IG News
Vise Looks Forward to Grand Prix Debut // October 31, 2003
2003 co-world uneven bars champion Hollie Vise said she is looking forward to a possible appearance at next month's DTB Cup in Stuttgart.

"I have never been to Germany before, so I am very excited to go for the first time!" Vise told IG.

Vise and Chellsie Memmel have been invited to attend the annual Grand Prix competition in Stuttgart on November 28-30. USA Gymnastics will officially announce on Monday which female athletes will be sent to the competition, a USAG spokesperson told IG. Brett McClure and Sasha Artemev are also scheduled to go to Stuttgart for the 21st annual DTB Pokal.

Vise, 15, made her world championship debut at the 2003 Worlds in Anaheim in August. In Anaheim she earned a gold medal with the U.S. team and tied Memmel, also 15, for the gold medal on uneven bars. Vise said she is well-rested following a lightened post-worlds workload, which included participation in the TJ Maxx tour.

"I did have a little bit of down time," said Vise. "Not a vacation but just easier workouts I guess you could say! I'm actually feeling really good. I am completely healthy right now."

Vise, who will turn 16 on December 6, trains at World Olympic Gymnastics Academy in Plano, Texas, with coaches Yevgeny Marchenko and Natasha Boyarskaya. Vise trains alongside 2003 world all-around silver medalist Carly Patterson.

"Training is going really good," said Vise. "I am working routines right now. I have changed my beam routine... some people might have seen it on the tour. That is the routine that I will be competing now. I like it a lot better; I feel more confident doing these skills."

Vise made her international debut at the 1999 Moscow Stars competition, where she qualified to the balance beam final. At the 2001 Goodwill Games in Brisbane, she won bronze medals on the uneven bars and balance beam. She won the junior all-around title at the 2002 Pacific Alliance competition in Burnaby, British Columbia. Stuttgart would be the first appearance in a Grand Prix, or World Cup series, event for both Vise and Memmel.

"I'm really excited to compete again in a big competition," Vise told IG. "It should be a great experience for me!"

Read "The Downs and Ups of Vise," a profile on her experience at the 2003 World Championships, in the November 2003 issue of International Gymnast magazine.

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Event Coverage: 2003 Worlds

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Vise profile (November 2003)
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Vise profile (October 2001)

To subscribe to IG magazine or order back issues, click here.

More Changes in Dutch Women's Ranks // October 28, 2003
Recent changes in the Dutch women's program include the non-renewal of national team coach Frank Louter's contract, and the retirement of veterans Renske Endel and Rikst Valentijn.

IG Dutch correspondent Anneleen Dekker Kaptein said Louter and the Dutch gymnastics federation could not agree on terms of a contract through next spring's European Championships, which Amsterdam will host. As a result, Kaptein said, Louter is no longer the national team coach. He is still coaching at the Pro Patria club in Zoetermeer, Kaptein said.

"There were differences of opinion between Frank and the Dutch federation, regarding the working policy in the new contract, which did not get resolved," Kaptein said. "Therefore, the contract renewal did not materialize."

In an interview in the November 2003 issue of International Gymnast magazine, Louter said he was debating his future role in the Dutch national program. "So now this Olympic cycle is over, and my contract has ended," he said in the interview. "But my future plans are still the same: have fun in gymnastics by working together with gymnasts with the same goals and ambition, and with a positive attitude."

The Dutch women's team, which placed fifth at the 2001 World Championships and second at the 2002 European Championships, finished only 16th at the World Championships held in Anaheim in August. As a result, the team did not qualify for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. The top 12 teams in Anaheim qualified for Athens, but the Dutch earned two individual berths to the Games.

Following the 2003 Worlds, team star Verona van de Leur left Louter (who had been her personal coach) to work under coach Boris Orlov. Also, 2001 Worlds team member Monique Nuijten, who placed 32nd all-around at the 1999 Worlds, announced her retirement.

Last week, 2001 Worlds uneven bars silver medalist Renske Endel announced her retirement, as well.

"For over 10 years I have worked out relentlessly, given my life to the sport, kept my body in shape and have kept other things consciously on hold," reported Endel, who is scheduled to begin university studies in the near future. "I did this to convert my love for gymnastics into good performances. I have achieved this—just look at my silver medals at Worlds and Europeans! I can look back on a very successful era."

Kaptein said another Dutch team veteran, Rikst Valentijn, has also retired. Valentijn placed 28th all-around at the 2001 Worlds and seventh all-around at the 2000 Junior Europeans. "Since the 2001 Worlds she's had an endless string of injuries, and has decided that enough is enough," said Kaptein of Valentijn.

Van de Leur continues to rehabilitate a bad ankle that kept her out of the 2003 Worlds, said Kaptein. Reigning Dutch national all-around champion Suzanne Harmes, the top Dutch performer in Anaheim (17th place all-around), "is in fine form," said Kaptein.

Read "Crossroads," an in-depth interview with Louter, in the November 2003 issue of International Gymnast magazine. Details on the IG Tour to the 2004 European Championships in Amsterdam are also in the November 2003 issue.

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To subscribe to IG magazine or order back issues, click here.

Glasgow Grand Prix Concludes // October 26, 2003
Ukraine's Alina Kozich and Japan's Takehiro Kashima were the only triple medalists at the Grand Prix of Glasgow that concluded Sunday.

Anna Pavlova, who placed 10th all-around at this year's World Championships in Anaheim, outscored Russian teammate Yelena Zamolodchikova for the gold medal on balance beam. In the Glasgow qualifying round on balance beam, Pavlova and Zamolodchikova finished first and seventh, respectively. Zamolodchikova won the gold medal on vault on Saturday.

