2013: The Gymnastics year in review23/12/2013
Great Britain’s junior teams blitz the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney, giving a first look at some of the upcoming talent that will be filtering into the senior ranks toward the Rio Olympics in 2016. Women’s all-around winner Tyesha Mattis (GBR) also takes gold on vault, while Teal Grindle (beam) and Amy Tinkler (floor) add golds for Britain. After the women take the team title, China’s Mei Jie gives them another gold on uneven bars.
China’s Xiao Ruoteng wins the men’s all-around and pommel horse titles at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival, while his teammate Di Wu wins vault. The rest of the golds go to Britain: Nile Wilson rakes in gold medals on parallel bars and high bar, Dominick Cunningham wins floor and Courtney Tulloch takes the rings title. Britain also adds the men’s team title.
Australia wins two gold medals in rhythmic events at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival, capturing the group title over China and Malaysia, while Michaela Whitehouse (AUS) adds the women’s individual all-around title.
China dominates the individual trampoline events at the AYOF, with newcomers Changxin Liu and Yujie Jia winning the men’s and women’s titles, respectively. Great Britain triumphs in men’s synchronized trampoline, while New Zealand wins the women’s synchro title over Britain and Australia.
Azerbaijan is the most successful nation at the Miss Valentine International Rhythmic Gymnastics Tournament in Estonia. Azerbaijan’s Aysha Mustafayeva wins event titles with the Hoop and Ribbon, while teammate Mansura Bagiyeva is champion with the Clubs. Estonia’s Carmel Kallemaa wins the Ball.
Americans Katelyn Ohashi and Jake Dalton win the American Cup in Worcester (USA), the first FIG World Cup of the year, ahead of Simone Biles (USA) and Oleg Verniaiev (UKR), respectively. The competition marks all four as athletes to watch in the new Olympic quadrennium.
Belgian acrobatic gymnasts win two golds and a silver at the first Acro World Cup event of the new season in Maia (POR). Meanwhile, Elise Matthew, Georgia Lancaster and Millie Spalding take gold in women's group, while Belarus's Ruslan Fedchanka and Yauheni Kalachou won the men's pair title. Host Portugal also scores gold from Gonçalo Roque and Leonor Oliveira in mixed pairs.
French gymnasts dominate the first Aerobic World Cup of the season, held in the French Aerboic capital Aix-les-Bains. French champion Aurelie Joly wins the women's individual title and the French men's Trio and Group also win their events. Portugal's Tiago Faquinha and Elena Rosca win the mixed pairs title, while Mexico's Josefath Veloz Velazquez is the individual men's champion.
2012 Olympian Steven Gluckstein (USA) and 2004 Olympian Andrea Lenders (NED) are victorious at the annual Flower Trampoline Cup, held in Aalsmeer, Netherlands.
Korea and China are the big winners at the Suzuki World Cup in Tokyo. Korea's Jusun Ryu and Austria's Lubov Gazov win the men's and women's individual titles, respectively, while Guang Yang and Ma Chao (CHN) win the mixed pairs competition. Korea scores a second gold with Go Kyungmin, Lee Kyung Ho and Ryu in the trio final, while the Chinese are crowned champions in the group competition.
Oleg Verniaiev (UKR) and Asuka Teramoto (JPN) win the Tokyo World Cup in Tokyo (JPN), the final event of the 2012-2013 FIG World Cup series. Peyton Ernst (USA) finishes second in the women's division, while 2012 Olympian Ryohei Kato (JPN), a replacement for the injured Kohei Uchimura, makes a name for himself with an impressive All-around result for the silver medal.
In a dominating performance, Margarita Mamun (RUS) wins every event at the Rhythmic World Cup in Lisbon (POR), establishing herself as the new gymnast to beat on the World rhythmic scene.
Belgium is again the most successful nation at the Acrobatic World Cup in Sofia (BUL). Nikki Snel and Eline de Smedt win their second World Cup in women's pairs in as many World Cup meets, while Sanne van Overberghe, Camille van Betsbrugge and Lara Schollier win the women's group title. The U.S.'s Kiley Boynton and Ryan Ward top the standings in mixed pairs, and Russians Maxim and Dmitry Ivanov win the men's pair competition.
Five nations win titles at the Aerobic Azores World Cup in Ponta Delgada (POR). Benjamin Garavel (FRA) captures the men's title, with Sara Moreno (ESP) winning the women's competition. Romanian's Andreea Bogati and Cristian Iordan prevail in mixed pairs. China racks up another group title, and Romania tops the standings amongst the Trios.
