Sunday, 29 March 2015

The US in non-pink shocker

I'm still sort of absorbing event finals. It's difficult to know what to say about the juniors since their major competition might as well not exist at all. Infuriating to say the least.

First of all, although we had seen the odd few bits of footage of Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas as they sought to come back, nothing really shows where someone's at than a competition. Hence the rabid excitement for their post-London 'debut' at Jesolo, and they 100% delivered. It's so great to see them back in the game.

Aly's floor was her highlight, with passes of 1-5-double arabian-layout (this was tucked in training! Kept in bounds in team final/AA), Dos Santos (this is the stick I was talking about yesterday), double layout and double pike. No fugly triple full thankfully. The first leap in her leap series is absolutely abominable-switch half? with the most reluctant back leg I have ever seen. Really needs to go. She definitely seemed that bit cleaner in competition than she did in training, with noticeably more effort to keep the double layout tidy. 15.2 is a HUGE score and one that's an enormous threat to someone like Mykayla Skinner. Her DTY was strong, but didn't look especially Amanar-able. Best to clean it up than lose several tenths by adding the extra half twist, particularly since the gap between the two vaults is less than last time around in London. Bars were somewhat of a surprise, I was really dreading it...and they were fine. Not amazing, but really one of the strongest routines she has done. And the shaposh-Tkachev combination is really cool. As for beam, she looks right back to business there with lots of connections and the Patterson back in action. Alas, there was an attempt at a split full that was beyond poor. Overall, highly impressive competition from Aly. The groundwork is definitely laid, just some improvements here and there. She's not going to challenge Simone, who is stronger than Aly's main competitors Gabby and Jordyn ever were, but she's right up there with the rest and remains of immense value on a team.

There was definitely less certainty over Gabby's readiness, given the fact that she has been off for longer and has done a bit of gym hopping in the meantime. But she has definitely proven that this is for real and in no way resembles previous shoddy comebacks we have been witness to. Bars are certainly giving her trouble, and this was evident in training too. She struggled through the routine, broke connections and seemed relieved to dismount. However, what she does do in the interior of the routine is very difficult and coupled with her now non-crooked piked Tkachev (Hallelujah!) is responsible for maintaining a high SV. I have confidence she will get back to her old self here in time. Beam was another story, she looked fantastic there. The ease in the standing full is just lovely to watch. I prefer her line now, she's still lean but more filled out. Although her tumbling is there on floor and looked good, the routine seemed slightly scrappy and as if it needs a good bit of work to come together. VERY nice DTY though, but I didn't get the best angle to see her block. Another highly impressive comeback and it was thrilling to see her and Aly neck-and-neck with just 0.2 separating them in the final AA standings.

Simone Biles had another typical competition. 15.95 on floor AND vault, 15.15 beam and 15.05 bars. 62.1 total YAWN this is so easy for her. First qualifier to every single EF. She leaves everyone in the dust and she STILL has more to give. Of note, she mentioned in an interview after the TF/AA that her next step is floor and vault upgrades. This is where I think the double layout last pass is going to come in...has anyone else noticed that the way she does her current full-in last pass has altered? She now does it straight up and down like McKayla Maroney infamously did her double tuck, and it makes me think it's preparing for an upgrade. As for vault, she launched her amanar incredibly high off podium-we nearly always see it on-which really sells the TTY upgrade. Likewise her Lopez although it doesn't get the same sort of pop off the table is stupidly easy for her and I expect to see a Mustafina in its place soon, working towards a Cheng for Rio possibly. I'm curious will we see that barani on beam at all, and also what she'll do with her bars..the Mustafina dismount and trying hard to get that Khorkina in or another Shap transition so that she's not counting a B there is my guess.

Every time she competes, we see again how she's not only THE greatest gymnast of our age, but will go down as the greatest ever. Which of course, depends how much favourtism you put into 'greatest'. She is executing the greatest difficultly ever seen in an AA programme, and does it extremely cleanly. That's basically it.

Bailie Key was a pleasant surprise, I expected her routines to look more sluggish than they were, based a bit on what she looked like in training. Her vault was much improved although still not 'her' in terms of dynamics, and her floor was really lovely. Considering it was played out of sync, we'll have to wait to get the full effect of it. Her bars show such a magnificent line, really stunning work. Again, handstands were short but I'm fairly sure they'll be better in time. As for beam, the routine is not playing to her strengths. The arabian was okay but still isn't executed high enough, the layout was another example of her head escaping a concussion at best and was so low she struggled to land it, and the double pike is not suiting her...very low landing. Again, I want to see her with Victoria Nyugen's routine. Bailie took second partly because other major contenders had issues or also aren't fully back yet, but would have been right up there regardless. A strong showing, she can and will be significantly better by summer I'm hoping.

I like being proved wrong and Kyla Ross certainly showed that she means business in elite and still has a lot to offer. I really love her new bars dismount and am delighted to see her bring back connections there. Lovely vault as always and although her floor was almost comically messed up and so rudely interrupted by non-stop rubbish by the commentators, it's clear that she's working very well with her new music and the choreography is her best yet- so sassy! Beam was a little tentative for her and considering it hasn't changed in a long, long time and doesn't contain any significant risk, I have little patience for wobbles from her. I know, I'm mean. As for floor, what a weird fall. Glad to see she herself is laughing about it on twitter now, but at the time it was very scary. I thought she might have hit her head and that thought only grew stronger when she biffed the landing of her second pass and bounced out and then turned a leap into essentially a beat jump-I was afraid she was concussed and should stop until I saw the replay of her first pass showing she in no way hit her head, phew! It's beyond bizarre to see Kyla fall and it was very damaging since she also had OOB deductions and no leap series. Despite this, she still had a very strong showing and I hope her health allows her to continue, and also persuades her to do something with beam.

Maggie Nichols is back with a bang! I was really curious to see her bars and beam and she really didn't hold back with either. Although we've seen strong work in progress on bars, she really seems now like a different person on that apparatus, I know I wasn't the only one who was puzzled and thought at first she was Kyla with a slightly different line and composition! I knew it wasn't...but couldn't think properly. Killer combinations, really nice line-could be a little straighter though, and really zippy work. On beam I love her barani and although I am a sucker for BHS-LOSO-LOSO, she lands hers really low-they're a world away from Victoria Nyugen's for instance. Another awful split full which needs to be binned. Strong vault too, and floor- and she had the wherewithal to invent a leap series after her first one was rudely interrupted by slipping on the floor. It's good to see her back and she's definitely shaping up again to be a solid dependable use-anywhere team member. Such a pity she was injured just before Nanning. I'm really pleased she's come on so much on bars, quite unexpected too given how she looked there a few years back.

Alyssa Baumann has a really nice beam and I like her passes on floor, great execution. Overall, I don't feel she stands out enough on an event or as an all-arounder. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to dedicate myself fully to the stream and missed some bits-and missed several names of other competitors. The US girls competing outside of the team were really hard to follow. 

As for the juniors, as mentioned, I only got to see the odd tiny bit outside of event finals today and I didn't have time for the whole stream today. I opened the link and left it so it wouldn't disappear when the stream ends but Firefox wasn't very co-operative..I was going through it and had got most of the highlights but before I could see some stuff at the end and go back to look at other routines earlier in the stream, the browser crashed. Pfff. I'll be catching up on whatever goes up on youtube, as well as whatever goes up from the previous days that I missed or we all missed.

Norah's beam was stunning. Fantastic routine and her flighty layout is fabulous still. I'd like to have seen more of her since I was pleasantly surprised that she held her own in the AA standings. Laurie's floor was interesting, I'll really need to see it a few more times without annoying chatter and proper music volume to really decide on it. I just loved her last routine so much I'm sad not to see it, and this one has less choreo... I missed her stalder-fest bars sadly. I'm thrilled she's come back so strong and won the AA. Victoria balked her second LOSO on beam (she got it yesterday) which was unusual, but she did get the aerial-Onodi-sheep (which was broken yesterday) for a big score still. She's just so tiny! I'm really looking forward to her in general. Check out yesterday's routine in gif form here. I remain on the fence on Ragan Smith. I'm not convinced, but would be unsurprised for her to accelerate and suddenly be amazing. Her DTY is shocking in a bad way and should be scrapped until she grows. Lovely FTY though. Interesting that the judges made their point with the scoring yesterday by scoring most of them the same since the DTY's were poor by comparison.

