Saturday, 17 August 2013

Nationals Day 1

Another fantastic day (night) of competition!

Juniors

I feel like it's only a matter of time before Amelia Hundley is injured and out for a season, much like first year senior and teammate Lexie Priessman. I find her a surprising gymnast- she's powerful, as you would expect, with strong vault and floor, but she's also very good on bars, and half decent on beam. Unfortunately she missed her bars connection, but it was a strong routine with a great stuck landing. Vault and floor were as good as ever- she should be more dynamic on vault though I think, but unfortunately her beam was a mess. Wobbly, hesitant, doubting everything- she looked so nervous, and did indeed come to grief. Beam will always be tough when you've shot up in a year and definitely 5"5 or more, but she was really not herself at all. A shame, but hopefully she can redeem herself in finals. 4th place in prelims all things considering is a very good result. I think she could be a valid team contributor as a senior, especially since she can actually swing bars.

For me though, it was the other three standouts I was really watching for. First up, saucepot Laurie Hernandez who once again, gave her everything on floor. I am in love with the music, the choreography of course- but also the tumbling. It seems it gets lost in the rest of her routine which is the total opposite to everyone else's routine- but that is a very tidy and strong double arabian- stag she has going on, and a super clean piked full-in and double pike. The landings did not go her way on Thursday with stumbles and steps from overcooking her tumbles, so she can claw back some vital tenths there today. Her vault was fine, she's been struggling with it a bit this year and it's an ambitious vault- DTY- for one so young and small. Hopefully she can improve the height and dynamics of it in time. Bars were a lovely surprise, again she'd been struggling with it in podium training, and she was short on every handstand and late on turns at Classics and was hammered as a result. Not so here, where she did the routine of her life and outscored Bailie Key! I'm interested to see how she develops on bars- it's not an area where I'd expect her to ever be amazing, but who knows. On beam she wisely played it safe, going for just one layout-stepout instead of two in her series. She manages to incorporate some of her huge presence on floor into her beam, but most importantly she hit, and starting on beam can be nervewracking. Really pleased to see that she has brushed off the inconsistent label somewhat, and beyond thrilled we will (hopefully!) have at least two more floor routines from her before she even turns senior. Her improvement in one year, and added difficulty, is remarkable- though thankfully not concerning, she seems well capable of what she's doing. I was concerned it's too much when she'll be a junior elite for so long, but the more I see her the more I'm not worried at all.

Bailie. Copyright- USA Gymnastics- John Cheng

Bailie Key has hit all of her routines this year- Jesolo, Chemnitz, Classics and Nationals Day 1. It's an impressive record for the gymnast who has long been touted as the number one junior to watch, with added pressure to hit as a result. I think Bailie has it all- she's got the tumbling, the vault, the leaps, the gorgeous bars work, she's a steady and beautiful beam worker and she even has great flexibility as a bonus. Super clean with great execution on pretty much everything. Now she's not exactly perfect- she's not super dynamic on vault yet, and her artistry on floor is questionable- I say questionable because I don't think even firecracker Laurie could make much of that music. It's quite overpowering, and especially for such a dainty gymnast. My favourite routine of hers was her beam. The only real fault is the lack of height on her layout, which is pretty whip-like. Everything else was basically glorious. Her bars are nowhere near her full potential and I was sad to see the absence of her perfect laidout gienger but that just means there's more to look forward to. This girl is going places and in a way it's sad she won't be at YOG. Maybe the Japan Junior International though which always attracts big names. Anyway, Bailie is being paced beautifully and continues to increase her standing as a fabulously clean all-arounder.

Bailie's main internal competition is fellow 1999-born Nia Dennis. Nia is a powerful vaulter with an explosive DTY and an amanar in the works for next year, a huge double layout, SKY high bars releases that are higher than those of Gabby Douglas and the highest arabian we've ever seen. She has something Bailie lacks- spark. She has everything, and she's exciting. With a gymnast like her you expect to see something lacking in her form and leaps- not so. Her form is actually fairly impressive given how muscular she is, and she delivers everything with such amplitude. The arabian on beam is just ridiculously good, and her bars releases are jaw dropping...it's as if she's going in slow-motion. I get the impression they've worked on slowing her counter-rotation so that she actually has a chance to catch the bar, but that coupled with the height is just incredible. Don't get me wrong, Nia has got flaws. She's not very consistent yet, she bends her knees before her releases (I forgive this like I forgive Kim Gwang Suk for it), her landings on floor are not quite there yet, her beam is unsteady etc. As indeed she proved with quite a wobbly beam routine and precious tenths lost on floor. Really hoping she nails everything tonight- her potential is seriously enormous, in her way she has more talent than Bailie even. They are a very interesting contrast and it will be good for both girls to have such a worthy foe to contend against.

Norah Flatley was as bright as a button like she always is. She's got some gorgeous basics on bars that will serve her very well, clean gymnastics everywhere, great lines, and personality. Nothing is at the level of her beam yet, but she's got time to build and no better coach for it. Chow has definitely got the makings of a star here. Speaking of her beam- she's been seriously promising there for years, but her ability still amazes me every time. Fabulous routine- strong backwards AND forward tumbling, with great amplitude as well as form. Her full start value is 6.6 but again she didn't get her full connection. But a 15.350 says it all. Her difficulty keeps her below the top girls- she has 21.9 total in start values versus 23.6 for Bailie, 23.5 for Nia, 23.1 for Laurie and 23.2 for Amelia but despite that, she's firmly cemented herself as one to watch.

Jordan Chiles. Copyright- USA Gymnastics- John Cheng
I really like the look of Emily Gaskins. She can move, she's very stylish. Very impressed with her. Jordan Chiles was strong on 3 events, with moments of loveliness in the fourth- beam, where she fell. I'm glad that she wasn't busting out the big skills and impressed more than ever with her bars- really nice swing.

Highlights:

- Laurie Hernandez' floor and bars.
- Nia Dennis' bars releases and arabian.
- Nadia Cho's exquisite bars and beam. Stunning work, gorgeous lines.
- Polina Shchennikova's Mostepanova turning handstand in split. Drool.
- Norah Flatley's beam
- Bailie Key's quiet confidence in her work, and her beam of course.
- Molly Frack's floor and Christina Desiderio's beam. These mini Parkettes are fabulous. And that Eremia planche hold thing on beam- swoon!
- Laurie Hernandez on bars. I don't think anyone was expecting her to hit like that.
- Abby Paulson on bars, really pretty work and lines.
- Vanasia Bradley's explosive vault.
- Ariana Agrapides' DTY, such power!
- Sydney Johnson Scharpf on beam and floor- she's got presence.
- Nica Hults on beam.

