Jordan Chiles missed qualifying elite by a tiny fraction, as she fell off bars. Seeing as she is 4 years off being a senior, this is far from a calamity, though dissapointing for her of course. She is very strong on all 4 events so if she avoids a fall in future there's pretty much no doubt she'll make it. Really looking forward to seeing her routines, I saw a beautifully clean DTY video recently. Pixie Brock, the girl in blue who was given short shrift in the MLT documentary, failed to qualify elite as did Alyona Shchennikova, Polina's sister. Madison Kocian managed it. There isn't a full list yet so I'm unsure if Irina Alexeeva qualified. She is even younger than Jordan by virtue of not turning senior until 2018 so again, plenty of time. She competed in the junior elite ranks later on in the day but seeing as she is from WOGA that isn't a chrystal clear indication..rules can be bent when it's your gym. Edit- Irina qualified elite! Well done to her. She just did beam and floor after doing the AA earlier, managing the highest scores on both events. I LOVE her beam. Seven juniors competed AA, with Meredith Sylvia of Parkettes in first. Laurie Hernandez counted a fall on bars and was second. Polina Shchennikova seems to have had a rough time on beam, coming in fourth. Full results are here. Irina's qualifying routines are here.
Russia have pulled out of Jesolo. This is a bit of a blow both as an opportunity to see a wide range of seniors and juniors and as a means of seeing them face off against USA which they now won't be doing until worlds and then only individually, but it does make sense that they don't want to wear their gymnasts out this early in the quad. They have quite a bit on their plate- Russian Championships at the beginning of next month, the LRSY (Bercy) World Cup in the middle of March which has Aliya Mustafina, Ksenia Afanasyeva and Maria Paseka on its roster, and then Euros towards the end of April. Anna Rodionova is injured and won't be at Championships. She competed watered down routines with a cast recently..a leg injury, not sure if it was sustained when she fell on her Pak on bars at Stuttgart late last year or if it's unrelated. Also missing will be Viktoria Komova of course, though prognosis on her seems to be better than expected. Edit- Aliya has pulled out of LRSY. Paseka and Afan are still on the roster. I was looking forward to seeing a new floor from her- even just with back layout passes- but still there's a few opportunities to see her before summer so whatever keeps her healthy and paced correctly. I noticed Diana Chelaru is not on the roster anymore in the last update, but hadn't seen the February 14th update. It's here.
Elena Zamolodchikova has reportedly suffered a heart attack. She has been dealing with a lot of stress- the closing down of her gym, move to another multi-sports facility and friction there. She appears to stand accused of physically beating other coaches (??!!). The translations are pretty bad, but it appears that she has been released, still feeling weak, and will be observed until Wednesday. It is entirely blamed on the stress she has been under. Edit: It's been said on IG forums that a fluff piece stated she had a minor heart condition, which would make this attack at such a young age all the more likely. I'm waiting for a decent translation to fill in the gaps but you can read/translate the original article here.
While it's obvious that Oksana Chusovitina has not retired given her recent participation in meets, the latest news is that she plans to compete for Uzbekistan in Rio. This would be her 7th Olympics, and if she makes it to 2016, her 25th year competing as a senior elite. WOW. Oksana has said before that she wanted to focus on coaching the Uzbek team, which presumably she will combine with her own training. While she has German nationality from moving there for her son's treatment, Uzbekistan is her native country so presumably she has dual nationality and won't have to jump through hoops to be elegible. Wishing this incredibly inspirational athlete the best of luck.She really deserves to be recognised outside of her own sport..it's quite a bit different to someone competing that long in a sport like archery or equestrian..
USAG just posted a short interview with Kyla Ross. She talks about focusing on her all-around potential and her goals of performing strongly at SCAM and Nationals. There's footage of her on all four events at camp, though vault and floor are just warm-ups. She looks nice and sharp on bars, good to see.
I posted this 10 minutes after USAG uploaded it. Delighted this morning to wake up to ones with Lexie Priessman, Katelyn Ohashi and Simone Biles. Hopefully a Maddie Desch one too. Obviously Kyla is already a senior, the rest are new to the scene. You can see the others here.
The Nadia Comaneci International Invitational was won by Victoria Moors in the senior category and Rebeca Andrade in the junior category. I thought this was a Level 10 meet when I heard about it a while ago, so very happy to discover some great names competing. Another favourite is 2000- born Romanian Asiana Peng who is very clean and artistic on beam and floor. Routines have been uploaded here. The highlight is Victoria Moors on floor. So great to see her right back on form after an off day at the recent Canadian Nationals. Love the choreography right in the middle, and the turn before her last pass. Although she is an extremely worthy floor medal winner she needs a good bit more difficulty to contend, but I'm glad she isn't being overworked when she's not long back from a mild injury. Rebeca Andrade is once again extremely impressive on beam and floor, super height on everything. Nice to see she's keeping it easy though. Bars are her nemesis and she did not do her Comaneci- a shame considering the meet. Asiana Peng has a lovely sprightly floor and nice swing on bars. Plenty of time for the two of them to develop on bars yet.
The Tokyo World Cup roster has been released. (C'mon Jesolo!!). It's a nice mix and I'm most excited to see Asuka Teramoto, Elisa Meneghini and Shang Chunsong. Elisa is a brand new Italian senior who isn't far behind Enus Mariani in terms of promise. (Speaking of Enus, there's a dance run-through of her new floor routine and it's amazing! Epic, dramatic music and she really sell it.) I'm a bit dissapointed to see Huang Qiushuang because although I love her expression on floor and she can display gorgeous work elsewhere...I feel like she has had endless opportunities often with dissapointing results and that it's time to push Zeng Siqi, Huang Huidan and Wu Liufang forward for the international experience they need. Elsabeth Black recently had an extrememly dominant performance at Canadian Nationals, so she should be strong competition. Somehow I am not suprised to see Vanessa Ferrari on the roster as she is competing like a maniac saving up for a house..hopefully a mansion at this stage, she deserves it. I haven't seen much at all of Charlie Fellows so I'm looking forward to her. And last but not least...an unnamed American! Very exciting stuff and it's nice to see them participating in a greater number of international meets. February camp should be very interesting, names for SCAM, Jesolo, the Germany meet and now this, not to mention the much depleted Junior National team. I've named all the girls for the Tokyo Cup but you can see the roster and for MAG too here.
TCG have confirmed the Japanese lineup for Jesolo and coupled with the source on weibo, I'll take that! I'm SO EXCITED to see Asuka Teramoto who is definitely making up for missing competitions with a minor injury last year, Mai Murakami as always, not so much new skills from her as it's very early..but consistency, the cleanest bars worker I've seen in a long time- Wakana Inoue, the girl with the layout full beam mount- Natsumi Sasada who has been missing in action for quite a while and Waikiko Ryu who I haven't seen much of. Superb lineup. They are also sending five juniors and as their juniors are completely unknown to me, an excellent opportunity to see what's coming up through their ranks.