Sunday, 16 February 2014

Stuff

WOGA Classic was fairly interesting. Rebeca Andrade stole the show for me, utterly dominating the junior competition. She did not, however, win bars as the official results dictate - Lv Jiaqi did with 14.55, not 14.05. Her d-score was miscalculated by 5 tenths, but she was still given the gold. Rebeca showed a steady floor, with her DLO looking less piked, lovely dynamic DTY instead of the amanar she did not need, and solid improvement on beam and bars. The latter two badly need difficulty but it looks like she's on the right track.

Lv Jiaqi is recovering from a slight injury, so only did bars and floor. Glorious dance on a watered-down floor and her bars were great, so a good meet for her despite not being able to show off her beam - her best event. Tiny munchkin Flavia Saraiva was impressive too, despite a fall on her bars..though it'd be a fairly new routine for her so no worries there. Her line is great on bars and she has nice skills elsewhere..Andrade will more than likely get the YOG nod but I hope Saraiva gets the chance to fight for it. Amy Tinkler's floor was fantastic, great strong tumbling and not even her best- she has a double double in the works. GB has a surfeit of great 1999 girls to form the core of what's sure to be a super-strong Junior Euros team, and a difficult choice over who to send to YOG- Amy Tinkler, Ellie Downie or Tyesha Matthis.

Xie Yufen had a strong, steady meet. She's b-team I think but she could still surprise if she continues strong, at least this year when they're definitely not going to be able to field a stellar worlds team. Yuan Xiaoyang counted two falls which was disappointing, hopefully we will see improvements from her at later meets- after all, they're still in winter training. As for WOGA themselves, seniors Madison Kocian and Alyssa Baumann looked good on their pet events, so that will be interesting. I want a hybrid of those two for the ultimate UB/BB girl..Kocian is better on bars and Baumann on beam but neither are truly outstanding by themselves. There remains a Katelyn Ohashi shaped hole in the USA National Team. Her interview was sad and it sounds like getting back to NCAA level, nevermind elite, will be a very tough ask. The back injury must be very serious and it could mean she won't even be cleared for the full 4 years of college. With luck we will see her again at some level.

Newly Level-10 Kennedy Baker stole the show in that level, effectively crowning herself the Nastia Liukin Cup Champion in the process. I've always thought her gymnastics scream 'college', I think she will shine there. Irina Alexeeva sadly fell on her arabian but I like the composition of her new beam, utilising aerials etc. Last year's routine was too much for her. Still curious over whether she is settled on the US elite track or if she'll plump for Russia as initially intended.

If you're wondering about the obvious disregard for the new floor rules, they won't come into effect until April. Videos of the meet are here.

I haven't had a chance to see much of Elite Canada but I'm impressed by Aleeza Yu, and the sound of Ellie Black's upgrades - including a Shang and BHS-tucked full. I'm not too sure about Victoria Moors' new beam dismount. She's not too consistent on that apparatus and her routine doesn't have a huge amount in it, hopefully the rest of it improves to keep pace with the ending.

Romania have released some rosters of junior competitions, and confirmed Larisa Iordache will be on her way to the US soon. Linky link. I'm most excited to see Olivia Cimpian who is tragically too young for Rio. She is a star in the making, but I'll have my eye on the other girls too.

Speaking of which, Junior Euros could possibly be more exciting than Senior, in the team competition. 1999 and 2000 born are seriously strong years internationally, hence excitement. GB would quite easily be the ones to beat- a team of Tyesha Matthis, Ellie Downie, Amy Tinkler, Catherine Lyons and Georgia Mae Fenton/Teal Grindle is formiddable. Romania should be strong- maybe Laura Jurca, Madalina Blendea, Anda Butuc, Andra Stoica and Andreea Ciurusniuc? The Russian team will preferably have Maria Bondareva, Anastasia Dmitrieva, Seda Tutkhalyan, Ekaterina Sokova and I'm not sure of the fifth.

