Brenna Dowell leads the Mexican Cup after Day 1. The competition is being split over two days, vault and bars were contested, beam and floor is next. Anna Dementyeva is in fourth place, knocked down after a very scary yurchenko full which she barely got around after no block. Dowell had a DTY, the only one of the competition. Although she is a GAGE girl, Dowell's form is pretty sloppy. Nevertheless, her difficulty puts her ahead- her bars contained shaposh 1/2, Jaeger and a full twisting double layout dismount. Demy is usually excellent on beam, but doubtful that it will be enough for gold at this point. Dowell is strong on floor and will be looking to get a double front piked credited. It was apparently downgraded to tucked position before, which as a deduction as she already has one of them. If you're that good at front tumbling, do Podkopayeva's double front half out in place of the tuck and save the penalty! Georgia Rose Brown of Australia is in third and Yessenia Estrada of Mexico is in second, delighting the home crowd. Tomorrow will be a strong day for Brenna Dowell and Marta Pihan-Kulesza who would be able to work her way up the rankings. Nobody's sure what Demy can or will bring on vault and beam, hopefully enough to medal. Videos are available, I will be putting up highlights in a new post along with Dityayin Cup videos, if they become available.
Amanda Reddin is the new head coach for Team GB. Amanda is the long-term coach of Beth Tweddle, as well as Hannah Whelan and Jenni Pinches. It is very obvious from seeing how she interacts with her gymnasts and looking at Beth's longevity and continued extremely high level of performance that she is a fantastic coach. Former head coach Adrain Stan is moving on to high level coach development. Bring on the continued beautiful gymnastics of Rebecca Tunney and the new era of wunderkinds Gabby Jupp and Angel Romaeo!
Amelia Racea of Romania has retired. Amelia most notably had success in 2010 Europeans, where she won beam. She qualified to 2011 worlds event finals on that event, but was hindered by low difficulty. Nevertheless, she had lovely gymnastics and would make a nice addition to Euros teams. Amelia is just not feeling gymnastics anymore and has gone to university, so fair enough. This year has seen the retirement also of Ana Porgras and Gabriela Dragoi.
McKayla Maroney has rejoined the Kelloggs tour. McKayla was still in two casts last week, so I highly doubt she has been medically cleared to do any actual gymnastics. She will of course need to spend a lot of time getting back into peak condition anyway after resting for so long.
Along with the Mexican Cup which will be streamed live here, the Dityatin Cup in Russia is attracting some interesting faces. Anna Pavlova, Ekaterina Kramarenko and Evgeniya Shelgunova are the major Russians competing. Anna has quite low difficulty now and seems to train more recreationally but still gets decent vault scores which shove her up the rankings. Ekaterina is she of the infamous vault touch-automatic zero from 2007 Worlds. Not sure what shape she's in, but I'd say her floor is still worth watching. Evgeniya is a 2013 senior, and is quite promising though probably not the best Russia will have in its arsenal leading into Rio. From Ukraine, Darya Kloptsova, a junior with a lovely elegant floor is competing. Kim Janas, a German junior is also very exciting and elegant. Hope to see videos from this. I'll put some up of both comps if they become available.
China's roster for the Asian Championships has been announced. It's quite the break from the usual faces, but should be very interesting. It is composed of the girls who excelled at the recent Nationals. Zeng Siqi, Li Yiting, Huang Huidan, Shang Chungsong, Wu Liufang and Luo Peiru.