Gymternet Weekly: Japan, China return to competition; epic news skills from Team USA (September 21 – 27, 2020)

By Patricia Duffy | September 28, 2020
Gymternet Weekly: Japan, China return to competition; epic news skills from Team USA (September 21 - 27, 2020)

It’s never a dull week around the gymternet! Here’s our weekly roundup of news, videos, and more from your favorite gymnasts!

Click here to read last week’s edition of Gymternet Weekly.

P.S. Have a news item or video you think should be considered for “Gymternet Weekly”? Email a link to [email protected]!

Top headlines from this post

– Powerhouses Japan, China return to competition

Japan and China returned to competition this week, hosting their respective national championships, and the competition was fierce.

– FIG publishes COVID-19 guidelines for events

Masks? Yes and no. Honey, sugar water, and hairspray for apparatus prep? No. Virtual ceremonies and interviews? Highly recommended.

– U.S. gymnasts hope to etch their names in history with new skills

At least five U.S. gymnasts are training new skills that, if performed successfully on the international stage, could be named after them.

Kaya, Murakami lead pack at All Japan Senior Championships

Japan returned to competition this past week with the 2020 All Japan Senior Championships! Everyone from up-and-comers like Yuna Hiraiwa to seasoned veterans like Kohei Uchimura were in attendance, with the field of both men and women looking strong despite the long break from competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the men’s side, 23-year-old Kazuma Kaya won the all-around with an 86.998. Wataru Tanigawa (85.965) took silver, and Kenta Chiba (85.166) took bronze. Miyachi Hidetaka was unreal on high bar, scoring a 15.366. Two-time Olympic all-around champion Kohei Uchimura placed sixth on high bar with a new routine that features a Bretschneider. The 31-year-old has elected to pursue an Olympic spot as a high bar specialist.

2018 World all-around silver medalist Mai Murakami made a triumphant return to competition after spending much of 2019 nursing a back injury, and she did not disappoint! The 24-year-old won the all-around in overwhelming fashion, with two points separating her and silver medalist Yuna Hiraiwa–56.600 to 54.632, respectively. Meanwhile, Hiraiwa was stunning on beam with a 14.033.

#SaveNCAAGym developments

The movement to save NCAA gymnastics, especially men’s NCAA gymnastics, is still going strong.

Shift Movement Science recently hosted a “Saving Men’s NCAA Gymnastics Roundtable Discussion” where, over an hour-and-a-half, four of the top men’s NCAA gymnastics coaches in the United States gathered over video call to discuss some crucial issues facing the movement right now. You can watch that roundtable here.

Today, Monday, September 28, marks 10 days until the Minnesota Board of Regents votes on the fate of Gopher men’s gymnastics. Click here to sign the petition and write to the Board of Regents asking them to vote NO.

Meanwhile, it was recently announced that the Save Iowa Sports fundraising campaign has hit $1.65 million in pledges in just under 24 hours. In addition to the dollar figure, the group released an open letter to UI President Bruce Harreld. Read more about that campaign here.

Two other movements need your help: the CGA’s STRONGER TOGETHER campaign and the Save William & Mary Gymnastics campaign (for the Tribe’s men’s and women’s teams). Click on the above links to donate or help in other ways, including spreading the word on social. You can also follow @saveolympicsports to stay up-to-date on the latest campaigns and find out further ways you can pitch in to help.

Sun Wei pulls off upset, Liu Tingting holds off newcomers to retain Chinese all-around title

The 2020 Chinese National Championships were nothing short of entertaining. There were some new and familiar faces, with the Chinese contingent showing off some of its most polished routines to date in the lead-up to Tokyo.

Sun Wei was crowned the men’s all-around champion after successfully surpassing 2017 World all-around champion Xiao Ruoteng’s lead from qualifications.

2018 World beam champion Liu Tingting retained her all-around title for the women, despite having an off day on beam. Guan Chenchen, a first-year senior, became a contender for Olympic gold on beam after posting the first 7.0+ D-score for the women this quad. She scored a 15.4 (7.1 D-score, 8.3 E-score). Watch her routine below.

Tokyo announces Olympic torch relay plans for 2021

It was announced on Monday that the Olympic Torch Relay will start its journey on March 25, 2021, at the J-Village National Training Centre in Fukushima Prefecture. It will then traverse 47 prefectures across Japan over a period of 121 days. The route and the schedule of the Relay will remain as originally planned. Read more here.

