Even Afan can't make this abomination work- Copyright RGF- Russian Gymnastics federation
LOVE- Both copyright of the RGF- Russian Gymnastics Federation
My observations here come from videos from a mix of all three events- quals, AA and TF. I missed the quals and AA livestream and gave up on the TF one because it was too laggy on my laptop. There seems to be suprise that Tatiana Nabieva did not do her named release. I'm not surprised, she has not done it in a good while. Good bars from her though and she scored well on vault. New face (to me) Alla Sosnitskaya had impressive difficulty on floor- a DLO (almost to her knees in the video I saw, but still) and triple full, looking forward to seeing more of her. Watching her TF floor now, her landings were out of control. Nice to see someone with a lot of power all the same! As for Mustafina, at this point of the year she is wisely not stretching herself too much. There's a lot of dissapointment that she's not selling her floor routine as well as she has her old routines, but I see no reason to do that this early. I'm sure it will be improved by Euros and stellar by the time Worlds rolls around. Her vault, DTY, was great- well landed and controlled. Bars were a delight as always, very clean and crisp. Totally watered down from London as expected. Aliya's beam was the highlight for me, she has some great new connections. She didn't connect them in the AA but they were much better in the team final which was great to see. My favourite is the Onodi-double turn. Glorious. Her arabian looks pretty solid too and it's nice to see a double back dismount in place of a twisting one. It looks like the new beam connections were designed for her, I'm sure she will have more up her sleeve. As expected, she debuted a new floor routine. At some points, she isn't selling the routine and looks disinterested. Again, not to beat a dead horse, but she's not in London and doesn't need to go all out. I do like the music though and it looks like it will be great. The double arabian-stag and triple full looked very solid though she had a deep landing on her second pass and lots of (now deductible) long pauses in corners. Really excited to see how this routine develops this year. Grishina did well to place second. Her first floor routine looked exhausting for her, low double-double and a double pike to her hands and knees. Thankfully she performed better in team finals- watered down with no scary passes or falls. She seems more mentally ready to compete, more confident. Bars were improved, and she has brought back her beautiful Onodi-illusion beam combination. Not many creditable connections present in the routine as of yet though and she's still shaky. It is a big victory that she stayed on beam all the same. She did crash a DTY, but she was still improved on what we saw of her all last year, and it's only just begun. I am surprised to see Afanasyeva compete AA. I thought she would specialise on beam and floor, but maybe she is planning to do that in the very near future.Nice new beam work from her apparently though the video has been taken down before I got to it. Thankfully someone described it- switch half (new), aerial (2 feet) to jump (dunno what one- split leap? scissone?), Kotchetkova- tour-jete 1/2 (fell in between), aerial-1.5 L turn (awesome!), Onodi-side somi. Now she did have major issues with the routine and barely qualified to EF but it seems like she was trying out a whole load of exciting connections. It sounds like a very interesting routine, especially with her execution. Her floor is the same from London, still with very strong tumbling. She is EF worthy on both events, excellent stuff.
I will always have a soft spot for Anna Myzdrikova who was just phenomenal on floor 2009-2010. She has resurrected her floor from that (perfect) time, and her double arabian is still great. She is still captivating to watch. Ekaterina Kramarenko seems to have improved, good for her. I didn't see any Ekaterina Baturina videos but word is she wasn't great and is recovering from an injury. Missing were Viktoria Komova, Yulia Inshina (back problem), Anastasia Sidorova (back problem) and Anna Rodionova (foot..I think)
Videos and more after the jump!
Nabs UB and Pavs FX (can't write under first one..)
This is the best quality.
Aliya VT 1:45
Afan VT 2:05
Maria Bee Farm VT 3:40
Kramarenko BB 07:13
Aliya UB 08:50
Grishina BB 12:21
The next three routines are:
Myzdrikova FX, Grishina FX and Sosnitskaya FX
And the very last one, Aliya's floor with music is here.
Not forgetting some American routines that have gotten lost in the American Cup fuss. Although there were a lot of new elites and strong Level 10's competing at the Houston National Invitational, my favourite was Irina Alexeeva. No suprise there. Her Onodi-aerial-sheep is no more connected than Katelyn Ohashi's- Liukin may need a rethink on that pass- but everything was really precise and well done and the BHS-LOSO-LOSO was perfect. I love how one of the judges beams at her at the end. Her lines on floor are exquisite too, but I'm not a fan of this music- it doesn't show off her style and it just seems off, too energetic for her. Still, she has a long time to hone her routines before she's senior so we will hopefully see masterpieces from her. Another young star is Jordan Chiles who will be re-trying for elite this month. Here is her spectacular new floor routine for elite, from WOGA classic I believe. The double arabian looks so easy for her considering her diminutive size, and she is training a front-triple-layout punchfront pass which will probably replace the double-full version seen in her second pass. I'll also include her DTY from a while back, it's very strong.
And finally- Sydney Johnson-Scharpf's floor routine! She was wowing everyone at Nastia Liukin Cup but I couldn't watch and it was on too late anyway to fuss about with proxies. This is the one from the qualifying meet. I absolutely love it.
UPDATE- Cottbus' roster has been released. Quite a few gaps to fill, and hopefully some more for China who appear to just be sending Huang Huidan. Larisa Iordache and Diana Bulimar will compete all events except vault, and the Russian team is Anna Dementyeva, Anastasia Grishina, Kristina Goryunova and Evgeniya Shelgunova. It's here.
Brazil's top gymnastics club, Flamengo, has suspended adult gymnastics. Members of the National Team that train there Jade Barbosa, Daniele Hypolito and Diego Hypolito amongst others now need somewhere else to train, and sponsorship. A lot of staff have also been cut, as it is suffering huge financial problems- a great shame leading up to their home games. Unfortunately, this is also where hugely talented rising star Rebeca Andrade trains. It's not clear if she is affected, the article when translated states that those training for 2016 remain. So that's a little bright spot on this bleak horizon, hopefully. The same club suffered a fire a while ago which no doubt had an impact on the financial crisis. Judo has also been dumped. Spotted this on The All Around's twitter- great for news. One source article is here.
Diana Bulimar has a DTY! YES! It's been known for a while that she is upgrading her FTY, but not what the upgrade is to be. I'm so glad it's a DTY, not a 1.5. It's times like this I wish I could understand what they're saying- there's two DTY's in the video and they both look great, can't tell if they are both Didi or not since I don't get a good look at the face.. Source is here via FanGymnastics on twitter who thankfully can understand Romanian.
Coming soon: La Roche Sur Yon WC, Jesolo, Chemnitz, Gymnix and Tokyo WC! But in the meantime..favourite beam? Downie or Harrold? Bhardwaj or Zuchold? Alexeeva floor or Chiles? Mustafina floor or Afan? Can Grishina continue to stay on the beam? Or any thoughts you have :)