Thanks to those of you who have been reminding me this week that this post was almost overdue. I needed your encouragement to get on the ball here. So with no further ado…

The following is part one of a three-part post on the 2007 World Championships. The posts will be on the good, the bad and the outrageous from Stuttgart. As usual, my commentary will focus on the women’s competition. Please feel free to comment on what you considered good, bad or outrageous from the competition. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

THE GOOD

  • Li Shanshan‘s combo of backhandspring step-out, backhandspring, layout, back dive swing down on Beam. That was awesome! I think it’s the only time in recent memory that I’ve said “wow!” out loud when watching gymnastics. She was thrilling.  See below for a youtube video of her performance in Event Finals.
  • Jade Barbosa… where on earth did she come from? I knew she was an up and coming athlete from Brazil but certainly didn’t expect to see her on the podium this year. She is wonderful. Her difficulty on Vault is superb and she was cool and steady on the other 3 events. I was so disappointed to see her fall on Floor but what a feat for Brazil – 3rd in the All Around…well done.

  • Daria Joura, as usual, was charming on Floor. I was hoping she would do well in the All Around… consistency proved to be a problem for her again.
  • Nastia Liukin‘s win on Beam. You just wanted to see her come out on top somewhere. She has had a rough year and it was great to see her hit her routine when it counted. I hope she continues to recover well.
  • Li Shanshan‘s gorgeous full turn on Beam. It was agonizing to see her fall on this skill in the Event Finals, where she was so completely dominant elsewhere. But I still list this in the good section of my post because she risked doing something beautiful, even though a fall was more likely. I would rather see her Y-scale full turn with a fall any day over the hundreds of sub-par leg-up full turns that stayed on the Beam. Bravo to Shanshan.

  • Vanessa Ferrari in a long-sleeved leotard and her bangs pulled back in the Team Finals. I know, I know, small details but as you are all aware, I’m such a fan of the polished athlete and that includes their attire. It’s the World Championships, people. You shouldn’t look like you just rolled out of bed and decided to compete.
  • Yang Yilin on Bars. She looked like a pencil. Incredible lines.
  • Shawn Johnson‘s All Around victory. She was the only athlete who had a clean competition on all 4 events and she really rocked her routines. What a year for her!
  • Jiang Yuyan‘s Floor exercise. I know she doesn’t have the most difficulty but she was just delightful.
  • Cheng Fei‘s 2.5 yurchenko in the Event Finals. Her form is exquisite and her technique is sound.
  • Ksenia Semenova‘s combo on Bars of Tkatchev to immediate giant, full pirouette.
  • And although I am mainly commentating on the Women’s competition here, I would like to add the U.S. Men‘s performance to this list. For all the talk and negative hype about whether or not they would even qualify for the Olympics, they really stepped up and showed everyone that they are in the game to play. Well done.

Check back soon for part two of this three-part post on the 2007 World Championships: The good, the bad, and the outrageous from Stuttgart.

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