Not-so Highlights:

- Falls. Amelia, Abby Paulson, Jordan Chiles and more. Steadier than Classics but still sad.
- Polina Shchennikova needed a great competition and instead furthered her cause to fade into obscurity. It's such a shame, she's got such gorgeous work.
- The general dearth of floor routines showcasing artistry or any kind of good dance.
 
Favourite routines:

Floor- Laurie Hernandez
Beam- Norah Flatley
Bars- Nadia Cho
Vault- Ariana Agrapides

Favourite leotards- Texas Dreams and MG Elite. I also liked Jordan Chiles' leo. 

Overall, I was really impressed with the form of the juniors. There were fabulous lines in evidence everywhere, clean basics, great leaps and perhaps most importantly- girls with the makings of good bars workers. The US might be condemned as a nation of flexed feet, bent knees and 150 degree splits- but don't let it fool you. There was elegance, excellent form and presence in abundance. The other side of the coin, difficulty, remains as impressive as ever- but I did think there wasn't many throwing skills beyond them. The US has girls who can't even go to Rio throwing incredible DTY's...everybody else needs to buck up.

Seniors

A lot less gymnasts competing than earlier, and yet- so many routines lost to ad breaks, or interviews with you know, retired gymnasts. I wish USAG could stream it themselves, but alas.

McKayla Maroney surely felt she could have done better- she flirted outrageously with the boundaries on floor, not helped by her growth as well as her looong runs into tumbling and her vaults blocked with too much power- the amanar also blocked a little too high and she lost a bit of height. Still amazing vaulting of course and her higher difficulty despite poor landings helped her nudge Simone Biles firmly into second. She'll be aiming just for small steps, and no doubt over her tumbles. I'm very impressed she's upped her difficulty on floor- it makes her a real contender in Antwerp on more than just vault. This girl is going nowhere, and I hope all of those who predicted she was going to abandon gymnastics and 'whore' herself out with acting are stuffed with all of that humble pie. Not quite as good as she could have been, but McKayla was still dazzling and her floor choreography and music change is really growing on me.

Simone. Copyright- USA Gymnastics- John Cheng
Simone Biles smashed the 60 mark, proving that she CAN hit- and hit gloriously at that. Let's not forget she didn't push the boat out and opted for safety- taking six tenths off her beam, and some off floor too. Stuck her amazing full-in beam dismount, improved the wolf turn, caught her bars releases this time, and her floor was great- minus the low double layout landing. It's odd when you consider how secure and high that was with the half turn- perhaps she's better off landing forward on it. She was under a lot of pressure to hit and her performance will give her a confidence boost facing into tonight's competition. She may even sneak the DLO half-out back in! I really loved her Lopez and her amanar was right back on form. Still, there's certainly room for improvement with this bursting ball of potential and energy.

Kyla Ross was uncharacteristically nervous on beam, which was strange to see. She has taken out the whip-double tuck on floor and still landed low on her third pass, the double pike. I can't get excited over a routine fresh from 1989 difficulty-wise and while her big stumble forward on the double pike was so disappointing because it means endurance is still an issue- I was very pleased to see that her recent artistry coaching has definitely paid off. She let go a bit more, sold the routine much more than she had been doing. They can't teach her good upper body carriage overnight, but improvement is always welcome and I hope it catches on with other seniors and juniors. Kyla definitely redeemed herself with an excellent and effortless bars routine, and her vault was great. I don't think she has damaged her all-around status- though competition was lacking, with a fall from Peyton Ernst, the equivalent of a fall with Brenna Dowell's two missed requirements, and no all-around from Lexie Priessman and Elizabeth Price. But she did show the glaring weakness her low difficulty presents. At this stage, her coaches have almost shut the door on upgrades.

It definitely wasn't Brenna Dowell's day, not only did she miss connections exactly like at Classics, but she also missed two compositional requirements- the full twist on floor, and the leap series on beam- 0.5 deduction each, so she basically fell. The full twist on floor is a bit puzzling- fair play to her if she realised late on that she wasn't going to get the full-twisting double layout around, and opted for the safer double layout. But I remember seeing from twitter that she was pretty much only warming up the double layout itself- so they knew she was going to swallow that deduction. Well, hopefully they didn't forget. She's a great gymnast with fantastic ability- questionable form and leaps on beam aside, which is her weak point. Unfortunately, her selling point really is as an all-around gymnast and she did not show enough to get onto the team for Antwerp.

Kennedy Baker's piked double arabian was more laidout than ever- certainly equal to Daiane Dos Santos, who never achieved the perfect pencil-straight form on it to begin with. Last year it was very loose..now, it's creditable, which is amazing. Unfortunately she stumbled bigtime on another pass, which let her score down. She has moments of greatness on bars also, and her wolf turns are awesome..but I don't think it's enough and still believe she's on her way to NCAA sharpish. Peyton Ernst flung an upgrade, a pretty nice double layout. She looked on track to do as well as she at Classics, but came to grief on beam. She could really rival Brenna for bronze tonight...but I'd be quite confident at this stage that neither will be at Antwerp. Madison Kocian wowed with excellent beam and bars, and along with everyone else, I sat up and noticed her, and placed her on 'my' worlds team. Unlike Abigail Milliet whose competition didn't go her way, she has the difficulty on both events. Of course, she rolled her ankle on floor and is now out of tonight's competition, sadly. That doesn't mean she can't verify at camp and sneak onto the team, it could be quite minor. I was so taken aback by the fact she finished her routine AND did timers on vault, amazing considering how awful her ankle roll looked on the replay.

Mykayla. Copyright- USA Gymnastics- John Cheng


Mykayla Skinner came back with a vengeance after her disastrous Classics performance. Podium training still showed her one-handing her Cheng vault, or as it's been described- her laid-out double double with a high-five to the vault table. The fact her coach high-fived her after this was just depressing. BUT, never write someone off. She nailed her floor routine, WITH the double double laidout in bends (though she sacrificed form for this), had an actually decent bars set with much improved form and skills and then vaulted pretty well. She is still twisting far too early which prevents her pushing off on both hands fully- but it was a lot closer, and not really valid for that deduction. It's still astounding she can get that vault around, and very well too. Yes, her beam was a hot mess but I'm so pleased she improved so much everywhere else! And I really, really love her floor music, and the choreography bit where the music changes. It's symbolic for her senior elite career so far. You think she's gone and then BOOM she's up and running in contention to make the National Team. I still want her to change coaches sharpish but..well played.

