Several (though by no means all) top-ranked Dutch gymnasts will compete in the Sidijk tournament in Heerenveen, the Netherlands, this weekend. Although the lineup is overwhelmingly Dutch, three promising French gymnasts will be on hand to give the competition some foreign flavor: double European junior champion Youna Dufournet, fellow European junior team member Chloé Stanic, and youthful promise Océane Grigny. We'll keep you posted on the results.
Youna Dufournet, slated to compete in Holland this weekend
(Photo: Stefan Wurzer/Gymnasticsunited)
Winter Cup Challenge
Meanwhile, the American men are competing for spots on the national team at the Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas, USA. After Day 1 of the two-day competition, Olympian Joseph Hagerty leads the all-around standings. His total score of 88.150 points included four 15+ scores. Sho Nakamori and Danell Leyva are in second and third after Day 1, with scores of 87.400 and 87.300, respectively. National champion David Sender is currently ranked 12th, despite an excellent 16.10 vault. Olympic high bar medalist Jonathan Horton only competed on two events, parallel bars and high bar, but failed to impress, scoring a mere 14.10 on his signature event.
The second half of the competition will be contested today. Detailed Day 1 results can be found here, courtesy of USAG.
African champion Sherine El Zeiny (photo: Jasmin Schneebeli-Wochner/Gymbox)
Finally, the gymnastics component of the African Games was held in Cairo, Egypt, last week. Thanks to Gymworld poster Sri Ea, who attended the competition and was kind enough to share her impressions on the message board, we know that Egypt's Sherine El Zeiny, who lives and trains in the Netherlands but represents Egypt in international competitions (she was Africa's sole representative at the Beijing Olympics), won the women's all-around competition despite a bad outing on floor (even with a significantly watered-down routine, she suffered a nasty fall). South Africa's powerful Jennifer Khwela, who has an impressive beam set, placed second, and Egypt's Salma Mahmoud Said third. Egypt's Israa Afifi, a tiny and promising gymnast who used to have a Ukrainian coach and now has a Chinese one, won the junior competition with a nice beam set that featured an interesting front aerial to scale straight into a full turn with the
leg up. Now there's a combination we wouldn't mind seeing a bit more often...
Junior winner Israa Afifi (photo: Sri Ea)
The women's team competition was also won by Egypt, despite the fact that one of the team's stars, Farida Shoukry, broke her leg just days before the competition. South Africa placed second, Namibia third.
Results of the various all-around competitions (men's as well as women's) can be found here. Competition videos, courtesy of Sri Ea, can be viewed here (click on the apparatus initials to see the routines).