Whew! It was a whirlwind weekend of gymnastics, but no meet was wilder than that Italian international, the 2011 Trofeo di Jesolo, featuring the best of the up-and-comers. I just finished watching the videos and TV coverage uploaded by Monig650 and Giulyx16 on Youtube. A few notes/thoughts on routines:
The U.S. girls looked practically Olympic ready on vault — Gabrielle Douglas and Aly Raisman’s DTYs were flawless, and Jordyn Wieber and McKayla Maroney tossed two beautiful Amanars.
The Amanars were especially great. But the biggest highlight for me was…
- Kyla Ross, vault: The vault videos from Jesolo that came from the audience were shot at an angle that makes it easy to tell who needs to work on their DTYs and who doesn’t. Ross falls squarely in the latter category — the height, form and twist on this vault is simply gorgeous, and it is no wonder we’re hearing rumors of an Amanar from her. She looks easily capable of it. (Watch it here.)
Other stunners from Jesolo:
- Katelyn Ohashi, bars: No Ono this time, but — surprise! — a tucked double double dismount to end the routine. Yet another upgrade from the U.S.’s most dynamic junior star. Like 2004 Olympic bars champion Emilie Lepennec, Ohashi is doing both twists on the second somersault, which in my opinion just makes the incredibly hard even harder. (Watch it here.)
- Madison Kocian, bars: With this routine, this upstart from WOGA becomes the first U.S. gymnast to throw a stalder Khorkina II transition on bars, and she does it from a toe full. Kocian is absolutely one to watch — she hasn’t received the press that Katelyn Ohashi has gotten, but she’s gotten better with every meet she’s been in, and she’s going to be a big deal when she becomes a senior. (Watch it here.)
- Anastastia Sidorova, floor: My favorite floor routine of 2010 still looks great in 2011. Hers is a “Tango Amore” to die for. Rivals Sandra Izbasa’s, in my opinion. (Watch it here.)
- Carlotta Ferlito, beam: Gets an A for aggression on this exceptional beam routine. Great moments here: Her bhs to layout to two feet, turn sequence and wonderful stuck roundoff, 2.5 dismount. Many gymnasts look a little bit tentative on beam, like they’re trying to touch it lightly so as not to make it angry and throw them off. Ferlito doesn’t do this at all. And it really works for her. (Watch it here.)
- Yulia Belokobylskaya, beam: A lovely mount and the most unlikely-looking triple full you’ll ever see just barely pulled around. Belokobylskaya gets very little height off the the beam, which makes this dismount a small miracle. But watching her floor it is easy to see why the Russians have selected her to accompany Aliya Mustafina, Tatiana Nabieva and Anna Dementyeva to Berlin for the European Championships. Belokobylskaya is a valuable lead-off type, and the Russians are certainly auditioning gymnasts for that part. (Watch it here.)
- Elizabeth Price, vault and floor: Some understated choreography on Price’s floor routine gives her an elegant look, and there’s no question that this young woman is an extremely capable tumbler. Her DTY vault is also terrific, and she’s added a Weiler and an excellent toe on Hindorff on bars. (Watch floor here, vault here, bars here.)
- Sabrina Vega, floor: A new routine for the new senior. (Watch it here.)
Injury report: The U.S.’s Amanda Jetter was carried away from the vault by Mihai Brestyan after she sustained an injury landing a very, very underrotated DTY. Jetter was shown cradling her left ankle/Achilles region, Brestyan whispering comforting words in her ear as he scooped her up and walked off the mat. Best wishes to her that it’s not serious, and thaty she’ll be back soon.
And now, a few notes on the Russian juniors:
- Anna Rodionova, floor: Although in my opinion she is developing into a very elegant gymnast, Rodionova’s floor routine has neither the attitude of Sidorova’s nor the charm of Grishina’s. Her footing was a bit off on her third tumbling pass, which resulted in that labored full twist at the end, but she is a promising young competitor for this team. (Watch it here.)
- Evgenia Shelgunova, in general: My guess is that she was Viktoria Komova’s last minute replacement for this meet. She’s a gymnast with a lot of potential, though she made quite a few rookie errors at this competition. You can see flashes of what she’s capable of on beam (in between the falls, alas) as well as on floor. Bars is the event she will need to work on most.
- Anastasia Sidorova, in general: Has grown a bit since making a big impression at Top Gym in December. It has served her well on floor, where her tumbling is bigger than ever, though not as well on beam, where she is obviously still making adjustments. Bars remains her weakest event, but the Russians (unlike the Americans) are not really in need of strong barworkers. Rumor is she’s got an Amanar on vault, though nobody outside of Russia has seen it. She should have a good shot at big international assignments should she clean up on beam.
- Yulia Chenareva: A good presence on bars and a lovely lankiness on beam, Chenareva is a nice addition to the Russian junior squad. Like Shelgunova, there’s a bit of polishing still to be done, but she has time on her side. (Watch her bars here.)
- Anastasia Grishina: The young woman considered by some the most likely to foil Komova in the 2012 Olympic all-around has returned to competition after almost a year off, and she’s as magnetic as ever on floor and bars. Grishina now also has a double twisting Yurchenko on vault that could use a little polish. Other notable move: An excellent illusion turn straight to scale on balance beam. Lovely! (Watch her beam here.)
- Kristina Sidorova: In one sentence, a capable beam/floor gymnast who will never see the lineup of a major Russian squad on bars.
Random note: The Italian women may not have the highest degree of difficulty, but they have the loveliest hands/arms in gymnastics. It’s why their work always looks so stylish.
One last thing: Italian TV commentators, please talk a little louder. I can still hear a tiny bit of floor music, which is completely unacceptable.
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