Sunday, July 25, 2010

Blog Voyage

Probably should have raised this sooner...

On Wednesday, I am heading off on an 18-day tour around Asia. I probably won't be utilising internet access although, if I do, it won't be for blog updating.

If you're looking for a good place for further discussion as various events unfold (I'm pretty sure I'll be missing the Youth Olympic Games?), don't forget that the Worldwide Gym Forum ( has a dedicated sub-forum for Australian content.

The latest news I have on hand to satisfy your appetites while I am gone is that the draw for the Rotterdam Worlds has taken place!

Australia's WAG team will compete in subdivision 5 of 12 alongside Denmark, Greece and one of the mixed groups.

Australia's MAG team will compete in subdivision 5 of 10 alongside Belarus, Bulgaria, Portugal, the USA and a mixed group.

So enjoy any news and gossip as it breaks.

Unfortunately, I can't bring you all back batik headscarves (much as I would like to).

Stay cool, cuddly wombats. Chat soon.

(I'll leave you with the following discovery)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust

Another elite who was making great comeback strides - former Queenslander Naomi Russell - has announced retirement from gymnastics.

Read the statement from the Victorian High Performance Centre here.

Naomi was a hard-working gymnast with powerful vault and bars skills and a striking performance style. She won two medals for Australia at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, taking a bronze on vault and standing alongside her teammates on the winner's dais as Australia took team gold. She also etched her name alongside the exciting class of 2005-2006 with a strong international debut at the Shanghai World Cup and Australia vs Japan events. With Commonwealth all-around champ Chloe Sims and prima ballerina Hollie Dykes, she proved to be one of the best performers the Sunshine State has ever produced.

I was so looking forward to seeing Naomi make a run for another Commonwealth Games or maiden World Championships since her move to Melbourne. I hope she finds contentment in whatever she pursues, but, most of all, I wish her good health.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

No ShoMo No Mo'

Best wishes to Olympian Shona Morgan who, it was announced today, has decided to retire from elite gymnastics here in Oz and concentrate on her commitment to Stanford University. Read the news and a statement from Peggy Liddick here.

I am sure Shona will be an exceptionally valuable asset to the Stanford class of 2011, and I hope she has as enjoyable a time with them as we have seen our other collegiate Aussies have with their schools. I had the pleasure of meeting her at an event outside of gymnastics and she was as pleasant as I'd always presumed she would be. As a competitor, she boasted difficult skills performed with elegance, and a calm demeanour to boot. With multiple state and national medals under her belt, it is no surprise that Shona's name has appeared in the Australian lineup for two world championships (three, if you count her reserve role in 2006) and an Olympics.

Shona was a Rotterdam contender and listed as a reserve for the Commonwealth Games team but, in retirement, has relinquished both positions. You can read about the rest of the Delhi team lineup here.


Rock on, ranga girl. Have fun Stateside.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rotterdam 2010: Team Australia (MAG)

More team news, with GA announcing our men's team to the World Championships.

Congratulations to...

Josh Jefferis
Sam Offord
Tom Pichler
Phil Rizzo
Prashanth Sellathurai
Luke Wadsworth
Luke Wiwatowski

Reserves- Aaron Thanas, Jayden Bull

Sellathurai is to be interviewed on OneHD this Thursday night, with the "Thursday Night Live" program having a chat with him between 7:30 and 9:30. Set your sets!

On the women's side, the additional members of the Rotterdam training squad that will meet up with the Commonwealth team once the Games are over and compete for selection are...

Emma Dennis, Britt Greeley, Georgia Simpson, Larrissa Miller, Natasha Hammann, Shona Morgan and Georgia Wheeler (the latter two acting as non-travelling Delhi reserves)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Delhi 2010: Team Australia (WAG)

Can ya feel the excitement!?

I will update names as they filter through from sources.

Congratulations to...

*Ashleigh Brennan
* Mary-Anne Monckton
* Georgia Wheeler (2nd reserve)


That's all I've been informed about. I have to go now, and won't be back until very late, so chat amongst yourselves as the rest of the team is announced. Have a good Monday.


