP 6 music is a Tchaikovsky medly (Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies etc) which drives you a bit mad but allows them to show off some ballet skills so I guess that makes up for it.

I don't know what else I can add, really. Videos should be up tomorrow, I didn't get as many as I'd have liked to. I accidentally wiped Tierra's bars routine where she unveiled the new release. I'm kicking myself. Otherwise, pretty much happy with what I got.

I just wish sometimes I had six pairs of eyes and as many hands to help with documenting the whole thing!

Vic State Trial 2

Notebook and pen? Check.

Google Maps directions? Check (I really am that hopeless).

Cash for EXORBITANT train ticket fee? Check.

Warm jacket? Oh yes. *brrrr*

Camera for photos? Check.

License to be inquisitive? Check.

AGB is hitting Prahran, my lovelies. Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Georgia (Is Evidently Not) On My Mind

I really need birthday reminders, people. I'm shocking!

Australian Gymnastics Blog wishes a very happy belated birthday to Beijing's Lucky Number 13, Victorian star Georgia Bonora. Three cheers for the bubbly, smiley, hard-working young performer from the exciting Waverley program. Fans do love a nice Comaneci and Rulfova.

We love ya, G-Bo.
Your Mum's a pretty groovy lady too.

Rock on!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's Britt G, B***h!!!

Victoria's own Britt Greeley is one of six athletes to appear at tomorrow's OMGZ 500 DAYS TIL DELHI COMMONWEALTH GAMES YOU GUYS, LET'S SEE IF JOHN BRUMBY MENTIONS IT ON TWITTER LOL!!!1! media launch and chef-de-mission announcement. She will be representing the hundreds of starry-eyed athletes aiming for the 2010 Australian team.

Good luck, B-rizzle. Make us proud!

"Aaaand I would have to say... my idea of a perfect Sunday is... NO TRAINING!"

Monday, May 18, 2009

Man Drought

Oh dear.

I've been neglecting the boys again.

Horse Whisperers...

Australia's MAG squad, namely Philippe Rizzo, Josh Jefferis, Prashanth Sellathurai, Sam Simpson, Matthew Curtis, Sam Offord and visiting athletes Sean O'Hara, Martin Jozwiak, Michael Mercieca, Jack Rickards, Mitchell "Yes, I realise my name consists of the surnames of two of the best WAG squad members" Morgans, Declan Stacey and Dominic Bedggood, have been training in Canberra. Sellathurai and Curtis are preparing for their trip to Russia, as you may already know.

Sadly, Rizzo reportedly sustained an ankle injury during training. Best wishes for a speedy recovery; hope he'll be well enough to aim for London later in the year.

*sigh* So wonewy...

Calling Team (B)Ambi Vic Contingent!

GV has announced that interstate and NZ athletes will be competing alongside Victoria at June's State Championships.

The following WAG athletes will compete -

Amber Fulljames, Senior International (QLD) (YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!)

Lani Hohepa, Junior International (NZ)

Holly Moon, Junior International (NZ)

Jordan Rae, Junior International (NZ)

Amaya King Koi, Junior International (QLD) (YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!)

Bridget Beattie, Junior International (QLD)

Brittany George, Junior International (QLD)

Ruth Neeves, Junior International (SA)

While the MAGs will face off against -

Sebastian Hui, Senior International (NSW)

Michael Mercieca, Senior International (NSW)

Declan Stacey, Under 17 (NSW)

Mitchell Morgans, Under 17 (NSW)

Jack Rickards, Under 17 (NSW)

And the rhythmic team (aka Vic Chicks With Ribbons and Sticks... I made that up myself, five points for clever rhymitude) will compete alongside -

Olympia Gymnastics Sports (NZ)

PLC Sydney (NSW)

Chatswood North Ryde Rhythmic Gymnastics (NSW)

Pymble Ladies' College (NSW)

Alright, that's it. I simply MUST find a t-shirt printing outlet and get shirts happening. Meanwhile am waiting to hear from GV regarding my volunteer status....

