Barbosa will NOT be at the Olympics. Despite signing the contract in the end, because she missed so many selection meets, she has been deemed out of the running. Very sad that a great gymnast will not be there and of course, sad that the reason is not even injury but some sort of total bullshit about sponsorship. This should NOT be affecting someone's career or shot at the Olympics, though as I said earlier, I will hold off on blasting Jade as it's not clear who really is to blame, various pressures involved, and possible motives etc.
The German Olympic team has been named! After less than stellar performances at German nationals I had a slight niggling fear that Chuso would not be named but thankfully that is not the case and she will compete at her SIXTH Olympics. I would love to hear a lengthy interview with her not just about her incredible life story, but on her thoughts and observations on all of these Olympics, various gymnasts, the BIG change to the scoring, the changes to the code and the push for difficulty. We know her vault form has detiorated but she is still an extremely likely vault EF medal contender. I am more excited about her other routines- they're so old school! Elizabeth Seitz appears to have come on in leaps and bounds, she won the AA. Apparently, and judging by videos, her form has improved. Her bars in particular are incredible and though I don't see her beating Vika, Musty, Tweds and co. I can possibly see her beating Gabby. Must re-check SV's, but it's possible and would be a great coup for her and for her team. Nadine Jarosch is a really strong contender too. I really hope Germany can continue to improve and re-emerge as a contender with the top few.
The British team will be named tomorrow. We know Tweddle, Tunney and Whelan are locks. The other spots are more in contention- Cairns, Downie, Francis, Harrold and Pinches all fighting for them. I believe Pinches will get the fourth. Francis is so valuable for her beam where GB is weak but she had a pretty bad Nationals where beam is concerned and her other events aren't strong enough to justify it. Her floor is so worth a watch, while deploring its low SV. So I think she might well miss out. In the veteran stakes, Cairns had a better competition than Downie. Harrold will I think unfortunately miss out, her great bars aren't enough to make up for what she lacks. So I think the team will be Tweddle, Tunney, Whelan, Pinches and Cairns with Francis and Downie and Harrold as alternates. Niamh Rippin may make alternate in place of either, hard to tell. She had a GREAT competition and her DTY is very valuable to the team.
The Russian team will be named July 8th! Sidorova being injured shakes things up, as does Paseka crashing both her vaults. Musty, Komova and Grishina are obviously on it. Maybe Afansayeva and Inshina? Or Demy? (Demy was invited back after Sidorova left).
News report shows Romania looking well. Beating Russia at Euros looks as if it will really fire them in London. Iordache has an amanar- how did I miss that? I knew she was rumoured to have one and was the obvious choice for one but ACTUALLY having one is news to me. Damn USA taking all my attention! Izbasa's Cheng looks really sloppy though, hope that's fixed. Looks like they may give Russia a great run for their money now.
Some hopes for things I want to see in London:
- Certain veteran Romanians in WELL-FITTING leotards. I sometimes wonder what is going on there- is it an issue with them being crap at ordering sizes? Do they enjoy looking sl***y? Who knows.
- Russians being SOLID. Especially beam. It won't be much fun if USA get gold because Russia tanked beam, I want it to be close and exciting with these girls hitting when it counts. Of course even if Russia hits USA are very likely to get gold anyway but it's a bit like if McKayla hadn't made the team, whoever won vault EF gold would feel a little bit 'empty'. We all want a close competition, now one where Russia has to count 3 falls something.
- Romanians, Russians and Chinese ONLY doing Amanars if they are a) safe and b) non-sloppy. Unfortunately it is a given we will see both of the above. This bodes well for McKayla to really stand out but is bad news for knees everywhere.
- A close AA. It's sooo not obvious this year, woohoo! I want all of these girls to hit: Jordyn, Gabby (I really think she will beat Aly to the spot and I believe Kyla won't be given the opportunity to try for the AA), Jinnan, Iordache, Vika and Musty. Quishang could give them a good run for their money too but she is of course the ultimate headcase.
- An awesome bars EF with NO falls.
- Musty with improved twisting form. As is stands, it will really hurt her floor score and therefore her AA medalling chances. She is an outstanding gymnast and I want her to be ON. As I have mentioned, Ponor has managed to improve her twisting form so hopefully Musty can too. As is stands, it's probably the worst I've seen.
- Some nice camraderie and interactions between the various gymnasts. They are out to beat each other of course but I LOVE seeing gymnasts from different countries appreciate and congratulate the efforts of their 'enemies'. Especially in the case of the really outstanding routines like McKayla's vaults and Vika's bars.
- CLASSY leos. The Russian team leo from their Nationals I posted in 'some favourite leos'- PLEASE. Their team warm-ups don't foretell classy leos underneath, but I LOVE the sheer break from tradition those warm-ups are. And Russia are masters of classy leos. I'm not really loving the British team leo designs- might have to give the accolade to USA this year. Really excited about USA's. I want an Olympics absolutely devoid of sleeveless leos, one-armed nightmares and horrific colour combos and mesh bollocks. Impossible, as Italy will be there. We can hope..