Highs And Lows Of The 2017 Gymnastics World Championships

The 2017 World Championships in Montreal was one of the most exciting international competitions we've witnessed in recent years. The week-long competition led gymnastics fans through a flurry of emotions as they witnessed devastating injuries, surprise wins, historical performances, and even broken floors. We've recapped some of the highs and lows of the competition below.

High: Ellie Black Makes History On Home Turf

Canada's Ellie Black put up a fantastic performance in her home country. She managed to qualify to the all-around final and two event finals (vault and beam). She was also slated in to the floor final following Ragan Smith's injury, meaning she competed in every final except bars.

Not only did Black qualify to several finals, but she walked away with an all-around silver medal, making history for Canada. Check out this interview with Black where she talks about her historic worlds:

Low: Kohei Uchimura And Ragan Smith Sustain Ankle Injuries On Vault, Pull Out Of Competition

Unfortunately, there were a lot of injuries at this worlds, and one of the early ones came during men's qualifications with reigning world champion Kohei Uchimura from Japan. Uchimura sustained the injury on vault, and pulled out of the competition before high bar. The injury is a partial rupture to the anterior talofibular ligament in his ankle which will require two to three weeks of recovery. Uchimura pulling out the competition ended his streak of winning every world all-around title since 2009. He is considered by many to be one of the best (if not the best) male gymnast of all time, so it was a shame that we did not get to see him compete this year.

On the women's side, Smith made it through qualifications and was slated to compete in the all-around and floor finals, but suffered an ankle injury herself, also on vault, during warmups. The injury occurred just minutes before the women's all-around competition was due to start, and Smith, who was a favorite to win the gold medal, had to pull out of the competition. Following X-rays, USA Gymnastics confirmed that Smith's injury was a right ankle ligament injury, which meant Smith would also not compete in floor finals.

High: Morgan Hurd Takes The All-Around Gold Medal At Her first Worlds

After her teammate got injured minutes before the competition was due to start, Morgan Hurd was the only remaining American in the all-around competition. The pressure was on for her, not just for her own personal goals, but to continue the streak of American women having won the all-around title every year since 2010. Hurd, who was not an obvious choice even for the USA's Worlds team, put up a tremendous performance and ended up capturing that top podium spot. Check out Hurd's final routine of the evening -- her gorgeous floor routine:

Video via USA Gymnastics

Low: The floor Breaks During Men's Qualifications

Another low point during men's qualifications was an issue with floor exercise. In the final subdivision, a rod came loose in the floor, causing a dead spot which naturally affected some of the gymnasts' performances. The Netherlands' Bart Deurloo actually pointed this out to an official after he fell on a tumbling pass as a result of the wonky floor. The FIG investigated and confirmed the broken floor, allowing all the gymnasts who had competed in that subdivision to go again.   

High: Epke Zonderland Makes Incredible Save During High Bar Final, Deurloo Reacts

One of the highs of the competition came during the men's high bar final. Always a thrilling event, Olympic gold medalist Epke Zonderland from the Netherlands put up one of the most exciting performances of the evening when he managed to save a release that would have caused many other gymnasts to fall. Zonderland performed a Kovacs and actually caught the high bar with one arm, missing his other hand. Incredibly, he managed to recover immediately and swung through a giant to continue his routine, and he even captured the silver medal for his performance. 

Check out the video below of Zonderland talking through what happened:

And, of course, his teammate Deurloo's reaction is priceless:

Low: Larisa Iordache And Vanessa Ferrari Suffer Achilles Injuries On Floor

Although there were a multitude of injuries at worlds this year, one of the more notable ones was Romania's Larisa Iordache. Iordache has been stellar in competition over the past few months, and many thought she had a good shot at the all-around title this year. She sustained the injury during warmups on floor before qualifications, when she tore her Achilles tendon. She has already had surgery back at home and is in good spirits.

Another injury occurred on floor later on in the competition, during the floor final. Italy's Vanessa Ferrari, who made an incredibly quick comeback this year to be named to the worlds team, was last up to compete on floor on the last day of competition. She went on to compete her second tumbling pass, a whip to full twisting double back, which she under-rotated. Her injury was unfortunately also an Achilles tear. Following surgery, Ferrari intends to make her return to gymnastics, which she posted about on Instagram recently.

High: History Is Made

One of the most interesting things about this world championships is that so many records were broken, with multiple countries winning medals for the first time in years.