Highlights

Arianna Rocca of Italy's pike front half vault. Stunning, stunning, absolutely gorgeous. It was shown right before Simone went on floor and she appeared in the vault final too. So glorious.

Comeback queens! Great to see Aly and Gabby in action and also to see beautiful work from French veteran Anne Kuhm.

Simone dominating and basically giving a masterclass to everyone else all the time is a joy to watch.

Kyla flying off the floor is seriously hilarious WITH the knowledge she did no damage to herself.

Killer difficulty from those out of competition for nearly 3 years

Gorgeous floor choreography from Canada

Plenty of admittedly one-country-only competition in the senior AA with one in front, but several behind so close to one another

Lowlights

Meltdown on bars from Enus Mariani, the only event she did. She's not had an easy time and it's heartbreaking because she is phenomenal

Ellie Black didn't have a good competition with lots of falls and mistakes..possibly she's competing too much but either way, she could do with a rest.

The commentators. Just no. I am incredibly grateful for a free stream and I did know ahead of time they are fond of talking..but previous years I tended to watch routines on youtube and didn't have to rely on stream only since previous years weren't choked by a particular company having exclusive rights. Shut up. Shut up PLEASE even for floor. Given the fact that they were never not talking, I couldn't help but think that they were in an awful situation where any silence would mean they'd be taken out the back and shot. Also, cutting to interviews during the competition was a little weird and would have been better during rotations/warm ups or at the end only. Still, hurray for the stream we were allowed to have!

Favourite leotards

I really liked Ellie Black's EF one, and I quite liked France's white one for TF/AA. Very elegant. My favourite though was Elisa Meneghini's EF leo. Black with lime green/diamond necklace detail and more of the same on the sleeves. It sounds a bit mad but it was just amazing-could have done without the nude triangle. I'm a bit 50/50 on the navy and black Italian leotards, I liked them in theory and the Celtic-esque detail but they were overly shiny and a bit too busy overall. Likewise the US blue/purple leotard...it felt a bit disjointed or something but again, lovely in theory.

FGI stream-via just-gymnastics tumblr




This doesn't do it justice whatsoever, it was so much cooler in action. Maybe when there's a better photo rather than a screenshot.



Who was your favourite comeback queen? Will Simone score a 63 in the future and have it be legit? How surprised were you that the seniors came out in red, white and blue after the juniors had worn pink? Not that we have much evidence other than photos of them-long may their meet live on in photos and scoreboard form. Isn't this such a nice friendly competition with fabulous trophies that could be made that bit better by enticing back more federations, gagging the commentators and not having exclusive rights behind a paywall?

 






105 comments:

  1. Hi Catherine, 1st time posting here, big fan of your blog.

    I've only been able to see a few videos so far of Jesolo. Here are some of my thoughts:

    Kyla: love the new Maloney + Van Leeuewen combo + her new double front dismount! - hope she can get her inbar stalders back (hopefully her back will heal soon); love her new floor routine too!! Too bad about the fall though, glad she's okay.

    As for Kyla's beam, I don't understand why can't upgrade - I feel like out of all 4 apparatuses, beam would be the easiest for her to increase her difficulty. I read she is (or was) training a BHS-Arabian combo & was training an aerial cartwheel + LOSO combo before Marta nixed that (too inconsistent). So, considering the skills/combos she has been training (past or present), if I had my way, I would have Kyla do: an Arabian (F), aerial cartwheel (D) + BHS (B) + LOSO (C), front aerial (D) + sheep jump (D), front tuck (D) + wolf jump (A), switch leap (C) + leap 1/2 turn (D) + back tuck (C), switch ring leap (E), full L-turn (C) + full turn (A), double pike dismount (E). I'm still new to figuring out d-scores, so if I'm correct, her potential d-score on beam would be 6.8 - a huge jump for her current 6.1 (?) routine.

    I really like Kyla - out of the Fierce Five, she's the one I want on the Rio team. But I think the only way she can get a spot is if she massively increases her bars & beam routines. I think floor & vault are going to be too difficult for her to upgrade.

    Aly: I admire her work ethic & sportsmanship, but I've never been a fan of her gymnastics. Having said so, I was really impressed she able to do the 1.5 twist + double Arabian + punch front layout in her floor routine - and a double layout for her 3rd pass! Unfortunately, her experience on DWTS has not improved her musicality or presentation - she seems to have regressed back to her former gymnastics style. Kind of wish Mark Ballas had choreographed her new floor routine - maybe next year for Rio? As for her beam - I wish she would take out that weird low beam move she does, where she randomly drops down, touches the beam & then gets back up again. It looks so out of place & ruins the flow of the routine.

    Gabby: ideally, I would want her to do an inbar stalder 1/2 turn + Healy + Endo 1/2 turn in L-grip + Tkatchev (almost similar to what she did in 2012). But do you think she took out her Healy because her new coaches don't know how to train those types of pirouettes? It seems that WOGA & Chow's are the only gyms in the US (so far) that have been able to teach their gymnasts those skills.

    Bailie: do you think her layout on beam was downgraded to a back pike? When I calculated her beam routine, I got 6.2 - counting the back pike (not layout) + her connections from the front aerial, front tuck & dismount. If so, I hope she takes that out & does something else.

    Sorry for the long post.

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  2. It's so sad that even the FGI can't archive the vidz. the live feed links are gone when the events are over. I also did hear of rumors from other blogs that they by some weird laws or rules can't stop talking or even supposed to let people hear floor music. So sad :(... As well as the lack of junior vidz.. I wish they archive the vidz so can go back and also view other nations' routines also....

    I am glad they didn't pull out the pink leo again... But of course they will save it once again for worlds no doubt....

    The gymnasts performance more than makes for all the technical downs though. It is so great to see that aly and gabby is not trying to pull a nastia... and that they are much closer again to their peak than not.. So nice to see aly hit her original fx first pass at least once again. Great to see gabby had a nice beam routine in an event that used to rack her nerves.

    seeing key getting silver AA was nice even if her beam were far from where they should be but she made that back up with the FX and UB performance... Glad simone's shoulders got some rest with bailie completely took advantage of the chance she had in ub ef.

    As far as enticing more federations, it's a little hard when they know going in that they probably won't win anything other than mostly bronze in EF and only silver and bronze on team. I guess can try to have 2 person rule also in AA so other nation could at least get a bronze but it would be so unfair to the US girls who rightly deserved the third spot. Being able to go back to replay to see other countries routines would've been nice...

    Will simone scores 63? Certainly not out of reach as the sky is the limit for her. She already can reach sv 7+ on fx... if we have a TTY 63 + is easily reachable. She is probably the first gymnast at least with the new COP that has scored above 62 more than once not to mention that she already beat the previous AA high set by gabby back in 2012 Olympics. This is made even more incredible by the fact that amanar was devalued by 0.2. I wouldn't be surprised if she is actually the first to have 16+ in two different events also.... We can go all days with new stats being already broken by simone but she's still not done....

    I do blame simone though for starting the tuck turn "me too" thing on beam and fx :), now that even key and skinner taking upon it.... simone still does it the best of course. I actually prefer key choreography from 2014 without that tuck turn before the 3rd pass....

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  3. I love the recap and your perspective - thank you!

    I was very impressed with the comebacks of Aly and Gabby. Super impressed with Simone - and she seems to have a good head on her shoulders too. Bailie pleasantly surprised me too as I didn't expect she'd pull up to silver until the last event. Kyla was lovely, lovely and until floor I thought she would secure second. (My heart was pounding when it first happened but now I can laugh about it!) I agree with all of your points.

