Sunday, 22 September 2013

Japan Jr and US training

No livestream emerged from Japan Junior, not that it would have been much good to me in the end when I discovered the AA started at 5am my time. Unfortunately, nobody was allowed to make videos either, and only two have emerged so far. First, results!

Unsurprisingly, Bailie Key won with a huge 58.4. Bailie fell on beam and still scored a 14 there. She scored a 15 on floor with a 6.1 routine, and nailed her DTY also, 15.05. It's so surprising to hear that Bailie fell..she counted no falls this year at Jesolo, Chemnitz, Classics or Nationals and the European competitions had event finals too. Despite the fall here, she still finished 1.5 points ahead of her nearest rival, continuing her streak of domination.

Sadly, Laurie Hernandez fell, paving the way to silver for the one who wasn't mentioned at all in the live tweets...Wang Yan! She has been dealing with an injury but appears to be fully recovered, scoring huge on vault and very respectable elsewhere..though I don't think she could have been at her best on floor and beam given her scores there, a bit lower than expected. Wang Yan has a DTT and Rudi under her belt belt (Rudi not consistent...yet) whereas most of her competitors will be doing a DTY and FTY, or even less. A great result for her after a disappointing National Games, and she's in a good position to take vault gold and place on beam.

I was very curious about how Laurie Hernandez' floor would score under international judging for the first time..not to worry, she got 14.7 for 5.9 difficulty. She came to grief as mentioned on bars but seems to have done well otherwise. Aleeza Yu of Canada snatched fourth place which was thrilling but unexpected, I hope a video or two of her appear despite the ban on them..after all, we do have two already.

Fifth-seventh place consist of Andreea Munteanu, Maria Bondareva and Maria Kharenkova. Andreea had hand surgery a while ago so as expected she wasn't at the top of her game, and her teammate Andreea Iridon had a bit of a nightmare with at least one fall and counting a piked yurchenko but she's also having issues with growth pain in her wrist. We don't know of any excuse for the fairly poor performances of the two Russians though. Kharenkova is slightly concerning given that she's turning senior in a few months. It's hard to see her excel as an all-arounder, but certainly she continues to show a lot of promise on beam and floor in particular. Bondareva is younger, and lovely, but her scores indicate that she hasn't really progressed- she seems to be in a rut. Hopefully both girls can advance with their gymnastics and not be struck down by the horror show that is Russian gymnastics politics (and health!) and a certain person/dragon.

Catherine Lyons was eighth, a respectable result given that she has lower difficulty than the girls of the top 4. She seems to have grown a lot but I'm very hopeful for her future, I see her as the elegant antithesis to powerhouses Tyesha Mattis, Amy Tinkler and Ellie Downie. Compatriot Georgia Mae Fenton has been dealing with injury unfortunately and as such only competed two events.

Here are some more snippets from Japan's gymnastics federation:

1) Key maybe did piked circle 1/1 stuck the tsk dismount 
2) Laurie fell on Ricna and didn't do Pak salto 
3) Janas almost fell off beam. 
4) Munteanu under rotated her triple twist on floor. 
5) Maybe Kharenkova did Arabian to jump 
6) Sae Miyagawa changed her first pass from "1 1/2 to dbl front" to "front layout to tuck dbl front" and maybe dlo 
7) Wakana Yasui upgraded her first pass to 2 1/2 to front layout, second pass to tuck full

I'm so happy Wang Yan had a great competition! I'll update with event finals results tomorrow.

This channel has videos of Munteanu and Kharenkova on floor, and hopefully more to be uploaded...You can see the breakdown of scores here and the list of event final orders here. Event finals will start in about 6 hours or so.

The US worlds team are currently training in the Netherlands. Here are some observations from Judith, who was present..this training session was open to the public, but like at US sessions, it didn't include floor tumbling or vault.

