Monday, 30 September 2013

Worlds post #1

This is a big posting gap at such an important time of year but it's been a very busy week and I don't even know how I'm going to squash watching quals (archived) in. Anyway, the start list is out! Here.  

Subdivisions 1 and 2 will compete tomorrow, the other three on Wednesday. Here's a little breakdown of the ones to watch from each:

Subdivision 1- Kyla Ross, Zeng Siqi, Huang Huidan, Sophie Scheder, Stefania Alina Stanila, Sanne Wevers, Kaitlyn Hofland, Maegan Chant, Hong Un Jong.
Subdivision 2- Yao Jinnan, Rebecca Tunney, Elizabeth Seitz, Anna Rodionova, Mai Murakami, Jessica Lopez, Yu Minobe.
Subdivision 3- Simone Biles, Shang Chunsong, Tatiana Nabieva, Noel Van Klaveren, Phan Thi Ha Thanh, Oksana Chusovitina, Ilaria Kaeslin, Carlotta Ferlito.
Subdivision 4- McKayla Maroney, Aliya Mustafina, Roxana Popa, Noemi Makra, Ruby Harrold, Larisa Iordache, Vanessa Ferrari, Natsumi Sasada, Elsabeth Black.
Subdivision 5- Sandra Izbasa, Victoria Moors, Hannah Whelan, Giulia Steingruber, Asuka Teramoto, Chantysha Netteb, Kirsten Beckett, Vasiliki Millousi, Marta Pihan-Kulesza.

I am really disgusted Brenna Dowell is not competing, even just on bars. Once the team was named, that should have been it. Yes it was known Marta had the other three doing the AA in mind but this is leaving it cruelly late, after she had been training in Antwerp for several days. Her interview where she is clearly upset attests to the unfairness of this decision. Ideally I would like all four to do the all-around, sigh. Anyway, McKayla Maroney is so unlikely to qualify into the all-around anyway, whereas Brenna stood a chance of qualifying to bars final, and picking up valuable experience along the way.

Russia have had more of a shakeup, Anna Rodionova will now compete AA - and so will Tatiana Nabieva, who was in question after hitting her head on floor. Aliya Mustafina will do two vaults, the second of which is her old one which looked in podium training to be too tucked to be credited as laidout. It will be really interesting to see how qualifications goes for her, since she seemed 50/50 in podium training, with issues on bars of all things.

There are three super-scary vaults, Fadwa Mahmoud's and Yamilet Pena's Produnovas, and Hong Un Jong's triple twisting Yurchenko. I can hardly wait to watch through my hands if any or all qualify to vault finals. It will be kind of hilarious if Hong Un Jong successfully completes the TTY and steals some American thunder. Other interesting submitted elements are Shang Chunsong's piked Hindorff, Simone Biles' double layout half out (and mystery Weiler 1/1 on bars which she has not been seen doing) and Aliya Mustafina's triple Y turn.

Victoria Moors' is back in the all-around! She hasn't appeared in the list to do it ever since they started coming out and then it was confirmed she wouldn't be doing it as she hadn't gotten her DTY back. Either it's solid now or they're going to use the FTY.

The all-around looks like a serious battle! Simone Biles is on fire, even controlling her energy on floor as we have seen. Aliya Mustafina has some upgrades though- but seems tired and/or not in the best of health and although I would agree that she always trains worse than she competes and that she shows full mettle when she needs to- she has also really sucked on beam in competition. It doesn't look like Shang Chunsong has brought a DTY to the table (see what I did there) but as I have said, she is still a big contender. Kyla Ross has added a connection on beam which brings her to 6.1 there, infinitely better than 5.7/8 but still so low. Hopefully she can hit both in competition. Yao Jinnan does not look like she has the goods to really fight in the all-around, though absolutely on bars. The jury is out on Larisa Iordache, who has her Silivas back in action and is attempting the quad turn on floor, but has been very inconsistent on beam in training.

Difficulty looks like this at the moment:

Aliya Mustafina- 25.1. 25.3 if she does the quad turn and triple Y spin on floor, 25.4 if she connects the triple Y to a single Y. I'd be surprised if she hit them all.
Simone Biles- 25
Larisa Iordache- 25..though I think floor is more likely to get 6.2, so 24.8.
Shang Chunsong- 24.7, full beam and bars would be nice.
Yao Jinnan- 24.6
Kyla Ross- 24

The amount of injuries and mishaps is frightening. Russia in particular are cursed- Shelgunova, Komova, Sidorova, Grishina, Paseka, etc. etc. Nabieva's fall on her head and Mustafina having been recently ill and seen grabbing her knee today. A further two MAG have withdrawn from competition too.

That said, I could not be more excited that I'm going to Antwerp Friday morning! Our hotel has been bumped from a 3 star to a 4 star. Luckily they're practically on top of each other, but I blame pesky gymnasts! I will not be liveblogging, no laptop, and I want to see everything. There will be plenty of people doing quick hits etc. I might tweet a little bit though, I also intend to take videos of vault timers etc. and to maybe try get photos/autographs with gymnasts..

