Five days until Classics! Very exciting. Sadly, Elizabeth Price has pulled out as she tweaked a hip during a tumbling pass recently. She was due to compete vault and bars which would have been very exciting to see. Hopefully she'll be back in time for Nationals. Although Classics is usually a splatfest, it will still set the stage for the worlds team. I'll be ignoring falls for the most part as they quite often don't mean anything. Gymnasts like Mykayla Skinner though can't afford falls if they are to really prove themselves in the running, especially as she has a reputation for inconsistency anyway.
My main wishes are;
- McKayla Maroney to hit everything, especially vault and floor though it'd be very interesting if she does the AA and nails beam and bars. As has been discussed to death, she does have a great line on bars with a fantastic gienger and dismount. She has a great flow on beam and always nails connections, though her bent knees kind of suck here. I'd like to see a twisting dismount too.
- Mykayla Skinner to nail floor and vault too. That would really shake things up in the running for the specialist spot.
- Fantastic beam and performance by Abigail Milliet, she has a lot of style.
- Improved form and solid routines from Brenna Dowell. I don't care that she's quite obviously not a dancer, she has improved a LOT in the last year and I'm rooting for her.
- A really exciting showdown between Bailie Key and Nia Dennis. These two are quite evenly matched.
- Much stronger performances from Lexie Priessman and Amelia Hundley than what we saw in Europe.
- Norah Flatley to score the highest on beam amongst the juniors and Jordan Chiles to place top 5 AA.
- 4/4 from Simone Biles and a sense of greater control on her floor landings.
- Someone to have a release-fest on bars, like Tan Jiaxin or Shang Chunsong. Polina Shchennikova is shaping up to have the best bars combination but hers is different to my dream..
- Laurie Hernandez' floor. It's just fantastic.
- The junior competition, just in general. There are a HUGE amount of juniors with quite a lot that I've never seen any routines of.
- Any leotards that are not hot pink. I'm a fan of magenta or sangria or whatever GK call it (London AA leo etc.) but the pepto-bismol shade is just horrible and the really super bright pink doesn't suit very many people.
What are you looking forward to? Other than a good competition!
USAG have just confirmed that podium training will be streamed. On Friday, juniors at 9:30 Eastern Time (so 14:30 GMT, 15:30 GMT+1) and seniors at 12pm Eastern Time (5pm GMT, 6pm GMT+1). On Saturday, competition day, juniors will kick off at 1pm central time ( so 7pm GMT, 8PM GMT+1) and seniors at 6pm, again central time (11pm GMT, 12AM GMT+1). USAG are promoting the two days in eastern and central time respectively so I kept it that way to avoid confusion, just keep an eye on the actual timezone they list. Streaming will be on www.secretclassic.com
Roxana Popa of Spain has just won Spanish Nationals. Not a great feat you might think, but her score was huge- 58.083. Her difficulty is 5.8 on everything except bars, which are 6.1. She's a new senior and she doesn't really have a weak event. I'm really looking forward to seeing her in Antwerp. Her bars in particular scream upgrade- the Tkachev-Pak for instance. Great swing from her, check it out.
I created an ask.fm account for the laugh. It's here.