Finishing third on balance beam was Great Britain's Beth Tweddle, who won the gold medal on uneven bars yesterday.

China's Zhang Nan, who won the all-around bronze medal at the 2003 Worlds, qualified third on balance beam in Glasgow but ended up in sixth place.

On floor exercise, 2003 Worlds participant Alexandra Shevchenko (Russia) outscored silver medalist Allana Slater of Australia and bronze medalist Alina Kozich of Ukraine.

Kozich earned the most medals—three—of any woman in Glasgow. On Saturday, Kozich won the silver medal on uneven bars and the bronze medal on vault.

In the men's competition, Poland's Leszek Blanik outscored Marian Dragulescu (Romania) for first place on vault. Blanik, who finished third on the event at the 2000 Olympics and second at the 2002 Worlds, scored a 9.875 in Glasgow for his piked handspring double front.

Dragulescu finished first on vault at the 2001 Worlds, seventh at the 2002 Worlds and second at the 2003 Worlds. In Glasgow, Dragulescu and eventual bronze medalist Lu Bin (China) had tied for the highest qualifying score.

Slovenia's Mitja Petkovsek won the gold medal on parallel bars, ahead of Japan's Takehiro Kashima and France's Florent Maree. In the qualifying round, Petkovsek, Kashima and Maree finished third, sixth and fifth, respectively. Petkovsek placed eighth on parallel bars at the 2003 Worlds, and second on the event at the 2002 Worlds.

Kazakhstan's Yernar Yerimbetov, who qualified first to the Glasgow final on parallel bars, dropped to seventh place on the event.

On high bar, top qualifier Alexander Jeltkov of Canada won the gold medal, ahead of Yerimbetov. Tied for third were Maree and 2003 Worlds titlist Kashima. Jeltkov placed second on high bar at the 1999 Worlds, and sixth on high bar at the 2003 Worlds. Maree finished eighth on high bar at the 2003 Worlds.

Kashima was the only male gymnast to win three medals in Glasgow. In addition to the two medals he earned Sunday, he won the silver medal on pommel horse in Saturday's final.

Read an interview with Kozich and the Ukrainian team, in the November 2003 issue of International Gymnast magazine.

2003 Glasgow Grand Prix
October 26, Glasgow

Balance Beam
1. Anna Pavlova RUS 9.475
2. Yelena Zamolodchikova RUS 9.187
3. Beth Tweddle GBR 8.800
4. Allana Slater AUS 8.762
5. Oksana Chusovitina UZB 8.700
6. Zhang Nan CHN 8.500
7. Inna Teslenko UKR 8.387
8. Alina Kozich UKR 8.275

Women's Floor Exercise
1. Alexandra Shevchenko RUS 9.362
2. Allana Slater AUS 9.175
3. Alina Kozich UKR 9.137
4. Yelena Zamolodchikova RUS 9.125
5. Vanessa Hobbs GBR 8.862
6. Oksana Chusovitina UZB 8.737
7. Zhang Nan CHN 8.487
8. Evi Neijssen NED 8.450

Men's Vault
1. Leszek Blanik POL 9.775
2. Marian Dragulescu ROM 9.712
3. Lu Bin CHN 9.687
4. Yevgeny Sapronenko LAT 9.487
5. Tatsuya Yamada JPN 9.462
6. Kyle Shewfelt CAN 9.350
7. Ioan Suciu ROM 9.225
8. Yernar Yerimbetov KAZ 8.862

Parallel Bars
1. Mitja Petkovsek SLO 9.750
2. Takehiro Kashima JPN 9.625
3. Florent Maree FRA 9.550
4. Sergei Khorokhordin RUS 9.475
5. Anton Golotsutskov RUS 9.450
6. Isao Yoneda JPN 9.250
7. Yernar Yerimbetov KAZ 9.175
8. Stepan Gorbachov KAZ 8.550

High Bar
1. Alexander Jeltkov CAN 9.700
2. Yernar Yerimbetov KAZ 9.625
3. Takehiro Kashima JPN 9.550
3. Florent Maree FRA 9.550
5. Marian Dragulescu ROM 9.525
6. Ioan Suciu ROM 9.475
7. Igor Cassina ITA 9.400
8. Valery Goncharov UKR 9.375

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Glasgow Grand Prix Concludes (December 16, 2001)
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Spotlight: Leszek Blanik
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Tweddle profile (March 2002)
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2001 Glasgow Grand Prix coverage (February 2002)
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To subscribe to IG magazine or order back issues, click here.

Five First-Day Winners in Glasgow // October 25, 2003
2003 World Championships medalists Yelena Zamolodchikova, Beth Tweddle and Kyle Shewfelt were among the winners in the first day of finals at the Glasgow Grand Prix held Saturday.

Russia's Zamolodchikova, the 2003 world co-silver medalist on vault, outscored 2003 world vault champion Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan for the title on that event in Glasgow. Tweddle, who at the 2003 Worlds in Anaheim became the first British woman to win a world championships medal, won uneven bars on Saturday.

Ukraine's Alina Kozich was the only gymnast, male or female, to win more than one medal in Saturday's events. She placed third on vault and second on uneven bars. At the 2003 Worlds, Kozich tied for eighth place in the all-around.

On men's floor exercise, Canadian Shewfelt outscored 2000 Olympic champion Igors Vihrovs of Latvia for the gold medal. At the 2003 Worlds, Shewfelt won the bronze medal and Vihrovs placed sixth on the event.

