November 15, 2008

China Reigns Supreme in Stuttgart

Today's DTB finals saw China win all the women's events. Cheng Fei completely outscored the competition on vault, beam, and floor, while He Ning took the remaining gold medal (bars). Lauren Mitchell won two silver medals for Australia, Yang Yilin took two bronzes, and the German girls pleased the home crowd with two bronze medals of their own. Results and competition notes follow below, courtesy of the DTB site.

First, though, some other news. We have good news and bad news. Needless to say, both are about injuries.

Firstly, the bad news. Reportedly Anna Pavlova got injured on her beam dismount. She's believed to have torn the cruciate ligaments of her right knee - injury No. 12,694 of this year. Could it be that the Code is asking a little too much of the girls, and that the competitive season is lasting a little too long? We hope you're paying attention, FIG. We don't like our favorite gymnasts suffering career-threatening injuries.

Anna Pavlova, the latest injury victim (photo: Reuters)

On a brighter note, Oksana Chusovitina seems to be doing well. The Olympic silver medalist on vault, fresh from a successful Achilles tendon operation, was honored in Stuttgart for her Beijing achievements, and entered the arena walking on crutches. She told the audience she wanted to get back into training as soon as possible, then astounded everyone by leaving the arena walking without crutches! Is there anything the woman can't do?

Anyhow, on to the competition now...

For some strange reason the uneven bars final was contested before the vault final. The men's working order was even stranger: Floor, parallel bars, high bar, vault, pommel horse, rings. What's with all the order switching this year? The Olympic finals were a mess, and now the Germans (usually the world's greatest sticklers for rules) are changing the working order too. It's not right, we tell you. Not right!

He Ning (photo: Kin Cheung/AP Photo)

Uneven bars
1 HE Ning CHN 6.900 8.450 15.350
2 KOVAL Anastasia UKR 6.900 8.150 15.050
3 BRUNNER Jenny GER 6.500 7.650 14.150
4 KAESLIN Ariella SUI 5.900 7.925 13.825
5 BUI Kim GER 6.600 7.000 13.600
6 WEVERS Sanne NED 5.600 7.975 13.575
7 KOVACOVA Ivana SVK 6.000 7.225 13.225
8 PIHAN Marta POL 5.700 6.875 12.575

He Ning hit her inverts, Jaegers (straddled and piked), Pak and a very solid double layout dismount for the win here. Anastasia Koval was almost as good with a piked Hindorff, Stalder-full into high Tkatchev, good elgrip giants, and a double front dismount. Germany's Jenny Brunner's form left a bit to be desired, but she gave the home crowd something to cheer about with good inverts, a piked Jaeger, and a dismount the commentators on the DTB site described as a piked Endo straight into a layout front somersault with a half twist, although it used to be a Stalder into an underswing, half turn, layout back. Whichever dismount Brunner competed today, she ended up winning the bronze, which caused the commentators on the DTB site to use three exclamation points. Wow! Meanwhile, Slovakia's Ivana Kovacova hit a Comaneci salto and a Stalder-1.5 in elgrip, but fell on a Stalder-full on the low bar. What a pity - sounds like a cool routine.

Cheng Fei (photo: Reuters)

1 CHENG Fei CHN 14.900
5.80 9.325 15.125
5.60 9.075 14.675
5.50 8.975 14.475
5.20 8.875 14.075
3 PAVLOVA Anna RUS 14.050
5.80 8.900 14.700
5.60 7.800 13.400
4 KAESLIN Ariella SUI 14.012
6.30 7.875 14.175
5.00 8.850 13.850
5 BUI Kim GER 13.962
5.40 8.525 13.925
5.00 9.000 14.000
5.80 8.825 14.625
5.20 7.825 13.025
7 KALASHNYK Anna UKR 13.512
5.50 7.850 13.350
5.00 8.675 13.675
8 BOCZOGO Dorina HUN 13.325
5.00 8.675 13.675
5.00 7.975 12.975

Cheng Fei didn't need full difficulty to win here, showing a double-twisting Yurchenko and a half on, layout front-half instead of her more difficult vaults. She took a small step on both landings, but had excellent height and form. Belgium's Aagje Vanwalleghem competed a Yurchenko-1.5 with a big hop and a very good half on, piked front-half for the silver. Anna Pavlova showed the same two vaults as did Cheng, hitting the Yurchenko but landing her second vault on one knee for third place. Ariella Kaeslin attempted the most difficult vault of the day, a layout rudi (start value 6.3!), but fell. Elena Zamolodchikova also attempted more difficult vaults than she did yesterday, but landed deep on her double-twisting Yurchenko and fell forward on her half on, layout front-half. Clearly Zamo isn't in the best of shapes.

