Flying circus of death
Yelena Produnova (RUS)
The most notorious vault in all of gymnastics, the Produnova spent much of its life being known as the death-defying never-vault that could be landed only by Yelena Produnova and only that one time.
More recently, lower-level gymnasts saw in the Produnova an opportunity. A Produtunity, if you will. You won’t? OK. They could perform the Produnova, nearly break their jaws by slamming into their knees, fall, and still score well enough to make the vault final by virtue of the inflated D score of the Produnova. This behavior is much despised, in part because of the sheer danger of chucking this vault without mastery of the landing, and in part because of the inherent cynicism of this approach. Abusing the system by knowingly falling on a vault yet making it into the final anyway over better performers who landed their vaults is anathema to the spirit of sport.
The value of the Produnova has been progressively lowered by the WTC with respect to the other vaults, though only very marginally, in order to discourage this strategy. And it pretty much worked.
One thought on “Handspring Double Front (Produnova)”
I think the bigger thing with the reduction is that they made the sitting landing an automatic downgrade to a single front. Now if they don’t at least marginally land it on their feet, they don’t get the difficulty credit for it, so that’s probably why it’s less popular.