Monday, 22 October 2012

2013 Ones To Watch: Part 1

Following on from my posts on upcoming seniors in the new quad and the list of most notable juniors in their senior year (Links to posts on all countries/regions here and non-exhaustive list of senior year here), I want to focus on those that will turn senior next year, and also current seniors who haven't yet had their chance to really shine. This part will be on 2013 seniors, second part will be on the latter category. NOTE: Competitions are not exhaustive in the case of juniors from non-English speaking countries, because it's much harder to find results not in my language! Videos of all of the below are in my first link. Also easily found on youtube. (Read: I am way too lazy to embed them all again).

2013 Seniors- Ones to Watch

Have to start with the two with the most hype and the greatest sense of 'if only x was born a bit earlier'.

Katelyn Ohashi, USA

Katelyn Ohashi created a storm around her when she unleashed her monster beam set in 2010. She also has fantastic bars, an area USA still need improvement on.

Trains at: WOGA, Texas
Competitions: US Classic 2009-2012, Visa Nationals 2009-2012, Pacific Rim Championships 2012, Jesolo 2011-2012
Notable Achievements: 2011 Junior National Champion, 2012 Pacific Rim All-around Champion, 2012 Pacific Rim Beam, Floor and Bars Champion, 2012 Junior National Champion on bars, silver beam and floor, 2011 Champion on bars, beam, floor. Katelyn has won the national bars title 3 years in a row.
Best event(s): Bars and beam
Worst event(s): Vault
Needs to: Fix her vault. Has had a scary time with DTY's this year, needs to either get it back safely or a similar difficulty vault to stay as a strong all-arounder. Katelyn showed signs of overtraining at Nationals, so should possibly hold back on upgrades for the moment.
Weak point: Power a bit lacking
All-around potential? Pretty high. Huge with a fixed vault.
Event final potential: Gold on beam and bars
Why the fuss? As well as being a potentially very strong all-arounder, Katelyn has gold medal world/Olympic titles written all over her bars and beam.

Lexie Priessman, USA

Lexie barely falls short of being a 2012 senior. She has created a stir for being a powerhouse in the style of Raisman and Wieber- she has an amanar and a double double on floor.

Trains at: CGA, Cincinnatti
Competitions: US Classic 2009-2012, Visa Nationals 2009-2012, Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup 2010, Japan Junior International 2011, Pacific Rim Championships 2012, Jesolo 2011-2012
Notable Achievements: 2012 Junior National Champion, 2012 Junior National Champion on floor, second on vault and bars, 2012 Pacific Rim vault champion, second all-around, 2012 US Classic floor champion, 2011 Japan Junior International Champion, 2010 Supergirl Cup Champion
Best event(s): Vault and floor
Worst event(s): Beam
Needs to: Work big-time on her form, it shows up most noticeably on beam. Presentation and choreography a bit all over the place on floor too. Get a second vault.
Weak point: Form, and flexibility to a lesser extent.
All-around potential? Massive.
Event final potential? Vault medallist with a second vault. High on floor.
Why the fuss? This girl is a powerhouse and with a consistent decent beam could blindside the rest of the competition.

Simone Biles, USA

With a phenomenal amanar under her belt, as well as a difficult floor, Simone looks like a very valuable gymnast for USA's collection.

Trains at: Bannon's Gymnastix
Competitions: US Classic 2011-2012, Visa Nationals 2011-2012
Notable Achievements: 2012 Junior National Champion on vault, 3rd place in the all-around, 2012 US Classic Champion, 2012 US Classic Champion on vault
Best event(s): Vault
Worst event(s): Bars
Needs to: Upgrade her floor, a very strong event for her already. She could be a great all-arounder with a decent bars and beam- they need a lot of work. Needs to get and upgrade a second vault, she has plenty of power.
Weak point: In general, not great on non-power events. Lack of finesse.
All-around potential: Yes, not the top one or two but definitely she could be a good one.
Event final potential? Gold on vault, could qualify to floor
Why the fuss? Her amanar is so powerful that she is one of two girls in the world capable of doing a TTY. (Prize for guessing the other). She could quite easily medal in vault, has a strong energetic floor that's valuable and might be able to be a valuable all-arounder too.

Noemi Makra, HUN

Noemi is the great hope of Hungary, and certainly has what it takes to become a great all-arounder, she is the full package gymnast.

Competitions: 2012 Junior European Championships, 2012 Eva Sanyo Memorial, 2011 EYOF, 2010 Top Gym
Notable Achievements: 2011 EYOF champion on bars,  highest all-around total at Eva Sanyo,  qualified 10th to all-around finals at Euros 2012, and qualified to vault event finals.
Best event(s): Floor, bars
Worst event(s): Only because it lacks difficulty so much- vault
Needs to: UPGRADE. Noemi is the full package, everything she does is such a high standard. She just needs more difficulty.
Weak point: Lack of difficulty.
All-around potential: Certainly, especially at Euros. She could make quite a mark at Worlds and maybe even Olympics if she brings her difficulty up to scratch.
Event final potential: Hard to tell, her difficulty is too low at this stage.
Why the fuss? Such great execution, and she does not have a weak event. As I say so many times here, with more difficulty she is a major contender. Remarkable considering she is from outside the top 4.