  • Black became the first Canadian woman to win an all-around medal at worlds by capturing the silver medal. 
  • Belgium's Nina Derwael became the first Belgian woman to not only qualify to an event final at worlds, but also to medal, when she won the bronze in the bars final. 
  • Germany's Pauline Schaefer captured the country's first gold medal on balance beam in history. 
  • Japan's Mai Murakami became the country's first female gymnast to win the gold medal on floor, and only the second in history to win a worlds medal on any event.

Vanessa Ferrari Plans Return To Gymnastics After Achilles Repair
Larisa Iordache Undergoes Achilles Repair Surgery, Positive About Recovery
Five Event Finals Close Out 2017 Gymnastics World Championships With A Bang
Epke Zonderland Makes Epic One-Arm Save At Gymnastics World Championships
RECAP: Five Winners Crowned On Event Finals Day 1, 2017 World Championships
RECAP: Morgan Hurd Captures 2017 World All-Around Title In Close Battle
Ragan Smith Injured, Out Of AA Final At 2017 Gymnastics World Championships
RECAP: Heartbreaks & Triumphs Of Women's Quals At 2017 World Championships
Larisa Iordache Injured, Out Of 2017 Gymnastics World Championships
Floor Breaks In Men's Qualifications, Nine Gymnasts Allowed In Floor Final
RECAP: A Dramatic Men's Qualification Round At 2017 World Championships

What's The Difference: The Tkatchev Family

You know those skills where the gymnast swings around the high bar, lets go of it, flies impossibly high in the air with her legs perfectly positioned and her toes perfectly pointed and then catches it on the other side? Those are the Tkatchev skills, a family of skills done on the uneven bars with a seemingly exponential number of names and nuances. Here’s the gym-nerd’s guide to knowing your Tkatchev from your Ray, Galante, Ricna and all of the rest of them, because knowing those tiny, tricky differences makes watching gymnastics even more of a delight. 

SEC Gymnastics Preview: Individuals To Watch In 2019

The SEC is known for having the top gymnastics teams in the NCAA, and with that comes some of the top individual gymnasts. Now that the NCAA Championships will only include eight teams instead of 12, some teams that are used to contending and advancing to NCAAs will end up sending only individual gymnasts to the national postseason. Therefore individual competition may be more competitive than ever before, especially in the ultra-competitive SEC.

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SEC Gymnastics Preview: Traditional Powers LSU, Alabama, & Florida Reload

As always, the Southeastern Conference is loaded with talent — traditional powerhouses like Florida and LSU, but many more top teams in the nation. This year you'll be able to catch a few of these teams, and much more, right here on FloGymnastics. But before we can start watching the meets, let's dive into each team's standing, who they added and lost, and what may be to come in the 2018-2019 season.

Big Ten Power Michigan Starts Their Gymnastics Season Strong At Exhibition

The University of Michigan Women’s Gymnastics team is usually the team to beat in the Big Ten, and if their exhibition meet on Saturday, December 2, is any indication of how their year will go, this season will be no exception. The team squared off with three other Michigan teams at 2 PM in the Crisler Center, marking the fifth year in a row Michigan has competed against Eastern Michigan for an exhibition meet in this location. The Wolverines competed against Central Michigan as recently as last spring but has not faced off against Western Michigan since 2011.

USA Gymnastics Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

USA Gymnastics has filed a voluntary petition for protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. USAG posted the news in a press release along with a post outlining frequently asked questions.

10 Gymnastics Skills From The Past That Aren't Performed Anymore

In gymnastics, it’s no secret that skills go in and out of style faster than you can say “Tsukahara.” Between upgrades that make simpler skills obsolete, changing trends, and banned skills, gymnastics fans know the skills they love seeing performed today will likely become irrelevant down the road.

5 Of The Most Common Gymnastics Injuries & How Best To Prevent Them

We’ve all heard the horror stories: the pop! from a too-short vault, the head-first crash from a beam dismount, the terrifying falls from a release skill on bars. But the majority of gymnastics injuries — 65–70 percent of them, in fact — aren’t dramatic; they happen from years and years of over-use. 

NCAA Gymnasts To Watch At Elevate The Stage Birmingham

Just over one month is left until the NCAA gymnastics season begins, and teams all over the country will compete weekend after weekend in dual meets, quad meets, and even meets on podium — like Elevate the Stage. The 2019 NCAA season includes two Elevate the Stage events with the final one happening in Birmingham, Alabama.