Cheng Fei (photo: Matt Dunham/AP Photos)

1 CHENG Fei CHN 6.800 8.725 0.1 15.425
2 MITCHELL Lauren AUS 6.500 8.650 15.150
3 YANG Yilin CHN 6.400 8.675 15.075
4 WEVERS Sanne NED 6.300 8.575 14.875
5 PAVLOVA Anna RUS 6.000 8.750 14.750
6 LOZHECHKO Yulia RUS 6.000 8.575 14.575
7 SAJN Adela SLO 6.000 8.300 14.300
8 SAWA Sydney CAN 5.600 6.975 12.575

One more victory for Cheng Fei! She took small steps on her full twist and pike back, and a step sideways on her dismount, but hit a good sheep jump and front somi for the gold. Lauren Mitchell suffered a big wobble after her layout stepout, layout back combo, but got a lot of applause for her double squat turn, and a well-deserved silver medal too. Yang Yilin took a small step on her punch front and on her dismount, but was very clean elsewhere (good Onodi, ff, layout stepout combo) for the bronze. Sanne Wevers hit her double turn with raised leg, front aerial to Kochetkova, combination of two side aerials, and dismount, but somehow finished outside the medals. Anna Pavlova wobbled after her side somi and full turn, then injured herself on her dismount, while Yulia Lozhechko had balance checks on her front somi to scale and side somi. Adela Sajn lost her balance after a sheep jump and missed a connection, and Sydney Sawa came off on an Onodi and landed her dismount off the mat. Wevers, Sajn, Sawa, and Mitchell all hit double turns. That's a lot of double turns in one final!

Cheng Fei (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

1 CHENG Fei CHN 6.200 9.050 15.250
2 MITCHELL Lauren AUS 6.000 8.775 0.1 14.675
3 YANG Yilin CHN 5.700 8.475 0.1 14.075
3 BUI Kim GER 5.600 8.475 14.075
5 BOCZOGO Dorina HUN 5.400 8.525 13.925
5 MOEBIUS Joeline GER 5.800 8.225 0.1 13.925
7 STAEMPFLI Linda SUI 5.500 8.125 13.625
8 HYPOLITO Daniele BRA 4.300 8.375 12.675

Cheng Fei hit all her tumbling (piked full-in, whip to triple twist, 1.5 twist to full, 2.5 twist) and showed good amplitude on her leaps for yet another victory. Lauren Mitchell went out of bounds on her piked full-in and fell out of her triple turn, but nailed her double Arabian and other passes for her second silver of the day. Yang Yilin came up short on her triple twist and landed her 2.5 twist out of bounds, but hit a very good triple turn for her second bronze of the day. She had to share her medal with Germany's Kim Bui, who took a step forward on her piked full-in, but hit her 2.5 twist, front-half combo, 1.5 twist forward and double pike, and seemed immensely pleased with her medal. Dorina Boczogo nailed some good tumbling passes: Double Arabian, double front and double pike. She tied the second German in the final, Joeline Moebius, who hit a piked full-in (out of bounds), 1.5 twist through to 2.5 twist, and double pike. Linda Staempfli showed a good double pike and a nice Li Li spin, but took a big step on her 2.5 twist. Daniele Hypolito underrotated her 2.5 twist and lacked the difficulty to challenge the other finalists.

And so the women's event finals of the DTB Cup ended with another very good day for Cheng Fei, who was clearly in a league of her own in Stuttgart. If only she could have ruled like that in Beijing...

Ah well. Better not go there.

Men's results and highlights will follow later. Yes, really.

Tomorrow some of the competitors will take part in an all-around competition. Stay tuned...


  1. I know this isn't related at all, but I was wondering if you knew any website that is streaming coverage of the Toyota Cup? I couldn't find anything in my searches

  2. We have no idea. We're waiting for ProSport to fill us in on the details. They're usually pretty good about providing information about competitions involving Romanian gymnasts.

    If this IG report is anything to go by, you're not missing out on much.

  3. Thanks for the info, yeah I had been looking at the intlgymnast site. Turns out Romanians went 1-2 on Men's vault and Izbasa came in 2nd on beam and won floor. :)

  4. Hi I have just read an update on Anna Pavlova in the Russian press: I can translate the article for you if you like. If so how do I get it to you?

  5. Hi Kristina - Thanks for bringing that article to our attention! Thanks to a Babelfish translation, we've got the gist of it, but if you could give us an actual, detailed, word-by-word translation with reliable quotes, that would be awesome! Please send the translation to Thank you very much in advance!