Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sorry What Yes Come Again

Apologies for not covering National Clubs.

I've been a bit distracted by... a thing.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Good news!

"The success of world gymnastics champion Lauren Mitchell, has been reflected in a rise of almost $400,000 in funding..."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Keeping Up Appearances

Interstate gymfans, this weekend sees YOUR chance to meet some Aussie superstars!

Commonwealth Games gold medallists Dani Prince, Tom Pichler and Josh Jefferis will be doing a meet-and-greet in Queensland, while Gold Medallist of Everything Ever Lauren Mitchell will be making an appearance at the National Club Championship in Canberra.

So keep your eyes peeled and your marker pens uncapped!

Also, in competition appearance news, our Toyota Cup team heading to Japan will be Lauren Mitchell, Ashleigh Brennan, Larrissa Miller and Prashanth Sellathurai.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Glasgow A-Go-Go 2

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a superstar in Lauren Mitchell.

Our Loz has had to make extra room in the trophy cupboard for more hardware - she won floor and beam overnight in Glasgow, and settled for a bronze on bars.

Read more about her golden run here and here, and look out for videos here.

ETA: Bars final video!

I don't know about you guys, but - failing an American Cup invitation - I definitely see an IG Magazine Gymnast of the Year nomination on the cards!

(In the cards? On the cards? My idioms are, how do you say, not so goodness.)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

NCAA November Update

Aussie expats Melanie Jones and Olivia Vivian competed in Oregon State's annual "Orange and Black" exhibition competition last night, giving fans a teaser of their 2011 season.

Check out this engaging picture of Mel... (click for larger)

(photo credit Ethan Erickson/Oregon State Athletic Dept)

News from the Stanford women's team is that Aussie freshman Shona Morgan is fitting in very well and having a whole lot of fun in her new surrounds, having

a) amused everyone on the team's 80s-themed day with a "sassy Betty Boop dance" on beam
b) performed some impressive bars and beam work in training; her bars releases have been positively remarked upon a number of times
c) dressed in a Superman costume, along with her fellow freshmen, for the team's Halloween party!

Over in Washington, 2-year absentee Monique Blount remains on the George Washington University roster and hopes to finally, fully, represent her school this year in competition.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Glasgow A-Go-Go

Follow the qualification round of this weekend's Glasgow Grand Prix here or here.

Both will be updated LIVE as the competition unfolds, and apparently BGtv will have selected qualification highlights available for viewing tomorrow.

Good luck, Lauren!

(ETA live scores rolling in here)

UB: 12.500 - apparently she fell on overshoot to handstand
BB: 14.300
FX 14.775

Lauren has qualified in 1st place to the floor final and the beam final, as well 8th to the bars final! Onya Loz!Bold

BGTV has videos available to view here.

In Moderation

Hello there.

Are you sitting comfortably? Good.

I have just gone and done a huge comment cull.

I simply cannot stress this enough -

, now or ever, use The Australian Gymnastics Blog comment space to discuss matters of perceived club politics, club movements, club membership numbers or gymnasts' personal issues involving decisions or discussions with coaches/families/program heads. This space was created for discussion and analysis, yes (and I know you all like the Anonymous function), but it is increasingly becoming a stop-off for gossip and club chatter.

PLEASE DO try and keep comments relevant to posts and appropriate for public viewing. If it is an unrelated observation or piece of news you want to bring to the public's attention please feel free to email me first or tweet it to me (link in the sidebar) and I will be sure to help you out, and determine which bits of it can be published.

If you have a question that you would like answered about the nature of the national program or a particular club program please do not ask it here, please address it to Gymnastics Australia or the necessary club (failing that, my Formspring account linked in the sidebar).

If you do want to have a space to chat freely about what you believe is going on within certain clubs or the GA inner sanctum, or to voice your dissatisfaction with a club or official, by all means start your own Facebook pages and invite others to join. If you're parents or club members, exchange email addresses if you haven't already and get talking. Start your own blog like I did. Launch a Twitter account to announce when you hear x-gymnast is moving clubs, or y-club has shut down. If it is a genuine major issue then don't hesitate to contact me and I can publicise it it for you. Hopefully the general content of this blog generated over 3 years of operation (and you can check back right through to my first ever posts) gives you an idea of the gymnastics matters I deal with, and that AGB's growing readership has come to, well, read.

I don't like deleting people's comments, believe me, but if I don't, we just get bogged down in back-and-forth discussions over who did what and when and where they've decided to do it next when that's not the kind of news or analysis this site prides itself on. I fully understand that it is difficult now because there isn't an Australian message board or similar outlet to assist with clearly delineated discussions. But please understand that you are dealing with (to all intents and purposes) an amateur reporter who has no national program affiliation or accreditation (yet!) and therefore no power in aiding your communications on club or program issues at large.

I do moderate discussions here and do it with the best intentions. I might not do it fantastically but I do my best to do it competently.

If any of this leaves a sour taste in your mouth then I am very sorry it brings you to a negative conclusion about this space. I hope you find somewhere that offers you the leniency you are seeking.