Romania scores big at the Borovets Aerobic Cup in Bulgaria. Maria Becze wins gold in women's individual as well as mixed pairs (with partner Marius Petruse), and the Romanian group wins the group title. Elsewhere, Vicente Lli (ESP) takes the individual men's title and the Vietnamese trio wins their first World Cup title of the year.
2012 Olympians David Belyavskiy and Aliya Mustafina win the European all-around titles at home in Moscow (RUS), giving Russia the men's and women's All-around titles for the first time since 1998. Russia scoops up four more golds in event finals, with Mustafina (Uneven Bars), Ksenia Afanasyeva (floor), Denis Ablyazin (men's vault) and Emin Garibov (Horizontal Bar) all taking top honors.
Left off the 2012 British Olympic team, Daniel Keatings (GBR) makes a successful comeback at the European Championships, winning the pommel horse title over London Olympic gold and bronze medalists Krisztian Berki (HUN) and Max Whitlock (GBR).
New British champion Gabrielle Jupp sustains an ACL tear while dismounting from the Balance Beam at the European Championships.
Alexander Shatilov becomes the first Israeli athlete to win a gold medal at the European Championships, tying Max Whitlock (GBR) for the European title on floor exercise. In other ties, France's Samir Ait Said and Igor Radivilov (UKR) share the European title on rings.
Giulia Steingruber (SUI) becomes only the second Swiss woman to win a European title, taking home the gold on vault.
Between flips and difficult combinations, Romania's Larisa Iordache smiles her way to the European title on balance beam. Her teammate Diana Bulimar finishes second.
The elegant Ganna Rizatdinova (UKR) rules the Rhythmic World Cup in Corbeil-Essonnes (FRA), winning the All-around and snapping a snapping a six-year streak of Russian dominance at the event.
Russia’s Yana Kudryavtseva wins the All-around at the BelSwissBank World Cup in Minsk (BLR), edging teammate Daria Svatkovskaya and setting up a showdown between herself, Svatkovskaya and Mamun for the impending European Championships in Vienna (AUT).
Russia sweeps the gold medals at the European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Vienna (AUT). In the absence of Olympic star Evgenia Kanaeva, Yana Kudryavtseva, Margarita Mamun and Daria Svatkovskaya combine to win all the gold given out at the championships. (Russian ensembles also win the Team and Five Hoop events.) Kudryavtseva wins Ball and Clubs, Mamun Ribbon and Svatkovskaya the Hoop.
Korea’s Rhythmic star Son Yeon Jae wins the Asian Championships over Djamila Rakhmatova and Deng Senyue (CHN). Son goes on to win Hoop and Clubs in event finals, splitting the titles with Deng, who takes gold with the Ball and Ribbon.
2012 Olympic trampoline champion Rosannagh MacLennan (CAN) makes a triumphant return to competition, winning the Canada Cup in Airdrie, Alberta. MacLennan and new synchro partner Samantha Sendel also win a silver medal.
Reigning World Double Mini Trampoline champions Bruno Martini (BRA) and Svetlana Balandina (RUS) add the title of World Games champions to their CVs.
2012 Olympic trampoline champion Dong Dong and synchro partner Tu Xiao catapult themselves to the World Games title, while Britain’s Kat Driscoll and Amanda Parker bounce into a tie with Zhong Xingping and Li Dan in women’s synchro.
China coasts to gold in men’s and women’s tumbling at the World Games, with 19-year-old Jia Fangfang defeating her counterparts by an enormous six-point margin. For the men, Zhang Luo defeats his teammate 2011 World tumbling champion Yang Song for the sole men’s spot in the event final.
Margarita Mamun (RUS) dominates the Rhythmic events at the World University Games, winning the All-around and every event except the ball, which is taken by her teammate Alexandra Merkulova, winner of the 2010 Youth Olympic Games title in Rhythmic.
After unfavorable temperature conditions force the cancellation of the Ribbon event at the World Games, Melitina Staniouta (BLR) becomes the most successful rhythmic gymnast of the Games, winning gold medals with the Ball and Clubs. Ganna Rizatdinova (UKR) takes the other gold available after a stunning performance with the Hoop.
Beth Tweddle (GBR), Britain's most successful gymnast, announces her retirement. Tweddle retires with three World gold medals, for uneven bars in 2006 and 2010 and floor exercise in 2009, not to mention the Olympic bronze on bars from London in 2012.
Russia and Great Britain each score two golds in Acrobatic Gymnastics at the World Games in Cali, the Olympics for non-Olympic gymnastics discipines. In mixed pairs, Alice Upcott and Dominic Smith win a surprise gold, while Shanie-Redd Thorne and Danielle Jones become champions in women's pairs. Not to be outdone, Russian World champions Konstantin Pilipchuk and Alexei Dudchenko grabbed gold in men's pairs, as did Ekaterina Longinova, Aigul Shaikhutdinova and Ekaterina Stroynova in women's group.
