Wednesday, March 28, 2012

And Doha Makes Three

Team Aus are racking up the frequent flyer miles this month!

Best wishes to Ash Brennan, Georgia Rose Brown and Maryanne Monckton competing at the Doha World Cup this week.

The official site is here.

I'd also like to wish early good vibes to Larrissa Miller and Lauren Mitchell, bound for the apparatus-only Zibo World Cup in China the following week. International Gymnast lists the rosters here.

There is a podium training video circulating. It's a little chaotic but you see Ash warm up a double tuck on floor at 05:53 and Georgia Rose training her routine just after that.

Qualification Update:

Maryanne Monckton qualified 2nd(!) through to the beam final (5.9/14.350) behind celebrated Olympic medallist Catalina Ponor(!!), while Ash is first reserve (6.0/13.400).

Mez is first reserve for uneven bars final (5.7/13.350) while Georgia finished 12th (5.6/12.950)

Some videos from the qualification session are going up here.

Ash qualified 7th through to the floor final (5.5/13.050) while Georgia again finished 12th (5.3/12.400)


Just before I was headed to bed at 12:25am, I got a link to a live feed. I missed Ash's routine but caught Maryanne's. She was in the black leo with pink and purple swipe. She looked simply stunning up there but unfortunately came off on her first acro series and had a form break later on. She took one step back on a double pike dismount for 5.8/13.200

... but in a stunning turn of events, Ash also went into the final for an injured gymnast, and ended up second behind Ponor (with 6.1/8.225)!

Check her out on the medal podium below.

Ash finished just outside the medals in the floor final, finishing in 4th place with 5.4/13.900

Monday, March 26, 2012

Canada Can Do

Congrats to our MAG competitors who took part in the Kyle Shewfelt Invitational over the weekend in Calgary. It was apparently a very fun and spirited competition!

The team came 2nd overall behind host nation Canada, with Josh Jefferis finishing on the all-around medal podium in 2nd and Tom Pichler in 3rd. They are going to be tough to separate come Olympic selection time!

Full results via GA can be found here.

I love this.

Still Awesome All 'Round

Lauren Mitchell has confirmed she will not aim to contest the all-around in London, but focus on beam, floor and vault performances in the hope of boosting her medal chances (and those of the team) in those events.

There are two articles this morning via her official Facebook page, here and here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

We Love You Liz

We have been left a rather sad notice in the comments.

Dear All,

I write to advise that Liz Chetkovich has tendered her resignation from the position of WAIS Women's Artistic Gymnastics Performance Manager. Liz has made this decision based on an extended reflection of not only what she has achieved in her gymnastics career at WAIS and before but more importantly what she wishes to achieve into the future.

As you will all be aware Liz has been the driving force that has developed the WAIS Women's Gymnastics Program into the leading gymnastics program in Australia and a highly recognised and respected program internationally. The personal commitment Liz has made to the program and to the athletes, staff and parents over the last 24 years has been beyond what even the world of high performance sport could reasonably expect. Liz will leave behind all the
ingredients for this very successful program to remain so. I am also extremely pleased that Liz as part of her future life wishes to retain a connection to the program which will ensure her knowledge and experience are available to assist the program into the future.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for passion, knowledge and commitment to all things gymnastics and WAIS and congratulate her on developing a program that has demonstrated sustained World Class success.

Steve Lawrence

Executive Director of the Western Australian Institute of Sport

please ignore the frazzled idiot on the right.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pacific Rim EF

Results as they come to hand.

Alex Eade placed 5th in the junior floor final (OOB on her double tuck combo pass). Sounds like it was well-received by the crowd though! 13.725

Her vault is here:

On the men's side, Brody Hennessy finished 3rd on junior vault!

Check it out:

We have quickhits happening here.

Georgia Simpson is on crutches, watching from the media table. Apparently she has taken small pride in the fact her injury practically "made a whole crowd pass out"! Good to hear she still has some spirit despite a big setback.

Josh Jefferis hits his rings routine for bronze!

Auss trampolinists strike gold!!!

I am SO frustrated I couldn't be home as this was all happening!

Mitchell 5th in beam and floor finals. Little 4th on bars.

International Gymnast has an update on Georgia Simpson here.

If you would like to see a HD broadcast of the event as it appeared on NBC - including Emily's beam and floor which we haven't seen uploaded on their own yet - go here. There is a really lovely moment between Emily and the team after her floor.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pacific Rim MAG Team Final/AA and Rhythmic

Unfortunately I was not home after 11:30 today, so couldn't link you to live coverage of the men's event.

