Friday, 6 July 2012

Romania and Russia bring their A-game

Competition is hotting up a bit now. I still think USA will get the gold, but it will be tough especially if Russia don't fall off the beam, a skill they have been showing for quite a while now.

Sandra Izbasa has a Cheng vault, Larisa Iordache has an amanar and Viktoria Komova has one too. Mustafina is extremely likely to have an amanar, and was shown doing a timer for one. All of these were pretty going to happen anyway, but here is the proof. What does this mean for America? Unfortunately it means that Russia's massive bars d-scores and now amanars mean the gap is closing bigtime there for America's vault advantage. However, everyone still has weaknesses. Let's look at them.

America- Has no obvious weakness. Yes, bars are not a strong point but they are very decent in comparison to Romania. It would help if Gabby could up her D-score to 6.9, but nevertheless, even Jordyn's d-score is now a 6.4. Beam is good and strong, and nobody is likely to headcase and fall off. Two aggressive routines with high d-scores, and one beautiful artistic one. Vault obviously one of the strongest points- McKayla's vault will score more than 16, NOBODY else will touch that. Her vault will make shit of sloppy amanars elsewhere, which is great for her score. If she wasn't there, amanar scores would be more generous. Jordyn's amanar is very reliable, with great form and landings. Gabby's is getting better all the time, a bit flat but well landed with good form. Floor another strong point- Aly has the highest d-score of all with an AWESOME first pass, one of the most difficult ever. Form likely to take a hit, lucky the difficulty is massive. Jordyn's is strong, clean and difficult. I do think McKayla's should be here, and it's a 6.0 with artistry, it will score well.

Romania- It's amazing how much they have come on. Iordache is decent on bars, everyone else is weaker. They will fall down bigtime here. Vault has picked up a lot. Iordache's amanar looks clean and safe and fully rotated, with not a bad landing. It doesn't look sloppy. Sandra's Cheng looks messy and low, unlikely to break more than a 15.7 as it stands, but the video wasn't made yesterday and she has time to improve it. Same goes for Iordache. It's unknown whether they have a second amanar, but Bellu has hinted at more than one. Ponor appears to be the likely candidate for this. If not, they have a big deficit there against USA if they have to count a DTY. America will outscore significantly on vault, as they have the best amanar in the world and two very clean ones. Beam is their strong point- very high SV's, Iordache is probably the best beamer in the world right now, along with Sui Lu. Beam is traditionally awesome and Ponor and Iordache in particular will do very well here. Floor looks good- Iordache is likely to outscore Raisman as she has better form, and is only one tenth down in diffculty. The two routines will match America. Consider floor equal, beam better, bars and vault worse. However- consistency is their midde name, they can win if someone else falters.

Russia- Here we have extremely strong bars, more than a point over USA and even more over Romania. Not even China can get close. Komova and Mustafina both have beautiful 7.0 bars that will score extremely well, possibly breaking the 16 mark. Grishina's are a very respectable 6.5, which Romania would kill for. Vault is a bit more up in the air. Komova's amanar is neat with very good form, it is likely to outscore pretty much every other, except Maroney of course. Certainly it looks like it can rival Jordyn, Gabby and Larisa. It looks like Mustafina will have one too. Mustafina of the clean DTY, frightening helicopter-legs amanar and of the ACL on the same skill. Let us hope she can land it safely every time, with NO locked legs. Even before the injury she was doing that. It will be shot in execution, but the 0.7 is has over the DTY isn't to be sneezed at but even so, it's likely to be the messiest one we'll see in London. It is unclear whether Russia have another amanar. If not, using a DTY and Musty'a messy amanar will hurt them and seriously eat into their bars advantage. I predict Romania to score higher on vault, and USA to outscore Romania by a comfortable lead. Likely beamers are Komova, Musty and Grishina. Both Vika and Grishina have fallen off beam a LOT in the last year. Their beams are beautiful, if they fall it will  hurt their scores a lot. If they stay on, they are a massive threat. Musty's looks better every time, but she is uncertain on it too. Floor is a weakness. Musty's tumbling isn't near as clean as it used to be, and that twisting ability has really deteriorated when it was already bad before. Komova's floor is weak and she has low landings which will cost her. If Afan makes the team she will go ahead of Musty I think, but although her and Grishina's floors are awesome, the SV is several tenths below what USA and Romania are bringing.

In short:

Russia- Vault- Good, Floor- Weak, Bars- Super strong, Beam- Potentially strong
Romania- Vault- Strong, Floor, Strong, Beam super-strong, Bars- very weak
USA- Vault- super strong, Floor- Strong, Beam- Strong, Bars- weak

In short, I think Russia could take it if they counted no mistakes, but they are the one country where it is almost a certainty, much more so than the other two. I still see USA taking the gold. Romania is uncertain- they are stronger than ever and will be fierce challengers. How exciting! I cannot WAIT!

In AA news, this means that Gabby, Jordyn, Larisa, Vika, Huang and almost certainly Musty have amanars. Yao Jinnan is unknown, China have only confirmed Huang. I predict Larisa and Vika will fight the USA fiercely here, it's impossible to call. I no longer see both Gabby and Jordyn as podium almost certainties.

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