BBC (you need a British IP to watch online), USAG (US IP or @tunnelbear to watch, this one will be archived), Rai (Italy) and TVR1 (Romania I think) are going to broadcast the all-around and event finals. I believe French and Belgian channels are going to broadcast too, but that's all I know. Nobody is touching quals except USAG, who will livestream subdivisions 1, 3 and 4. These are likely to focus on the rotations the US girls are in. This footage will be archived, though may still need an IP blocker- there's one called tunnelbear which is supposed to be great. I can't watch live, pesky college. EDIT: I found a full list of broadcasters, here.

This is the best resource for links to videos I find, since their site is a mess to navigate. Other than the usual other sources, just in case you haven't heard about this one-  Agnes Suto's tumblr here. She is an Icelandic gymnast competing at worlds with some nice insight and background information. Sounds like a lovely humble person too.

Who are you rooting for in each final? Does Maroney stand a chance of getting a spot in AA finals? What skill are you most looking forward to seeing? Does the 'Moors' deserve an I? Who will be injured next? Can Russia actually preserve ANYONE?


  1. Where r u sitting at in the arena?

    1. Vault, vault, floor/beam. A great view of bars kinda excludes the rest a bit, and it was easy to get good rows for vault.

  2. Yeh Russia is just injury, injury, injury and only 2 men are even doing finals. I am disappointed in Emin and Albazin because I expected them to make finals.

    As for the women, I hope after this Aliya gets a long rest. She has been pushing herself all year and hasn't had a break to rest esp with her illness and knee problems. I am not sure she will win AA here but I can still hope.

    I don't follow the Americans but it does suck for Brenna and it is a bit unfair. I doubt Mckayla will be in the AA finals, so she could have let Brenna get some experience.

    I am cheering for Iordache, I really like her so hope she does well, as well as Yao.

    Hope you have fun seeing things live.

  3. Does anyone know why E-scores are so low right now? Mai Murakami's awesome floor got an 8.1 and Kyla got a 8.7 on bars.

    1. Kyla's beam was also really low, she had a 5.9 difficulty after an inquiry I believe but she only received a 14.566.I counted 1 missed connection and a hop on the landing. Her routine was practically flawless besides that and there was a point and a half in deductions! The connection was .1, it seems so unfair because this is likely to knock her out of beam finals.

    2. Worlds are usually harsh, and post-olympic worlds are prone to this. I've no problem with the scoring, if it remains consistent. Mai Murakami has really, really shitty leaps that they obviously slammed, wasn't much else they could have taken from her as her landings were fine, the best they've been all year. Kyla does have some issues on beam, they can deduct sheep jumps now- her isn't great. The prep for the turn is another area they could take from. As I said, these scores are the ranges they should be in. It only becomes a problem if the girls tomorrow are overscored by comparison.

      Kyla is going to make beam finals. There aren't a huge amount left that can take her down. I didn't think she could make it a good few months back, but beam isn't that deep now. She outscored Yao and Zeng (not difficult since they fell) but it means there's really only Iordache and Shang that can really beat her, and then maybe's like Mustafina.

  4. I really want Murakami to make floor finals. She's so cute!

    1. I'll be gutted if she doesn't. It's not a high score, and there's lots of competition..but it was a great routine apart from her leaps so hopefully she can do it.

  5. Russian men have been dying in quals as well, even worse because they still had a pretty good team and only 3 have gone into finals... one of whom was not even originally scheduled for the team (Baladin on rings) and who only got in cos Kusenkov pulled out of AA with his fractured finger (and competed high bar... yeah... that makes lots of sense to me...)

    Mai is so cute!! This is possibly the best routine I've EVER seen her do, beautiful landings and finally she managed to avoid crashing. I'm in shock. Also in shock over Rodionova's beam, actually. I expected her to do a Demy (lol) but while hesitant, she still stayed on the beam and even managed to stick bits... absolute shock. She's done well I think, given how little major intl experience she has - to come in to Worlds suddenly for AA and hit 3 out of 4 and the last one (floor) she was also crashing in training anyway, I think she's done all that could have been expected of her honestly.

    Things suck for Brenna, big time. I like Mckayla but she really didn't earn the chance to compete AA at worlds based on domestic comps, and to take Brenna all the way to Antwerp and have her sit out just a few days before quals seems really cruel. Makes sense that Marta didn't take Ebee if she was really keen on Mckayla as an AA, since ebee's bars are better than Brenna's anyway.

    With execution scoring the way it is... I wish Komova was here.

  6. Also on beam... Zeng was about as much as I expected, I had absolutely no hope of her hitting and unfortunately she proved me right. I spent most of the time wishing Sui Lu was there instead. Kyla was clean but I just can't get into Kyla's gymnastics, she's so clean and has great lines but ZERO personality. I'd rather watch Simone, she has more personality shining through her routines even if they're less perfect. Agree she's into beam finals anyway, though her D scores are prob still too low to win. Larisa has almost a full point in D score over her and even with her less than perfect execution, that's a huge headstart. Oh how I wish Didi was here. Yao might make it into finals even with a fall, but that depends on how much the Italians get shot for execution.

