Articles by "When They Were Juniors"
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Then fifteen year old Jordyn Wieber was having a terrible day while competing on balance beam during the national championships.

The American gymnast fell three times, the first came after performing a one handed back handspring (B) to a layout step out (C), the second after performing a side aerial (D) while the third and last was on her dismount.

Her dismount was a two back handspring (B) to a double back tuck (D), which she under-rotated, hence the fall. Wieber landed straight on her knees. Gymnasts do not get credit for any skill they fail to land on their feet first.

During the warm up, Wieber injured her ankle. Before competing on beam, she had a fall on uneven bars. After ending her beam routine, she did not compete on floor exercise and withdrew from the competition.

A little more than one year later, Jordyn became the all around champion at National and World championships.

Wieber's last competition was the 2012 Olympic Games where she won gold with her team. She retired in 2015.






Written by Gigi Farid


The fourteen year old Daria Elizarova connected her switch leap (C) to a forward tuck (D), with no single pause between both elements. The combination is worth 0.1 connection bonus.

She competed a back handspring (B) to two layout step outs (C), worth 0.1 connection bonus and 0.1 series bonus, a split jump with full turn (D), straddle pike position (C), tuck jump with one and a half turn (D) and a full turn with leg below horizontal (A).

She then attempted to do the acrobatic series of Onodi (D) to forward aerial (D) to side somi (D). It would have been worth 0.1 series bonus, had it been successfully connected. She performed a sheep jump (C), a sissone (A) to a wolf jump with full turn (D) and ended her routine with a double back tuck (D).

The routine took place in 2005. Elizarova turned senior in 2007 where she was an alternate for the 2007 Russia's World team. According to Between The Olympics blog, she was originally on the 2008 Russian Olympic team but had to give up her spot due to an illness.

In 2010, she started competing for Uzbekistan. She competed at 2011 World championships and was alternate to Luiza Galiulina at 2012 Olympic Games. However, she switched back to her native country and competed at the Russian cup in 2013. She competed at the 2015 Universiade Games where she finished first with the team, third on vault and second on floor exercise.

She competed at 2016 Vornin cup where she won gold in the all around and on balance beam.

As a junior, Daria won the European all around and balance beam titles in 2006.




The routine was judged according to 2017-2020 COP

Written by Gigi Farid




When Komova was a junior, she attempted a ridiculously difficult beam routine.

She competed a back handspring (B) to layout step out (C) to Arabian (F), worth 0.2 connection bonus and 0.1 series bonus. She is believed to be the only gymnast to compete such acro series.

She attempted another F rated skill in combination, back handspring to full twisting back tuck, worth 0.2 connection bonus. 

Forward aerial (D), sheep jump (D), split leap 1/1 (D) and switch ring leap (E) were also included in her routine.


She ended it with a double tucked Arabian dismount.


The video was uploaded in 2010.




The routine was judged according 2013-2016 CoP

By Gigi Farid




Viktoria Komova/VK
During 2009 Mikhail Voronin Cup, Viktoria Komova of Russia solidly stuck the most difficult balance beam dismount, a double Arabian tuck. Komova performed it in combination thus earns a 0.1 bonus.

She most likely got 0.5 deduction for the landing the dismount in a deep squat position

She had a failed attempt at performing 'back handspring (B) to layout step out (C) to a tucked Arabian (F)' without a fall. Layout step out to tucked Arabian is worth 0.2 connection bonus while back handspring to layout step out to tucked Arabian is worth 0.1 series bonus.

She does a split leap with full turn (D), forward tuck (D), side somi (D) and full turn with leg at horizontal (C). She connects her forward aerial (D) toa  sheep jump (D) earning 0.2 connection bonus. She does a split leap (A) to a wolf jump (A) in order to fulfill the requirement of 'connection of two dance elements'.

Komova is 2011 and 2015 World bars champion.





Please note the routine is analyzed according the 2013-2016 CoP.

Written by Gigi Farid


Confident, expressive and elegant. 

Then 13 year old Viktoria Komova delivered one of her best floor routines. Her choreography was very entertaining, artistic and went well with the music. You can clearly tell that she was enjoying herself while performing that routine.

