The La Roche sur Yon World Cup lineup and roster has been announced. It takes place 16-17th March. Luckily I despise the gigantic mess that is Dublin on St. Patrick's Day (revoke your citizenship if you don't pass out by 9pm!), so I'll probably watch a stream of this instead. This World Cup is the new location and subsequently name for Bercy. The roster/lineup is here. One of the nicest things is that Larisa Iordache will compete all-around, originally only being down to compete bars and beam. Must be as a result of dropping out of SCAM. Certainly she has enough to be getting on with, she should also be a star at Euros, which this year are individual only, much like Worlds. Diana Bulimar is competing beam only, there are other spots available on floor (I don't expect bars from her somehow..) so hopefully that might come to fruition. Russia are sending Aliya Mustafina, Ksenia Afanasyeva and Maria Paseka! Maria is vault ony, Aliya bars and floor and Ksenia beam and floor. Here's the exciting bit....wait for it...Aliya and Ksenia will have new floor routines! YES! Presumably with watered down tumbling, but I can't wait to see what two of the most exciting and potentially most elegant floor workers have to show. I will also be watching out for Janine Berger's vaults and Celine Van Gerner and Kristina Palesova's bars. There are currently no Asians listed, though I don't believe North Korea can qualify, as they have not had berths at the Olympics or subsequent World Cups. I would like to see Shang Chunsong or Zeng Siqi make their mark. And a Japanese contingent would be delightful, or more representation from Britain and Canada. Edit: Another odd thing is that Diana Chelaru is down for floor. She was slated to have retired last year. She definitely did leave the National Team and retreated back to her home gym, but nice to see her get another outing.
March is shaping up to be fantastic.
1st- Nastia Cup
1st-7th- Russian Championships
16-17th- LRSY WC
21-24th- Cottbus WC
30th- USA V Romania V Germany V Spain
There have been some slight changes to the COP. One of which is pretty dull, scissones must land on one foot, and not two. Switch ring leaps are getting a bit of a makeover, the back leg must be bent at a 90 degree angle, along with the previous requirements of head release, back leg at head height or higher, front leg at least at horizontal. There will be an 0.1 deduction for angles between 45 and 90, and total discredit for angles less than 45. This I think is in reaction to this monstrosity:
Not a switch ring leap in any code, but was credited. And to add insult to injury, it comprises the front cover of her book. Here's me trying and failing at a skill! Gabby does not have bad form as a rule, so I'm sure they had a cache of much better images to choose from. Anyway, here's what a switch ring leap now has to look like:
And not like these, they would all fail to avoid deuction or even get full credit:
Eww, hideous! Sigh. The 90 degree angle is jarring and takes away from the line. Who on earth thinks that the first one is more aesthetically pleasing than the 3 below? The other change is to the sheep jump, which must now have a 30 degree angle in hip extension. I hope everyone else is picturing beam judges everywhere squinting with protractors, because I certainly am. This means little for Russia and China, who are well capable. I think they will drop off a bit in popularity elsewhere, as it won't be worth the risk for those less flexible. I do think this will increase the risk for sheep jumps to become scrappier in the fight for the correct angle- feet apart, knees apart, sickling, one leg higher than the other etc. Hmm.
Ebee's new upgrades are cited to include a full twising double layout on floor, and a Mustafina (or half on, full off for its correct term, as it isn't the Mustafina in the COP) as a second vault. Jordan Chiles has passed elite compulsory testing. She will now have to pass elite optionals, at the WOGA classic on February 16th. Looking forward to seeing her shine at Junior Nationals. Grace Quinn of Texas Dreams passed elite testing, I haven't heard of her before so will keep an eye out. Maddie Desch has reportedly torn her mesniscus. A horrible start to her senior career, but it doesn't have a particularly long recovery so she could easily compete at Nationals etc.
Here is one of the funniest 'action' gymnastics photos I have EVER seen. Signing off with the fiercest warrior of them all, Llomincia Hall (rhyme an unintended bonus).