Thursday, July 31, 2014

Glasgow 2014: MAG/WAG All-Around

What an emotional gauntlet being a fan of this sport can be!

Last night Australia threw everything it could in the men's and women's disciplines, with Naoya Tsukahara and Olivia Vivian each making our best finishes in 5th.

Naoya had nerves of steel throughout,  even equalling Max Whitlock's score on rings, but fell victim to pommel as so many do and didn't have the difficulty on floor (but certainly had the execution) to contend with any of the fancied Brits. He was greatly encouraged by his teammates along the way, who also had the happy conclusion of ranking within the top 12 - Luke Wadsworth in 9th, Sean O'Hara in 11th.

Naoya will compete in tonight's first apparatus finals day on rings and Kent Pieterse will appear in the vault final -- watch live on the TenPlay website or OneHD if they deign to show it from 11:30pm AEST.

Have to say I love this little shout-out from Kent, especially the main photo!

If you do one thing these Commonwealth Games, go back on TenPlay and watch Olivia Vivian's all-around competition. What she pulled off last night was nothing short of phenomenal.

After not competing in a major event for Australia in 6 years, after not competing all-around on the world stage for even longer, after a broken back, after a fractured hand, after a devastating loss to her family, after having a less than ideal second day of the teams event, after all of that... she hit every single skill to her feet and finished inside the top 8. Her beam was remarkable considering the disasterous round she had the day before, her flip mount and y-scale earning audience applause. And through it all she never lost her smile. Resplendent in the purple leotard (congrats voters!) while Georgia Rose sported the pink, Olivia patiently waited for each gymnast in her rotation to finish their routine and speak with their coach, then immediately offered a high-five or a hug. I wanted to cheer but desperately didn't want to wake my housemate!

 In a touching moment after beam, she flashed her wrist strappings to the camera that had [what looked very much like] "RIP Dad" scrawled on in marker. "That was for you, Dad!" she said down the barrel with a big smile. And wouldn't he have been half proud of what had come before it. I am devastated my feed dropped out mere moments before her vault. What a joy and relief it must have been for her to get through four intense rotations, and I only wish it gone as well for her in the team final. The result mattered, but at the same time it mattered the least. This 90 minutes of performance was the embodiment of Olivia: stylish, daring, enthusiastic. She became an internet sensation before she'd even mounted the podium for the last rotation and I hope it serves her well in her ambitions to be an ambassador for gymnastics. It's true she will never be a balletic Hollie, an explosive Trudy or a stoic Slater. But if there's one thing that defines this girl it is guts.

It is then with a heavier heart that I review Georgia-Rose Brown's performance. It was definitely not her best outing and I sincerely hope that if it was down to nerves or a niggling injury she can get the assistance and self-belief she needs as soon as possible. She cuts a striking figure (even in pink!) and the Khorkina comparisons continued unabated throughout the competition, especially after a tidy bars and neat Yurchenko full. Unfortunately the eye-catching illusion turn on beam saw her come undone once again, and she worryingly substituted her arabian on floor for a front layout full twist before going out of bounds on her double tuck. She finished an unlucky 13th. As I always say - onwards and upwards from here. The future is still very bright for her.

Tonight, the hopefully unsinkable GR Brown will take to vault and bars, while her compatriot Larrissa Miller will also contend bars against six fierce Commonwealth rivals. I believe it will be approximately 2:45am AEST. Happy to be corrected on this.

There's still a chance, Aussies. Give 'em hell!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Glasgow 2014: MAG/WAG Team Final

There might not be an 'i' in team but there sure is an "och aye"!

Australia's women go into the beam and floor component tonight ranked 2nd behind England, AEST approx 2:45am. Last night was absolutely electric with 8 hit routines from 8, and you can re-watch the stream at > Catchup > Gymnastics > Artistic > Part 2. Looooove those new leos, you can't beat the green and gold.

The Aussie men kick off their day 2 on high bar RIGHT NOW!


In every raincloud there's a silver... medal.

Australia's women chased but couldn't catch the imperial English.

Some lowlights (two beam falls from Vivian she took with good grace; an uncharacteristically haywire floor from Miller) swerved into highlights (Mitchell stamping her beam and floor finals berths with barnstorming routines on both; Monckton shakily but happily slotting herself into the former as well), dipped back down again (gorgeous Georgia buckled multiple times) and on and on it went agonisingly, until the final results flashed up and Australia conceded its long-held title. Peggy and the girls gave their thoughts here.

On the men's side, a better round of competition brought happier news - while they finished a commendable 4th, all-around final placings were cemented for O'Hara, Tsukahara and Pieterse. They will take to the floor (and pommel!) at 10:00pm AEST tonight. Short of stature but angelic of complexion, newbie Jack Rickards won himself some female fans last night, if social media is anything to go by!

In the women's all-around, Georgia Rose-Brown and Olivia Vivian get another medal shot, with Georgia starting her campaign on vault in subdivision 1, Olivia on bars in subdivision 2. This will be taking place around 3:30am AEST. And you can vote on Liv's leotard for the competition!

