Tuesday, September 25, 2012

2009 Champions: Then and Now

Hey, I'm back! I first want to apologize to all of you, for taking such a long absence. I had a concussion, and the symptoms came back, long story short, I wasn't allowed on the computer for long periods of time, and all of my time on the computer was for school work. I'm all better now, and am ready to post! I have great posts in the works, so keep a look out!

In this post, I am going to compare winners of the 2009 World Championships to how the out come was or wasn't different, in the same arena, 3 years later.

In 2009, Kayla Williams from the United States took the world by storm, and won the first ever vault title for the USA. As a level 10 months before the championships, people never expected for Kayla to even be in contention for the team, let alone the title. She surpassed the Olympic Champion, and took home the title.
London was a bit different. With Kayla Williams in college, and with no intentions to compete elite again, the title was favored to go to McKayla Maroney, also from the US. As everybody knows, she sat down her second vault, and Sandra Izbasa from Romania took the title. As you can see, the difference a few years held a monumental effect on vault, from London 2009 to London 2012.

The bars title was won in a dominating fashion by reigning Olympic Champion from China, He Kexin. Nobody in the field even came close to her, and took advantage of a weak field to win the gold. Since then, she has struggled with consistency, and not many people expected China to put her on the team for one event.
However, she made the team and survived prelims. She came close to defending her 2008 title, however it was not to be. Aliya Mustafina, 2010 world champion won the only gold medal for Russia of the Olympics. However, the three years between London 2009 and London 2012 almost didn't effect the outcome of bars.

Similar can be said for beam, although 3 years didn't effect beam. The baby of the gold medal winning 2008 Chinese team, Deng Linlin, won the title over a very talented group of gymnasts.
Three years later, on (possibly?) the same beam in the same location, Deng Linlin did it again! She beat a talented field, including the 2004 Olympic Champion, and 2011 World Champion, and did so by a tenth. In a close beam final, time showed no factor, to the the 2 time Olympic Champion.

In 2009, in front of a home town crowd, Beth Tweedle won her second gold medal of her iconic career. With the audience behind her, Beth used her exceptionally strong tumbling and wowed the crowd, and the judges, to the gold.
Time may definitely played a factor here. I believe Beth wasn't training floor as much, and didn't make it past prelims. Time was definitely key to the 2010 fourth place finisher, and 2011 bronze medalist Aly Raisman, who along with her consistency, kept getting better and better as the years went on, as you could see by her placings. She hit when it counted most, under the big lights if the Olympics podium, and won the first ever Olympic floor gold medal for the US.

All Around
If age and timing weren't a factor here, I don't know what is. The baby of the 2008 Olympic Team, Bridget Sloan, dramatically won the title over teammate Rebecca Bross, after Bross fell in her last piece of gymnastics.
As Bridget aged, injuries really slowed her down during the quad. However, Gabby Douglas, who was very talented, although a little inconsistent, was rising through the ranks, waiting to take over. After a win at Olympic Trials, Gabby proved to us she was hitting when it counted, and she hit her peak (maybe) at the right time, and took the title in 2012.

Although 3 years may be a long time for many gymnasts on many events, sometimes, it may be just the right amour of time, to work out all of te kinks for the real show, the Olympics of the XXX Olympiad.


  1. Beth didn't train floor as much due to her knee injury, and she really wanted to focus on bars anyway to medal. However, she still managed to end up as first reserve for the floor final!

    1. Double Double Gym BlogSeptember 29, 2012 at 1:46 PM

      I thought so, thank you!

    2. She actually tied Mustafina for 8th place in floor final. Had she not had an OOB in prelims she would have beaten her to the place. Interesting how things work out.

      I doubt it's the same beam ha, 2012 used Gymnova. I think He Kexin's and Deng Linlin's ability to remain world class on their pet pieces throughout the entire quad is just amazing. Nice post.