    I find it interesting that all of the juniors seem to have a long way to go in 18 months to catch the seniors by Rio. This didn't seem to be the case the last quad around though perhaps I'm not remembering correctly. Norah seems the closest with her beam being something the team could use. I want to like Laurie but I can not handle her fake faces on floor. They are way too much. But besides that opinion, I don't practically see any event standing out for her at this point to beat out the seniors. We shall see!

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  4. Good news! FGI was able to archive both the EF and senior team and AA. See here:

    https://www.youtube.com/user/FGIfederginnastica

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    1. hmm, a little premature on my joy. Clicking on the link shows video not avail. crossing fingers that they might still be able to have it tomorrow (otherwise why put out a link for it)?

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  5. Nope they are back in pink for EF :) can only stay out of pink for so long...

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  6. This is so freaking depressing. FGI seems like they are now in bed with gymnastike making people deleting vids. I've noticed several vids are gone since this morning... If this happened again next yr, I don't mind actually pay as part of a counterbid to keep gymnastike from doing this. I am disappointed that FGI actually would go this low to cut off access to their own competition. Way to go to promote your event.!!!

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  7. Catherine, I wasn't very impressed with the British girls last weekend. I'm also catching up on gymnastics at the moment - I really saw them as a threat this quad, but with so many top gymnasts missing and the many mistakes at championships, I'm concerned they wont live up to their promise.

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    1. At least Claudia didn't fall on her fx routine beating simone to a DLO dismount :).

      Shout out to Erika Fasana who actually somehow manage to crash the US party at jesolo and even calling out aly on day 2 :).... I see great things for her.... Ferrari's successor?

      Undertaker did beat Bray Wyatt. Better question is can undertaker beat simone?

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    2. Thanks for your reply but I'm confused -

      How did Erika Fasana call out Aly (you mean she won silver ahead of her?)

      I looked up the Undertaker and Bray Wyatt via google. This reference is still beyond me - but if it is WWE vs gymnastics and they compete on floor exercise, Simone would win.

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    3. yeah, that's what I mean. She was the only one anywhere close to being somewhat competitive with us girls. esp getting silver even though if both hit she wouldn't have beaten aly but that 14.9 was huge for Italy as well as her overall score showing that she is now Italy's top dog instead of Ferrari.

      Undertake and bray wyatt thing was sorta a joke for Catherine since she's also a fan of wwe apparently :)... She asks if undertaker could beat bray wyatt at the end of her last blog..

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    4. I'm not TOO concerned about the British girls- Championships last year was also a bit of a mess, but they were able to bust out a successful Euros. Classics is always a splat-fest too. There are always those kinks at the beginning of the season. Though yes, some of the errors (especially B. Downie's) are concerning.

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  8. PART 1: Seniors
    Since I absolutely refuse to pay for short videos and such, I have not seen the majority of the Jesolo competition. I've only managed to see bits and pieces of what has been (illegally) posted and things I've heard word-of-mouth.

    I just have to wonder what all the skeptics and naysayers out there have to say now that Gabby and Aly have proven beyond a doubt that they are serious. Not that it was ever in question for me. This was a great competition for them because they should A) They were physically and mentally prepared and B) There was still room for improvement, meaning they have paced themselves correctly. I only expect them to get better and better as the season goes along. Not too surprised to hear that Aly's form and leaps are still her weak spot and her tumbling and security on beam is still her strongest. One of Aly's stated goals is that she wanted to not only come back but show improvement, hopefully she can do that. Artistically, Aly is still not anything too inspiring, but she actually is more conscientious than I expected. Yeah, the choreo isn't anything overwhelming but it's decent and Aly has, imo, become much more expressive. The folky, ethnic music seems to suit her. Her leaps are not Skinner-terrible from what I've seen, but they're pretty bad nonetheless. DTY looks fine and her bars are surprisingly ok - which for Aly means great. Haven't seen her beam but I know her routine contains a buttload of awesome connections.

    Gabby's bars disappointed me a little. So much error on her stand out event. But because of what I know she can do, I'm not too worried. I know she's capable she just hasn't put it all together. The same seems to be true on floor. That being said, it's a million times better than her Americano routine and I have no beef with the choreo, it's so much more graceful and thoughtful. I think given time to grow into it, it could become a very pretty routine. I think it's ironic how beam is shaping up stronger than bars at this point.

    I have nothing new to say about Simone, only what I've been saying all along: Most exciting gymnast in the world. I second the notion that she is ready for the Mustafina dismount, the full in is just too easy for her. Her execution bars overall is just so much better than last year.

    I'm happy for Bailie. I know she's been a little off and still is on beam, but she did prove that she can put it all together in major competition. Given how she struggled on vault I was glad to see her do much better when the time came and her bars, with the exception of not quite vertical handstands and an iffy pirouette, look magnificent, especially her exquisite line and the Ricna-pak combo. Beam is really emerging as her weak point it seems. I don't mind the arabian so much because she can pull it around, but that lay out needs to go and so does that wolf-turn. As for floor, suffice to say that while I'm not the biggest fan of her (splayed hands, immobile shoulderline and lack of personal touch bother me) her tumbling was amazing and precise and she has in fact grown more into the dance. That wolf turn annoys me a little, it interrupts the flow.

    Kyla's floor is hilarious with the knowledge that she didn't hurt herself and the strong likelihood that it will never, ever happen again. I couldn't appreciate the artistry and choreography everyone has been buzzing about partly because of what a disaster it was and partly because the commentators would not shut up so I couldn't hear the damn music. No upgrades on floor and that's frustrating. Her beam was very hesitant but at least her leaps are back to their splendid selves. Difficulty is still not enough. I like her new bar connections and her dismount is awesome, but she's having trouble with her handstands and the leg separation is annoying. DTY is beautiful, no need to do anything there.

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    1. I m gonna blame simone for starting the wolf tuck turn thing... now seeing that bailie tryin to do it on bb and fx as well as skinner on fx... simone does it really well but doesn't mean good for everyone. .maybe key will get better at it but that turn is interrupting her routines flow right now.. The choreography before 3rd fx pass was better w.o that wolf turn

      As for bars ef both kyla and bailie missed handstands also had some leg separation... they do hv potential to get low 15 but those routines wont be 15 at worlds... also they dont hv high enough d score. . they still need someone of locklear caliber to hv a chance at a bronze...

      Aly seems to be a lil further along in her comeback than gabby... if we take into acc the amanar at camp then shes pretty much got 90% of her skills back but needs to improve on her form for that last 10%.

      I hope gabby will take this as motivation to wrk even harder... she much closer to full strength on beam than bars... kinda weird... also the fx d score will need to go up as well as getting her amanar back if she wants any hope of having a chance to defend her olympics aa title...

      Kyla was doing so good til fx... that fall was crazy. .. much more dramatic than nichols weird fall... good thing they both ok.... at this point I m pretty much accept that kyla wont ever break into a 6.0 d score fx and just enjoy the nice execution knowing that she will at best only get mid 14 on fx and never 15...

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  9. Can someone tell me what Kyla's fall was? i have not been able to watch the video yet

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    1. Kyla fell on her first pass, which was a double Arabian into a stag jump. The floor was very bouncing in the corners and she propelled off the floor when she did the stag jump.

      Hope this helps.

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    2. If you want to see what it looked like go to her twitter page. She's making fun of herself on it. She also slid OOB on her 2nd pass. Poor kyla...

      Maggie Nichols 's fall was also really weird as she was just dancing along and her left foot just everted sorta like she just rolled her left ankle and then landed on the rolled ankle while dancing. She wasn't even doing a leap. I think her left ankle is not that badly hurted as she finished the routine, but in a way it could've been worse than kyla...

