Poor Youna. She has had such bad luck on the uneven bars lately! First she lost a medal at the 2010 European Championships after French National Coach Eric Demay accidentally touched her while spotting her on the Def, incurring a 0.5 deduction. You can catch a clear view of this incident at 1:15.
Youna Dufournet, Uneven Bars, 2010 European Championships
That was a mistake. Demay is not Dufournet’s personal coach, and he probably just erred on the side of caution and ended up mistiming his spotting.
What gets me is the turn of events just a few weeks later at the French National Championships. This time it’s Dufournet’s personal coach in charge: Marc Chirilcenco. Never before have I seen a coach spot a gymnast in such a fashion. Could it be that he was sticking it to Demay and making a show of not touching his gymnast? Well that plan sure backfired; Dufournet slipped off the bar and landed awkwardly, injuring her meniscus.
Youna Dufournet, Uneven Bars, 2010 French National Championships
Athlete safety should be paramount. Dufournet showed some lovely gymnastics at the 2009 World Championships and at the 2010 European Championships, but before that she was inconsistent as all get out and an accident waiting to happen. One of the most alarming examples of this is her floor routine from the 2009 European Championships. The scary crashes at 0:17 and 0.58 prove that she was not ready to perform a double layout or a 1.5-twist through to double back.
Youna Dufournet, Floor Exercise, 2009 European Championships
Why push her? She is such a clean gymnast that she will still score well with easier routines. Case in point: Dufournet won the bronze medal on vault at the 2009 World Championships with a near-perfect Yurchenko-1.5 and a clean layout Podkopayeva. I hope Dufournet recovers in time to make a run for the 2012 Olympic Games. And maybe a change of coach wouldn’t hurt….