The good news is, Australia put in a stellar effort, finishing in 4th (but ahead of Russia. RUSSIA, GUYS! RUSSIA!) Josh Jefferis was pipped for AA medals in 5th, with London rival Tom Pichler in 8th. Brody-Jai Hennessy was our highest junior AAer in 8th.

International Gymnast has a summary of the top 4 teams' performances today.

Aussies feature in USA Gymnastics' photo gallery here.

We finally got a notch on the medal tally with Janine Murray snatching bronze in rhythmic all-around in seniors. Our juniors unfortunately finished out of the top 12.

MAG Apparatus finallists:

Josh FX, PB, SR, HB
Tom PH, HB
Sam SR
Brody VT, PB
Lachlan HB

So we have medal chances on all apparatus! Good luck, fellas!

2012 Pacific Rim Videos

Good luck to our men who'll be competing today.

In the meantime, HD videos from the NBC broadcast of the women's team final are going up.

Here is Lauren's beam:

And her floor... check out that STUNNING end pose!

I'll Be Senior

There is a second West Australian I'm sending my love to this weekend.

Olympian Olivia Vivian is undertaking her last year at Oregon State University, her senior year as a member of their women's gymnastics team.

Liv has gone from a one-event specialist to a hardcore, consistent triple threat with crowd-pumping antics to boot! Last year she spent a short time ranked as the #1 bars gymnast in the nation (the first Australian collegiate to do so) and made the NCAA national championships apparatus final on that event. This weekend, though it was by no means her last competition for the season, Olivia and her fellow senior Leslie Mak were celebrated by the university's team and crowd on Senior Night. The evening was topped off by OSU winning the competition.

Here's video of Olivia talking about the competition and her collegiate experiences overall, and then there is video of one of my favourite routines of hers.

Liv has hinted that she'd like to try out for Cirque when all is said and done. It has been a pleasure and privilege to watch her grow into such a dynamic and reliable member of the OSU lineup, and I wish her the very best for the future. Now GO GET THAT NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Get Well Soon, Georgia!

All the very best to Georgia Simpson on the road to recovery.

Feel free to leave any messages and wishes on this post. I found some very thoughtful tweets tonight from observers and fans (click for larger):

eta: Georgia's family have given us an update, left here in the comments:

Thank you to all who have posted " get well wishes" to Georgia. She has had surgery to correct a dislocated foot.She is resting and in very good hands. Two beautiful Angels by her side, Martine her coach, who has not left her side and is sleeping in a roll out bed! And her sister, Angel Beth.

We are confident that she will make a full recovery and look forward to having her home in Australia.

The Simpsons, Glenn and Kerry

Pacific Rim WAG Team Final/AA

Follow live scoring at USA Gymnastics here.

The Couch Gymnast once again has Lauren Hopkins updating at Facebook live from the arena, while The Gymnastics Examiner is on the scene too.

The first subdivision has just kicked off, Australia will be in subdivision 2.

UPDATE: Georgia Simpson has been injured during the competiton and has been taken off for medical assistance. I believe it was a crunched ankle. Best wishes to Georgia.

ADDITIONAL UPDATE: Georgia landed her tucked full-in badly and was stretchered off and the team permitted to warm up tumbles again before competition continued with Emily's floor (which, it must be said, she's to be commended for standing up under the circumstances). The arena announcer advised the crowd that Georgia was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

My heart goes out to Georgia and I'm sending ever good wish in the world to her and her teammates as the competition rolls on with one less competitor.

Photo courtesy Inside Gymnastics

Australia finished 4th (tremendous given the dramatic event that befell them). No AA podium placings but Little and Cassis finish in the top 8 in senior and junior respectively.

Update on Georgia (from AUS team manager): Dislocation, not fracture or break.

Apparatus finallists:
Emily, bars and floor
Lauren, beam and floor
Alex, vault and floor

Congrats, ladies!

You can see a photo gallery featuring aussies here.

Some videos (no aussies yet as of 8am Sunday) are starting to go up here.

Please leave messages for Georgia Simpson in the post above. Thanks.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pacific Rim Podium Training

6:30am in Melbourne and news is coming thick and fast out of Everett.

Australia's women are currently in podium training alongside favourites China and the USA.

Follow The Couch Gymnast at Facebook for live updates and photos, or The Gymnastics Examiner here to get detailed live quick hits.

