Catalina Ponor Retires at the 2017 Mexican Open

An all-around competition, it was held on November 25th in Mexico City. The next day on November 26th the Gymnastics Gala took place. The highlight it was the last competition of legend Catalina Ponor. Take a look at how the gymnasts did on every apparatus.

Vault went well for everyone with varying degrees of difficulty. The most difficult vault performed was the Double Twisting Yurchenko done by Yesenia Ferrara (CUB) who stepped out of the sidelines while competing it and Angelina Melnikova (RUS) who landed it in the center with a tiny step to the side. Catalina Ponor (ROU) did a beautiful Full Twisting Yurchenko.

Bars was generally a good event for everyone, with the exception of Valeria Iarmolenko (UKR) who missed her Jeager release and Ayelen Tarabini (ARG) who did a Tkachev release but chose not to transition into the low bar taking a huge hit in her D-score. Hungary’s Dalia Al-Salty had a labored routine but managed to get through. Home-girl Victoria Mata showed a Van Leuween and two release skills including a toe-on Tkachev showing promise for the host country.

Spain’s Paula Raya impressed with three releases: toe-on full into Geinger, piked Jeager and Jeager while Cuban Yesenia Ferrara impressed with the height of her releases, Hindorff and a toe-on full into Tkachev, she did have some flexed feet though.

Angelina Melnikova from Russia, as expected did take the top score on bars with a 13.300, however, the routine was far from what she is capable of, having problems with her toe-on skills that lead to big execution deductions.

Beam claimed almost everyone. Valeria Iarmolenko fell on her round off layout mount, Victoria Mata on her acro-series; Ayelen Tarabini’s foot slipped during her front tuck but fought to stay on, however, she came to grief on her dismount; Paula Raya missed her front tuck although she did present some interesting skills like a perfect front tuck mount and a round off layout; Yesenia Ferrara’s routine was going great until the last skill before her dismount, the side somi on which she fell. Dalia Al Salty took risks with her leaps presenting a split leap ring and a ring jump and managed to stay on the beam throughout her routine.

Angelina Melnikova’s beam routine was very upsetting for her. Her wolf turn went wrong and she almost fell, grabbed the beam and managed, just barely, not to touch the ground with her feet, but then on her next skill, a front aerial, she fell. She had only performed two skills and she had already lost at least 1.5 in execution score. Her dreaded acro-series went well so did the rest of the routine however the damage was done. Afterwards, Angelina was shocked taking her hands to her mouth in disbelief of how her routine had gone so terribly wrong so fast.

And so the Queen of the beam, Catalina Ponor, said goodbye to the apparatus with one of her accustomed routines, performed with her usual quality and she easily scored a 13.850 to take the highest mark on the apparatus.

In the last event, Floor, Valeria Iarmolenko closed with a very scary fall on her first pass; she continued with her routine but chose to dismount with only a simple layout. Dalia Al Salty had a good closing performing a triple twist while Ayelen Tarabini’s energetic routine was accompanied by a solid double front.

Victoria Mata performed a full twisting double back for her opening pass and used the Floor Music “Dark Eyes” in the version that was used by Rebecca Bross back in 2010 . Paula Raya had a solid routine, excellently interpreted to the Grease movie soundtrack, as for Yesenia Ferrara, she showed a lot of power during her floor routine opening with a double layout that went out of bounds.

European Floor Champion, Angelina Melnikova, recuperated from her disaster on beam to perform four strong tumbling passes, double arabian, double layout, full twisting double pike (out of bounds) and double pike. And Queen Catalina Ponor performed the last competitive routine of her career, with a little less difficulty than she usually does but with the same polish in execution.

The competition also featured the men, and the all-around winner was Russian Nikita Nagorny who amazed on Floor with his triple back. Nikita has been in a romantic relationship with Daria Spiridinova for three years. 

For the women only three scores counted towards the all-around total. Meaning Angelina Melnikova placed 3rd with a 40.050 after dropping her beam score, Catalina Ponor was second after counting all of her scores since she does not do bars (total score 40.300) and Yesenia Ferrara was crowned the all-around champion after posting a 40.400 (she dropped her floor score)

After the competition ended Angelina Melnikova was awarded the Elegance Prize in the form of a beautiful leotard. And Catalina Ponor was honoured for her achievements. The next day at the Gala, the Catalina tributes continued and she took the microphone to thank all of whom helped her become the amazing gymnast she is. Her performance at the Gala might become her last gymnastics appearance, we will have to wait and see if she will make yet another comeback once the Tokyo 2020 Olympics approach.


Gymnastics Retirements in 2017

Angelina Kysla Golden, Finally, at the 2016 Mexican Open

The Mexican Open History (2011 – 2017)

10 Cool Facts From the Mexican Open History (2011 – 2017)


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