Seniors are murkier, hard to tell where half of the potential Russian team is at. Hopefully that will become clearer soon.

I cannot wait for American Cup! I'm thinking gold is Simone Biles' already, unless she falls..and she could, but having an incredible worlds will probably help her out in the nerves department. Really looking forward to the debut of her impressive upgrades although the Cheng will have to wait- no event finals of course. Ebee and Larisa Iordache should have a good battle for colour of medals I think, with Roxana Popa, Giulia Steingruber and Vanessa Ferrari right behind them. Bars rotation should be exciting - Roxana and Sophie have some of my favourite routines, Ebee is always good to watch, a hit routine from Larisa like she did late last year would be awesome, Vanessa might throw her newly-regained Comaneci, and Simone has at least one upgrade too. Vault also- 2 amanars, a Rudi and strong DTY's.

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at American Cup/Euros?

38 comments:

  1. I think the American Cup lineup is awesome and it's shaping up to be an actual competition! The gold has to go to Simone or Ebee (but most likely Simone), but I'm mostly looking forward to seeing Larisa. This year, I just hope that she's healthy and consistent. Wait, isn't the Comaneci that crazy move Ferrari did back in 2006-2007? Is she ready to perform it again?? It's been 7 years...

    Yeah, Junior Euros looks epic. I think the podium will be GB, ROU, RUS if your predicted teams end up being correct. However, I would replace Ciurusniuc with Asiana Peng because she's good at bars. Also, let's hope Madalina Blendea does NOT sit out for the whole year again because of injuries. I'm not really sure about the Russians, though. The only one I know is Maria Bondareva. She's an AAer but I view her as a BB/FX gymnast...

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    1. Yes, she recently threw the Comaneci, I think in training for Italian Serie A, but I'm not sure if it appeared in her actual routine there. She has had Atler-esque struggles with it, but she wants to make her bars more competitive. I love that release though it's tough to swing out of..Andrade herself dumped it.

      If Larisa just hits I'll be thrilled. Particularly bars and beam.

      Asiana yes, but I don't think she did brilliant last year? Maybe coming back off injury. Her and Iridon would be in the mix..the latter is so inconsistent on bars and her beam could be equalled by others, or nearly so.

      There isn't many videos of Sokova and Tutkhalyan. Seda is my favourite Russian baby, she's quite powerful and seems to be developing into an all arounder. Stocky build. Bondareva has been 'it' amongst the juniors but I think she has stagnated. Hoping for progression from her.

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    2. Oh yeah, I forgot about Iridon! I heard she is more nervous on bars than beam which could be troublesome, but I think she could smooth things over by Euros and if not, hopefully next year. It would be a shame if she doesn't because Romania (as of late) only has one good bar worker per quad.

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    3. Yeah true. I kinda lost hope in her last year..shattered any AA hopes and then seemed to degrade from a UB/BB gymnast to a one-eventer. I'd definitely like to see her improve.

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    4. I thought I read that Ferrari fell on the Comaneci during the competition but can I find the source for that? I can not.

      I don't know enough about the Russian/Romanian juniors. I'm learning by reading your blog (and the comments. I keep coming back to catch up on the comments!).

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    5. Well we'll see shortly!

      It is hard to find information and footage fn some of them. I can make a post comparing d-scores of 1999/2000 born girls (compiled by an awesome person by country...I can't code yet) if it helps.

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  2. Catherine, I agree - Junior Euros will be a very competitive team final and I think that only foreshadows great competition later this quad at the senior level. I'm looking forward to the competition in general, especially Lyons' floor. I'd like to see how the Russian girls fair because there will be a lot of pressure on them relatively soon. I expect nothing but strong, consistent gymnastics from Romania, per usual.

