Bailie Key scored a huge 58.1 to dominate the Junior AA at Jesolo today. Second was the reigning Junior Euros champion Enus Mariani of Italy who scored 55.2, and in third was Amelia Hundley who scored 55.05. Amelia beat Bailie at camp immediately before they left for Italy, but this isn't exactly a surprising turn of events as Jesolo is known for harsh scoring for gymnasts who are that bit messier in their gymnastics. Aly Raisman for instance had her execution scoring slammed last year. Who knows, it may have been part of what spurred her on to improve her form for the international competition that really mattered- London.
Enus fell on beam, but it appears Amelia's problem was just execution. Her vault score was definitely in line, and her floor was not that far behind the leaders. Her beam and bars were both low 13's but that is to be expected when fair judging is applied to them. That's not to say that I don't enjoy Amelia Hundley's gymnastics, she's very dynamic and powerful and I really hope she does not join the ranks of MLT's broken gymnasts...but I am glad that Jesolo rewards clean, beautiful gymnastics. Looking at a photo of the podium highlights another issue for Amelia- she has shot up. Hopefully she can improve when she gets used to her height.
This is a great win for Bailie- and decisive too with a 3 point lead. Slow and steady wins the race, she's being paced correctly. I will add videos when they arrive- most excited for Bailie's floor and bars and Enus' floor. I have only seen a dance-through of the latter's new floor and a very far away look at it in competition where she fell- but it is obvious even from those glimpses that it's brilliant. Epic, dramatic, beautiful. Update- The excellent GymPOWER1 and piibunia are uploading already. I'm not sure if they can be embedded or if it's just that they have embedding disabled but either way it's not working. In the meantime, check out videos here. Bailie and Amelia certainly have upbeat music! I like Amelia's. I'm a bit undecided about Bailie's though..there's a lot going on with it, but I think she can own her routine more in time..this is the first competitive debut. GORGEOUS tumbling from her. I'm so glad that she's not flinging double arabians and so on. I am impressed with crazy tumbling from girls as young and younger than her I'll admit, but it's still better to see someone being developed nice and slow. Amelia can certainly improve from what she showed today. Enus was glorious to watch as usual, though she's piking down quite considerably on her DTY and her double layout bars dismount. Her floor deserves its own link (a different uploader). Stunning.
Not hearing a whole lot of great news from the senior competition. Vanessa Ferrari has been taken to hospital after falling off beam on the tucked full and not being able to continue. Hopefully it's very minor and this is just a precaution. Mai Murakami landed her double double on her knees and scored so low on vault that she either fell or did an FTY instead of the DTY. Dissapointing, but hopefully it won't continue to be the story of her senior career. Her bars score was 10.55 so clearly mishaps there too. Girl is such a heartbreaker. Lexie Priessman and Maggie Nichols fell off beam. In good news Simone Biles scored a whopper 15.9 for her amanar- 9.6 execution. She must have stuck that thing, can't wait to see a video. And in a surprise twist Brenna Dowell scored extremely high on bars- 14.7- which was definitely not expected. I've just gone back and read the more detailed quick hits from L'International Gymnix on facebook. It definitely appears that Brenna has improved, good for her. Sadly Peyton Ernst fell victim to beam too. She seems to be showing nice work, I hope she and Maggie can show off hit beam routines at Chemnitz. And confirmed, Simone did stick her amanar. And her bars dismount. She is leading the AA after 3 rotations and scored higher than Kyla on beam. WOW. Kyla outscored Simone on bars 15.4 to 14.85 and Simone outscored Kyla on vault by 0.7 and beam by 0.05. On to floor, a pet piece of Simone's if she can only control her landings. Interestingly, the facebook quick hits are referring to USA's layouts on beam as whips. I would tend to agree if they all look like Simone's and Bailie's. This would be a downgrade if the judges took it- there's no amplitude. Simone's second vault is the Lopez- which was Maroney's second vault in 2011. It's also known as a laidout Podkopayeva I believe. Ahhh can't wait for videos..
And Simone nails floor! Excellent. Not to mention she has actually upgraded it already, the 1 and a half to double pike became a full-in tuck and she has added a leap after the double layout. Scores a 14.9, a full point and a half above Kyla's low 13.35- she went out of bounds on two passes and did not show upgrades. Great boost for Simone after a slightly dissapointing American Cup. Her AA total breaks 60- by 0.4 to be exact, a fantastic result especially at a competition known for harsh judging.
Unfortunately, I got a little confused with British Championships livestreaming schedule. The senior AA is taking place soon but will not be livestreamed. Tomorrow's apparatus finals will be livestreamed instead. AA finals routines from today will be uploaded to youtube swiftly by the very efficient and commendable BGTV though.
Anastasia Grishina won bars finals at Cottbus! She is continuing her lucky streak of hitting. Hopefully she can get the beam title too. It's so great that her coaching change is clearly the right decision. Even if she does remain a little flaky, she looks very happy and that's the main thing. Not surprisingly, Oksana Chusovitina took the vault title.
USAG are uploading old American Cup's. I spotted 1984, 1986 and the inaugural one, 1976. Don't be fooled by the 'full broadcast' title- it's about as full as NBC's Olympic coverage. There were only 6 female gymnasts and they managed to show just 3. There is enormous Nadia Comaneci hype of course, and you get to see all of her routines. It's interesting to see her compete in great quality pre-Montreal. And how Kathy Rigby pretty much dismisses Elena Davydova after she fell off bars, 4 years before she became Olympic AA champion. Contains fluff where Nadia walks around sightseeing with Bela chewing gum and wearing flares. And a bizarre showdown which NBC would love, pitting Nadia against Olga Korbut on all four events. And a two sentence but nevertheless great interview from Nadia.