A one and half twisting back layout (C) to a double tucked Arabian (E), worth 0.2 connection bonus, was her opening tumbling pass. She took a small hop to the front on her full in tuck (E) and solidly stuck her double back pike (D).

She ends her routine with a triple twist (E). 

The performance took place at 2008 Pacific Rim championships. The Russian gymnast turned senior in 2011. She is the 2011 and 2015 World bars champion, and two time Olympic bronze medalist.




By Gigi Farid



Svetlana Khorkina
Photo by Sing Lo
Yes, that's right. Legendary gymnast Svetlana Khorkina attempted a brand new version of the most difficult acrobatic element on balance beam when she was a little cute junior gymnast.

The then fourteen year old gymnast attempted a cartwheel aerial to a gainer full twisting back layout but suffers a fall. A full twisting back layout is rated a G in the code of points while the gainer version has never been successfully attempted at a World or Olympic games thus is not yet in CoP. However, it will most likely receive the same rating as the original version when it gets introduced in the CoP.

Khorkina attempted the skill in 1994,1995 and 2001 but no luck. Despite the beam not being one of her strongest events, Svetlana managed to win four medals at European and World championships.





Written By Gigi Farid




Photo by Silvia Vatteroni

Little cutie Sabina Cojocar had a fall on her clear hip circle on the uneven bars during a competition that was held in 1994. But the Romanian gymnast was too baby to understand how frustrating a fall usually is, she hops adorably and enthusiastically to the other side of the apparatus and resumes her routine.

Cojocar turned senior in 2001. She was part of the last World champion Romanian team as well as the last all around Goodwill Games champion. 

She was a very promising gymnast but was forced to retire in 2003 due to a chronic liver problem.





By Gigi Farid

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Elena Zamoloditchkova
At 1996 junior European championship, Elena Zamoloditchkova ended her balance beam routine with the most difficult dismount, a full twisting double back tuck.

The dismount is rated a G. It has the same rating as double arabian and full twisting double back pike.

She does a back handspring (B) to a layout step out (C) which she attempted to connect it to a back handspring but suffered a fall before she could land her feet on the apparatus.

She does a wolf jump (A) to a tucked Korbut (B), a switch leap (C) to another wold jump (A) and a forward tuck (D).

Elena was one of the most successful Russian gymnasts, she is two time Olympic and World champion. On beam, she has won a bronze medal at 2000 European championships.

Beside the full twisting double back tuck dismount, Elena competed a triple twisting back layout (F) and a double back tuck (D).





Photo by Sing Lo

By Gigi Farid

If you want to contribute to WOGymnastikA or advertise on our website please contact us here


13 year old Yulia Lozhecko ended her uneven bars routine with a very unusual dismount, a backward tucked salto from a handstand.

The dismount is rated a C and since one of the five requirements, where gymnasts automatically receive a 0.5 for each fulfilled requirements,  is doing a D or higher dismount, it is highly unlikely we see this dismount in high level competitions.

Lozhecko turned senior in 2005.  She is the 2007 European balance beam champion and 2005 European bronze all around champion.

Despite her talent, her career was put to an end when she was banned from round lack as a disciplinary action. Lozhecko was accused of not obeying her coaches and working on her own.

See full story here




Written by Gigi Farid


Aliya Mustafina
Photo by Silvia Vatteroni

When Aliya Mustafina of Russia was twelve years old, she performed one of legend Svetlana Khorkina's signature skills on uneven bars.

The skill is a swing backwards with half turn and straddle flight over high bar. It is also known as Markelov. Vladmire Markelov was a Soviet gymnast who originated the release in men's gymnastics.

It is rated a D in the code of points. 

The routine was nicely performed. She did a Tkatchev release (D), pike sole circle with full turn (D), piked Stalder with full turn (D) and full twisting double back tuck dismount (C).

It is worth mentioning that Aliya never performed Khorkina signature release during her senior years.

Mustafina has six medals on uneven bars at Olympic games and, World and European championships.




Written by Gigi Farid


Terin Humphrey
Photo by Sing Lo
At 2000 US Classics, thirteen year old Terin Humphrey opened her floor routine with an arabian layout (B) indirectly connected to a double and a half twisting layout (D) to a front tuck (A).