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    3. Well one thing we learned from the competition is that the USA is completely stacked when it comes to depth. and quite frankly knowing how Marta love all around gymnast, I think that many of the girls who are event specialist should be very worried that their time has come to end unless they can really do all 4 events. I am going to skip Simone because she obviously is the only lock on the the potential world team and focus on who i feel have the best shot at world.
      Keys: loved her bars and the construction of it i would place her right now in the top 3 in bars on the USA team. her floor routine was also good even is some of her tumbling was kind of iffy. but a very solid routine. now vault and beam need major work. she has so much form issues on both ( i Know is because of her growth) but this is something that needs to fix. especially her beam in which that layout and standing arabian need to go.
      Bauman: is gorgeous on beam and floor with beautiful lines. the bars needs major work but she is in the fight for a spot in the team.
      Nichols: She is a lovely girl who obviously works hard. but I don't see her in terms of outshining the other girls. she does everything well but too many form issues and she makes everything looks like a struggle. but she is has the potential too make it.
      Ross: there is no doubt that she is the execution queen and has beautiful lines, and this will always play well for her. but i still would be worried if I was a coach. her Vault and Bars are still top 3 for now in the USA. but by summer we will really see how she stacks up. and recently Kyla has been making many mental mistakes in competition. she will still need to upgrade to solidify her spot. but other than Biles she has the spot in the world team because Martha loves her.
      Raisman: I am extremely proud of her for making a amazing solid return. her floor was stunning and beautiful. she needs to work on consistency and form on her beam. i don't think that leaping out of everything for someone with bad leaps is a smart choice, it only adds more deduction in her execution score. on vault she still has form issues that need to fix. but the Amanar in training camp look better than the DTY and that amanar was not pretty soooo. but I know that by summer Aly is going to be rocking. she place third in All around ans was not even at 100% crazy.
      Douglas: I am also extremely proud of Gabby for her amazing comeback, also hitting 4 for 4 like Aly and placing 4th in All-round not being at 100% yet. Vault look great ( way better block) and a Amanar seem possible. Bars was a bit of let down because of knowing how good she can be. this were to me her coaches need to but major work on. because she still had a 6.1 difficulty. but they need to add more releases which is what makes her shine. the low bar part of the routine is great and unique. but the High bar should focus on high release skills. Her beam looks quite easy for her but they need to change some of the leap connections. Floor had a low value because her turns were d-valued and her landing were not good. the routine is way better than 2012 but needs some more sass or spice in it. those turns need to work on but her leaps are amazing ( the Strugg and Ferrari are the best in world at the moment) maybe they need to add another D leap in case if her spins don't improve and her tumbling will be upgraded i am sure. but by summer just like Aly expect to her to be great.
      Other than these girls. Skinner, Desch, Gowey, Locklear, and kocian can suprise.

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    4. Jesolo is an AA competition so you see all the girls that marta brought did AA. She does love any gymnast that can do AA and all gymnasts strive to do AA or as close to AA as possible. But at the end of the day there are two events and especially one that unless one of the AA really improves on, you have to have specialist in order to win EF medals.: VT and UB.

      Simone is the only 1 of 2 gymnasts doing 2 vt on US team right now. There is no doubt by rio or if not by worlds they will have at least 3 amanars. I don't see the US not taking advantage of their vt strength for team final. You could have 5+ amanars but at the end of the days there are still only 2 US gymnasts doing 2 vaults. When simone upgrades her 2nd vault the only way hong will beat her is if hong busts out a TTY. So US pretty much as at least vt silver locked down. It's fine if they only want 1 vt medal, but if they ever want to win 2 vt medals, skinner has to be included on the team. rio has only 5 team members so you may not have the luxury of trying to get 2vt medals at expense of something else but you can still have 6 for glascow so as long as skinner can maintain or improve on her cheng/amanars, not saying she's a complete lock but she has a great chance of making it again this yr. Skinner is also useful on fx at least for qual and if she ever improves she does have the capability of getting a 15 or near a 15. As well as she can do AA if needed. Next yr is different but that's next yr.

      The other event needing specialists is UB. I just don't see key, ross, gabby, simone being an UB medalist anytime with whatever they have currently as their d-score potential is too low. If one of them can improve to 6.6+ then that may change things but til then, can't count out kocian/locklear as they are the one with d-score closest to 6.6+. Locklear looks a little better on ub than kocian so she got a little more advantage than kocian even kocian a little better on beam because us is pretty decent on beam so kocian being better on beam doesn't count as much. So to have any chance at winning the ub bronze medal, an ub specialist is a must. I only see 1 ub specialist spot this year and not 2 like last year.

      Last thing, I don't have a doubt that us will qualify 2 to beam final and winning at least 1 medal if no one falls. But it would help if key or someone on the team can get their beam d score to be above 6.5+. The us does have good consistency and execution on beam and that helps but there are several other that have beam d-scores above 6.5 and if by chance they hit, us execution may not be enough to carry them to the top of the beam podium (see larisa beam score during team final as well as kharenkova's)

      At this point due to the US virtual lock on team gold and AA gold, I no doubt believe that marta does also want to maximize event medals. Sure, you could have 6 great AA but if none are stand out particularly in an event, you could easily win team and AA but you won't get as much ef medals. The us team right now does have great AAs that also happen to be great at vt and fx and better than ave beam but not ub.

      I think 2015 worlds team will have 4 AA spots and 2 specialists as this will maximize the number of medals. specialists will most likely be skinner and either kocian or locklear (or whoever with ub d score 6.5+ with great consistency). Alternate will again be the next best AA that couldn't make the 4 regular AA spots.

      Simone is locked for 1 AA spot. The remaining 3 AA spots will be quite a fight. And if we all think that key and ross got the other 2 AA spots then the last AA spot will be a real bruiser with the remaining players... It's so sad to know that US will have to leave home many girls that other nations would just love to have as their leading girls....

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    5. I agree with you that Skinner is good for a medal on vault, but in my opinion her skills are not improving and her cheng at this moment is bad and left martha feeling very uneasy after SCAM. I also heard that she was a mess at the last 2 camps. her bars are not going to beat any girls at camp, not even Aly. and her beam also in no were near the other girls at all and you truly believe she is going to beat Aly on floor when she is already scoring 15.200 and is not even at 100%. so quite frankly I don't see it. but as I said nothing is set in stone. In terms of locklear I also see a problem for her because one she is prone to a lot of injuries the past 2 years this one being her shoulder ( has not done bars for a month now). her beam also is not good with big form issues and consitency. she does not vault and has not done floor in 2 years. I also believe that Kyla, Bailie, and Douglas will upgrade and will be between 6.5 or higher. Also a bars medal is not secured with the chinese having three 7.0 routines that does not include Jinnan, The british having 3 super routines, plus the Russians. so the competition will be harder than last world were she place 4th. Martha is not going to take Atheles that cannot contribute more than 2 events when she has All Around gymnast who can place in finals and compete all 4 apparatus I don't see it. she lamost did not take Maroney to the olympics because of this, she had to be force by Steve Penny and that was a solid gold medal on Vault (we saw how that worked out).

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    6. yeah my assumption was that locklear and skinner is at the top of their game in their pet events. If skinner can no longer perform a reliable or great cheng, she would be left out of team. I never said her floor is good enough against key and aly only saying that it could be useful in qual. And if for some reason key messes up on fx and skinner hits she can actually beat key slightly but that's depend on if. I am not really counting on skinner for fx ef at this time.

      Same for locklear. if she can't produce a consistent bars with 6.7+ then she may not make it to worlds. Chinese almost guaranteed to secure gold and silver here but bronze is up for grab even if china has 5 excellent bars (due to 2 country rule which actually benefit US and everyone else in this case). we ll have to see if locklear can match what the the Russian and british can do although I don't know if I would count on 3 great bars routines from GB at this point, more like 1 right now. As for Russia, daria seems like their one best bar right now and if musty can ever get back to her 2012 that would be 2 great Russian bars. So just have to see how locklear looks as we get closer to worlds. It's not a guarantee by any mean for a bronze but it may be good enough just have to see if it's good enough. If gabby or kyla or key can raise their ub to 6.7+ or if locklear can't consistently hit a 6.7+ routine then locklear may have to stay home. However, I may still make an exception to have a bars specialist to ensure that US has at least three 15+ score on ub to minimize the Chinese and Russian advantage.

