Friday, April 30, 2010

Pacific Rim Championships: DAY 2

God bless McDonalds and its free wi-fi! I am hastily updating before session 2.

A much better turnout for today's women's session. I spotted the New Zealand men's team in the stands and bashfully handed them my poster as a sign of admiration, respect and the need for their women's team to have a hilarious sign waved for them. They said "thenks" and posed for a photo.
AIS girlies (Hi if you're reading this!) sat in the front row of seats; also in the house were some VWHPC gymnasts.

GA's quick hits are here.

NZ once again had a big cheering section, but a lot of other competitors won the crowd's hearts along the way. Big ups to Malaysia for their happy clappy floor routines that kicked off the competition, sleeveless purple leos and all. I did a big "Vamos Alexa!" to Alexa (Alexia?) Moreno as she left floor after a fantastic routine. She's a real powerhouse, showing some strong vaults (stuck a front pike half in warmups) and high tumbles. Everybody's heart went into their respective throats as Mitzi Unda of Mexico landed her double tuck warmup on floor badly, and looked to have sprained her ankle. She was removed from the floor but came back on to perform, to big cheers from the crowd.
NZ's Breanna Mitchell looks like the DNA of Shona Morgan and Ashleigh Brennan smooshed together. The team showed determination throughout, but their form leaves quite a bit to be desired. Brittany Robinson reminded me of Laura Hingston, she was lean and dainty.
One Singaporean gymnast knew the way to work the crowd - Zorba music! That floor staple certainly got the crowd clapping along. Angel Wong showed confidence and class, and if I recall correctly, she was the one who did a Moceanu-circa-1996-by-way-of-Silivas-handstand-wrap-around beam mount?

It's hard for me to contribute when so much has already been said. It's a great atmosphere inside the gym and I wish I had an iPhone to do live updates! I got video of Moreno's floor and a couple of photos. At the very end of the session, Singapore and Malaysia gathered around the beam for happy snaps, including nice smiles and hilariously silly faces. There was great sportswomanship on show as the crowd filtered out, with the teams congratulating and hugging one another after a fantastic round of competition.

Bring on session 2! Gotta run, byeeeee!

Session 2, whooo mama! I am holed up back at home, shivering after a long ride home.

Just first off: my heart absolutely goes out to Brittany Rogers of Canada. Her accident unfolded directly in front of where I was sitting. Her foot slipped off the beam as she entered her double pike dismount, the salto went way too low and our first thought was that she'd faceplant but she thudded onto her back - at first it looked like she'd landed on her neck! She sat up slowly and grabbed her ankle, motioning to the coaches. My seat was two rows from the front, and I was so close I could see her hands shaking and hear her going "owowowowow!" and just sobbing. It was a horrible end to the competition for her. Hope she recovers soon. The team carried on admirably without her.
On a lighter note: Let these words sound from the rooftops. AGB FRIGGIN' LOVES KRISTINA VACULIK. Honestly, people, this Canuck has matured since PacRim 2008 and is every bit the calm, confident, cool operator.

China had fall after fall on beam which the crowd did not expect at all from them! They had neat work but just couldn't get their head in the game. Ksenia Afanasyeva drew everyone's eye to her, and it was obvious her elegant style and solid landings would see her through to the medal podium. I managed to capture a little bit of her beam warmup on video.
Once again, all eyes were on a pink-hot Team USA. The injury to Bridget Sloan did not affect their mood or performances. This is a team that is consistently ready and consistently confident. The only major mistakes came from Bross on beam (stumble after front somi) and Sloan (looked like she did a toe-on on the low bar but ended up facing the wrong way and had to take it again). Raisman is every bit the Sacramone clone, Ross and Vega showed some sass on the floor, Weiber was all smiles and Bross showed she's boss. You'd be hard-pressed to bet your dollars on an American loss in competitions over the next quadrennium.

Australia hung on for 3rd and we are so proud of all of you! Milly for a stellar beam! Emily for a super vault and 5th all-around! Larrissa for hitting bars! Georgia for standing up the arabians on floor and off bars! Emma for staying strong and getting that double tuck off beam! Georgia Rose for being gorgeous and classy the whole way through! Girlies, you exceeded all expectations and the crowd just loved you, keep the good vibes going over the weekend.

