PHOTO: THOMAS SCHREYER
ROTTERDAM OUTDID ALMOST all my expectations. Not only was the venue great for this event—just the right size— but also the management was excellent. Although the Ahoy Arena was undergo- ing a major remodel, the Dutch did all they could to make the construction virtually disappear. They even erected a high
bar with a mechanical man doing giants
near the entrance, on top of some construction trailers. Congratulations to the
organizing committee, headed by Geert
As always, the gymnasts were the
stars, creating a very exciting and memorable competition. In many ways this
event paralleled the incredible 1987
worlds that was held in the same arena,
and might have even topped it.
We saw the rebirth of the Russian
program in the most spectacular way.
Uchimura and Mustafina
have presented a standard
that will be very difficult
to surpass or even equal.
The women won their first team title, and
the men showed a young team with
some powerful and artistic gymnasts.
Yes, Russia is back and appears to be a
real force for the future.
As impressed as I have been since the
2008 Olympics with Kohei Uchimura,
I was even more impressed with Aliya
Mustafina. She was not only very
steady, performing the most complex set
of all-around routines we have seen in
quite a while, but she calmly did so with a
style that was artistic and controlled.
Both “Superman” Uchimura and “
Wonder Woman” Mustafina have presented a
standard that will be very difficult to surpass or even equal. They seem to make
this Code look doable.
In the men’s team competition, China
came in with an unusual group and one
that was really second to Japan on paper.
Nevertheless, when the lights came up
on the team final, the Chinese program
directors again showed they really under-
stand how to win. Leaving at home three
2009 world champions—Zou Kai (high
bar), Zhang Hongtao (pommel horse)
and Wang Guanyin (parallel bars)—and
bringing no real super all-arounder, they
still managed to dominate floor, rings and
parallel bars to secure the win.
John Crumlish, Amanda Turner, Christian Ivanov
Anneleen Kaptein-Dekker, Amy Van Deusen
Tel: (405) 447-9988 Fax: (405) 447-5810
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