The inaugural Montreal World Cup was a great success in the men’s field. Seasoned veterans such as Razvan Selariu (ROM), Krisztian Berki (HUN) and Daniel Popescu (ROM) won Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse and Vault, respectively. Danny Rodrigues (FRA), a finalist at the Beijing Olympics on Rings, won this event in Montreal with two Victorian Crosses!
Danny Pinheiro Rodrigues, 2009 Gymnix, Rings
Check out the Victorian Crosses at 0:27 and 0:53!
Aljaz Pegan (SLO) demonstrated the skill named after him (double front-half release) in warm ups on the High Bar but unfortunately didn’t end up competing.
Aljaz Pegan, 2009 Gymnix, High Bar Warm Up
Canadian Nathan Gafuik managed to win a medal in each final he entered: Silver on the Floor Exercise and Bronze on Vault. This World Cup was also a coming out party for Adam Kierzkowski (POL) who won Parallel Bars, and Marijo Moznik (CRO) who won High Bar. There were also several Japanese newbies who produced some fantastic gymnastics: gorgeous handstands on Parallel Bars, a high Kolman (full-twisting double back release) by Yosuke Hoshi, and a stuck Kasamatsu-2.5 by Koji Yamamuro following a lightning-fast run.
Koji Yamamuro, 2009 Gymnix, Vault
Unfortunately, the women’s portion of the competition left much to be desired, expecially on Vault where only Charlotte Mackie (CAN) was a serious competitor (Puerto Rican Maricarmen Rivera produced a decent layout Tsukahara first vault but only competed a handspring as her second vault). Mackie earned a medal of each colour in Montreal, including the Silver on floor Exercise and Bronze on Balance Beam.
Charlotte Mackie, 2009 Gymnix, Vault 2
Round-off, half on, tucked barani
Marine Petit (FRA) was the only Olympian in the women’s field, and she showed steady work on her way to winning Silver medals on both Uneven Bars and Balance Beam. While watching Mattie Larson (USA) on Balance Beam and Floor Exercise, it soon became clear that she was the class of the field. Indeed, she won the two events she entered by about half a point. Her teammate, Samantha Shapiro, won Uneven Bars by a whopping 1.075 despite having an injured foot that prevented her from competing on other events.
Mattie Larson, 2009 Gymnix, Balance Beam
Sometimes the best part about attending a gymnastics competition is spotting the former gymnasts! Coaches on the floor included Teodora Ungureanu, Elvira Saadi, Yelena Davydova and Galina Marinova, while Amélie Plante, Julie Beaulieu and Yelena Grosheva were spotted in and around the arena. I also noticed Yekaterina Privalova and Ioan Suciu as judges. I wonder which other former gymnasts were present that I didn’t spot?!