Thursday 2 May 2013

Bits and pieces

In an interesting twist, Laurie Hernandez emerged as the top junior at camp verification at the weekend, beating Bailie Key into second place. Polina Shchennikova was third. It's unclear who did NOT compete all-around so I'm not sure if Amelia Hundley did all four pieces or sat some out. What is clear is that she has grown even more and looks to have beaten Kyla Ross in the height stakes. Similarly in the senior ranks, it looks like quite a few didn't do the AA as Kyla Ross was first, followed by Brenna Dowell and Peyton Ernst- with no sign of Ebee Price or Simone Biles who really could not but be in the top 3. Ebee finished off 2012 superbly by capturing two world cup all-around titles in a row, but was hindered this year by an injury- so probably she is not all there yet. Simone is not, that we know of, recovering from an injury, but has more than proved herself as a top all-arounder this year. I am SO excited for Classics to see how all the girls pan out. The Olympic team can skip Classics by right but will probably use it as a competitive opportunity if they are ready in time- McKayla Maroney and Jordyn Wieber that is, as well as Kyla Ross who is clearly ready. I think Simone Biles and Kyla Ross are pretty much guaranteed for the worlds team if they remain healthy. The other two are more than up for grabs. There is an opening for a second floor/vault girl- which Lexie Priessman, Ebee Price, Mykayla Skinner (I have no idea how she did at camp...). McKayla Maroney and possibly Jordyn Wieber (if she does actually produce a second vault, Geddert has said before Jordyn has enormous difficulty with forward entry) will be vying for. And they badly need someone for beam, which Katelyn Ohashi could take and be a back-up all-arounder. There are so many factors at play really for the second two spots- as well as, where are Kennedy Baker, Sarah Finnegan and Maddie Desch at? Sarah would fit in very nicely with my team if her beam d-score is huge again. I'm also very excited to see juniors Laurie Hernandez, Bailie Key and Nia Dennis with all of their upgrades, and newcomers like Jordan Chiles. Who do you want to see on the team? Do all-around? Should Katelyn Ohashi be taken just for beam? Can Lexie Priessman remain in one piece?

Here is Noemi Makra's floor and beam from the Slovenian world cup. I will keep raving about this girl because she is just exquisite and not enough people know about her. LOOK at that full-in pike, I think we should have an overlay of Diana Bulimar's over it, like the infamous Maroney-Uchimura 2.5 Y. Her execution is breathtaking and it needs to be acknowledged. Her third pass has no business in her routine, I'd like to see it replaced by whip-whip-double tuck or something. The technique on her turns is a bit mysterious, she starts out so well and they all drop, though it's kind of endearing the way she kept the first one going. Hopefully that can be sharpened up along with her too-easy pass. And much as it pains me, maybe some leaps to up the d-score. Her beam is another lesson in beautiful gymnastics (just like her bars. What's not to love?), with a gorgeous mount and nice connections. Sure the connection between the aerial-aerial is broken, the turn combination was not great and she biffed her last leap but these things are all tiny in the scheme of how great this routine is. The dismount is extremely high, she could maybe do a harder one. Though I'd hate to see an injury strike her, we've already lost two beautiful gymnasts so far this year, so it's nice that she's taking it slowly. There's no sound on her floor and her vault hasn't been uploaded yet, or you may be sure I'd have snuck that in too.

Grr not embedding. Her floor is here and is a must watch for the opening pass alone and her beam is here.

Rebeca Andrade is busy upgrading. A 2015 senior, she will hopefully be Brazil's candidate for YOG 2014 as she's likely to hoover up medals. Check out her new DLO below, it's gorgeous as it's one of the straight ones. She also has an amanar though the video of it shows a fall. Apparently she landed more to her feet, so it's all good. The video is via GymBlogBrazil who have plenty more videos uploaded.

I'm trying to think of every gymnast who has had Irish music. Only one actually predates Riverdance, Deliana Vodenitcharova, Bulgaria, 1988. The rest that I know of are Kim Zmeskal, 1998 (part of 98, she had two routines that year), Dominique Moceanu, 1998, Andreea Raducan, 2000, and Cheng Fei, 2003. Can anyone think of more?


  1. I am so excited for classics this year and visas.

    It looks like Marts is really focused om building a strong junior team.