I knew it! Not ten minutes after I shut down my laptop and leave the house for my extra-long shift at work, does a text message come through informing me of the full team! I guess you can't always be around for the good stuff. I am now trawling through all your lively comments and discussions!

It's well after midnight here but I'm sending happy vibes out to...

*Ashleigh Brennan
* Lauren Mitchell
* Emily Little
* Mary-Anne Monckton
* Georgia Bonora

Well done, ladies, and good luck!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Delhi 2010: Team Australia (MAG)

A hearty congratulations to the following gymnasts who have been named to Australia's Commonwealth Games men's team:

* Phil Rizzo
* Prashanth Sellathurai
* Sam Offord
* Thomas Pichler
* Josh Jefferis

This marks the 3rd Games for Rizzo, and the second for Offord, Sellathurai and Jefferis.


The women's team is slated for announcement today (Monday 19th) though I have no idea what time. I'm only around until 2:45 so if you don't see an update before then... the news has been broken and I wasn't around to hear it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

MAG Nationals: Senior/Junior AA Wrap-Up

Congratulations to the medallists...

1st - Sam Offord
2nd - Thomas Pichler
3rd - Luke Wadsworth

Level 10/U18:
1st - Tyson Bull
2nd - Brody-Jai Hennessy
3rd - Kevin James

Well done, lads! Excellent efforts over 2 days of competition. Check the Gymnastics Australia Facebook page for more updates and videos.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

MAG Nationals: Senior/Jnr TF

Currently underway at the AIS Arena in Canberra.


After 2 rotations Queensland takes the lead over NSW and Victoria. Josh Jefferis leads the individual standings.

Quick hits are being updated at the Gymnastics Australia Facebook page (and, one would assume, Twitter).


Congratulations to the 2010 Men's Team Champions...

1st. Victoria
2nd. New South Wales
3rd. Queensland

After this first round of competition, Thomas Pichler leads the senior AA standings, with reigning national champ Sam Offord in second, and Luke Wadsworth in third.

Pacific Rim representative Tyson Bull is tops for juniors AA , with fellow Victorian Kevin James and Queenslander Brody-Jai Hennessy sitting in equal second.

WAG Nationals: Video Nuggets

National 10 finals courtesy of the ever-hard-working Desiree Jones:

And videos from gymnasts at the Victorian High Performance Centre can be found here. (Thanks to everybody for pointing it out to me!)

Woohoo! Go Ash!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Happy Birthday To...

The original Aussie OSU Beaver and newly-crowned Level 10 national champion, Olivia Vivian!

She turns 21 today.

I'm sure Liv's having a lovely day with her family back home. Can't wait to see her back on the college scene, rocking out on floor alongside her Oregon State teammates.

Other Sports Weekend Wrap-Up

A few news nuggets have popped out of the frypan of other sports this week.

Australia has named its 2010 Commonwealth Games diving team.

Congratulations to...

*Alexandra Croak
* Briony Cole
* Melissa Wu
* Sharleen Stratton
* Olivia Wright
* Jaele Patrick
* Anebelle Smith

* Matthew Mitcham
* Ethan Warren
* Scott Robertson
* James Connor
* Grant Nel

(more information can be found here)

Australia currently has a team at the World Championships and World Age Games for acrobatics. News over the weekend was that Australia's 11-16 age group women's trio placed 8th/27 teams at the Age Games. Well done, ladies!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

WAG Nationals: Senior/Junior EF Wrap-Up

(courtesy of Gymnastics Australia)

Scroll down to find full EF results available here.

Thoughts from national coach Peggy Liddick are here.

National AA champ Georgia Bonora is on the front page of International Gymnast Online here.

In a brief rhythmic wrap-up: national all around champ Naazmi Johnston won all four apparatus golds!

Keep your eye on the GA Facebook group for photos.

Men's Nationals kick off on Tuesday from Canberra, so check back here for news and results (admittedly my coverage will not be as comprehensive as the women's coverage. But not having sources on the scene coupled with working 4/5 days next week doesn't exactly help).

