Women’s videos worth watching from the Moscow World Cup!

So much great international gymnastics has gone on in the last month, many of us can hardly keep track of it all.  It finally feels like for the first time since Beijing, the world of gymnastics is finally taking shape again on both the men’s and women’s sides.  Here are some women’s videos that caught my attention from the Moscow World Cup that just completed in Russia (some men’s videos next!):

Oksana Chusovitina Vault 1 2010 Moscow World Cup Qualifications

Oksana Chusovitina Vault 2 2010 Moscow World Cup Event Finals

Oksana Chusovitina Beam 2010 Moscow World Cup Event Finals

I can’t believe it!  I know I’ve been saying that for about 12 years or so regarding this woman, but this time it’s simply miraculous.  She looks almost EXACTLY the same as she did before her last Achilles tear that we all thought would end her career in 2008.  Not only is she back to vaulting to world class form, but she’s still training other events as well…obviously beam.  No, she still isn’t graceful, but that’s actually quite an impressive beam routine – hit her combinations well and very decent difficulty.  I’m sure she’s working to add back in her rudi on vault, but that Tsuk 1 ½ was just as well as she ever did it.  I wonder if she’s going to be training floor and bars again too?

Ekaterina Kurbatova Floor 2010 Moscow World Cup Event Finals

Ekaterina Kurbatova Vault 1 2010 Moscow World Cup Event Finals

Ekaterina Kurbatova Vault 2 2010 Moscow World Cup Event Finals

I hate to say it, but I STILL don’t see this gymnast sticking around on the Russian team.  Even though she won floor at this meet with a 14.075 and has had some great international vault finishes, I feel like she is a “fill-in” gymnast who is getting a lot of competition time because several of Russia’s best athletes are either injured, returning from injury, or simply too young.  I think her vaulting ability is very overrated, considering her DTY looks a bit wild and crazy and she always lands very awkwardly and out of control.  Her laid-out Podkopayeva is much better, but still a little piked.  Her floor is pretty clean, but I’m afraid her scores here simply aren’t good enough to land her a spot on the Russian team.  She needs another tumbling pass for sure…that 30-second dance sequence at the end is both boring and awkward.  Her bar routine is pretty cool, but she still has several form breaks, and she BOMBED the first day at the European Championships.  Sorry, but I don’t think we’re going to see her much longer.

Tatiana Nabieva Vault 1 2010 Moscow World Cup Event Finals

Tatiana Nabieva Vault 2 2010 Moscow World Cup Event Finals

Tatiana Nabieva Bars 2010 Moscow World Cup Event Finals

I DO see this gymnast sticking around on the Russian team, in fact on the next THREE Russian teams if she stays healthy.  Her vaults are very powerful, though she still has a ways to go on the form on her DTY.  But she has definitely stamped herself as one of the top 5 bar workers in the world right now as well as an all-around threat on the world stage.  I don’t particularly like the free hip full she does out of the Shaposhnikova because she consistently finishes it way past the handstand, and the only other criticism is the continued form break on the dismount.  Love watching her though.

Ksenia Afanasyeva Beam 2010 Moscow World Cup Event Finals

I’d call that one a bit of a fluke…she still looks solid as a rock on this event and is looking good for the Russian world team this year.  So interesting to see her tied with CHUSOVITINA of all people on beam (they tied for 3rd).

Cha Yong Hwa Bars 2010 Moscow World Cup Qualifications

I thought she looked much better in 2007, but so great to see her hit that awesome release sequence two days in a row here.  She finished 2nd here with a strong 14.475 in the finals, although this routine was from the qualifications and scored a 14.825…just seems a bit sluggish and has some form breaks on the Pak salto and on some of her casts.  I’d love to see her in the world event finals this year.

Kim Un Hyang Beam 2010 Moscow World Cup Qualifications

I bet you weren’t expecting that, were you!!??  I wasn’t either…the laid-out full was a little crazy with the form but WOW…definitely don’t see that one everyday.  She led the qualification on beam here with a 14.075, but unfortunately wobbled a lot in the finals and ended up second with a 13.575.  I love seeing some gymnasts from other countries shine in major competitions like this…the Koreans won a gold on vault (Hong Un Jong), a silver on bars (Cha Yong Hwa), a silver on beam (Kim Un Hyang), and placed two additional finalists (Hong Un Jong on bars and Kim Un Hyang on floor).  How about that!!!

Check back for some of the men’s videos too!