Articles by "Chinese Gymnastics"
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Photo by Ginnastica Artistica Italiana


After Montreal's vault final, Wang Yan told reporters that she wishes to retire from the sport.

"For retirement it is not up to me, it will be decided by the team," she said according to the translator. "Even though I personally want to retire, it is for the team to decide."

She also said that she wishes to take a break to recover from her injuries. 

Yan has been dealing with a nagging ankle injury for quite sometime. 

Before the all around competition in Montreal, it was rumored that the 17 year old gymnast injured her knee during warm up on floor exercise.

According to Chinese gymnastics Tumblr blogger 16-233, her provincial team can reserve the right to ask her to stay through pressuring her, like for example not providing education or hindering her success as a student.

Tan Sixin, London Olympic alternate, was rumored to deeply want to retire but knowing that her provincial team would stand in her way of getting into the school she wanted, she had to continue competing till the National Games.

Yan was initially set to compete on floor exercise and vault in Montreal, but was upgraded to an all arounder after it was decided for teammate Liu Tinting to compete only on balance beam following an injury.

She finished in 19th place in the final and in the vault finals, she had a sixth place position.

Wang turned senior in 2015 where she won a silver medal at World championships with the team. She was selected to compete at the Rio Olympics Games. There, she helped her team to win a bronze medal and made three individual finals. She finished sixth in the all around and fifth on vault and floor exercise.


Written by Gigi Farid

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CCTV-5 sports channel has done a report on Chinese gymnastics stars Chen Yile and Liu Tingting.

Chen Yile and Liu Tingting shone at the 2017 National Chinese Games where the led their province to win gold in the team final.

In the individual all around final, they went one-two. Yile edged Tingting for the gold. At the events final, Yile and Tingting won silver and bronze receptively on balance beam and floor exercise. 

Yile is 15 years old and will turn senior next year while Tingting is 17 years old and was originally selected as part of the 2016 Olympic team but was forced to withdraw due to injury.

Tingting will be seen competing at the upcoming World championships which will be held between October 2 and 8 in Montreal, Canada.

Thanks to russiangymbreaksmyheart on Tumblr, we get a summary of the report:


  • Before the start of the AA final, the coaches were worried about Tingting, cos she had a minor leg injury, but the girl opposite her sitting in a daze was Chen Yile. 
  • When Yile ranked first in quals, people were surprised. Yile is now being trained by national team coaches Wang Qunce and Xu Jinglei. In only half a year worth of training with them she has changed from an unknown member of the Guangdong team to one of the AA stars
  • Coach Wang says she’s a very intelligent athlete, who thinks a lot, which is why she has made so many improvements in only about half a year to become a gold medal AA contender.
  • Despite her young age, she’s very mature. Coach Wang is nearly 60 and she’d tell him to be careful of his health, tell him what to eat, what not to eat, to give up smoking etc.
  • Yile and Tingting have a very good relationship, not only are they both on the same provincial team, in fact Yile’s floor exercise was Tingting’s old routine, and it was Tingting who taught it to her. 
  • Tingting describes her as quiet and being in a daze or lost in her own world. You can ask Yile questions about where she went, what she did and Yile would just stare at you blankly.
  • Yile says sometimes she can’t understand what people are saying, the interviewer asks her whether this is because she is from Guangdong (so there is a language barrier, because Cantonese is commonly spoken in Guangdong) and she said no, it’s just that she’s in a daze and misses out what people say to her.
  • Yile’s a great artist, you can see her drawings .
  • Despite all this, when Yile goes onto the competition floor, she becomes very composed. She hit all her routines successfully in Nationals, coaches described her performance as very ‘stable’/’solid’, but actually after she got off the podium from balance beam the coaches found that she was so nervous that her hands had turned cold. Yile says yes, she was very nervous, even though she might not look nervous, her whole body was actually shaking with nerves. Commentator praises her for being able to perform so well even while being so nervous. 
  • Yile says everyday she dreams about being able to go to the Olympic Games, that’s her greatest wish. Her goal is always to be number 1. 