And while you're whizzing around on the web, check this out: VWHPC has a lovely new website!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

2012 Pacific Rim Championships

Can you believe it's already been two years since Melbourne!?

Starting on Friday, the event is now sponsored by Kellogg's (other cereal providers are available), and comes to us this year out of Everret, Washington USA!

Here's a preview from the FIG. A full competitor list is at the official 2012 PacRim site is here.

Gymnastics Australia advises us that our male and female teams arrived safely in Everett and that training kicks off tomorrow morning. Follow their Facebook page for photos and updates.

Brigid at The Couch Gymnast has advised me that there will be ground reconnaissance over the next 24 hours and we'll have a podium training report for Australia. I will start new posts for the rounds of competition.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gymnix Videos

More videos of from the Gymnix International can be found here as well as here and here!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Couch Gymnast (No, Not That One!)

Here's a kooky little nugget I found.

Georgia Bonora was interviewed on Channel 31's The Silic and Lee Show. Hilarious stuff. Below is the extended third take of the interview. Nobody give her a lightsaber...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Gymnix 2012

Good morning!

I didn't realise Gymnix was upon us already!

It's 7:30 in Melburne and the ever-dutiful Gymnastics Examiner is putting up podium training notes here. The Aussies are on this very minute!

ETA 12:30 - The VWHPC and Gymnastics Australia pages at Facebook are putting up photos. The team looked so thrilled to be in the snow!

ETA Fri 6:30am- Australia is having a second crack at podium training, read the observations as they come in here.

Spoilers: Nikki worked a DTY(!), Ash still has her double layout bars dismount (I love those!), Mez Monckton does a piked tkatchev instead of her Monckton, and worked a full twisting double lay dismount(!!!) Oh my good goodness!

ETA Saturday morning: The first session of the Gymnix Challenge round is over, stay tuned for session 2, in which we'll see the first cluster of Aussies competing at this event. For anyone unsure about how the competition is divided up, Blythe guesstimates thusly:

"The competition is broken up into three seperate competitions: First, there's the "Gymnix Challenge," an individual competition. Then there are the Junior and Senior Cups. As far as I can tell (please correct me if I'm wrong, Gymnix people!) the Junior Cup is a team and all-around competition, and the Senior Cup is only an all-around competition, where the very best (Lauren Mitchell, Emily Little, etc.) will compete."

ETA: Notes from Australia's session are here. The top 8 were as follows:

1) Lee: 57.875
2) Black CAN 54.375
3) Brennan AUS 53.675
4) Savona CAN 53.550
5) Merkle CAN 53.200
6) Brown AUS 52.750
7) Colussi-Pelaez ESP 52.625
8) Gardiner CAN 52.025

Full results from this session can be found here (under Challenge Gymnix).

A list of event finallists for this division is here. Australia will be represented in all finals but vault.

ETA Sunday: Morning! Live quick hits from the Senior and Junior Cup division of Gymnix will be going up here. Thanks, Blythe!

In terms of competitors, Lauren/Emily Georgia S compete the senior cup, Alex, Jazzy, Maddie and Tamika compete the junior cup. Get it, girls!

Gymnastics Australia are currently putting up photos from the event at Facebook.

Later... Congrats Emily Little, 2012 Gymnix Senior Cup AA champion! And our junior team came second behind Russia!

International Gymnast has a wrap-up here. Bring on apparatus finals!

Even later...

A rather lovely photo gallery from the senior/junior round is here.

I have a found a video of Emily's bars, looks like it might be from podium training?

ETA Monday morning: Follow along with apparatus finals quickhits here. I just read that Emily did a tuck full on beam!

In news just to hand - Aussie medals!

BB Mitchell 1, Little 2;
FX Mitchell 1, Little 3
VT Little 1, Mitchell 3
UB Simpson 3

VT Jones 1 (tie)
FX Eade 2

Challenge Division
UB Aussie trifecta! Miller 1, Chung 2, Brown 3!
FX Brennan 2

Congrats, team!

Full results will be up here.

Lauren's floor is below, and if you click through to the uploader's channel I am sure more will follow at that account.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Wide World of Sports

Just a reminder that it's now 10am in Melbourne, and at some point duing the next hour Wide World of Sports on Channel 9 will be doing a feature on our male and female gymnasts training in Canberra.

The episode opening featured a teaser - we saw Josh vaulting, Georgia Rose leaping, and they said they will catch up with Lauren.

