February 15, 2009

WOGA Classic: Video Highlights

Gymnastike has uploaded most of the elite routines shown at the WOGA Classic, and we've had some fun watching them, despite the fact that Anne Philips badly needs a better assistant. Having watched all the top gymnasts' routines, we think it's pretty obvious that Ukraine's Yana Demyanchuk would have won the senior competition if it hadn't been for a few falls. Demyanchuk is a solid all-arounder with excellent presentation on floor, and we look forward to seeing more of her on the senior circuit.

Most beautiful gymnast in the field? Without a shadow of a doubt, junior winner Laura Svilpaite, who looks gorgeous no matter what she does. Watch out for this one - she's going to put Lithuania on the gymnastics map!

The Russian girls, Kristina Kruglikova and Anastasia Karpova, were rather underwhelming, proving that not all current Russian juniors are brilliant.

The WOGA girls generally did a good job. We'll be interested to see how they develop over the next few years.

Here are a few more competition highlights to go with the UB highlights we posted earlier:

WOGA's Sophia Lee does a Teza jump on beam!
(Photo: Stefan Wurzer/Gymnasticsunited)


Laura Svilpaite, BB: Not quite enough difficulty yet, but tons of style. We just love the way Svilpaite moves.

Natalia Kononenko, BB: She falls on the dismount, but the rest of the routine is very easy on the eye. Nice arms.

Lily Hardin, BB: Some huge problems here, but Hardin's good form and grace make this worth watching. We think she should ditch the sheep jump though. A big boo to her coaches for letting her do a jump like that. Ugh.

Sophia Lee, BB: Lee has got guts, attempting a Teza (sideways Yang Bo jump) here. She falls, but major kudos for trying.

Christa Tanella, BB: Solid routine. Good leaps, nice Onodi-sheep jump combo (albeit not entirely connected).

Sarah Persinger, BB: A bit unpolished around the edges, but promising enough. Interesting combination of full turn with one leg at horizontal and gainer layout, sadly not fully connected.

Sydney Sawa, BB: Sawa is solid as usual on beam. Nice double turn.


Yana Demyanchuk, FX: Look, it's an actual attempt at choreography, with good interpretation of the music, a lovely smile and some pretty good tumbling too! We like this girl.

Laura Svilpaite, FX: Svilpaite has some trouble on the landings, but she's obviously had excellent, Soviet-style ballet training. With harder tumbles, a bit more expression and slightly more daring choreography, she'll be gorgeous to watch on floor.

Christa Tanella, FX: Good performance. Her choreography is so-so, but she makes the most of it; she expresses her music quite well. Very decent tumbling too.

Natalia Kononenko, FX: Kononenko has excellent forward tumbling, but her dance needs some work.

Briley Casanova, FX: Mature tumbling and nice presentation, but the choreography could do with some improvement.


Briley Casanova, V: Nice Yurchenko-1.5.



  1. when you compare Yevgeny's girls to Valeri's, something just missing, IMO

    His girls do a lot of things they're not capable of (like Harden's leaps on floor, they're awful)

    This goes back to the WOGA army of 2001-2004, they were doing incomplete triple twists and following them up with 2-1/2 punch fronts that ended up being a waste as they got no credit

  2. We agree Hardin's leaps aren't very impressive. It's actually a bit surprising, as she looks flexible enough to hit good splits. We guess Yevgeny Marchenko and Laurie Dix just don't pay much attention to such things.

    Unfortunately, there are far too many coaches out there today who let their girls do skills they're not capable of, hoping for the best. We wish coaches would stick to skills the girls had actually properly mastered. Call us old-fashioned, but we'd much rather see perfectly executed routines with a relatively low start value than very difficult routines with stumbles and form breaks all over the place. Coaches who let their girls compete sheep jumps like Hardin's do not understand what the sport is supposed to be all about.