The tumbling pass is worth 0.2 connection bonus. She does a triple full (E) and whip (B) to double back pike (D), worth 0.1 connection bonus, as her second and third pass.

Humphrey was a part of the 2003 World gold and 2004 Olympic silver medal winning teams. She is also the 2004 Olympic silver medalist on uneven bar.

The American athlete got involved in college gymnastics in 2005. After completely retiring from gymnastics, she chose a law enforcement career. 



Written by Gigi Khazback Farid


Photo by Sing Lo


Sandra Izbasa
Then future Olympic floor champion Sandra Izbasa of Romania danced to an Arabic music during the podium training of 2004 Junior European championships.

Izbasa who was thirteen at that time, used Fairuz's Al bint el chalabiya as her floor music. Fairuz is a Lebanese singer who is among the most widely admired and deeply respected living singers in the Arab world.

She performs a full in tuck (E) as her first pass, a full and a half twisting layout (D) to a full twisting forward tuck (C) worth 0.2 connection bonus and ends her routine with a solid stuck triple twisting layout (E).

She had a lovely choreography and performance.

At these championships, Izbasa took silver with her team and another silver on floor exercise. She also finished in 6th position in the all around, fifth on vault and fourth on balance beam. She turned senior in 2006.

Izbasa is one of the most successful Romanian gymnasts, she is two time individual Olympic champion and multiple European gold medalist.

  

Written by Gigi Farid

Photo by Sing Lo




Photo by sports.sina.com.cn
Little cute Jiang Yuyuan competed a bars routine while apparently being in a hurry.

She does a clear hip circle (C) to a clear hip release with counter movement to high bar transition (C), a Ling (E) to Healy (E) to a piked Jaeger (D), worth 0.2 connection bonus.

She then does a Tkatchev (D), Pak salto transition (D), Stalder release with counter movement to high bar transition (C), a backward giant with half turn (B) to straddled Jaeger (D).

She dismounts with a full twisting double back layout (E).

The routine took place in 2006 during a friendly meet between China and Italy. Jiang turned senior in 2007.

Her highest point of her individual career was winning silver medal in the all-around competition at the 2010 World Championships, which is the highest position that Chinese women ever placed in all-around competition at World Championships or Olympic level.

Jiang was a part of the 2008 gold winning Olympic team. She retired in 2012.




The Routine was judged in accordance with 2013-2016 CoP.

Written by Gigi Farid

Romania's Ana Porgras who did only backward main tumbling passes on floor exercise in her senior career, had competed a double front tuck (E).

The routine took place at 2008 Jesolo competition when Porgras was 14 years old.

She started her routine with the forward tumbling pass but fell. However, her legs were beautifully glued.

She does a front tuck to round off to back handspring to double back (D) as her second pass, two and a half backward twisting layout (D) as her third and ends the routine with a double back pike (D).

She also did a consistent double L turn (D).

Porgras turned senior in 2009. She is known for being one of the most artistic gymnasts. She is the 2009 World uneven bars bronze medalist and 2010 World beam champion.

She retired just seven months before what could have been her first Olympics, citing that she could not continue in the sport anymore.




Written by Gigi Farid


Photo by Silvia Vatteroni
Even great champions have their bad days. Little tiny cute Aliya Mustafina of Russia took a very hard fall on balance beam during a competition that took place in 2004.

Mustafina who was nine years old at that time, had her foot slipped on her Sissone and fell between her legs.  But like a champion, she got up, ignored the pain and continued her routine.

Nevertheless, she seemed to be in shock and hesitant throughout her routine. She does a back handspring 'pauses' then a back tuck and has an easy fall. She ends her routine with a double twisting back layout and falls for the third time.

The Russian gymnast turned senior in 2010. Till now, she has won four Olympic, eleven Worlds and nine European medals.

Interesting Youtube comments:

OUCH! you gotta love that kid for getting back on the beam and pushing through, fall after fall... huge talent (albeit still very raw back then) and impressive determination: that's what makes her a world champ nowadays :)

WOW! Her mental toughness is incredible...and to have that at age 10 is amazing! It's no surprise she is the World Champion.