It's quite interesting how the seniors are panning out for worlds this year. McKayla Maroney has charged her way into the fray as THE contender for the vault/floor spot. The inconsistent Simone Biles has done herself a lot of favours to take an all-around spot, so too has Kyla Ross, despite her own difficulties with..difficulty, and endurance. The last spot has always been interesting. First it was Katelyn Ohashi's until she was knocked out with injury, then for me it was Brenna Dowell's until I discovered she would not be able to do the all-around in prelims, then it was between Elizabeth Price for bars or Abigail Milliet for beam, with some having Peyton Ernst in contention too...for others it was Lexie Priessman's who would only do floor to complement McKayla only doing vault and then finally the spot was Madison Kocian's. Clearly we are still in for some surprises..

Highlights

- Simone's Lopez vault. Floaty, high, stretched, beautiful.
- Madison Kocian's beautiful bars and beam
- Mykayla Skinner's floor..tumbling, music, some greatness in her choreo.
- McKayla Maroney's tumbling. Nice upgrades too. And goes without saying- her vaulting. She blew the roof off and she wasn't even near her best that day.
- Kyla Ross' bars. They won't get that score in Antwerp but they were just gorgeous. I can watch her backhandspring-layout on beam all day long too.
- Some really high and floaty double arabians. I like this trend for juniors too.
- Brenna Dowell's front double pike and Tweddle, because how badass are they?
- Kennedy Baker's wolf turns. Yum.
- In general, a serious amount of impressive work by the seniors. They're not going to sweep the medal table in Antwerp- which would be really rough with no team competition to balance it out anyway..but they're going to make their mark.
- Tidy hair! Loving this. It's not something I got all hot and bothered about before, but I freely admit it is nice to see. The biggest difference though is junior Lauren Navarro between Classics and Thursday. Check out her beam from the two competitions for the best appreciation.

Not-so highlights

- Madison Kocian's injury. Heartbreaking.
- Elizabeth Price not being ready and falling apart on bars. More tragedy!
- Some appalling commentary. Yep, McKayla needed the redemption of the team finals vault after her fall in event finals...that makes chronological sense for sure. Why yes, Gabby Douglas would not have made the team had she not placed at Nationals..you can't mean 2012, so please at least specify the year.
- Interviews with retired gymnasts when THERE IS GYMNASTICS GOING ON.
- Similarly, there were at least five ad breaks too many meaning not near as many routines were shown.
- Other falls, like Peyton Ernst. Quite a few stumbles and low landings on floor too.

Favourite routines

Vault Simone Biles. Yes, she was better that day. Perhaps not as impressive in the air- though she is in some ways with her stretched form- but definitely more impressive on the ground.
Floor Simone Biles. Back on form.
Beam Madison Kocian
Bars Madison Kocian

Favourite leotards

OH MY GOD McKayla Maroney's leotard was incredible. I would have preferred if the arms faded out a bit more..it looked a bit disjointed. But nevertheless, stunning. Similarly, GAGE's leo was just beautiful. In general, there's a trend away from pink towards blues and purples...and we should all embrace it while we can, before they're forced into National Team pink.

Soooo...have you caught up on youtube? Here is Day 1's senior broadcast if you missed it. This is a very long post and I had to rush though it a bit, so I'm sure I've forgotten some important details- feel free to add them in the comments! Favourite routines? Greatest surprises? Your worlds team? Are you on the fence about Maroney's peacock look? Can Al Fong remember the code in time?

70 comments:

  1. I am so excited about Emily Gaskins, she's gorgeous. When I found out she was at Cincinnati with MLT, I immediately saw a resemblance to Jaycie Phelps. Except she uses ballet music for her floor routine and does pirouettes. Win.

    I think Madison Kocian definitely has the best shot for the last spot on the world team, if she healthy. That is, if the US sticks to the 2 AAers, one vault/floor specialist and one beam/bars specialist format. There's always a possibility of Ross going only as a specialist and taking Brenna Dowell or Payton Ernst as the 2nd AAer (in addition to Biles), but I doubt it.

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    1. I'd love for Madison Kocian to go too - and I didn't even know her before Thursday night! If they're going to do another AA besides Ross, I'd actually think it would be Price. She apparently only had 9 practices before Nationals, which is crazy! She can get it together in two months before Worlds and could have a good shot at it. But, I'd actually like Kyla to have the shot at the AA.

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    2. I think even if Price got all 4 events back just before worlds, she wouldn't be trusted for that spot (if they could have a third all arounder of course or if Kyla didn't exist). It would just be too soon, and Marta would not have it. If she was consistently nailing bars though- now that would be definitely possible for the second specialist spot.

      Madison has been around for years, but she's had sooo many injuries. I believe her last Nationals was 2010 but don't quote me on that. Because of her lack of presence on the scene, I pretty much forget her. If she's healthy and can do bars and beam I think they'll take her..I don't think they'd ever just take 3 girls full stop for instance.

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    3. I think Kyla definitely deserves that AA spot, and Marta likes her consistency, so I think it's 95% likely that she'll get her chance. However, I also think that the most medal-efficient team might use her as a specialist, just because there are so few bars/beam specialist in the US at the moment, and there are so many AA possibilities.

      I'd like to see a comeback from Price too, and if she were from almost anywhere but Parkettes, I'd think there was a good possibility of her being ready in time for Antwerp. With the situation as is, I'm not so confident.

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    4. Bang on with the medal efficiency thing..but the other all arounders are falling by the wayside a bit. Nobody is beating her except Simone. I absolutely thought Brenna could rival her if Kyla's difficulty remained this low, and that's why I had her in 'my' team- for prelims AA spot to battle it out. I do think Kyla could be crowded out of the AA, but not this year.

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    5. This is the same anonymous as earlier in this conversation (as Aug 17 22:28)! Did you hear Marta's interview after Day 2 of nationals? It was interesting. She complimented Simone and mentioned that McKayla and Kyla were "world-class" then went on to say that McKayla was working on her other 2 events and may be ready as an AA option. Then Marta explained the 3 up on each event and said that depending on the readiness they could have 3 all arounders and use the 4th spot as an alternate.... I thought that was really interesting b/c I didn't think she'd really go that route, but she's obviously thinking about it and it sounds like Simone, Kyla and McKayla would be the three.