With a routine including the infamous "human jumprope," China's Zhou Yi, Jian Tang, Wang Lei and Wu Yeqiuyin landed a gold of their own in men's group -- and nearly brought the house down in the process.
Aero Step and Aero Dance make their debut at the World Games. The two disciplines, both won by China in Cali, were first introduced at the Aero Worlds in 2012. China takes the group title in Aero as well as trio, winning four of the seven golds up for grabs in Aerobic gymnastics.
Benjamin Garavel (FRA) and Oana Constantin (ROU) win the men's and women's individual titles in Aerobic gymnastics at the World Games, while in an unprecedented Mixed Pairs final, all four pairs (FRA, ESP, ROU and VIE) in the final tie for the gold medal.
Ukraine’s Ganna Rizatdinova wins the first gold medal given at the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Kiev (UKR), taking the title with the hoop. Rizatdinova also wins the Longines Prize for Elegance, as well as silver in the All-around and with the ribbon.
In the post-Evgenia Kanaeva era, Yana Kudryavtseva (RUS) emerges as the new face of Russian rhythmic gymnastics. The 15-year-old Muscovite, daughter of a 1992 Olympic gold medalist in swimming, becomes World All-around champion and captures the World titles with the ribbon and clubs as well.
Though errors leave her off the medal stand in the All-around, Margarita Mamun (RUS) demonstrates her potential by winning World titles with the ball and clubs and bronze with the hoop.
Russia, Belarus and Spain all win World titles in Rhythmic ensemble events. Spain takes gold in the 10 clubs event, Russia wins Three Balls and Two Ribbons, and Belarus is golden in the Group All-Around.
2012 Olympic bronze medalist Liubov Charkashyna (BLR) is elected Athletes Representative at the Rhythmic World Championships in Kiev (UKR).
Chinese gymnasts win the individual events at the Valladolid World Cup in Spain. Newcomer Gao Lei takes the men’s individual title, while Zhong Xingping is the winner in the women’s category. Nikita Fedorenko and Dmitry Ushakov take the men’s synchro title, with Reina Satake and Chisato Doihata (JPN) in first place in the women’s competition.
Rosie MacLennan continues her successful post-Olympic comeback at the Loulé World Cup, winning the women’s title. Russia’s Nikita Fedorenko wins the men’s title and jumps to the top of the World Cup standings in men’s trampoline, while his countrymen Mikhail Melnik and Sergei Azarian bounce to the men’s synchro title.
The 110th World Gymnastics Championships get underway in Antwerp (BEL), birthplace of Nicolas Cuperus, founder of the FIG in 1881. The first World Championships, in 1903, were also held in Antwerp.
In the men’s All-Around, Olympic champion Kohei Uchimura (JPN) makes history again, becoming the first man ever to win four consecutive World All-around titles. Uchimura continues winning medals in event finals, tying for the title on parallel bars with newcomer Lin Chaopan (CHN) and securing bronzes on floor and high bar.
Energetic and engaging, sixteen-year-old Simone Biles (USA) bounds onto the international scene, winning the World All-around title by more than 0.8 over teammate Kyla Ross. Biles adds three more medals in event finals: gold on floor, silver on vault and bronze on beam. Ross, winner of the Longines Prize for Elegance along with Uchimura, grabs additional silvers on Uneven Bars and Balance Beam.
Olympic All-around bronze medalist Aliya Mustafina (RUS) improves throughout the competition, earning the World title on beam, generally considered to be her weakest event, after a delivering a showstopping hit routine to lead off the event final. Mustafina also wins bronzes on Uneven Bars and in the All-Around.
China’s Yao Jinnan unveils the first Mo salto to be seen on Uneven Bars at the World Championships in more than 15 years, but it’s her teammate Huang Huidan who earns gold on the event for her hit routine in event finals.
A year after Olympic disappointment, McKayla Maroney (USA) again stands at the top of the Vault podium at a World Championships. Maroney makes it clear that her goal is to capture gold on vault at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
It’s a good Worlds for Japanese gymnasts: In addition to Uchimura’s heroics, 17-year-old teammate Kenzo Shirai wins the floor title, stunning fans and experts alike with his quadruple twist dismount, while 2012 Olympian Ryohei Kato emerges as a World and Olympic contender by winning the all-around silver. On pommel horse, Kohei Kameyama is the surprise winner after hitting a beautiful and difficult routine in finals.
2012 Olympic champion Arthur Zanetti of Brazil defends his title on still rings, establishing himself as the strongest in the world on that event. Cheered on by an extremely pro-Dutch crowd, Olympic high bar gold medalist Epke Zonderland (NED) defends his gold from London as well, edging his friend Fabian Hambuechen (GER) to earn his first World gold medal on high bar.
