YOG is the Youth Olympic Games. This August, 16-18th to be exact, they will take place in the city of Nanjing, China. Not to be confused with Nanning which is thousands of miles away and is where worlds will be held.
There is only one female gymnast per country allowed, who must have been born in 1999 i.e. turning senior next year. The US have declined this opportunity and will not be sending any WAG. This is disappointing but is probably no bad thing..Bailie Key has had a lot of experience with wiping the floor with her competitors, and this leaves podiums more open and exciting.
Gymnasts qualify at a number of events. These include: Jr Euros, Jr Pan American Games and Jr Asian Championships. Ultimately it is down to the federation who gets to go, but it seems to be the case that the gymnast must have competed at one of the qualifying meets.
Note: Skills can be named at this meet. Viktoria Komova had one of her bars transitions named here. This will be only the second ever YOG.
So, who's in the running?
Russia have a number of options:
Maria Bondareva would have been seen as the forerunner of this for quite some time, however over the last year she seems to have stagnated quite a bit. Anastasia isn't consistent enough to really impress at this point either. Seda is the best option but isn't too consistent just yet.
Romania have two that I know of:
This one isn't near as open, the spot should be Laura's. Andreea has some beautiful work but doesn't seem to be an all-arounder, which is the focus of this competition.
China have two major contenders:
This one will I think go to Wang Yan if she is healthy. I mention her a lot, she's quite the star on vault and beam in particular although Asian Junior Championships did not go her way recently..
Britain have three:
Now this will be close, all three are powerhouses with quite a lot of difficulty. We will I believe see amanars from this bunch when senior.
Japan have two:
Both girls are strong on floor. Sae also has a nice DTY under her belt.
Brazil have two:
Rebeca has had her name on this for years. Super springy, with an amanar, DLO and improved bars. However, Flavia is extremely promising and will hopefully be given a fair chance in the running for the spot.
Netherlands also have two, though I don't know a huge amount about these girls. Update: Both are currently injured. Many of their seniors are too - Chantysha Netteb, Noel Van Klaveren, Eythora Thorsdottir. The new CGA??
Dana de Groot
Sadly, the star that is Kim Janas is injured and won't be ready to compete. She could have given the big 3 a run for their money.
Elizabet Vasileva of Bulgaria won't be in medal contention but she WILL turn heads on floor and beam if she goes. She used to be a rythmic gymnast and incorporates this to stunning effect on both events. Australian Darcy Norman is another to look out for also. Edit- Elizabet may be 2000 born and therefore not elegible. We will see her at Euros though.
Now is the time to have fun on youtube looking up the contenders. It should be a great battle, some enormous potential and talent with no real obvious winner from looking at the lists of those elegible.
To me, the AA is anyone's game. On vault, looking forward to seeing who can contest Rebeca Andrade, hopefully Wang Yan can. On floor I'd love to see Sae Miyakawa holding her own, she has a super neat double front and double layout last pass. If this lot go of course. Beam and bars are harder to puzzle out.
Who are you most looking forward to seeing?