Thank you for your time and your readership.

~ Meredith

Monday, November 15, 2010


Vids of Elite Massilia are now up and about.

Nade00 has graciously cross-uploaded-and-posted videos from French TV of Aussies in the Massilia event finals.

Blythe Lawrence has some qualification videos available.

Merci one and all!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mitchell Unmatched 2

Thanks to DrMtzLizama for ever vigilant World Cup coverage.

Massilia Catch-Up

Blythe Lawrence has a few reports up on the Elite Massilia round. Here are a couple of her notes from the competition that feature Aussies.

Warmup notes:

"The Aussies are far and away the winners of the 2010 Elite Massilia sparkly leotard competition. The senior team's long sleeved pink and black look is outsparkled only by the black look of the juniors."

"In addition to physically resembling her sister, baby-faced Natalia Joura also reminds me of a young Dominique Moceanu. Something about the way she moves, I think. Also the fact that she wears beam shoes and wrist guards a la Moceanu in 1995-96. She also wears the same type of ankle protectors favored by Aliya Mustafina. And here she's sporting a rather large bandage/guard that covers her whole left thigh."

"I happened to be standing near the vault table during the flag presentation, which begins with some heavy, rather Russian music, the sort that makes you want to move around. And Natalia Joura and her father/coach Vladimir did a kind of impropmtu duet, where they danced around a little, moving from side to side and kicking their legs to the music. Very cute."

Day 2 notes:

"The Australian women swept the junior vault -- first place went to Victoria's Tierra Exum, who showed a tucked Omelianchik followed by a piked Omelianchik, both with good landings. Natalia Joura (Yurchenko full and Yurchenko half) was second, followed by Nikki Chung (Yurchenko full)."

"Chung and Georgia-Rose Brown went 1-2 for the Australian junior team on bars, followed by Anne Kuhm of France. On floor, Belgium's Terry Grand'ry won over France's Lea Calon and Joura."

Joura was 2nd in the junior AA.

Junior vault:

1. Tierra Exum, AUS (Victoria), 13.475, 13.95
2. Natalia Joura, AUS, 13.775, 13.575
3. Nikki Chung, AUS 13.7, 13.175

Junior bars:

1. Nikki Chung, AUS, 13.975
2. Georgia-Rose Brown, AUS, 13.775

Junior beam:

1. Irina Paun, ROM, 13.85
2. Joanna Dejardin, BEL, 13.2
3. Maartje Ruikes, NED, 12.75
4. Nikki Chung, AUS, 12.5

Junior floor:

1. Terry Grand'ry, BEL, 13.4
2. Lea Calon, FRA, 12.925
3. Natalia Joura, AUS, 12.925
4. Irina Paun, ROM, 12.9
5. Brianna Clark, CAN, 12.725
6. Alexandra Eade, AUS (Victoria), 12.625

Congrats on your finishes, girls! You have done your programs and your country proud!

Mitchell Unmatched

Our big red fire engine does it again!

Lauren Mitchell has won an unprecedented THREE GOLD MEDALS at the World Cup in Stuttgart!

She won floor (14.275), beam (15.325) and bars (14.150) in a historic display of dominance from an Australian gymnast.

Peggy said -

“Last night was a success, not only because she won the medals, but it was a statement that she’s a true professional, that she loves her gymnastics and when she goes out she can back herself up.

“Keep that history book open, just love the achievements that we’re making at the moment.”
Read more about Lauren's amazing round of competition here.

Some videos from the event are going up at this account, something of Lauren's may crop up if you keep your eyes peeled.

There is also a routine report up at The Couch Gymnast.

In other quite cool news, Loz's triple wolf turn has been submitted to the FIG for recognition in the Code of Points (and thus to be named after her).

She was mentioned in the Sydney Morning Herald, which also noted:

Following a brief training stint with the Romanian gymnastics team this week, Mitchell will journey to Glasgow to compete in the final world cup event of the year from November 18 to 21, followed by the renowned Toyota Cup in Japan from December 10 to 12.

Lauren we are so proud of you.

Personally, I hear an American Cup invite calling...

(ETA: Thanks to Nade for the heads-up... NEW LEO!)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Super Saturday

Hullo! Are you having a super Saturday? I'm having a super Saturday. Please don't hesitate to have yourself a super Saturday!

Good news has filtered through on the Aussie gymnastics front.

Lauren Mitchell has qualified in first place to two finals at the DTB Cup! She leads beam (6.4/14.875) and floor qualification (5.8/14.425), managing a commendable fourth rank for the bars final (5.5/13.725). Good luck, Lauren!

Our Marseille squadron is doing well, too. According to the VHPC at Facebook:

Tierra has qualified for vault finals, Alex for floor finals, georgia for bars finals, nikki for vault, bars, beam and Natalia for vault and floor. Aus team came 3rd. The VWHPC team finished 4th. Alex came 5th AA, Tierra finished 12th, and Laura came 30th.