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    6. Hello anon! I just heard it recently. Timezones suck, I was barely hanging on after Nationals ended at 3am for the national team to be announced so I missed interviews and stuff. Very interesting..Maroney must be doing very well on those events at camp for her to bother saying that/thinking it. I really like the idea of 3 all-around, but how many would have chosen her? She's never been great all-around really, but then so many others haven't impressed or got injured so..

      I would have thought they'd make the most of the 4 spots by sending someone for bars/beam..even if just building them up for team finals next year for the same events.

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    7. I think what she'll do is she'll pick someone who could fill the bars/beam spot and whose also a good all arounder incase of injury and take them along with the 3 locks, and have all 4 practice AA once they get there and decide who will compete what based on what they are hitting in belgium.

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  2. Last I checked a musty probably won't get anything over a 15.5 at worlds too. So lets see kyla has hit ub international ly 15.4 twice and us twice. So I'm not sure we're you get off saying she won't get goo scores at worlds. She has looked better on ub all yr than a musty. And kyla was injured the first half of the season . Well but I don't see Simone hitting 4/4 day two .

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    1. Oh you're anonymous, what a surprise. I don't know where you get off twisting my words. I said 'She won't get that score at worlds' NOT 'she won't get good scores'. Worlds are NOT the Olympics and definitely not US Nationals- scores are harsher, end of. Of course she'll score well at worlds, but the barrier for great scores will be lower anyway. That's all I meant. Last time I checked, if you assume Mustafina will show up with 6.3 bars, you're underestimating her.

      Oh, so they should just chuck her? Simone cannot be replaced, and if she misses here- who's to say she'll miss at Antwerp? She has hit the vast majority of her routines this year- she's no Grishina.

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  3. I'm so impressed with Mykayla Skinner. She's not making worlds this year, but changing coaches would give her a huge opportunity to improve her form and contend for floor/vault finals next year. And I just have to mention how amazing was her back pike on beam, she's so powerful it almost looked laid out, it would be so awsome to see a standing layout on beam.

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    1. Yes! That was a great comeback from disaster. Minus beam of course. Nope, I did think she was a contender..until Maroney stormed her way in. Price and Priessman have dropped out of that particular race Maroney alone is enough.

      Ha, that would be awesome. We could look to Nia Dennis either. Reminds me of Daiane Dos Santos' front layout beam mount for sheer badassery.

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    2. I just can't get over the fact that Daiane gave up beam. Imagine all the crazy stuff we would've seen from her had she kept training it.

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    3. im also impressed how much mykayla improved since classics. sure, she's not perfect but to improve quickly in that short amount of time is wonderful. honestly, it would be so interesting to see how she would go with a new coach, i wonder if it's too late in the game to reintroduce basics and fixing up form stuff, and i doubt she'd want a new coach, but it could do amazing things for her career particularly if rio is her goal... imagine if she went to mihai! or even AOGC?

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    4. Daiane started gymnastics too late to really master the all-around. She wasn't great at vault even. But concentrating on floor really helped her out. But yeah, imagine if she had started gymnastics at 5 instead of 11!

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    5. And she was even better Day 2. Day 2 post coming up today hopefully! I'd like to see her at Chow's, AOGC or GAGE. Chow's for all-around greatness, GAGE for presentation and form (though they seem to have concentrated on Sarah and missed with Brenna) and AOGC for both form, presentation AND vaulting. They're all far from here except Chow's which isn't too bad. I think you're right, AOGC would work the most. Brestyan's not so much...she needs a lot of work on her form.

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  4. Nice post! I definitely thought the judges were too generous. I don't think Simone would have gotten a 14.9 for her beam or a 15 for her floor internationally. IDK, what do you think?

    It's great to see that the US is improving their artistry (or at least trying to). I loved the juniors. Shchennikova was disappointing, but Key and Dennis were amazing. Key was consistent and had an amazing beam. Dennis literally FLIES! End of story. I think Flatley is going to be a beam specialist from what I've seen so far.

    Yeah, broadcasting was terrible. I remember they came back from commercials to announce Kocian's injury and then cut back to commercials again. NBC made the competition basically a story of redemption for Maroney, and they kept talking about how she and Ross were best friends.

    Sorry for going off topic, but I heard from couchgymnast that Mustafina, Afanasyeva, and Komova will not compete at the Russian Cup. Is it true? Have you heard more?

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    1. Not only are Mustafina, Afanasyeva, Komova not competing at the Russian Cup, neither are Ekaterina Baturina, Evgeniya Shelgunova, Anastasia Grishina OR Anna Dementyeva! The AA was won by Tatiana Nabieva, followed by Alla Sosnitskaya and Anna Pavlova. Emptiest 'nationals' ever. Now, Mustafina and Afanasyeva did not compete pretty much because they've earned the right not to. They still have an internal competition to prepare for but they are pretty much On the worlds team. Komova got gastroenteritis and is in hospital. Grishina is also said to have this bug. Gastro is not exactly a hospital thing unless you're really unlucky..I'd imagine different countries, top athlete, no chances being taken. There is sadly a rumour that Demy either wants to or has retired, but it's a rumour..Baturina and Shelgunova are injured.

      There are 4 Russian spots at the Osijek world cup mid september. It's quite close to worlds of course but I'd hazard a guess Komova, Grishina, Nabieva and Paseka are going IF they send girls and don't pull out. Unfortunately it's EF only so unless Komova has even a front tuck up her sleeve, she cannot even vault and that was the last event she got back. Komova needs a competition up her sleeve other than internal qualification really.

      Now, back to the US! It's a pity they're right on top of each other with news etc. because I don't have the time to write about both at the moment. I didn't really follow scores that closely- I sure heard some etc. but I was more interested in start values on the live scoring page. It's definitely something I'll be looking at. I think the top 4 juniors definitely benefited from generous scoring. But I do think it's better than in other years where it was very blatant.

      Ugh you just reminded me of that Maroney's crappy moments montage. They get so much mileage out of her Nationals fall. I'm confused as to why they didn't show her bars fall? Or maybe the amanar she crashed a few years ago? Really lay it on thicker. Maybe we will be blessed with that tonight. I am very, very unused to American television and it's so different.

      Shchennikova..I don't see where she can go from here. Stunning work but...? Flatley has some great basics on bars, looks like they're building a good foundation. Not sure if she's an all arounder, her difficulty is too low and she's too small to really say that yet but I definitely think she could be more valuable than just beam. Though that will always be the main selling point with her because it's incredible.

      Bailie is so impressive. Nia still impresses me more though, even though she's still a bit flaky and rough around the edges.

