Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Things

First post of 2015! That's a shocking start :/ I've been sidetracked by minor health issues, such as a virus that floored me halfway through January (actually floored..) and developing a crazy heart rate (105 lying down and up to 180 working at a desk..??) which has now been resolved by the joys of modern medicine.

Anyway, most of my gymnastics absorption over the last while has been NCAA related, mainly frantically trying to put a team together in fantasy gymnastics that will score the magical 197. Week before last, everybody randomly decided to not compete floor and screwed me over. Week just gone...I got 196.95, sigh. If only Keeley Kmeciak was possible to predict on events on a weekly basis, but alas...

I really, really, really, recommend signing up for this next year for anyone who's wary. It doesn't take that much time (bit of research before signing up etc. will serve you very well) at all and is so much fun, and this is coming from someone who is pretty much locked out of actually watching the competitions due to timezone and international TV station paywall issues. The competition aspect of it is just so enjoyable, trying to improve week on week.

So, elite! I'm delighted that Aliya Mustafina is taking a break from driving herself to the brink, and won't compete at Russian Championships or Euros. Considering the pain and nagging injuries she's been dealing with for a long time now and the immense pressure of basically being a team, her statements towards the end of last year about not taking any breaks and work, work, work...it's a relief. I'm curious about when such a superstar gymnast will bow out from the sport...of course, hoping for post-Rio if at all possible. It would be devastating to see her go before her time because she pushed too hard or was pressured into shouldering her team when she wasn't physically able to do so.

Yao Jinnan is definitely going for the surgery in the US, and will be out for the year...this has been known for a while, just the matter of where and when that's not really known. The fact that it will be in the US annoys me and the reason why is because there are other girls on the team who have nagging injuries that would benefit more from surgery outside of China, instead of the dodgy healthcare they receive there. Nobody needs to be reminded that US healthcare is astronomical...going to Germany, the UK or Canada for instance would probably fund several for the price of one, especially the UK. Unless the surgery is actually pioneering and/or much better when done in the US, in which case the location is totally understandable.

I can't wait for American Cup! The somewhat lacklustre non-US roster isn't a surprise to me at all, this is pretty much always the case. The fact that a lot of people attribute this international scorning to scoring IS surprising though. It's a lot more to do with the fact that it's very early in the season, extremely far away for most, and has no event finals so only bronze in the AA is up for grabs due to the strength of the US roster. Most of the European crew will want to be focusing on Euros anyway.

I wonder who will exhibition/wildcard. Mykayla Skinner's AA spot is in doubt according to some, due to Bailie's recent performance at camp. The recent pattern tends to be not to have new seniors, or at least, not to have them unless forced by injuries to others. On the one hand, Bailie would be a local and it would be a great senior debut for her in front of a big crowd. On the other, she could well be better off honing things like her bars difficulty and the readiness of a more difficult vault for later in the year. Hard to know, I think they might want to hold off on her though and keep Mykayla unless she gets injured.

As always, watching Simone will be a treat and interesting to see her add in some new elements, although saving bigger things for later in the year by all accounts. The two falls at camp are not worrying in the slightest, she will be a force of nature as always.

It's pretty quiet on the interesting news front...can't wait for things to kick off.


132 comments:

  1. I hope you are feeling better and that health issues do not persist! :)
    I am also excited for the American Cup but only because of Biles. I am definitely NOT excited for NBC's fluff of how important this international event is. It's so annoying because anyone who know's anything knows that this Cup is only big for America. If it meant anything to anyone else, the other 3 powerhouses of gymnastics would fly to USA for it but since it isn't worth their time, they don't go.
    I am also happy to see Mustafina getting a rest and hope she is strong come 2015 worlds. I also hope Yao can have a speedy recovery and is ready in time for Rio 2016 and whoever get's the second spot between Bailie and Skinner is find by me; I'm sure I would enjoy watching them both.

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    1. I definitely get your annoyance at the NBC fluff, but at the same time, they need to make it appeal to a broader audience who doesn't follow gymnastics like we do. If they said this is really just a so-so competition why would it get ratings? And I want it to get ratings so that they keep televising gymnastics!

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    2. You are right! I know that that's the reason why they make such a big deal about it. It just feels like a slap on the face to anyone who follows gymnastics and know's that's not the case. However, I hadn't thought about the fact that their fluff is one of the things that makes it televised so I guess it is worth it.

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    3. Yeah I get why they do it and drawing in more viewers is always good. But it is indeed highly annoying!

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    4. New vid segment on Aly and Kyla. Who would ever thought Kyla would hit such a growth spur.... She is easily one of the tallest gymnasts currently I think. She looks like she easily 5'5 or 5'6! I really do hope she doesn't get injured because she really does need some substantial upgrades to beams and bars. Her DTY is serviceable as it still get around 15.1+, Her FX I am not sure how much she can upgrade it to hit close to 15 if that's ever possible.... She's really at a disadvantage compared to Key right now.... At the end of the day its possible she could somehow sneak on the world teams due to consistency and Marta likes to have at least 3 AA on the team but her chance of AA is not as good anymore.... Since she has always had a thing for BB and UB, I really think she should go all out on those two events... a score of 15+ on both UB and BB along with a 15.1+ DTY and if possible 14.5+ FX could get her on world team.... I just so much wish that she had her amanar back because that would really change the equation but that seems unlikely as is an FX routine of 15....

      Looks like Aly also got her work cut out for her.... Gabby wont have a camp video ;(

      So sad we haven't heard from Maroney at all.... I am still so much hoping she can come back to redeem herself on vault and get a vault named after her but that's looking less and less likely now as days go by... If we don't see her in competition by Nationals, her comeback would be very very hard after that given the short time to Rio...

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  2. Hi Catherine I hope you are feeling better too and that you have a fast recovery. I am not really into the college gymnastics thing, I just like the excitement of big skills gymnastics of the elite level.
    well i am patiently waiting for Jan. camp videos to be posted. to see how everyone is doing, and what improvements are there. but Maggie Nichols is posting some good stuff on her instagram that is definitely making this even more interesting from the US side of things. I can wait to see Biles compete with her new upgrades on floor and beam. and to see how her bars has progress. I am having some trepidations about Skinner and her ability to be a team player and her mental state. some of the stuff she has posted on twitter and instagram has me quite uneasy. but i will just try not to judge for now. so i am not super excited about her at the moment even if her gymnastics excites me.
    I love the news about Aaliyah ( she is one of my favorites) and her progression. because i want to see her at her best, and this plan seems to be one to get her there. Yao is sad news because shoulder injuries are dangerous and can really affect your performance in the future. especially for someone who has a UB medal in her sight for the olympics. But I excited for competition season to start

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    1. I do find a good portion of college gymnastics boring. They need to stand out in some way, either by big skills or great choreo/execution/originality. Or, they need to be on my team :)

      Skinner has been dealing with a bad break-up hasnt she? It's a pity typical teenagery experiences are so public these days. Not to diminish her feelings, and I'm not that ancient...we had bebo when I was younger than her..but wow, how public things are now.

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  3. I'm so glad that bailie brought some great gymnastics to camp. She hasn't competed since last May . And only has been to two camps . And showed readiness and is well paced by Kim. I can't wait to see her later on. Those claiming that Simone two falls mean nothing and bailie top at camp isn't important are smoking. If anyone one shouldn't have been nervous or not ready it should have been her. I feel bailie is only going to get better and by nationals will be ready

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    1. I think it's not that the camp rankings don't mean ANYTHING, it's just that they don't mean much. There have been a number of girls who win at camp who don't even make the competition teams or ever win in competition. It's just a different atmosphere. But that said - I'm glad Bailie brought great gymnastics to camp. She strikes me as one who always does well at what she puts out there, which we know Martha loves.

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    2. Bailie is just so interesting, but I'm not thrilled with her floor upgrades...they're not polished, they don't seem 'her'. Maybe in time.

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    3. I like her new 2014 music crystalize compared to who knows what the 2013 music were... new upgrade might be polished yet but I am glad shes upgrading.... I think she will keep at it til its as polished as everything she has so far

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    4. Cat, that's a rather odd thing to say. What do mean exactly when you say these tumbling upgrades don't seem like Bailie? They looked fine to me.

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    5. Her routine halves on bars were amazing to me. The downie could be cleaned up a bit form wise, but her ricna pak combination is great and the rest looked solid for her. If she puts it all together she has 6.4 - which is either a point or nearly a point higher than what she competed last year.

      Her beam looks like a problem, but plenty of time to clean up yet. Her arabian landing is lower and her series on beam could suffer the E to D downgrade. I agree with Catherine on the dos santos - all I can see is the leg separation and the flexed feet, but she seems to land it well where the majority of the deductions sit.

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  4. I havent seen anything routine video from camp but great to hear bailie did well and cant wait to see vids.... hmmm wondering if seniors slacking off a lil. Hope the juniors woll keep them on their toes.... from what I saw even a few of the top us juniors (i.e. hernandez) alreadt giving them their money's worth...

    Good to hear you feel better.... healthcare in the us is a mess. Insurance by obamacare is still expensive and not good coverage.... yep I m living up the us healthcare dream right now.. good thing yao doesnt use a us insurance policy.....

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    1. Yes, very excited to see Laurie back in action!

