Gymnastics Weekly News: Oksana Chusovitina wins vault gold at Doha World Cup in competitive return

Plus, the U.S. names its women's team for the DTB Cup and a look back at Yang Yun on vault at Sydney 2000

By Scott Bregman
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Eight-time artistic gymnastics Olympian Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan returned to competition in golden style just six months after announcing her retirement at the Tokyo Olympic Games, held in the summer of 2021.

The 46-year-old won gold on the vault Friday (4 March) at the Doha World Cup. She performed a front handspring, front full first vault to score 13.600. She followed that up with a Tsukahara full for a 13.266 and a 13.433 final average. Maria Csenge Bacskay and Viktoria Listunova were the silver and bronze medallists, respectively.

“I want to thank you very much for your support,” she wrote on Instagram after advancing. “We are in the final. We fight on💪🇺🇿”

Chusovitina announced her intentions to return to competition in September, saying on Instagram, "I want to tell everyone that I have decided to prepare for the Asian Games 2022. I just can't finish my career without a medal for Uzbekistan."

Previously, Chusovitina, who won Olympic gold for the Unified Team at Barcelona 1992, had said - repeatedly - that the Tokyo 2020 Games would be her final competition.

"These were tears of joy because so many people were supporting me," Chusovitina said of the standing ovation she received from the few on hand in Tokyo. "I had been preparing for things to end here, but it's impossible to be fully ready for ending your career."

But since her return to training late last year and now competition, she has kept the door open for a ninth Games at Paris 2024.

U.S. names team for DTB event

After competition at the Winter Cup, USA Gymnastics announced its women’s team for the upcoming DTB Cup in Stuttgart, Germany.

2021 world team members Konnor McClain and eMjae Frazier lead the squad, alongside Skye Blakely, Nola Matthews and Ashlee Sullivan. In the junior division, Myli Lew, Ella Muprhy, Ella Kate Parker, Hezly Rivera and Tiana Sumanasekera will represent Team USA.

Three more U.S. women – Karis German, Katelyn Jong and Levi Jung-Ruivivar – are slated to competed in the Mixed Cup, with their male counterparts set to be named later.

The event, scheduled for 18-20 March, will feature teams from 15 nations including Tokyo Olympic team medallists Great Britain.

Germany’s Pauline Schafer-Betz and Sarah Voss, who competed in Tokyo, are also scheduled to participate in the event.

From the vault…

This week, we take a look back at the incredible vaulting from China’s Yang Yun at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Though Yang only claimed a medal on the uneven bars (a bronze), her technique on both the front handspring layout and layout half vaults is considered nearly unparalleled in the sport.

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