Check my Photobucket and YouTube in the next 24 hours, I hope to have some nuggets up for ya. See an awesome photo gallery at Universal Sports here.

See the short clip from the 7pm Project here:

Who was in the stands tonight? The AIS girls again, Ju Ping Tian, Fiona Coley, Naomi Russell, Ashleigh Brennan (the latter two having a good old laugh with Stacey), Josh Jefferis and Team Mexico.

What did AGB do wrong tonight? Talk to Bridget Sloan.
Here is a transcript of our post-meet chat, shared over the arena railing as she took a breather from signing autographs.
AGB: "Um, hey Bridget! You rock!" *unfurls Melbourne <3's style="font-style: italic;">BS: "Oh wow cool! Thank you!"
AGB: "Yeah, well done tonight! You guys were really great!"
BS: "Thanks *laugh*!"
AGB: "Yeah! Uh... it's so fantastic you came. Melbourne's so happy to have you, we can't wait to have you back, you yourself have a love of Australian fans!"
BS: "Awww, thanks! Glad to be here!"
AGB: "...sorry about your foot!"
BS: "..."
AGB: "Ok, so, yeah, um, bye!"

Not "sorry TO HEAR ABOUT your foot", no, just "sorry about your foot".


Verbal diarrhoea - I get it a lot. *cringe*

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pacific Rim Championships: DAY 1

Gosh, I thought the day when I could say that would never come!

Today, today, today, today TODAY marks the first round of Pacific Rim competition!

Yours truly will be at both men's artistic sessions. I will probably have my NZ sign for this morning, I may not. I have a lot in my bag as it is, and lugging a big roll of cardboard around will get frustrating. If not... then... just guess which one I am (clue: the one with a beet-red nervous face asking for autographs or photos of fan signs)!

But yes! Warmup is from 1pm and I'm told ticketholders can rock up anytime from then on to watch before march-in. And don't let those seating goons (apologies to any lovely volunteers reading this) boss you around during that time - go mingle with your fellow fans and share the good vibes* with those you spot in the stands.

Now, just a couple of final words before I head off on a rattling train:

1) Twitter (PacRimChamps) and Facebook (2010 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships) will be doing 'quick hits' simultaneously. There is no web video streaming for this event so keep your eyes there. I don't own an iPhone so cannot update the blog's twitter - or the blog iteself, for that matter - while I'm in the arena.
2) According to Michelle Cook of JumpMedia, filming will NOT be permitted during Friday's women's competition, and at the request of NBC they will enforce that rule rather strictly.
3) Those of you interested in following the rhythmic competition can follow Cameron Pegg's live tweeting here.

Now, go forth and be Mezzie, for today is a glorious day for gymfans!

*not a euphemism for narcotics. Jussayin'.


Where do I begin!?

How's about here: Congratulations to Sam Offord for winning silver in the men's senior all-around!

There was a small but loyal turnout to both sessions. NZ had the biggest support contingents, after Australia in the latter session. I sat behind some NZ coaches and supporters who thought it necessary to talk THE ENTIRE TIME THROUGH EVERY ROUTINE.


Just going over the notes I saved in my phone... NZ had a lot of stuck landings and more confidence than ever in their program. They topped Singapore (the only other full team in session 1) convincingly and have some real rising stars in their lineup. I probably can't add anything you didn't already read at Twitter or Facebook. There were some very low scores in the first session, but the highlight was Hong Kong's Wai Hung Shek sticking a near-perfect double front tuck vault. Kiwi Brandon Field had a scary rings fall but recovered alright. Aaron Clutterbuck (hope I spelled that correctly) showed some nice work, especially on p-bars. In short - go you big silver ferns!

There was a larger turnout for session 2, and from the second you walked in your eyes locked on the Americans. They showed such power and confidence in all their work, and you couldn't ignore their enthusiastic cheers. Danell Leyva's dad was the pick of the bunch (he of the whoop-whoop celebrations), fist-bumping every one of the gymnasts after they did a good skill, or mounted the podium, or hit a routine, or was re-starting a fumbled routine... it was fist bumps abd backslaps all round once the team was declared the overall winners. China were elegant as always, with textbook twisting style and pirouettes on bars. Unfortunately, Leyva didn't have the best night, falling on either his bum or his face on 4/5 floor tumbles. The crowd loved USA's Steve Legendre and CJ Maestas, and picked up on several of Chris Cameron's rowdy cheers. Canada and Russia quietly plugged away while the crowd went nuts for the home team and America's daring. Nathan Gafuik won the senior all-around, John Orozco was tops for juniors.

