The sixth edition of the Mexican Open featured young promises like Giada Grisetti (ITA), Nora Fernández (ESP) and Carolyne Pedro (BRA) returning competitor Angelina Kysla (UKR) and legends Oksana Chusovitina (UZB) and Catalina Ponor (ROU). The host country was represented by Miriana Almeida and Victoria Mata. The competition was going to reward both apparatus winners as well as the individual all-around top three finishers.
The first day featured only two apparatus, on vault all the gymnasts delivered solidly however it was obvious the winner of the apparatus title was going to be former World Champion on vault Oksana Chusovitina.
On uneven bars, Angelina Kysla opened with a good routine, the only major issue for her was an empty swing before her Pak but afterwards she delivered a solid Tkachev and a double front dismount. As Nora Fernández and Giada Grisetti they both struggled. Grisetti bent her knees while working the low bar and then caught her Maloney with only one hand and eventually jumped off, as for Fernández she bent her legs in her Maloney transition, hit her leg on the high bar in her release and eventually jumped off while working the low bar. Oksana Chusovitina did a solid routine but without a release skill. Miriana Almeida skipped bars while Victoria Mata delivered consistently, toe-on Tkachev, for Mexico.The competition was closed by Carolyne Pedro who delivered a very clean routine dismounting with a double front to earning the highest score on the apparatus with a 13.900. Carolyne lead after the first day of competition.
The second day, Saturday November 26, opened with Nora Fernández on beam. Her routine went well and was solid until her double pike dismount, frighteningly, she landed on her head. Medical staff rushed to her however she was soon able to stand by herself showing she had sustained no major injury but it was obvious she would not be able to finish her competition or participate in the gala scheduled for the next day.
Since it was the first routine on the beam it set a nervous start for all the gymnasts and Giada Grisetti, who followed Nora Fernández on beam, fell on her acrobatic series, Carolyne Pedro and Oksana Chusovitina also fell but Angelina Kysla did not. Ksyla had big wobbles in her routine and a low landing in her double pike dismount bur her consistency after three apparatus rewarded her with a first place finish, ahead of Carolyne Pedro, going into the last rotation. However, the winner of the apparatus was Romania’s Catalina Ponor, who had not participated in the first day of competition but who was elegant and solid on the beam, just like she always is. She scored a 15.100.
For the last apparatus the gymnasts competed according to their ranking from last place to first place, so first up was Mexico’s Miriana Almeida who had skipped bars but participated in the other two events, she opened with a double layout. Then it was the turn of Victoria Mata who opened with a full twisting double back showing promise for Mexico.
Then it was the turn of Giada Grisetti who truly graced the floor with long and very elegant lines to the tango music “Por Una Cabeza” (Sui Lu’s music in 2011) however she sat her double tuck (out of bounds) meaning she would finish fourth, but her floor routine was memorable in terms of artistry showing what this sport sometimes lacks.
Oksana Chusovitina as always showed dominance of the Floor, opening with a full twisting double back, to secure her bronze medal with a 52.225 and Carolyne Pedro also did well to take the lead (53.975) with one competitor to go: Angelina Kysla.
Kysla who was awarded the GK Prize of Elegance in the form of a white leotard covered by hundreds of Swarovski crystals at the 2013 Mexican Open was wearing it for the second day of competition and she was one routine away to add more history to that beautiful white leotard (pictured above). And she performed four solid tumbling passes finishing with a perfectly stuck double pike to score 14.050 and secure her crowning as all-around champion with a 54.400. Kysla had been competing at the Mexican Open every year since 2013 and finally, she has managed to climb into the highest part of the podium.
However, the one to finish the competition on Floor was Catalina Ponor who obviously took the title in the apparatus with a 14.300 and was awarded the 2016 Prize of Elegance.
The Mexican Open also featured a men competition, that was led by Japanese Kaya Kazuma, who took the all-around title followed by Spain’s Nestor Abad, and Colombia’s Didier Lugo, in fourth was Brazil’s Petrix Barbosa while Mexico’s Kevin Cerda finished in a proud fifth place. Like in the women’s competition, a Romanian was invited to show his expertise on vault and floor, Marian Dragulescu took the title on both apparatus.
On Sunday night the gymnasts participated in a gala where everyone had a lot of fun, Kaya Kazuma imitated Mario Bros, Giada Grisetti danced tango, Oksana Chusovitina and Marian Dragulescu performed on beam, and of course, the gymnasts participated in the Mannequin Challenge.