Four different gymnasts were awarded the gold medals during the women’s apparatus finals of the 2010 World Championships, held in Rotterdam last month. All-around queen Aliya Mustafina didn’t win any gold medals in finals, but she did come away from these World Championships with five medals in all and bragging rights as the only Russian lady to claim a medal after their shared team gold.
Alicia Sacramone won her first vault title, bringing her total number of World medals to nine. Nine medals is the record for most won by an American, and Sacramone’s gold puts her in a tie for first with Shannon Miller and Nastia Liukin. She demonstrated explosive power and good form on her layout Rudi and Yurchenko double full, and her 15.200 average put her ahead of all-around champion Aliya Mustafina, who experienced some judging controversy in this event final. It seems she wasn’t given credit for the layout position for her Yurchenko half-on layout front full. The Russian Federation rightly complained that it can’t be downgraded to a pike position since the FIG itself acknowledged that it’s impossible to do more than a half twist in a pike, and that this particular vault does not exist in the pike position. The silver medal here ended any hope that Mustafina could sweep all the gold at this World Championships. Missing from this World Championships was vaulter extraordinaire Hong Su Jong, who was embroiled in a controversy of her own after being registered to compete with yet a third different birth year. The North Korean delegation has been banned from competition through to 2013, leaving certain event finals without some serious contenders.
1. Alicia Sacramone (USA) 15.200, 2. Aliya Mustafina (RUS) 15.066, 3. Jade Barbosa (BRA) 14.799
Alicia Sacramone (USA), Vault Gold, 2010 World Championships
Beth Tweddle earned another World title on the uneven bars with her high-flying routine that included a toe-on Tkatchev-half immediate barani to the low bar. It was an amazing day for Great Britain. In addition to Tweddle’s gold, the country also celebrated Louis Smith’s silver on pommel horse and Daniel Purvis’s bronze on the floor exercise. Tweddle held off He Kexin and Huang Qiushuang, both of whom dropped to the mat and out of medal contention.
1. Beth Tweddle (GBR) 15.733, 2. Aliya Mustafina (RUS) 15.600, 3. Rebecca Bross (USA) 15.066
Beth Tweddle (GBR), Uneven Bars Gold, 2010 World Championships
Ana Porgras nailed her delightful beam routine for Romania’s first medal at the Championships, despite the fact that some her most interesting choreography has been removed. Mustafina ruined her chance for six medals with a fall on her standing Arabian. Ukraine’s only female finalist, Yana Demyanchuk, was on track for a great routine (awesome roundoff-full and full turn with leg at horizontal…with a flexed foot!) before stumbling backward on her double pike dismount.
1. Ana Porgras (ROM) 15.366, 2(tie). Rebecca Bross (USA) and Deng Linlin (CHN) 15.233
Ana Porgras (ROU), Balance Beam Gold, 2010 World Championships
What a wonderful way to end the World Championships! Lauren Mitchell improved upon her silver medal at last year’s Worlds to win the gold this time. Using the same music, Mitchell stuck her tumbling passes (Arabian double front to leap, piked full-in, 2.5-twist to front layout to scale, double pike, and of course that really cool triple turn down low). Mustafina showed her lovely routine for the fourth time in Rotterdam, but unfortunately she didn’t go for the triple turn with leg at vertical so it will not be named after her this time. Two favourites, Sandra Izbasa (ROM) and Ksenia Afanasyeva (RUS), both had a disappointing time in Rotterdam. Izbasa lost valuable points after landing out of bounds after her amazing 1.5-twist through to triple twist, and Afanasyeva put her knee down on her opening double layout and both hands down on her closing double pike.
1. Lauren Mitchell (AUS) 14.833, 2(tie). Aliya Mustafina (RUS) and Diana Chelaru (ROU) 14.766
Lauren Mitchell (AUS), Floor Exercise Gold, 2010 World Championships