Marius Urzica of Romania place first on pommel horse, defeating 2003 world co-champion Takehiro Kashima of Japan. On rings, Kazakhstan's Timur Kurbanbayev won the gold, while two-time world champion and preliminary leader Jordan Jovtchev (Bulgaria) could not escape out of a three-way tie for the silver.

The competition concludes Sunday with finals on the remaining events.

Read a profile on Shewfelt, and an interview with Kozich and the Ukrainian team, in the November 2003 issue of International Gymnast magazine.

2003 Glasgow Grand Prix
October 25, Glasgow

Women's Vault
1. Yelena Zamolodchikova RUS 9.431
2. Oksana Chusovitina UZB 9.349
3. Alina Kozich UKR 9.212
4. Anna Pavlova RUS 9.099
5. Allana Slater AUS 9.062
6. Evi Neijssen NED 9.043
7. Veronica Wagner SWE 8.737
8. Lisa Brüggemann GER 4.143

Uneven Bars
1. Beth Tweddle GBR 9.450
2. Alina Kozich UKR 9.275
3. Inna Teslenko UKR 8.987
4. Stephanie Moorhouse AUS 8.912
5. Oksana Chusovitina UZB 8.900
6. Cherrelle Fennell GBR 8.650
7. Allana Slater AUS 8.250
8. Alexandra Shevchenko RUS 8.112

Men's Floor Exercise
1. Kyle Shewfelt CAN 9.725
2. Igors Vihrovs LAT 9.700
3. Marian Dragulescu ROM 9.675
4. Brandon O'Neill CAN 9.600
5. Ioan Suciu ROM 9.575
6. Yernar Yerimbetov KAZ 9.500
6. Isao Yoneda JPN 9.500
8. Yevgeny Sapronenko LAT 9.375

Pommel Horse
1. Marius Urzica ROM 9.775
2. Takehiro Kashima JPN 9.700
3. Ioan Suciu ROM 9.650
4. Eric Casimir FRA 9.625
5. Pierre-Yves Beny FRA 9.250
5. Alberto Busnari ITA 9.250
7. Thomas Andergassen GER 9.150
8. Yernar Yerimbetov KAZ 8.250

Still Rings
1. Timur Kurbanbayev KAZ 9.700
2. Jordan Jovtchev BUL 9.650
2. Yuri Van Gelder NED 9.650
2. Dong Zheng CHN 9.650
5. Alexander Safoshkin RUS 9.625
6. Matteo Morandi ITA 9.575
7. Pierre-Yves Beny FRA 9.550
8. Kanukai Jackson GBR 9.500

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Glasgow Grand Prix Begins (October 24, 2003)
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Urzica Earns Ultimate Score (December 15, 2001)
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Spotlight: Leszek Blanik
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Blanik interview (February 2003)
Shewfelt interview (November 2002)
Urzica included in center poster (February 2003)
Brüggemann profile (June/July 2002)
Tweddle profile (March 2002)
Wammes, Kozich profiles (August/September 2002)
2001 Glasgow Grand Prix coverage (February 2002)
Chusovitina on cover (June/July 2001)
Dragulescu cover story (May 2001)
Zamolodchikova poster (May 2001)
Slovenian team profile (February 2001)
Shewfelt profile (January 2001)
Zamolodchikova cover story (December 2000)
Chusovitina profile (May 2000)
Jovtchev profile (August/September 1999)
Chusovitina profile (January 1996)

To subscribe to IG magazine or order back issues, click here.

Glasgow Grand Prix Begins // October 24, 2003
The Glasgow Grand Prix qualifying competition was held Friday, with gymnasts from Australia, Canada, and Romania topping the standings on two events each. The top eight from each event advance to this weekend's finals, which will be broadcast live on the BBC.

Australian veteran Allana Slater earned the top scores on two of the women's events. Slater, who also qualified to the vault and balance beam finals, outscored Great Britain's Beth Tweddle on uneven bars, 9.213-9.075. Slater took the lead on floor exercise, edging Ukraine's Alina Kozich, 9.100-9.050.

Anna Pavlova led the standings on women's beam, ahead of Ukraine's Inna Teslenko. 2003 world vaulting champion Oksana Chusovitina led the standing's on women's vault, topping Olympic vaulting champion Yelena Zamolodchikova. Slater, Kozich, and Chusovitina qualified to the finals on all four events.

Reigning world floor bronze medalist Kyle Shewfelt of Canada earned the high score on floor exercise with a 9.725. World floor exercise co-champion Jordan Jovtchev (Bulgaria) failed to qualify to the final after incurring an overtime penalty, but led the standings on still rings.

Romanians Marius Urzica and Marian Dragulescu led the field on pommel horse and vault, respectively. China's Lu Bin tied Dragulescu for first place on vault. Kazakhstan's Yernar Yerimbetov, who qualified to five of the six event finals, earned the high score on parallel bars. Canada's Alexander Jeltkov placed first on high bar.

"I am amazed to see such a high quality field assemble in Glasgow only two months after the World Championships in Anaheim," Canadian judge Hardy Fink told British Gymnastics. "It is a credit to the high level of fitness achieved by our gymnasts."