More information about the Massilia international field can be read here. Apparently Georgia Simpson is competing as part of a 'mixed team' with a Swedish gymnast!

****ETA: The Australian team finished 3rd overall, with Nat Joura the highest ranked all-around finisher in 6th.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

France Catch-Up

What? Yes, hello and everything. Come now, surely that vase was expendable.

I've been a tad distracted over the last few days so thankfully there are gymnasts being productive to balance out my rubbishness.

YouTube user Eipos24 has dutifully uploaded footage from Combs La Ville which includes the members of Team Australia/VWHPC. GeeRoBro really lives up to that 'Khorkina-esque' remark, she is simply divine to watch.

The team is currently preparing for the Massilia international. You can view the official website here (click the Union Jack near the top to view the website in English)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Breaking: Dasha Takes a Bow

As one West Australian star takes a step forward into the spotlight, another is taking her final curtain call.

Dasha Joura is retiring from gymnastics, according to PerthNow.

"In a lot of ways I have some unfinished business, or whatever you want to call it," Joura said. "Obviously my career didn't end on a note that I am happy with it ending on.

"But I also feel like I'm at the stage of my life where I need some stability in my future and I want to pursue some of my other passions.

"My parents would love to have me back in the gym, but I don't think it's necessarily the right place for me."

We love you, Dash.

Very best wishes in all your pursuits from here. You were a thoroughly entertaining performer and consistently positive team member. Thank you for your wonderful contributions to gymnastics and congratulations on an incredible competitive career. You and your smile will be missed.

A brief and faffy editorial, if you will indulge me-

Daria Joura.
Or, to the gymnastics world, just "Dasha". Toepoint to die for, killer acrobatic skills, a fearless competitive drive, enviable fluidity of movement, endless enthusiasm, unrivalled presentation on floor and a staredown that would intimidate captivate not just the judges but the first five rows of spectators sitting directly behind the judges. Not many gymnasts have their formidable reputation summed up by the mere utterance of their first name (and first name only). Gymnastics in Australia had a wonderful ambassador in Dasha.

I am throwing roses on the stage in farewell of one sassy, daring, unforgettable leading lady of Australian gymnastics.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Francey Pants

The Victorian Women's High Performance Centre has put up some photos on Facebook of the Aussie team in training at Combs la Ville.

'Like' their page to find out more.

The official event website is here.

Also, this is a bit cool (insert "whatever floats your boat" joke here)!

“Lauren has been groundbreaking in her sport and we’re thrilled that she agreed to christen a boat that we hope will lead to more success for Mathew and I,” said Page. “We often just focus on our own sport so it was great to bring two sets of athletes together who have won World Championships in 2010 because there’s plenty we can learn from each other.”

Don't forget to keep voting for Lauren in the Sports Performer of the Year Awards, you can submit a fresh vote every day.

Happy Thursday!


News of our great results has filtered through via VWHPC!

Georgia Rose Brown finished second all-around, and the Aussie team came tops in the teams event!

Merci à Benoitof (de pour cette photo haut-qualité! Bon effort!
(Apologies for the extremely mangled French)

The apparatus finals results are in!

VT: Nikki 2
UB: Nikki 1 Georgia Rose 2
BB: Georgia Rose 1
FX: Georgia Rose 1

A couple of notes (from what I could decipher in French):

"Vault - the second Australian executed a super Yurchenko half [might've been half on half off?])
"Bars - Chung/Brown had beautiful execution with good difficulty - Chung a full-in dismount)"
" Beam - The Australian [Brown] won with a good but cautious routine."
"Floor - Brown won with beautiful movement, very graceful, tall and slender. Joura showed the most difficulty - double twist, 1 1/2 to 2/1... she was excellent, her fall was a shame. The double twist was magic!"
"Brown... reminds me somewhat of Khorkina!"

Congrats, team, for sweeping the finals!

More Mitchell Media

Thanks to Brindabella for the following WA newspaper scans featuring your friendly neighbourhood world champion!

Click for larger versions.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thoughts on Gymbloggery

How did you enjoy the international blog coverage of the World Championships this year (I'm not necessarily talking about this blog)? What are your thoughts on the fact that gymnastics bloggers are in there among the media scrum with established publications and news networks?

Do you find them more or less useful than official reporting sources?
Do you find them more or less credible than official reporting sources?
Do you think they should be allowed to have media accreditation at big events?
Is there an uneven ratio of 'fluff' pieces to genuine news stories during big events?
Are the one-on-one interviews during competitions insightful?
Do you trust breaking news when it appears on a blog?
Are training/around-the-gym reports as interesting to you as the competition itself?
Do you think media passes just get treated 'like backstage passes'?

A debate is has kicked off at the Gymnastics Coaching Blog on this very issue. FullTwist Blog has an interesting take here.

Some of you are bloggers, some of you are blog contributors and/or readers. What do you think?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Yes We Can-Can

Massilia Cup and Combs-la-Ville update:

Travelling Victorians are now Brown, Eade, Hingston and Exum.