      Healthcare is a mess here too, but in a totally different way. It is underfunded, underresourced and understaffed. I work in a children's hospital. Many of the public outpatients waiting lists are more than a year long, some are 2-3. Casualty waiting times are crazy, orthopaedic surgery waiting times are well over a year, there aren't enough beds and heart surgeries are often cancelled and postponed because of the shortage of ICU beds/nurses due to overnight emergencies. The hospital was built in the 50's, much of it is tiny and not fit for use, including the wards which were never designed to fit in parents. Funding for upgrading was withdrawn because a new hospital will be built (12th of never!) so the new cancer and cardiac units were built entirely off fundraising. This all drives me up the wall. Adult services are better, they have more specialists by far (2 rheumatologists and 5 cardiologists for the entire country for children!) but still bad. In early January, the record for the number of people on trolleys and chairs in emergency departments was broken.

      I also briefly experienced the US system when I was there. Enormously flawed in its own way, but probably still better. If you can afford it, definitely. Both systems make me angry!

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    2. I count myself as incredibly lucky. I've always been insured and have received excellent, albeit imperfect and convoluted, care. I'd be totally boned otherwise given my history. -_- I think it's fair to say the majority of countries in the world have extremely flawed healthcare systems; in fact, I'd say the ones with strong healthcare systems are the exception.

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  5. Well while I am excited about Bailie i would not really count this particular camp because they did not compete full routines, and everyone did not compete in the all around. it was pretty much a selective part of the routines for validation. and the score between them was really close even when Simone fell twice. but as I said this was not full routines and everyone did not compete in all equipments. this Camp was more about solidifying routine constructions for the upcoming season. But i am glad that Bailey seems ready for the upcoming season. with her and the others I think it will make the upcoming season more exciting in terms of the depth of who will be the six girls for worlds, Panamericans games, jeloso, ect.

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    1. Yeah, camp isnt the best of guides. We won't really know until scam and Jesolo.

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  6. Does anyone know more details about simone's first pass that she reportedly fell on? Wonder what new upgrade that is...

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  7. I believe she fell on her full twist double layout or what is call a Chusovitina. and she fell on her wolf jump to front tuck connection.

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    1. Sort of interesting technicality, but what exactly is a chusovitina? is it full in double layout? full out double layout? half in half out double layout? Does it matter how the full twist is done? seems to me double layout full out would be the hardest to do of the three way. But I guess they are all credited as H? Which way did Chusovitina originally do it?

      I guess simone jus trying to transit to moors because chusovitina make no sense in d-score as it's the same as the opening silivas...

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    2. It was a full-out, debuted at 1991 worlds but now the term Chusovitina means both. Tatiana Tuzhikova had the full-in named for her at 1987 worlds but the COP merged the two and screwed Tuzhikova.

      I can't wait to see her floor composition. I hope the FTDLO doesn't replace the Silivas though...her Silivas is so amazing. She could probably do Moors, Silivas, Biles, Chuso.

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    3. that would be great... nothing lower than G. Was thinking the easier biles would be last sfter dlofull..

      I wonder if skinner will throw a triple twst double tuck ... would that be I skill? Would she still keep moors?Trple twst double tuck might serve her better due to her lesd than straight layout form. Then hers and biles routines will be a lil different o/w their opening would look the same

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  8. Am I the only person in the gymternet who doesn't really give a a rap about NCAA gymnastics? I am? Ok...

    I'm really sorry to hear about your health issues. As someone who has had numerous health issues all my life, I sympathize with you. I'm going to be having surgery soon myself for my calves and right foot. Knowing what it will entail I have greater appreciation and understanding for these amazing gymnasts who fight through all sorts of injuries, often to their detriment later on in life.

    But thank god that won't include Musty for once. For a long time all we heard concerning her was bad news, from the reports we got to the interviews she gave. It was always the 'no rest for the weary' strategy, but finally, FINALLY, it's gotten through to their heads that that won't fly anymore. I am feeling optimistic and know that if everything is carefully planned and followed through to the letter, that Aliya can rise to the top again. Vika, I am considerably less optimistic about. The girl is always in pain it seems. It's so tragic it's almost funny, in a very dark sort of way: Komova is one of the most technically accurate and beautiful gymnasts of her generation, but she along with Pavolva, is the queen of bad luck. I don't know what's going to happen to her.

    "Nobody needs to be reminded that US healthcare is astronomical..." Ha ha, dammit. The US healthcare system is like navigating the US tax system: no one knows what the fuck is happening half the time and the average person is constantly screwed over.

    I agree with other commenters that the only exciting thing about Scam will be Simone. I respect the hell out of Skinner after the noticeable improvements she's made and her strong showing at Worlds, but she does not excite me for the most part, least of all as an all arounder. Bailie would be much more interesting but I do want her to hold off and perfect and assimilate her upgrades.

    You find it surprising that people attribute lackluster international competition at the AC to international condemnation? To me, it makes perfect sense that people would think that. Not because it's really true, but because people hate Scam and this is another way to write it off. Plus, the Russians throwing a (justified) hissy fit a couple years ago has imprinted in people's minds the idea that the rest of the world scorns Scam. But you're right, it has more to do with untimeliness and inconvenience.

    Aaargh, I wish there was more big stuff happening right now! I am pumped up for this year, but it obviously hasn't started yet.



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    1. I used to let almost everything NCAA except the odd exciting gymnast float by me. Now, it's personal!

      Tachycardia is more of an annoyance than a real problem really. Or at least, the tablets are since they're depleting my energy and I'm picking up colds, bleuggh. Very, very minor in the scheme of things. Best of luck with your surgery!

      Skinner is always interesting I think. Even when you don't expect it, BAM she throws an incredible skill like a combination tuck full on beam and does it unbelievably well. She'd be more interesting still with better form though.

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  9. Camp video for first year seniors is up! Bailie did a Downie on bars and DLO and piked double Arabian on floor!

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    1. where are they at? :)

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    2. It's on the USA Gymnastics YouTube channel - http://youtu.be/zf_V6CO-xzU. :)

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    3. Nice video! Seems like a lot of fun time even though it is HELL. I can definitely see how it brings about the esprit de corps for the team. I just couldn't see how things were before they started the national camp. I've seen some articles about how the US team used to only get together just right before heading to Worlds or Olympics. Just don't see how that could had ever worked out.

      Only is I wish the video shows more routine. Good and bad ones....

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    4. Her bars really surprised me and I feel elated with that humongous upgrade. Her Piked arabian reminds me of Raisman's form with slight leg separation. Also her knees on her DLO are slightly soft. She downgraded her beam dismount to double pike from the triple twist. Anyway, she is on the right path under Kim Zmeskal's supervision.

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  10. I think someone on tumblr had translated an article saying that American doctors were chosen for Yao because her injury is similar to common basketball shoulder injuries and the American doctors had a lot of experience repairing those?

    I hope she has a successful surgery and comes back really strong. I just love her.

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  11. What exactly happened at camp, what has leaked, what were the rankings?

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    1. Nothing really leaked. It was just the all around rankings after the verification was a bit surprising. Ross was not even in the top 3. It was Key, Biles and Desch. I think the objective of the camp was to focus on building half-routines and maybe skill acquisition. It also focused on Mykyla and Simone American Cup routines.

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  12. Catherine, I'm so sorry to hear about your health problems. I'm relieved that you seem to be feeling much better - hang in there.

    Thanks for the updates. I'm glad Yao is receiving treatment in the US - I wonder what happens to the girls who are injured before achieving anything on the national team and sent home. I remember a fluff piece on Mo Huilan from the 96 Olympics (NBC broadcast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFTyeJRun5U ) where she recounts not being chosen but begging to go because her sister was sent to the national training center. They both went but her sister suffered an injury and was simply sent home. Like what happened after that!?!

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  13. several new videos on each new seniors and current junior us gymnasts at camp on usa gymnastic site... mostly on beam and bars and some floor. not much on vaults.... it seems safe to say when simone and co decide to retire to ncaa, us still appears to be in good hand with newcomers...


    Some very nice bars and beam routines....

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  14. Looking the Bailie's video, she seems to still have some minor form breaks. I heard that the gap between Biles and Key in the recent camp was about 0.3, Bailie got 59.6 and Simone 59.3. What astonishes me is the fact that Simone got 59 with two falls and Bailie still hasn't reached the 60.0 points threshold with her heavily upgraded bar set. Has she downgraded her beam because of her toe injury?

    I think Kim's plans on focusing more on bars and floor this year is a good idea. Her beam from last year is already capable of hitting 6.7. Bailie has been training the DLO and Arabian Pike on floor for quite a while now and this should have given her the confidence and assurance to perform them in competitions. I am hoping that the same tactic is being used for her Amanar. Train it securely for now and unveil it towards the end of this year like Gabby and Aly. I am sure that she is training for it but they are not focusing too much on it yet. Bailie shouldn't push herself too much this year as she needs a bit more time before she can actually challenge Biles. I believe that once she solidifies her recently upgraded beam, bars and floor before June this year she should be in a good position to win the AA-silver, Gold-beam & maybe a medal on floor at this year's worlds. Then after the world championships she will be adding some more upgrades for the Olympics and hopefully this will include her Amanar. I am not really worried about her at all. Her UB is looking really exciting and what we have seen so far is just half of it. She has added an F element and a series of new combination. Surely her bars d-score should be greater than 6.0 for this season.

    In terms of Biles, she is still on top of everyone. Her falls at this camp do not really matter that much as she has still plenty of time to condition herself and be comfortable with her new elements. Just like in 2013, she started really rough but then peaked at the right time and won. One thing I doubt she will be able to accomplish before the Olympics is the triple twisting yurchenko, maybe she is training it maybe she is not. Her bars needs a lot of upgrades as that is where her opponents can chase her. She might end up becoming like Shawn Johnson. I am just wondering how she still managed to score 59sh with two falls? Its either she has polished everything or added some upgrades that we do not know yet. I'll wait and see for her videos before I comment on her.

