Monday, April 8, 2013

Talk of the Town: 6 Hot Routines from the Last 3 Weeks

Welcome back, friends! A lot of gymnastics has happened since the French International. Some of it made my little gay heart skip and frolic about in my chest. And some of it made me very sad. Like, "Vanessa Atler Starting Over" sad. Or, like, "Sarah McLachlan abused pet commercial" sad.

I'll spare you the tears, Kleenex, and Xanax, and just talk about the good stuff. Here we go!

1. Cottbus: A preview of the floor final at the 2013 European Championships?

On March 23, Matthias Fahrig, 2010 European Floor Champ, and Eleftherios Kosmidis, 2012 European Floor Champ, went head-to-head for the first time in 2013. With these two gymnasts, it's hard to pick a favorite. If routines full of Arabians don't bore you, you'll enjoy Fahrig's routine, but if you are so over the Arabians, you'll like Kosmidis. If you like your male gymnasts to be more ethereal, you'll prefer Fahrig, but if you like men who punctuate their landings with more of a flat-footed thud, you'll like Kosmidis.

Really, they're pretty evenly matched. At Cottbus, both gymnasts had a difficulty score of 6.5, and while I know that it is cliché to say this, it really did come down to the landings. In the end, Fahrig out-executed Kosmidis, scoring a 15.275 to Kosmidis's 15.125.

I'm looking forward to a rematch in Moscow. That said, I think that Stacey Ervin could take both of them, and Stacey thinks so, too.
P.S. If you are looking for a list of gymnasts competing in the European Championships, you can check out the Gymnastics Examiner's page.

2. British Championships: Daniel Keatings is back and taking names!

2012 was not Daniel Keating's lucky year. After finishing third in the all-around at the London Test Event, where he helped Great Britain qualify as a team for the Olympics, Daniel hurt his ankle. Nevertheless, by the time the British Championships rolled around in June, he was training on all six events, and he finished third in the all-around behind Max Whitlock and Sam Oldham. Despite several top-three performances, Daniel was left off the British Olympic team, and he was not happy about it. He voiced his distaste, letting the world know that he had "done more than most of the team."

Bitter or not, Keatings is back, and he has proven himself to be one of the best in Great Britain. At the British Championships at the end of March, Keatings defeated Max Whitlock, 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, on pommel horse. (It's rumored that both of them have more difficult horse routines in the works. Max, a 7.4, and Daniel, a 7.2.) In addition, he won parallel bars, posting an insane 15.6 in finals–one of the highest scores on that event this year.

His peach to a single-rail handstand made me want to be a better person. It was that inspiring.

3. Doha: Krisztián Berki won gold. Again. But he was out-executed!

My Krisztián had a little trouble with his Wu.

Which darn near gave me a heart attack!

Thankfully, the routine was still good enough for gold, but Jumpei Oka of Japan out-executed him. No more of that, Krisztián! My feeble heart can't take it!

4. Doha: Ri Se Gwang is going to have nasty cankles as an adult.

Just watch this, and you'll understand.
So crazy, so hard, but so bad for the ankles.

5. Tokyo: How Danny got his groove back.

The 2013 European all-around title could be a race between Oleg Verniaiev and Max Whitlock. But we can't count out Daniel Purvis. Before the Mexican Open in November, Danny was struggling to fit into his leotard.
Now, Purvis is looking fit, and he seems to be on the rise. At the end of March, he scored a respectable 87.250 at the British Championships, where he was on the parallel-bar struggle bus, scoring a 13.250. A couple weeks later at the Tokyo Cup, the p-bar struggle bus was no where in sight, and he improved his score on the apparatus by 2 points (15.3), which, in turn, bumped up his all-around score to an 89.250 in the all-around. Perhaps his most impressive score came on vault where he received a


in execution.
Here, at Uncle Tim Talks Men's Gym, we celebrate any execution score above a 9.4 on vault and any execution score above a 9.0 on the other events. You go, Danny. You go.

6. Big 10 Championships: Stacey Ervin is ridiculous.

Sam Mikulak has taken a "Paul Ruggeri strategy" when it comes to landings. That is to say he relies heavily on blind landings on floor and vault. Instead of opening with a double-double on floor, he does a (back) 1 1/2 to a punch double front, and instead of competing a Kasamatsu double on vault, he does a Kasamatsu 1 1/2. Given his track record with ankle injuries, I can't blame him, and you know what? It's working for him--at least in NCAA. Even with slightly watered down routines, he still scored an 89.850 in the all-around, which was well over two points ahead of second-place finisher Adrian de los Angeles, who scored an 87.350.

One of the big performances of the meet, though, was Stacey Ervin's vault during team finals. Just watch it. You won't regret it.

He didn't win the Big 10 vault title, but he did win the floor title. And he's showing an upgrade. At the Winter Cup in February, he dismounted with a double Arabian in the tuck position, but now, he's doing a double Arabian in the pike position. Ridiculous, if you ask me. If only I had the strength of one of his quad muscles… Sigh.

At any rate, if you live close to University Park, PA, you should head to NCAA Nationals. The floor event final is going to be quite the showdown between Michigan's Stacey Ervin and Stanford's Eddie Penev, who scored a 15.950 at the MPSF Championships to Ervin's 15.8.

Your Take

From the past three weeks, which routines have been some of your favorites? I couldn't mention them all.

P.S. I apologize for neglecting my blog for the past few weeks. Sometimes, real life gets real and interferes with bloggy timey.


  1. European Championships is one of the best competition for all men gymnasts,and I am desperately waiting for this competition.Hope this time I will enjoy with full of zest.
    Wilson Zordon recentaly read an article about gymnastic bars