WAG Nationals: Senior/Junior EF LIVE!!!

*dashes indoors*

I'm here! I'm here!

Brindabella's texting me dutifully so here goes...


Warm-up notes:

* McGrath having difficulty with comaneci saltos

* Arena boasting its biggest crowd of the competition today

Competition gets underway...

* Dennis VT 1 13.650 VT2 12.125

* Budack VT1 13.675 VT2 13.350

* Chung and Nedov both suffer a fall on bars

* McGrath messy on bars but gets through it. 11.300

* Chung UB 12.125

* Donald prepares for bars, looks confident. 13.625

* Shar-lee Clark UB 11.950

* Joura UB good routine, 13.425

>>> Donald 1, Joura 2, Possibly Chung 3

* Miller out of BB/FX final? Looks good for UB warmup.

* Great beam from Nedov (questionable sheep jump), one step back on dismount.

Mez's dilemma - both laptop and phone are running out of battery and I have only one powerpoint at a convenient distance. Gaaaaaah.

Morgan lands UB dismount to knees. Wheeler over-arches on handstand on low bar, hits feet on floor. Over-arches on high bar, falls, then falls on dismount.

* Amaya King-Koi hits a nice beam set despite fall on first series.

* Miller hits foot on the high bar (Brindy's unsure what skill it was), seems to really rattle her. Does a fine dismount, if a little off centre.

* Exum BB fall

* Wheeler UB 10.950

* King-Koi BB 11.825

* Miller UB 13.200 with a difficulty level of 6.2

* Nedov beam 13.550. McGrath BB a nice routine but overtime again. 12.900 revised to 12.800

* Budack UB 11.800 with difficulty score of 4.3

* Monckton UB 13.550 good routine, 5.6 difficulty

* Chung BB 12.500 Joura lots of bobbles for 12.050

* Brooks UB falls on dismount

* Bonora UB a few leg separations, sticks dismount for 14.300

* Donald BB a few wobbles but no falls

* Morgan called out for beam finals but is not there???
I text after a few minutes- "did she show up?"
The reply: "No!"

>>> Bonora has "definitely won bars by a mile!" Looks to be Miller 2, Monckton 3

* Morgan has scratched from beam final.

* Budack BB 9.925?

* Katie Wurth FX 12.950. King-Koi headbutts floor on last pass. 12.500

* Dennis great beam set 12.700 (not 13.300 as I originally wrote, folks, sorry about that)

* N Joura FX nice . 13.300

* Sanders FX lovely, "sky high tumbles!" 12.650

* Bonora BB fall 12.575. Wheeler BB 12.325

* Monckton BB falls on mount but stuck dismount. 10.825

* Laura Hingston FX 11.350

* Donald FX 13.025. McGrath FX out of bounds second and last passes.

* Wheeler FX out of bounds third pass. Not a stellar weekend for her. 12.650

* Wurth looking good in vault warmup.

* Budack OOB first FX pass 12.375

* Joura great vaults, VT1 13.100 VT2 12.237

* McGrath BB score altered to 13.100 (apparently Ade announced that it was a change to the difficulty score)

* Ashleigh Kittl VT 13.200

* Natasha Hamman "Great FX... Looked like she really enjoyed herself and she totally nailed the first pass". 12.775

* Wurth VT1 13.575 VT2 13.312

* Bonora "solid FX!!!" 13.850

* Exum VT1 13.550

*Bridget Beattie FX 11.900

* Nedov VT1 13.00 VT2 12.662

* Chung VT1 13.475 VT2 13.262

Results as they are announced!...

1. Exum 2. Wurth 3. Chung

1. Donald 2. Joura 3. Sanders

1. Donald 2. Nedov 3. McGrath

1. Joura 2. Donald 3. Wurth

1. Budack 2. Hamman 3. Wheeler

1. Bonora 2. Monckton 3. Miller

1. Dennis 2. Bonora 3. Wheeler

1. Bonora 2. Hamman 3. Wheeler


(senior beam podium via Brindabella)

WAG Nationals: IDP10 AA Wrap-Up

The Victorian High Performance Centre's army of smallfrecklies romped home in the IDP10 division on Day 3 of WAG competition.

