Thursday 18 April 2013

Euro Qualifications and NCAA Nationals begin

Really nail-biting qualifications! First and foremost, I am devastated that Gabby Jupp is injured. She hurt her knee on her double pike beam dismount and was carried from the arena. She has been pulled from competition and is being flown home shortly for medical examination. Really really hoping that it's a very minor thing she has done, it would be awful for this bright young star to be sidelined in her first senior year by an ACL tear. Awful for anyone of course..I'm really missing the presence of the glorious Mariya Livchikova.

I expected the Russian battle for the AA to be a good one and it ended up being much more tense and shocking than any scenario I could have thought up. Who would have thought that Anastasia Grishina with her two falls would be the highest Russian qualifier? Beam was the ultimate decider for these three as they all came to grief there (Mustafina spectacularly so) with the other two counting bars falls into the bargain. A sad day for Afan who started so well with an explosive DTY and what sounds like an amazing floor routine..with upgrades, no less. Really looking forward to seeing her whip-whip triple and turn combinations. Good to see she did not risk the amanar after crashing them wholesale in podium training, I for one am still amazed she actually tried.

Quite a nervous day for others too, though the Romanians got away lightly with 3 strong routines from both girls. Larisa Iordache had some massive errors on bars and came away with a 12.933. She will quite clearly be aiming to better that by a point or so in order to defeat Mustafina..a Mustafina who stays on the beam, that is. Speaking of beam, one Icelandic girl had the misfortune of failing to mount the beam twice, and the fell off it three times..incurring a 5 point deduction. Sadly, extremely talented new seniors Noemi Makra and Chantysha Netteb will be dissapointed with their performances, Makra was very mixed and Netteb had errors on vault and falls on beam. We also won't see Vasilliki Millousi gracing beam finals as she fell also. Noel Van Klaveren stormed her way into vault finals and will be looking to retain her lead on Larisa Iordache there, who qualified fourth.

Unsurprisingly, there were quite a few savvy downgrades. Larisa performed a layout instead of a layout full, still easily claiming the highest qualifying spot on beam, and Diana Bulimar who was training a full-twisting DLO in PT performed it without the twist today. We won't see Ksenia Afanasyeva's amanar now of course, if she was planning to throw it in the AA. It sounds like Sophie Scheder and Giulia Steingruber have stepped up their games, Sophie has a very dynamic bars routine, earning her the third spot, and Giulia's first two passes on floor are now a full-twisting double layout and a double layout.

This post is quite disjointed but it's hard when you're going off quick hits! Don't forget that Moscow is GMT+3 and that WAG is due to start at 17:30 local time. And it's still too close to call with both top contenders have one rough event each, equal enough vaults, bars of one equalling the beam of the other and floor with not much between them...

It will also be an exciting weekend with NCAA Nationals on also. I've watched a few meets this year, free ones, free replays etc. though not as many as I would have wanted to as there were loads of them on at ridiculous times for me. I think the Super Six will be Florida, Alabama, Oklahoma, Georgia, Michigan and LSU. Sadly, UCLA are not looking great. I'd like to see the title go to either Florida or Oklahoma. AA wise, Rheagan Courville, Taylor Spears or Bridget Sloan would be nice. Vanessa Zamarripa for bars, one of the Oklahoma girls or Mackenzie Caquatto for beam, Marissa King (LOVE that Tsuk 1.5) for vault and Llomincia Hall or Jessica Savona for floor. Anyway those are my picks, who are you rooting for?


  1. New predictions:

    AA: Larisa, Aliya, Diana

    VT: Maria, Giulia, Larisa

    UB: Aliya, Sophie/Becky, Becky/Sophie

    BB: Larisa, Diana, Carlotta

    FX: Ksenia, Larisa, Giulia/Diana

  2. So sad about Gabby! I hope it turns out to be nothing too serious and that they are just erring on the side of caution. She's lovely and competes so well.

    I'm going to be watching AA tomorrow, it'll be exciting! I'm hoping today's spectacular meltdown on beam for Aliya gets her all fired up for tomorrow and she brings her game. If anyone can bounce back it would be her. Pity as the new routine had been looking promising. Glad Grishina did OK.. well, reasonably OK in comparison, maybe it will shut Valentina up for some time. Surprised Aliya did not upgrade bars, but it looked like she had been working on beam. Wonder if she just ran out of steam at the end or something.

    I love Didi and Larisa's leos, especially Didi's, such nice ones and not really the usual (kind of boring) style. I actually preferred watching Didi on beam to Larisa. Her skills are as good as Larisa's and she has more polish and a bit more sharpness, Larisa's form errors are so noticeable since her legs are so long. They both make beam look dead easy though.

    Vasilliki Millousi's leo today was truly awful, for sure worse than Ferrari's London one (which I never found that offensive actually). The strange thing is she had such a lovely one she wore for podium training.