Spanish women’s floor routines…

I’ve made a big deal recently about the artistry and choreography of many past French gymnasts.  Now I want to point out a few past Spanish routines that you might have missed…or at least forgotten about.

Many of you may remember Elena Gomez’s coming out party in 2002, when she won the world title on floor with a well-rounded routine that included an unheard of quadruple turn.  She again turned heads the following year at the 2003 worlds, when she actually led the all-around after the preliminaries and this time made TWO event finals – floor and beam.  She ended up a strong 5th in the all-around as well as on beam, and added a world bronze on floor to her gold from 2002.  This rising star quickly became considered a favorite for medals in both the all-around and floor at the 2004 Olympic Games.  Unfortunately, her 9.5 on floor in preliminaries left her just 0.025 out of the event final, while her teammate Patricia Moreno qualified and went on to win the bronze.  And subpar scores on vault and beam left Elena in 8th place in the all-around final.  It was the last time we would ever see her in world or Olympic competition.

Although she failed to make the floor final in Athens, many may not have realized how awesome her routine was in the team final, where her team finished 5th:

Elena Gomez Floor 2004 Olympics Team Final

WOW…in my opinion one of the best “turners” of all time.  That quad turn was absolutely perfect, and her L-double turns were consistently among the best in the world…not to mention some very nice tumbling.  This routine would do extremely well under the current code…far better than the routines in the 2009 world final!

Patricia Moreno was a surprise bronze medalist on floor in Athens.  Her quick-twitch tumbling and incredible twisting ability – highlighted by an extremely rare 3 ½ twist – propelled her ahead of Cheng Fei and Daiane dos Santos and onto the podium.  However, you may not have realized that she continued competing all the way to the 2008…although I would say her peak was in 2005, as you’ll see below.  Check these out!

Patricia Moreno Floor 2005 American Cup

Patricia Moreno Floor 2005 Sao Paulo

Incredible!  I think this gymnast was probably a bit underrated – and under-accomplished.  That floor routine was without one of the very best in the world in 2005, and in fact would still be today.

Finally, I want you to take a look at a pass that –if you’re like me – you may not realize had ever been done!  It’s by fellow Spaniard Laura Campos:

Laura Campos Floor 2003

TWO WHIPS to a double layout!!!  I had no idea this pass had EVER been done.  I can think of a couple who have done whip immediate double layout, and a couple who have done one whip through to a double layout, but none who have done two whips through to a double layout.  Unfortunately the rest of her routine was never nearly strong enough to win a world medal, but this pass alone is worth watching!  She competed all the way through the 2008 Olympic Games.  Here’s another look at this pass at a different meet, just to show you she competed this numerous times:

Laura Campos Floor 2004

And finally, we can’t forget Esther Moya, who missed a floor medal in Sydney by just 0.012 (many thought she deserved the bronze):

Esther Moya Floor 2000 Olympics Finals

Hope you enjoyed these!