At the end of the night, Team Canada posed around the pommel horse for the fans, Nathan hopped on the phone to what I assume was Mum and/or Dad to let them know how it went.

The medal dais was everyone's favourite green one that didn't quite look like the right size for a team event but everybody juuuuust squeezed on there and looked happy to receive medals, flowers and stuffed animals (I think it was kangaroos this time).

Spotted in the crowd at session 2: Team NZ MAG, Ben Wilden, Josh Jefferis, Valeri Liukin and Mihai Brestyan, Stacey Umeh (I saw you, sister-girlfriend! But you were too busy chatting and being fabulous to notice li'l old me trying to catch your eye!), Ian Bartlett, Liz Chetkovich and Team Russia. They are indeed tiny girlies.

Daddy Liukin, Bridget Sloan and the US girls were spotted souvenir shopping this afternoon on Swanston St. I was in Elizabeth St, DIRECTLY PARALLEL, AT EXACTLY THE SAME TIME. *sigh*

AGB and The Couch Gymnast finally encountered one another, at which point the universe was turned upside down and the sheer awesomeness of the moment melted the faces of all and sundry.

More photos are up at my Photobucket account, and I have two videos up at YouTube (see useful links in the sidebar).

Hurray! *claps, jumps and fist-bumps* Here's hoping Day 2 has a big turnout and some big cheering for the ladies.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pacific Rim News: AGB Posters

Slow going at the moment, folks.

These are the first of my completed posters.

My Team Australia one is green and gold but otherwise blank. I can't think of a good slogan. I'd love your suggestions! Post them in a comment or email me at

I also picked Nastia-inspired pink cardboard for Team USA and got as far as putting a red heart in the middle. I thought about "I <3 USA" but then thought maybe there are some fans out there who'll be attending that might want to do an individual shout out to a US team member? "Melbourne <3's Bridget" or something? Drop me a line at the email address above as soon as possible and let me know if you'd like to hold the poster and spread the love among the stands for our international visitors. You can even keep it as a memento!

I'm running low on time and resources, so I won't end up with as many posters as I originally planned!

Pacific Rim News: Podium Training

More training inside the arena for artistic today.

If you caught Channel 9 news this afternoon, you'd have seen a blink-and-you'll-miss-it plug for the event at the end of the sports report. It included a little bit of footage from the training session, including Emma Collister's double arabian on floor.

The Couch Gymnast (see my links tab) has some cracking photos and observations from Hisense. I thank Couchy greatly for the following photos of Aussie WAGs. Click on each for a larger version.

Apparently both Georgias are looking good but Larrissa is still struggling with that Adler combination.

Read a new preview of the event and Peggy interview here.

Pacific Rim News: One Day More

Today marks the second day of training for teams at Pacific Rim as well as the opening ceremony. My apologies for not giving comprehensive coverage of trampolining and rhythmic, but my ticket is for Hisense.

You can read some detailed observations from yesterday's artistic training sessions here, courtesy of Elaine at the International Gymnast forum.

I'll be away once again due to work today but hope to update any goings-on later this evening. I am also going to try and whip up some posters (probably not as many as I originally envisioned) with my limited time and resources. In the meantime, keep your eyes on tweets and Facebook updates.

Hope to bring you some exciting on-the-scene coverage from tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pacific Rim News: LOTS OF IT!

If you haven't 'liked' the Pacific Rim Championships page on Facebook, or are following on Twitter (PacRimChamps), then do it NOW.

Some cracking photos and videos are being added to each page simultaneously every day, and today's training session alone proved a goldmine.

You'll notice there are 7 Aussie girls on the floor; apparently Emma Nedov has travelled to Melbourne with the team. I believe this has to do with Georgia Wheeler's (noticeably strapped) knee?

Thanks to the Anon who posted these titillating tidbits...