Congratulations to the AA medallists...

Alexandra Eade (VIC) - Gold
Georgia Godwin (QLD) - Silver
Maddie Leydin (VIC) - Bronze

Victoria also had an all-around victory in the IDP 6 division, with NSW tops in IDP8.

Alex has been an exciting gymnast to watch in training, best of luck to her as she moves one step closer to the big time!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

WAG Nationals: Senior/Junior AA Wrap-Up

(courtesy of Gymnastics Victoria)

My apologies for missing last night but my biggest bundles of thanks to Brindabella for keeping me updated throughout the night!

Click through to the previous post's comments to read scores and observations. Read GA's wrap-up here.

This bit made me sniffle...

“It feels so strange. I never thought I’d be a national champion. I never thought I was that girl."

Awwww, Georgia! Your time would surely come. You're ace. You are that girl, you just didn't know it yet!

Congratulations to last night's all-around medallists!

Georgia Bonora - Gold
Maryanne Monckton - Silver
Shona Morgan - Bronze

Angela Donald - Gold
Svetlana Sanders - Silver
Amelia McGrath - Bronze

A Waverley double-header! A Victorian trifecta! And a podium finish for everyone's other favourite person nicknamed Mez! I gave the loudest 'yay' ever heard in a Melbourne bar when I got a text bearing the news.

Congratulations must also go to Naazmi Johnston who won her third consecutive(!) senior rhythmic all-around title yesterday.

Oregon State did a catch-up with National 10 Champion Olivia Vivian here.

Best wishes to Ashleigh Brennan (among others!) for a speedy recovery - she was withdrawn from this second day of competition due to injury.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Photo(s) of the Day

(via Gymnastics Australia)

WAG Nationals: Senior/Junior TF Wrap-Up

From Gymnastics Australia.

A solid performance by Beijing Olympian Georgia Bonora has helped Victoria claim back to back senior national team titles at the 2010 Australian Women’s Gymnastics Championships in Perth tonight.

Doubling as the selection trials for both the 2010 Commonwealth Games and 2010 FIG World Championships – the first qualifying event for the London 2012 Olympics –Australia’s stars are not only vying for national titles but the opportunity to wear the green and gold.

On the opening night of the senior competition, Bonora posted a total score of 54.325 to lead the all-around ahead of tomorrow night’s final.

The 20-year-old recorded solid scores on bars (13.200), beam (13.600), floor (13.625), and vault (13.900) but was happiest with her floor routine.

“The assignment tomorrow night is to do one thing at a time and the aim is to stay on the apparatus,” said Bonora.

“I’d like to fix my bars up, I stayed on the bars but I didn’t exactly get all my handstands and my landing was bit off but everything else was good.

“I was pretty happy with my floor tonight. My fitness isn’t as high as it can be at the moment but I was happy with my turns and leaps, which we’ve been pretty hard on at the moment.

Fellow Beijing Olympian Ashleigh Brennan (VIC), who took 2009 off to concentrate on finishing her Year 12 VCE studies, made her much-anticipated return to the national scene. The 19-year-old put in a quality performance to sit second in the all-around with 51.750 points – vault (13.300), bars (12.300), beam (12.975) and floor (13.175).

In her first year at senior level, Australian Institute of Sport-based Mary-Anne Monckton (NSW) also impressed. The 15-year-old recently returned from a year on the sidelines after having two small bones removed from her ankle, but returned with vigour to currently sit third in the all-around with 51.325 points - vault (13.450), bars (12.775), beam (12.500) and floor (12.600).

Australian women’s head coach Peggy Liddick said she was happy with the effort tonight but there was still some work to be done.

“I asked the judges to really be strict tonight. We’re not going to get any favours when we go over to India or The Netherlands for world championships,” said Liddick.

“They are going to have to clean up some things tomorrow night if they want those higher scores posted.

