Where Have All The Great Yurchenko Fulls Gone?
In many ways, the Yurchenko full is my favorite vault- and this is coming from someone who is bored to death of Yurchenkos! But there was something wonderful about a the Yurchenko full that I simply do not see in an Amanar. The goal was always simple: do it with absolutely perfect form and stick the landing. With an Amanar, the goal is to fully rotate it and make it good enough to get the .7 difficulty advantage without losing too much in execution. It’s not only that I would prefer to watch a good yurchenko full instead Nabieva’s Amanar. I actually enjoy watching a good yurchenko full more than watching Rosu, Cheng or Maroney’s Amanars.
Yurchenko fulls show off perfect body line and extension. In the 1980s and 1990s when they were so popular, they were hardly ever accompanied with horrendous form or even followed by a step. Watching competitions when the vault was so severely overused, I yearned for somebody wonderful like Dudnik or Lysenko to come out and throw their double twisting yurchenkos. They were exciting, difficult and so undervalued. Now, vault has become an apparatus where a gymnast will go for something that they cannot legitimately do perfectly simply because it gets them more difficulty instead of a piece of art.
So where have all the great yurchenko fulls gone (besides NCAA)? They have transformed themselves into double twisting yurchenkos, even Amanars. If a gymnast can crank out the extra twist, they will compete it. The gymnasts who only have yurchenko fulls now are the ones who are not powerful enough to get a decent double around.
Here is a wonderful montage posted by gongolo65 on youtube, featuring his top 10 favorite yurchenko fulls. What is interesting to note is that half of those gymnasts competed more difficult yurchenko entry vaults, but treated us to their beautiful yurchenko fulls. I believe that this is the reason we don’t see great yurchenko fulls anymore. Everybody who could have a beautiful yurchenko full has upgraded a long time ago, and will never go back.