"USA look unstoppable.
Marta has a new little fave in Kyla Ross who did some beaut bar work.
Bross and Sloan struggled on bars - but their difficulty is amazing - if they hit (and I suspect they will) they will be unbeatable.
Team AUS and team CAN had solid, solid training and the Chinese and Russians looked superb. Oh China on beam - sigh!
The junior Russians are the smallest girls in the arena bar one miniature Chinese girl. They all seemed pretty happy around Hisense today!"

And an AGB agent on the scene (possibly the same Anon, teehee) said ...

* New Zealand looked pretty good on Beam and floor!
* Larrissa Miller (AUS) did not appear to warm anything up other than bars
* Emma Nedov (AUS reserve) appeared to be training all apparatus with the rest of the team
* My friend overheard Marta Karolyi saying she liked the look of Georgia Rose Brown (AUS) (possibly just body-wise, not sure if she saw her actually doing gym...)
* Alexa Moreno (Mexico) has good tumbling! Very high! A real little powerhouse. Did Pike full in, double pike and very open double arabian tuck.
* Rebecca Bross (USA) was doing very cowboyed double fronts
* Alex Raisman (USA) was a sticking machine, stuck all her tumbling.... then bailed out of a roundoff and had a pretty spectacular fall. Walked it off, talked to her coach for a while and then went back and did 1.5 through to layout, which eventually became a double arabian.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pacific Rim News: Things That Go Bump-In

Ooooh, I gots me some tingles!

In other good news, Emma Dennis was spotted last week helping the 2010 Commonwealth Games torch on its international journey!

In quite sad news, Team Australia MAG has been dealt yet another blow. Sam Simpson has had to withdraw from Pacific Rim due to injury. He will be replaced by Luke Wadsworth.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pacific Rim News: Caption This!

And from 3D to HD: Channel 10's digital off-shoot OneHD to broadcast Pacific Rim...?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pacific Rim News: WAG Camp

Big thanks to MLC for reports, photos and interviews from our WAG Pacific Rim campers.

International delegations arrive from Monday, let's get this party started!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pacific Rim News: The Countdown Begins

Less than a week to go, muffins! Woohoo!

Just a quick news round-up:

Luke Wiwatowski has been named to our men's team, replacing Philippe Rizzo. Congratulations, Luke, and good luck!

The USA has confirmed its women's team, and it is the exciting combination of... the nominative team!

Rebecca Bross
Alexandra Raisman
Kyla Ross (may be replaced with Madison Kocian if ankle problems continue?)
Bridget Sloan
Jordyn Wieber
Sabrina Vega

He Ning of China is apparently ruled out of their team.

An article on Emily Little for The West Australian is here. Note the really exciting bits at the end:

[Lauren] Mitchell has returned to full training with vault and tumbling basics, having overcome a hand and then a foot injury and should be ready for trials in July.

Dasha Joura, Australia's leading Olympian in Beijing in 2008, is also progressing after 18 months away from top level competition.

An article featuring rhythmic gymnast Naazmi Johnston can be found here.

I will be absent for much of tomorrow, so I won't be around to see the live chat with G-Whizz unfold. Don't forget to get your question in (you can ask from today)!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Because Clearly I'm Bored With the Toys I Have

I got one of those "Formspring" thingymawhatsits.

Feel free to ask me questions about the nature of the blog, Aussie gymnastics in general or my own brief gymnastics experiences at

(Any questions deemed offensive or personal will be deleted)

Any queries needing further exploration can be sent to me via or at my Twitter (link below right).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pacific Rim News: More Media

A breakdown of the Victorian PRC participants by suburb is here (with some additional comments from Peggy Liddick).

Though home-field advantage is often a big plus in sport, Liddick said the Australian coaching staff would be working hard to ensure the young team remains fully-focussed on the competition floor.

“It would be easy to look up in the stands and wave at granny, when they should be thinking about their beam routine.”

Below is French coverage of the recent Paris-Bercy international, featuring Emily Little's vaults from the final (thanks bundles, Marine!)

Here is her beam from qualifications (with thanks to eipos24).

Here's a different angle on her vault from one I previously posted.

Aaaaaaand here's Georgia Wheeler's beam for good measure!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pacific Rim News: I'm Doing The Snoopy Dance

Who's excited for next week!?

You Sir, are you excited?

You there, Madam (not meant in anyway to presume you associate yourself with ladies-of-the-night), are YOU excited?

