Thursday, 19 July 2012

The sliding scale of Amanar

We can expect to see nine of these in London at some stage, eight if Musty retains the DTY for safety reasons. The other two are either highly unlikely or impossible to be seen then, but need to be included.

11. Aly Raisman, USA

This is horrifying, and is placed here for two reasons. First, safety. She is twisting into the ground and her landing is dangerous, a prime stance for tearing an ACL. It is not worth it, especially when it won't get anywhere near a 15.5. A 15.3 in American scoring on this vault means 'please stop'. Although it probably won't be used in TF, she will be vaulting it in all podium training, and in prelims. If Gabby falters and she claims the AA spot, there as well. It scores only marginally higher than what her great DTY does. The second reason it's here is the form. Her legs are almost tucked, another huge deduction.

10. Aliya Mustafina, Russia

This vault is from 2010. Word is she has it back, but will only show it in London. The replays really showcase the problems with it, similar to Aly's issues. Safety, one leg is locked, a nasty premonition of what happened to her in 2011. All of her landings on this were at least slightly dodgy and unsafe. The form is pretty bad, legs wide apart, feet crossed and sloppy twisting. It is not unrealistic to expect that it may now have deteriorated further, but we can hope she is not allowed throw it if it looks worse than this.

9. Huang Qiushuang, China

This one is of course harder to judge, as it's just training. It's fair to expect an improvement in form. It gets bonus points for good twisting form (although, her DTY is usually a bit wonky and form tends to deteriorate from DTY to amanar..impossible to tell here) and for being safer, but it's still not an ideal landing. That leg sep could be pretty costly. Let's hope this is cleaner in London, it shows good potential.

8. Maria Paseka, Russia

This one should of course be last, but I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt because she has stood up amanars this year. No videos of them, so I'll have to take the crashed one. It looks about equal to Qiushuang's (when landed), leg sep, otherwise decent form. It's not pretty, but it sure beats teammate Nabieva's montrosity. That said, Nabs had half decent landings. Hmmm.

7. Gabby Douglas, USA

I know, Gabby has clean twisting form, and actually stuck the landing on Trials day 2. Unfortunately, her technique isn't the best though it looks to have improved, and she always sits a few vaults in podium training. This, along with the missed hand at Pac Rims on vault and being pulled out of vaulting at Classics due to inconsistency there, pulls her ranking down. In the first video, she twists too early. The second video sees her blocking correctly, but in both the block is flat, she doesn't get as much height and amplitude as she should, as well as distance and they are all deductable. So, kudos for the form but the block needs oomph and the instability means she's not in the top 5.

6. Larisa Iordache, Romania

Skip to 0.22. Like Qiushuang, this must be given the credit that it will have improved by London. It's clean, very high, and safe. Not by any means perfect. The reason it beats Gabby is its height and relative stability because of that, Gabby's form is not superior enough to best it that way. I love the fact this appeared on Romanian news and the vast majority who watched it would just have wished them well without really getting what they're seeing...but then it appeared on the internet and the gymteret exploded over the amanr and cheng! Classic

5. Jordyn Wieber, USA

The second best vault on the team, it's clean with good form. Inclined to lock legs a bit when she fights too hard to stick, it's much safer and better when she hops like above. She gets good height and distance but loses marks a bit because her twisting is a bit slow, she's too low completing the last half twist, when can be seen on screencaps. If it was faster it would help her spot her landing more safely.

4. Elizabeth Price, USA

USA have an alternate with a vault like this, on top of the 4 amanars on the team. It's so powerful and dynamic, what a great block. Good form, but when the vault is this good it's easy to nitpick and want it more 'perfect', if she could clean it up and stop doing that dodgy step to the side she could beat the vault queen.

3. Simone Biles, USA (Junior National team)

Simone literally exploded onto the scene this year! She's a Junior and is one to watch, she also has a killer floor. Now she normally hops out of her landing, but couldn't resist choosing her stuck one. She has the edge over Ebee's because although they are extremely similar, Simone's is higher with better landings.

2. Viktoria Komova, Russia

Right at the start (get out of the way you stupid man!). Vika's gets almost the top spot because it's the only one that reminds me OF the one in the top spot. Beautiful straight form, great height. Shuffled her landing but that's not a massive deal. She might be sticking them by now, who knows!

1. McKayla Maroney, USA

What a suprise. First is of course her 2011 TF vault, second is Trials by comparison. She stuck a vault in 2010 also, but this year they all have 0.3 steps. Although it's still far and away the most perfect amanar of all time, if she sticks it in London it would be incredible. As Elfi will bleat again and again, it IS the form. It is amazing. Her block means she has time to fix her hair while she's waiting to land. Just WOW. I'm not so biased as not to notice the tiny flaws though, aside from the step she usually shows a tiny leg sep before the block, it looks like that's improved on this year. The other deduction is for her slightly bent knees, which could well be due to her back problems. Regardless, this is the standard everyone else aspires to.

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