China, who took the team title at AYOF despite four falls, did not dominate in the AA and EF, sadly. However, they did accrue some more medals- Mei Jie took third in the AA, first on bars and third on beam, Luo Huan took second on bars, Liu Zhilin second on floor and third on vault and Chen Siyi second on beam. All in all, they went home far from empty handed, and at an inauspicious time of the year for them, still in the middle of Winter Training. There is great dissapointment that they did not sweep the board, but I don't think they should be written off...they are not used to competition, particularly international, and will not have been training high level skills for long. A good point was made on IG, that Deng Linlin was extremely inconsistent as a junior. Conversely of course, Tan Sixin and plenty of others never translated their potential as a junior to a senior. I am very impressed with Britain! Hope to see all of these girls in the future.
There's a US National Team Camp taking place. Some more appointments to the Junior National Team would be nice. Sarah Finnegan is not at camp, no idea as to why not. Hopefully not an injury. If she is not present at the next camp at the end of February, it is unlikely that she will be in contention for the competitions in Italy and Germany coming up in March. This one will no doubt be focusing on upgrades for those meets, and the summer season- Classics and Nationals, as well as SCAM of course.
Norah Flatley, Alexis Vasquez and Jordan Chiles will all be trying for elite this year. Norah and Alexis are Chow's most promising Level 10's, with some gorgeous beam work and artistry. Jordan is the girl I posted about a while ago, who has an arsenal of awesome skills in training- a DTY, a front triple-layout front etc. but sadly is not elegible for Rio. They would all make fabulous additions to the Junior National Team. I am most excited for Bailie Key, who now has a Downie and Church (!!!) on bars, and a standing arabian on beam. No doubt she has plans for floor and hopefully vault too. She will make excellent competition for Amelia Hundley.
Here is Michaela Chernoch's of Southern Utah's vault from a while ago, versus UCLA. It's the last one, at about 20 seconds. It's a one and a half on, full off. There's a lot of debate over whether it is a vault or not. It's extremely expressive in that a) she lands it and b) she lands it dead centre, and not off the mat...that's a very difficult vault to control the direction on. It also of course, looks awesome. But I'd have to agree it's not a vault, the vault is in her way, not a tool for her to rebound off. She gets pretty much no repulsion off the table and barely touches it. So, not a vault as it does not conform to the three stages of one. But wow!
Beth Tweddle performed for the second time on Dancing on Ice at the weekend. On her first outing, she was commended for her skill and bravery, but condemned for her roboticness. I would agree that she is much more watchable this time around, and has clearly made a lot of effort as regards her presentation. Well done Beth! Particularly impressive in that she was not felling well and had been hospitalised during the week.
Here are Lizzy LeDuc's routines from a meet a few weeks ago. The super-stylish junior who garnered quite a fanbase, moved gyms from WOGA after breaking both her elbows and dropped to Level 10. She failed to qualify elite last year, and has moved gyms again. This is an interview she gave after that move. It won't work for me, not sure if it's under gymnastike's gold' premium section or what. She seems happy with the goal of a college scholarship in mind, and indeed her routines look very NCAA. LOVE that floor. Still, I'd say ruling out her return to elite is premature.
Bridget Sloan did not dissapoint with her new floor routine. It makes the most of her choreography potential, and there's plenty of room for her to increase the difficulty in her tumbling, which is fairly average at the moment. I especially like the opening part.
This is my routine of the day, Hope Spivey at the 1994 NCAA EF on floor. Not only because she was 26 and still awesome, but for the difficulty, form and flair she shows here. Did I mention...reverse choreography??? Wow. Do not adjust your VCR!XD
I made a tumblr. I'm not sure exactly why, as I've no real interest in the tumblr world of OMG REBLOG LOL and I only ever look at a grand total of 3 tumblrs. Boredom I suppose. Predictably, you can find it at http://beautifulgymnastics.tumblr.com It looks extremely bare right now. I will use it for more informal snippets/pictures/videos. You can ask me questions or suggest something for a post on this blog. I won't be neglecting blogger in its place. EDIT- I got very sick of it and deleted it. I just don't like tumblr.