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    2. What's gastroenteritis?? Sounds like something related to the stomach. Let's hope Komova gets better for Osijek. If not, I don't think she'll go to Worlds. There's no way.

      Wow, you know it's an "empty" competition when a specialist wins the AA. I really hope Dementyeva doesn't retire. I know she's inconsistent and she doesn't get picked much for competitions, but all she has to do is start believing in herself.

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    3. It's a severe stomach bug, can last a week. Dehydration is the major problem with it and it's a big killer in Africa- children. But just a bad week for anyone who gets it here really. She'll be at worlds if she's healthy..they won't let lack of competitive experience since London get in the way. Maybe not vault if she's not quite there but at least bars and beam..

      Well Demy also has to prove that she can hit in major competition, and she's proved the opposite for quite a while now. I don't think she'd ever make another major team.

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    4. I really like Norah and think she has potential for an AA gymnast - though I have to admit that I have a soft spot for any of Chow's girls. But I think he's pacing her - she's only 13 - an really her bar difficulty isn't too low. It's just floor and vault - and vault is tough for a tiny one - I think it will be interesting to see how she develops under Chow!

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    5. That was not worded great. What I mean is, her difficulty is focused on one event, so it's hard to tell if she can be great on all 4, until her other events catch up a bit. She clearly has the potential, and I absolutely want her to be paced well, just that her full potential isn't easy to see right now..except for beam of course.

      I. LOVE. NORAH. This post probably threw all the love Laurie's way, and Nia's too but yeah, this little one is awesome and definitely in 'my' top 5 juniors.

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    6. Ha! Love it. :) I agree that I love Laurie and Nia too - they're in my top 5. So many great juniors coming up!

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  5. Great post! I too love Nia, those releases, that standing arabian and I think she moves well on floor. According to the Gymcastic interview with Laurie and her coach she will keep the same floor routine next year and get a new one in 2015 which she'll use again in 2016. The coach said she's had the music picked out for ages and that it's more mature. I think it would be better to get a new routine when she turns senior. I don't think throwing a DTY when you're not even eligible for Rio is generally a good idea but Agrapides is certainly more than ready for it.

    I was so impressed with Kocian and disappointed when she got injured. So happy that Biles hit. I loved the GAGE leo!

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    1. Thanks! Yes, Nia is basically my favourite junior, kinda tied with Laurie though. Ah, thanks for that. I really love this routine so still very happy with that!

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  6. So, what are your thoughts on the senior national team?

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    1. I'm very sad Desch and Milliet are not on it- not because their results indicated they should be because they didn't, but just in general. Delighted Kocian made it! There's one spot left and I think it's Ohashi's maybe not this year, but January or something.

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  7. Well after watching senior nationals night 2, I think we all know that Simone and Kyla are locks for AA and McKayla is a lock for Floor/VT specialist.

    The fourth spot though....

    Personally, I think it's between Ebee and Peyton now for the most part for the 4 spot. If Ebee hits bars and beam, the spot will probably go to her. But because of the injury and b/c she's from Parkettes you never know. Marta said Priessman's out and there's no way she'll be ready for worlds camp in 3 weeks. Kocian was reported as being unlikely to be ready with the injury either. Ernst has decent bars and beam routines, they may just decide to take her for the experience as she could be valuable in the future as she's young and continues to improve as an all arounder. She would have a very outside chance of making bars finals and a decent shot at beam finals at worlds. If Ebee's healthy and can get bars better and consistent she'd have a decent shot at bars finals as well.

    So much for Abby Milliet......
    no national team pretty much guarantees no worlds :(

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    1. peyton could be the new aly.. calm, steady and reliable. marta loves that in a gymnast. with a bit more confidence the flair and pizzazz might come.

      so sad for abby milliet :(

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    2. The 4th spot is quite open. I think Kocian will get it if she's healthy, then Price, then Peyton. Peyton was not very impressive at Nationals on those two events. She's very good, and promising..but bars were clunky and beam was shaky at best. Price for bars alone, not beam, but she'd have a great chance of qualifying for bars and maybe capitalising on errors from others.

      Ugh Milliet was such a heartbreaker! She has glorious beam routines in her, but getting nervous on that event is just...no, that can't go to worlds.

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    3. I just posted on the 4th spot at the end of the conversation after the 1st comment - Martha made interesting comments about potentially bringing three AA (Simone, Kayla and Mckayla) and the 4th spot serving as an alternate...

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    4. Very interesting! I'm a bit behind since Nationals ended at 3am for me, and I couldn't catch up with everything today in limited time. I'd LOVE to see Maroney doing all-around at worlds. Though if she places third I wouldn't see it live, I'm going to finals only..

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  8. Love reading your roundups!

    I watched all the day 1 juniors and it's the first time I've really got to know most of them. Laurie Hernandez' floor - WOW. Agrapides vault - WOW. I wish they could have added Agrapides and maybe even Vanasia Bradley to the team, but I guess they don't really go for specialists in the juniors? I was reading TCG on twitter as well and Lauren said that Vasquez basically knocked herself down 8 places with that one disastrous bar routine on night 2 (I think 3 falls + hitting the bar with her feet a couple of times?). She scored 4.6 less on bars on night 2 when everything else was consistent. DAMMIT! I like her a lot! I've just checked and she would have been 8th with a consistent night 2 bar routine.

    I haven't had a chance to watch night 2 seniors either but Kyla won night 2 AA. I really enjoyed watching her and Biles (I know you don't find her interesting but idk, I love her!). Kyla's floor is growing on me, especially with her new dramatic flair. Wish she'd swap that spin for something else though! I hate those L spins (what are they called?! Where the leg is at hip height) anyway. I was impressed with her night 2 side somi save. I think Kyla has really good awareness of what to do to save a move on beam - lots of girls seem to try and throw themselves forwards to save a move if they're falling backwards, Kyla tightens her core.

    I was also interested watching the girls on beam, the more confident/steady girls seem to look ahead (one of the GAGE girls, Kyla, I think Guerra?) while some of the wobblier girls look down at the beam. I stopped gymnastics when I was 10 (and hit 5'3!) so I didn't really get onto anything interesting on beam, so it's cool to see the differences in styles!

    I'm pleased that Price got added to the team! I thought Arianna Guerra might make it because she was very steady but then she hurt herself as well. I hoped with Price and Kocian making it she might as well... oh well. I like her and Baker. Take them both, Marta!

    Mykayla Skinner is growing on me. She's very determined! I'm not sure her floor would score anywhere near that internationally. People were talking about her double double LO being downgraded to piked but I thought it looked like a loose tuck, especially on night one. Still massively impressive and I really like her floor routine overall! Her Cheng is scary. Like, I watch it and I can't figure out how she makes it work.