      As far as maroney, she did get a vault medal in 2012 even with a fall even though it's not the color of gold. US is full of amanar but short on people that will do two vaults. so if they didn't take maroney that's one less medal they would've won in 2012 since no one else did 2 vaults. I mean really who would you replace maroney with that would have as good of a chance to medal (even if it's not gold)? And there was no one else beside her that had as good of a chance of getting any event medal. That's too bad that marta almost didn't take maroney but it's a good thing steve forced her bc that was the right decision to maximize the total number of medals being won.

      We all know marta love AA but there's no point having more than 4 AA on a world teams esp if you do have specialists that can score higher in some events or have additional ability( 2vt). If you don't have any specialist that can bring bigger score than your AA then no point bringing them but if you have specialists that can significantly contribute, you need to have some slots for them as they increase chance of winning more medals as well as also contribute to higher team final score.

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    7. I disagree with you Anon 20:36, with the current depth of the AA gymnasts in the US Martha can afford to take up to even 2 or 3 event specialists. Martha will choose the best combination that can bring home as many medal as possible with her priority on the team and the individual AA. The best 2 AAs will definitely be chosen and the rest will be judged on how they can contribute to the team first and how well they can potentially challenge for medals in EF. Since the current top 3 all arounders(BILES, ROSS, KEY) are strong enough to bring home the team gold, thus Martha can actually afford to send in 3 specialists to primarily replace Ross on floor and Biles on bars. Since there is no Bars-Floor specialist. Aly is most certainly going to take the 4th spot since she is now the second best floor worker in the US can challenge for an individual medal on it at Glasgow. This leaves us with 2 spots. The 2 spots will in contention amongst the best bar workers and potential individual medallists. As much as I dislike Skinner as a gymnast, she can still be chosen just for her VT as she is definitely going to medal. Unless Maroney miraculously comes back or Skinner gets injured then Skinner will be on the team. As for an UB specialist which is what the US lacks, I am really hoping that Locklear and Kocian will be back as they still have months left before the worlds to recover. The Biles-Ross-Key foundation is just unshakable and certainly opens doors for events specialist like Skinner and Locklear.




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    8. The worlds team could be composed of literally anyone. Although I do appreciate the speculation. Hano is also training bigger vaults and could sneak onto the team, but a vault specialist may not even be needed. The DTYs are looking better and better and I'm sure some of the top all around gymnasts will bust out amanars this season.

      Skinner is working hard, so I wouldn't even count her out yet.

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    9. Gym bot, the only reason to hv a vault specialist on US team is for the vault specialist to win an ef medal. hano or anyone can upgrade to amanars but til some1 else also do two vaults better than skinner, she still has some chance IF she can perform. I guess it is surprising that as strong as US is in vault, that is the one event they hvnt got a gold Olympic medal in. Although I hope that will change for them. The burden of bringing the vt Olympics gold rests almost with simone as she is the only sure lock for rio at this point. US doesn't even need 3 amanars to win team although I don't think they will ever give up on this advantage by not having 3+ amanars/cheng. I am currently just talking about 2015 worlds, come 2016 rio unless skinner can really improve on fx and vault and everything else, her chance in 2016 is unfortunately definitely significantly less.

      The other player is gabby. We ll have to see how she progresses but she can definitely challenge for an AA spot also. Assuming if gabby can get back close to or at her 2012 form, it will be a quite a fight for the remaining AA spots.

      Between aly and gabby, aly is more a lock for me on the world team not bc she slightly outscore gabby at jesolo and place 3rd but more bc of her fx and then chance to bring silver fx medal in addition to simone's gold.
      But gabby does have a good chance at taking one of the AA slots on US team depending on how much she can get back to her 2012 so I really want to see more of gabby to decide.

      I am gonna go on a limp and bet that 2016 rio will have at least 2 of the fierce five...

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    10. Gym Bot. Vault specialists will be needed depending on how strong the others are on Beam and Bars. In the event that someone eventually comes up with a consistent routine on either Bars and Beam that can challenge for an individual medal at worlds then the chances of a VT specialist will go down. However if things remain as they are, d-score wise, even with an improved execution then chances are, Skinner might be in the team. I also doubt that Amanars will be popping back in anytime soon. Also the US don't need 3 Amanars, Simone's will suffice as the execution of the US vaults are better than everyone. Hopefully someone ready will suprise us.

      I would speculate that the main focus of the current athletes is to polish their routines and start building up on stamina for some of them. Some of them will definitely add some upgrades here and there but probably just by a tenth or two.

      Hano to me is an enigma, if its true that she is training two vaults then she will be in the mix but if not then no. I am sure everyone is working as hard as Skinner and she has a good shot just for vaulting and as for her FX, meh, I don't know whether she can clean her leaps and her passes any further they are just as bad as before.

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    11. hmm, interesting... hano is training 2 vaults? wonder which two... If that's true, might be the first time that US actually has 3 vt specialists in 1 yr.

      As bad as skinner fx is, its still the 4th best routine in US fx line up right now and very usable in qual. But that doesn't count for much advantage for skinner bc they could've put ross on fx for qual and get low 14 but this 4th routine wont be needed in team final ... So skinner's only ticket to 2015 worlds is her cheng....

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    12. She was working on tsukahara style vaults and the amanar, but no guarantees on either. I am just pointing out that anyone could surprise us by the summer.

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    13. I agree with gym bot - it's anybody's game at this point and saying there are locks is really just speculation (besides Biles but even she could get hurt).

      I disagree w/ anon11:29 that the athletes will focus on just polishing routines - you better believe we'll see upgrades!

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    14. I imagine would be a tsuk with 2 twists(6.0)? doesn't make sense to do tsuk with 1.5 twist(5.5). That would be so refreshing to see a US gymnast doing something other than yurchenko... She would still need to have 1 more stand out event.

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    15. I don't know, it's pretty ealy in the season to judge skinner. We've seen her be super consistente last year. It may be a long shot, but definately not impossible, tha Mykayla could debut her half on 2 1/2 off and maybe get her amanar back, that would put her in a position to easily challenge Hong and possibly Simone, although I think Simone is probably a lock for olympic gold on vault. But I just can't see her in vault finals, given how Aly and Baillie could probably edge her.

      As for the UB specialist, I may sound crazy, but u shouldn't count Simone out. Her bars get a 6.1 and she counts a C skill. She'll probably have the shaposh half by Rio, and judging by how early she twists her dismount, I don't doubt that she could maybe do a triple double off bars. Also, I could see her getting a harder release, church, Nabieva. She could be challenging for Bronze on UB.

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    16. anon 23:47, I assume you mean skinner probably won't make fx (not vt) final over aly and bailie? yeah I agree. the only thing her fx will be good for is in 4 routine count during team qual if she makes 2015 worlds on the basis of trying to win a 2nd vt medal.

      No one is counting simone out as far as the fact that there is a chance that she can qualify to ub finals. But from what marta did in jesolo, I think they are trying to lean away from having to use simone in ub in everything aside from AA final if they can. If US can't develop someone else to bring better ub score than her then she could also do ub during team final, but they are hoping that they can somehow have 3 ub scores that's better than simone in the best scenario. Simone time is better spent upgrading vt, fx and bb than to try to upgrade her ub to ub ef final level.

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    17. I mean, does Simone really need to upgrade FX. I think the reason marta took her out of Ub finals was to tive baillie a final, since she didnt make any and also because she can become really valuable on bares in the future. Simone will havê a cheng very soon, and as far as team scores go the TTY wouldnt vive the US that much of an advantage, and unless maroney males it to rio, an Amanar and a cheng will secure Simone vault gold. I dont think they dont want to count Simone on bars, they probably wanted to vive bailli experience.

      As for skinner, whats the point on having ver floor just for quals. They could easily put a weak FX in quals and still qualify first to TF, remember they used kyla in London.

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    18. yeah, i think skinner at this point is really only good for trying to get 2nd vt medal. if the us doesn't have more amanar ready then she's also helpful in team final vt in addition to potential for a 2nd vt medal in addition to simone vt medal. They may still be able to take her in 2015 because there's 6 in a team but in 2016 it's much less easier for her to get on... I were her at this point, i would practice my cheng day in and out and maybe find a way to get a more even two handed blocks bc that's her only possible ticket to worlds this yr. I am not saying her getting close to key on fx is completely impossible but it is not going to happen unless she somehow improves on her form.