2003 Glasgow Grand Prix
October 24, Glasgow

Top Eight Qualify to Final

Women's Vault
1. Oksana Chusovitina UZB 9.437
2. Yelena Zamolodchikova RUS 9.231
3. Anna Pavlova RUS 9.212
4. Alina Kozich UKR 9.181
5. Allana Slater AUS 8.993
6. Evi Neijssen NED 8.918
7. Lisa Brüggemann GER 8.800
8. Veronica Wagner SWE 8.768
9. Gu Zheng CHN 8.762
10. Betty Dupin FRA 8.724
11. Joanna Skowronska POL 8.681

Uneven Bars
1. Allana Slater AUS 9.213
2. Beth Tweddle GBR 9.075
3. Inna Teslenko UKR 8.737
4. Cherrelle Fennell GBR 8.663
5. Alina Kozich UKR 8.525
5. Oksana Chusovitina UZB 8.525
7. Stephanie Moorhouse AUS 8.487
8. Alexandra Shevchenko RUS 8.475
9. Anna Pavlova RUS 7.800
10. Lin Li CHN 7.200
11. Magali Carosso FRA 5.875

Balance Beam
1. Anna Pavlova RUS 9.275
2. Inna Teslenko UKR 9.062
3. Zhang Nan CHN 8.887
4. Oksana Chusovitina UZB 8.875
5. Allana Slater AUS 8.787
6. Beth Tweddle GBR 8.612
7. Yelena Zamolodchikova RUS 8.425
8. Alina Kozich UKR 8.363
9. Veronica Wagner SWE 8.350
10. Betty Dupin FRA 8.087
11. Vanessa Hobbs GBR 8.025
12. Lisa Brüggemann GER 7.750
13. Stephanie Moorhouse AUS 7.150

Women's Floor Exercise
1. Allana Slater AUS 9.100
2. Alina Kozich UKR 9.050
3. Yelena Zamolodchikova RUS 9.037
4. Alexandra Shevchenko RUS 8.862
5. Vanessa Hobbs GBR 8.587
6. Oksana Chusovitina UZB 8.400
7. Zhang Nan CHN 7.962
8. Evi Neijssen NED 7.337
9. Gu Zheng CHN 7.062

Men's Floor Exercise
1. Kyle Shewfelt CAN 9.725
2. Marian Dragulescu ROM 9.700
3. Ioan Suciu ROM 9.625
4. Brandon O'Neill CAN 9.600
5. Yernar Yerimbetov KAZ 9.550
6. Isao Yoneda JPN 9.525
7. Yevgeny Sapronenko LAT 9.525
8. Igors Vihrovs LAT 9.475
9. Anton Golotsutskov RUS 9.325
10. Robert Gal HUN 9.275
10. Jordan Jovtchev BUL 9.275
12. Denis Savenkov BLR 9.250
13. Kasper Farden DEN 9.200
14. Stepan Gorbachov KAZ 9.125
15. Tatsuya Yamada JPN 9.000
16. Jeffrey Wammes NED 8.700
17. Sven Kwiatkowski GER 8.500
18. Marco Mayr AUT 8.450
19. Sergei Khorokhordin RUS 8.200

Pommel Horse
1. Marius Urzica ROM 9.750
2. Eric Casimir FRA 9.650
3. Ioan Suciu ROM 9.625
4. Pierre-Yves Beny FRA 9.525
5. Takehiro Kashima JPN 9.500
6. Thomas Andergassen GER 9.450
6. Yernar Yerimbetov KAZ 9.450
8. Alberto Busnari ITA 9.400
9. Anton Golotsutskov RUS 9.350
10. Michael Hjorth SWE 9.250
11. Igor Cassina ITA 9.100
12. Jani Tanskanen FIN 9.050
13. Kanukai Jackson GBR 8.950
13. Denis Savenkov BLR 8.950
15. Runar Alexandersson ISL 8.900
16. Isao Yoneda JPN 8.750
17. Lu Bin CHN 8.600
18. Marco Baldauf AUT 8.400
19. Sergei Khorokhordin RUS 8.250
20. Valery Goncharov UKR 8.200
21. Sven Kwiatkowski GER 8.100
22. Vlasios Maras GRE 7.850
23. Stepan Gorbachov KAZ 7.350

Still Rings
1. Jordan Jovtchev BUL 9.675
2. Timur Kurbanbayev KAZ 9.650
3. Matteo Morandi ITA 9.625
3. Yuri Van Gelder NED 9.625
5. Dong Zheng CHN 9.600
6. Pierre-Yves Beny FRA 9.575
7. Kanukai Jackson GBR 9.550
8. Tatsuya Yamada JPN 9.500
8. Alexander Safoshkin RUS 9.500
10. Anton Golotsutskov RUS 9.450
11. Lu Bin CHN 9.375
11. Olli Torkkel FIN 9.375
13. Leszek Blanik POL 9.250
14. Thomas Andergassen GER 9.225
15. Darren Gerrard GBR 8.900
16. Yernar Yerimbetov KAZ 8.650
17. Lance Barnes RSA 8.150
18. Marco Mayr AUT 7.650

Men's Vault
1. Marian Dragulescu ROM 9.550
1. Lu Bin CHN 9.550
3. Kyle Shewfelt CAN 9.475
4. Yevgeny Sapronenko LAT 9.400
4. Tatsuya Yamada JPN 9.400
6. Leszek Blanik POL 9.350
7. Ioan Suciu ROM 9.325
7. Yernar Yerimbetov KAZ 9.325
9. Brandon O'Neill CAN 9.300
10. Robert Gal HUN 9.175
10. Jeffrey Wammes NED 9.175
12. Kasper Farden DEN 9.075
13. Darren Gerrard GBR 9.050
14. Anton Golotsutskov RUS 9.024
15. Marco Mayr AUT 8.975

Parallel Bars
1. Yernar Yerimbetov KAZ 9.575
2. Isao Yoneda JPN 9.450
3. Mitja Petkovsek SLO 9.400
3. Anton Golotsutskov RUS 9.400
5. Florent Maree FRA 9.375
6. Takehiro Kashima JPN 9.325
6. Sergei Khorokhordin RUS 9.325
8. Stepan Gorbachov KAZ 9.250
9. Thomas Andergassen GER 9.225
10. Valery Goncharov UKR 9.000
11. Marius Urzica ROM 8.925
12. Eric Casimir FRA 8.300
12. Runar Alexandersson ISL 8.300
14. Marco Baldauf AUT 7.900