    Ahh I have so many thoughts :P My tumblr is non-gym and I have real lie friends on there



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    1. ... so I didn't finish that sentence. I have real life friends on there and they don't know I'm a gym nerd except one person so. Yeah. Lucky you :P

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    2. Agrapides had a meltdown on bars, and I believe she may have fallen on another event too? Will have to check. She's so freaking young..2017 senior! that it's no big deal she didn't get added. I doubt they would have expected her to be added when it's really only vault at the moment that she has going on. Fur juniors, they pretty much take the top 6-8 AA so being ahead on vault both nights was not much good to her.

      Vanasia has a LOT of potential, but she's very inconsistent still. I bet she'll be added next year. She's a 1999 senior, I'd say she'll be at camps etc. all the same.

      Lauren said Vasquez was just not ready for that routine- an inbar skill was causing the problems I think? That routine was hard to watch live so I'm not rewatching!

      Ariana Guerra is from Texas Dreams. The GAGE girls were Brenna Dowell and Maddie Desch.

      Ahh, but that's only because Simone messed up on bars night 2! :p Kyla does not have the endurance for her floor. I wish they'd concentrate on bars and beam instead, but it's very very late for that now. If her bars were 6.7 and her beam 6.3 it would help her so much...

      I have a tumblr, but I barely use it. I forget about it entirely most of the time. It's beautiful gymnastics though, as are twitter and ask.fm. I do not use my full name anywhere except facebook!

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    3. I just looked at the results, looks like Agrapides melted down on bars both nights and maybe fell from beam? 7.7 execution the first night anyway.

      Oh yeah, I know Arianna Guerra is from Texas Dreams. That was a badly constructed sentence on my part! I was just trying to list the people I remembered thinking were steady and who spotted for balance by looking ahead rather than looking down... I'll have to rewatch and find out exactly who I mean!

      I feel like a couple of the girls (not just Kyla; again, it was a thought I had while I was watching a few routines and I can't remember exactly who!) who struggle on floor don't have an issue with endurance so much as with confidence. I understand your issue with Kyla but I personally am happy for her to upgrade at a snail's pace if it keeps her around for years to come ;)

      If Kyla weren't doing AA, who would go instead? She scored 60.50 on the second night (yeah, I know it's not likely to happen again this year!) and was nearly 4 points ahead of Brenna and nearly 5 ahead of Peyton. I don't think Kyla is automatically going to score amazingly well overseas or anything (some people seem to think she'll be handed the AA gold as soon as she walks in the door, just because she's tall with a nice toe point!) but I think she and Simone make a good AA pairing.

      I'm still well annoyed that Arianna Guerra didn't make the fricking team. GRRR.

      Lauren on her tumblr (I think?) said there are 14 spaces on each team, they just tend to fluctuate numbers year on year. I guess I don't know enough about it to be able to argue for including junior event specialists, haha! But VASQUEZ. She should be on there, pah!

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    4. I love Kyla! I don't think she'll definitely win AA at worlds or anything, but I think she has a shot!

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    5. Yes, she came off the bars twice day 2 anyway. 10.4 is a really damaging score when it's your AA total that's your only ticket to the NT.

      Yes, I also notice things like how they are if they have to wait for a score to mount the beam etc...fidgeting, or stoic and focused. Vasquez actually was SO CALM during the bars meltdown, kind of freakily calm. Well Kyla has said herself she always struggles with endurance with a 4 pass routine, so straight from the horse's mouth! With other girls yes I'd agree there.

      My ideal team is 3 doing the AA, one to be Kyla. That was also before the other promising all arounders like Ebee, Brenna and Lexie kinda faded away or didn't compete AA. This new information that Marta hopes Maroney can compete all-around at worlds means no 4th gymnast so no issue with 3 doing the AA to make room for a specialist.

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    6. I think she has a very strong shot at bronze in the AA. She will I believe need mistakes from others to get higher. Currently (not even thinking about Komova who's in hospital!) I see her firmly in 4th place on bars..unless someone else falls. I don't think she'd go home empty handed while Simone is laden down with gold..it's just the difference between them. If Simone hits, she's THE major contender for gold. While Kyla would need mistakes from others!

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    7. I guess the endurance thing doesn't make sense to me (not just with Kyla, but any girl who says it). Unless they mean mental endurance and finding the performance aspect so taxing? (In which case, hopefully the choreo/performance work will help!) I mean, with people like Mustafina you can see them visibly struggling towards the end of a routine but none of the US girls look like that.

      I heard about the Marta interview... would she really take someone for AA who still (right now) doesn't have competition ready BB and UB? Unless it's just for the practice.

      I agree with you about bars placing. Should be exciting! I used to find bars finals so boring and now I love them.

      I can't believe how many of the US girls are injured though. A whole lineup of would-have-been world's contenders (Finnegan, Price, Priessman, Ohashi) plus the up-and-comers/steady background gymnasts (Desch, Vega, Kocian... there must be more).

      Sorry for spamming your comments this morning, I'm at work procrastinating :P

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    8. Mustafina struggles when she's off peak, but it's very smart how she handles off-peak season and then when she needs to be ON. Komova struggles with endurance all the time though. It's only floor that Kyla has the issue with, she was fine in Europe with 3 passes but once there were 4 she's had issues every time. And her tumbles are really very easy for a US elite so it's odd.

      That's what I'm wondering. That's not like her...and I thought if Kocian was ready she would be worth the experience etc. for team finals next year, since they still need bars girls and Gabby has just knocked herself out. Will be very interesting either way, 3 or 4 gymnasts.

      Yep it pretty much sucks. They're so deep but beam in particular has taken a beating!

      Haha, go for it!

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  9. Catherine you are in for a suprise; the international judges like kyla. And a musty best not underestimate kyla. Kyla has looked better than her. And let's not get into the injury card kyla was injured at the beginning of the year. Kyla shied heart and will last night . She has scored 15.4 twice international ly. By the way my Facebook is tony Deri I don't need to hide

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    1. Where did I say they didn't? I think you're in for the surprise when she doesn't score 9.3 in execution everywhere. Is it a crime to acknowledge the US girls won't be scored the same at Antwerp as they are at Nationals? Worlds are harsher and always will be, end of. And in case you think Kyla is the only one- Simone isn't getting 9.3 execution on beam in international competition anytime soon or a bars score with a mistake like that, nor is McKayla getting 9.7 on an amanar with a hop/step. It doesn't mean they won't score WELL, I mean the standard of what a great score is will be lower. At Tokyo, 15.7 on an amanar was a fantastic score, amazing. At the Olympics, a score like that means you messed it up a bit.