Small child looking terrified, are YOU excited!?!?

Big Kev says... I'm excited!

Victorians, get ready for tomorrow's double-page Pacific Rim promotional liftout in the Herald Sun! You might have spotted the teaser ad today in the very same publication, a surprise that made me drop my lunch in shock and glee.

Set your collective moods to WOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!

Edit: in the meantime, read a Herald Sun article on the gym team's prospects here (it may very well form part of tomorrow's liftout?) and an additional piece on Georgia Wheeler here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Round-Up

Dasha Joura has been imparting her fabulousness and experience on West Australian kiddies. Read about it here. (Thanks, Anon)

MLC's website has more photos from Lydia Lassila and the Channel 10 news crew's visit here.

I've put a few more videos up from yesterday's competition, organised into a playlist at my channel.

I still have to put up the medal ceremonies, though. I managed the one featured below today because it's quite short. Note the centre now has its own medals (complete with labelled ribbon) in addition to its own medal podium.

Hope you're all having a winning weekend!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

AGB Goes to the VHPC Invitational

Along with a mere handful of spectators.

Plenty of room to spare in Prahran today as some of Victoria's best (and I do mean some - MLC, Waverley, Jets, Grips, apparently didn't make the trip out) strutted their stuff in front of a small but dedicated crowd.

And Peggy Liddick.

Our national women's head coach was there, and her presence made me as nervous as I'm sure it made the gymnasts. Kinda like when police officers walk past - you know you're totally innocent and non-threatening, you just feel like you're going to be pulled up for something. She was quite taken with the HPC's system of chair sponsorship ("This Chair Donated by [x gymnast]") and asked two younger gymnasts, "How do I get my name on a chair?... Do you guys just bring them from Bunnings or something?" She also took a shine to the girls' pink aprons left over from the breast cancer fundraiser, joking, "I love the waitress look you've got going on!"

In short - give this woman her own stand-up set, post haste.

But yes! To the competition proper.

Seniors Naomi Russell and Fiona Coley were not present. Zoe Lorenzin and Alex Eade continued apparatus training as the others rotated events; Ash Brennan trained in the first rotation but joined the rest of Mischa and Tracey's squad for beam, vault and floor. All girls wore the pink breast cancer fundraiser leotards with matching ribbons. Some girls from Balance Gymnastics came to watch the second session, wearing their OSU-esque black and orange leotards.

I recorded as much as possible on my new video camera but, I ashamedly admit, I accidentally erased Georgia Rose Brown's GORGEOUS beam routine. I am kicking myself for it. I managed to catch a whole bunch of other routines and observations.

Before I upload them, here are some tidbits -

* Britt Greeley is sporting a tan; she worked her Weiler kip on the single bar throughout today's session, sitting and chatting to Peggy during the first rotation.
* The girls have had their dance and pirouette work overseen by choreographer Lisa Bradley in recent days.
* Zoe Lorenzin did double pike dismounts on bars, then some fairly piked attempts at double layouts. I repeat - double layout dismounts! I can definitely see her getting the skill consistently. She then did some lovely ones on the tumbling strip (spotted then un-spotted) plus some piked full-ins for good measure, while fellow junior Alex Eade worked on triple twists. Alex fell backwards on nearly every one, but made some amusing faces in the process. I tried poorly to catch both of these things on camera.
* The gym gets a new floor mat tomorrow, apparently. They have their own medal dais now with the centre's logo on it, used at the end for awards.
* Georgia Rose's dad (at least I think it was her dad) dutifully filmed each of her routines, as did Peggy. A lot of buzz around GRB today as the Pacific Rim representative, she got a special shout-out at the end.
* Ash B was the only senior on show today, so she won 3 apparatus titles outright. Hers was the last lot of awards given out, Peggy walked up and just put all 3 gold medals around her neck instead of having each one announced individually. Much laughter ensued.

Aaaand... I'll pretty much let the videos do the talking now! Forgive any wobbly bits and my excessive use of zoom. I was up, down and around trying to capture the best angle.

Stay tuned, I'll have them up and in a playlist before tonight is out.

