Gymnix rosters have been released. The Romanian team which differed between sources before is definitely Andreea Munteanu, Andreea Iridon, Laura Jurca and Paula Tudorache. The first three all feature in my New Kids on the Block Romania post. Very dissapointed not to see Madalina Blendea who doesn't seem to have competed in nearly a year, but word is she is not competition ready yet after an illness. Russia are sending lesser known girls to get experience. Apparently Seda Tutkhalyan has a DTY and round-off-layout on beam so that seems promising. Heaven Latimer, Aleeza Yu, Shallon Olsen and Rose Kayen-Woo from Canada will be there, as well as teams from Japan, Belgium and France. Should be very good. I'm expecting Romania to win. The final roster is here. (download)
In US news, the second girl for SCAM should have been announced by now! Patiently waiting. I fully expect Lexie Priessman but you just never know. Simone Biles would be another strong bet, or maybe Kennedy Baker. It looks like a very bad idea to push Katelyn Ohashi to compete all-around at the moment, so her name would be a huge surprise. The competitive field for this is quite weak so while you will hear a lot about the depth of competition from the commentators...in reality there will be two extremely strong US girls against a B team. In fact, there will be nobody else from the top 4 at all. I'm most interested in Kyla Ross' upgrades and my main hope is that it will be a good fight for bronze. Jordyn Wieber has reported that she is training and has almost all of her skills back. That will make for an interesting Nationals if she's ready. Aly Raisman looks to be a dead cert for Dancing With the Stars (Strictly Come Dancing) which should be good as dancing definitely does not come easy to her. The official announcement will be tomorrow. Aly's age first and foremost makes her a good choice as she does not have to jump through the hoops Shawn Johnson had to first time around- child labour laws, court, guardian at all times, reduced practice etc. etc. However, I think she's also a smart choice due to her sunny, pleasant personality and she seems very genuine and humble. It's no suprise that she is raking in endorsements all over the place. EDIT- Aly has been confirmed. The competition starts mid-March.
EDIT- Bit of a shock! Katelyn Ohashi and Simone Biles will be the two USA girls for SCAM! Kyla Ross has sadly withdrawn due to a bruised heel. It's fine apparently, but she has had to reduce her training in the last few weeks so isn't ready to go on all four events. I'm sooo suprised to see Katelyn Ohashi, as I expected her not to be fully ready on floor and vault yet, she scratched floor at the WOGA Classic and only did a FTY so I thought she would take longer to be fully ready as an all-arounder. Not liking the fact that injury has forced a complete reversal of the original American lineup..it's very early in the season. It has also kept Lexie Priessman out, she's recovering from an injury apparently. Really looking forward to Biles, and also to see what Katelyn has up her sleeve in an all-around. Koko Tsurumi has withdrawn and will be replaced by Maegan Chant of Canada. Ross may compete exhibition on beam. Full lineup is Moors, Chant, Jupp, Teramoto, Seitz, Ferrari, Ohashi and Biles with withdrawals from Price, Ross, Iordache and Tsurumi. There's a lot of snark going on about Kyla not being injured/recovering. There's no evidence for that but there is for the opposite so I'm going with that.
Peyton Ernst, another new senior, has been added to the National Team. She will compete at the Tokyo Cup, the previously unnamed USA spot.
Chantysha Netteb suffered a scary fall at a Euros qualifying competition at the weekend when she landed her beam dismount on her neck. She was taken to hospital as a precaution but thankfully the damage is only minor- a bump on her arm and some neck pain. There's a lot of optimism that she'll be ready to go for the next qualifying meet in a fortnight.Edit- Chantysha has her own blog. The fall sounds even scarier, she missed her foot before the dismount, attempted to get back up after and fell back down. She herself remains hopeful she can compete at the second qualifier. Get well soon Chantysha! Her blog is here. It's in Dutch of course, which translates fairly well but mixes up bars and beam. The accident happened on beam, not bars. I just left a comment which has probably translated as gibberish. I love when gymnasts have blogs- Jennifer Pinches has started to blog her London experience with looooads of photos, it's fascinating. I'll link the posts when she's done.
Does anyone else miss the old-style nicknames the Soviets got? I absolutely love them and wish they would be reinstated.
Olga Korbut- The Sparrow from Minsk
Svetlana Boginskaya- The Belarussian Swan
Tatiana Gutsu- The Painted Bird from Odessa
Tatiana Nabieva- The Peacock from St. Petersburg
LOL JK Tatiana Nabieva does not have a nickname other than Nabs. In fact, this type died with the Soviet Union. I don't count Simona Amanar's nickname meaning airhead and Raluca Haidu's meaning dwarf (lovely bunch in the Romanian National Teams...), they have to be of this exact type. Sometimes a Russian comes along who deserves to be memorialised like former Soviet greats were. Tatiana is one, Aliya another. Bring it back!