Sunday, March 17, 2013

An ode to the lovely Yao Jinnan

Photo Credit: AFP
The lovely Yao Jinnan, like many others, had the talent, but was plagued by bad luck. Along with Larisa Iordache, McKayla Maroney, and Jordyn Wieber, Yao was a stunning talent who should have made a much bigger impact on the podiums in London than she did, due to injuries. Victim to an untimely pulled thigh muscle, she pushed through as best she could, but just couldn't do it. For a trip down the memory lane of Yao's senior career, click read more


Yao Jinnan at Doha World Cup

 Bursting onto the senior scene in 2011, she took took gold in the uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise finals at the Cottbus World Cup, showing remarkable steadiness, especially on beam.

She then went on to top the floor podium again at the Doha World Cup, and picked up an uneven bars bronze as well.

Photo Credits: Thomas Schreyer

Then, at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo, Jinnan exceeded all expectations, qualifying for the all around final in third, balance beam and floor exercise in fourth, and first reserve for the uneven bars final. She did all four events in team finals, helping china to team bronze. On the balance beam, she put in a performance that impressed even Tim Daggett, as a patch came off her leotard in the middle of the performance, hitting her in the face without fazing her.

Go to 32:15 to see it

Credits to helloladecadance
In the all around, she fell off the beam on her flight series, losing one full point for a fall. Even Tim Daggett remarked upon how odd it was, as she had never had trouble on it during podium training. Without the fall, she would have been World All Around Champion, first for Team China. However, she also received a bar score of 14.933, which would have qualified her in 4th place for the uneven bars final, and given her bronze in the final.
so cute!

She redeemed herself in the beam final, hitting her flight series perfectly, putting her in second place, only behind teammate Sui Lu. In the floor exercise final, she ended in fourth, only .134 points away from bronze medalist Aly Raisman.


At the Zibo World Cup in 2012, Yao took gold on both balance beam and uneven bars, debuting a new skill, the Shaposhnikova with 1/2 turn on the latter.

At the London Olympics, she was looking off in podium training, and the news soon came that she had pulled a thigh muscle. This injury affected her greatly, causing her to fall on beam, floor, and vault during qualifications. Her bars, however, were at the stunning quality we had all come to expect from her, and she qualified in fourth for the final. Sadly, her other mistakes meant that teammates Huang Qiushang and Deng Linlin qualified ahead of her into the all around.

credits to Cheskikay
Her incredible floor save during qualifying, where she fell from a double twist and managed to roll out

During the uneven bar, she posted a near perfect routine, including a stuck double layout, to put in her fourth place, just behind homecrowd favorite Beth Tweddle. A conversational placing, considering Beth took several large steps back on her dismount, and Jinnan was perfect.


Who knows? Hopefully she's training like mad, ready to own the World Championships in October! 

And to close out, my favorite GIF of her ever, at the beginning of team finals. Love how she laughs to herself
gif credits to 伍元


 And also, many thanks to for tagging everything on their blog so neatly, and for all the lovely photos

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