      Kyla scored 14.933 on bars in team finals at the Olympics, a hit routine with a stuck landing. Jesolo etc. were more generous than usual- and they had no worthwhile competition to compare against.

      I don't think Mustafina needs to be told that she has competition. Interestingly enough, Marta and Kyla herself have mentioned upgrades. They know her difficulty is an issue. It seems that you don't? Why don't you take a look at the execution scores at Tokyo worlds, and then Nationals or American Cup and then tell me that there's no inflation going on, and that the girls can expect the exact same scoring that they're used to in the US.

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    2. Catherine we can go back and forth but it's not worth it. Don't tell me Russia and Romania don't get over scored at their national. Plus I think it was at cantibus that lord ache got a 15.6 on bb for a mess with wobbles and a near fall . With the girl from china getting a 15.0 for probably a near perfect routine. You must got a problem with the Americans or something plus I bet kyla will have her floor up in five wks and quiet the nay Sayers like yourself

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    3. Did I say that? I'm talking about the US Nationals, so what a surprise that Russia and Romania don't come into it. And yes, they also overscore..but generally not as blatantly. It was actually at Anadia, not Cottbus, and if you read back you'll find I did think Iordache was overscored.

      Yes, I have a major problem with the Americans. You got me. That's why I write so much about them, and so positively too. If you think Kyla's d-scores are not an issue and that she has gold in the bag and nobody else's difficulty matters, that's your prerogative. But don't come on here and say I'm biased against Americans. Or any other nation.

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  10. People seem to be getting upset that you're not a huge fan of Kyla! I don't think her d-scores are as bad for all-around contention if she keeps the 5.7 floor and 6.0 beam. Personally, I would be happy for her to get bronze because it's hard to see her challenging for more. Also, apparently Marta might be sending just Biles, Ross and Maroney for AA. It's in this interview.

    http://www.gymnastike.org/coverage/250406-2013-PG-Championships/video/719864-Martha-Karolyi-Reveals-her-Thoughts-on-Biles-Maroney-and-2013-USA-World-Team-Selection

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    1. It's not even that, it seems to have been the thought that she won't score the same at Antwerp...but nor will any of them. Now the 6.0 beam was a nice surprise! And her score made more sense because I was utterly gobsmacked when I thought she was given 15.25/5.7 difficulty. I'm disappointed about bars though- even two more tenths make an enormous difference to her ability to sneak into the medals there. Her full difficulty is 23.9. Simone's is hard to calculate- it was 24.3 at Nationals, but she took six tenths off her beam...so she could have 24.9. And I think they will be sneaking the half-out back into her floor if at all possible, and the 1.5 to tucked full in pass. Larisa Iordache's is 24.5 if we give her 5.7 bars..I think they'll add a few tenths to that, we'll see fairly soon. Mustafina's is 24.4 with 6.3 bars..I don't see her bringing those alone, I'd expect 6.6-7, maybe higher if she can manage it.

      And that interview is kind of peculiar..in a way, it makes perfect sense. And in another way, it goes against typical Marta behaviour..she does NOT like sending last-minute routines. And before we were given the impression that she's concentrating on floor and vault because that's her ticket to the team. Bit of a turnaround. Interesting though. If she can get 5.9 bars and beam she has 24.3!

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    2. I think Kyla's chances at world depends a lot on who shows up and what shape their in. For example, if Komova doesn't go then she has a better chance. She has to depend on others but she's in much better contention then a few months ago at least.

      Now that Maroney has upgraded floor, she's much more of a contender on it and I can actually see the point of having just three girls providing she can do bars/beam. The 2013 worlds situation seems very similar to 2005. You have three very strong girls Ross, Biles and Maroney and ampty fourth spot which is similar to 2005 with Nastia Liukin, Alicia Sacromone and Chellsie Memmel. Jana Bieger was the 4th member but didn't make any finals due to the others placing above her. i doubt the ability of any of the others right now to make any finals let alone medal. If Kocian can back quickly enough, I think she could potentially make finals but no one else and it would be interesting to see Maroney do AA.

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    3. Absolutely. I think there'd be less concern if it was Mustafina just discharged from hospital, not Komova. Sigh. Aside from Larisa Iordache and the 'can she upgrade to swallow her bars execution score', I think China could be very interesting with Yao and Shang Chunsong- whose difficulty is actually huge. Not that hitting is a guarantee with them, but it's not with Simone either so..

      It would be very interesting. I'd love Kocian to do beam/bars but Maroney AA..! I'm torn..

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  11. There's actually three spots left on the national team, 14 spots total.

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    1. Thanks, I'm super confused about it. I heard there are 20 funded spots total combined with juniors..

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    2. I think there's 20 spots each? And then if you look at past national teams on the USA gymnastics websites, some years there's been up to 24 seniors!

      Maybe there's some funded spots and they can add unlimited numbers of unfunded/part funded spots?

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    3. Hmmm. Let's just go with..there's room for Ohashi and hopefully Milliet and Desch if they impress at a later camp!

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  12. Totally off topic, but how do you feel about Beth retiring?

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    1. Not surprised, but it does suck! When you watch her routine now, her absolute awesomeness on bars seems a lot clearer than it was at the time..just hindsight. She'd been elite for basically a decade and suffered with a lot of injuries...but I did get my hopes up when it was reported she'd been training a bit. From what she said in her goodbye videos though, she was trying to see if she could do it, but just wasn't able to devote herself and the time to it etc.

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    2. Since you're talking about Beth, I thought I'd ask if you know any scores from the British trials? I know Tunney won and Harold took second but any other info? I've always been a big fan of whelan and love her new floor, and I'm American but out of anyone in the world I'm rotting for a great worlds for her.(if she makes it there)

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    3. Raer Theaker was third in the AA, Becky Downie was happy with her weekend and scored 14.6 on beam, Hannah Whelan won floor both days and Kelly Simm looked good. Some of this info is courtesy of Jennifer Pinches, but there's basically no release of scores or videos. I'm very interested as to what they'll do with their team. I originally though Whelan, Tunney AA, Downie and Harrold UB/BB. But they can't do that of course. If Whelan isn't 100% doing the AA, they could have Harrold and Tunney in the AA, Downie bars and beam and Hannah on floor..

