Thursday 5 September 2013

Cranking numbers for Antwerp and more news

Who has the highest difficulty this year going into Antwerp? It's very hard to say who will hit their connections or who will definitely upgrade etc. but having a look at the raw difficulty scores of the top contenders is still very interesting.

1. Larisa Iordache, Romania. 25 (VT 5.8 UB 5.9 BB 6.9 FX 6.4)
2. Shang Chunsong, China. 24.6 (VT 5.0 UB 6.9 BB 6.6 FX 6.1)
3. Aliya Mustafina, Russia. 24.4 (VT 5.8 UB 6.3 BB 6.4 FX 5.9)
4. Simone Biles, USA. 24.3-5 (VT 6.3 UB 6.1 BB 5.7-9 FX 6.2)
5. Kyla Ross, USA. 23.7-9 (VT 5.8 UB 6.4 BB 5.8-6 FX 5.7)

Edit- There has been a reshuffle, Shang Chunsong's full bars routine is 6.9 so she bumps Aliya Mustafina to third. Simone Biles is either third or fifth, depending on what day of Nationals you pick.. 

Now for the fun bit!

- Larisa Iordache is not guaranteed to get 6.4 on floor. Nor is she guaranteed to get all of her connections on bars- we all know it's a weak spot and for one routine at Euros she just got 5.5. So..
- We would be underestimating Aliya Mustafina if we expect her to roll up at Antwerp with 6.3 bars. I believe she will be aiming for at least two tenths extra there, possibly four. At the same time, if her triple on floor is gone with no replacement or a lower difficulty replacement, expect that to drop. If she CAN squeeze a double layout in instead of it, it will go up 0.1 If she goes for the triple y turn and gets it credited, that is 0.1 also. On the other hand, her beam connections have been dodgy more than they have been solid.
- Shang Chunsong is said to be training a DTY. She has not done it yet at National Games, but if she does throw one at Antwerp- that is 25.2! She's not immune to mistakes/lost connections but neither are any of the top few. Her super high d score WITH an FTY is incredible, and not as one-sided as the infamous Nastia example since she's also very good on floor.
- Simone's score here is with her downgraded beam which she competed at Nationals. IF she brings back her better routine, her total goes up to 24.9. I don't know what to do with her beam, I was so sure the routines were the same at Nationals both days but I was fixated on Day 1, which was lowest. So she MAY be second in this list- not sure whether to bump her up or not in my 'standings'. Her floor is at its lowest- if she brings back the 1.5 to tucked full in she gets 0.2 more so 6.4 and if she does the DLO half-out it will almost certainty be given a value of G, so another 0.1 to 6.5. If she does the double wolf it will be insurance if one of her leaps gets downgraded/not credited. Her full total could be 25.2, but this is far from a given of course. Her floor score is a little complicated- I think because of the leaps. Please feel free to correct me- I am going by YT coded videos which seem to credit everything, and then actual competition scores.
- Don't expect Kyla Ross' difficulty to increase, Marta herself has said this is it. She CAN lose connections on beam if she is unsteady. I wasn't sure what beam d-score to go with since 6.0 was the last but she's been competing with 5.7-8 all year. Her high execution could have her more equal with Simone if Simone doesn't upgrade.
- Yao Jinnan is not included as she is injured and her routines at National Games are being downgraded and upgraded where possible to accommodate that and it's just a mess. She DOES have the highest possible bars d-score though. (7.0) Diana Bulimar (23.3 full capabilty) is not here because she is not a top contender I don't think. She should be, I know.

So, there are quite a few scenarios that can change things, the most dramatic being if Shang Chunsong acquires a DTY. Let's not forget execution- Simone may not get full credit for her leaps, Larisa will more than likely get slammed on bars and any of the what-if's- like Kyla having a low landing, or of course out of bounds, falls etc. etc. The problem with Kyla which is plain as day here, is that even with her full difficulty and Simone who's nearest at her lowest- there's a gap. So she basically has no reserve and needs to be perfect, whereas most of the others can afford some mistakes.

EDIT- I have been linked to some statistics compiled by a poster called Yingova on a thread on a Chinese forum. My favourite one is highest d-score credited this year. Simone Biles 24.9 Aliya Mustafina 24.5 Larisa Iordache and Yao Jinnan 24.1 Shang Chunsong 24 and Kyla Ross 23.9. Not all of those are recent but clearly the AA despite some absences and others under threat will still be interesting..

On to other news- the National Games Team Final took place yesterday, with the podium being in order- Shanghai, Zheijang and Hunan provinces. Zheijang lost out on gold by one error in the end- Wang Wei's fall on her triple twist, which is not nice knowledge for her to carry in a competition this big and prestigious. (Shanghai includes Sui Lu, Tan Sixin, Zheijang Huang Huidan, Luo Huan and Hunan Shang Chunsong, Tan Jiaxin).