    The dark horses for the Olympics are the Brazilians. They are strong and starting to show some Russian finesse with the help from Alexander Alexandrov. The potential they have is currently insurmountable. Also Mustafina might be back with a loud bang and could well challenge Biles next year. Where Biles is weak Mustafina can excel. Aliya showed in the past that she can have 6.6 floor and 6.8 beam and 6.8 bars. If she manages to reach those heights again she will certainly be in a medal contention for all of those events and can even challenge for the all around gold in Rio. Only time will tell.

    For now, I am really happy to see the US team getting stronger on bars. Locklear seems to be on track to having a 7.0 start value. In the training video, she slightly reshuffled her UB. She connected a new F element after her 1/1 pike in-bar stalder and then shoots up and down the LB with her Pak, Shaposh and Bail. The video didn't include her Komova and a new skill she is training, the Ricna.

    The US' even deeper depth and consistency is getting harder and harder to be challenged. They already have strong senior specialists on all events and the upcoming juniors that are age eligible for the Olympics already have the big skills. Most importantly, the americans have the mind edge that others lack on.

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    1. that's crazy that simone counted 2 falls and still get above 59... I really like to know what upgrades she got now too... If biles can somehow reach 15 for bars then would really be hard for anyone else to catch her.

      If simone doesn't get her TTY in for Rio that would suck because she might not stick around after Rio to get it happen. I really do hope she and skinner can get their upgrades in this yr as the newest vid says marta wants all routines ready this yr and next yr is just fine tune and consistency training...

      I do hope to see Key cracks the 60 mark. to really challenge for gold and maybe to secure a silver, that's almost a must.

      If ashton can get a 7 d-score and consistently score 15.8 or 16+, she might be able to make the team as even a 1 event specialist. So how realistic is it that she can have a d-score of 7?

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    2. I think that's the goal for Simone, to get 15+ on bars. I think it's pretty realistic that Ashton can reach the 7.0 start value. Her bars from last year was 6.5 and the series that was shown had a 0.5 connection value and an f element. Her Komova and Ricna aren't there yet and most likely the Komova will be connected to something. If you combine some parts of her routine last year, her new series, missing skills and the dismount... It can hit the 7.0 Mark. She might not be able reach 7.0 this year yet but she will have plenty of time for it for next year's Olympics.

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    3. Ashton does seem on track and I'm sure being at Worlds has boost her confidence and desire. She knows bars is where she excels so she's going to milk it for all it's worth. She's also training beam and I wonder if she's going to try for the bars/beam spot. Her beam has never been that great though.

      I liked Bailie's upgrades and bars needed special attention, which they seemed to be getting. If she continues this trends - pulling off all her upgrades, maintaining consistency in execution - she can make a splash this year, especially given that internationally depth is lacking.

      I actually think you're being too optimistic with Aliya though; she has shown consistently just how inconsistent her D-score can be. Remember back last summer when everyone was uber excited with her possible 6.6 on beam, her innovations on floor to compensate for injury, her 6.7 Olympic routine? Russia stans everywhere swore this would put her ahead of Biles. None of them ever materialized. Her D-score and performances fluctuate too wildly and she is a different gymnast nowadays. I doubt she could put all that together. She is capable on occasion, but that's it. I am expecting her to come back much, much stronger and more consistent this year and in 2016. I just think you might be expecting too much.

      According to Biles, bars won't have anything new towards the American Cup but she is working on new stuff (another Weiler, Mustafina dismount, Khorkina transition, etc.), and I'm wondering how much she put it together at camp. The TTY seems to be staying under wraps for the time being and that makes sense: she was only just recently given the go ahead to start seriously training it. The Cheng will come first. I was really hoping she would be the one to crack the triple double back on floor but she's going for the Chuso and Moors instead, which already looks awesome, can't wait to see it put in competition.

      These camps are fun as speculative glimpses into what gymnasts are planning and how they are progressing, but I don't think we can take much else from it. Biles two falls don't worry me and I'm not reading too much into anything at this point.

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    4. Locklear's galante (inbar reverse hecht straddled) is an E element.

      Not seeing the rest of her routine (dismount, change grips elements - most likely a jaeger), she hasn't actually upgraded anything as the galante replaces the komova II and yields the same bonus.

      She could however compete komova II + C element on HB (pirouette?), and then proceed with the rest of the routine with the combo she showed, the inbar1/2+jaeger and a D dismount for 6.8.

      For Locklear, I'm glad she has a double tuck. When she first qualified elite as a junior she didn't have a double salto, so her floor potential was quite low. I'm wondering if we'll see more of her than just bars and beam. Her arabian on beam looks pretty snazzy too.

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    5. If Biles can put in a Moors that would be great. I suppose she can keep the chuso and silivas as well as the biles. That would be one I, two H and one G pass compared to old routine of one H, one G, one F, and one E. That would be a huge 0.6 d-score upgrade potential. 7.1 d score or even a 7 is unheard of in WAG (correct me if anyone else has 7 d score in WAG before).... And if she even upgrade one dance element that would put the d score well above 7. Untouchable!.....

      If Ashton can upgrade her bars to 7, maybe also if Skinner can pull a Li Xiaopeng which would probably also have d score of 7+ and then if Key or someone can do a beam routine of 7..... This would probably be every WAG fan's fantasy.... US would be virtually invincible even if other teams hit all their routines. Oh well, guess can always fantasize, but I do hope there will be at least one 7 d score in US team somewhere if not on 3 or all 4 events....

      If Biles and Skinner both compete Cheng and amanar they would have excellent shot beating Hong.... Unless she ups the ante with a TTY.... I actually almost hoping that she will pull out a TTY even if its a crappy one because that might be the only way to push the US to also upgrade unless Skinner seizes the initiative.

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    6. Thanks Gym Bot, I thought Galante was an F element. A hypothetical 6.8 start value still isn't bad as long as she performs them clean. Her form has actually improved as her legs are closer together now. Anyway, her arabian on beam is actually good and its better than Key's.

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    7. Nice new senior vids. Hard to completely tell from this angle but Ashton sickled feet appears to be going away! Awesome that she's getting better on beam even if this might not get as strong... and also training some floor routines.

      I hope we will see vids from Biles, Gabby, Alys, and Kyla soon!

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  15. For the very first time, I am starting to enjoy NCAA and I am not even an American. The athletes look like they are enjoying every moment of it. Also NCAA is starting to evolve with harder elements being included. The envelope should be pushed even more once the current Olympic cycle ends with most of the current US national team members have already committed to some institutions.

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    1. To get gymnasts to do harder routines in NCAA, rewards like open end codes in elite would be needed. Won't likely to happen anytime soon.

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    2. Well after looking at camp videos( Aly, Kyla, Gabby. will be posted next week). I see that there are some very interesting upgrades with all the girls. here are some of my thoughts.

      Biles: I think floor should be set in terms as the passes she will be doing. I personally don't think she needs a moors. at the end of the day she will be 19 at the time the Olympics are happening and it has to be taken into consideration that her body has to be taken a beating with what she already does. I like the the full twisting double layout. it looks as always easy for her. beam looks good, but i personally don't like the wolf jump into front tuck, it looks iffy but is new so lets see. on bars her new dismount is a beauty ( still her weakest event) she just don't have a natural swing. lets see at American cup how she looks.
      Skinner: I still don't see any improvement on her form or odd technique. she is still going to be hammered in her E score. to me she also just needs to scrap bars. it does nothing for her ( she is not going to be top 3 in all around). her focus should be vault where her and Simone have the potential to go 1,2. floor because at the moment she is number 2 and needs to remain there. and beam because the US is weak there and she needs to be top 3 or her chances at the Olympics are gone.
      Bailey: this is quite intriguing to me in that she looks good. but i was kind of disappointed in her form. she flexes her feet a lot on bars and floor tumbling and she is not very explosive on her skills (Ragan has more power and explosiveness than her), in both here standing arabian and her punch front she is basically very low in a squatting position and her lay out on her series looks like a pike back. but her difficulty seems to be there.
      Ashton: looks great on bars. but she will have to really bring it on floor and beam to have a chance to even make the world team. I have a strong feeling that many girls are going to be having 6.5 or higher bars routines with amazing connections. this will no longer be a weakness for USA. she had luck last year (1 apparatus specialist). I don't think is going to happen again and Martha likes flexibility.
      Finally love the way Nichols, Baumman, Desch, Hernandez, Ragan, Gaskins look. their videos showed great improvement and potential for this year

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  16. Saw the new vids on Simone. Her amanar is sky high as usual. I am really hoping for the TTY even if that's just fantasy for now! Her bars swing doesn't look as slick as Ashton and it will always be her weak event but that new mustafina dismount is really nice. agrees also that Wolf to tuck front is iffy for now. Nice she also did an easy upgrade to triple turn in tuck stand (correct me but triple turn in tuck is still rated E skill same as 2 1/2?) How much would this add to her beam d score anyway?

    DLOFO is just about ready to be competed. and biles connect to split leap is nice.

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    1. You're right, the triple squat spin on beam is worth the same as the 2.5, so it won't add anything to her start value. But it does make me hopeful that because she's now able to do the triple on beam, then she'll be able to compete it on floor as well. Thereby replacing the double turn she currently competes (D) to an E for the triple.

