Nina Derwael is the 2017 European champion. Photograph: YouTube

As part of our 2017 recap, here are our ten favourite uneven bars routines of the year.

1. Nina Derwael (Belgium) – October, World Championships

I am so proud of all that Nina Derwael achieved this year. European champion, World medallist, two historic records for Belgium, an incredibly intricate routine, an Ezhova… Wow, the future can but be bright!

2. Elena Eremina (Russia) – October, World Championships

The next Russian star shines particularly on the uneven bars. Elena Eremina, European and World silver medallist, brought back to life the Nabieva release move, which she connects to a Pak salto and a Yao transition. Incredible!

3. Fan Yilin (China) – October, World Championships

The 2017 World champion on bars retained the title she had shared in 2015 with three other gymnasts – on her own this time. Fan Yilin’s gorgeous bar work, especially her pirouettes, are a joy to watch, and, if she stays healthy, they will bring her many more medals!

4. Luo Huan (China) – September, Chinese National Games

Luo Huan’s gorgeous bar routine is a treat no bars lover can miss. She links a Maloney to Pak to Maloney half, a somewhat unusual combination for a Chinese gymnast, but then she goes full Chinese with some incredible full pirouettes on one arm. Fantastic work!

5. Anastasia Ilyankova (Russia) – October, World Championships

Another fantastic bars worker, Anastasia Iliankova has a unique routine, which shines for difficulty, execution and diversity. She was fourth at Worlds, but can achieve (and deserves) much more.

6. Gabby Perea (USA) – August, P&G Championships

Gabby Perea is still a junior, but her bar routine is worthy of an Olympic gold medal. She still needs some polishing work, but she has plenty of time, and then she is off to Worlds and Olympics with a bang.

7. Georgia-Mae Fenton (Great Britain) – October, World Championships

Georgia-Mae Fenton was the World Championships revelation on bars. She was unfairly left out of the bars final, but her routine has plenty of difficulty, great execution, and will bring her much success in the future.

8. Riley McCusker (USA) – August, P&G Championships

Riley McCusker had an unfortunate season, marred by a lot of injuries. Her bar work, however, is exquisite, and won her the U.S. national title on the uneven bars. If she gets back to full form, we shall see marvels.

9. Ashton Locklear (USA) – October, World Championships

Ashton Locklear did not show her full difficulty on bars in 2017, leaving out her uniquely beautiful in-bar work. Her exquisite execution, however, gained her a spot in the bars final at the World Championships. Whatever the future has in store for her, her routine is one of the most beautiful to watch in the world.

10. Christine Peng-Peng Lee (UCLA) – February, UCLA v. Stanford

Uneven bars routines in the NCAA are beautiful to watch for their precision and stuck landings, but they are hardly gutsy and you rarely see huge moves. This, however, does not apply to senior Peng-Peng Lee, who performs a Ray, a Bhardwaj, a Maloney half and a double layout all in the same routine. She was rewarded with two well-deserved perfect 10.0s!

Article by Talitha Ilacqua


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