Artistic Gymnastics

Rounding Off: Italy's Vanessa Ferrari diagnosed with COVID after competition

Plus, new skills for Petro Pakhniuk, NCAA coverage blitz, Pan Ams and look back at the Dutch on beam from Rio 2016

By Scott Bregman ·

Three-time Olympian Vanessa Ferrari announced Wednesday that she had tested positive for COVID-19, days after competing at the first of three Serie A gymnastics competitions in Italy.

“Bad news! I am really sorry to tell you that I am positive for COVID,” Ferrari wrote on Instagram. “After the competition in Ancona… I started getting sick with a fever, etc., all flu symptoms. Now, I’m in quarantine.”

The 2006 world all-around champion was preparing for April’s European Championships and June’s Doha World Cup where she hopes to earn a ticket to Tokyo 2020.

“After all the preparation and all the work done to prepare for these competitions and get back on all four events, I am forced to stop and I do not know when I will be able to resume training,” Ferrari said. “Right now, I was achieving excellent form and making excellent progress. I will update you as soon as I have news.”

Ukrainian Petro Pakhniuk adds his name to the Code of Points – twice!

2016 Olympian Petro Pakhniuk had two original elements added to the code of points, the International Gymnastics Federation announced Monday 15 March. The moves, both of which are on the parallel bars, will now be named the Pakhniuk and then Pakhniuk II.

The Pakhniuk is a back uprise from upper arm to a straddled front salto caught back on upper arms and valued as an ‘E.’ The Pakhniuk II is a similar element that ends in a hang through the bars and received an ‘F’ rating.

NCAA gymnastics fans prepare for coverage blitz

ESPN announced this week that their networks will carry four days of NCAA gymnastics post-season action, including the Championships final live on ABC. It’s the first time the event has been broadcast live on one of the United States’ major networks.

Trinity Thomas, the NCAA's top-ranked all-around gymnast, will look to lift her Florida Gators to a national title after their season was cut short last year due to COVID-19.

“I feel like we've had to overcome a lot,” Thomas told Olympic Channel earlier this year. “My freshman year, we didn't make it as a team. Sophomore year, we got cut short because of other things that were going on. So I think, third time's the charm and we'll get out there and get it done this year.”

Coverage begins 2 April with the second day of the regional championships. Morning and evening sessions will stream on ESPN3, followed by the regional finals on 3 April.

The national semi-finals will air live on ESPN2 16 April ahead of ABC’s coverage of the finals 17 April.

Trinity Thomas on targeting NCAA title and Olympic trials

The University of Florida and Team USA athlete is trying to balance collegi...

Pan Am Championships dates set

The Brazilian Gymnastics Federation (CBG) announced this week that the Pan American Championships will be held 4 to 6 June. The event, which is the continental qualifier for Tokyo 2020 for the Americas, will be held at the Rio Olympic Arena.

The dates – and location – are good news for 2016 Olympian Rebeca Andrade who will look to the event as her chance to qualify to this summer’s Olympic Games. Injuries to Andrade and Jade Barbosa hampered Team Brazil at the 2019 World Championships, causing them to miss out on a team berth to Tokyo. Flavia Saraiva qualified as an individual.

Andrade, who is returning from a torn ACL, appears in fine form, posting videos on social media of her vault, tumbling and swinging at nearly full strength. She will need to finish in the top two all-around among eligible athletes to earn another ticket to Tokyo for the Brazilian women.

From the vault...

This week, we look back at the Dutch women on balance beam during the team final at Rio 2016. Though they finished seventh overall, the Netherlands earned the third highest score on balance beam during the event (behind champions USA and bronze medallists China). The team was led by Sanne Wevers' 15.250 score. Days later, she went on to become the first Dutch woman to win Olympic gymnastics gold.

Sanne Wevers performs her beam routine in team event at Rio 2016 Olympics

WATCH: The Dutch women perform on balance beam during the team final at Rio...