“Some of the seniors did a good job tonight, Mary-Anne came through, we haven’t seen her for a year and a half due to injury.

“Georgia Bonora looked really good tonight. I think she is only one a few who went four for four. I was really happy for that.

“Ashleigh Brennan also looked really good. She had 18 months out of the gym and her beam and floor looked really good.”

Victoria also took out the junior team title with Angela Donald leading the junior all-around with 52.800, followed by fellow Victorian Svetlana Sanders (51.075) and Queensland’s Amaya King Koi (50.725).

Five positions on the Australian team for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games are up for grabs, the women returning to Challenge Stadium tomorrow night for the all-around final.

Good luck to all competitors tonight.

My apologies for not being able to cover the event as it happens, but I WILL be here for apparatus finals in the coming days.

See you on the other side!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

WAG Nationals: Senior/Junior TF LIVE!

GA have posted a PPP (Preliminary Peggy Piece) here.

“In the seniors, Georgia Bonora is looking really solid, she’s a good all-arounder. She’s looking really strong for the national all-around title.
“In the juniors, Angela Donald and Georgia Rose-Brown from Melbourne, both have been looking good.

“Emma Jane Nedov, who just got back from her first international assignment in Germany and won balance beam over there, she could be a sleeper.

“It’s all really exciting because these juniors are all eligible for the 2012 Olympics and will make their impact next year.”

If ANYONE reading this will be in attendace with a video camera, I would love to see (among other things) Ashleigh Brennan's bars... if only for the dismount...

I'll also be on Twitter throughout the night (@ozgymblog, disregard anything you might come across from my personal Twitter!) so join in the chat and twobservations by using the hashtag #ausnationals!

See you round the traps!


Coming to you live, via me, via other people sitting inside in Challenge Stadium... it's NATS TIME!

Warm-up observations...

Mitchell, Simpson and Little spotted chatting to AGB'S Best Friend Liz Chetkovich.
Natalia Joura present, debuting in her Queensland leo.

Emma Nedov warming up floor alongside Tierra Exum and Georgia Rose Brown.

Larrissa Miller having difficulty on vault, stacking multiple attempts.
Collister twins in the stands.

Dasha joins the on-lookers.

Align Center
(Nikki Chung, WA. Photo via Brindabella)

Miller finally stands a vault up. Emma Dennis working hard on bars, solo, as Victorian teammates have left the arena.

Amelia McGrath looking 'great' in floor warm-up

Miller's vaults getting better and better with each attempt. Ash Brennan's double layout bars dismount looking stellar!

IT BEGINS!!!!!!!!!!!

* Katie Wurth shows a strong vault with one slight step backward.

* Larissa Miller stuck vault

* Svetlana Sanders almost OOB on floor but saves it.

*Nightmare run for Victoria on bars!? Bonora falls onto face(!) on bars dismount for 13.20 Brennan scores a 12.300. Good routine from Wheeler but then fell onto back on dismount. 12.250

* Natalia Joura 13.075 beam. 12.725 for Angela Donald on floor

*Brown FX:

"Lovely. (12.400)"

* McGrath falls on second fx pass for 12.325. Emma Dennis 12.550 bars. Nedov falls twice on beam and shows a less than stellar sheep jump. 11.150

* Chung FX 11.125
Kittl BB 11.225
McGrath VT 12.825
Dennis BB 12.100
Monckton two UB falls
Joura FX out of bounds first pass
Donald VT 12.950

* Bonora BB one step back on dismount otherwise steady for 13.600. Beattie UB 10.225

* Brown sits down vault for 12.075. Miller scores a 13.450 on bars.

*Wheeler's beam a 'meltdown'? Major fall on dismount. Budack UB 12.200

* Brennan BB falls on side somi but 'great' dismount (double pike as usual?)

* Exum VT 13.450 Chung VT 13.525

* Monckton a nice 'second' bars routine? No falls, only a small hop on dismount. 12.775

* Brennan BB 12.975

* Morgan falls on beam but, like Bonora, showed solid dismount. Monica Sloan disasterous fx.