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    4. Thank you! I hope hannah gets to her old self again. She seems to be struggling a bit right now. Is or was she injured recently or do you think she's just not that into it anymore? I agree they probably will put Tunney and Harold as the AA, that way both Harold and downie can fight for a bar final. It'll be interesting to see if they choose a vault specialist too, although not many to choose from

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    5. Yeah, I reckon Tunney and Harrold AA, Whelan FX BB (?) and Downie UB (or BB?).

      I keep stalking Gabby Jupp's twitter to find out if she's back in training!

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    6. Oh I have news on that! She's been cleared for some bars training. Anything else is too early really- if you check out footage of Mustafina training in 2011, there was pretty much no real weight-bearing allowed.

      Yes, beam is 50/50 with Downie or Whelan!

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  13. Great blog post Catherine! I was really impressed with Laurie, Bailie, and Nia in the junior ranks. Laurie's expression, attitude, and dance are amazing! Very enjoyable and energetic! Bailie is very clean, fluid, and is being paced very well. On beam, her triple twist dismount is lovely. Her day 2 floor was great as well. Nearly stuck every pass. The music and choreo needs work though. She is graceful, but the choreo is doing her no favors. Nia's problem is her inconsistency, but she is so exciting to watch. Her form and dance are good, along with her power. The amplitude she gets on everything is amazing. The arabian is PERFECT. Her releases are the highest I have ever seen and are not skewed. I loved Norah's beam as well. In the dance/artistry department, I was impressed with Emily Gaskins. Her classical, balletic, style is lovely and refreshing.

    For the seniors, I believe the Worlds team will be Kyla, Simone, and McKayla. After Marta's interview, I am not even sure if a 3rd person will be taken. I am disappointed that a 4th girl may not get experience, but it will be interesting to see how Maroney will do in the AA. She has potential, but is very inconsistent with it. If she does hit, it will shake things up.

    I was worried about McKayla on day 1. She seemed nervous and wasn't happy with herself. Her vault and floor weren't up to her standard either. Day 2 went well for her. The amanar only had a small hop and her floor landings were much better.

    Simone had a good competition on day 1. There were no major mistakes. The full in dismount was gorgeous. Day 2 went okay, besides the mistakes on bars.

    Kyla needs to build her endurance on floor. It clearly seems to be a problem. Her DTYs and bars were lovely. On both days, beam seemed a little shaky. I'm hoping she can build her difficulty there.

    Nationals scoring was inflated as usual. Scoring was more harsh at Classics. It was very clear that most routines were overscored. For example, Simone's bars were definitely over marked. People say that Kyla will get scored better internationally, but she won't. Her scores will be good, but they will lower. Her beam on day 2 with the wobble on the side somi didn't deserve a 15.25 IMO. McKayla's scores were a bit inflated as well.

    BTW, whenever I try to comment with my wordpress account now, it just says my open ID credentials cannot be verified.

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    1. Kyla does not seem to get deducted for her leg separation on block, it's quite noticeable. It's interesting that a lot of form errors seem to have been ignored on vault- Simone's messy legs on the amanar for instance, other girls crossing feet, lack of height- and yet MyKayla Skinner's Cheng got SLAMMED. It would be nice if they were consistent- you can't nitpick everything with one vault and then say, oh your name is Maroney? 10 for you..oh she took a step, we'll deduct that. Of course the two vaults cannot be compared really, it's just that there were other slight form issues with Maroney's that were ignored.

      Simone's bars and beam, and Nia's beam also stood out as hilarious scores. I just think it's so unneccessary. And Kyla's beam, yes.

      Laurie for life. I was so mad they weren't showing Skinner's floor and instead had it sort of in the background..but then when they introduced Laurie to NBC I definitely thawed. In a way, it's unfair- she didn't win. But Bailie's name is well known for years, and Laurie is very new on the scene..so..yay.

      Oh right, no idea there. Wordpress gives more control over comments...I don't know what the story is there? Weird.

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    2. How much do you think Skinner's cheng would score at world level? It looked kind of underscored to me.

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    3. Yeah, Kyla should have been deducted more on vault on day 2. Except her DTYs are still nice because her form, height, and landing are usually nice. Yeah, Simone seems to cross her legs noticeably. McKayla should not have had a 9.7 execution score. Her vault was gorgeous, but there were deductions for pre-flight leg separation, slightly bent knees, very slight leg separation at the end, and of course the small hop at the end. Skinner was judged very harshly. I mean her form is terrible, but still others were judged very lenient compared to her.

      What was Nia's beam score? I don't recall hearing it.

      I think this has been happening to me ever since I added a profile pic to my gravatar. I can't remove it though, so I will have to comment like this now.

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    4. I think it would score the same at worlds level. It was fairly scored, but the other vaults by the top few were not. Mykayla lends herself to more execution errors than most, but they should have deducted more than they did from the others too.

      14.950 day 2- 9.15 execution- Nia beam.

      Is it the same with other blogspot blogs? Strange.

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    5. Oh, okay. Definitely overscored with the big bobble. Her amplitude on beam is amazing though!

      Yeah, it's weird. I had the post like this on WOGgymnastike.

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  14. I'm glad I'm not the only once who feels confused when everyone harps on about kyla's "perfect" DTY when the leg sep is bleeding obvious.

    I adore kyla but c'mon people.

    Stoked Marta wants mckayla to do AA but I wonder how much she has improved bars/beam. the potential is there always has been.. but to be a worlds AA gymnast after being a specialist, injuries, surgeries... all within a year or so.. would be nothing short of incredible.


    does Marta do valentinas and BS to blow smoke? or can you hold her to her word a little?

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    1. Sometimes the leg separation isn't as bad as other times. She's definitely no Paseka etc. pretty much straddled, but yeah it's like they're ignoring it like they ignore a lot of other things.

      I've always liked her beam. Not the bent knees, but she's very sharp and usually nails connections very solidly. And bars, yes there's been moments of greatness there for a long time, hopefully she can get it together there too. It would be amazing. I'd love to see that live in finals since I won't be there for prelims..but it would take a lot to beat Kyla and obviously Kyla really deserves it..

      Haha no, Marta doesn't mess around. I'd say they are between taking Kocian if healthy and taking Maroney for the AA and no 4th girl. All depends on how ready either girl is.

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  15. Thank you so much for devoting so much of your time to creating such detailed and insightful post-competition posts! I've been in the habit of checking back here after every international meet for your excellent analysis for quite a while now, keep up the amazing work. :)

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    1. Thanks! I have a lot of time on my hands the last while, but not near as much starting in a few weeks, but definitely will still be posting!

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