- Shang Chunsong hit, again. Not fantastic bars- lost it on a handstand and nearly on another, but hey, she didn't fall. Huang Huidan also hit again, even more astonishing. Great news for these two, and promising for their worlds debut.
- Yao Jinnan struggled with her injury. She fell on floor, and only did an FTY- thankfully. She downgraded her beam and fell twice on bars- on the new Mo Salto and on her Tkachev. The Mo was caught with one hand. I'm so thrilled she went for it and although I'm worried that she still has routines left to compete like floor and vault and her all-around prospects for worlds are not looking good- I've no concern over her bars. It was a fabulous routine and I think it was moreso the mental pressure of carrying your team when you're injured that got to her there.
- He Kexin fell twice on bars, on her Pak and Jaeger. Her bars in qualifying were not as great as usual, and she has obviously been pushing herself to compete here at all. She easily made the bars finals and can hopefully redeem herself there.
- Zeng Siqi fell on beam, again. She still has the AA but it's a bit too little too late at this stage. Beautiful work but her endurance has long been a problem and with consistency on top of that..I think she should be building her routines now and her strength rather than unleashing them on the world stage.
- Wang Yan had a disaster on beam but hit her vault. Tan Jiaxin fell on bars again but hit her vaults too. Junior Luo Huan impressed with a gigantic beam score of 15.067- tying Sui Lu with both execution and difficulty (6.3), despite being eight years younger.

Videos are here. and here. The full livestream has been reuploaded.

Part 2 is the video response underneath. To help you out (and me) here is a little list of the major gymnasts and their competition numbers. I think it's easier than confusing people with what province features on what event in what rotation. Anyway, feel free to comment 'who's number 96' or whatever and I'll find out. Thanks to WangXiangu for compiling the source for this :)
Shang Chunsong- 100
Sui Lu- 136
Yao Jinnan- 32
Huang Qiushuang- 40
Wu Liufang- 46
Tan Sixin- 138
Lv Jiaqi- 172- 2016 senior
Luo Huan- 174- 2016 senior
Tan Jiaxin- 102
Zeng Siqi- 106
Liu Tingting- 42- 2016 senior
Wang Yan- 22- 2015 senior
Huang Huidan- 166
Fan Yilin- 134- 2015 senior
He Kexin- 14

The Japan Junior list is out and you should be excited because it looks a lot better than that YOG will be like, even just by virtue of more gymnasts and more birth years admissible. I think the top two places in the AA will be a US story but check out those names..Romania and Russia are sending their best, and so are China. I'm hoping for a livestream, there's a good bit of time to find out..

FIG have released the worlds nominative list, here.These names and events were submitted nearly two weeks ago and can be changed up to the day before competition starts. For instance, the Dutch team has been officially named and Wyomi Masela is on it in place of Vera van Pol who is listed. Viktoria Komova is on the list, but the news that Anna Rodionova may take her place was released after they submitted names for this list. Victoria Moors is not down for vault, Elsa Garcia does not appear, Australia have gymnasts when they have just announced they're not taking any, it is hoped that Viktoria Komova will do bars too, Sandra Izbasa is down for vault which is in question and the US are not naming their team for another ten days so I would call Brenna Dowell far from solid- others in the past have been shafted between the nominative list and competition for the US. All in all, I don't think a huge amount will change. The British team, which has not been named- is interesting. It is what a lot of people have suspected, that Hannah Whelan will just do floor and not beam since Becky Downie is outscoring her there and not the AA since she's not ready for that yet and Ruby Harrold is. Brazil's team has caused outrage, since Jade Barbosa is too injured to compete and Laetitia Costa has not competed well this year at all, so that might change too. I was hoping Jade would be better in time but it doesn't sound too positive. Italy's team is strange- it includes Sydney 2000 Olympian Adriana Crisci! I'm wondering where Elisa Meneghini and Elisabetta Preziosa are when it comes to who's in contention. Are there any other glaring mistakes or interesting omissions/inclusions?

Romanian Nationals are starting soon! For the first time they will be on a podium. Larisa Iordache is said to compete and I'll update with news of the competition.


  1. I like Iodarche. If she can ever get a good bars and have a D score of like 6.3, it would make things interesting. Hopefully she can do that by the next olympics.

    Yao and Iodarche have some bad luck with injuries right before the big competitions...Olympics and now this.

    I guess we will know soon enough of everyone who will compete for their country in the next couple of weeks.

    1. Yao just tied for gold with Shang in the NG AA :D

      I love Iordache. It feels like she's been around a good while and she really hasn't, and hasn't earned her due in competition yet..and it doesn't look like worlds will be the one, but who knows. She competed 6.3 bars once last year, but that would be lower now- 6.1 maybe, don't know offhand. She was given 5.5 on bars at euros..

