Yeo Seo-jeong likely to have new vault named after herGYMNASTICS
Korean artistic gymnast Yeo Seo-jeong is poised to vault into the international scoring book after successfully landing a new move on Wednesday.
The 17-year-old won the women’s vault gold medal at the Korea Cup at Halla Gymnasium on Jeju Island. On her first attempt, Yeo completed a new vault that, with authorization from the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), will be included in the Code of Points and bear her name.
Yeo scored an average of 14.817 points after her two attempts, beating out the 1992 Olympic champion Oksana Chusovitina (14.550).
The FIG names an original element after a gymnast who first completes it in competition.
Yeo’s new move is a variation of the vault that bears the name of her Olympic medal-winning father, Yeo Hong-chul, who has two moves listed in the Code of Points.
“Yeo 2” by the senior Yeo involves a handspring forward and a salto forward with a 900-degree twist. His daughter did hers with a 720-degree twist at the end, for a difficulty score of 6.2.
Yeo Seo-jeong won the Asian Games gold medal in the vault last year while playing it safe and sticking with less challenging moves.
She attempted her new element at a competition last year but couldn’t get it approved due to her shaky landing.
Lee Pil-young, vice president of the Korea Gymnastics Association, said FIG’s video review will be the final step for Yeo to get her eponymous move into the Code of points.
Next year in Tokyo, Yeo Seo-jeong will try to become the first Korean female gymnast to win an Olympic medal. Her father won silver in men’s vault at Atlanta 1996.
The junior Yeo said afterward that she had never successfully landed her new move in practice and admitted that she wasn’t all that confident she could successfully pull it off in competition.
“I was afraid, but once I started focusing on the competition, my fear disappeared,” Yeo said. “I am so happy that I was able to execute that. I wanted to land the new vault regardless of my final rankings today, and everything went my way.”