      I don't completely agree that a TTY wouldn't be useful to team score. Anything and everything does. It's always impressive and intimidating regarding the margin that US can outscore their opponent teams but really that isn't the real reason is to rub in it or anything. The main reason is to build a bulletproof buffer so that even if something goes horribly wrong, you can still come out ahead.

      I do hope that they willl be able to have 3 good bars routines (with hopefully even better score than simone's) from key, ross and hopefully douglas or a bar specialist to give simone shoulder a rest so that she only need to do bars during qual and AA final.

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    19. Definately agree about simones shoulder. Theres no point in using here on bars in Glasgow. But come Rio shell probably be healed. I dont think she should ditch bars, I mean its realística that she can make all finals in rio, maybe even medal on all events.

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    20. Definately agree about simones shoulder. Theres no point in using here on bars in Glasgow. But come Rio shell probably be healed. I dont think she should ditch bars, I mean its realística that she can make all finals in rio, maybe even medal on all events.

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    21. It depends on the team, if Gabby's bars are up to scratch then it could be Bailie, Kyla and Gabby in the lineup, but I've no issue with Simone doing them either. She keeps proving she is inhuman and with her upgrades, it doesn't look like much is holding her back.

      Simone doesn't 'need' to do anything. She could regress quite a bit and still wipe everyone else out in competition. It's not about needing and helping team score when it comes to her realising her potential, it's more about 'can'-consistently and safely. She can push the boundaries of difficulty and already has more than anyone, so why not? I think it would be a shame if she kept her current skill level and never upgraded since she so clearly has more to give- that is taking into account perfect health throughout of course.

      She's implying 2016 is it and then she's off to college, why not challenge d-scores while she's still around at the top of her game?

      I agree Skinner's asset is a vault medal only.

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  10. Details of kyla and maggie's freak falls. I am sure marta won't let that happen again!!

    http://uploadrocket.net/y269qypmmvzt/F1J5A.mp4.html
    http://uploadrocket.net/hm57rwjmjrfx/CTAA15J.mp4.html

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    1. Great. This actually got all the routines!

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    2. wow, where did you find this treasure? :). This is the whole thing over 3 hrs with everything!!! thanks!

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    3. I can also confirm this is legit... not high def but good enuf and is complete. Make sure to get them while they last...

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  11. Catherine, do you think Thorsdottir will be consistent enough to snag a beam medal, or even an all-around medal at Euros. No Mustafina or Iordache, the field should be wide open.

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    1. still got the whole Russian team there which does have kharenkova and when she hits her beam she does bring real decent score of 15+ as well as potential of 57+ AA... They also got Seda.

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    2. Sorry my bad, I thought seda was on the team but now I can't confirm that they have actually finalize the last spot. Anyway they still have kharenkova who can be a huge beam threat when she hits. but maybe after that, I don't know anyone else that's as big of a threat on beam, maybe some of the Romanians?

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    3. The Russians have confirmed the WAG team and even their events. It's Sosnitskaya for AA; Kharenkova for AA; Spiridnova for BB and UB; and Afan for FX and VT.

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    4. Yeah I count Kharenkova and then Thorsdottir as probably the biggest threats on beam. Munteanu and Bulimar will probably be threats on beam as well. After that, I think the field is pretty even. But it's also beam, so anything can happen.

      In the all around, there is more competition, but everything is still pretty close when you consider Iordache, Mustafina, Ferrari and Popa will all be missing.

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    5. Thanks for the info. That makes sense. Sosnitskaya was their 2nd best AA after Kharenkova plus she does have somewhat decent vault and will probably medal in vt if she doesn't fall or make any big mistake. I hope the Russian team this year will be better than last year. We haven't seen much from the Chinese team so far but I think Russia is in great position to take silver at worlds this year..

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    6. is Italy gonna be at Eu? I think Fasana is definitely an AA threat. She is really now Italy #1, even more so than Ferrari. She can definitely get a silver on fx behind afan.

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    7. The gymternet reported that Fasana and Ferlito are definitely going to Europeans. Ferrari will go depending on her health, if not, Italy's top vaulter, Adriana Rocca, will go. Mariani who has been struggling recently has also been replace by Rizzelli for bars.

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    8. Does anybody know what vaults Ksenia has? Has she got her Amanar back?

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    9. Afanasyeva's VTs are DTY(5.8) and Lopez(5.6)

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    10. if afan can pull some good execution on her vt she might get in the mid of top 8 in vt even without rudi or amanar or cheng. Steingruiber has great chance of medaling though. Also can't count out chuso either. the vt field at eu is fairly wide open due to absence of the US and hong.

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    11. I've seen Afansyeva's Lopez and it's just like Paseka's except a little cleaner.

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    12. aside from komova amanars, russian vt specialists hasn't score too much better than musty's best DTY. I am gonna bet on steingruiber and chuso being on the podium. sosnitskya could also be on podium.

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    13. The vault final will be wide open. Your bets are very good. Steingruber will definitely get in there, Sosnitskaya too.

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    14. http://www.wogymnast.com/2015/04/russias-ksenia-afanasyeva-has-her.html

      afan apparently got her amanar back. This should be one interesting vt final at eu if she decides to throw it. depends on how clean if she throws it cant count her out of podium either.

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    15. I'm a little skeptical about this. The news came from Valentina after all, and she tends to over hype Russian gymnasts. I'm happy that Ksenia has her Amanar back, but I want to see how well she can perform it.

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    16. Anon 14:43, I dont think chuso is eligible because uzbekistan is in Asia.

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    17. I see, guess there is geographic restriction for eu. oh well, then it's definitely wide open. even for afan without amanar.

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    18. Silly geographic restrictions have never bothered the Eurovision organisers, pfffft :p

      Valentina certainly needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, on this occasion I'd believe she does have it back. It's not 'mad' news since of course she just regained it rather than learned it.

      I'm impressed with Thorsdottir recently, however she's so inconsistent on beam that I refuse to get my hopes up. I hope she can perform with beauty as always and consistency, snagging any medals would be a huge bonus for me of course. She is one of those I watch for the glory of watching without factoring medals into the equation at all.

      I'm hoping Kharenkova can be a big shot at last.

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    19. Well I guess I am getting my hopes up for Thorsdottir. In general I have really high hopes for the netherlands over the next two years.

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    20. Ferrari, Ferlito, Fasana, RizzeLli for Italy for Eu. I see fasana on podium for fx. She should be also top 8 in AA. Ferrari may also be in top 8. Anyone else see anything else?

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    21. talking about Euro's, I think AA will be wide open for the top players as well as vault. Vault depends on how Guilia and Alla preform, with their difficulty I think they are the top players. For UB I think Daria would be the favorite to win the event although she will face competition from the british girls. For BB Kharenkova, being the reigning Champion and with solid sets on BB at the Russian Championships is also a good contender for gold but will be challenged by the Romanians. On floor, I think Afanseyva is definitely the favorite! a 6.4 in general is huge but for euro's especially considering that Larisa won't be there or Mustafina; a 6.4 is monster and if she can hit it in the finals I have no doubt in my mind Afan is without a question european champion on floor; again. Russia is challenging for gold on all four events I think but of course with rivals very close to them on the events. However, if Russia hits every event, I think it's fair to say, they are guaranteed a medal in every EF.

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    22. It's good to see them getting back in the game. Esp afan after her disappointment in 2012. It would be so good to see her in fx final at worlds this year. Larisa will need to up her game here bc what she did last year won't be even good enough for bronze this year in fx. Together with fasana and fragapane (and I really do hope she won't crash), this year fx final is gonna be so good.

      So anyone knows how will Eu be broadcasted on the net?

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    23. Paseka replacing Sosnitskaya at last min. this will be interesting. I thought Sosnitskaya has better chance, but too bad shes injured at last min..

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    24. Catherine, Thorsdottir is through to all around finals but was ninth on beam. So close! Sanne Wevers qualified to bars and beam.