High Bar
1. Alexander Jeltkov CAN 9.600
2. Takehiro Kashima JPN 9.575
3. Valery Goncharov UKR 9.550
4. Florent Maree FRA 9.450
5. Ioan Suciu ROM 9.250
6. Marian Dragulescu ROM 9.200
7. Igor Cassina ITA 9.150
7. Yernar Yerimbetov KAZ 9.150
9. Alberto Busnari ITA 8.900
9. Sergei Khorokhordin RUS 8.900
11. Vlasios Maras GRE 8.850
12. Jani Tanskanen FIN 8.800
13. Marco Baldauf AUT 8.700
14. Jari Monkkonen FIN 8.550
14. Denis Savenkov BLR 8.550
16. Isao Yoneda JPN 8.300
17. Sven Kwiatkowski GER 7.650
18. Stepan Gorbachov KAZ 7.600
19. Eric Casimir FRA 7.000

IG Online Related Items
World Medalists Gather in Glasgow (October 23, 2003)
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Glasgow Grand Prix Concludes (December 16, 2001)
Urzica Earns Ultimate Score (December 15, 2001)
Glasgow Grand Prix Underway (December 14, 2001)
Spotlight: Leszek Blanik
Spotlight: Oksana Chusovitina
Spotlight: Marian Dragulescu
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Spotlight: Stephanie Moorhouse
Spotlight: Vlasios Maras
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Event Coverage: 2003 Worlds

IG Magazine Related Items
Ukraine profile, Kozich interview (November 2003)
Shewfelt profile (November 2003)
2003 Worlds coverage (October 2003)
Moorhouse profile (April 2003)
Zhang Nan center poster (March 2003)
Maras profile (February 2003)
Blanik interview (February 2003)
Shewfelt interview (November 2002)
Urzica included in center poster (February 2003)
Tweddle profile (March 2002)
Wammes, Kozich profiles (August/September 2002)
2001 Glasgow Grand Prix coverage (February 2002)
Chusovitina on cover (June/July 2001)
Dragulescu cover story (May 2001)
Zamolodchikova poster (May 2001)
Slovenian team profile (February 2001)
Shewfelt profile (January 2001)
Zamolodchikova cover story (December 2000)
Chusovitina profile (May 2000)
Jovtchev profile (August/September 1999)
Chusovitina profile (January 1996)

To subscribe to IG magazine or order back issues, click here.

World Medalists Gather in Glasgow // October 23, 2003
Ten individual medalists from the 2003 World Championships are among a top field scheduled for this weekend's Glasgow Grand Prix.

Glasgow is the first Grand Prix event to be held since August's World Championships in Anaheim. The competition begins at Glasgow's Kelvin Hall on Friday with the men's and women's qualification, in which 72 gymnasts will fight to reach the finals. The top eight gymnasts per event qualify to Saturday and Sunday's finals.

2003 world high bar champion and co-world pommel horse champion Takehiro Kashima (Japan) is on the roster for the competition, as is world floor exercise and still rings co-champion Jordan Jovtchev (Bulgaria), and women's vault world champion Oksana Chusovitina (Uzbekistan).

Other medalists from Anaheim include Zhang Nan (China), Yelena Zamolodchikova (Russia), Marian Dragulescu (Romania), Kyle Shewfelt (Canada), Igor Cassina (Italy), Matteo Morandi (Italy), as well as Great Britain's own Beth Tweddle. Tweddle's bronze on uneven bars in Anaheim was the first world medal won by a British woman.

The field also includes several former world champions. On the roster are 1994, 2001, and 2002 pommel horse champion Marius Urzica (Romania), 2001 and 2002 high bar champion Vlasios Maras (Greece), 1999 rings champion Zheng Dong (China) and 1997 high bar champion Jani Tanskanen (Finland).

The competition will be televised on BBC One on Saturday and BBC Two on Sunday. See the BBC website for broadcast details.

Roster for 2003 Glasgow Grand Prix

Australia: Allana Slater, Stephanie Moorhouse
Austria: Marco Baldauf, Marco Mayr
Belarus: Denis Savenkov
Bulgaria: Jordan Jovtchev
Canada: Alexander Jeltkov, Kyle Shewfelt
China: Zhen Dong, Bin Lu, Nan Zhang, Li Lin, Zheng Gu
Croatia: Sasa Solar, Zelyko Matovina
Denmark: Kasper Fardan, Luica Bago
Finland: Jani Tanskanen, Jari Monkkonen, Olli Torkkel
France: Pierre-Yves Beny, Eric Casimir, Florent Maree, Magali Carosso, Betty Dupin
Great Britain: Beth Tweddle, Vanessa Hobbs, Cherrelle Fennell, Kanukai Jackson, Mark Freeman, Darren Gerrard
Germany: Sven Kwiatkowski, Thomas Andergassen, Lisa Brüggemann
Greece: Vlasios Maras
Hungary: Robert Gal
Iceland: Runar Alexandersson
Italy: Igor Cassina, Matteo Morandi, Alberto Busnari
Japan: Isao Yoneda, Takehiro Kashima, Tatsuya Yamada
Kazakhstan: Yernar Yerimbetov, Stepan Gorbachov, Timur Kurbanbayev
Latvia: Igors Vihrovs, Yevgeny Sapronenko
Netherlands: Yuri Van Gelder, Jeffrey Wammes, Evi Neijssen
Poland: Leszek Blanik, Joanna Skowronska
Romania: Marian Dragulescu, Ioan Suciu, Marius Urzica
South Africa: Lance Barnes
Russia: Alexander Safoshkin, Anton Golotsutskov, Sergei Khorokhordin, Yelena Zamolodchikova, Anna Pavlova, Alexandra Shevchenko
Slovenia: Mitja Petkovsek
Sweden: Michael Hjorth, Veronica Wagner
Ukraine: Ruslan Mezentsev, Valery Goncharov, Alina Kozich, Inna Teslenko
Uzbekistan: Oksana Chusovitina

Look for results from the Glasgow Grand Prix here on IG Online.

