Posts Tagged ‘Hong Un Jong’

Apparatus Finals, Day 1 – 2013 World Championships

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Men’s Floor Exercise

1. Kenzo Shirai (JPN) won the qualifying round by such a margin that the gold medal was his to lose. The best was saved for last, and Shirai performed 18.25 twists with fantastic landings before nailing his QUADRUPLE twist at the end of the routine. He looked elated at the end, and even King Kohei was on his feet for this one. Score: 16.000.

2. Jake Dalton (USA) won the silver medal with great form and some high-flying tumbling including a layout Arabian double front and a whip immediate piked Arabian double front. Video from prelims.

3. Kohei Uchimura (JPN) earned the bronze medal thanks in large part to his exemplary technique and his extraordinary landings. Interestingly, he had the lowest D score and the highest E score (9.100) in the 8-man field. I was wondering if he would pull out the triple twisting double tuck in the finals, but that tricky skill turned out to be a gamble not worth taking.

Rounding out the Top 8: Daniel Purvis (GBR), Digeo Hypolito (BRA), Steven Legendre (USA), Fabian Hambüchen (GER) and Scott Morgan (CAN). Poor Legendre had to compete with a butterfly fluttering around the floor mat!

Women’s Vault

1. McKayla Maroney (USA) was on a mission after her Olympic disappointment. It’s such a cliché to say she makes it look easy…but she does! Maroney threw down two excellent vaults (Amanar, Mustafina) to edge out her teammate.

2. Simone Biles (USA) came really close to Maroney’s vaulting average (15.724 to 15.595) and she too performed a superb Amanar as a first vault. Biles’s layout Podkopayeva second vault earned a 9.658 E score, but the D score just wasn’t high enough to beat the defending World Champion.

3. Hong Un Jong (PRK) performed a fantastic Amanar with a large step forward on the landing, and a RO-half-on layout Rudi with a large step back. Her high start values were enough to capture the bronze medal.

Rounding out the Top 8: Giulia Steingruber (SUI), Oksana Chusovitina (UZB), Phan Thi Ha Thanh (VIE), Yamilet Pena Abreu (DOM) and Chantysha Netteb (NED). Pena fell on both of her vaults, and poor Netteb hurt her knee on her first vault, a Yurchenko double twist.

Pommel Horse

1. Kohei Kameyama (JPN) proved there’s more than one Kohei on the block, and now they both have the same number of World apparatus gold medals: one! Kameyama displayed some really nice scissor to handstand combinations and one-pommel work at the beginning of his routine.

2. Daniel Corral Barron (MEX) and Max Whitlock (GBR) tied for the silver medal on this event. Corral Barron is the first male gymnast from his country to qualify to a World final (he also placed 5th on parallel bars at last year’s Olympic Games), and therefore the first to win a medal for Mexico. He swung high above the horse. Whitlock, who won pommel horse bronze medals at the Olympics and at the Europeans earlier this year, lost rhythm as he came down from a handstand, but managed to stay on and finish up well. His D score of 7.200 certainly helped him stay in the medals.

Rounding out the Top 8: 2009 champion Zhang Hongtao (CHN), Alberto Busnari (ITA), Robert Seligman (CRO) with the highest E score, Matvei Petrov (RUS) and Prashanth Sellathurai (AUS).

Uneven Bars

1. Huang Huidan (CHN) displayed gorgeous pirouettes, difficult transitions and a nice piked Jaeger topped off with a stuck full-twisting double back. It would have been a Chinese 1-2 with Huang in the silver medal position if Yao Jinnan had caught her Mo salto.

2. Kyla Ross (USA) had the highest E score of the competition despite some loose leg form in the first half of the routine. Nevertheless, she showed lovely lines and solid handstand positions and a stuck double layout dismount. Video from qualifications.

3. Aliya Mustafina (RUS) has added a Stalder-full toe-on full-twisting Shaposhnikova (Seitz) combinations to her routine since the Olympic Games and she nailed it here. She did the same 1.5-twisting double back dismount that helped her win Olympic Gold, but unfortunately this time she had to shuffle her feet upon landing.