    Regarding the American Cup, the line up is so exciting - I'm curious about Steingruber since we (at least I) haven't seen her since worlds and I appreciate her amazing improvement over the past two years. I'm also looking forward to seeing Iordache - I'm hoping that she is healthier and more competitive. Since elite Canada, I'm curious to see what Moors goes for in her routines. If she hits her routines for max difficulty, she could be very competitive with Popa Nedelcu, Ferrari, and Steingruber.

    Regarding her beam, Moors actually made a number of changes since 2013: she dropped the punch front tuck, replaced the switch leap with a switch ring leap, I think she is attempting a 2.5 wolf turn over a double turn (based on how she remounted the beam at Elite Canada), and her dismount. She has been steadily building her dismount - at American Cup last year she a had the double back, by worlds she had a double pike and now the 1/1 double back. I agree that she has bad track record on beam - actually almost all videos of her on beam include a fall - but I hope she improves regardless. Her current set is 6.4 (split+switch 1/2, bhs+layout two feet, switch ring, side aerial, front aerial, 2.5 wolf turn, side somi, full-in double dismount). Her current potential SV is 5.8, 6.0, 6.4, 6.2 (24.4) - which is great in this field. On Bars, I believe her upgrade was a Rinca connected to a pak salto, but whatever it is, another improvement since Antwerp.

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    1. Ah I knew there was something different about Moors' bars, thanks. Laurie Hernandez also does Ricna-Pak.

      Hmm her beam sounds fuller than I thought! Thanks for the breakdown. She could be competitive at American cup if she hits.

      It's a pity we won't see Steingruber's DTY, she learned that fast before worlds and I'd like to see if it has improved or even says 'amanar potential'.

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  3. Hi Catherine,

    Does Irinia Alexeeva have dual citizenship to allow her to compete for Russia?

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    1. She was born in Russia but moved to the US a few years ago. She could compete for either but I really hope she chooses Russia

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    2. Very interesting, thanks for the info. It would be great for Russia to get another elite gymnast for their ranks and might make sense given all the talent in the US - it could be hard to make a team. It would also be interesting to see how US trained gymnast fairs under the Russian Federation's national training program.

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    3. Yeah the US is crazy deep. However, although Irina is not yet an elite so isn't in the system (she could have qualified elite last year but opted to stay Hopes/pre elite) so she'd maybe adapt quicker to Russia's system...Round Lake is governed by unmentionable fools who make terrible decisions so who knows, they could even say they don't want her. She's so young though that they might be gone soon..

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  4. Oh Holy Upgrades!!! I literally cannot hold my excitement for the American Cup! I'm praying the lineup stays as it is without any last minute withdrawals due to injuries... My dream podium would have Roxana in it but, it will be almost impossible to beat Price and Iordache for that spot.

    Definitely looking forward to seeing Blendea compete. I feel like it's been centuries and I can't wait to see if she has upgraded. Any news what her DOD is now?? I can't wait to see how Catherine Lyons floor will contend against the Romanians and Bondareva. I am dreaming about the FX finals already!

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    1. Blendea- it's low, 20.4. However she had a bad run last year with injuries, I'm sure she's capable of more. Still ahead of most of the Romanian 99-00 born. That is with a layout Yurchenko.

      Yeeees, competition season is so close!

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    2. I need her to upgrade!! Blendea was my favorite junior a year ago!

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    3. Yeah she's one of mine also. Quite unlucky with injuries but hopefully she's over them.

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  5. BTW Catherine, who would you think could prove to be stronger in the long run... Alyssa or Madison?

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    1. Hmmm. Madison has had a string of injuries, but I'd feel inclined to go for her..she has proved herself more over a longer period of time. However, I think this is their year and that could well be it..the 2015 seniors will I think crowd them out.

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    2. I agree... Madison can get better and I think she fills vital spots in the US team

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  6. Loving the GB depth, fingers crossed the juniors don't suffer major injuries over the next few years. Romania and Russia are hard to call but Romania seems to have more depth though very concentrated on BB workers it seems. My Russia is very depressing as always, though one can always hope. I wish the girls would grow a bit more, they're tiny and it really affects how much power they have at this stage.

