November 23, 2008

China Dominates Trophee Massilia

In Marseille, France, the Chinese girls won the annual Massilia Cup, beating Russia, 118.600-117.950. The victory was remarkable because China only had two competitors (Jiang Yuyuan and Guo Wei; Tian Mengsi was slated to compete but didn't), whereas all other seven teams in the competition used three gymnasts (two per event). Australia placed third, scoring 115.400.

AA winner Jiang Yuyuan

The Chinese duo of Jiang and Guo did well on all events. Not surprisingly, they got the top score on bars: 30.250 (15.350 for Guo, 14.900 for Jiang). Russia, represented by juniors Aliya Mustafina, Viktoria Komova, and Kristina Goryunova, got the top scores on vault (28.950) and floor (30.050). On floor, Mustafina and Komova received 15.100 and 14.950, respectively (the two highest scores given on that apparatus). Unfortunately they didn't do so well on beam: 14.200 for Komova, 13.700 for Mustafina. Meanwhile, Australia got the top score on beam (30.600), thanks to a whopping 15.600 for Lauren Mitchell and a 15.000 for Ashleigh Brennan. Newcomer Britt Greeley was less successful for the Aussies, taking a 13.200 on bars.

Brazil's B team (Bruna Leal, Ethiene Franco, and Khiuani Dias) took a very respectable fourth place with a solid effort on beam. France's seniors (Youna Dufournet, Manon Erre, and Laetitia Dugain) placed fifth with disappointing scores on bars and floor. Romanian juniors Amelia Racea, Claudia Voicu, and Diana Trenca did well on beam (where Racea scored a 15.000), but took a disastrous 26.100 on bars (13.400 for Racea, 12.700 for Trenca) to finish sixth. The Netherlands (represented by Joy Goedkoop, Wyomi Masela, and Natasja Blind) placed seventh with solid work on vault and beam but errors on the other events, while the French juniors (Marine Brevet, Chloe Stanic, and Justine Crosato) finished eighth due to weak bar and floor exercises.

Team results:
1. China 118.600
2. Russia 117.950
3. Australia 115.400
4. Brazil 114.350
5. France Senior 113.150
6. Romania 112.500
7. Netherlands 111.550
8. France Junior 108.600

In the individual all-around, Jiang Yuyuan was victorious despite not counting a single score over 15.000 (59.400). Lauren Mitchell, fresh from a very successful DTB Cup, took yet another silver in Marseille with a 59.250. Guo Wei placed third despite logging two of the competition's top scores: 15.300 on bars and 15.600 on beam. In the end, a 13.900 vault proved her undoing (59.200 total).

Lauren Mitchell (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Individual results:
1. Jiang Yuyuan CHN 59.400
2. Lauren Mitchell AUS 59.250
3. Guo Wei CHN 59.200
4. Kristina Goryunova RUS 58.250
5. Viktoria Komova RUS 57.900
6. Aliya Mustafina RUS 57.300
7. Amelia Racea ROM 57.050
8. Youna Dufournet FRA 57.000
9. Bruna Leal BRA 56.700
10. Ethiene Franco BRA 56.050
11. Manon Erre FRA 55.750
12. Khiuani Dias BRA 55.600
13. Claudia Voicu ROM 55.000
14. Natasja Blind NED 54.800
15. Wyomi Masela NED 54.700
16. Joy Goedkoop NED 54.350
17. Marine Brevet FRA 54.300

The event also featured an Open category for club teams. The Shanghai team was in a league of its own here, scoring a massive 115.900. Canada 1 (109.850) and Canada 2 (108.000) placed a distant second and third, respectively, while America's young WOGA team ranked fourth (107.650).

Individually, Shanghai's Xiao Kangjun and Zhang Yujiao ranked first and second, respectively. Canada's Dominique Pegg finished third, ahead of Briley Casanova (WOGA) and Madeline Gardiner (Canada).

Another event, Top Massilia, open to participants from both the Open category and the Massilia category and only involving a few events of the gymnast's own choice, was won by Lauren Mitchell, who edged out Amelia Racea, Kristina Goryunova, Dominique Pegg, and Jiang Yuyuan.

In the event finals (also open to contestants from both categories), Jiang won two golds (bars and floor). On bars she beat Mitchell and Shanghai's Geng Ruowei for the title, on floor Mustafina and Guo. Masela won vault, beating Goryunova and Dufournet, while Guo beat Mitchell and Goryunova to claim the gold on beam.

Holland's Wyomi Masela won the gold on vault (photo: Bernard Garau)

Complete results can be found here. (If the link is not working, go here and click "Entrez," then "Resultats" on the left-hand side. That should work.)

ETA: YouTube user AureliaGym is uploading videos of the event. Check back here every now and then to see what she's got!

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