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    2. Very clever of Simone :). I am so convinced also now that we will see that triple turn in tuck on FX. another easy 0.1pt upgrade. She is so close to the magic 7.0 d-score even without putting in crazy stuffs like moors or triple double. How much would biles to split leaps connection be above just a biles?

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    3. an option for Biles on beam is to compete the 2.5 turn and a triple turn, as Kennedy Baker did in 2013. It would replaced her switch leap "C" for an E, for 0.2 points. (assuming she does both turns).

      On floor, leaping out of E and greater passes is worth 0.1, but leaping out of any passes can save landing deductions - so it's worth it to leap out of any pass IMO. So she gets 0.1 bonus on floor for leaping out of the Biles.

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    4. hmm, that's interesting. I didn't know you are allowed to do a 2.5 and also a triple turn on beam. I figure if you have a triple then 2.5 won't count any more. That's kinda easy way to code-whore.....

      So in the same context, are you allowed to also do a double tuck turn and also a triple tuck turn in the same routine on FX? not that it would matter for biles since she only count one B element for her leap and dances and that is connected to a D as per the composition requirement.

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    5. Yes you are allowed to do a triple and a double turn in FX. If you look back at Mustafina's FX at 2014 WC, she did both a Mustafina turn and a Memmel turn in EF of FX and got credited for both. If Biles were to do the same, ie a double and triple turn in squat position, she could raise her D score by .3. The triple turn is worth an E, and it would replace her switch leap on floor as one of her dance elements, worth a B.

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    6. That's a crazy easy way to get another 0.3 pt just by adding a triple tuck turn. But as per the requirement of connection of two dance elements (one must be a 180 degree split), she would still have to do that Switch Split Leap (B) + Split Leap 3/2 (D) but the switch split leap part won't count be counted?

      Easy way to get point since if you can do a triple then you should be able to do a double turn with ease... I won't be surprised if there will be a change in the code to do away with this loophole in the future. It's like a vault specialist doing a DTY and an amanar as their two vaults....

      So just by incorporating a triple tuck turn and split leap out of biles, she would already got 6.9 d-score? And if she includes a chuso (H) to replace the full-in (E), then that would be another 0.3pt for a d-score total of 7.2? Wow!! never thought how easily upgradable her routine is to very astronomical d-score... And this is without even talking about new I rated skills like moors or triple double..... Unless other gymnasts can upgrade their routines in some way, there's just no way they will be able to catch her......

      Such an advantage for biles to be able to take one step less than her competitors and still got higher tumbling and plenty of floor space left for landing.... Spare space for potential upgrade and combination and safety margin at the end of every pass......

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    7. This has been the sort of upgrade I was hoping for her. If she can make the most of out the dance elements and the current code, so should she. Biles can definitely do a 2.5 and triple turn on beam and both are E elements but this can be quite tricky as it carries so much risks in terms of time and execution. She may have to restructure her beam routine and I don't know what she is going to take out since her weakest dance elements are connected to something. She is also training for the front half tuck and if she adds that, time will be a major issue. However, I am sure Amy will be able to come up with something good. On floor on the other hand, having a triple and double spin will be a better idea than having a Moors in my opinion. This will increase her SV astronomically as one of you have pointed out. Yes, she still has to perform the B+D leap series but the B element won't be counted. So in essence this will increase her SV by 0.3. Her Chusovitina and the leap out of Biles is also looking good, these recent upgrades increased her D score by 0.3. So potentially she can have an easy 7.1 floor SV. In my opinion there is no need for a Moors as she shows some form breaks! Instead it will be better for her to keep the full in tuck and add a leap out of it for another easy 0.1 for an easy 7.2 d-score. Another potentially easy upgrade for her is to add a back tuck after her double double. She lands upright and sometimes bounces back from it so I guess it won't be too hard for her. She has the entire year to practice and try to perfect a relatively easy 7.2 routine before the Olympics. Others might come close to a 6.8 floor start value but they normally show form breaks and landing deductions(low chest) like Mykyla and Larisa. So a 7.2 SV will put Simone in a very good position.

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    8. Correct me but I don't think there has been anyone with 7+ d score FX in WAG before? If Simone goes completely all out on tumbling and dance elements, her d-score would give MAG FX a run for their money (comparing to the more average ones, not the top caliber event finals of course)

      Totally impressive on what kind of potentials she got on floor FX!! The only other impressive hard to beat instance I can think of is Raisman's 1st pass worth 1.2 pt by itself (though her d-score total is lower anyway)


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    9. Even MAG doesnt have a lot of 7.0+ there are only a couple of them and Simone will be the first one to break the 7.0 barrier in WAG and can actually execute it really well! I hope she will stay healthy and you can see how well she has been paced by her coach. She trained Simone to do the full in pike last year and made it layout this year. Her upgrades have really been in small increments. Simone can do the Moors but she will probably delay it until next year, the same thing with her Cheng, she has been training it years now but is yet to unveil it this year. I hope she can execute the Cheng really well so she will be in a better position to challenge the North Korean.

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  17. Check out my blog about how I broke BOTH my arms trampolining at flobean.blogspot.co.uk

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  18. I'm surprised how people keep saying, bailie didn't look good at camp. I'm not sure what they were watching but she looked very good. Especially since she hasn't competed since last May. Her upgrades are looking really good . At camp her landing were near stuck. Kim is pacing her just right. A lot people going to be surprised when she lands a armarar and brings her stellar artistic and hit routine s this year this girl will bring it; and can win

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    1. The only way Bailie can win the AA this year is if Simone falls. She is not ready yet. Simone has better VT and FX and Simone executes her vault better than Bailie however on floor both would have similar execution scores. Their beams should have similar start values and I don't really know who will receive a better execution mark as neither shows text book material performances. Bailie's layout, arabian and front tuck will definitely receive penalties and Simone's leaps will. Eventhough Key could potentially have a better UB routine routine than Simone, overall it won't be enough to compensate Bailie's other routines to surpass Simone this year. Next year maybe but certainly not this year if both hit.

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    2. I love what Bailey brings to gymnastics and I do see gold in her future but with Simone in full upgrading mode, there is really not any chance that Bailey can beat her in AA unless Simone falls or retires or injures.....

      If we talk individual events, Key could possibly beat Biles in beam and bars (with continued upgrade and staying consistent). But in the end as far as AA I just really don't see Bailey being able to make up the large margin Biles has on vault and FX... Key might get good e score on FX but her FX SV routine is nowhere near Biles's easily upgraded FX SV of 7+...

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    3. Is not that Bailie did not look good. it just that it was not clean and with great form. her Dos santos has flex feet, leg separation, and a weird wrap as she twist. her double lay out is not explosive. on bars she does look good, but her connections are not there, every skill was done exclusive on its own. her beam was what truly had me really on pause. that layout can be downgraded to a pike back because there is no height or sufficient layout form on it. her punch front and standing arabian look unstable and very low. she basically squats on them. her strength in beating not only Simone, but the others is by her superior technique, stability, consistency, and form. because she is not a fluid gymnast (very robotic). so these things have to be corrected. also the key for anyone to beat Simone ( and its possible because Simone will have a hard time scoring 15.000 or higher on bars). you have to have better execution scores than her. beat her on Bars and Beam to make up for the tenths that you will lose to her on floor.
      So to compete Bailie or any All around contender needs score 15.300 or higher consistently across all four event to come close to beating her. because Simone floor alone allows her to be ok in her two weakest event.

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    4. To get 15.3+ on vault, you pretty much need to do amanar or cheng as I can really remember a DTY ever got a 15.3 score. So hopefully Key will have that down soon (and I definitely think she can get a nice amanar even if it doesn't go as high as biles). I have my doubt that we will see amanar from Larisa or Musty so unless they also do amanar they are kinda out of AA gold. With Biles upgrading to FX SV of 7+ and realistic FX score potential of 15.8 or possibly 16, that makes it really hard to catch her even if biles only score 14.7 on bars and 15 on beam. I can see Biles improves a little more on beams and even also bars, maybe not as much as floor but even a 0.1 or 0.2 increase on beam or bars would make it so hard because then you would need a bars score like the Chinese or a beam score like Larisa on her best days to even stay even...

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    5. you don't need a cheng or a amanar to score 15.300 higher. you need a Vault that is 6.0 or higher. besides the two vaults mentioned you have a Rudi 6.2, Mustafina 6.0, Double Tsk 6.0. Vault is easiest apparatus to get a high E-score. Musfafina and Ross score 15.200 on their DTY when they execute it well. so if you do a say 6.0 vault and get 9.3 execution score that is a 15.300.
      and yes Simone has a amazing FX start value. to fight that then as a her competitor your UB has to be in the 6.8 to 7.0 range. and your beam has to be in the 6.5 to 6.8 range, which is easier to do in connections than on floor were you need massive difficulty to score in 15.400 range or higher.
      Look how Iordache made it very competitive with Simone and she had a 5.8 Vault and a weak bar routine. if say a Bailie, Mustafina, or a ready Douglas come with 6.0 vault, 6.8 or higher UB, 6.6 or higher Beam, and a 6.4 or higher floor. they will have a good opportunity to beat Biles because they e-score has the opportunity to be higher than hers ( think Nastia vs Johnson). is not going to be easy but possible.

