Over the past few days here I've heard numerous guys mention that the vaulting board felt too soft. And, come to think of it, there were quite a few crashed vaults in podium training. Luckily none ended in injury. There had been some speculation of switching the board out, and today the FIG came to a decision: 

"Based on the principles of health and safety for the athletes, equal playing-field for all and the ability to deliver the best performances, the Commission has decided to allow the use of the Janssen-Fritsen “Beijing board” as a third board even though the FIG Apparatus Certificate for this board expired 31 December 2009.

Gymnasts and Federations who wish to use this board will be asked to sign a waiver.

This exception is made only for the 2010 World Championships in Rotterdam and is in effect from October 17 to October 24 2010."

So, I'm sure the guys are happy to hear this, especially European vault champion Matthis Fahrig who told us last night the board was an issue for him in podium training. On that note, there have been some huge vaults in podium training this week. Here's a quick rundown of a few of the big ones we caught on the gymnastike camera:

1. Defending World Vault and Floor Champion Marian Dragulescu. This is not even his big vault, which just so happens to be named "the Dragulescu" (this vault with a half twist in the 2nd flip). He's been nursing an injury so its unsure if he'll be able to throw his highest difficulty: 
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Here's the same vault from Matthias Fahrig, just doing it as a warmup for the Dragulescu. He threw the Dragulescu later in training, but put his hands down. Let's just blame that on the board... 



This is the only tsuk double pike I've seen so far in Rotterdam:
And a Dragulescu from 2010 US Vault Champion Steven Legendre:

Steve's teammate Chris Brooks is known for nailing his handspring double front vault with little execution deduction. Check out this stick:


If you know of any big-time vaults to watch for from the men this weekend, leave your comments below.