Sunday, 16 June 2013

Confirmed: Yao Jinnan is a complete badass

After my disappointment the other week with Aussie Maddie Leydin not in fact having a counter-kim on bars as was reported earlier this year, I'm delighted that it's been confirmed with actual evidence that Yao Jinnan DOES have a Mo Salto. The gif is two thirds of the way down this page. Sure she has assistance, but it looks like a solid skill. I love when people go the unorthodox route for upgrades, and I'm so happy we are more than likely to see this release in a routine again. It was rumoured a few months ago and dismissed, but here it is! :D Even if she never competes it, the fact that she actually trained it is incredible. She may be able to release out of it into a Jaeger as Rick from gymnasticscoaching said, but if she doesn't have the flight to do that (wow how awesome if she could?) then she won't incur a deduction for an empty swing after, which she would have done last quad. Same goes for the counter-kim, if someone does unleash one.

Elite season is looming in the US with Classics about 6 weeks away. USAG have now released training camp snippets of Kyla Ross, Maggie Nichols, Maddie Desch, Polina Shchennikova, McKayla Maroney, Brenna Dowell, Kennedy Baker, Lexie Priessman, Bailie Key and Ebee Price. Still to come are Simone Biles, Amelia Hundley, Nia Dennis, Mykayla Skinner, Abigail Milliet, Nica Hults and new kids on the block Emily Gaskins, Grace Quinn, Ashton Locklear, Emily Schild, Norah Flatley, Alexis Vasquez and Rachel Gowey. The latter three have just qualified elite at Parkettes and all showed fabulous work on beam in particular, though sadly Alexis has injured her foot and watered down significantly as a result. The star of the show was Laurie Hernandez who posted a huge 57.8 total, though she was there moreso for experience, what with already being an elite. Her new floor is glorious, I absolutely love it. Sadly, Bailey Ferrer and Vanasia Bradley who both have huge skills in training had disastrous competitions, though Bailey scraped past the qualifying post.

The one who all eyes will be on is Simone Biles. We already know her routines, and her difficulty currently stands at 6.1 UB, 6.3 BB, 6.2 FX and 6.3 VT. Here's the fun part, her planned upgrades of a full-in DLO and piked double arabian bump up her floor to an enormous 6.8 and her planned arabian on beam bring that set up to a 6.7. Very interesting! Her bars count a C and her dismount is very easy for her, if she can (maybe next year even) do an E transition and a Fabrichnova that would bring them to 6.5. To put that into perspective, her difficulty even without the hypothetical bars is equal to Gabby Douglas at the Olympics, though like Gabby on bars, Simone would be unlikely to claim her full difficulty on floor, as she has two questionable leaps. This would bring her down to a still fearsome 6.6

Andreea Iridon won the AA for her age group at Romanian Junior Nationals. Andreea Munteanu did not compete; she has more than proven herself this year. Olivia Cimpian, a 2001 born, won it for her category. The surprise in the younger ranks is Andreea Ciurusniuc who has come on tremendously in the last year, though she did beat Andra Stoica at Trnava so that was definitely a sign! There were notable absences and a bonus system in place so there's not much of a cohesive picture yet. Results are here, to be taken with a pinch of salt.

The winners of the Dutch Nationals AA were Vera Van Pol who snuck up out of nowhere when Celine Van Gerner and Wyomi Masela made mistakes, and Eythora Thorsdottir who continues to break hearts everywhere when she fell off beam again, and also floor. Happily she did have interesting upgrades, a 2.5 dismount on beam and a double twisting flyaway on bars. Now this is my favourite type of bars dismount and wow are they rare, but so beautiful. It's only worth a C and she needs D or higher to satisfy CR...but the 2.5 version is worth a D and the triple an E. I didn't think I could root for her more but the dismount has definitely made her more awesome. She had a double pike and she must be upgrading this flyaway further or there would be no point. You can see senior results here.

Following Jacoby Miles progress, the Level 9 gymnast who was paralysed late last year and she is continuing to progress which is great to here. I love the fact she's helping out in her gym. The blog about her, maintained by her mother, is here.

Videos after the jump! Parkettes videos were filmed by Between the Olympics blog.

 Lovely! So floaty on the BHS-LOSO-LOSO and great dismount.
Actual amplitude on an American layout :D

No more videos of Eythora yet, and none of Chantysha Netteb who seems to be struggling with injury/recovery though she did claim the bars title. Noel Van Klaveren fell on her DTY in finals.


  1. WOW! I think Simone Biles can breeze through Worlds with all those upgrades...if she stays healthy. However, consistency also plays a factor in this. Hopefully, she'll hit beam and have better landings on floor. Can anybody beat her? Mustafina? Iordache?

    I've never heard of Vera Van Pol before. Is she a new senior? Great to see Celine Van Gerner. I think Thorsdottir just needs to get used to her upgrades and then she'll (hopefully) hit.

    I'm a little confused on the "bonus system" you talked about for Romanian Nationals. Does it factor into execution because Andreea Iridon got a 9.375 E-Score for her beam. Was it really that good? Either way, I think Romania is making great improvements on bars. I've heard they started using grips! Finally...

    1. I should clarify that I'm not sure if these are this year's upgrades or not. She did say the TTY is definitely not this year's though. She did have much better landings at Jesolo, with the full routine. Mustafina would need her to make a mistake I think. Iordache needs a much better bars routine to contend fully- even Biles can score 14.6+ on bars.

      Neither have I! She wasn't supposed to win. Thorsdottir has been falling off beam for years now. But I'd love to see her start hitting 4/4 once she turns senior.

      There was a difficulty bonus and an execution bonus, but no idea of the finer technicalities of the system they used.

  2. The Mo Salto is awesome! I'm glad Yao is doing it since it hasn't been done since the 90s. I love Norah Flatley on beam! She wasn't very solid, but she has a lot of potential. Her layout is high like Shawn's and she has great flexibility. I love her mount, switch ring, leaps, and scales.

    1. Can't wait to see Norah's beam in all its glory at Classics! Yes, a true layout..the only one in the US.

    2. How old is Norah? Is she a junior or senior?

    3. She's junior. However finding an actual year for her is impossible- all I can find is that in May last year she was 12- so either 2015 or 2016. She is definitely old enough for Rio.

    4. Norah was born in 2000 so she'll be senior in 2016. Alexis Vasquez is senior 2015.

    5. Thanks! Amazing how easy it is to find out what level they were and when, but not actual birthdays.

  3. Thanks for the news. I like Yao Jinnan so I can't wait to see what she has up her sleeves.

    Interesting about Biles, others will have to have some high SV as well.

    It's been a bit quiet on the Romanian Seniors front, I wonder what they have planning.

    1. Her SV on bars will be beaten certainly, and Ohashi has her on beam..some others may match her too. But as an all-arounder I don't see how she can be beaten in the difficulty stakes.