This week, Stoi! is mostly studying pre-flights on vault.
Unusually, this was Bronwyn’s idea. Normally, Clara does vault and chicken dances, Bronwyn leaps and vodka. But we’ve decided to mix things up a bit. Probably to give Bronwyn another excuse to throw Nabieva into the mix.
And it’s true that our beloved Tanya has been setting pretty high standards in this department of late. Never anything less than dodgy, she graduates to truly disgusting when she attempts the Amanar. Interestingly, her preflight on her Pod is actually ok. She makes a better fist of the technique than certain Olympic bronze medallists I could mention. But more of that later.
For now, we focus on her profoundly dubious Yurchenkos. It’s not like she even has the excuse of big height and length like she does in the post-flight. Disgraceful.
Romania have also excelled in the nasty Yurchenko pre-flight department. Gone are the days when they showed the world how to do the first phase of the Phelps. Daniela Druncea’s attempts in Aarhus were worthy of the gutter. And even worse, her 1.5 from Romanian Nationals earlier that year will remain one of our all-time top 10 fugliest vaults ever.
We can’t decide which is mankier: pre-flight or post-flight?
This quad, Chelaru has done her best to carry the tradition on. I don’t think much of Racea or Haidu either. Let’s hope they use Ponor and Izbasa on vault come-Worlds.
But Chelaru is training an Amanr that rivals Nabieva’s in terms of fugliness :
We must not forget Nistor (we actually did forget her, but thank you to D for reminding us) :
And to show this isn’t a purely modern phenomenon, we’re also going to consider two past greats.
Daniela Silivas was no better than Chelaru is, paving the way to fugly for her future and current compatriots. And for once, we’re not talking about her hair.
And Stoi! favorite, Tatiana Lysenko, a fellow curly haired immigration lawyer, won bronze at the 1992 Olympics with an almost straddled preflight.
This is cowboyed so badly, it actually looks like it’s making the vault harder rather than easier. A good example of why the rule requiring two vaults in prelims to qualify for the final has actually improved the event.
It pains me to say that not everything is Bruno Grandi’s fault, but this phenomenon evidently isn’t.
We also get nearly as fucked off by cheated preflights as by filthy ones.
It’s annoying, because although everyone can pick up on bent legs, not everyone notices when an athlete is cheating the entry. Including some of the judges, evidently.
This is particularly an issue in MAG with Tsuks. Flavius Koczi is actually almost doing the same vault twice. Here he is winning silver at 2009 Worlds:
I mean, he’s barely even making 90-degrees before hitting the table. And he wasn’t entirely square on the FHS entry either. I was there in person for that final, and really enjoyed it. But still, Dragulescu is a wife beater, and Flavius did the same vault twice and didn’t fully rotate it the second time either. So which is worse?
Anyhoo, the women do it too. I don’t think Shawn Johnson ever didn’t cheat the entry for her ‘Amanar’. So even on the one occasion that she managed to not be noticeably short in the post-flight in Beijing prelims, she still didn’t make the full two and a half rotations.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at anything done by a Parkette, but Amber Trani was quite the offender too.
Really, these gymnasts are not actually doing the number of rotations they’re meant to be doing. It’s not fair for them to be credited the same as a gymnast who actually uses the correct technique.
And now, the most mangled vault I can actually recall in recent gym history. Cheng Fei’s “Cheng”, at the 2008 Olympics. She competed this twice, in both prelims and EFs, and on neither occasion did it look anything like it was supposed to.
@ 1:43 :
It was like a cartwheel, or something.
Her pre-flight on the Lopez was never problematic, so I guess it was the extra twist. In her defense, this is probably the second most difficult vault ever competed by a WAG, and she was carrying an injury at the time. So we forgive her…sort of.
Either way, just so you don’t think we’re a pair of Debbie Downers, let’s cleanse our palates with this beauty :
Stay tuned for our next vaulting installment, where we analyze the infamous “Phelps” vault and it’s many shiteous stylings.
– (Most) words by Clara, illustrations by Bronwyn.