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  19. We'll see I believe in Kim and she is pacing bailie just right. This girl when she is hot doesn't give the judges room to take away. She has great upgrades and once her armar and ub upgrades are perfected. She'll be ready. She hadn't competed since last May and a 59.6 at camp is great. This girl knows how to win she has scored well international ly with the upgrades so far and her execution with Russian artistry I feel she can beat Simone it's too bad they went away from what it is artistic gymnastics. But bailie will have the armarar down and she has one of the best coaches. This girl will be ready by nationals and definitely next year she knows how to win say what you want maybe it's jrs but 8/8 is pretty darn good and most of those were international

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    1. I seriously do not think that Bailie has the "Russian" artistry. Bailie has better lines than the other US girls but she still quite robotic and stiff specially with her arms. I don't really know whether she can challenge Biles this year. I think artistry is subjective and I understand there are still purists whose regard on artistry is defined by ballet but we live in a modern world and we have to consider some adjustments as art itself changes over time. Why force someone to be a ballerina if her body is designed for something else. I equally admire Komova's routines as much as Biles and Fragapane's both performances flow and artistic in their own merit. In fact, Iordache doesn't have balletic lines yet no one bashes her. Anyway, once Bailie can perform an Amanar, have a higher SV in UB than Simone and 6.5+ on floor, then she will able to challenge Simone in the all around.

      What I want for Bailie is to not be disheartened for now but instead push herself efficiently to be able to contribute to the US team, win AA silver at Worlds and get individual medals.

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    2. Okay now bailie looks robotic this year and all Simone s upgrades looked perfect I'm not sure what videos you were watching from camp but I tho bailie looked pretty fluid from last year and her upgrades on floor are looking really good plus her ub are looking a lot better and I be she'll have her armarar down by nationals with upgrades on ub and floor. And even if she's low on bb Shawn was to

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    3. Bailie has never looked fluid. she has always come off as Robotic just like Kyle Ross. they are elegant, have great lines, and solid choreography in their routines, but they have always looked robotic and stiff (like Christine Stills always say. supple they are not lol). and you are right all things considered she looks good. but if she wants to be the top competitor like she always been, then she needs to fix some of the form issues. look at ragan smith doing the same skills that Baillie does and see the difference in form and execution, if you don't see it you are blind

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  20. I think Simone's floor and beam upgrades should be just as exciting as her bars. If we speculate on her potential UB d-score, she can actually reach a decent 6.4 start value. I expect her to use her 2013 UB routine as the base and to it she is adding a Wieler and a Mustafina dismount as seen on her training video and special video that she had from USA gymastics. This should give her an extra 0.1 in connection(Wieler+ Wieler 1/2) and 0.2 for replacing her C with an E element. So hopefully she will be ready to have it by this American Cup and clean it by worlds. By the looks of it, her AA d-score this season can potentially be VT-6.3, UB-6.4, BB-6.6 & FX-6.8, which should be enough to win her third AA title.

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    1. The problem is not the increase in difficulty is the execution. D-score will go up, but her E-score will go down. is not as easy for her to increase difficulty on UB and beam like she does on Floor and Vault and make it look easy. it does not come natural to her, she struggles to compete it. so her coach knows she has to be careful in what skills she adds for her.
      Remember on bars she had a Khorkina ( I am not sure I am correct) and it got taken out because it was too much for her. also she has problems connecting skills on bars to increase her difficulty that's why the focus was on the dismount ( her new Mustafina). same thing on beam she had more difficulty and they decrease it because it was too much. now she is trying to add a front pike 1/2 twist and wolf jump to front tuck (.200 bonus) but it does not come easy for her because She hates UB and does not like doing a lot of pressure sets which is required on beam to make it fluid.
      I love her and iam one of her biggest suporters to get that All around Olympic medal. but i am aware of her areas of struggle

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    2. Her bars will always be her weakest event. She is most likely going to have her 2013 UB-set back maybe for next year but from what she said she is adding a Weiler to her Weiler 1/2 for her American cup. I don't see why see will find the Wieler hard if she normally performs the Wieler 1/2. I think this one upgrade will work for her. The reason why she downgraded her bars last year was because of shoulder injury. To be honest she still has plenty of time to practice what she already can perform. There are many things that we don't know and I trust Marta and her coach. However, I think that she shouldn't be upgrading her bars beyond the current skills that she can perform and already have. Im sure she can have a 6.4 UB set that she can execute well. It may not yet be ready for Glasgow but most certainly it will be for Rio.

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    3. She won't get 0.1 for Wieler + Wieler 1/2 though. The D elements need to include flight or at least a 1/2 turn for CV. I'm hoping that the counting skills for her routine will be -

      Wieler D + Wieler 1/2 D + Maloney D +0.1
      Toe-on 1/1 D + Tkachev D +0.1
      Piked Tkachev E + Pak D +0.2
      Mustafina E

      DDDDDEDE -> 3.4 + 0.4 + 2.5 = 6.3
      If she replaces the first Wieler with a Khorkina transition in the middle, she could get a 6.4 like you mentioned. Either way, I'm sure she'll bring us an exciting and dynamic programme!


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    4. Even with SV VT-6.3, UB-6.1, BB-6.6 & FX-6.8, meaning no upgrade on vault or UB and minimal upgrade on BB and half significant upgrade on FX, she would still be in real good shape for another AA title if she has no fall.

      Personally, I believe if you can go high without stressing yourself, you should build as much of a cushion as you can because you can never know where that fall or major mistake can come in. The US is a beast when it comes to consistency and no fall but I think that is probably a part of their strategy is also to have such a commanding lead that even a few falls in the team final it wouldn't matter. If Biles can take advantage of it on FX, she should by all means maximize it to give her a buffer of at least 1 fall... Just because your competitors (larisa, musty) is not upgrading their vault or FX doesn't mean that you shouldn't upgrade because you have to upgrade to have a margin for your weak events.... And I am glad Simone is pushing ahead with some upgrades....

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  21. @Wilson Lee - Doesn't it say in the code of points that a D+D is 0.1?

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    1. Wilson Lee is right, the D elements have flight or minimum 1/2 turn.

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    2. "D elements *must* have flight or minimum of 1/2 turn.

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    3. Sorry, wrong place for this comment earlier...

      New vid segment on Aly and Kyla. Who would ever thought Kyla would hit such a growth spur.... She is easily one of the tallest gymnasts currently I think. She looks like she easily 5'5 or 5'6! I really do hope she doesn't get injured because she really does need some substantial upgrades to beams and bars. Her DTY is serviceable as it still get around 15.1+, Her FX I am not sure how much she can upgrade it to hit close to 15 if that's ever possible.... She's really at a disadvantage compared to Key right now.... At the end of the day its possible she could somehow sneak on the world teams due to consistency and Marta likes to have at least 3 AA on the team but her chance of AA is not as good anymore.... Since she has always had a thing for BB and UB, I really think she should go all out on those two events... a score of 15+ on both UB and BB along with a 15.1+ DTY and if possible 14.5+ FX could get her on world team.... I just so much wish that she had her amanar back because that would really change the equation but that seems unlikely as is an FX routine of 15....

      Looks like Aly also got her work cut out for her.... Gabby wont have a camp video ;(

      So sad we haven't heard from Maroney at all.... I am still so much hoping she can come back to redeem herself on vault and get a vault named after her but that's looking less and less likely now as days go by... If we don't see her in competition by Nationals, her comeback would be very very hard after that given the short time to Rio...

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    4. Aly looks very good for the amount of time she has missed. obviously her form needs a lot of work. the amanar is a surprise that she has it already, but the form needs major work. but she have time for sure. the beam looks good but again those leaps are horrendous(especially that switch half). tumbling is coming a long well (love the DLO) but bars is the beauty with that maloney to takchev. such smart connection.
      Kyla looks typical with her elegance and beautiful lines. but yes is getting very serious for her in terms of keeping up with the other girls to make the world team. bars and beam have to be top 3 to have a chance. she needs 6.5 or higher on both.

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    5. Was just checking out Maroney 2013 vault. This camera angle gives a great view of how fast she can take off and run even though this vault doesn't look as good:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vAhpB9ta9I&list=PLJBt-Bl-D7nY5I5tbGw6tR50SBzXYsYYA&index=40

      Compared to Biles running:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUhGO2RFvJw&index=35&list=PLJBt-Bl-D7nY5I5tbGw6tR50SBzXYsYYA

      Of course Biles has shorter legs so she's somewhat at a disadvantage, But Maroney got some fast takeoff run!!

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  22. Aly Amanar was atrocious even during her peak in 2012. let see if she can improve on it though am not optimistic.... would rather her contribute strongly in BB and FX rather than trying to be a top AA... there are many girls in us that will do AA at Nationals but only the minority of them are true AA potential. As the matter of fact there is not many gymnasts in the world that are true AA on all 4 events, meaning scoring 15+ on all 4... Last good one I can think of is Gabby when she hits all 4 of her routine and getting well above 15 on all 4 (even give or take a few tenths during 2012 AA generously handed out on UB).. Komova was also in that category at her peak in 2012... Simone won't ever have a bar set like Gabby and if she ever hit 15 on bar then I guess she would be in that rarefied class. Key has the potential but not quite there yet... Aly won't be because of her UB... Kyla because of her FX... So for the current time there is no real true AA in the world since no one has scored 15+ on all 4..

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  23. Two new vids on Aly and Kyla. Good to see Aly more or less still know how to perform many of her skills, esp that crazy first FX.1.2pt pass. DLO is getting better and a good addition. Looks like she still need a lot of practice to keep in bound. She seems to lean to one side on her amanar but at least it does seem to get somewhat enough height. UB was too short to really make much of it. Doesn't look too exciting but I don't think she ever think of trying to be exciting on it. Can't wait to see her BB and FX once they are polished. If she can improve on her amanar that would be exciting too.

