Flavius Koczi Floor 2011 European Championships Finals

The men’s floor champion with a 15.5…well deserved!  His twisting skills are almost like illusions at times – his 2 ½ looks like a 1 ½ and his 3 ½ tends to look like a 2 ½.  Incredibly difficult and original passes.  I also think he has improved his presentation in between his tumbling passes quite a bit, not to mention his form.

Here are some other highlight men’s floor routines from preliminaries and all-around finals:

Philip Boy Floor 2011 European Championships All-Around Finals

He of course was the all-around champion with an 88.875, scoring a strong 15.15 for this routine.  I really feel that floor is one of his best events.  His tumbling appears effortless and has a very elegant look due to his tall frame.  I also like how he doesn’t waste time in between his passes but just goes from one to the next.

Alexander Shatilov Floor 2011 European Championships Prelims

First in qualifications with a 15.45…absolutely love this routine!  I love how he floats his tumbling passes and also the calmness with which he approaches both the tumbling and the transitional skills.  It appears effortless, yet he’s doing some of the most difficult skills in the world.

Anton Golotsutskov Floor 2011 European Championships Prelims

A 1 ½ to barani to tucked Thomas…WOW!  The laid out double double sure is nice too…amazing how much more commonly we see this skill now.  Scored a 15.325 for 2nd in prelims.

Eleftherios Kosmidis Floor 2011 European Championships Prelims

And another laid out double-double from the 2010 world floor champion.  The 0.3 out of bounds actually cost him a spot in the finals, as he finished 9th with a 15.075.  The top 8 gymnasts were separated by just 0.35!  All the execution scores were between 8.625 and 9.1.

There is quite a bit of criticism out there regarding men’s floor, with some fans stating there is TOO MUCH tumbling nowadays and the routines are a bit overloaded, with little concern for artistry and presentation.  Personally, I think men’s floor is one of the most revolutionized events in all of gymnastics, as the tumbling passes done today are absolutely mind-boggling compared to what was done just ten and twenty years ago.  I do agree that presentation has often been lacking, but if the routines above are an indication, perhaps we are seeing some improvement in this area.

I MUCH prefer men’s tumbling nowadays compared to women’s.  Note that they use the exact same floor in competition, but never before in gymnastics history has there been such a disparity between the level of difficulty in the tumbling between men and women.  While men are doing high flying laid out double-doubles, multiple flipping and twisting skills we’ve never seen before, dangerous roll-out skills and combinations, intricate 3 and 4 skill connections, SIX tumbling passes, and STILL capping off their routines with full-ins, the women are doing double tucks, double pikes, and 2 ½ twists…and often not very well.  Can someone please explain that one to me?