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 dismount..it 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 Romania..it 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?