The first event in the "Olympic
order," the vault requires the gymnast to run toward the horse and
push herself off of it with her hands. The part of the vault before the
gymnasts hands hit the horse is called the "preflight."
The second half, after she pushes off the vault, is called the "postflight."
In the Code of Points, vaults are
divided into five groups, or "families" (note that for the
2001 COP a fifth family has been added - yurchenko entry with twists in
preflight). They are:
Handsprings without saltos
- these vaults do not have a flip in the air after the gymnast pushes
off the horse. They are rarely done today but were popular in the
1970's. In this category, the gymnast runs towards the horse, jumps off
of the springboard, and puts her hand directly forwards on the horse.
She then pushes herself off, doing a variety of twists (but no flips) in
- the gymnast runs towards
the horse, jumps off of the springboard and puts her hands directly
forward onto the horse. The postflight contains a variety of flips and
twists. A common example used today is the cuervo vault, where the
gymnast pushes off the horse, does a half twist and then a backward
in this category, the gymnast jumps off the springboard and then does a
½ twist before pushing off the horse backwards. One Tsukahara vault
that is common today is the Phelps, where the gymnast is supposed to do
a ½ turn onto the horse, a ½ turn off and then a front layout.
- this contains all vaults
with round-of entries. One example is the Yurchenko-double twist, where
the gymnast does a round-off onto the springboard, a back handspring
onto the horse, and a double twisting flip off of the horse.
Yurchenko with twists in preflight
- The newest and final category describes vaults in which the
gymnast performs a round-off (Yurchenko) entry and then ½ or more turns
before pushing off the horse. An example is the Podkopayeva, where the
gymnast does a round-off onto the board, a ½ turn onto the horse, and a
piked forward salto off with ½ turn.
handspring entry, forward salto off with ½ turn. Current performers
include Vanessa Atler (USA), Denisse Lopez (MEX), (who perform it in a
handspring entry, ½ turn off to a backward salto. This can easily be
confused with a barani - note where the turn occurs. In a cuervo the
gymnast does a half turn then a backward salto. In a
barani the gymnast does a forward salto with a ½ twist at the
end. Current performers of the cuervo include Svetlana Khorkina (RUS),
and Esther Moya.
Yurchenko entry, ½ turn off, then a front layout. Current performers
include Kate Richardson (CAN) and most of the other Canadian gymnasts.
Yurchenko entry, ½ turn on, pike Cuervo off. Current performers include
Svetlana Khorkina (RUS) and Ester Moya (ESP). Esther does it in a layout
Yurchenko entry, ½ turn on, back tuck off. Current performers include
Monique Nuijten (NED), Olga Roushupkina (UKR) (who performs it in a pike
Yurchenko entry, ½ turn on, front tuck salto off. Nowadays, gymnasts
usually use this vault when working towards a Khorkina or Podkopayeva
Tsukahara entry, ½ turn off to a front layout. Current performers
include Simona Amanar (ROM), Maria Olaru (ROM), Lisa Mason (GBR) and
Viktoria Karpenko (UKR).
Yurchenko entry, ½ turn on, front pike off with ½ turn. Current
performers include Andreea Raducan (ROM), who has performed it in both
piked and layout position.
handspring entry, forward salto off with 1 ½ twists. Recent performers
include Vanessa Atler (USA) (who performed it in a layout position),
Nelly Rammassamy (FRA) and Adrienn Varga (HUN) (who both performed it in
a tuck position).
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