February 8, 2009

Wyomi Masela Wins Sidijk Tournament

Eight Dutch gymnasts and two up-and-coming French stars competed in the top division of the Sidijk Tournament in Heerenveen, the Netherlands, which was being judged under the new code despite the fact that many Dutch judges aren't too familiar with the code yet. New senior Wyomi Masela, who recently won vault at both Massilia and Arques, continued to impress in Heerenveen, holding off the French favorite, double European junior champ Youna Dufournet, by .365: 53-965-53.600.

New senior Wyomi Masela got off to a good start to the new year
(Photo: Iris van den Broek/Gymnasticsphotography)

Dufournet easily had the most difficult routines in the competition, but big mistakes on 3 out of 4 events cost her the title. The French trickster, who seriously needs to start working on her form, was especially disappointing on floor, where she landed her double Arabian on her derrière and took several big steps backward on her double pike dismount, going well out of bounds. Her teammate Chloé Stanic (like Dufournet a member of France's silver-medal-winning team at the 2008 Junior Europeans) had problems with the same two elements, sitting down a double Arabian and putting her hands down on her double pike (view her floor routine here). By contrast, Wyomi Masela avoided great mistakes, hitting her energetic routines for what they were worth (check out her floor routine here). Masela is a very solid gymnast; with slightly more difficulty than she showed in Heerenveen she'll be a great asset to the Dutch team.

France's Youna Dufournet came second in Heerenveen (photo: Gymcat)

Making a comeback after a lengthy absence, Mayra Kroonen placed third in the competition. Kroonen is a very expressive gymnast whose floor exercise to Andes music is well worth watching. Veteran Fieke Willems (well-presented floor exercise), new star Lieke Wevers (great lines on uneven bars), and Chloé Stanic rounded out the top-6. Suzanne Harmes, Sanne Wevers, Lichelle Wong, and Tahnee Masela did not compete.

Detailed results of the competition can be found here. (Note that the scores listed under the heading "B score" denote deductions rather than actual scores. In other words, deduct the number listed from 10.000 and that's your B score. Or E score. Whatever it's called these days.)

YouTube user Dutchfan33 is uploading videos of both the junior and senior divisions of the competition. More videos will undoubtedly follow later.

Holland's Lieke Wevers has great lines (photo: Gymcat)

Over the next few weeks, 13 Dutch gymnasts will vie for the country's four berths at the European Championships at two qualifying meets in Amsterdam, to be held on February 22 and March 8. The Dutch Gymnastics Federation intends to send three all-arounders and one specialist to Milan.


  1. Thanks for the report and links to videos!

    It's nice to see the new Code in action. It's obvious that many of the gymnasts and coaches have mixed interpretations of it! For example, some of the gymnasts have a three leap series on floor while others have two. Originally when the new Code was released late last year, it was a three leap series. But then in December they dropped it to two leaps.

    Chloé Stanic bends her arms on her back handsprings very badly!

  2. You're welcome, Nico! We hope to post a few more videos of other events soon. We're particularly looking forward to seeing what beam routines look like under the new code. We're expecting a massive improvement over last quad's routines.

    It's pretty obvious at this stage that the new code is still very new. We expect to see many of these routines tweaked a bit over the next few months.

    We hadn't noticed Chloé Stanic's arms, but you're right, they're bad! And that's just one of her problems. She also really needs some ballet lessons, in our opinion. So does Dufournet. We're not impressed with these French girls' form.

  3. You're right regarding Youna and Chloé. They are the only French seniors not training in an official training center (but in their home club). I hope that their international gymnast's status will allow them to work with choreographer Adriana Pop and that the national coach will put emphasis on form work. When you watch Océane Grigny (from the same club), it's impressive how bad her splits are! You can even wonder if they ever worked on flexibility!