Photo by Ginnastica Artistica Italiana

At 2017 National Games, Wang Yan made our jaws drop when she dismounted the bars with the super duper difficult double twisting double back layout.




The double twisting double back layout is rated a G, the highest difficult rating for bars skills in the CoP. It was originated by Elise Ray in 2000 and performed by Shawn Johnson and Jordyn Wieber.

Her teammate Tan Jiaxin has also performed it.






Wang, who turned senior in 2015, used to perform a double layout dismount without the twists. The dismount is a D.

Despite winning the bronze medal on the event at 2014 Youth Olympic Games, the uneven bars is Wang's weakest event. Adding the difficult dismount could help her in the all around competitions.

Her strongest events are vault and floor exercise. 

At the National Games, she won bronze in the all around and gold on vault. She also won silver with her team.

At the Rio Olympic Games, she won bronze with her team and placed sixth in the all around and fifth on vault and floor exercise.

Yan has been named to the 2017 China's Worlds team who will competed next month in Montreal, Canada.


Written by Gigi Farid


Photo by Artistica Ginnastica Italiana


As the fourth place all-around finisher by 0.116 points from medalling in the Rio Olympics, Chinese veteran Shang Chunsong vowed to pick up where she left off right after the Olympics.  However, a recent defeat in the National Games seemed to have shaken her determination.

On September 4th, after the Chinese WAG World Team was announced, Shang was in tears as she was only selected as an alternate. She later wrote on her Weibo that she had "anticipated this result, but still could not hold back tears when it was announced". She then added that her career as a gymnast would "leave regrets", and that she hoped to end her career with good performances in the remaining event finals. It was yet to be confirmed by coaches whether Shang Chunsong would retire immediately after the National Games.

Should that be confirmed, Shang Chunsong will be one of the many Chinese veterans who would start their new lives after gymnastics this year, the others being Huang Huidan, Tan Jixin, Chen Siyi and Bai Yawen. Gymnasts who will represent China in the coming Worlds are Wang Yan, Liu Tingting, Luo Huan and Fan Yulin. Shang Chunsong and Liu Jinru will be the alternates.

Written by Valerie Theodora Ko



Photo by Ginnastics Artistica Italiana
Fan favorite Shang Chunsong was left devastated over missing on selection for Team China at the upcoming Worlds.

She was named as an alternate.

"I have actually thought about this outcome before (worlds selection) but when they announced it today, I couldn't stop myself from crying," Chunsong wrote on Tiebo. "It seems that I will have some regrets in my gym career but I hope in my last few competitions, I can have a better ending."

Chunsong left the National Games, which is being held this month, with only one medal - a bronze on floor exercise.

She placed fourth with her team in the team final, fifth in the all around and fourth on uneven bars.

Her performance at the National Games likely led to her not being chosen to represent the country at Worlds.

Liu Tingting, Luo Huan, Fan Yilin and Wang Yan were named to China's Worlds team.

Tingting was set to compete at Rio Olympics but an injury forced her to withdraw. Luo Huan turned senior last year but did not make the Olympic squad. Wang Yan was part of the teams which won silver at 2015 World championships and bronze at 2016 Olympics.

Chunsong turned senior in 2012. She had her first major international competition at 2013 Worlds where she finished in eighth place in the all around and sixth place on balance beam.

At 2014 World championships, she won silver with the team and placed twelfth in the all around. At 2015 World championships, she won also silver with the team and placed fourth in the all around and on floor exercise, and sixth on uneven bars. 

At Rio Olympic Games, she led her team to a bronze medal win, and finished in fourth place in the all around and in fifth place on the uneven bars.

The upcoming World championships will be held between October 2 and 8 in Montreal. It will only feature individual competitions.

Written by Gigi Farid. 




Photos by Silvia Vatteroni


This week, the gymnastics community has sent their final goodbye to fan favorite Huang Huidan and Bai Yawen.

The Chinese gymnasts have previously confirmed that they will be retiring after the National Games which are currently being held in Tianjin.

Huang Huidan, who competes for Zhejiang, contributed a 13.5 on uneven bars and a 12.033 on balance beam towards the team's fifth place finish in the team final. She did not advance to any individual final.