Sunday, May 17, 2009

All A-Twitter

The Australian Gymnastics Blog is back on Twitter after a short absence and then a short period of making it my personal account.

So watch out for future gym-related tweets and twob-servations!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Boys Bound for Europe

Good Luck to Matthew Curtis and Prashanth Sellathurai as they get ready for their participation in the Moscow Stars of Gymnastics World Cup, May 28-30. Additional good luck sentiments to Commonwealth comrade and Kiwi upstart Misha Koudinov.

Look, a Distraction!

I am going to completely distract you from the fact that I stupidly thought today was the second Vic state trial and I got up super early to catch a train into Prahran with my notebook ready and all, thanking the heavens above I decided to check the event website for one last time before leaving the house and discovering it's actually next Saturdaaaaaaaaaaaanyway it's really not important. Let's forget about that.

So I've had a whole day to myself of NOT being in Prahran, making a new AGB speciality - Jaffa muffins! - and watching this montage several times over. It doesn't exactly feature Aussie gymnasts but *munch munch munch on muffin* ISH JUSH SHO *munch* AWSHUM. SHEERUSHLY.

*faints from chocolatey-orangey overload*

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cool and Calculating

Some interesting video nuggets (are you sick of me using that word? I'll stop if you like) have surfaced in the last day or so.

A 'guide' to certain routines via MostepanovaFan shows us how Dasha and Lauren's scores are calculated. Interesting stuff.

Aaaand if you feel like taking a trip down Memory Lane via Bittersweet Boulevard, look back at the 2006 Worlds team trials here. Hollie, Hayley, Alyce, Karen, Melody, the gang's all here (I should say, 'was all there'). Note the usually-consistent Miss D taking a nasty stumble on floor. Surprises herself as much as the audience.

Here We Go!

It's working at last.

I'm just going to look at bits and pieces. I agree that P-Liddy was vague and teasing about parts, but adamant about others. I'm just glad she's toned down the "[name] will have NO chance/is not on my radar/needs to shape up or ship out..." talk.

"Since there is no team event at the World Championships this year, we have really taken an individual approach to the seniors from the Beijing squad," said Liddick, referring to the gymnasts who helped the Australian team place sixth at last summer's Olympic Games."

Great. Let's hope some of the OTHER members of that Beijing team (particularly those that had a greater hand in our 6th place finish than others, and I don't mean that in an antagonistic way) get a shot at some more international exposure before Worlds. I'm gonna use the c-word again: Capitalise on the fact they're still brimming with confidence at what they did last August, capitalise on their ability to block out noise and focus to the extreme like they did at the Games. Use it now (or at least very soon!), let them try it in a new competition environment.

"I have taken the tack that these girls are adults now and they have been involved to a much greater extent in their next four-year plan. We are taking it slow. There is no hurry for them."

That's great to hear. We forget that these girls aren't 15 or 16 anymore; they're now very near to, or on the other side of, 18 years old. Their bodies and mentalities have changed and matured with their styles and repertoires, it's important to approach and work with these these in the appropriate way.

"Britt has been around an elite training environment since she was about 3 years old," Liddick said. "Her mother, Haedi, was an elite gymnast, and she has been on development squads that trained with Monette Russo, Stephanie Moorhouse and Karen Nguyen for the Athens Olympics, and with Ashleigh Brennan for the 2008 campaign, so she knows what it is all about and how to get there. It is nothing new for her."

I forget this sometimes. Britt, then, would know better than the rest of the new seniors what is expected of her and what she can expect as the big event draws nearer. She wasn't at her very best at AYOF or Massilia so with a few months of comprehensive training, and a week's camp experience, under her belt I hope she can pick herself up and do her abilities justice. I saw Britt working on some big skills in training, I'd wish for her to get those ready and consistent and do the best job she can do when selection time comes. She's really grown on me and if she doesn't make the Worlds team this year (I'd say it wouldn't be as an AA-er, maybe as floor specialist if Dasha's not ready???) she'd hang on for a 2010 Commonwealth Games team spot. She comes across as a real team player.