Rounding out the Top 8: Simone Biles (USA), Sophie Scheder (GER), Yao Jinnan (CHN), Ruby Harrold (GBR), Beckie Downie (GBR).


1. Arthur Nabarrete Zanetti (BRA) showed some tremendous strength holds and he did a fabulous full-twisting double layout, but it seemed the rings were swaying back and forth ever so slightly throughout much of his routine.

2. Aleksandr Balandin (RUS) made a press to planche from a still hang look easy! He used his long lines to his advantage in his swing elements, and took a slight hop back after the same dismount as Zanetti.

3. Brandon Wynn (USA) made the most of his 6.700 D score, the lowest of the 8 finalists, and clinched the bronze with a good effort and a stuck full-twisting double layout of his own.

Rounding out the Top 8: Liu Yang (CHN) was fantastic on the apparatus but landed a bit too low to grab a medal, Lambertus “Yuri” van Gelder (NED), Samir Aït Saïd (FRA), Koji Yamamuro (JPN) and Danny Pinheiro Rodrigues (FRA). Pinheiro Rodrigues had a great routine going, complete with two of his signature Victorians, but unfortunately got caught up in the air on his full-twisting double layout and ended up falling. I felt so sad for Yamamuro, last to go, watching him pray for a medal while waiting for his score to come up. He did an amazing job, complete with a decent landing on a very difficult double-twisting double layout dismount, only to end up in 7th. This just goes to show the quality of the field.

North Korea Vaults to New Heights

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Over the years, North Korea has produced many fantastic gymnasts. Kim Gwang Suk scored a Perfect 10 on the uneven bars on her way to the gold medal at the 1991 World Championships. This was the last Perfect 10 the world will ever see at a World Championships due to the current open-ended Code of Points.

The highlight of Kim’s routine was the Tkatchev-Counter Kim combination at 0:11 and the lightning-fast 1.5 pirouette to Jaeger at 0:24.

Kim Gwang Suk, Uneven Bars, 1991 World Championships

Olympic champion Pae Gil Su competed in the same era, dominating the field on the pommel horse. Pae exhibited a smooth swing and difficult one-pommel work late in the routine. It was very touching to see the South Koreans waving flags as he dismounted the apparatus.

Pae Gil Su, Pommel Horse, 1992 Olympic Games

Pae was accomplished on high bar as well. Here he performs a Def at 0:19, a Gaylord at 0:26, a full-twisting layout Jaeger at 0:34, and the whole spectacle is topped off with a really cool dismount (it’s a surprise!).

Pae Gil Su, High Bar, 1991 Universiade

More recently, North Korean gymnasts have surprised the world with great success on vault and uneven bars. At the 2003 World Championships and the 2004 Olympic Games, Kang Yun Mi (vault) and Pyon Kwang Sun (uneven bars) scored well in their respective event finals. Kang returned home from the 2003 Worlds with the silver medal.

Kang Yun Mi, Vault, 2003 World Championships

The following year, Ri Jong Song managed to pack many difficult skills into the floor routine he prepared for the Athens Olympics. He started with a triple-twisting double back, ended with a double-twisting double layout, and added some interesting choreography in between (particularly at 0:30). It’s a pity he just missed the event final!

Ri Jong Song, Floor Exercise, 2004 Olympic Games

Current competitors include Hong Su Jong and her younger sister Hong Un Jong, and male teammates Ri Se Gwang and Ri Jong Song. All four qualified to event finals at the 2007 World Championships, with Hong Su Jong earning the silver medal on vault and Ri Se Gwang winning bronze on the same event. Though the men were absent from Beijing, Hong Un Jong represented her country well by out-vaulting the likes of Oksana Chusovitina, Cheng Fei and Alicia Sacramone for the Olympic gold medal.

Hong Un Jong, Vault, 2008 Olympic Games

And now for the vault that inspired this blog! Ri Se Gwang’s name set message boards abuzz after his Kasamatsu full-in back-out was captured on film. This skill was awarded a massive 7.2 A score, giving him a great chance at the gold medal at the upcoming World Championships, even with a landing similar to this one.

Ri Se Gwang, Vault, 2009 Universiade