Hunag Huidan turned senior in 2012 but did not make the London Olympic team. She is best know for winning the gold medal on the uneven bars at 2013 World championships and the silver medal on the same event at the 2014 World championships.

Injuries forced her out of the 2015 Worlds and she was unable to regain her top form since then. Hence, she had to miss second Olympics in a row.

Related Catching Up With A Blonde Huang Huidan And Her So-Called "Robotic" Teammates


Bai Yawen competed on vault, balance beam and floor exercise, scoring 11.967, 12.433 and 12.067 respectively.





Yawen turned senior in 2014. She is the 2014 World silver medalist on balance beam. Yawen has struggled with inconsistency during her career. She did not make the 2015 Worlds or the 2016 Olympics.

2014 World bars champion and 2012 Olympic finalist Yao Jinnan has also announced her retirement via Wiebo.

Olympic bronze medalist and two time World silver medalist Tan Jiaxin and 2014 World silver medalist Xie Yufen have also previously confirmed they will retire after the Games.

Retiring after the Chinese National Games has been a tradition among Chinese gymnasts. Olympic champions He Kexin and Deng Linlin announced their retirement after the 2013 National Games.

Written by Gigi Farid

Liu Tingting in the Bangkok Asian WAG Championships in May. 
(Photo @ Bless the Blooming Flowers of Chinese Gymnastics)

It is almost a given for gymnastics fans to associate the Chinese WAG team with combinations of multiple E-rated full pirouettes on bars and high layout straight on beam, but there is more that this team can offer. Going into the middle of this season, the young budding flowers of Team China has yet to display some impressive difficulty, but in less than three months’ time, some of these 2000-born young ladies will throw their best tricks to electrify the Montreal Olympic Stadium.

The Redemption of Liu Tingting (All-around, Balance Beam)

Since missing Rio due to injuries, the 16-year old has become more determined than ever, medaling in almost all competitions she participated in, including gold in all-round and on beam, and silver on bars in the Asian Championships in Bangkok two months earlier. Apart from the signature Chinese Healy-Ling-piked Jaegar combination on bars, Tingting also has very daring skills on beam – a front tuck mount and front handspring-front tuck acrobatic series. She is yet to reach her top form this year. Let’s hope that the Worlds will bring out the best of her and wish her a successful quad!



The Eligibles

Luo Huan (All-around, bars)
Initially one of the hopefuls for Rio, Luo Huan had a tough past quad due to injuries. Her start of this quad has been smooth so far, medaling in international assignments such as Melbourne World Cup (second on bars) and Doha World Cup (first on bars, third on beam). She went on to become the National all-around champion, as well as winning the bar title and clinched silver in all-around and on bars in the Asian Championships earlier in May. She is known for her cleanly executed techniques on bars, and a front aerial-split jump-Onodi-straddle jump combination on beam. However, Luo Huan has not been able to upgrade her vault from a full-twisting Yurchenko, and lacks a competitive floor routine. These will prevent her from attaining the same glory in the international arena.



Liu Jinru (Vault)
Having won a couple of medals on vault on both national and international levels, the latest being gold in the Asian championships earlier this year, Liu Jinru has established her name as a vaulting specialist. A much powerful vaulter than Wang Yan due to her height, Jinru might have missed Rio due to the lack of international experience and not having competitive beam and floor routines. She has been impressive at the national level over the years, but she has not been as ready on the big world stage. Now that we see many gymnasts outperforming themselves at big times, it is coaches’ trust that will be tested. Will she be ready now?



Lu Yufei (All-around)

A top 5 finisher in all-around in this year’s Chinese Nationals, Lu Yufei’s soulful eyes reminds us of veteran Jada Barbosa’s aura. Her slender figure gives that extra refinement in her movement, and she is definitely one who can dance. Yufei’s repertoire includes a Tkatchev-Geinger combination and a Fabrichnova dismount on bars, but the issues of labored swings and dead hangs are yet to be overcome. She once had a full-twisting double back on floor and a double twisting Tsukahara, but during the Nationals she had competed slightly watered down routines. This may affect her prospects for the 2017 Worlds in Montreal, which her inconsistency on beam does not make the situation better. Yet it will be great to have her grace the Chinese WAG team with her elegance. 