      I guess I was setting my hopes up high for Thorsdottir, but perhaps she'll have a better showing in finals.

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  12. I am sorry, but I don't see Marta ditching gabby douglas for Locklear. Locklear is basically a one event gymnast who did not even get a medal in worlds last year. She is not a lock for an event medal. Why would Marta leave someone behind that can perform on four events for the off chance that Locklear will win a bronze at worlds. Now that Locklear is injured it is even more unlikely that she will make the world team. Besides which we have Biles, Key and Ross all getting potential 15s and Gabby Douglas has great potential on the event and can improve her score between now and worlds.

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    1. Yeah, I do agree with you on this. Locklear's only chance of getting on 2015 team is to prove that she can consistently hit 6.7+ bars and actually be better than last yr. It's a very tall order esp with her recent surgery.

      I don't think anyone at this point counting gabby out of 2015 team by any mean at all...

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    2. As far is the UB is concerned, USA will not have a bar worker that can challenge for a medal at worlds. Gabby is far from her prime, she needs to improve her stamina as her bars at jesolo was so laboured. She doesnt appear to swing really well either. She has a good potential but I must say that she will concentrate on connecting the skills that she has got at the moment So she can reach its max potential which is not even 6.5+. Locklear is still injured and will definitely struggle to get back to a competitive shape in a couple of months so I doubt her bars will be 6.5+ either. I don't know about Kyla, has she definitely taken out her shoot to lowbar because of back problems? I don't think she will have her in bar skills this year and her full twisting shaposh isn't ready yet. Hence, I don't know how she can increase her d score at the moment. I think most of them are playing it safe until next year. Gabby has a shot at this years world team depending really on how much she can polish her bars and whether she can out rank Kyla as an all arounder.

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    3. I think you are probably right unfortunately that US bars won't be ready for medal contention this yr. I am still hoping though that they can put up at least three 15+ routines to minimize any advantage from china or russia. This is not that impossible and probably doable even if they don't have stellar bronze medal routines.

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    4. I don't think there's a whole lot of point in pushing bars to the detriment of other spots and I fully agree the US don't scream UB EF medal contention. Close, but not quite. If Gabby gets her bars to a high level again, then Locklear's days are numbered since that's the only event she can be used on and even then won't win a medal unless the final ends up like recent world beam finals. I don't buy that beam at all.

      It feels like bars are 'sewn up' as much as they can be by the Russians and Chinese, they just have unbelievable technique. When you see the shoulder extension and perfectly straight bodyline and pencil-like precision of Chinse barwork, it's just in a league of its own, and rightfully so.

      Not of course, that having less stellar bar routines will cause them any major hassle. Bailie, Kyla, Gabby (hopefully) and Simone all have very decent scoring potential. It's not a weakness that can be capitalised on as such, just not a super strength.

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  13. I think Kyla has the advantage of Martha trusting her. I mean, Kyla really hasn't ever screwed up in team competition that I can think of, and Martha seems to count on her so much that she wouldn't let her develop her riskier beam routine because she sees Kyla's role as that of an essential team member. Sucks for Kyla as far as individual medals go, but I think it is enough for her to keep training and hoping to be put on more teams even though she always seems like she's going to be surpassed by others.

    If I were any of the aspiring AAs (Bailie, Kyla, Gabby, Aly, Alyssa, or Maggie), I would go balls to the wall to get my beam D score up and be perceived as a beam specialist, because I would want a second beam star to add to Simone.

    If I were Bailie or Gabby, I would also try hard to get my bars above a 6.5. I think it's too much to ask of Kyla, and less necessary for her.

    If I were Aly, I'd add a second vault ASAP. Unless/until Skinner recovers her vaults, I think that's all Aly would need to knock her off the team. I'm not sure Skinner would get that much priority as a specialist versus a UB or BB specialist, either, because she's quite unlikely to win gold on either vault or floor.

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    1. Asking aly to do 2nd vt is a little too much as her amanar just barely get by sometimes. aly time is better spent on improving her beam to where they need to be (as well as getting back her amanar). Skinner still have a good chance of winning a medal in vt if she can be consistent with her cheng. I don't think anyone really ever think that skinner would've beat simone for on vt or fx to get gold in either but I think she still has a good chance of winning a vt medal (3rd if Hong hits and 2nd if Hong falls)...

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    2. Raisman is training a second vault according to her.

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    3. Really? didn't know that... Where did she say that? hmm. that is very interesting strategy if it's true. I still think her time is better spent on getting better at beam and fx as well as improving her amanar. But if that 's true that goes beyond even what she did in london. if that goes well, skinner is in a lot of trouble...

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    4. http://www.wogymnast.com/2013/11/aly-raisman-talks-second-vault.html

      This article was in 2013, but I know she said she was training it and the gymternet was even talking about her possible 2nd vault. I know that she said in another article about her that she's training a 2nd vault. I think it might be a Rudi, like Sacramone's, but who knows.

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    5. hmm will have to see. I still think her time better served on bettering beam and fx and getting a nice amanar back first.... even improving her bars would be better than trying to add another vault when she doesn't have the amanar completely down yet.

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    6. I agree with you. Her form on beam needs to be improved. Like in 2012 good.

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    7. Yes, I definitely think she should concentrate on beam and floor. Marta values solid team players, and Mykayla unless she vastly improves doesn't particularly look like one at the moment.

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  14. Our team is pretty strong and deep, so I think team spots in the next two years will be going to people who can both contribute to a team situation AND contend for individual medals. I just don't see Skinner and Raisman both being on a 5 person team. For this years' Worlds, sure. In 2015, I think either of them have better chances at FX medals than our UB specialists would at a UB medal.

    But in 2016 I think we're more likely to be looking for a second person for VT EF rather than a second person for BB EF. I think we have plenty of BB talent coming up (between Flatley, Key if she ever gets it back together, possibly Hernandez) and we already have Simone. I don't see Aly being one of our top two beam workers in 2016.

    That's why I think it's in Aly's best interest to try to be a better Skinner, which means adding the second vault.

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    1. This was the original anonymous from above! I meant to reply to the thread.

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    2. Would be interesting to see if a 2 vt strategy will work out for aly. She has prob 70% of amanar bk. So a lopez shouldnt be that hard. Aly beam might not be top 2 but might be good for top 3 deprnds on how much key ross and douglas can improve as well as others like baughman on how they will look...

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    3. I'm not convinced Aly will go for the amanar. It was worth it last time around, this time around the devalued two tenths and how unclean and possibly scary it would be would negate any advantage, and I think Mihai is smart enough to know that.

      Gabby on the other hand will I think bring hers back, it'd still be technically flawed but clean and high. In other amanar news-strange how there's so few being performed at the moment-the Afanar is back according to Valentina!

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    4. I also think they will be maximising her potential in the AA and the rock-solid super steady team performer, rather than 'waste' time learning a second vault at this stage in her career, when she could be cleaning up bars instead. She does not strike me as a natural vaulter either.

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    5. yeah don't think she will likely add a 2nd vt. I won't be completely surprised however if she brings amanar back even if she hates the fact that it was devalued. The reason is that her amanar would still be worth at least 0.4 more than any DTY on us team. also the jan training video showed she's a lot closer to having it than not having it. Also the fact that the US team right now is a little bit short on amanars. I am surprised she didn't throw it at last wk given that she threw the patterson and that crazy first pass on fx. Her weak even is still ub but she could improve it a little. It's kinda crazy but she can actually be a slightly better AA this time around. I am seeing her as someone who will go all out. Which i wish she would've taken that risk during 2012 AA by having that punch front layout. That wouldve got her the bronze and i think that was worth the risk of OOB... So i do think this time she's not holding back anything if she can help it.

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    6. Aly Raisman was always strong on beam and floor to begin with, the amanar was new and somewhat scary for her in 2012. In 2010 or 2011, she was sticking DTYs cold. I think she could increase her scoring potential, but the amanar probably wont show up unless she needs it to make a team. I'm sure she'll train it so she can use it if she needs to.

      I agree with Catherine, Douglas is probably going to get her strange amanar with the early twisting pre/during block.

