Categorized | Elite, Men's Gymnastics, NCAA, Olympics

Who Swings a Big Horse?

Posted on 11 February 2009 by admin

We would need a slapping if we didn’t link to a great post by retired Michigan gymnast, Ward Black. It’s all about the relative demise of U.S. excellence on pommel horse.  Ward nailed it.  He was very harsh on our guys, but he said what needed saying.  He was not without some praise, though, especially that reserved for  Sasha Artemev, whom he designates as the enabler for the U.S. bronze medal at Beijing.  His clutch pommel horse routine made up a lot of ground to help secure the bronze.

Due to the unfortunate injuries to the Hamm twins, Artemev was eventually picked for the U.S. team because of his pommel prowess, but then he reminded folks that he’s a pretty good all-arounder.  A lot of gym fans were stunned after learning that Sasha wasn’t picked for the original squad.

Ward correctly pointed out Cal and Stanford for their strong performances on pommel at Winter Cup.  At the Stanford Open, Cal nailed some amazing pommel routines that provided the margin of victory over Stanford.  Cal had five gymnasts with pommel scores of 14.0 and above. Glen Ishino and Kyson Bunthuwong scored 15.4 and 15.0 respectively.  No wonder Cal won the meet.  We agree with Ward; swinging a big horse pays huge dividends.

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11 Comments For This Post

  1. MGymnast Says:

    I agree with you. I looked at the results and I was wondering why Glen andy kyson scored as you showed about 15.4 and 15.0 respectively but not even close to that at winter cup both days. Was it because they fell? or is USAG judging a complete different ball game from NCAA? Also I saw that Minnesota’s Kit and Illinois’ Ribeiro and Ohio State’s Spencer seemed to have strong pommel horse. Kit and Ribeiro started from 6.1 and 6.3 respectively. Maybe these kids will be the next group in a few years.

  2. admin Says:

    I don’t know if they fell at Winter Cup, but their Stanford pommel routines were amazing. I have a strong feeling that the U.S. will be much stronger on pommel in 2012. We have a great pipeline of young gymnasts moving up through the ranks.

  3. MGymnast Says:

    I agree. Another problem that I see also is that the guys that ARE good on horse seem to be horse specialist. Now that on 5 will be going to worlds and the olympics after the 09 worlds it is even more critical to be doing more events. For a pommel specialist to be valuable he would need to be scoring somewhere from a 15.4-15.9 or even higher to even be considered.

  4. agymnastfan Says:

    There are also some younger gymnasts like Craig Hernandez who took 6th place on pommel against much older and experienced gymnasts at the Houston Invitation meet last year. His start value this year is 16.4 and he’s hitting it consistantly. He’s only a sophomore so keep an eye out for the guys coming up in a few years.

  5. MGymnast Says:

    Are you serious? That is awsome! Where can I see that? is it on youtube?

  6. agymnastfan Says:

    It really is awesome! I don’t think its on youtube, but I’ve seen it on his facebook videos. Maybe we can persuade him to put it on youtube for all to enjoy.

  7. agymnastfan Says:

    Craig must have read this because one of his horse videos is now on youtube. Check it out.

  8. MGymnast Says:

    WOWW I dont know what that first scissor is but he has a drigs, 2 E-flops, wu, sivado, sone, D dismount

    if that scissor is a C this set starts from a 16.3! is a flair a B? because if it is then it’s a 16.4! He just needs to spend the next 8 years cleaning that routine up and add a spindle and he will be untouchable!

  9. agymnastfan Says:

    Saw him at Houston this weekend competing in the Elite division. Came in second with a fall on pommel, but looked sharp. Beat everyone except Chen Chen. Everyone else was 4-6 years older than him. Also tied for 3rd on the floor and took 9th all-around. Just lacking strength which should come with maturity.

  10. admin Says:

    We saw that in the results. Very impressed with his pommel.

  11. JvS Says:

    Yes, Winter Cup judging is significantly harder than NCAA.

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