  2. Japan Juniors actually sounds better than Worlds :/ Worlds looked like maybe the London we hoped to see, but with more and more medal contenders disappearing it's starting to look quite poor. No Afan, Komova doubtful, Yao Jinnan injured, Iordache not seeming in the best of health recently, Didi and Kyla not upgrading, Izbasa not in top form.

    I'm actually quite surprised by how high Mustafina's difficulty looks compared to the other top contenders. I guess it helps that the Amanar has been devalued and the only one of the top contenders for AA who does one is Simone. Plus Mustafina doesn't really have a weak event just based on D scores, while Iordache and Shang (for now) are clearly being let down by an event. It's insane how competitive Shang is even with an FTY, she has such monster scores on the other events.

    Will watch the Chinese when I have time. Luo Huan looks good, what a lovely floaty layout to two feet! She looks quite mature, I wouldn't have guessed that she's only senior in 2016.

    1. Yes, and especially since I'm going to these worlds it's not nice to see people dropping out. Izbasa is aiming for 6.4 on floor! Interesting. Also Didi showed a full-in double layout in training..but we've seen that before and never in competition.

      So am I, and when you add in 0.4 on bars it's HUGE. If she does add to her bars..I think she's more likely to do so than keep the routine the same. But then, her beam connections are far from a given. I think she and Biles could be very equal in the end. I LOVE how much of a challenger tiny little Shang is!

      Luo Huan is amazing! I wish she was old enough to go!

    2. Izbasa is going for 6.4? Any idea of her upgrades? She had a 6.1 last weekend...upgrade switch half to switch full 0.1...maybe a split double 0.1 but I doubt it...I don't suppose she has upgraded one of her full-ins to a double double? I always thought she was capable of one. She has probably added a back tuck to one of her passes. What do you think?

      And I think Diana could be capable of a floor such as DLO 1/1, 3/2 to full-in, DLO, and double tuck/pike. And a full on beam and off beam, and maybe an amanar as well. She is surprisingly powerful. Oh well, there's always next year.

    3. If it's all credited. The spin combo and the front full are shown here. So is Didi's full-in double layout :( I can't believe she's out of worlds. Sandra said today she's planning on retiring after worlds.

      I think Sandra could do a back tuck after one of her full-in's, definitely. And Didi is capable of so much!

  3. In fact, the Japan Junior looks better than even senior Worlds, hopefully all on the list will be there. I imagine the Big Four coaches gazing at Kim Janas in astonishment.

    1. It does look great. Kim is supposed to have upgrades!

  4. Both Komova and Bulimar are out of worlds! Komova is still too sick to train, and Bulimar injured her knee :(

    1. Komova was always very doubtful after her bout of meningitis but DIDI! Not that she was in contention for medals with her stupid low difficulty but she's such a great performer and I was so looking forward to seeing her in person. What a horrible ill-timed injury- she was winning medals last week!

  5. So so sad that Bulimar is out. Komova was always going to be hit and miss (and frankly I'll believe the Russian team only when I actually see who turns up on the day of prelims itself, but so sad for Didi. She was doing so well, since she had emergency surgery it doesn't sound minor :(

    Watching the Chinese National Games has given me more hope for the future though. Li Yiting did a great job in EF, landing the DTT again. As it is now her 6.0 and 6.2 D-scores are already competitive for EFs. Wang Yan fell on the 1.5 Tsuk (?) but she's still really small, when she grows a bit it will really help her power. Deng Yalan also did well, though I think Wang Yan is more promising for the future.

    Bars EF was interesting, Yao didn't do her Mo salto. I don't really like Huidan's style that much, I know she does the Chow(?) but maybe after seeing Mustafina do it so many times more effortlessly, it seems a bit laboured to me, and her pirouettes are not as clean as I'm used to seeing from the Chinese UB specialists. He Kexin and Yang Yilin circa Beijing ruined me for pirouettes, haha. I do like Shang Chunsong's style though, very unusually aggressive and she doesn't do the usual toe-on skills? It's pretty interesting watching the next generation of the Chinese, they've clearly changed some of their coaching approaches - lots of handspring front vaults and almost no Yurchenko entries. I was also surprised at how aggressive Li Shanshan was on beam, for the last two quads none of their beamers have been really aggressive, they have a natural rhythm and in some cases, elegance. I still prefer watching Sui Lu, but she's one of my favourite beamers, and her TF routine was great!

    1. I'm not sure Li Yiting will get a chance this year. Zeng Siqi has left the door open, but I think Sui Lu is first in line for the fourth spot. Wang Yan fell on a Rudi, which is new for her. She's a little injured, but still had other upgrades too and an enormous full potential of 6.7 on beam. She could be a great all-arounder.

