I can't contain my excitement that I booked the flights and hotel for worlds! The whole thing with tickets costs 360, or $470. I think that's great, though I'd probably pay twice that if I had to I suppose. :D :D :D :D :D
Anyway, on to actual news. Jesolo's lineup has been completed! USA are sending Lexie Priessman, Simone Biles, Kyla Ross, Katelyn Ohashi, Peyton Ernst, Maggie Nichols, Amelia Hundley and Bailie Key. Italy are sending just about every gymnast they have- including Elisa Meneghini, Vanessa Ferrari, Serena Bugani, Elisabetta Preziosa, Erika Fasana, Georgia Campana, Enus Mariani and Tea Ugrin. Japan announced theirs ages ago- Mai Murakami, Asuka Teramoto, Wakana Inoue, Natsumi Sasada and Wakiko Ryu. Switzerland are sending a full team which includes Giulia Steingruber.
So, who are Maggie Nichols and Peyton Ernst? They are new seniors who have been impressing at camp. I need to see more of Maggie to judge her, but although I liked Peyton Ernst's floor last year, she didn't seem to stand out on any event. I'm glad to hear she has improved though I believe both girls are moreso there for experience rather than as the a-team that the other senior girls comprise.
The team competition is a foregone conclusion. The top contenders for the all-around title will be Simone Biles, Kyla Ross, Lexie Priessman and to a lesser extent; Mai Murakami, Vanessa Ferrari and Asuka Teramoto. Hard to pick the best two of USA's all-arounders. I believe Simone Biles will take it in the end. But it will be interesting- Jesolo tore apart Aly Raisman's execution last year, and all of the US girls in contention have form errors- either leaps, sloppiness, piked layouts (I include Priessman in that) and incredibly deductible bars or else lower difficulty like Kyla.
For vault, it will be a Priessman V Biles powerfest if both have their second vaults ready. Giulia Steingruber will hopefully shine here too. Again, this should be handed to Simone Biles. Floor will be much the same story, Priessman V Biles, with strong additions from Mai Murakami who needs more upgrades to take higher than bronze, Vanessa Ferrari and hopefully Elisa Meneghini and Asuka Teramoto. I think Priessman has this in the bag with her 6.7 difficulty no matter how much execution she loses, though I would prefer Biles again as she is cleaner, and more artistic. I'd be so happy if bars was won by Wakana Inoue who has a beautifully fluid swing, style and form on the apparatus. It's much more likely to go to an American- I wouldn't bet on Ohashi though because if Jesolo's harsh execution scoring continues this year then her e-score could plummet below 8 quite easily. If Biles doesn't fall then she has a great medal chance, but I'm thinking Kyla Ross will take gold. Beam is just as certain as the team title- it's Ohashi's if she doesn't fall.
In the junior rankings, I'm looking forward to the Japanese girls as I don't have a clue about them. The all-around should be interesting, it will more than likely be a Hundley V Key V Mariani showdown. Key has some upgrades in the works and a new floor routine. She has a good blend of power and artistry and is very clean, and more than likely able to increase her difficulty over the next year or two as she grows. At the moment it should be a close enough battle, Hundley might be a little more harshly scored due to her execution than the other two. Enus Mariani has the most exciting floor routine this year, though she is competing a bars routine she is struggling with, though her coaches see competing it as a neccessity. Hopefully she can emerge the victor over it this time. I would prefer Mariani-Key-Hundley on the podium but it's more likely to be that in reverse.
Evgeniya Shelgunova won beam at Russian Championships event finals today, and Ksenia Afanasyeva won floor. Yesterday's winners were Maria Paseka on vault and Anastasia Grishina on bars (Mustafina made a mistake.) Mustafina pulled out of beam and floor finals to protect herself, good move seeing as she has more than proved herself and needs to be in good shape for Euros. Sadly, Demy did not shine, finishing fourth on beam and sixth on floor. I think this means she won't take the fourth Euros spot, which she, Afan and Shelgunova are in contention for.
Jordan Chiles qualified elite at developmental camp with a score of 52.150. I live for the thought of her competing at Classics and Nationals.
Andreea Iridon is sadly no longer competing at Gymnix this weekend. No idea Lewhy not. She's Romania's brightest hope on bars. They should make a strong impact on beam and floor in particular, no surprises there. Maria Bondareva is scheduled to compete, and both her team and the Romanian team will have strong competition from the home team, Canada.
The Doha World Cup roster is out. It was already known that Larisa Iordache and Diana Bulimar would compete at this, but there are several other good names. China are sending Zeng Siqi (FINALLY), Tan Jiaxin and Zhang Qing. GB are sending Ruby Harrold and Gabby Jupp and it will be a battle of the vaulters- Janine Berger, Giulia Steingruber, Thi Ha Thanh Phan and whatever vaulters North Korea pull out of their hat- they are sending Hong Un Jong, Ri Un Ha and Kim Un Hyang. Beam will be very interesting, a Iordache V Zeng battle, with backup from strong beamers Bulimar and Jupp. And bars too, with tricksters Tan Jiaxin and Ruby Harrold. Tan is known only for bars and will need a second event to make major teams (even He Kexin could crank out a DTY), but her bars are very dynamic and exciting. She could be to the forefront if the old amazing releases of old are brought back. Let's hope Harrold can nail that amazing routine of hers too.
Gymnix is taking place now. LRSY is March 16-17th. Jesolo is March 23-24th, Doha is 27-29th and Chemnitz is March 30th. I think that's it?