"Ok quick summary. Biles does a 2.5 wolf on beam now, I believe she nailed it every time. The bhs bhs layout is gone I think because she did bhs - loso. Full-in dismount. She did a double wolf on floor and added a front aerial. The girls didn't do any tumbling or vaulting so I can't say anything about that.
Kyla didn't change anything I believe. Looked solid on bars as usual and her beam too. No sign of the aerial cartwheel to loso or bhs-arabian. The switch ring - back tuck seems to be gone too, the back tuck is after the switch leap.
Brenna looked cleaner on UB and she hit the Tweddle - straddle back every time I think. After the straddle back she does a toe-on half but she had some trouble with that one. She also added the Maloney half back into her routine. Her beam was blah as usual. I believe she only did a double tuck dismount(2 bhs's) today instead of the double pike at Nats. I've seen her splits while sitting on the floor, and I don't think she can do a proper split....
McKayla didn't look so good on UB actually. I believe she starts with a weiler half on the low bar but she couldn't quite get it. maloney - pak, maloney half, gienger, piked jaeger, full turn, full-in dismount(not all of those were good) Her beam was ok, just not as clean and consistent as the others due to lack of training I think. front pike(puck..), bhs loso, front tuck, switch leap switch half, side aerial, eeh just the usual. I saw one double pike dismount from her, wasn't too hot. Apparently she cried a bit too but I didn't see it.
As a whole, the girls looked fit, strong and healthy and they looked focused. We were behind glass during beam and bars, but not for floor(dance-throughs and dance skills etc) and it was dead quiet."


  1. So depressing that there aren't many videos of the Japan Junior Competition, but I really liked Munteanu's and Kharenkova's floors! Munteanu kind of reminds me of Porgras with her flexibility (but hopefully she doesn't retire so soon!)

    Kharenkova has kind of been underwhelming. I don't see her as an AA threat with a FTY and her weak bars...I don't know, I was kind of hoping she'd shine brighter considering the hype surrounding her.

    Munteanu's watered-down UB and VT are expected. But I really hoped Iridon would do better. She has kind of been inconsistent lately which is a shame because Romania DESPERATELY needs her bars score.

    I really hope Bailie Key doesn't burn out or get seriously hurt before turning senior. Let's also pray that no one from the U.S. Worlds team gets injured...The injury list is looooonnng already and it's only the first year after the Olympics :(

    1. There's a few more now thankfully! I'll add in the link if it's a different channel. I love, love Munteanu on floor. I can give or take Kharenkova though.

      She looks capable of a DTY. I hope the junior ranks aren't going stale, but it doesn't really look amazing. I mean, they're very good of course but they're far too far below US juniors.

      Iridon nailed her bars today! She has higher difficulty than Bailie, so maybe a step on the dismount or something since they're equally clean really.

      Bailie has little chance of burning out, Kim Z has her in cotton wool and rightfully so. I'm more concerned about Laurie who's being pushed a little too much I'm thinking, just reflecting on her monster 2012-13 upgrades and also Ariana's, also too fast. Injury of course is always going to be a worry, Bailie still has to get through camps at the ranch.

  2. TBH I can see Mustafina at least being possible for Rio if she doesn't get injured simply because the Russian juniors don't seem great on bars - Bonderava and Kharenkova certainly look like beam/floor girls (but falling off beam here was NOT a good sign), Kuzmina maybe beam/bars but I can see Mustafina's bars and maybe even vault being useful for the next quad. Plus, you can never write her off.

    I'm just thrilled about Wang Yan!! So lovely to see she had a great comp and snuck in to the medals especially after her string of fourth place finishes. Love her style too, really sharp and aggressive, and I adore seeing any powerful Chinese girls.

    GB is looking SO good this quad, they've got a great mix of juniors and it'll be even better once Gabby Jupp recovers. That is one heck of a long training camp before Worlds... hope Marta doesn't break the girls.

    1. The US only had a week training camp before they left for worlds. Right now their already in Antwerp training, not at camp anymore.

    2. Sorry, when I said 'camp' I didn't mean specifically at the ranch, just the entire training period together as the Worlds team.