    Unfortunately for Kyla, not much of any upgrade shown ;(... I am so much hoping and wanting her to add something so she can keep going... instead of fainting off ;(....

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    1. Ross just came back from a hip strain - on top of her incredible growth spurt and year-long lumbar injury. She is planning on upgrades, but some were nixed in the past by Marta and it is her coaches style to unveil her elements when they are consistent - since that is her brand of gymnastics anyway.

      On bars she is also playing with a bahardwaj (full twisting pak). Assuming the bahardwaj replaces the bail in her routine, with her VLW in combination she will be at 6.2. I think she can get there this year and after graduating from high school this year, she'll climb higher right before the Olympics like she did in 2012.

      On beam unfortunately, Marta nixed her side aerial LOSO combination because it is a risky combination in a beam routine in terms of the team competition (and in a routine without an additional combination of acrobatics). No word on her arabian in combination since 2013, but I hope she's holding on to it. Apparently, she and Hano (and many others on the national team) are training the front tuck 1/2 out (grigoras).

      However, I would still take Ross on my team for Glasgow without the upgrades.

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    2. Just saw the full videos of Ross and Raisman.
      As I said before Aly looks good and to me at the right place for this time. form was always her issue and still remains so, especially on her leaps and the pointed toes and extensions. but the skills that she re-acquired and those that she gained are amazing. time will only improve those skills. very impress with what i see with bars especially the Maloney to Tkatchev is a very smart connection for a person that really does not connect skills on bars. and I say this keeping in mind that it will help her if she still wants to do All-around(which seems to be her plan).
      In terms of Kyla, she looks the same and nothing seems to have change. i am not trying to put her down, but to me a lot of excuses are made for her that are not done for other gymnast ( she is hurt, Martha did or said, she is trying). I trust that her coaches know best, but it comes a time when a gymnast has to show progression and when they stop and they happen to regress is not a good sign. especially when they grow as she has. Martha makes suggestions and is up to her coaches and Kyla to decide. she told Bross to nix her Patterson and she still did it, she told Wieber coach that her connections on beam were iffy and they still did it (and trust me he lived to be her antagonist). he told Chow just like he told Ross coaches that Gabby should scrap her Amanar they still did it. so its always her and her coaches who have the final say. if you train a skills and its good, then compete it. I want Kyla to upgrade and make it because she is beautiful and consistent with ice in her veins when it comes to competing. At this point she should be taking khorkina as her inspiration on both beam and bars in terms of using the code to play off her lines. every acro skills she does should have a leap after it front tuck to wolf, free walkover to a scale like nastia will work for her. free walkover to sheep jump. a slip leap to Gainer flic-flac. to me those are skills that will come easy to her and will give her great connections. a Bradhawaj for someone as tall as her is not smart in my opinion. is best to upgrade her releases to a Ricna and a Markelov which will increase he d-score by 2 tenths plus the new connections she just displayed. is just my opinion.

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    3. Since Kyla's body seems fine now her coach and Kyla have definitely been training new skills or maybe regaining her inbar skills. I trust her coach and I'm sure they can come up with a bar and beam routines that can challenge for next year. I am hoping that she didn't stop training the arabian skill on beam, even if its not in combination it can still increase her d-score together with the front tuck 1/2. I'm sure Kyla will be in contention for next year's Olympic spot unless more injuries nag her this year.

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    4. People talk about why Ross chooses not to upgrade since she's bashed for not having upgrades. Ultimately, It's because she doesn't want to risk injury for her long term goals. Plenty of gymnasts slow their progress or compete easier routines for the same reasons. Kocian competed an FTY and a downgraded floor routine in the hopes that she can come back for AA this year and perhaps Rio - even though she had a good shot being the 2nd AA gymnast this year. Biles also downgraded her bars routine this year to prevent further strain on her shoulder.

      On Marta's advice, your own examples prove why it is pretty wise to listen. Douglas' ankle exploded, Wieber wasn't as competitive and lost out on the AA, and Bross couldn't hit her routines to make the team. Other gymnasts who didn't follow Marta's rules simply got left behind, like Memmel.

      On technical stuff, I'm sure the bahardwaj is possible despite her height. The skill is from a long swing forwards like the pak salto, so Ross already has the technical base and the air sense for a new transition. To get a ricna, Ross would have to get stalder work first as a base to learn to reverse hecht out of it. It's possible, but that would be a long term skill. The markelov is just a D - it's perhaps one of the highest risk D elements on bars, so I don't see many gymnasts working them.

      If she does get stalder work down, utilizing more shaposh variations in combination is probably the safest way to go under the current COP, but any skill could replace her toe-on 1/2 as counted skills for a D score boost.

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  24. I heard Ashton wants to compete in FX in addition to UB and BB this season. I think I read somewhere her coach said she used to have a great FX routine before the serious injury. And looks like she did put some work into FX at camp. Though her FX will probably be weaker than BB, she has great lines which combine with great choreography and good dance elements might be a treat to watch even if she doesn't have the power tumbling potential or the high SV...

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  25. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBw8pnhkbqM

    New vid on Gabby from her gym... Not much skill or routines shown. Seems like she got a lot more work to do to get back to her 2012 form.... Hope she can get everything bk and more. As I said, at her peak she was a real AA with no weak events..... Don't quite think she can beat Simone due to the vault and FX advantage but battle between Gabby and Key could be quite close.....

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    1. I'm a little surprised to see her bars composition. It doesn't seem as if there's much room for upgrade as it is. Do you think we'll ever see her Healy or the Ling that she was training with Chow again?

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    2. I think only WOGA and Chow have mastered the Healy and Ling in the US. I don't think she'll ever have it as good as it was whilst Gabby was under Chow. To me, it seems that she still hasn't got the stamina for a competitive full routine.
      Gabby is still an enigma for now until we can see her perform closer to nationals. She just started working on her floor routine and I don't know whether she is already capable of performing a clean double twisting yurchenko. I am definitely sure that she won't be big this year as there are loads for her to prove and improve still.

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    3. I'm concerned about the loss of the healy, but she already has 6.3 with what she showed so perhaps she doesn't need it for her goals.

      The maloney is a new skill for her and she could do many things out of it, including a full pirouette for +0.2 - which also has a bonus in her current routine as it wouldn't change the flow at all.

      She's also counting the ray transition with her current set. Despite showing inbar 1/2 and full pirouettes, she could easily get another tenth by counting an inbar circle.

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    4. Actually Gabby video surprised me because pretty much most of her bar and beam routine seems to be set, but we are missing the middle sections. and they both add up to 6.3 with what we see only. and she looks more polish than Aly on both quite frankly. on beam she has the front pike(E), BHS to LOSO, full twisting back tuck(F), split leap to switch half(C+D), switch ring (E), front tuck to wolf(D+A) and double pike dismount. that alone adds to 6.3. we know she has a free walk over from her espn video that's a (D) element, if she connects it to her jump sequence it will give her another connection bonus which will actually give her a 6.6 routine which quite frankly is amazing. if she adds another D element as her dance instead of the split leap (like switch full) that will give her a 6.7 beam. make me put this in context Iordache beam routine is 6.8 when she competes all her skill.
      her bars has a In-bar 1/2(D)+Endo1/2(D)+Chow(D), In-bar full+Piked Tkatchev+Pak and then her dismount is a DLO. those skills alone add up to 6.3. we saw a Maloney in her espn video and the article on the website talks about her doing a Shaposhnikova 1/2 which is a (E). so to me is looking anywhere bet a 6.3 to a 6.8 bar routine. quite frankly very impressive.
      her floor tumbling is E,E,D,D which for now is good, but by summer she is going to need all 4 passes to be a E. that choreography and music needs to be nullified for floor, I don't like it at all.
      Vault is a enigma but it seems that they are working on her block so lets see. but quite impressive just like Aly might say for the time they have miss

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  26. Is it just me or it seems like Aly is further along the coming back than Gabby? I mean there's still well over 1 yr to Rio, but time flies.....

    On the same line, does anyone has much of any thought if Maroney can still mount a comeback at this time? The last time she did a comeback she was already back to the gym by this time I think...

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  27. Interesting kyla finally committed to ucla.... always thought she was leaning more towards stanford.... hope ucla will hv a good team... she will do well in ncaa w her execution. .. simonr might get bored doing FTY.... I cant even picture simone and FTY in the same sentence

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  28. So Scam draw is posted. Simone will go 2nd to last, Skinner will go last. Coincidence? Luck? or Scam?

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    1. Do you know the rules that determine vault order at the World Cup Events?

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  29. Not really... I would think it's random draw like at world event finals.... So must be just chance that somehow simone goes 2nd to last and skinner last?

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  30. Just saw part of podium training for scam cup... looks like simone not doing mustafina. skinner looks messy on UB ;(. I hope they will have xtra training and look much better come Sat....

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  31. Just saw the whole podium training. and Simone looks like Simone, easy breezy lol. but she did add back her piked Tkatchev to pack salto on bars. but no Mustafina. her beam is the same, and floor added her DTLO. but as I said before upgrading bars and beams is not as easy for her. Mykayla Skinner was a apoplectic mess. her Cheng was down right dangerous and inexcusable her coach has her not even trying to use her second hand. she fell face first on it, and the second one that she landed had almost no block which causes her to try to twist early to complete it. bars was crap form beginning to end. the amount of errors in that routine make Raisman look like Komova on bars. beam was a little better but she fell over and over again, and that switch half was vomit inducing (take it out is soooo bad). then proceeded to fall flat on her face on her DTDLO, not even attempting to try her other passes and there was no signs of improvement of form and flexibility that her coach keep saying they are working on. I hope on Saturday she looks so much better. but she needs major work on all her routines. they need to focus on her improving what she has already and stop focusing on other difficult skills. I am venting because she scared the hell out of me on that vault and tumbling pass. you could have gotten a concussion seriously.

