What's The Difference: Deltchev, Gienger, Comaneci, Markelov, Shushunova

We’ve already covered the differences between the Shaposhnikova skills and the Tkatchev family, two major categories of uneven bars release moves. But there’s a whole other rag-tag group of release skills, all done on the high bar, that aren’t quite a family, but all look somewhat similar—and, in these modern gymnastics days, are all somewhat rare. Here’s how to tell the difference between a Deltchev, Gienger, Comaneci, Markelov and Shushunova—because when you actually see one, you’ll want to know what you’re looking at. 

Deltchev

Difficulty: D

via GIPHY

The Deltchev, named for the male gymnast Stoyal Deltchev of Bulgaria, looks like a weird cross between a Gienger (below) and a straddled Jaeger. It starts with the gymnast in a swing facing outward from the bar, and as she comes up on the other side, she does a half turn into a front flip with her legs straddled and catches the bar on the other side. It has the same outwards → inwards motion of a Gienger, but a different type of flip.

Gienger

Difficulty: D (piked) or E (layout)

via GIPHY

Unlike a Deltchev, which is a half turn into a front flip, a Gienger is a backflip into a half turn; both start in a swing facing outwards and end facing inwards, but the order of the twist/flip is reversed. The skill is named for the male German gymnast Eberhard Gienger, who first performed the skill. It can be done in a piked position or a layout position, with the pike at a D and the layout with an E (though many of the layout versions end up looking pretty piked anyways). These days, you’ll see some gymnasts connect one of the Shaposhnikova skills with a half twist into a Gienger to get some extra connection points. 

Comaneci

Difficulty Value: E

via GIPHY

The Comaneci is named for famous Russian gymnast Nadia Comaneci, who competed the first Comaneci in the 1976 Olympic Games—the same Olympics where she got her perfect 10s. To do a Comaneci, the gymnast looks like she’s doing a cast to a handstand, but instead does a front flip with her legs in a straddle position, catching the bar in a hang on the same side as where she started. Although the Comenci has a high difficulty value, it’s particularly tough to connect anything into or out of it—which means that many of today’s gymnasts prefer to train other E skills that can get them those extra bonus connection points.

Markelov

Difficulty Value: D

via GIPHY

The Markelov is another skill named for a male gymnast—this time, Vladimir Markelov of the Soviet Union. (The skill is also sometimes referred to as Khorkina, named for female gymnast Svetlana Khorkina of Russia.) It begins with a front giant facing outwards, and as the gymnast reaches the top of the bar, she flies over it and does half twist with her legs in a straddle, and then catches the bar on the other side. 

Shushunova

Difficulty Value: E

via GIPHY

Soviet gymnast Elena Shushunova first competed the original Shushunova at the 1986 World Cup. The skill is essentially a Markelov with an extra half twist; instead of starting in a front-giant swing facing outwards, the gymnast does a long swing facing inwards, and as she nears the top of her arc, she does a half twist, travels over the high bar in a straddled position, does another half twist, and then catches the bar on the other side. 


Brette Warshaw is a freelance writer and consultant based in New York City. You can follow her at @bstarwarshaw.

Simone Biles Lands On The Podium In Three Events At US Classic

U.S. Classic weekend is always an eventful one, and this year’s competition was no exception. From podium training to the Hopes competition on Friday and juniors and seniors on Saturday, there was excitement all around.

Jordyn Wieber's TEDxUCLA Talk Tackles The Topic Of Resilience

July must be the month for gymnasts sharing important messages! Just a few days after Katelyn Ohashi’s gave her inspirational speech at the ESPYS, Jordyn Wieber tweeted a talk she gave at TEDxUCLA earlier this year. 

New Faces & Returning Stars Feature At US Classic Juniors

The 2019 GK U.S. Classic roster is set and the junior elite competition will take place on July 20 in Louisville, Kentucky. This meet will be the final chance for gymnasts’ to qualify to the U.S. National Championships in August. With that being said, some juniors who have already qualified for Championships might only do a few events as they prepare for the rest of the season. 

Gymnasts & Groups To Watch At The Rhythmic Junior World Championships

When it comes to rhythmic gymnastics, many of the top athletes and teams are from Europe, and several junior European Championship medalists and finalists will be ones to watch at the first FIG Junior Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships, especially in this pre-Olympic year.

Top Seniors Compete For Hardware, Pan Ams Spots At 2019 US Classic

The 2019 U.S. Classic will take place on July 20 in Louisville, Kentucky, and there are many exciting senior gymnasts who will be competing at this event. Sponsored by GK and held at the KFC Yum! Center, the U.S. Classic is for gymnasts competing at the elite level. The GK Hopes Championships will take place the day before, and features young gymnasts who aspire to reach elite level one day.

6 Gymnasts To Watch At Elite Canada MAG

Canada's top elite men's artistic gymnasts will compete on home soil one last time in 2019 for Elite Canada. Gymnastics Canada is hosting the meet in Langsley, British Columbia, from July 17-20. Canadian national and junior world champions are a few of the gymnasts to watch at the meet, which will stream live here on FloGymnastics.

11 Times Famous Gymnasts Appeared In Pop Culture

After putting in the hard work to become gymnastics stars, many famous gymnasts have enjoyed their fame and landed roles in movies and TV shows and made other fun guest appearances in various aspects of pop culture. 

Katelyn Ohashi Delivers Huge Message At ESPYs

Katelyn Ohashi has become synonymous with the phrase "perfect 10" ever since she put on the performance of a lifetime in January.

Everything You Need To Know About Trampoline & Tumbling

So you’ve heard of trampoline and tumbling (T&T), but aren’t quite sure what it is and don’t know where to begin? Look no further, because this article will give you a rundown of what the sport is, why you should watch, and how to understand the competitions. 

Roster: 2019 GK U.S. Classic

Press release via USA Gymnastics