    3. Ayana, they are actually in the city of Den Bosch, Netherlands. I don't believe anyone is in Antwerp yet. Canada are in London and Japanese MAG are also in Den Bosch.

    4. Mustafina, fabulous as she still is, seems to be more affected over time by her knee...her twisting gets worse all the time and the knee sticks out more, endangering it on her landings. She can I think improve on it from Universiade when she was off peak but I still think it means her AA time or at least floor will be limited. Certainly extremely useful on bars alone.

      Bondareva, Kuzmina (glorious but flaky) and some others are pretty good on bars. They seem to be better on beam though which is odd..Bondareva in particular reminds me of Kyla, her floor is fine but I don't see it progressing a whole lot further, she doesn't seem like much of a tumbler. Turn combinations would help.

      Yes, Wang Yan's performance is thrilling. I'm very annoyed vault final was only taken from one vault, since she would have wiped the floor with the rest of them had she landed the Rudi. Sigh.

    5. I think Aliya could keep doing floor if she got rid of the twisting. What about this routine?
      Whip-whip-bhs-double arabian-stag leap, 1.5 stepout to double tuck to split jump 1/2. That is only two passes and she is quite good with dance elements. So say she did triple Y turn, switch 1/1, split ring, switch ring 1/2, split leap 1/1, and a turn combo of some sort. Then she would have:
      Acro: EDC (1.2)
      Dance: EDDCC (1.9)
      CR: 2.5
      CV: 0.6
      1.2 + 1.9 + 2.5 + 0.6 = 6.2 SV!
      That is quite competitive, and there's really not much to deduct once you get rid of the twisting.

  3. Hm. I thought Wang Yan was docked quite hard on her beam, actually, which is usually out of a 6.4 isn't it? She didn't have any falls and the only major error was several large steps back on the dismount, the rest of the routine looked generally solid with just some small bobbles. Assuming the D score was her usual 6.4, 14.7 seems pretty harsh on the execution. Also I'm totally not a D-score expert but Kharenkova's scores on floor also seemed pretty harsh, there weren't really any major errors, is her D-score still quite low there? I obviously haven't been able to find most of the videos yet, but am feeling a bit like Bailie might have been slightly overscored - e.g. I'd really love to see comparison vault videos between her and Wang Yan, since Bailie scored higher than Wang Yan both times despite the DTT's 6.0 SV.. which sometimes I think might be unfair cos it's seems harder to stick the Tsuk vaults than Yurchenkos?

    1. Her d score fluctuates, the full potential is 6.7 but I don't believe she has actually gotten that this year..or maybe just once. Usually it's 6.5, she got 6.4 here. I'd say she got slammed for that big pause also. I need more videos to really judge, just catching up now! I'm delighted more have emerged considering it was banned in the arena.

      Kharenkova's d score is definitely not high but can't remember off the top of my head..5.7 max anyway. I dunno, Bailie doesn't give much away. Her DTY is super super clean, so are her leaps, landings..there's not a whole lot to take from her.

  4. Ohmygosh, the full twisting shaposh is for real! And it looks really good too, she doesn't lose any of the swing at all.
    I'm really excited to see what her bars routine will look like now and of course her new floor music and some upgrades there. With Yao Jinnan also bringing the Mo Salto, bars finals will be exciting. Kyla is really falling out of the medal hunt though, she has to hope there are falls amongst the top competitors to get in there.

    Still hoping Nabs brings back the Nabieva!!

  5. I appreciate the post! I've been looking for some gymnastic classes in Johnson City TN. Do you have any suggestions?

  6. Mckayla is set to do all around. I'm actually quite shocked. But she's looking good on bars and beam. Really sad about Brenna though.

  7. Catherine,

    If you see Raisman at worlds can you ask her/encourage her to have one of her DWTS buddies help her with her next floor choreography. LOL. Hope you have a great time in Antwerp. Keep us updated!

  8. Is there a live stream of worlds?