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10 gymnastics revelations of the Commonwealth Games

Medals-wise, last week's Commonwealth Games proved to be mostly a British intersquad, especially among the men. In terms of new talent, interesting stories and memorable moments, however, these Games were fascinating. Here are 10 revelations from the competition:

Claudia Fragapane (ENG) was the breakout gymnast of the Commonwealth Games.
Claudia Fragapane (ENG) was the breakout gymnast of the Commonwealth Games.
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images
Sixteen-year-old Claudia Fragapane set the floor on fire at the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

1. Claudia Fragapane, ENG: The new "Queen of England in gymnastics," as the British press has dubbed her, is the best shot at a World medal in the all-around and on floor exercise since Beth Tweddle. This 4-foot, 6-inch "Pocket Rocket" (another press nickname) thrilled everyone with her breakdance-filled floor routine in Glasgow, and overnight has become British Gymnastics's new "It" girl. "Frags" (that name comes from her teammates) still has a bit of polishing to do, but she is well on her way to international stardom. Bonus: Her four gold medals (team, all-around, vault and floor) are the most won by any Englishwoman at any Commonwealth since the first edition of the Games -- in 1930.

2. Supremely happy gymnasts. The Commonwealth all-around final may go down as the happiest women's all-around in the history of Multisport Games. All over the gym, even in the heat of competition or whatever, there was the beaming Farah Ann Abdul Hadi (MAS), a delighted-to-be-here Olivia Vivian (AUS) and Claudia Fragapane, Ruby Harrold and Hannah Whelan, who all but had a party on the podium when they discovered they had swept the all-around medals.

3. Nile Wilson, ENG: After one heck of a junior career (he won five gold medals at the Junior European Championships two months ago in Sofia) the towheaded lad from Leeds had one heck of a senior debut in Glasgow. Though he missed the final on a couple of events (due to the Games's two-per-country rule), Wilson never missed a routine, establishing himself as the newcomer to watch on the British team.

4. Frank Baines, SCO: Tall and elegant, the 2012 Junior European champion delivered smooth, eye-catching routines in his first big senior international, even though he didn't win an individual medal. (I tend to think that fatigue got to him after the first two days.) Competition to make senior British teams is going to be very tough, but Baines certainly proved that he is one worth considering, especially as Britain looks to beef up on parallel bars and high bar, which happen to be his strengths.

5. Dipa Karmakar, IND: The 20-year-old Indian gymnast stunned crowd and pundits by landing the insanely difficult Produnova vault (handspring double front) in event finals, after reportedly not warming it up at all in the practice gym. It's disquieting to think about Karmakar training this vault, becuase it was obvious from her qualifications vault that she does not always land it this well, and doing the Produnova is literally risking your neck. The victory for India is a double-edged sword -- it's a fantastic accomplishment for Karmakar, who becomes the only woman ever to win a Commonwealth medal in gymnastics. It's also an invitation to others to try this vault, because risk is heavily rewarded with this code of points.

6. Misha Koudinov, NZL: Believe it or not, 22-year-old Koudinov is at his third Commonwealth Games, having competed in Melbourne in 2006 at the age of 14. At 22 he's a veteran, having done Worlds and NCAA gymnastics for Ohio State, but on the other hand, he's still so young! Not to mention full of potential. Koudinov was on his way to a top five finish in the All-around when he had to jump off the high bar after his velcro grip came undone. (The commentators couldn't let it go either, and comments like "At this level, he should have sorted that out by now" were heard every three minutes for the rest of the broadcast.) Anyway, Koudinov's oh-so-Russian form was a welcome addition to this meet, and we can look forward to more from him in the future.

7. Rakesh Patra, IND: Indian gymnasts as a whole have badly needed to work on their form in order to be competitive internationally, but as a gymnast who points his toes and generally keeps his legs straight when they should be kept straight, Patra represents an evolution in that sector. If India had five more like him, they'd be flirting with Olympic team qualification.

8. David Bishop, NZL: Another Kiwi with really good form and technique, Bishop surprised by taking the bronze medal on floor after finishing ninth in qualification (he was let in because the two-per-country rule discounted Kristian Thomas and Nile Wilson). Bishop's medal is the first for a Kiwi gymnast at Commonwealths since 1998, when his coach David Phillips took -- you guessed it -- bronze on floor.

9. Isabela Onyshko: The latest Canadian ingenue is so the new Kristina Vaculik.

10. The podium selfie. Thank you, Olivia Vivian.

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