Friday 6 July 2012

Friday Favourites

Olympic Hopeful Sui Lu

Over the next few weeks leading up to the Olympics I want to focus on some of the gymnasts that I am really looking forward to seeing at the games. I've spent a lot of time recently looking at the GB and USA gymnasts, so today I want to look at one of my favourite Chinese gymnasts.

I find Sui Lu absolutely captivating to watch. She turned senior in 2008 and made her senior international debut at the 2009 World Championships where she impressed by taking Bronze on floor. She has not always found things easy though, often failing to qualify to event finals because of poor preliminary performances. But when Sui Lu is on form, she absolutely shines.

Sui is best known for her stunning performances on beam and floor where she displays wonderful artistry alongside great acrobatic skills. In the 2011 World Championships Sui had a fantastic competition throughout. Her high scores on beam and floor in the team finals helped China to claim the Bronze medal. She also performed brilliantly on an individual level, qualifying in 2nd place to the beam and floor finals. She equalled her qualification place on floor, taking the Silver medal, and managed to go one further on beam where she became the 2011 Beam World Champion. Sui's performances on beam and floor were some of the highlights of the 2011 World Championships for me. Her grace and elegance were captivating on both these apparatus and I am delighted that she medalled.

In her beam routine, Sui shows some amazing skills including a front pike somersault and a front tuck with half turn as well as some beautifully high and well performed leaps. I really hope that she can repeat the performance in London as I would love to see her take an Olympic beam medal.

In her floor routine, as well as wonderful tumbling Sui shows off her beautifully elegant artistry. Her twisting somersaults are high and effortless and her spins are truly amazing. I have rarely seen a quadruple spin performed as well as the one that Sui demonstrated in the floor final at the 2011 World Championships. I have to admit to desperately hoping that she would take another Gold medal, but was really pleased that she achieved the Silver.

Because of her inconsistent performances, Sui was overlooked for the 2008 Olympic team and she considered retiring. I for one am delighted that she decided to keep going and I am really looking forward to see her in the London 2012 Olympics. I can only hope that she does herself proud and I would love to see her take home Olympic medals on both beam and floor.

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