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    1. I was worried when they first announced Mykayla competing at this event b/c she seems like the kind of athlete who needs a lot of repetition and a strict atmosphere to get comfortable with her routines and not implode. And I don't think her coach gives her that environment - it's like she lets her thrown new big tricks all day long and then stuff like this happens. Skinner looked really good at worlds b/c she was in a Martha environment for a month straight and I think she needs it. I don't think she's ready for this meet at this point in the year. She actually only fell once on beam, and she fell once on bars. But the falls are her pet events - vault and floor - were super scary. And fall on every single event two days before the competition is not a good sign. I just hope that if things appear to be going wrong during the meet that they pull her.

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  32. Its definitely a meltdown for skinner... many people calling for a bailie subs.... dont think marta would do that unless there's injury which skinner was flirting w..
    I actually feel real bad as it must be crushing for her... is it mental? Maybe she should see the psychologist that simone saw.... if its technique she needs to spend the whole month w marta.... just hard to see how this mykayla is the same badass one at worlds..

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  33. Its definitely a meltdown for skinner... many people calling for a bailie subs.... dont think marta would do that unless there's injury which skinner was flirting w..
    I actually feel real bad as it must be crushing for her... is it mental? Maybe she should see the psychologist that simone saw.... if its technique she needs to spend the whole month w marta.... just hard to see how this mykayla is the same badass one at worlds..

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  34. Sorry didn't mean to post twice. .. don't know what happened w my phone browser. .

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  35. Jesolo 2015 US list is out. Looks like US sending in the A+ team. I can't even remember when was the last time they go all out like this for anything other than world or Olympics. This team looks to be even stronger than 2014 worlds (minus locklear ;( ).....

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  36. Anybody knows what is going on with Locklear. is she injured. she did not go to camp and then she was not nominated for Jeloso. I know Nichols, Dennis, Kocian, and Gowey are nursing or getting over injuries. but I was not aware of of anyone else. Hano also was not nominated. very interesting.

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  37. Just saw Skinner second floor routine from the private podium training. is better but i am still not understanding how someone who was progressing in 2014 just regressed back to really bad form. that first pass still look like a struggle for her and for someone who is doing this routine for a whole year is still looks unpolished and hard for her to complete. I love her big gymnastics but she needs major repetition and pressure routines to get back to at less 2014 worlds form

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  38. Wow new SV for simone FX routine: 6.8!! And it still looks easy for her and still nowhere near the max. Chuso, Biles+leap, tucked double double (as 3rd pass!!!), full-in.... She left out the DLO which could have replaced the full-in for another 0.1.. And we still haven't got to Moors, or triple tuck turn.... Just don't see her stopping anytime.... Anything can happen (see Maroney vault EF 2012), but just really don't see how anyone can beat her this year and next.... Best FX worker ever (will easily beat aly's score)!!

    Skinner also trying to do a double tuck turn... interesting....I guess she's trying to catch simone's SV. I will have to watch her FX again to see what this double tuck is replacing and how it will helps. I guess with her 1 1/2 to triple, her SV is 6.6.... Too bad we probably won't see that happen at scam cup. hope she collects herself by sat....

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  39. Official retirement letter from Wieber. We pretty much knew this was the end a few months ago.. She definitely represented US with class....

    http://www.theplayerstribune.com/jordyn-wieber-retirement/

    Sad... hate to be negative but I am really crossing my fingers for the remaining 4 of the Fierce Five, especially maroney right now.....

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  40. overscored scam cup as usual.. but I think the top 3 placements are correct... Simone was a beast as usual even if a bit overscored. I m glad mykayla hanged in there with that great save on beam (I loved the us girl fighting ability) and ''she got what I think she deserved.... was hoping jlo would at least get 3rd but she def show she can be a threat on bars.... crushed for Claudia for falling 3/4 FX passes...

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  41. Simone was overscored as usual. On ub and bb. If it was worlds score she would have been aroun 60 she still would have won but I finding she is even more overscored than gabby and wieber.

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  42. Well it was good competition. but the right gymnast were the winners, was simone over scored on UB and Beam yes. but is American cup that is to be expected. I think that her Floor and Vault score were fair. her D score on floor is a 6.8 and her 9.2 execution is acceptable in my opinion. ditto with her vault in terms of execution. That 8.9 in bars was a lol moment for me, then they raised it to 9.1 and i rotfl. her beam was very shaky from the wolf turn to the split leap to switch half to back tuck. both the D score and the e score were debatable. but it still would not affected the results.

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    1. And she didn't even have to fill an inquiry on ub :). For a sec I even thought they did when thegymternet said her ub was raised from a 15 to 15.2... lol....

      anyway, theres no stopping simone now. That was really the best controlled landing on an amanar for her. And of course she is really now the UNDISPUTED FX queen... overscored or not....

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  43. She can be beaten she won't get those scores internationallly. I still feel lordache at world did better than her. And if bailie has her armar down she will beat her this year

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    1. Bailie apparently finished 10th at the last camp as she is having problems adjusting to her growth. So yeah, we will see about that.

      Unless Larissa upgrades, she won't beat Simone unless she falls. Simone's start value is going to be a decent amount higher. There is no way Larissa should have won last year. It came down to floor and she always gets a significant amount of deductions because her chest is down on every landing

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    2. A healthy Simone actually IS unbeatable. Seriously she is just unbelievable and we STILL haven't seen all she can do because she has a lot more to give. Bailie right now would have to do a lot to catch her, her beam would but everything else..more difficult bars, a LOT more on floor...and an amanar that would have to be as good as her DTY is. Her growth is worrying, she has really shot up and it makes maintaining her skills really hard, nevermind the upgrades she needs.

      The thing is, Bailie has her work cut out to match Simone. Not impossible..BUT..Simone is upgrading all the time. She can get every event higher. She's going to add the Khorkina and Mustafina into her bars, other little things here and there, and she is I think very likely to throw the TTY at some stage. All things considered, I consider her unreachable.

      I couldn't watch American cup live (watched some routines on YouTube) so I have to catch up before I post about it.

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    3. Catherine I agree with you that it will be very hard for someone to beat her. but I don't believe that she is unbeatable. the smartness of Simone coach comes from the fact that she knows that on Vault and Floor Simone is with no doubt in a class of her own, because compared to last squad no true all arounder is competing with a Amanar. But Simone is not comfortable with increase difficulty on UB and Beam. This was the hardest bars routine she has competed in awhile and she had a 6.1 difficulty, if you had the Mustafina is still just a 6.2. she keeps falling on her Khorkina in training, that is a skill that she has been training close to 2 years now and is not able to put in the routine because she simply hates bars. and she is not getting that execution score in a world championship on bars (not even Mustafina is getting that type of execution score at the moment). two that beam routine she did had more wobbles and miss connection than the the one at world finals with the identical composition and she received the same execution score ( I don't think so). that's why her coach keeps her beam and UB routines short and sweet less deduction and complications for her. can she upgrade. yes but is not easy and her execution score will suffer.
      The point about Larissa is that she made was not at her best as you said. she did not use her full beam difficulty, and her execution was not the best. and she also made errors on her on floor going OOB and having wonky landings. the final score was 60.231 to 59.765. Now imaging a fulling prepared. Mustafina, Douglas, Baillie, or even a Yao Jinnan. they have the ability to blow her out of the water with their UB and Beam. the way that she does with floor and Vault and it becomes even more interesting if Baillie and Gabby have any sort of 6.0 Vault or higher. is not impossible. at the moment yes Simone is the best and way ahead of the field. But if you ask me she will not have beating a 2012 Komova or Douglas. Gabby All around score was 62.232.

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  44. You're smoking something bailie didn't finish 10th you must be reading a comic book she look a lot better than Simone at camp and lordache really looked better even with Simone over scoring at worlds she bearly beat lordache so we'll see she will be beaten this year

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    1. She did according to Nia Dennis.

      She beat Larisa by several tenths, and that was a Larisa at the fullest extent of her ability whereas Simone was far from it. She wont be beaten at Glasgow if she's healthy and hits.

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  45. I'm sorry if that happened it would be all over the Internet plus you can have a off night in addition Lauren claims Mia woul beat bailie soundly so I would take this as a grain of salt. Plus when Simone fell twice nobody said anything I st believe lordache did better and if we want to go to the injury card. In 2012 wieber had a fractured leg and still got 4th

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    1. I saw it somewhere else that Nia is the source, but I don't know whether that's her ask.fm (where she often has given out camp results) or twitter or what. Anyway, it doesn't matter if it's true. If she was 2nd or 3rd I'd still say the same thing, I don't think she can beat Simone because Simone is in a league of her own and continues to upgrade.

      Iordache did amazing, but it's a fairly indisputable result. Simone was cleaner overall, Larisa was hampered by things like deep landings on floor. This year Simone will have higher difficulty anyway.