"The girls who are ready and want to, will compete in London," Liddick said. "My expectations would be to only send gymnasts who have their routines up to a World Championships standard and those who can perform at that standard."

Yeah. No more Yurchenko full vaults and single punch layouts as tumbling passes, dammit!

That said, I'm going to make a vague prediction now, and then a more decisive one after Nationals, just to see how it matches up (or how very, very wrong I might be. I'm no good at footy tipping y'know).

AA: Shona Morgan, especially if she's rocking that Baitova we've heard about.
Dasha is she's well enough, but if not then I'd say
Georgia B or Emma Dennis as the second.

Specialist/s: Lauren Mitchell for beam. Derr, Fred! Possibly floor as well if she can control her landings.
Dasha for floor/beam if she's well enough.
Britt for floor if she gets that double arabian.
Mel Jones for floor/vault.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Filler News

STILL can't access International Gymnast.

In the meantime, congratulations to Georgia Bonora for winning the Gymnastics VIS Head Coach Award at the institute's awards night after her fantastic performance in Beijing. Teammate Shona Morgan was one of three finallists, from across all sports, for the VIS Youth Award.


Weeeeellllllll International Gymnast apparently has a new interview with Peggy Liddick up today, with what I am sure are insightful tidbits about the WAG squad.

But the site is down and it is not accessible (yet).

Stay tuned.


*paws feebly at screen*

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Little Disappointment

I am sooooo thrilled with this decision.

GA has released this statement -

Australia will no longer be sending any athletes to compete at the Pre-Olympic Youth Competition.

Emily Little's coaches have made the decision prior to a performance test that was scheduled this week. It has been decided that Emily will remain in training at the WAIS for the National Championships. Whilst it was initially thought that the event would provide solid preparation for her run into the National Championships, it has been decided to turn all attention to physical preparation and the consolidation of new skills.

Vic State Trial 1

Mountains of thanks to MistySakura for doing ground reconnaissance.

Some videos from the event, featuring VWHPC and MLC gymnasts, can be found here. Nice vault from Britt.

Note the GRIPS gymnast using Lisa Skinner's 'Arabian Princess' music!

The Australian Gymnastics Blog endeavours to be at the second Victorian trial, do say hello if you're there.

Are state team trials happening in
your state? Drop me a line at and let us all know about the movers and shakers representing your corner of the country at Nationals '09! Media items are particularly appreciated!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Gymnast Anagram Avalanche!

Thanks everyone for submitting your gymnast anagrams. Keep 'em coming! Some of these are great (albeit a little teasing).

Sophie Budack - Ouch Bad Pikes
Ashley Cooney - A Cheesy Loony
Britt Greeley - Glittery Beer
Chloe Turko - Lock Her Out
Lauren Mitchell -Cheer Lull In Mat (perhaps Lull In Mat Cheer instead? She's been injured recently, that seems more fitting...)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dear Waverley Gymnastics

...can I hug you?

For real?

I think you're just great. Really. You all just seem like one big, happy suburban family full of laughter and affable, apple-cheeked, admirable individuals who sometimes get up to zany antics.

But loveable antics.

Antics that make one want to ruffle your collective hair and go, "Dyaaw, run along you little scamps. I couldn't possibly be mad at you".

Loving it.
All of it.
The whole thing.
That thing you're doing with the success and everything.
It's great.
You're great.

Aaaand... everything's just great!

Liveblogging Before the Bounce

I admit, I was miffed that viewers were implored early into the show 'not to watch the [gymnastics] segment' by Jason Dunstall because of its apparently embarrassing nature, regardless of the plea being a joke or sarcasm. I mean, come on... the girls are on it for the exposure, and if you're an old footballing fart not keen on being seen doing kooky gymnastics tricks, don't do the segment!


