FLASHBACK FRIDAY – THE 2001 GYMNASTICS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
This week’s Flashback Friday in sports goes to the 2001 gymnastics World Championships held in Ghent, Belgium (waffles…yum) at the Flanders Sports Arena. With the change in the code of points after the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, this was the first international competition where we saw the 6-3-3 format – six athletes per team, three compete and all three scores count in team finals. This was also the last World Championships where there gymnasts per country were qualified into the all-around finals.
Team USA finished in the top three for both the Men’s and Women’s. The Men’s team comprised of Raj Bhavsar, Paul Hamm, Stephen McCain (who’s really hot in person but a total crier), Sean Townsend, Guard Young and Brett McClure finished in second behind first place Team Belarus and ahead of bronze medalists Team Ukraine.
While on the Women’s side, Team USA finished in third behind Team Romania and Team Russia who placed first and second, respectively. The girls on the team comprised of Mohini Bhardwaj, Katie Heenan, Ashley Miles, Tasha Schwikert, Rachel Tidd and Tabitha Yim.
In the Men’s individual all-around competition, Feng Jing from China took home the gold with Ivan Ivankov (Belarus) got the silver and Jordan Yovchev (Bulgarian) claimed the bronze. It was a close race with only about a tenth from first to second and from second to third. Paul Hamm was the highest all-around American gymnast finishing in 7th.
Svetlana Khorkina from Russia was the queen of the ball grabbing her second all-around gold medal at these World Championships. She got her first one at the 1997 Worlds in Lausaune, Switzerland. Claiming the silver was Natalia Ziganchia from Russia and the bronze went to Andreea Răducan from Romania. Both Khorkina and Răducan were favored to win the all-around. But Khorkina was on point while Răducan made a few mistakes pushed her down to third place.
Check out the videos from Event Finals. Although Svetlana Khorkina won Vault and the Uneven Bars and Andreea Răducan won Floor and Balance Beam, we wanted to feature the silver medalists on Floor and Vault. Quick shootout to American gymnasts Sean Townsend who won a gold medal on the Parallel Bars and Katie Heenan who won a bronze medal on the Uneven Bars.
Svetlana Khorkina (Russia) – Uneven Bars
Andreea Răducan (Romania) – Balance Beam
Daniele Hypolito (Brazil) – Floor Exercise
Oksana Chusovitina (Uzekistan) – Vault 1
Oksana Chusovitina (Uzekistan) – Vault 2