Written by Valerie Theodora Ko


Many times in gymnastics have we seen gymnasts, who, at one point, seemed to “have it all”, but never really make it far enough to chase for ultimate glory. But no matter what fate did to them, they bravely tackle whatever challenge thrown to them. In the 2017 Chinese Nationals, Huang Huidan did exactly that. And even if she failed to medal, and worse, failed to compete flawlessly, she dignifiedly fought hard not to fall in what is very likely to be her swan song.
The Moment of Courage: Huang Huidan Paused to Recollect Herself on the Bars
 (Photo captured from youtube, courtesy of CCTV)
The down-to-earth Huang was considered a successor Jiang Yuyuan in her provincial team. With her precise bar work and fairy-like demeanour on beam, she quickly became China’s new hopes since the team failed to medal in the 2012 London Olympics. In the 2013 World Championships, Huang became the first Chinese World Champion on bars since 2009. She went on to clinch silver in the same event in 2014. Yet injuries forced her out of top form since then.

Having regretfully missed two Olympics in a row, Huang still plays an important part in her provincial team. Recently, in the Chinese Nationals, despite not being at her best, Huang competed on bars and beam. It was on bars where she struggled after a full-pirouette (a skill which is known to be best-performed by Chinese gymnasts), paused for 10 seconds to recollect herself, and then bravely dismounted.

It is almost certain that Huang will retire this year. Whether or not she will compete in the National Games in September will depend on how well her more capable younger teammates recover from their respective injuries. Despite her current circumstances, with multiple medals in her bag and loving fans from across the world, World Champion Huang Huidan definitely has a fruitful career to be proud of.

For the time being, let’s take a moment to recap Huang Huidan’s brave performances in the 2017 Chinese Nationals.

Huang Huidan’s signature beautiful arm movements on beam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M44ZPInhIeQ

Huang Huidan fought bravely not to fall on bars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Av-Z3SEZDo



Written by Valerie Theodora Ko
The vault podium. Photograph: YouTube

The 2017 Chinese National Championships were held in Wuhan, China, from 5 to 9 May

It was a beautiful competition, with rising stars outshining Olympians, and with depth and margin of improvement on all apparatuses, including vault.

All around final

Luo Huan, 17, won the all around with a total score of 54.200. Her best score came on the uneven bars (14.150), where she performed an intricate and very ‘international-style’ type of routine. She also posted two good scores on vault (13.600) and beam (13.700), while she struggled a bit on floor (12.750).

 One point behind her was Chen Yile, who won silver (53.200). Her best score also came on the uneven bars (13.850), while her lowest was on beam (12.500). She also scored a good 13.550 on vault and a 13.300 on floor.

 Third was Liu Jingxing (52.700). All her scores ranged in the mid-low 13s, with the best coming on vault (13.400). She then scored a 13.200 on the uneven bars, a 13.100 on balance beam and a 13.000 on floor.


Uneven bars final

Luo Huan also won the uneven bars title with a 14.533/6.2. She performed the international judges’ favourite combination, a Maloney to Pak salto to Maloney half, some beautiful and super-clean pirouettes and a high double straight dismount. This is a very well-thought routine, designed to produce good scores.

 Second was Du Siyu (14.300/6.2). She performed an incredible routine, with some never-ending combinations and sky-high releases. My worry is that she will never get the scores she deserves, because her routine is very long. I counted ten elements in the routine plus the dismount, which is what we used to see in 2006–08 with the first open-ended CoP, while today only the top eight elements of a routine are counted. A shout-out to her for such difficult work though!

 Third was UB world champion Fan Yilin (13.833/6.2). She competed her Olympic routine with only a few form breaks, but had an unfortunate fall on her downgraded double pike dismount.


Vault final

The winner of the vault final was Liu Jinru with a 14.483 (14.433/5.6 and 14.533/5.8). She impressed with two very difficult and well executed Tsukahara vaults. She is probably the best Chinese vaulter since Cheng Fei!

