Full-twisting double pike off beam, anyone?
WOGA talent Katelyn Ohashi made the uber-difficult, rarely seen dismount look downright easy en route to winning the junior women’s all-around at the 2011 WOGA Classic Saturday night.
Ohashi was obviously the class of the field amongst competitors from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Russia and France, but hers weren’t the only outstanding routines from this meet.
Otherwise, I was surprised how much the gymnasts who competed at this year’s WOGA Classic reminded me of gymnasts of the past.
Here are my top 10, based on what’s available online thusfar:
Katelyn Ohashi, USA, balance beam. Reminds me of: Kui Yuanyuan. The routine of the year so far. Ohashi, who debuted her layout full twist from two back handsprings last summer at the CoverGirl Classic, made this flight series look downright easy, and her elegant lines and presence were capped by the surprise at the end — a lovely full-twisting double pike from what didn’t look like much of a takeoff. Watch it here.
Katelyn Ohashi, USA, bars. Reminds me of: Nastia Liukin. Recognize the form, line and swing? It’s Liukin’s. Watch it here.
Anysia Unick, Canada, bars. Reminds me of: Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs. After starting her 2010 season with a strong showing at the Cottbus Cup in Germany, Unick was sidelined for the rest of the year with an injury. But she’s back, and along with teammates Madeline Gardiner and Victoria Moors, she makes me feel better about the Canadians’s chances of qualifying a full team to London. Watch her bar routine here.
Mira Boumejmajen, France, beam. Reminds me of: Mattie Larson. This young French talent is best on bars, where she made finals at the junior European Championships, but she stands out on beam as well for her mature execution and choreography. We don’t see it in this routine, but she is capable of an Arabian on this apparatus as well. Watch it here.
Madison Kocian, USA, beam. Reminds me of: Rebecca Bross and Carly Patterson. The no-nonsense movements of Bross and the stadiness of Patterson, to be exact. This is an impressive routine with some less commonly used skills, including the Kotchetkova (full-twisting back handspring) and a great dismount. Watch it here.
Irina Yashina, Russia, floor. Reminds me of: Natalia Yurchenko. There have been years when the Russians have sent stronger gymnasts to this meet (remember in 2007, for example, when Ksenia Semyonova and Ksenia Afanasyeva popped up and amazed everyone?) Yashina, however, is impressive for her light touch. Although I think she struggles with some of her skills, she always makes the landing look quite easy. Her ballet training adds to the perception. Watch her floor routine here.
Ariana Guerra, USA, floor. Reminds me of: Yelena Produnova. So much barely-controlled power. Guerra is only beginning to tap into what she is capable of on this event, I think. Watch it here.
Doriane Thobie, France, floor. Reminds me of: Ludivine Furnon. She stylishly commands attention. Check out how she gets into the choreography just before her last pass. Watch it here.
Brandie Jay, USA, bars. Reminds me of: Well, nobody really. But the Georgia commit’s wonderful clean Shushunova release is the highlight of this routine. Watch it here.
Jordyn Wieber, USA, bars. Reminds me of: A more grown up version of herself. Like all of her gymnastics, Wieber’s bar routine is clean and athletic. Watch it here.
Bonus photo gallery! The long-awaited gallery from the international elite competition can be found by clicking on the image of Wieber above and to the left, or here.
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