December 7, 2008

Quick News Roundup

--- No official Arques results have been announced so far, but poster benoitof, who attended the competition in an official capacity, was kind enough to scan his personal copy of the results of the event finals and post it on Gymnet (scroll down). You can probably see why we got a little confused watching the live broadcast without sound. There were always two event finals going on at the same time: The A final for one event and the B final for another event. All the different age categories competed in the same finals, with the highest-scoring gymnasts from the all-around competition (regardless of age) contesting the A final, and the second-highest-scoring group of gymnasts contesting the B final. A final winners were then presented with their medals along with with the B final winners (both standing on the same medal stand), which made for some confusing award ceremony viewing. But as you can see, we were right when we said Russia's Diana Sapronova won three finals (bars, beam, and floor), leaving vault to Holland's Wyomi Masela, who recently won the same event in a much better field at the Massilia Cup. Interestingly, the highest B score of the day, 9.250 on beam, was awarded to a Finnish gymnast, Reeta Pietila, who did one of the prettiest piked backs we've ever seen.

Reeta Pietila (photo: Oulun Pyrinto)

--- Olympic finalist Ariella Kaeslin, owner of one of the world's finest layout rudi vaults, has been named Switzerland's Female Athlete of the Year, beating figure skater Sarah Meier to the honor. Congratulations Ariella!

Ariella Kaeslin

--- Rumor has it that Ivana Hong, fresh from a much-publicized split with Al Fong, will join Valeri Liukin's training group at WOGA in January. We may be alone on this, but we like the sound of that arrangement. We're not sure Ivana and Valeri are a perfect match characterwise, but Ivana's gymnastics, at least, seems to fit the WOGA style well. And who knows to what levels Nastia Liukin, Rebecca Bross, and Ivana Hong may push each other?

Ivana Hong (photo: Scott Einuis)

--- Globoesporte reports that current vice-president Maria Luciene Resende has won the Brazilian Gymnastics Federations's presidential elections by 13 votes against 5. Resende's plans seem a little sketchy compared with her rival's (for more details, see this article), but she was widely expected to have more support within the Federation than her rival, former vice-president Marco Martins. It will be interesting to see what changes will be made under the new leadership, which inherits a rather tarnished reputation from the old one. It will also be interesting to see if Jade Barbosa will return to the national training center, as she said she might do once the new leadership had been installed.

--- The FIG doesn't seem to believe in updating its website on the weekend, meaning we still don't have a clue who the final competitors in the World Cup Finals will be. Not officially, anyway.

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