    I'm torn.. on one hand I really want the Rodionenkos out and the best way to achieve that is complete utter failure at these Worlds, but at the same time I'm still rooting for Mustafina who is quite literally the last woman standing (barely)

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  8. Can't wait for your post on Worlds!! Hope you had a great time!

    My list of people who got screwed over:
    (1) Mai on floor, what a dreadful score. Biles overscored but would've won anyway as she has such a huge D score lead
    (2) Ferrari on beam. Wish she had filed an inquiry for D score.. at least she got a floor medal. She's been royally screwed over in the past.
    (3) Shang, throughout the entire comp her E scores were far lower than they should've been throughout, I felt like the judges were super harsh on her maybe because they thought she was underage. How can her E score in quals be lower than Larisa's??? I love Larisa but really, she had bobbles (covered well) out of elements, leaps weren't perfect and frequently doesn't point her feet. Shang was basically perfect in quals.
    (4) Scheder on bars EF, no way did that deserve a lower E score than Biles by practically 0.4. Biles was flat on all releases, didn't hit a few handstands and had quite a few leg separations. Gah!!!
    (5) Brenna. Oh I feel so sorry for her esp after Mckayla fell on beam.. bleh. Sure Brenna would've been murdered for execution but she deserved the chance to try.

    (1) Biles hitting all routines. There was always the possibility of a Classics meltdown. I know lots of Americans are now saying she's the future for the next few years blah blah but I'm not hopeful, the US has way too much depth and frankly Biles is going to have a massive growth spurt pretty darn soon, I think.
    (2) Kyla doing so well.. mainly because execution at this worlds actually mattered, unlike London scoring. But I don't count on it happening in future worlds as the quad continues.. if she doesn't upgrade she'll be edged out by the other Americans.
    (3) Kyla going in front of Mckayla for floor.. like... uh...
    (4) Larisa falling on beam, 2 times in 2 days, with 2 medals on the line. Romanians don't fall off beam!! (Or so I thought).
    (5) Sandra falling on floor on the same pass. After watching her in training I thought she'd never let that happen again, but she took it like a champ. Love her.
    (6) Aliya on beam, gold, REALLY? On her crappiest event? Shocker. She seemed so much calmer and more relaxed than before bars.. I think she was feeling the pressure for the medals for those, beam was more a wildcard (though she was overscored on quals and shouldn't even have been there imo).
    (7) Huidan going 2 for 2.. didn't expect that from her. But good for her!

  9. Not surprising:
    (1) Becky Downie falling on bars.. I'm starting to think she will never get it together when it counts. Give me Ruby any day, and Ruby's really cleaned up her form significantly - much better handstands, far fewer leg separations, though she always loses form on the Zuchold I still love it, and her.
    (2) Rodionova falling on beam in EF, didn't expect her to keep it together but she did well overall for being thrown into Worlds randomly with practically no big intl experience
    (3) Zeng Siqi falling on beam in quals. Totally not surprising.

    I missed the AA as I was on a plane over to the UK. Watching it after the fact is not so interesting. Bars EF was blah, didn't watch vault EF, beam EF was the weirdest beam EF ever, I really missed Bulimar there. Floor EF was pretty good apart from the dreadful scoring for Mai, and the disappointment for Izbasa..

  10. I love love Mai's floor, but she's going to have to ramp up the difficulty to make up for her lack of flexibility (or work on it, of course, but I expect it'll be easier for her to do the former). I'm pretty sure I've seen videos of her training a DLO Full? If she can get that in her routine and consistent, and maybe work on some turn combos she'll be ready to play with the big girls I think. After all Shawn couldn't hit 180 to save her life and she was a world champ! I might be more critical of Mai if she wasn't a. the only Japanese girl with a really elite-level floor, b. possessed of near-perfect tumbling form and c. outrageously adorable, but as it is I just love her. Hopefully she'll mark this down as a positive experience and go back to becoming a beast :)

  11. I'm being cautios on accusing the judges of bias, after all this is a new CoP, and FIG announced it would focus more on execution. But there are somethings that just don't make sense at all.

    1. Noemi Makra's E-score at floor quals: 7.9, really? She has the best execution in therms of tumbling I've ever seen in gymnastics. She literally has textbook form. I can't judge leaps very well but hers looked fine.

    2. Mai Murakami's floor final e-score: she had fantastic landings, great height and great execution on tumbling and she completed a fabulous quadruple spin. On her case I kind of get since even I could tell her leaps are shit, but stil...

    3. Simone's insane bars e-scores on both days, I don't think I have to coment on that.

    And moving on to another topic. OVERTIME.
    What the hell happened, Mckayla missing floor finals for being overtime, how could Martha let that pass.
    Also, Mai Murakami being SIX seconds overtime in finals, I mean, it's quite pathetic.