Edit: Ok, so I lied. YouTube is taking FOREVER and I have about half a dozen videos still to come (including Georgia Rose's vault, Svetlana's floor and the medal ceremonies). Please bear with me, my little laptop can only take so much. My apologies for you all hearing me constantly saying gymnast names at the beginnings of videos, it's to remind myself when the time comes to label them on YouTube! I will try and get the rest up by tomorrow afternoon.

In the meantime, enjoy this little random moment I felt like capturing...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Gymnast Anagram of the Day

Mitchell Morgans = To Smell Charming

(A good way to get on the judging panel's good side?)


Tell Mom - Crashing!

(Something his siblings heard a lot before he started in gymnastics!?)


Not only is Phil Rizzo confirmed to be out of Pacific Rim with injury, the team reserve Martin Jozwiak is out, too!

GA says:

Rizzo has battled niggling shoulder inflammation since before the trial but persevered under light training loads in the hope that his shoulder would respond in time to take his place in the men's team.

Unfortunately, an MRI yesterday revealed that the shoulder is not responding as well as first hoped and that a period of rest and rehabilitation is required in order to avoid any further inflammation.

This disappointment comes just days before the men's team is due to head to Canberra for their final preparations ahead of the 2010 Pacific Rim Championships in Melbourne.

Team reserve Martin Jozwiak (WA) has also been ruled out of taking Rizzo's place owing to injury, with Victorian Luke Wadsworth and New South Welshman Luke Wiwatowski flying into camp next Tuesday to be put through their paces.

A decision on Rizzo's replacement is expected by Thursday 22 April.

Get well soon, Phil and Martin! This is very unfortunate timing but here's hoping you can recover for the big events going on later this year.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Double Woah

Phil Rizzo reportedly out of Pacific Rim with injury!?

And what will YOU ask rising star Georgia Wheeler?


I was about to make a start on dinner when something, some inkling, made me go into the loungeroom just now*. I'm so glad I did because as I walked in and faced the tv, Channel 10 news was starting a short piece on former MLC gymnast turned Winter Olympics gold medallist Lydia Lassila visiting her old stomping grounds... where we also got to meet Amelia McGrath and Georgia Wheeler!

Lydia showed her gold medal to young gymnasts in training and briefly talked about her gym background leading to aerial skiing, the reporter mentioned the upcoming Pacific Rim and Commonwealth Games events, and G-Whizz and Millybeans talked about their future goals (both as smiley as eachother while doing so). Here's hoping we see the piece again on Ten's late news sometime around 10:30 (AEST) tonight!

I have a feeling we'll see superstar Lydia presenting medals at Pacific Rim, too.

You stay classy, MLC! d(^_^)b

(photo courtesy of benoitof at

*Funnily enough it wasn't the GA tweet that I only just spotted after posting this. I've been incommunicado for two hours, I thought maybe I had magical precognition or something and spotted some unannounced news item...

ETA: Video, courtesy of JumpMedia.

(ETA further: I caught the segment as it replayed on Sports Tonight. Turns out a short and entusiastic soundbite from Peggy also featured, which was cut from the initial report; it also doesn't appear in the above upload)

Extra-Curricular Fun

Now, don't go saying our collegiate Aussies don't have fun in their downtime!

Olivia Vivian and her Oregon State teammates oversee part of the annual student athlete talent show, having some fun with a coach from the school's rowing team.

I don't think you're ready for this jelly!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

French International - More Video

Georgia Wheeler's floor from qualifications:

You can glimpse Emily marching into the vault final here. I'm hoping full coverage of the final will be up somewhere soon!

"Don't worry... we'll wait right here!"

Monday, April 12, 2010

French International - Videos

Thanks to the Anon for bringing these to my attention, and many thanks to the fan who captured it all on film!

Emily's vault

Rissa's bars

Georgia's bars

You can see Emily's floor from qualifications (gros bisous à Aurelia!) here.

There is a full wrap-up report, plus photos, from Desiree Jones here. Who said segway scooters couldn't look cool, hey!?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

French International - Competition Day 2

Despite our efforts in getting behind Emily Little in the vault final that took place not too long ago in Paris, she didn't perform to her absolute best and was awarded 5th place.