    I'm decided to go to watch Euros this year! My first major international competition.. and first gymnastics competition really. Super excited about it, and am def going to watch the juniors though maybe not junior quals.

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    1. Yeah Romania's beam rotations are going to be fabulous this quad at every team final. Good wealth of strong floor workers also. The Rodionenkos have to give up at some stage...there's always hope.

      Oh wow, that's great! Hope you have a good time. It's at bad timing for me and a little too far away with no direct flight (Ryanair fly to smaller cities in Bulgaria..of course..). Antwerp was my first..start as you mean to go on :)

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  7. Hi Catherine, USA is holding a team camp currently. Biles, Price and Dowell are expected to compete full routines on all events to show readiness for the American Cup. What are your thoughts on this?

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    1. Wait, is Brenna competing at the American Cup?

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    2. I don't know exactly what the USAG's statement means. Perhaps if Price doesn't look ready, Dowell will compete. That's why I was asking Catherine's opinion. This is the quote:

      "2013 World all-around champion Simone Biles of Spring, Texas/Bannon's Gymnastix, and 2013 Stuttgart World Cup all-around champion Elizabeth Price of Coopersburg, Pa./Parkettes National Gymnastics Center, along with the alternate 2013 World Championships team member Brenna Dowell of Odessa, Mo./Great American Gymnastics Express, will present full routines on all events to show readiness for the 2014 AT&T American Cup, scheduled for March 1 in Greensboro, N.C. "

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    3. I think it means she's alternate. They already have a wild card though so 10 would make the rotations super long. Brenna could alternate by herself though? Or not do all events though that would be unwise since she's trying to prove herself as an all-arounder.

      If it actually means nothing and she's vying with Ebee for a place Ebee was long named to, then that is beyond cruel, especially after worlds.

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    4. Simone hurt her shoulder and is out of the competitions, Brenna will replace her. Finally a chance for Brenna to compete.

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  8. Last year Ross did an exhibition routine, perhaps its a reward. Maybe she'll have a flow blown Tweddle-Esque bar routine. Anyway, I hope this means Brenna will be /is already chosen for Jeselo and other meets in Europe

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    1. Yes, but Ross was injured. Brenna should really be doing all 4 as exhibition like Gabby did, if she is the alternate.

      I definitely think so. Considering also that Amelia and McKayla don't appear to be back yet.

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    2. Hi did u hear that Iordache is also injured?
      I was pretty sure she could be gold at AC
      actually without Biles and Iordache the game is open

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    3. I'm not convinced, she could well be of course but they might just be saving her for euros. Nah, Biles had the gold in the bag, were she attending.

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    4. If that's the case, I'm super bummed not to see Iordache today. I understand her priorities though, and I hope she and Romania are successful at Euros

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  9. Hi Catherine, would you be willing to do a preview/prediction post for Junior Euros?? The competition looks really exciting and I would like to know who are the girls to watch, etc. Thank-you for all your hard work. xxxx

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    1. I could predict teams but not results. I just don't know enough about where some of the girls are at. At this age they could be improving a whole ton- quite a few were at Japan Junior but very few videos emerged.

      No problem!

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  10. Has anyone found a live stream for the american cup?

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    1. http://www.stream2watch.me/live-tv/nbc-live-stream

      I hope you see this in time! Won't switch over for another half hour at least I don't think.

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  11. Catherine, what did you think of American Cup?

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    1. Wasn't the most exciting but definitely very interesting. Will start a post tomorrow.

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  12. The Romanian junior Madalina Blendea is no longer mentioned in the Federation's 2014 Newsletter. She is neither at the Olympic Team in Izvorani, nor at the National Centre in Deva. Not even in the forward-looking/espoir list.

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