IG Online Related Items
Glasgow Grand Prix Continues (October 26, 2002)
Glasgow Grand Prix Opens (October 25, 2002)
Glasgow Grand Prix Concludes (December 16, 2001)
Urzica Earns Ultimate Score (December 15, 2001)
Glasgow Grand Prix Underway (December 14, 2001)
Spotlight: Leszek Blanik
Spotlight: Oksana Chusovitina
Spotlight: Marian Dragulescu
Spotlight: Kanukai Jackson
Spotlight: Alexander Jeltkov
Spotlight: Stephanie Moorhouse
Spotlight: Vlasios Maras
Spotlight: Denis Savenkov
Spotlight: Kyle Shewfelt
Spotlight: Beth Tweddle
Spotlight: Marius Urzica
Interview: Kyle Shewfelt
Interview: Oksana Chusovitina
Event Coverage: 2003 Worlds

IG Magazine Related Items
Ukraine profile, Kozich interview (November 2003)
Shewfelt profile (November 2003)
2003 Worlds coverage (October 2003)
Moorhouse profile (April 2003)
Zhang Nan center poster (March 2003)
Maras profile (February 2003)
Blanik interview (February 2003)
Shewfelt interview (November 2002)
Urzica included in center poster (February 2003)
Tweddle profile (March 2002)
Wammes, Kozich profiles (August/September 2002)
2001 Glasgow Grand Prix coverage (February 2002)
Chusovitina on cover (June/July 2001)
Dragulescu cover story (May 2001)
Zamolodchikova poster (May 2001)
Slovenian team profile (February 2001)
Shewfelt profile (January 2001)
Zamolodchikova cover story (December 2000)
Chusovitina profile (May 2000)
Jovtchev profile (August/September 1999)
Chusovitina profile (January 1996)

To subscribe to IG magazine or order back issues, click here.

Standouts Head To Slovenia // October 21, 2003
2000 Ukrainian Olympian Viktoria Karpenko, who now competes for Bulgaria, is expected to headline the field at the seventh annual Siska International, Nov. 8-9 in Ljubljana.

Karpenko, the 1999 world all-around silver medalist, is among more than 40 gymnasts on the roster for the competition. Previous winners of the Siska International have included 2000 European Junior all-around champion Sabina Cojocar of Romania (2002), and 1996 Russian Olympian YYevgenya Kuznetsova (1999 and 2000). Like Karpenko, Kuznetsova now competes for Bulgaria.

Also on the roster for this year's event are Romania's Steliana Nistor and Oana Zbenghea; Russia's Yulia Khorkina, Alexandra Shevchenko, Gulnara Ziganshina and Olga Azarkevich; Ukraine's Inna Teslenko and Darya Zgoba; and gymnasts from Canada, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Hungary, Belgium and the host country.

Nistor placed first all-around at the Cefta Cup, held in the Czech Republic earlier this month.

Zgoba was a member of Ukraine's gold medal-winning team at the 2003 European Youth Olympic Days meet in Paris, where she also placed second all-around.

Azarkevich and Khorkina (the younger sister of three-time world all-around champion Svetlana Khorkina) were members of the bronze medal-winning Russian team at the 2003 World University Games held in August in Korea, where Azarkevich also placed fourth all-around. Shevchenko, a member of Russia's sixth-place team at the 2003 Worlds, is a late substitute for teammate Polina Miller. The Russians withdrew Miller after she injured her elbow this week training an Ono on uneven bars.

Miller and Ziganshina (the younger sister of 2001 world all-around silver medalist Natalia Ziganshina) were members of the gold medal-winning Russian team at the 2002 European Junior Championships in Patras. Ziganshina placed sixth all-around at last year's Siska International.

Aimie Balderian and Leslie Mak are scheduled to compete for Canada, the only country outside Europe entered in the meet. At the 2003 Canadian Junior Championships, Balderian and Mak placed second and sixth all-around, respectively.

Some of the other gymnasts expected to take part are Shalina Groenveld and Renee De Wit (The Netherlands); Michaela Radkova and Jana Mrkvicova (Czech Republic); Ralitsa Rangelova (Bulgaria); Joanna Skibko of Poland; Lara Marx (Luxembourg); and Francesca Benolli, Federica Macri and Sara Bradaschia (Italy).

Radkova, Rangelova and Skibko competed at the 2003 Worlds. Marx is the reigning all-around champion of her country.

Poljanka Pavletic, a coach and meet organizer from the host Siska club, told IG this year's Siska International will follow the 2002 format that allows gymnasts to compete in as few or as many events as they wish.

"After the positive reaction we got last year, we decided to again give again the opportunity to the gymnasts to compete on single events," she said. "This is especially good because it has been only a short time after the August Worlds, and the gymnasts are just out of a break. This gives them the possibility to compete on just some events, if they are not yet in top form on all four."