From the eyes and ears on the scene, The Gymnastics Examiner:

Emily Little, AUS: Wearing black long sleeves with pink and purple swirls. Concentrating hard. Long wait for her. Should be a is! Low landing and had to step forward, but good twist form. Her coach was happy with this, stepped forward clapping. Can she stand up vault no. 2? If memory serves, she fell on it yesterday. 14.225, biggest score we've seen yet. 5.8 D-score. Handspring piked front, sat down. Too bad! She just landed too low, did not get the height she needed. 12.15 second vault, 13.175 total.

Good try, Em! Hope you and your teammates come home safely!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

French International - Competition Day 1

Follow the French International LIVE! here at The All Around.

Apparently competition gets underway in less than 10 minutes' time! I'll do as much coverage as I can before I have to hit the hay for an early day at work.

Allez allez allez!


Right, yes, hello, I'm home at last.

The bad news is, Team Australia didn't have the best of outings, with falls knocking Larrissa Miller and Georgia Wheeler out of contention for any apparatus finals. However, the good (great!) news is that Emily Little qualified 4th to the vault final with a nifty Yurchenko double, and Georgia ranked 9th on bars, making her first reserve to that final.

According to The Gymnastics Examiner:

Australian Emily Little, one of only two competitors to throw a double-twisting Yurchenko, qualified fourth after sitting down her handspring pike front second vault (5.8, 9.075 and 4.6, 7.65).

Larrissa Miller, bars: Toe on to high, Inside stalder half to inverts, jam to Jaeger. Fall on inside stalder half, just didn't have the timing. Another inside stalder full to Geinger and then has to stop her swing. Looked like she got a bit lost in the air...the sticks the full twisting double. Argh. Frustration for Aussie fans!

Wheeler, bars: Toe stalder to Maloney, bail, toe on to almost dead hang, has to muscle the kip, Arabian double pike dismount, cool. Nice form throughout.

Read a further report via MLC here. It details Georgia's competition round and outlines circumstances that go some way to explain her less-than-stellar performances. On a personal note, it's unfortunate that the gymnasts didn't get a touch warm-up, I freaking hate that rule!

In the face of the rather mixed results, let's not try throwing anybody under the proverbial bus; this was a massive assignment for the three girls to take on and one from which they will take a lot of valuable experience for Pacific Rim. They didn't shy away from the big new skills in their respective repertoires, and probably can't wait to do them well in front of a home crowd in a few weeks.

In other good news, Melanie Jones and Olivia Vivian will travel with their Oregon State teammates to the NCAA National Gymnastics Championships! A close-run regional contest in Missouri saw OSU finish tied with defending national champions University of Georgia, but they won the tie-break to finish second behind the host college, with the top 2 teams going through to Nationals. It will be the first for both of our homegrown Beavers, as Melanie rounds out her freshman year in the lineup and Olivia tries to avoid the injury woes that saw her miss the championships last year.

French International - Podium Training

Woke up to a flood of news and reports from the Paris-Bercy event.

GA have put up yet another photo-filled update from women's podium training. The MLC site has a more detailed update here about how training went. Hope the girls can handle the noise alright!I love that kiddies are clamouring for Gee-Whizz's autograph! That's got to be a confidence booster.

The Gymnastics Examiner did a live podium training report here (nothing really about the Aussies except that they were in attendance).

French fan forum is putting up some smashing photos from the arena. At this particular moment in time there are none of the Aussies, though I don't doubt there will be some soon. The French fans are the ones in the thick of things, I expect lots of news and update from them (as much as my university-level French language studies will let me understand).

Unfortunately, I double-booked myself for today and am unable to attend the MLC Classic. If any of you are attending and can send some media nuggets my way, I'd love to hear from you!

Late Night Nuggets

For all you MAG lovers - some Pacific Rim trial videos!

Sam Simpson on high bar. Shame about the stack...

Sean O'Hara, also on high bar.

Martin Jozwiak on pommel.

Yes, yes, I'll go to bed eventually!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Paris Je T'aime

GA has put up a fantastic update from the girls in Paris.

C'est si bon!

Check it all out here.

There is an additional short update from MLC's Jeb Silsbury here.

Dunno what's being practised in this shot exactly, but it's mighty purdy!

They've also put up Peggy Liddick's WAG camp report which you can read here, I've highlighted some of the notable bits...