MAG AA Start List 
WAG AA Start List Sub 1
WAG AA Start List Sub 2

For apparatus finals we have
*Kent P on vault, Naoya on rings/pbars/high bar, Luke W on p-bars also and Sean on high bar.
* Georgia-Rose on vault, Larrissa and Georgia-Rose on bars, Lauren and Maryanne on beam and Lauren on floor.

A reminder you can catch all the gymnastics as it streamed live on TenPlay's Catchup page.

"We’re just going to get better and better from here. We came in ranked third so we were expected to get the bronze.“And we won the silver and I’m thrilled with that." -- Peggy Liddick

One team, one dream!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Glasgow 2014: Gie It Laldy!

It's such a nifty phrase!

Huuuuuuuuuuuuuuge bouquets of luck to our men's and women's artistic teams who take to the floor in qualifying at stupid o'clock Australian time tonight in Glasgow. Subdivision 1 kicks off at 10:30pm AEST. And keep your eyes out for ex-Victorian elite Stella Savvidou who will be flying the flag for Cyprus!

The qualification doubles as the team final, and will be split over today and tomorrow. I am told gymnastics will be on the Glasgow3 channel.

Podium training image via Gymnastics Australia on Facebook

MAG - Subdivision 2, Australia starts on rings
WAG - Subdivision 8, Australia starts on bars (approx 5:15am AEST)

Glasgow 2014: Rhythmic Finals

The best thing about not being number 1 is that the only way is up.

Jaelle Cohen and Danni Prince were not able to replicate Australia's stellar Delhi finish in the all-around, walking away from Glasgow with 14th and 9th respectively and no apparatus final berths. But top 15 in the Commonwwealth is certainly nothing to sniff at, of course! Wishing them and Amy Quinn (who thanked all her supporters today on Instagram) the best as they keep working towards Rio.

It was so wonderful seeing the messages of support, and even foreign fans giving their routines some love, on social media.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Glasgow 2014: Rhythmic Teams

Despite some absolutely beautiful routines and determination to see each one through to the very last beat, Australia's statuesque rhythmic gymnastics trio were not able to defend the Commonwealth title from 2010.

Dani, Amy and Jaelle finished a commendable fifth overall with 126.725, some minor errors seeing them slip behind longtime rivals Canada, history-makers Wales, Malaysia and England.

I was not able to catch all of the broadcast last night or this morning, but enjoyed what I saw of Danielle's stunning ball and ribbon routines in full. What a stunner.

The results can be viewed here (it even lists their music!), click on team or competitor names for further information. You can also relive a few routines from the arena thanks to coach Danielle LeRay!

The great news is we get to see Jaelle and Dani take to the floor again in the individual all-around final which should get underway on OneHD/TenPlay Glasgow 2 very, very shortly!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Glasgow 2014: Let The Games Begin!

I don't know about you guys, but I am as jumpy as a wee terrier to see these games get underway after such a fun opening ceremony!

Tonight we get our first look at Australia's gymnastics campaign, with Dani Prince, Jaelle Cohen and Amy Quinn strutting their stuff in the rhythmic team event (that doubles as apparatus finals qualification).

You can watch live on One (or Channel 10 if Masterchef doesn't run hours overtime!), or on a device using TenPlay from 9pm AEST.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Commonwealth Comin' Atcha

Best wishes to our defending Commonwealth champion women's artistic gymnastics team who are on their way to bonnie Glasgae!

To sport these training leos!

To hang out in these groovy rooms!

And duke it out with some of the world's best in THIS VENUE!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Viva Glas Vegas!

Faster than a haggis hitting the hotplate, the 2014 Commonwealth Games are almost upon us, and Australia's artistic and rhythmic gymnasts are right in the thick of it.

In the last 24 hours, Australia's female team spoke with the media in Canberra, while the men did their hard yards over in London, both delegations - looking to defend their first place finishes from Delhi - excited and determined.

We have also had two birthdays during the training period: Olivia and Larrissa, congrats ladies!

Below are some details of the competition schedule as well as news features on our competitors which are bound to keep rolling in as the event draws closer.


Women's artistic team
Men's artistic team (amended from announcement at nationals)
Rhythmic team

Daily schedule from the BBC
Schedule in AEST from Gymnastics Australia whose hashtag is #UnlochGym

For some reason they have split the qualifiers over two days of disciplines (a la apparatus finals in a standard competition). Do you like insomnia? I know I do!

Media appearances as of July 16:
* Olivia on Today Tonight WA and the Gymcastic Podcast
* Olivia for PerthNow
* Olivia/Lauren for Fairfax Media (includes photo gallery of team)
* Lauren for Sydney Morning Herald
* Lauren Mitchell for Women's Health - "behind the scenes" at Motivation photoshoot
* Larrissa Miller for International Gymnast
* Greg Corsiglia and men's team
* Jayden Bull for International Gymnast
* Jaelle Cohen for The Today Show (begin awkward turtles............ now.)

Social Media - Official, and current/former Commonwealth gymnasts:
* Gymnastics Australia
* Glasgow 2014
* Maryanne Monckton
* Olivia Vivian
* Larrissa Miller
* Allana Slater
* Luke Wiwatowski