      In regards to the second vault, when she initially returned she was rumored to be training a front handspring 1/1 (5.8). But it's just a rumor... so wait and see I guess.

      Regarding other vaults, I'm interested if Skinner will be able to pull of her new vault this year or next. It would keep her in the mix.

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    7. Maybe gabby should twist even earlier preflight then her vt can become a cheng w a handy 0.1 upgrade :)..

      Seeing what happened at AC skinner wont be able to gdt that xtra twist in w one arm block... her cheng might be good enough to get her on 2015 team to try for 2 vt medals and also due to current amanar shortage but 2016 would be much different

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    8. To be honest, I do not want to have any expectations of Raisman. I think she exceeded all of ours making the AA final in London, as well as her general progression from 2010 to 2012. I think she is capable of all things that are in her reach. Bars will never happen EF wise, but I agree that she could very well get a second vault, obviously be competitive on floor, and even maybe on beam. Key has not really been showing good routines on beam at the moment, and Raisman does have a little over a year to add difficulty and clean it up. That being said, we do have Simone, Flatley will certainly have a winning routine w/ Chow by Rio, and key could get back to her usual self after getting used to her height.

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    9. I really hope to see key breaking the 60 soon bc she's so close to doing that. That's the cut off for me as a competitive AA. She definitely has the potential for doing that. She had such a good beam routine before so I am surprised that it didn't show in jesolo. Key could get to 60 without the amanar but it would help to have one if she could so that it will solidify her score above 60 and also cover any mistakes on the other 3 events if needed.

      Aly beam definitely could and should get better than jesolo. She was chosen to be the beam anchor in 2012 so I really do want to see her getting it back. She always seems to take a little forward hop with the patterson dismount so I don't know if she can ever work on that. But her beam should be in the low 15 also..Given that her bars won't be above mid 14s, she would need an amanar to get her to above 60 even if her amanar is scary sometimes (but her amanar still better than what we've seen from some of the russians).

      Gabby does certainly have capability to hit 60+ again. But i think most people agree that she does have a lot to work back on bars to get to where she needs to be. Her fx routine can also improve.

      I don't know if we will ever see kyla hits 60 again. I recall she did hit this once from looking at a graph of her AA scores over the years but i can't remember when that was. Her weakest is that her fx just doesn't have the potential to go above 14.5. Maybe she should concentrates more again on ub and bb like london. If gabby and aly hit and get back to where they should be, her AA score would likely not be better than 5th.

      Flatley does have a great beam score but her AA potential for now is still below the top seniors. Improving her beam score to even higher level as well as somehow having another standout event would help for 2016.

      I think the key thing for everyone is to stay healthy. That is probably the greatest threat to everyone....

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    10. For the naysayers, never underestimate aly even when it comes to amanars (even if she doesn't always hit it cleanly):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Az1DqGbXvo

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  15. Ahh I have been without my laptop for ages. Seeing all the emails come in with comments and it's so hard to comment on my phone grrr. Will have it tomorrow :)

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    1. Glad u got ur laptop bk. Hvnt seen any comments from u in a while... also get the two 3hrs clips above if u want a review of details..

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    2. I have it now :) Most of my free time these days goes on helping planning of a family wedding and hen party coming up soon. The laptop when I do have it tends to be devoted to things for that instead. Pfffft :p

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    3. It's a party weekend away for the bride, bridesmaids and other friends/family a few months before a wedding. Similar to bachelorette maybe? With events etc but the main focus is drink :p Up until a few years ago most would have been in the UK or Europe-European fares are so cheap. Plenty still do, but usually it's just another town/city in Ireland. They're a huge deal. The guys version is called the stag. I don't know how they came about their names!

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    4. The names are cute! It sounds like it will be a really fun time. I hope you enjoy yourself.

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  16. hen par·ty
    a social gathering of women.

    bach·e·lor·ette par·ty
    a party given for a woman who is about to get married, typically one attended by women only.

    Catherine, is a hen party only done before a wedding? Because if it is, then it's the equivalent of a Bachelorette Party. If it isn't, then it's a different event.

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  17. Throwback 2011. Since aly was thinking it may be good omen that she and gabby placed exactly 3rd and 4th back then in the pre Olympic yr jesolo. Of course this time around, both of them score just almost around 2 pts higher than back in 2011....

    Did anyone else notice also that back in 2011 all 3 top junior teams did real well and would have beaten the respective senior teams? Must be one of the rare time that a junior us team beats a us senior team. kyla ross, a junior would have won jesolo senior AA that yr. Maybe the senior teams (which did have Maroney, Wieber, Raisman, and Douglas) messed up?

    That is such a contrast to this yr of course...

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  18. omg, another us gymnast retired :(: Alexis Vasquez. I can't find any info on why she did but she would've turn 16 at the end of this yr... Too much pressure to go up against the current seniors? She actually had a camp training video in jan just a few months ago.. :(...

    https://usagym.org/pages/athletes/womenList.html?prog=w

    Look at this list. I hope they have a lot of good talents coming up bc that is one short list of juniors. I just don't see too many of the seniors sticking around much after rio. US is going to have some real work cut out for them..

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    1. That list is just national team members. The junior national team usually has a small amount of members, that is just how USAG seems to do it. There are tons of junior elites.

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    2. Good to see steingruber stepped up to win eu... nice to se kharenkova consistent on beam so far and made up some of the large deficit on vt and fx... surprised 3rd for ellie downie. Great to see spiridinova consistently getting 15.2+ bars

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  19. epic Russian vt surprises at euro!!! hope they will be able to maintain and improve on what they have to put at least some pressure on us and forces simone to attempt a tty bc if no one put on the pressure simone may never decide to try to do a tty

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  20. I guess it's been forever since anyone posts so I figure I drop a line... Katherine, what do you think of Russia beating china this yr at worlds? I think they have an excellent chance of doing so as they seems to be one of the few teams that can put up a good balance of routines in all 4 events as compared to china who may have only wang to potentially put up a higher than usual (for china) score in vt and fx?

    Russia is really trying to close the gap on vt and they have the potential to have 3 vt better than DTY in paseka, alla, and afan. With musty back, they can put up at least two 15+ on ub. They also can put up at least one 15+ on beam with kharenkova and high 14 with musty. on fx, afan can potentially put up a low 15 and musty a high 14.

    The US still have the edge as they have at least 5 or 6 all-arounders that can put up at least 58+. As far as specialists goes, us still seems short on ub even though this is not considered a weak event for them anymore but they might not have anyone that can potentially be in top 4 at worlds ub ef. I also wonder who will be the next person on US team to do something better than a DTY. Would it be Bailie, Aly, or Douglas? Skinner shows she's getting back her amanar on instagram. So it's weird but the US is somewhat lacking in vt better than DTY right now even if they don't exactly need 3 amanars (but would still be very helpful)....

    If all the cards fall in the right places, this year vt final would be the most stacked. Simone will certainly need to upgrade her 2nd vt as hong won't be the only one doing cheng and amanar as paseka and also potentially skinner. I could see simone upgrades her 2nd vt to cheng also. I figure she will save the TTY for 2016... But how awesome that would be to see 4 vaulters all doing cheng and amanar!!

    As far as fx goes, US still has a clear edge as they appears to be the only team capable of putting up three 15+ routines (with one in the low 16. Simone seems to hint that she has a new fx routine on her ask fm, but wouldn't say much more)..

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  21. OMG!! FIG finally did themselves in!!! THEY SUCK....

    We need to have a new blog post dedicated to this...

    At any rate, US dominance in team final won't be lessened at all. Anything, this format actually might increase the gap favoring whichever team with most depth and most AAers....

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  22. So sad about Kyla's fall! Hope she didn't get too hurt! I haven't been doing this for a long enough time to be well versed in the different apparel companies. She loves wearing them, which is awesome, I love to see her running around and flipping in them. Because she is always wearing her only leotard, it is wearing through a lot quicker than I expected. Is there any company that has an outstanding warranty, made for the toughest of 9 year old girls out there? http://www.k-beeleotards.com/about.html

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