So the girls will appear as part of the Yesterday's Hero Challenge. It is, in short, a zany 9 minutes of large guys in footy gear who used to be somebodies nearly bending the uneven bars and belly-flopping onto mats in every way possible, off every feasible piece of apparatus. Well, that's what the preview shots make us believe anyway.

Thank goodness they weren't in leotards is all I can say! (They are in Skins though).

Ballet? Fail.

Stretching? Fail.

Chalking up? Fail.

Georgia does hip circles and toe-ons on bars to start them off. Aaaand of course the guys couldn't follow suit.

*CLUNK* goes the beatboard!

"You guys've got insurance, right?" quips one on-looking coach.

Out comes the flippy score-card.

Headstands and weird cartwheel attempts on the floor mat, and look - forward rolls! (Sorry, rolly-pollies).

Emma and Shona look on and laugh at their tumbling efforts. Looks like fun!

"Spud " attempts a rhythmic-style routine with his St Kilda flag.

Ah, the old 'battered sav'! Roy and HG would be proud.

At least they managed to (nearly) walk the whole length of the beam without falling!

And one jump without a fall, go Dunstall! Much improved!

Emma delivers a pantomime style "Come on, get on with it!" as Dunstall dismounts with a semi-demi-backsault. With John Hart spotting (looking very terrified).

They go over the vault table and not into it, which is impressive. Granted, it takes huffing and puffing (and a rope to pull them out of the foam pit)!

Wow, Dunstall does a pretty good beginner's handspring vault! Bent legs and all but... good for someone who's never been on a vault runway before! Most would cower at the thought of going head-over-heels rather blindly.

Very brief comments from Georgia about the boys, great improvising! "It was a bit... iffy!"

The guys' performances are tied so they do a running race through the foam pit to declare the winner. Jason Dunstall wins, Hawthorn scarf on head and all.

This one was a lot more fun than the Top Model cameo, it's just a shame the girls didn't get to demonstrate more!

ETA: Thanks as always to Nade, who captured the segment for all to see here!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More Aussie Gym on TV!

Via Froggy via Simone Greig of Waverley Gymnastics-

7:30pm tomorrow night (Friday May 8th) on Fox Sports 2, the AFL footy program "Before the Bounce" will feature football players and a cricketer trying gymnastics with Waverley gymnasts Emma Dennis, Shona Morgan and Georgia Bonora.

Correction - The program will air at 6:30pm on Fox Sports 1 and again at 7:30pm on Fox Sports 2.

Your move, Iron Chef...

Gymnastics Australia has updated us on the segment, but says it's Fox 8 and not Fox Sports???

Football legends (and presenters of 'Before the Bounce') Jason Dunstall and Danny Frawley undertook a contest to see who was the "best" at the sport of gymnastics. This contest was gamely umpired by Cricket legend Damien Fleming and cheered on by the Waverley gymnasts (and parents) who were surprised at the entertainment provided for their training on Tuesday morning.

The outcome of this exciting event, which included some ballet and stretching, bar lessons from Beijing Olympian Georgia Bonora, Vault lessons from fellow Olympian Shona Morgan, self choreographed Beam and Floor routines by the football boys (whilst being heckled by Emma Dennis!), spectacular football marks off the vaulting table and some hilarious pit races, will be showing this Friday at on 7.30pm on fox8.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Gymnast Anagram of the Day: May 6

Emma Collister = Clam Omelet, Sir!

What she'll be ordering in fancy resturants when she hits the big time...

Model Misbehaviour

Thanks everyone for the heads-up.

Stacey and Dasha (could this blog love those two ladies more? I thought not until now) did in fact appear on ANTM. Good on 'em. Natural beauties if ever one saw them. They do well with the- let's face it - pretty patronising situation they're given.

Watch this clip (1:00 onwards) to see what happened. You can also see a repeat of the episode today at 2pm on Fox8 if you have Austar/Foxtel. Dasha is eleven hundred times classier than the bulk of these girls, notably Cassi who is clearly this season's love-her-or-hate-her housemate. I am surprised Miss D didn't get to show off more of her repertoire (when the flamenco guitar started I got excited), or that Stacey didn't get to fix up the models' posture, something that was raised in the first episode last week. But any publicity is good publicity for the sport in this country, so three cheers for that.