2012 Acrobatic Mixed Pair World Champions and 2013 World Games bronze medalists Laure de Pryck and Nicolas Vleeshouwers (BEL) announce thier retirement from competition. At the same time, this enormously artistic duo revealed plans to join Cirque du Soleil.
Newly retired Beth Tweddle (GBR) is elected Athlete Representative for women's artistic gymnastics at the World Championships in Antwerp. 1997 World high bar champion Jani Tanskanen (FIN) is re-elected for a second term.
The Odense Trampoline World Cup in Denmark draws a host of World medalist favorites for a warm-up competition. Olympic champion Dong Dong (CHN) wins the men’s title outright and takes gold in synchro with partner Tu Xiao, while newcomer Bryony Page (GBR) is the women’s champion. Rosannagh MacLennan and Samantha Sendel (CAN) win women’s synchro, and tumbling stars Tagir Murtazaev (RUS) and Jia Fangfang (CHN) are golden in tumbling.
With gutsy performances in the final round of competition, Olympic champions Dong Dong and Rosie MacLennan come from behind to defend their Olympic titles at the Trampoline Worlds in Sofia (BUL).
Bianca Zoonekynd (RSA) is the only woman at the World Trampoline Championships to land a triple back tuck in the double mini trampoline competition.
World Games champions Amanda Parker and Kat Driscoll bounce to gold in the women’s synchro final in Sofia, continuing the success of the British women’s trampoline team, which wins gold as well. The Chinese men easily capture gold in the men’s competition.
Japan’s Manabu Yamaguchi and Yasuhiro Ueyama win a surprise gold in a fall-filled men’s synchro trampoline final and celebrate by posing for photos each kissing women’s gold medalist Rosie MacLennan on the cheek in the mixed zone.
Britain’s Kristof Willerton becomes the first British man to win the World title in tumbling, his clean execution defeating two Russians with greater difficulty in the final. China’s Jia Fangfang picks up her second consecutive World title in tumbling ahead of British newcomer Lucie Colebeck. The Chinese women and Russian men (with enormous difficulty) pick up the team golds in tumbling.
Americans rule the team competition in double mini trampoline, taking both men’s and women’s gold medals. Kristle Lowell of the U.S. wins the women’s double mini title, besting reigning World champion Svetlana Balandina (RUS), while Mikhail Zalomin (RUS) masters his difficulty for the men’s title.
Familiar names in Acro dominate the European Championships in Odivelas (POR). The final results read almost exactly the same as the World Games results: Shanie-Redd Thorne and Danielle Jones (GBR) and Konstantin Pilipchuk and Alexei Dudchenko (RUS) win the women's and men's pairs competitions, respectively, while World Games champions Alice Upcott and Dominic Smith (GBR) take the European title in mixed pairs and Ekaterina Longinova, Aigul Shaikhutdinova and Ekaterina Stroynova (RUS) dominate the women's group competition.
The only change from the World Games comes in the men's group competition, where Russia's Dmitry Bryzgalov, Valentin Chetverkin, Maxim Chulkov and Aleksandr Lurasov take home the title. Great Britain and Russia dominate the Junior European division, with one or the other winning every single category.
Nuno Merino (POR) runs unopposed for the FIG Athletes Representative position at the World Trampoline Championships.
After an injury-filled year, Elizabeth Price (USA) returns to international competition, successfully defending her title at the Stuttgart World Cup. Price holds off Larisa Iordache (ROU) in Germany, but their positions are reversed a week later at the Glasgow World Cup in Scotland, with Iordache taking gold and Price the silver.
Russia and Romania are the big winners at the European Aerobic Championships in Arques, France. While the Russians sweep the golds in the Aerostep and Aerodance categories in both the junior and senior division and capture the junior team title, Romania emerges as the winners in junior trio and group, as well as the senior trio and team competition.
Riccardo Pentassuglia (ITA) and Sara Moreno (ESP) are crowned individual European champions in Aerobic, while Denis Soloviev and Dukhik Dzhanazyan (RUS) capture the mixed pairs title.
One for the home country: The French senior Aerobic group wins a much-anticipated gold at the European Championships, France’s only title at the European level in Aerobics this year.
Rie Tanaka (JPN), captain of the Japanese women's team that finished eighth at the 2012 Olympics, announces her retirement.
The FIG Appeals Tribunal upholds the decision of the FIG Disciplinary Commission to sanction members of the FIG Rhythmic Technical Committee and 16 Rhythmic judges after irregularities were observed at multiple rhythmic judging courses in 2012.
The FIG wishes the gymnastics community a joyous holiday season, and best wishes for 2014!