      People say that Huang Huidan has bad technique on some of her skills. That could be the difference you're seeing! I LOVE Shang Chunsong. I already did but I'm so pleased she's not had any falls yet- great confidence boost for her. Her golds here at NG have set her and her family up for life which is so great- and she's not done yet, she's the favourite for floor gold with a huge difficulty advantage and should have a good shot at a beam medal too. Shang had horrendous dead hang on bars and poor technique on toe-shoots so they've gone the shap route with her- same as Yao Jinnan.

      I think Wang Yan is aggressive on beam. Check out her routines from earlier this year. Luo Huan impressed me the most though. Her routine should really have gotten a 9.4 and they gave it like 8.7 execution, hilarious.

  6. Bulimar out! I'm so sad, she was my favorite and I was kind of hoping that she'd be a dark horse for floor with her proposed upgrade. :(

    1. :( I didn't think she was in contention for any medals, but ugh the glory of seeing her at all- fabulous gymnast AND performer.

  7. I think Worlds this year will be (sadly) like those in 2005 and 2009...

    China: Yao Jinnan is injured, Huang Huidan is extremely inconsistent, Zeng Siqi has little endurance, Deng Linlin will retire after the games, and Sui Lu and He Kexin probably will follow, too. This only leaves Shang Chunsong who can't realistically contend with a FTY.

    Russia: Komova's not coming to Worlds because she's sick. I guess Anna Rodionova will go in her place. Afanasyeva's also injured. Tatiana Nabieva is a great gymnast, but can't fully contend because of her weak floor and beam. Dementyeva and Belokobylskaya retired. Paseka is only useful for vault, but that's questionable as well. Meanwhile, Grishina can't go to Worlds because Valentina said so. I wonder if Mustafina can handle the pressure...

    Romania: Bulimar is injured and has to sit out for 6 weeks, Stanila and Ocolisan aren't ready, and Chelaru and Andrei retired. This only leaves Izbasa and Iordache.

    U.S.: This is the only country with a stable team. However, even they might just send 3 gymnasts. Biles is somewhat inconsistent, and Ross won't upgrade. Maroney is guaranteed the VT gold medal, though. I hope I didn't just jinx her...

    Other countries: Half the Italian team is injured (Fasana, Preziosa, Campana, etc.), Australia isn't sending anyone, and Barbosa is injured.

    WHAT IS HAPPENING???!!! It seems like almost every country has some hindrance. It looks like it's turning into a 4-5 people race again...:(

    1. Huang Huidan has hit every bars and beam routine at NG- or at least, not fallen. We have to give her some credit for that- it's more than what we could have expected. Yao is indeed injured and I hope she doesn't do the AA at worlds if she's not recovered but...she did so well and fought so hard in the national games AA, which gives me hope she can recover. Sui Lu has said she doesn't have immediate plans- I thought she was going straight to university. This means she could make the team :) HKX, DLL, HQS and WLF are all expected to retire- certainly the first two. Shang can contend with an FTY, which is amazing, and as I said there are rumours she's training a DTY. Her level of difficulty is probably the most stable of all, bar Kyla. Now I'd be surprised if she won gold, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see her right in the mix for a medal of a different colour.

      Yes, Rodionova is supposed to be the replacement. We can't count Grishina fully out I suppose. Nabieva's only hope is bars finals, like Paseka for vault..and she's fallen more than once this year.

      Yep, Romania will just send those 2.

      The fact they put Dowell on the list makes me think they ARE going to send a 4th gymnast- not neccessarily her.

      This is my first competition and first worlds- I'm so sad there are a lot of absences- for my own selfish reasons- but mainly for them, it must absolutely suck.

      I will say that while the AA won't be as exciting as we thought- some event finals, especially vault and floor will still be absolutely stacked.

    2. Poor Worlds this year. There re more injured gymnasts than competitors it seems.

      The 3 who I am interested in seeing are still going (Aliya, Iodarche and Yao) despite the fact that 2 of them have had injury problems and are probably not fully fit. I'll add Nabs to the list mainly for her personality.

      Russia's biggest hope is Aliya so again, she has the pressure to perform because Russia has no depth. Komova might as well take the entire year off, so no competitions this year, might as well just wait until 2014.

      AA might not be as interesting, but EF will hopefully be.

  8. it will be a real shame for the girls that do win medals because many will write them off due to worlds not being as competitive and therefore they still have to "prove" themselves. but it's in s strange way good for the girls that are injured as there are so many that they won't be missing out too much nor will they fall too far behind in their preparation.

    i do still look forward to seeing biles versus mustafina, I think that will be rather fascinating.