"Emily Little was the second place all-arounder...She has a really powerful double twisting Yurchenko so that’s exciting. (Hopefully any form issues are fixed and she has a better showing than PacRim 2008)

Larrissa Miller...was all prepared to do the all-around but then she had a slight calf tear, and so we decided we needed her later in the year for the Commonwealth Games and Worlds so that’s why we’re just going to do bars with her.

Georgia Rose-Brown, she’s a really Khorkina-esque type gymnast. Tall, unique gymnast, she reminds me of a Lisa Skinner type. (Hopefully without the beam dismount issues?)

Lauren’s going to come to Melbourne and do some autograph signing (I knew it! I knew it!) and she’s coming to our training camp.

It’s going to be between us Russia, China and Canada for the two minor [Pacific Rim] medals. I think the USA are going to win it by ten points.

I anticipate all three seniors, Georgia, Emily and Larissa to be the core of our Commonwealth and worlds team."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Oh mah gaaaaaaaaaahd



(Don't forget, you can help keep the AGB worker bees in such a great mood by signing this petition!)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Other April Assignments

The Pacific Rim page at Facebook has put up a little piece about the recent WAG team selection. It contained the following -

Although Mitchell attended the squad camp at the AIS, Liddick decided her participation at the Pacific Rim Championships was not worth the risk.

“Lauren has got a torn ligament in her ankle which is going to take a lot longer than anticipated to heal,” said Liddick of her young charge who won silver on beam and floor at last year’s world championships in London.

“There was absolutely no way I was going to take a risk on her by pushing it too early. She’s still in an air-brace, and she gets a scan next week to see how it’s healing and to see what the next step is.

“It’s more me being super cautious with her than anything else.”

Liddick said the selection of the three senior girls was the start of the ‘changing of the guard’ in Australian gymnastics as they head towards the London 2012 Olympics.

“I anticipate all three seniors, Georgia, Emily and Larissa to be the core of our Commonwealth and 2012 Olympic qualification team at worlds this year.

“It’s a changing of the guard absolutely. It always happens the second year of an Olympic cycle. These kids are coming of age and are first year seniors and they’re certainly making their mark.

“This is a fantastic opportunity (for the girls), put them out there and see how they go. I’ve been going to the Pacific Rim for the last 30 years and it’s a fantastic meet.

“The USA are sending their top guns out, so they’re going to be absolutely fantastic, the best scores I’ve seen going around the world.

“Russia are deep and they’ll send some quality gymnasts out, China will be strong, and Canada, they’re sending out their best six, so they’re out to win a medal.”

Miller, Wheeler and Little will have their first big hit out prior to the Pacific Rim Championships this weekend, when they head to Paris for the French International World Cup event.

April is an exciting month for gymnastics, with quite a few competition opportunities in addition to the Pacific Rim Championships.

This weekend sees the MLC Gymnastics Club Senior Classic, featuring budding younger gymstars, mighty tough national level-ers and some exciting seniors - recent camp attendees included! Read more about the event here. Just when I was looking at sitting around at home this Saturday...!

The 2010 Victorian Women's High Performance Centre Senior Invitation will take place on April 17. It takes place over two sessions, which you can find more information about here. AGB will most likely be in attendance for that too!

I also extend hearty congratulations to the following girls named to this month's Pre-Olympic Youth Cup in Germany (also announced at camp last week):

(pictured L-R) Amelia McGrath, Emma Nedov, Georgia Rose Brown and Angela Donald

You can read a little camp wrap-up by Lauren Mitchell here. It appears Dasha Joura attended the camp as well!

Don't forget to also save some cheers for our Paris-bound team of Georgia Wheeler, Emily Little and Larrissa Miller! You can see the official event website here.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter 2010

To friends and family of the blog, have a safe and happy Easter!

Hope the weekend finds you well (and suitably overdosed on sweets).

The Omnipotent Chocolate Wombat

Pacific Rim News: Team Australia (WAG)

I'm sure it was a VERY Good Friday for a handful of Aussie gymnasts.

Congratulations to...

Georgia Wheeler
Emily Little
Larrissa Miller

Amelia McGrath
Georgia-Rose Brown
Emma Collister

Britt Greeley is reportedly the senior reserve, Emma Nedov for juniors.

You can see some photos from the camp, courtesy of the VWHPC, here.

Hoping all athletes and officials had a safe trip home from Canberra, and can enjoy an awesome Easter weekend!