*** Apparently progressive scores are not being announced, how helpful ***

* Good floor warm-ups for Bonora and Morgan, all tumbles nicely performed. Brennan and Wheeler not so much - Wheeler OOB.

* Natalia Joura stuck vault.

* Bonora waiting to go on floor, "bopping along to Georgy Girl" as it plays!

* Natasha Hamman "not having a good night".

Katie Wurth, Queensland.

* Miller BB 11.475

* Brennan still with the Cold Case floor music. Good routine overall for13.175. Morgan "fantastic" floor (hurray).

* Donald UB stuck dismount for 13.175, Budack falls off beam

* Morgan FX 12.925
Nedov VT 12.575
Wurth VT 13.550

* Monckton falls from beam, 12.500

* Dennis FX 12.650 "but it deserved better than that".

* "Nikki Chung has the coolest bars!"

* Strapping!Alert as we go to rotation four: Dennis shoulder and ankle. Miller ankles and right leg.

* Karina Brooks' floor music = Britney Spears!?

* Dennis VT 13.200. Miller "lovely, graceful" floor well performed:

* Bonora VT 13.900. Brennan VT 13.300

* Donald BB 13.950

* McGrath's beam still punctuated by pauses. Wheeler VT 13.075

* Morgan lands vault almost to knees

* 11.175 Budack on beam.

McGrath beam 14.050!

* Svetlana Sanders "a stunner", 12.775 beam

* Beattie lands last floor pass to head. Joura loses grip on top bar and falls awkwardly, but continues on to finish with a good dismount. 11.900

* Nedov UB 11.500.

(Maryanne Monckton, NSW. Scored a 12.600)

* Chung "doing beautifully on beam but just fell"

* "Little gymmies next to me putting out their hands for high-fives. Ash does it, G-Bo does not.
Ash: Did you not high-five them, George!? Get back there and give them a high-five!"



Junior gold: Victoria
Junior silver: Queensland
Junior bronze: New South Wales

Senior gold: Victoria
Senior silver: Queensland

Congratulations and well done to all the gymnasts on this first night of International Stream competition!

So there you have it! Night 1 done and dusted.

Many thanks to Brindabella for her tireless texting and tweeting. Couldn't have done it without you!

GA have now put up photos at Facebook (I LOVE the one of GBo waving).

I probably won't be home to do coverage tomorrow night due to personal commitments but I'll try and post what I can while 'on the road'. Sleep tight, now.

Nats With a Vengeance

Right, yes, hello! *drops spanner, wipes forehead*

The lights are back on in the AGB batcave and everything's beeping and booping again.

GA has a wrap-up of the women's National Levels Championships here (with full results available here). Looks like Victoria and Queensland were the big guns this year. Congratulations to all the winners (in particular our favourite ranga - Olivia Vivian!) Am quite chuffed to also see recent interviewee Tayla Dinuccio get some hardware too. There are some great photos going up at Facebook courtesy of GA's page and those of the various state associations, so check those out as you fiddle with Farmville.

(photo courtesy of Gymnastics Victoria at Facebook)

They also have a form guide on the men's event here.

See photos by the official event photographer - Kangaroo Photos - here.

AGB has Perth agents on site over the next few days, so in addition to monitoring the aforementioned pages, keep popping by the batcave for tales, tidbits and toasted sandwiches.

And don't forget you can contribute any of your own findings to

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Terribly sorry.

Haven't been able to update results or link to pictures or anything like that.

Having technical difficulties at the moment and as such am currently lumped with the world's most slovenly PC. I swear, computers in our house know to pack it in around Nationals time every year. I'm going mad!

I'll try and get things into gear by tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Nats Entertainment

If you're heading to the artistic national championships in Perth (WAG) or Canberra (MAG) next week, I would love to hear from you!

Drop me a line at Twitter (link in the sidebar) or via email at

Reports, results, observations, news links, celeb sightings, photos and videos are more than welcome. You will most certainly be credited by name, however, you will be listed as Anonymous if you request as such.

You yourself can follow the goings-on here or here, in addition to the Gymnastics Australia page at Facebook.