So stay tuned!


Tim Sheridan is in Canberra.

Peggy says there are 20 seniors confirmed for nationals which will be whittled to 10-12 for the Olympic training squad.

Girls in pink and black training leos. General training footage, nothing too eye-opening.

We see Lauren with a shoulder tape on.

Maryanne interviewed briefly (they flashed up a photo of her bad ankle) and showed her training a tkatchev to pak on bars.

Ash and GRB name-checked (lovely sissone on floor from Georgia)

Larrissa shown training floor, Em briefly on bars. "When I'm performing... I try not to let the nerves get to me. I do what I can do."

Josh and Tom shown training, Josh :"Were good mates... we empathise with eachother and motivate eachother."

It was a very quick piece with extremely short soundbites from a few of the gymnasts; they showed footage of Lauren's 2010 world floor routine and the men's team on the Delhi 2010 gold medal podium.

ETA: The WWOS website has put up video of the feature.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

2012 American Cup (Contin.)

A correspondent for The Couch Gymnast has dutifully put up a video of Georgia's bar work during podium training today.

ETA: Unfortunately I was not up to watch the stream. However, I believe they showed Georgia's floor routine and it sounds like people were pretty impressed with it. I will post video and photo links as they come in after the event.

The final women's standings were:

1. Jordyn Wieber USA 61.032
2. Alexandra Raisman USA 60.832
3. Larisa Iordache ROM 59.332
4. Victoria Moors CAN 56.365
5. Diana Chelaru USA 56.100
6. Lisa Katharina Hill GER 55.599
7. Georgia Simpson AUS 54.566
8. Rebecca Tunney GBR 52.132

The Gymnastics Examiner has a photo gallery here.

Image via Reuters/

Full HD coverage of the competition as it aired on NBC can be found here. Thanks as always to NastiaFan! Georgia's floor is at 1:01:38

(if you listen veeeeeery carefully, just after she is announced, some encouraging young fans yell out "Go Georgia! Go Aussie!" which I think is very sweet.)

You can see Georgia's (non-televised) bars routine in the video below.

Would you like some G-Simps on your blog? Check out these groovy gifs!

Gymnastike has a brief pre-meet interview with Georgia up at their website.


Quick interruption to say, a full archived video of the Acapulco competition that Emily Little competed at is now up at Youtube. Part 2 includes the 'cultural gala' in which Em did a display beam routine representing Australia.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

We have a new interview with Lauren discussing her injury and camp progress here.

Tom Pichler has updated that he and Josh Jefferis will appear on Channel 9's Wide World of Sports tomorrow morning from 10am (AEST)!

Back to your regularly scheduled progamming.

2012 American Cup

I want to be a part of it, in ol' New Yooooork!

I am yet to discover a stream of the event (will update where I can) but in the meantime there are some podium training notes going up at the Gymnastics Examiner here and early photos are here. It's nearly 7am and I am watching them update as we speak! Thanks as always, Blythe!

photo courtesy of The Gymnastics Examiner

All the very best to Georgia in her second big international meet in as many months!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Seniors Situation

We've had some recent news on Aussie seniors.

Wide World of Sports have a short piece on camp here, with Lauren Mitchell hinting there are some vault upgrades happening in the group.

Liddick has already stressed to her charges the importance of working together, even using a bit of Hollywood star power - via the movies that is - to help them along.

"Last camp we watched Moneyball with Brad Pitt and it was kind of like Peggy suggesting to us to see where our weakest links are and work and focus more on those things," Mitchell said of the flick.

Based on the book, it's about how a baseball side breaks down their sport scientifically in order to assemble their best possible winning team.

"One of our weakest apparatuses is vault and so everyone is kind of churning out these quite big vaults now," Mitchell said.

"It's only into the pit, but if we get them, we can compete them."

The VWHPC have updated on Ashleigh Brennan's journey towards the Olympics (including a luvverly new photo).

"Olympic Gymnast Ashleigh Brennan is limbering up for the London games with a busy few months. First stop for the 21 year Berwick student is an Australian team tour to Canada from March 9-11, followed by a World Cup appearance in Qatar at the end of the month. Then come the selection trials in Sydney."

So we can expect to see Ash in Doha in a little while!

There has also been a small Penrith Star feature on Katie Wurth which you can find here

Finally, a West Australian piece on Georgia Simpson, who we will see at the American Cup this weekend!