Second was Qi Qi with a 13.933 (14.433/5.4 and 13.433/4.8). Her first vault, a double twisting Yurchenko, was spectacular for form and landing. Her second vault, a piked Rudi, however, needed more amplitude and had some problems on landing.

 Third was Yu Linmin with a 13.783 (14.067/5.4 and 13.500/4.8). Her DTY was also very good, but she seemed to be suffering from a bit of a knee injury.


Balance beam final

Balance beam was won by Zhu Xiaofang with a 14.167/5.9. She is a very polished gymnast with beautifully pointed toes, incredible extension on her leaps and very soft landings on all her skills. She competed a beautiful round-off to back layout, a switch ring to sheep jump and a very difficult triple twisting dismount. Overall, a very impressive performance.

Tied for second were Li Qi (13.967/6.3) and Li Hairuo (13.967/5.5). They both competed a round-off to layout (as most Chinese gymnasts these days, it seems), and some intricate combinations of acro and dance elements to gain all the bonuses of the CoP. Impressive routines from both of them.


Floor exercise final

Finally, the floor title was awarded to Olympian Shang Chunsong (13.300/5.6), who was back to competition after a scary fall on bars in the all around competition. Shang has a new floor music and competed a one-and-a-half-twist into triple twist to punch front as her opening tumbling pass, followed by a double pike, a two-and-a-half to front pike and a double twist. Even though watered down, Shang’s routine looked great. My only slight worry is that she looks even thinnier than before!

Silver was won by Liu Tingting (13.100/4.9). Her floor routine was beautiful from start to finish. Great music choice, engaging choreography and very good tumbling passes (triple twist to punch front, two-and-a-half twist, double tuck). Her routine really shows how much music matters!


 Bronze was won by Liu Jingxing with a 12.800/4.9. She also produced a beautifully-choreographed routine and some big tumbling passes, which only need to be polished a little. She opened with a big double straight, followed by a full-in tuck, and punch front to double back tuck and a double pike. Again, engaging choreography, almost sassy (!), which suits her very well.


Click here for full results, courtesy of The Gymternet.

Click here for all videos, courtesy of Piibunina on YouTube.

By Talitha Ilacqua
China's fluctuating scores in Rio, including team leader Shang Chunsong's AA scores, raised concerns among gymnastics professionals in China. (Photo @ Shang Chunsong's public weibo account)

Despite much controversy in Rio's judging, the FIG has brought things to a higher level with then-FIG President Bruno Grandi stating that Chinese gymnasts were robotic and should be more westernised if they want better results in the future. This makes China, who used to be one of the mildest critique of the FIG, shows its recent disagreement towards the FIG's judging more openly.

In an interview right after the all-around (AA) finals in the Rio Olympics, Shang tearfully said that she felt her beam score was robbed because she felt that she did better in AA than in TF. She also said that if the margin between her and Aliya was more she would not have been that sad. The CCTV commentator mentioned that Shang Chusong's beam routine difficulty score should be 0.2 points higher, and the team challenged the score but was rejected. Eventually, Shang lost by less than 0.2 points.


Shang Chunsong was not the only one to have spoken up. Team China's coordinator Ye Zhannan stated that Chinese gymnasts being underscored had not been new. He opined that FIG had "fixed Team China's score within a certain range", even if they performed flawlessly, their score could not be boosted, and that was something the Chinese Gymnastics insiders never understood. He especially pointed out that if a Chinese gymnast performed the way Mustafina did in the AA, she would not have got the same score as Mustafina's.

"Now that the FIG is heavily penalizing some elements which Chinese gymnasts are good at (such as pirouettes on bars), it is not only good for Team China, but is also bad for the sport in general", Ye suggested, "It makes the sport lacks variety, and the FIG is failing to popularise the sport." He also pointed out that it is not a must for China to win gold, but they also want to demonstrate their detailed technique and the sportsmanship of Chinese athletes through competitions. The Chinese Gymnastics Federation had thus written a letter to the FIG to make a protest.




Written by Valerie Theodora Ko