    I noticed Lexie, Amelia, and Ebee in the camp pics from usag Facebook looking they grew a foot. Im scared to see what Finnegan and Desch look like come the us classics lol.

    1. It is kinda crazy the amount of talent USA has. I didn't think Lexie had grown that much, or maybe she just looks like she hasn't next to Amelia and Kyla. Ebee does look taller too. I hope Simone can stave off growing for a while seeing as she has just got a whole bunch of new skills, maybe though she will be lucky like Gabby and stay short and strong. Gabby's face definitely looks more filled out, but she still looks to be the same height, and still so lean. She looks like a comeback would come easier to her than most.

      I'm wondering why US gymnasts are so much taller even than 1-2 quads ago. Only Simone and Gabby are under 5 foot, the rest are ranging from 5'2-5'6 with the average probably being 5'3. They do need to be stronger because the pixie body type can't hold up to the level they are at now, but it's still odd.

    2. honestly i think they are just healthier. their bodies are growing the way teenagers are supposed to when they are well nourished, in good shape etc.

      also - are they resting or taking more breaks from intense training than girls in previous quads?

  2. Dream Worlds Team:
    Biles: AA
    Wieber: AA
    Ross: bars, beam
    Price: floor, vault

    Actual Worlds Team:
    Biles: AA
    Ross: AA
    Ohashi: beam, bars(?)
    Skinner: floor, vault

    I feel that Ernst will most likely be on the team even though, to my knowledge, she isn't capable of medalling on any event. If so she would take Ohashi's place.

    1. Ooo, your dream team is interesting. I think they will want to push a little more for beam/bars medals though, and bring Ohashi just for beam. As for Skinner, the fact she wasn't in Europe is a bit ominous- maybe she isn't in the good books? There really was no reason NOT to take her and try her out, and she was clearly ready since she's been at the camps and was talking about Jesolo etc.

    2. Are there any American gymnasts that could medal on bars at this point, with Mustafina, Komova, and Shang Chunsong in the mix? Katelyn's bars have been all over the place lately, and she just had shoulder surgery which may have put her out of Worlds all together. I see Simone making bars finals, but not medalling, due to a fairly limited field. The only American that could medal on bars is Kyla Ross. She has been posting in the 15.3 range internationally, which coincidentally is the (over)score that Musty used to win Euros. Obviously neither girl is at full difficulty yet, but I actually think that bars is Kyla's best chance for a medal unless she adds about two points worth of upgrades to her all-around total.

      I don't have a clue about Skinner. All I know is that she seems to act very arrogant with any real accomplishments to back it up and the gymternet is starting to hate her for it. I really don't know who will make the team, and we won't until Nationals. All I want is for Jordyn to place top 3 in AA, Simone to get gold on vault and Kyla to win an individual medal. I have the feeling that she will stick around for only a year or so before she goes to do NCAA. I would be happy if Lexie didn't come within 200 miles of Antwerp because I find her gymnastics hard to watch, and I don't love Katelyn like everyone else does. I would like Sarah Finnegan to make a Worlds team at some point though.

    3. Not this year, no. Price and Biles are good, but nowhere near great. Ross is the best hope and she needs upgrades to finish top 5 even. Ohashi's bars need a LOT of work, and the shoulder injury and recovery will likely make that extremely difficult. Shchennikova's bars show potential and Key's are lovely but neither are elegible. I would expect Mustafina, Komova/Grishina, Tan Jiaxin, Shang Chunsong/Yao Jinnan (SCS is unreliable, it's not known what shape YJN is in but she has reported that she's having good training days now at National Games prelims) to be in the forefront, and girls like Sophie Scheder and Roxana Popa could potentially beat Kyla too.

      Yes, it would be nice if Skinner piped down a bit. I'm thinking that if Lexie doesn't regain her old junior self sharpish that Jordyn will nearly be gifted a spot if she's healthy. But they won't have two vault medals if they take her. Hmm. They could have two floor and two beam (Kyla the other?) if they take Sarah. She is more valuable than Ohashi I think. So Simone and Jordyn/Kyla for the AA, Simone VT and FX medals, Kyla BB and UB enormous potential and Sarah BB and FX huge potential.