“We Won’t Stop”: Gymnasts around the world are organizing to end abuse

The Gymnast Alliance is forcing an international reckoning with abusive practices that have long been at the center of the sport. Dvora Meyers discusses the movement in-depth in an article for Vice. Read it here.

Regaining her skills and happy in training, Laurie Hernandez is relishing her gap year

When Laurie Hernandez makes her official return to competition, nearly five years will have passed since Rio, the last time she took part in a formal competition. Despite the unexpected additional year of preparation for her second Olympic campaign, gymnastics is still the 2016 Olympic gold and silver medalist’s top priority. Read the full story here.

FIG publishes medical guidelines for events held during the COVID-19 pandemic

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has released medical guidelines for all future international gymnastics events set to take place during the COVID-19 pandemic. We break down the highlights here.

U.S. gymnasts hope to etch their names in history with new skills

At least five U.S. gymnasts have shared clips of new skills in the past week that, if performed successfully on the international stage, could be named after them.

Yul Moldauer | Parallel bars

Yul Moldauer is training what seems to be a variation of a Yamamuro (G), which is a peach basket through to handstand to Makuts.

Karis German | Uneven bars

World Champions Centre’s Karis German is putting together a stunning bars routine, featuring a stalder Nabieva that would be the “German” if competed on the international stage. The clip also features a floaty Downie!

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Faith Torrez | Floor exercise

Legacy Elite’s Faith Torrez has been keeping a BIG secret! The U.S. National Team member was training a TRIPLE back pre-coronavirus, and it wasn’t just for kicks. The gymnast was showcasing it at National Team camp, and by the looks of it, Torrez could definitely be the first female gymnast to land this skill in competition.

Aleah Finnegan | Uneven bars

Aleah Finnegan could very well make the Olympic team if she keeps pushing her limits on bars. We’ve recently seen inklings of her training a full-twisting Gienger, and she seems to have gotten the Deltchev 1/2 down pat. So much so that most recently she shared a clip of her performing the difficult skill, which would be the “Finnegan” if competed internationally, connected to a Jaeger!

Eddie Penev | Floor exercise

Eddie Penev does it all! From climbing seemingly every mountain in Colorado to pushing his limits in the gym. The 2017 World team member is training an absolutely insane whip half + laid out Zapata–a double front with 1.5 twists. That element in its tucked form is a G in the current code of points, but this version has yet to be successfully competed. Will Penev be the first?

Donnell Whittenburg changes clubs ahead of Olympics

U.S. National Team member Donnell Whittenburg is no longer training at the U.S.O.P.T.C. Whittenburg shared on Instagram on Wednesday that he’s moved to Salto Gymnastics in Waukesha, Wisconsin. “New City, New Gym, Same Goal,” Whittenburg’s caption read, along with clips from training. The 2016 Olympic team alternate is certainly putting in work just 10 months out from Tokyo!

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New City, New Gym , Same Goal

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2020 Euros will no longer be an Olympic qualifier

The 2020 European Championships–which were rescheduled from the spring to December due to the pandemic–will no longer be an Olympic qualifier. While not confirmed, that responsibility will now likely fall to the 2021 European Championships. A decision on whether 2020 Euros will take place or be canceled will be announced next Monday. Read more here.

Competition Clips: Japan, China say, “Pandemic, who?”

If you didn’t know better, you wouldn’t think we were in the middle of a pandemic based off the routines we saw from Japan and China this past week. After months of uncertainty, a postponed Olympics, and training interruptions, the two powerhouses returned to competition with their respective championships. Many of the top contenders for Tokyo looked better than ever! Check out those routines below, as well as a cameo from Oleg Verniaiev (UKR), who won the all-around at the 2020 Stella Zakharova Cup this past weekend.

Training clips: Lankin’s stellar triple back, Biles’ triple pike, and more

This week’s training clips section includes 17 videos that feature Dmitry Lankin (RUS), Simone Biles (USA), Angelina Melnikova (RUS), Adam Tobin (GBR), and many more national and international athletes!

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I just do it? #gymnastics

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Just a casual triple pike ? #gymnastics #wcc #simonebiles

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Just keep swinging, just keep swinging

A post shared by ????? ?????? (@alicekinsella17) on

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Throwback to a few weeks ago

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This is so much fun #fetch #catch #bars

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