Man! like allaroundcoach said u do gotta love her!! That determanation! You know those falls had to hurt. Maybe not all of them phsically but emotianlly to cuz u think ur gonna lose. That determantation has lead her to where she is now..... a champion!




Written by Gigi Farid

Then junior French gymnast Emilie Le Pennec took a scary fall during her floor routine at 2002 Junior European championships.

Le Pennec was going for a double twisting double back tuck, now rated an H. She seemed to have got lost mid air thus landing straight on her side. She did not injure herself and got back up immediately and continued her routine like nothing happened. What a tough girl!

The French gymnast is best known for winning her country's first Olympic gold medal in women's gymnastics, in 2004. She is also known for her difficult uneven bars routine, the event which she made history on.

She is also the 2005 European bars champion.




Written by Gigi Farid

Photo by Sing Lo

Aly Raisman
Photo by Silvia Vatteroni
What a coincidence! 

When US Aly Raisman was a thirteen year old junior gymnast, she used "Gia" a song recorded by Greek singer Despina Vandi, which was famously used by her then future rival Catalina Ponor.

Ponor danced to this song during the 2004 Olympic floor finals where she won gold. At 2012 London Olympics, Raisman outscored Ponor on floor in event finals and won gold while the Romanian gymnast settled for silver.

There, Raisman used Hava Nagila as her music while Ponor used Requiem for a Dream.

At the same day, Raisman and Ponor tied for a bronze on balance beam but due to tie breaking rule Ponor's position was dropped to fourth in favor of Raisman whose execution score was higher than Ponor's

"I can't belive she used to have Catalina's floor music in her routine. lol and imagine that she will beat her later in London. its so Ironic haha. I'm a fan of ponor's tumbling, especially in 2004. The moment i hear the music I started laughing haha" wrote a Youtube commenter.





Cata's 2004 floor routine


 

Written by Gigi Khazback Farid


Svetlana Khorkina is one of the greatest gymnasts of all time. She is multiple Olympic, Worlds and European champion, and she has also done a now banned skill in competition.



At only 13 years old, Khorkina performed an Arabian 1-3/4 salto as her second pass on floor exercise.  The skill was first performed by 1980 Olympic all around champion Elena Davydova of USSR, and was removed from the CoP in 1993 due to health and safety reasons.


The skills that involve roll out are banned in women's gymnastics.


Choreography wise, she carries it out smoothly from one move to the next, and works it to the beat and phrase of the music and melody. Tumbling wise, she had low chest landing.


It is worth to mention that Khorkina is three times World medalist, an Olympic silver medalist and a European champion on floor. 




Written by Gigi Farid

Photo by Sing Lo


Russia's Viktoria Komova who was a 14 year old gymnast at that time, over rotated her Amanar vault causing her to take four steps and went out of the mat.

In 2009-2012 CoP, stepping outside the corridor line with both feet costs a 0.5 deduction, but in the 2013-2016 CoP, it costs only a 0.3.

The Russian gymnast had nearly the same landing on vault in 2012 London's all around final which costed her the most important title in her gymnastics career.

London was her last major international competition as she has been struggling from injuries and illness ever since. Komova will hopefully compete this year.

The vault took place at Mikhail Vornin cup in 2009.




Written by Gigi Khazback Farid


In 2002, a year before she turned senior, Romania's Catalina Ponor mounted the balance beam with a round off to a layout step out which is rated a D.

During her senior years, Ponor had often started her beam with a simple and artistic element.

She performs an Onodi (D) to a back handspring (B) to a layout step out (C), worth 0.1 series bonus, an aerial (D) to a full twisting back handspring (D), switch leap (C) to Omelianchik (D), worth 0.1 connection bonus and ends her routine with a double back pike (D).

Ponor who is now retired, is a triple Olympic gold medalist. She is also the most successful Romanian balance beam worker.

Since the introduction of the new CoP in 2006, 90 percent of the elite gymnasts avoid performing difficult mounts while saving the difficulty for the other elements and dismount.




Written by Gigi Farid

Photo by Sing Lo