Eight Slovenian gymnasts, including 2003 Worlds participant Julija Kamnar, are on the roster. The others are Karmen Sibanc, Adela Sajn, Ajda Pavlovie, Cilka Sadar, Tjasa Asanin Gole, Alenka Dolniear and Sasa Golob.

Recent Slovenian team standouts Maja Hribar and Vesna Stavrev, who have retired, will receive recognition during ceremonies at the meet, said Pavletic.

The retirement of these two gymnasts, and particularly 17-year-old Hribar, has hindered the Slovenian national program, said Pavletic. Previously intent on qualifying for the 2004 Olympic Games, Slovenia eventually sent only one female gymnast (Kamnar) to the 2003 Worlds that served as the qualifying competition for the Games.

"Since Maja was the best Slovenian gymnast ever, it's obvious that we are suffering a sort of emptiness on the higher levels," Pavletic told IG. "We weren't exactly thrilled with her retirement, especially just before the Olympic qualification, which was her life-long goal. But that was her decision and we have to respect it."

Hribar, who placed 15th all-around at the 2002 European Championships, retired in June following a series of injuries and a growth spurt, said Pavletic. Hribar, who won the Slovenian national all-around title from 1998-2002, is a third-year student at a secondary sports school. She is now helping to coach young gymnasts at Siska, and is attempting to begin a modeling career, said Pavletic.

"At the end of last year Maja began to struggle with some smaller injuries that prevented her from completing her programs as she should," said Pavletic. "As a consequence she was forced to water down her routines for the World Cup competitions and skip the (2002) Debrecen Worlds. Also, in the space of one year she could no longer train her best apparatus, bars, due to her height. Because of the injuries, and the fact that she has grown enormously tall for a gymnast (5'5"), Maja retired."

Pavletic said she is confident that the Slovenian women's team can rebuild.

"Since the girls that I personally consider very promising are still very small, I wouldn't like to give any names," said Pavletic. "But I can say that, in a few years, we should be back on top - hopefully one step ahead of where we were now."

Pavletic said the Siska International has earned a prominent position among the several annual competitions held in Europe in late fall. Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, hosted the 1970 Worlds and will host the 2004 Men's European Championships.

"The secret is the combination of high-level gymnastics with a friendly atmosphere," said Pavletic. "The coaches appreciate this format, and according to them they like to bring their best gymnasts as a reward for a good season."

IG Online Related Items
Slovenians Impressed, Impressive at Siska (November 25, 2001)
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Kuznetsova Claims Siska Title – 2000 report (November 7, 2000)
Spotlight Gymnast: Sabina Cojocar
Interview: Viktoria Karpenko
Interview: YYevgenya Kuznetsova
Event Coverage: 2003 Worlds

IG Magazine Related Items
"Declaration of Independence" - Slovenian team profile (February 2001)
Karpenko interview (August/September 2000)
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Cojocar on cover (June/July 2000)
"Valuable Import" - Kuznetsova profile (February 2002)

To subscribe to IG magazine or order back issues, click here.

Melissanidis on New Mission // October 15, 2003
1996 Olympic gold medalist Ioannis Melissanidis has taken up the Greek cause of returning the ancient Parthenon Marbles to Greece. Melissanidis recently spoke to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the subject during a visit to New York City.

"It's not about the Greeks," Melissanidis told IG. "It's about art—and art should be returned to its creative source."

Also known as the Elgin Marbles, the ancient Parthenon Marbles were sculptures which decorated the exterior of the famous Parthenon in Athens. In 1801, British ambassador Thomas Bruce, Earl of Elgin, took approximately half the sculptures to England. The Greeks and the British have long disputed over the rightful location of the statues, which are on permanent display at the British Museum.

Melissanidis has joined the campaign, which has gained new prominence in light of the 2004 Olympic Games being held in Athens. He is supporting the efforts of the Melina Mercouri Foundation, named after the late Greek actress ("Never on Sunday"). Mercouri, who became a member of the Greek parliament, fought for the return of the statues until her death in 1994.

Melissanidis said that other prominent supporters of the Mercouri Foundation's campaign include Greek musician Yanni and Greek-American actress Olympia Dukakis.

"We're trying to change the message of the campaign from being 'give us our stuff back' to being about returning the art to where it came from," explained Melissanidis. "They are not freestanding sculptures, but were built as part of the Parthenon."

Melissanidis recently returned to Greece from the United States, where he had been since this summer. In August, Melissanidis was a member of Greek team which placed 25th at the 2003 World Championships in Anaheim, Calif. Melissanidis, the 1996 Olympic gold medalist on floor exercise, notably struggled on the event in Anaheim.

"The floor mat [in Anaheim] was terrible, making the competition unfair and unsafe," said Melissanidis. "I was planning a whip, double layout, punch front 1 3/4, but I didn't want to risk my life."

The 25-year-old is scheduled to graduate in May with a degree in medical science from the Aristotle University in his hometown of Thessaloniki. He told IG that his parents and his two siblings are all medical doctors, and that it their wish that he continue to medical school. However, Melissanidis said that he is debating going another route.

"I want to dance and go to the dramatic academy," he said. "According to my education and upbringing, I should follow through and become a doctor. [Drama] is harder, but easy things are not for me."

Following the 2003 Worlds, Melissanidis spent several weeks in New York City, where he attended the Olympic Truce celebration at the United Nations on September 27. He noted that he also auditioned at the famous Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.

"I passed all three auditions," he said.

Melissanidis said that despite a bad back, he plans on training several events for the 2004 European Championships. The only male Greek gymnast to qualify for the 2004 Olympic Games in Anaheim was Vlasios Maras, but Greece could receive an additional wild card berth as hosts of the Games.

