The roster for the Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships has been announced for Japan..and North Korea! (China already covered). North Korea's team consists of Hong Un Jong, Kang Yong Mi, Kim Un Hyang and three much younger total unknowns- Kim So Yong, Pak Sin Hyang and Ri Un Ha who all have birthdates of 1995/6. How exciting! First of all to see what Hong Un Jong and the other two are still capable of, and what the other 3 have up their sleeves. I am dissapointed not to see Cha Yong Hwa of the superb bars, but even so. Fantastic stuff.
Japan's team consists of Risa Konishi, Wakana Inoue, Sakura Noda, Erica Danko, Shizuka Tozawa and Mirai Sekiguchi. Like China they are not using Olympians, but they also seem to have gone one further and are using a bit of a b-team lineup. Very dissapointing not to see Mai Murakami and Natsumi Sasada, but perhaps they are being saved for bigger competitions. Hopefully. The competition takes place from 7-15th November and has an AA, TF and EF's. YAY!
In other news, John Orozco is the 3rd victim of the tour, injuring his knee on a dismount. Ridiculous! High level gymnastics is obviously more appealing as a draw, but so not worth it. It is confirmed to be a torn ACL and meniscus, which puts him out for at least a year. This tour is terrible.
The Russian teams for the upcoming Massilia Cup and next July's Universiade Games have been announced. Massilia's line-up will be Anastasia Sidorova, Yulia Inshina, Maria Kharenkova and Yevgeniya Shelgunova. Universiade's will be Aliya Mustafina, Tatiana Nabieva, Ksenia Afanasyeva and Kristina Goryunova. Great to see Kristina get a bigger assignment of more note, and of course, to see Nabs again. Maria Kharenkova is arguably Russia's best junior, so hopefully she can make even more of a name for herself.
The Chinese team for the upcoming Massilia Cup will be Lou Nina, Mei Jie, Chen Siyi and Liu Zhilin who all had strong performances this year at Nationals. Bars and beam should be a highlight and hopefully they can dominate there. The competition takes place from the 17th-18th November.
Romanian Junior Nationals have just taken place. They were split up into 4 categories from girls born in 2001-2002 down to girls who are already on the junior national team. Sadly, plenty of the most promising did not compete- Madalina Blendea, Adela Florea and Andreea Munteanu were all injured and Laura Jurca only did bars due to an injury also. Other girls were also injured, but quite a few only doing 1 or 2 events. Andreea Iridon who is great on bars (not a qualifying statement- she is!) dominated her age category and won bars, beam and floor. Silvia Zarzu did well but is hindered by her terrible bars. Laura Jurca took silver on bars. Sad to see so many absences, especially as the purpose of this competition was to add more to the national team. The big excitement was Andreea Iridon's bars and Asiana Peng's triple full on floor.Their team for Massilia has not been announced yet, but since they have a plethora of injuries it will be tougher than expected. Individuals and other teams have been announced. Of note are the two super exciting and very different Dutch girls- Eythora Thorsdottir and Chantysha Netteb. The former is glorious on beam and has a floor fresh from the 1985 Soviet team. The latter is powerful with her speciality being vault on which she is the reigning Junior European Champion. From Canada, Victoria Moors who is already down for both world cups and Victoria Woo and Gabriella Douglas (LOL if she competes against Gabby at some stage) are among the contingent.
Bruno Grandi has been re-elected. Yawn. New blood please. He will be 82 when his term ends. So has Nellie Kim which is less of a surprise given she ran unopposed. Nellie continues to be biased in her decisions, no longer a direct judge but having the power to sway their decision.
Anna Pavlova will compete at the Tournoi meet. In USA news, there is a big furore over comments Anna Li has made and some sort of (maybe not at all) reply Nastia made. ie accusations of bullying by Anna followed by 'Let it be' tweet from Nastia. Suspicion has been planted firmly in Alicia Sacramone's corner, with 'victims' being Gabby, Anna and Nastia. Personally, it would not take much for me to believe that of Alicia who does appear from several instances to have a mean side. Bullying is quite a step further though, despite the fact they have been cooped up together for quite a while, and dumping girls in their teens and early 20's together and expecting no drama is ludicrous. However Anna should never have posted any comments. It smacks of immaturity, and she is definitely old enough to know better. It's one thing doing something like that on facebook between school friends, but it's definitely worse when these girls have a substantial fanbase and attract a lot of attention from the gym community at large. Not impressed.