(Actually, I'm more surprised the two lovely ladies didn't PUNCH JONATHAN PEASE IN HIS SHINY BOY-MAN FACE for being a perpetual tosspot. And the vests, geez! Always with the frickin' vests!)

I personally loved this entertainment blogger's hilarious take on the events. Oh, to have such a way with words...

Back at model HQ and this time it's Madison's turn to win a Logie, by entering stage left and shouting "Hey guys, I think there's something outside!".

What they find in their driveway has clearly come DIRECTLY FROM MY NIGHTMARES - a bunch of midgets in leotards doing flips and somersaults in the rain.

"And then one of the girls pulled a Sarah Mail out of her..." begins Franky, but is drowned out by the sounds of my screaming. Sorry, I'm not sure where that midget pulled that envelope from - you'll have to use your imagination.

Using a crappy quote about falling over (from "anonymous" - come ON guys, couldn't you just get Blondie McPins [aka host Sarah Murdoch] to say something and then attribute it to her?) the Sarah Mail sends the models off to another gym where Pease tells them they're about to be "challenged in every sense of the word".

Unless he's talking to the viewers (who are currently being challenged just to stay awake) I think Pease really means "challenged in just ONE sense of the word -physically", as the models are made to don sparkly leotards and learn a gymnastics routine. Watching a bunch of uncoordinated girls attempting to do the splits is about as interesting as it sounds, save for the part when Cassi does the worm and pulls a muscle in her shoulder. Clare is determined the winner of the lamest challenge in ANTM history for making her leotard look fashionable or something, and is rewarded with a ticket to the ballet with Blondie McPins.

The next five "challenging" minutes of the episode are filled with Mikarla debating with Cassi about how bad her sprained muscle may or may not be, Clare and Tahnee getting ready to go to the ballet, and me yawning and checking my watch.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Here is where I unleash my inner trashbag.

Did anyone see tonight's episode of Australia's Next Top Glamourised Clothes Horse?

Because apparently there was something gymnastic-y about it but I wasn't home to see it.


I could be wrong. The wiki entry was of no help.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Rainy Day Rhythmic

I do have a gymnast interview in the works, it just needs to get clearance first. Watch this space.

In the meantime, enjoy this 2007 performance from a budding Victorian rhythmic gymnastics team. It's not flawless (but what novice performance ever is?) and the 'plop' sounds from the balls hitting the mat is a little distracting... regardless, it's an interesting interpretation of Dasha Joura's floor tango music.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Gymnast Anagram of the Day: May 3

Monette Russo = Onset Sore Tum

...Perhaps the original diagnosis for what brought on her retirement?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Happy Birthday To Ya...

Today is May 2nd.

On this day, we salute the coolest thing in Australian gymnastics since the Athens team used a crappy old esky for their ice baths.


Love from the Australian Gymnastics Blog

I've been thinking of cool t-shirt slogans based around Miss D, but unfortunately I can only think of something that would polarise the pop-culture fans from those who stick to the white noise end of the AM dial:

I am... Dasha Fierce.

It's lame, I know!

If you can think of any other Dasha puns in celebration of her birthday, feel free to post them here.

NB: 19. She's 19 already!? I remember her debuting at 15 in Melbourne. Where DOES the time go?

Friday, May 1, 2009

VWHPC Invitational

You can find results from the weekend's invitational here.

Speaking of Victorians, current HPC competitors Ashleigh Brennan, Britt Greeley, Svetlana Sanders, Zoe Lorenzin and Tierra Exum attended the VIS Awards on Monday night, along with alumni Monette Russo, Karen Nguyen, Stephanie Moorhouse and Kerby Purcell.

No word on winners (or nominees for that matter...)

GA is slowly starting the Nationals publicity wagon with draft schedule etc here. Lauren appears to be the poster girl this year. On their homepage, anyway.