1996 Worlds semi- finals a time for testing skills

Kuy Yuanyuan ( photo source )

I just found this great video from 1996 Worlds . It contains all the routines from semi-finals and finals and most of them are very difficult to find on youtube. As it turns out, this competition held two months prior to the Olympic Game was the perfect time to try out the new skills and see what elements to keep and what to take out from the routine at the Olympics. Some of the risky moves did not make it and would never re-emerge.

Some of my favorite moments:

- Khorkina's "unicorn" transition from low to high:

Khorkina missed the skill in the event finals but still tied with Piskun for gold.

- When I saw Kochetkova's routine on BB my first second thought (after the wooow) was that this is how everyone will flic-flac out of every two skill combo that allows it - under the 2013-2016 code:

as demonstrated by Dina, at min 36:20 and then again at 36:35. Of course, these are series of two while in the new code you have to do three to receive the "series" bonus, but you get the idea...

*if this means everybody will be more like Dina, i can take it

- Kuy Yuanyuan doing seven skills in a row (min 47:20):

(this was in semi-finals, she obviously did not qualify for the finals because of the fall. Medals with falls became possible only in 2007)

- Gina, doing a flic- layout to two feet on beam:

In finals she missed the layout to two feet. She dismounted with a full twisting double back, not very successful. (btw, it bothers me when people hurry to label her as "boring" without having seen much of her work)

- Opening floor with a DLO was the norm in 1996, as demonstrated by Kuy, Anna Mirgorodskaya, Kocetkova and Tsavaridou (min 53:06 to min 59:53)

In the event finals only Gema Paz and Lyubov Sheremeta opened with different skills: triple twist and double arabian respectively.

- Liu Xuan being stunning on beam:

Qualified first for EF. 9.887 - makes you wonder how close to a ten had she been without that step on the landing.

- And finally something that I have been hunting for for a while: Alexandra Marinescu's BB silver medal performance  at Worlds:

She added the full back tuck for the finals, a skill she missed in the EF at the Olympics, two months later.

Other impressions? What did you find interesting?