Gabby Jupp, GBR

Gabby heralds the exciting new age of British gymnastics. She is strong and consistent, showing a nice mix of power and execution.

Competitions: 2012 Junior European Championships, 2012 British Championships, 2012 English Championships, 2011 Gymnix, 2011 British Championships, 2011 Junior France/Great Britain, 2010 Espoir (Hopes)
Notable Achievements: 2012 Junior European third on floor, fifth in all-around, 2012 Junior British Champion, 2012 Junior British Champion on bars, 3rd on vault, 2012 English Champion, 2012 English Champion on vault, beam and floor, 2011 Junior British Champion on beam, 2nd all-around, floor and vault, 2010 Espoir Champion on beam, third on floor
Best event(s): Beam and floor
Worst event(s): Bars
Needs to: Clean up her bars and upgrade across the board.
Weak point: I don't really see one besides some issues on bars.
All-around potential: Yes, she could quite easily go one better than Rebecca Tunney and really challenge the top 4 countries. May have to move gyms to really get her difficulty up to scratch, but she screams potential.
Event final potential: Beam medallist, could qualify to floor
Why the fuss? Major player on beam and floor where she has already beat off strong competition before. A mistake cost her a medal in Euros this year on beam however. With upgrades, she is a force to be reckoned with.

Evgeniya Shelgunova, RUS

Russia arguably have 3 stronger juniors in the works, but Evgeniya is a strong, steady worker who could contribute quite a lot, and not just in team situations.

Competitions:  2012 Junior European Championships, 2011 Jesolo, 2011 Spartakaide, 2011 Top Gym
Notable Achievements: 2012 Junior European Championships, 2nd all-around, 3rd bars. Qualified to 3 event finals. Spartakaide 2011- 5 golds, 2011 Top Gym Champion, 2nd on vault, 2011 EYOF, 3rd on floor
Best event(s): Hmm. Floor and beam
Worst event(s): Bars
Needs to: Clean up her form and execution. She has the consistency and is building on difficulty, but she's a bit sloppy form-wise.
Weak point: Form
All-around potential: Yes, though I do see her being eclipsed not only by current Russian seniors continuing but also by 2014 and 2015 seniors.
Event final potential: Possibly on vault with a second one, and maybe floor finalist.
Why the fuss? Evegeniya is consistent and has decent difficulty. She could well become the workhorse team figure and possibly shine in her own right too.

Stefania Stanila, ROM

Stefania is a welcome addition next year to the much depleted Romanian senior rankings.Not the strongest junior, but a valuable team member.

Competitions: 2012 Junior European Championships, 2012 Cholet, 2012 Jesolo, 2011 Top Gym,
Notable Achievements: Junior European Championships, 2nd on vault, 2012 Cholet Champion, 2011 Top Gym, 3rd on floor
Best events: Floor, vault
Worst event: Bars
Needs to: Work on her consistency and form and get all of her events up to a higher standard.
Weak point: Consistency
All-around potential: Low. She will be outranked by other juniors and continuing seniors.
Event Final potential: Also low. Stefania's greatest asset is being strong in a team situation.
Why the fuss? Arguably Romania's strongest 2013 senior, but will have quite a lot of work to do to keep up with the rest into 2016. Stefania has a lot of potential and should be able to help her team quite a bit.

Elisa Meneghini, ITA

Elisa impressed at Euros this year and shows huge potential. Definitely one of the brightest stars of Italy's future.

Competitions: 2012 Junior European Championships, 2012 Serie A, 2012 Italian Nationals,  2011 Jesolo, 2011 EYOF, 2011 TAM
Notable Achievements: 2012 Junior European Championships, 4th all-around (with a fall), 3rd on beam. Elisa was the only one to qualify to all 4 event finals. 2012 Italian Nationals, 2nd on beam, 3rd all-around
Best events: Beam, floor
Worst event: Vault, purely for lack of difficulty
Needs to: Upgrade across the board, and improve her consistency. She would have medalled in the AA at Euros had she not fallen off beam, and would have done much better in bars finals without the fall there. Needs to work on her toepoint.
Weak point: Slight consistency issue, and toepoint.
All-around potential: Could be a big threat at worlds. No real weak event, and usually very steady.
Event final potential: Has shown herself to be exceptional on pretty much all events. Could continue qualifying to all. Medals possible on beam and maybe bars.
Why the fuss? Such a high place in a strong AA with a fall, and no weak event! Needs more difficulty and better extension, but she really has what it takes and could definitely shake up a few podiums.

Others to watch: Anna Maria Ocalisan (ROU), Roxana Popa (ESP), Angael Romaeo (GBR), Sophie Scheder (GER), Olesya Sazonova (UKR) and Chantysha Netteb (NED), Maddie Desch (USA) and Peyton Ernst (USA).


  1. Fantastic performances and athletes! I wish them luck in their future career!

  2. No Enus Mariani? She's Junior Euros AA champion.

    1. She's not senior yet so I counted her out. Also, there's no Junior Euros this year (boo!) so she won't make as much of a splash in her last junior year. I am in LOVE with her new floor routine and hope to see her in a lot of competitions all the same.