Friday 12 April 2013

Euros countdown

Not long to go! I'm hoping that it's put on youtube very fast as I'm not sure I'll be able to watch the stream live.

One very interesting bit of news is that Ksenia Afanasyeva has an amanar and will compete all-around in prelims, according to Valentina Rodionenko. While she is a big fan of declaring amanars and amanars in training (Mustafina, Grishina) this one is more bizarre as Afan's DTY is by no means spectacular or even great, and she's quite tall. I really expected her to only compete beam and floor and I thought they would be making efforts to preserve her and make her beam more consistent. Her bars were weak the last time I saw them and she often had issues with her will be interesting to see what they look like now. This means that all three girls- Aliya Mustafina, Anastasia Grishina and Ksenia Afanasyeva will compete all-around in prelims. Unfortunately for Grishina, if Afan DOES have an amanar and doesn't fall, the AA finals will see Mustafina and Afan. Which indeed is what Rodionenko herself envisaged in the same interview.

Rodionenko also states that once again, Anastasia Grishina is training away from the rest of the girls, orchestrated by her mother..which already worked out brilliantly for London of course. There have been two closed verification meets which is the likely source of information when Rodionenko goes on to say that Grishina is not performing as well as expected, sadly. Hopefully she does well at Euros! Afan herself has stated that she has new floor music which she will use for Universiade, not Euros. Exciting stuff!

Romania are only sending two girls (six guys though), Larisa Iordache and Diana Bulimar. Sandra Izbasa is now not going as she had to take time off from training for college and fell behind. Apparently she has her floor routine back, but vault will take longer. I would have thought vault would be easier, but regardless, really looking forward to seeing her at worlds. If I was Dana Andrei, Stefanie Stanila or AnnaMaria Ocalisan I would be very annoyed right now..they are throwing away two places which the two new seniors and the neglected other senior could really do with. It's not a team competition so if they score low it doesn't impact makes no sense.

It will be interesting to see what Aliya Mustafina pulls out of the bag on floor. At the Stella Zakharova meet she appeared to be having issues with endurance, falling on a punchfront and downgrading her last pass to a double full. I am definitely one of the many who want her to only do three passes. The double arabian, double layout, and a double pike/tuck/2.5-punchfront. I think her triple full has degraded so much it isn't worth doing anymore. As for her choreography, I think she'll definitely be making more of an effort to sell her routine at this point. Not that taking it slowly so far is wrong, by contrast it's great to see her pacing her endurance on this event. Her beam looks much sharper, so excited to see it again.

No less intriguing is what will Larisa Iordache's bars score be. She has the swing, she has the difficulty but she can rightfully get blasted for execution all over the place in that routine, it does not really do anything to show off her talent and leaves her open to deductions. It will definitely be the dealbreaker in whether she can clinch gold or not.

At this point, I think the AA gold is too close to call. And the crazy Afan news means I can't even guess who the second Russian will be. Whatever happens, I'm calling Gabby Jupp getting 4th now and beating Diana Bulimar. Aside from the top few, I have my eye on new seniors Noemi Makra, Chantysha Netteb and Roxana Popa and I'm looking forward to beautiful gymnastics from the usual culprits, as well as more newcomers like Ilaria Kaeslin.

You can find the timetable here and the livestream link here. BBC2 are also going to be broadcasting some of the competition.

So, who do you think will win AA gold? EF?


  1. Valentina annoys me so much. I haven't forgotten how she has now totally changed her tune about Mustafina after badmouthing her in early 2012, being proven dead wrong and then orchestrating the removal of Alexandrov. Grishina really does not need to hear more of her nonsense when she has been improving consistency and attitude wise. I don't understand why they are letting her train away from the team again, wasn't that one of the things that was clearly pointed out post-London as a problem?? UGH.

    Not sure what to think about Afan, and I take what Valentina says with a lot of salt. Afan's DTY was usually quite well landed but her form in the air and her block were not great, one leg was usually bent at the knee. But if it's true, it's nice that she is still trying to improve and upgrade, Russia's really got depth issues.

    I'm a huge Aliya fan so crossing fingers for her at Euros. I'm in the UK now so I might be able to watch it :) Her endurance does worry me a bit, I wonder if it is because she is still growing. Her beam is shaping up nicely and she can well afford to upgrade bars, though not sure if she will for Euros. How does it affect her D-score if she takes out a pass?

    1. I have the BBC channels but they differ by region...last year they were not showing Euros for me! Will have to see if they do this year, and if not I have the stream. I believe BBC2 will be the one anyway.

      I really hope Grishina performs strongly at Euros, it's very sad to hear how controlling her mother still is. I'm interested to see what Afan brings to the table, even just on bars. I would have thought they are better off wrapping her in cotton wool for her beam and floor value, rather than pushing for upgrades and all-around.

      I think she is just slightly out of shape, not so much 'out' as not quite to her peak form. I think her bars will be up by a bit for this. I have no idea! It all depends on what passes are left.

  2. Sad to see Sandra out, but at least her withdrawal is not due to injury. This means that Paseka will almost surely win vault, blech.

    I'm shocked Afan doing AA - I was surprised to see her even continuing after the Olympics but I suppose they are having depth problems again. I always considered her a one-event gymnast, but with two other usable events.

    My podiums:

    Musty (must stay on beam, bars advantage)
    Larisa (low bars e score)
    Gabby Jupp
    I think that the second Russian will have a meltdown. Musty and Larisa are practically too close to call.

    Bee Farm (once again, blech)
    Larisa (If she does her second vault)
    Will Musty produce a second vault again, in an attempt to sweep all the EFs?

    Musty (pretty much a lock)
    Grishy (fairly consistent on bars)
    Ruby Harrold
    Larisa e-score will be very low...

    Larisa (d score)
    Carlotta Ferlito
    I think that Musty, after being consistent all week, will be tired and fall off. When she messes up in majors it is often beam. Gabby Jupp could medal here as well.

    Larisa (if she controls her landings)
    Diana (consistent on floor)
    Afan (Has watered down tumbling, OOB)
    I think that if Larisa will be the one to beat in EF.

    1. I think Steingruber will take it. She was very pissed at how her landings affected her placing at Doha and stated that she would be working hard to fix them...I think she'll take gold. Both of Paseka's vaults are wide open for deductions and even downgrading (her second vault is piked down badly) so hopefully the scoring will be fair. Same for Larisa's second vault though I can't but be impressed that she has introduced one at all.

      I like your picks, they sound great to me.

  3. Larisa's bars and Musty's beam will be the factor deciding the winner. IMO Musty will take it just because of Larisa's bars' d score. She'll also get a decent amount of e score deduction if she doesn't fix her leg separations.
    I hope the judging panel to be really harsh on everyone so that they can fix their form!

    1. Yep, hopefully it comes down to the wire. Mustafina's beam was SO solid and much sharper at the Zakharova cup, except for her gigantic pause before the dismount..I think it bodes well for a solid set at Euros. She dos not even need the arabian to score very high.

  4. A fan has missed every Amanar in training.

    1. I'm shocked she threw them at all. Looks like her DTY has even improved due to quick hits. I'd love to have seen her in the AA (though alongside the other two, not instead of one) but if there's one saving grace of her not qualifying it's that she has more time to work on the amanar and get it more consistent.