IG Online Related Items
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"Carrying The Torch" - Melissanidis profile (June/July 1996)

To subscribe to IG magazine or order back issues, click here.

European Union of Gymnastics Elects New Officers
// October 12, 2003
Greece's Dimitrios Dimitropoulos was elected as head of the European Union of Gymnastics during the organization's Congress in Vienna this weekend.

Dimitropoulos, who in 1995 began serving as president of the Greek Gymnastics Federation, will hold the UEG position until 2005.

Several proposals were debated and voted on at the Congress by the 42 delegates in attendance. The European Team Championships, a biannual competition featuring artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, was suspended indefinitely. However, the delegates declined to support a proposal—recommended by the Executive Committee—to introduce new competition formats in artistic gymnastics. The same proposal was nonetheless successfully passed in rhythmic gymnastics.

France's George Guelzec was elected vice-president, and Germany's Sylvio Kroll was elected to the executive committee.

Kroll tied for first place on parallel bars and placed third all-around at the 1985 World Championships in Montreal. He tied for first place on vault and placed fourth all-around at the 1987 Worlds in Rotterdam. He won the silver medal on vault at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul and the 1989 Worlds in Stuttgart.

Kroll's 10-year-old son, Lukas, is also a gymnast. The younger Kroll competed at the international GWG Cup in Cottbus last month. "I think Lukas must find his way himself," Sylvio told IG following the competition. "It is not so easy, but I can support him in the background."

Dimitropoulos and Kroll are featured in the February 2003 issue of International Gymnast magazine; Dimitropoulos is interviewed, and Kroll's career is recalled in the profile, "Catching Up With Sylvio Kroll." Kroll is also featured as the cover story of the April 1992 issue.

To subscribe to IG magazine or order back issues, click here.

Australian Women Preparing For European Conquest
// October 9, 2003
Following their first-ever team medal at the World Championships held in August, the Australian women are preparing for meets in Scotland, France and Germany, national coach Peggy Liddick told IG this week.

In Anaheim, the Australian women placed third in the team finals, winning their first medal in Worlds history. The team included 2000 Olympian Allana Slater, Jacqui Dunn, Belinda Archer, Stephanie Moorhouse, Monette Russo and Danielle Kelly. Russo and Slater finished 12th and 13th all-around, respectively. Russo also placed eighth on balance beam.

Liddick said Slater and Moorhouse are scheduled to compete at the Glasgow Grand Prix, to be held October 24-26. She said the Australian senior team will compete at the Trophée Massilia competition in Marseille, France, November 21-23. Archer, Dunn and Slater are slated for the DTB Cup in Stuttgart, November 28-30.

Liddick said two-time Olympian Lisa Skinner, who broke a bone at the base of her right tibia during training at the Worlds in Anaheim, is "doing great" following surgery.

"Lisa had to wear a 'boot' for eight weeks to support the fracture and let it heal," said Liddick. "While she was off, she had some bone spurs that were impinging on her ankle range of movement removed, so those were removed and she is doing great. I just spoke to her. This is week seven, so she can start full weight bearing next week."

The 22-year-old Skinner has stayed busy since surgery, said Liddick. "She has been in the gym doing bars and physical conditioning, so I think she is still motivated," said Liddick. "Lisa did not miss a day of training. She walked out of the surgery the same day, so she is a tough kid."

Australia will host the Canberra Cup for juniors, December 8-9. "There will be 12 countries this year, so it should be a great junior event," said Liddick.

Read about the Australian team's performance at the 2003 World Championships in the October 2003 issue of International Gymnast Magazine.

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To subscribe to IG magazine or order back issues, click here.

Gymnast Gets "Switched" // October 7, 2003
This summer, 15-year-old gymnast Josh Rusler of Oklahoma spent four days living the life of a Massachusetts teenager named Jesse. Jesse in turn came to live Rusler's life—in and out of the gym.

The adventures of Josh and Jesse were all captured on camera for the TV show, "Switched!" which will air Thursday on the ABC Family Channel. The premise of the hit show has two teenagers from different states trading spaces for several days, essentially living each other's lives.

Rusler, 15, is a junior elite gymnast who trains at the Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy in Norman, Okla., under coaches Ivan Ivankov and Shannon Carrion. He said he did not know whose life he would be living until shortly before departing.

"We each get a phone and we get text messages from each other," explained Rusler. "I first got a text message saying who the person I was switching with was and where he lived. Mine said Massachusetts, and Martha's Vineyard. I kind of knew where that was, but Jesse had no idea where Oklahoma was. He thought we were just Indians and that it was all farmland. He probably thought we rode horses and went cow-tipping."

For four days, Rusler lived at Jesse's house, worked Jesse's part-time job at a fish market, hung out with Jesse's friends, and learned Jesse's sport.

"Jesse sails for his high school yachting team, so I learned how to sail and how to maneuver a sail boat," said Rusler, a Junior Olympic national team member last year. "He also does track and field, which luckily I didn't have to do, because I hate running!"

Jesse, meanwhile, lived with Rusler's parents, Brian and Rhonda, and his brothers, Chris and Bryce. While Rusler was attempting to maneuver a sailboat, the lanky Jesse was attempting to maneuver his body around the gymnastics apparatus.

"When he first heard he had to do gymnastics he didn't think he would be able to do it," reported Rusler, who finally met Jesse at the airport on his way home. "But he said he had a lot of fun, and he loved the coaches and the people and my friends. He said gymnastics was the best part of the trip."

The Josh/Jesse episode of "Switched!" airs Thursday, October 9, at 5:00 PM EST on the ABC Family Channel. Check local listings for exact time and station.

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