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?