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  46. We can disagree to disagree. But bailie has one of the smartest coaches. She doesn't make mistakes and if so; she doesn't give the judges room to deduct. She's paced very well. It's to bad it's all about the difficulty. It's artistic gymnastics not who has the highest did. They judging should be 50/50. But if baile gets her armar down and she is working on it. Bb and up can upgrade a lot. She's clean. Her floor isn't high volume but is clean undar international juding I can see her get 15.3 . But with an armarar she's closes that gap considerly. She can close it even more with ub bb. Plus she's super clean like Kayla with a pretty good floor. And bailie scores well international. I see great amount of upgrades with Kim at the helm. So we'll see but I believe she can beat Simone by end of this year and next. Nobody said Jordyn could be beaten but seriously they need to revamp the scoring were difficult doesn't outweigh the artistic side. Say what you want but I bel you'll be serpriced just like all the naysayers

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    1. I think that overall Bailie is just as clean as Simone and Kyla on beam and bars. I can imagine their d-scores on beam being within the same range. She sits her Arabian, pikes her layout, cross her legs in her twists that can cost her 1 point already. On floor, there is no doubt that Simone has a better execution than anyone else. Her chest is upright when she lands and its just her 1/1 Tourjete that shows lack of amplitude in her leaps. Bailie's leaps are better than Simone's but she incurs landing deductions more than Simone.

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    2. Well I also disagree - you cannot claim that Biles wins by difficulty alone. She scores top E scores amongst the top lot of gymnasts and shows considerable artistry on beam and floor - which is partly why her E scores are high. She honestly beats Key on all apparatuses on execution alone.

      Key's beam in 2014 suffered from the acrobatic problems mentioned by Anon above, but she also performs slowly without rhythm. It's why she was scored relatively low on beam at Pac Rims and is an area where Kim and Chris are targeting improvement. Her floor is great and I think her bars could be really great with more time - but it will take a lot more for her to pass Biles.

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  47. I did think that simone was overscored a bit. So let's take away 0.2 on all 4 of her scam cup routine (that's more than enough generosity to account for any overscoring), How many routines or gymnast this quad we've seen scoring over 61? Bailie and Larisa only have realistic chance at beating simone at bb by up to about 0.5 (and that's a generous margin). Even with amanar upgrade by bailie, simone still has much more experience with amanar.... So simone has a large advantage of bailie and larisa over vault and fx... I just don't see either one making very large upgrades on ub to beat simone by more than 0.5 at this time. Meanwhile, simone is nowhere done with her fx upgrades. And we are not talking about impossible upgrades. She could already easily have a 7.1+ fx right now (by adding in a triple tuck turn and keeping her double tuck turn and by finishing with a DLO dismount) without resorting to anything crazy like a moors or triple double....

    The greatest and only threat to simone is injury at this time.

    We can bring up the artistry execution discussion but would be hard pressed to say that she doesn't execute well esp on vault and fx even if you don't like her style..

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    1. I agree with you that Simone can easily have a 7.0+ floor but I seriously do not wan't Simone to finish with a double layout on floor. I can see her landing deeply with it Her chest is slightly down from her third pass with her double double. It is wiser to keep her full in and jump out of it or add a back tuck like what Ferrari and Ponor did, which is easier and will incur less deduction. She can also have a triple spin and a double spin. There is absolutely no need for her to do the Moors!

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    2. sure... while I do think she is capable of a dlo dismount (and even a moors mount even if that decreases her e score a bit), let's say she keep full in dismount, adding a triple tuck turn and keeping everything right now that would already add another 0.2. adding a jump out of full in is another easy 0.1. so that's already a 7.1 d score. The main point about Simone's FX routine is that even as high of d score as it is it can still be raised even higher with completely realistic easy upgrades and that's the beauty of it that will keep Simone easily at the top if she's healthy and hit....

      we saw how wieber was overtaken in 2012 by injury and upgrade by gabby and aly while wieber wasn't upgrading. as long as Simone stays healthy (most important!) and continue with incremental upgrades she's untouchable.

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  48. Even if Simone doesn't upgrade to a triple twisting yurchenko and just add a few tenths here and there in her current program she is unbeatable unless she is injured or if she falls. I can't really see Larisa pushing herself even further from her 2014 form. I believe that Mustafina's back is getting better and this could possibly mean that she will overtake Larisa in the all around. We know how good Aliya can potentially be on bars and that is where Larisa is weak. Even though Musta has only three passes on floor her difficult dance elements can catapult her d-score to 6.6. Beam is just hard to predict for both of them as both are inconsistent.

    Martha mentioned after the competition that Simone is still far from her potential but she also mentioned that Simone has no longer have a weak event. I believe that she is just being paced appropriately. Simone is currently focusing on how to swing well on bars instead of muscling it. As soon as swinging comes naturally to her then her d-score should improve on bars and she might be able to have a double double dismount.

    I have nothing much to say about Bailie as for now, we need to see her routines before one can judge how far she is from Simone and Kyla. Even if Bailie gets an Amanar she is miles away from Biles. From the current code of points, their overall execution is just almost the same. I still don't see Bailie getting 9.0+ e-scores apart from vault. That being said, the gap between Simone and Bailie's floor routines will make a lot of difference for Bailie to catch up from.

    I am disappointed with Skinner and her coach. Clearly, nothing has improved! She added new skills but they were performed horribly. They should just let Mykyla perform a full twisting double layout + leap, it is easier and she won't need to pike herself like she does in the 2nd twist of her Moors. Her body position is still relatively straight after the first twist but after that everything gets messy. Her coach suggested that she can add another full twist to her Cheng, but she can't even perform the Cheng properly and crashed it during podium training at the American Cup, hence she downgraded to a DTY which is a better idea. I also saw how bad she crashed on her Moors during the podium training luckily she didn't get injured. I don't really see the need of performing extremely difficult skills that are not performed well that may led to devastating injuries. She also nearly buckled after her fourth tumbling pass in the finals.

    Unless Mykyla's coach trains her with routines that she can perform well with minimal deductions I can't see her being part of the 2016 team however she might still make it to the 2015 team.

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    1. Not to give skinner an excuse as I thought her form on her pet events (vault and fx) did deteriorate, but I am just wondering how much more pressure it is by having to do ub and bb on top of her pet events. I suppose we can say she did aa at worlds qual and seemed to have better forms. That was really one of the best ub routine for her even if there is a few form issues. She did have a major balance check on bb so that wasn't one of her best routines. I do wonder if having to work on all 4 events is taking out on her endurance and training for her 2 pet events. I do see the need to work on all 4 events to keep relevance in a highly competitive US programs where marta stresses the importance of AA (as well as the proposed 2020 decreased number of team members, not that skinner will be around for it) but having to only train on 2 events vs 4 does require significantly more endurance and conditioning... esp for someone like skinner who's used to emphasize training mostly for 2 events.

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  49. Let's talk the talk we'll see by the end of this year. All the naysayers will be smoking. Bailie will make up the dif. And international scoring Simone won't be above 60 to 61. And I'll say it again nobody thought Jordan could be beaten. Bailie has a very good floor witch can be upgraded. She tore through juniors. How many juniors scored in the 59 mark. Kim is pacing her perfectly. By the end of the year she'll have her armarar down. With clean and perfected upgrades. You're going to be serpriced by what baile does this year. Nobody thought gabby or Natia would win. It's about pacing and don't tell me it should all be about difficulty . Baile also has room to perfect her floor witch Kayla really couldn't . So like I said we'll see at the end of this year. So all the haters and naysayers will be at a disappointment when bailie comes through.

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    1. Well, I guess I will be very serpriced if Key beats Biles.

      To answer your question though, Komova scored 61.250 at the YOG 2010. Grishina Scored 59.40 at Jeselo in 2010. I believe Bross scored highly as well. None of them are world or Olympic AA champions...

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  50. I like Bailie and think she will do well. But why in the world are you saying Simone can't score over 61? She scored over 60 last year and will likely add over a point in upgrades. And the worlds judges are international FIG approved, just like the American Cup.

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  51. For anyone that missed the live feed or just don't want to hear tim Daggett and nastia, here's the link to the live 3hr 46 min feed that USA gymnastics may or may not ever put on their channel. this feed contains I think almost all the routines in order. The sound quality is not very good (what you expect from a scam cup? j/k :)..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PZBtEtRKogs

    They messed up right from the bat by introducing Ferrari as Little, lol.... at least they realized and acknowledge her at the end of the introduction. Love that wtf look on her face initially :)....

    Anyway, the debate on whether simone can be beaten will always bring up spirited discussions.. Of course in theory anyone can be beaten. In practice, it's different. When you have such a clear decisive advantage in 2/4 events compared to the rest of the field, with average (bars) to slightly better than average (beam) with great consistency, you are a force to be reckoned with! be it simone right now or anyone else that can fit that in the future....

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  52. Jesolo is less than 3 wks away. If everything goes accordingly as on the nom list sent in by US we will get to see finally all the top AA senior and juniors all in 1 place. Still early in season but this is almost like a preview to classic and nationals. I m sure no one really have any doubt as to which team will win of course but it would be a great meet to get a preview of all the top currently healthy US AA gymnasts all in 1 place.. Can't wait! Even if its still early and many routines might not be completely rehearsed. Simone will of course win AA and multiple events again but the most interesting thing is seeing the others...

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  53. So just checked Nia's ask.fm and I didn't see a comment about Bailie placing 10th, however it said Simone was first, Alyssa second and Aly third. Very interesting. Basically all we can do is wait for Jesolo. Really don't think Simone needs to go, but I love watching her. I'm very excited to see the top all arounders from the US. Until we see those performances we won't know how much Simone will be challenged. I'm hoping there are great showings from all (which says a lot bc I'm not a gabby fan) just so classics and nationals will be more exciting than last year.

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