I am SO EXCITED.
I didn't get to watch podium training live but I did feast on USAG's videos and I'm watching the senior archived PT. Not much point in watching the juniors...there is just too many and without the benefit of people pointing out everything, it's too much of a jumble and there's too many coaches and gymnasts to get in the way of viewing.
Aly Raisman looks unbelievable. Like a fresh healthy senior, not one in her 5th year. She is super impressive and the ease and floatiness in a skill like her Dos Santos is just incredible. I'm really loving her double layout too, very well done considering it's the third pass, and the fact that it replaced a somewhat ugly triple full is a huge point in its favour too. Vault looked a little iffy but I think she'll pull out a decent DTY in competition. Bars are still improved, still...Aly of course, but the noticeable effort to improve that we saw in her Jesolo bars continues. She is ready, and a super-solid AA contender.
I'm quite glad there is no upload of Simone Biles' floor. I want to see the debut of her new routine in a competition setting. The tumbling alone will make it and I'm happy she mentioned new leaps being added, hopefully that means she can dump the old B dance skill she was counting. The whole package together should be interesting. Her amanar didn't seem to have its usual oomph so seems like a wise decision to save the Cheng for nationals. I bet she will vault as good as ever by tonight though. I am really loving her beam, the barani looks great. I will always prefer the crisp precision of someone like Bai Yawen on beam but there's no denying Simone's mastery and I love her composition. I saw nothing of her bars but she reported them as going well. She is just so...exciting! I can't wait.
I haven't seen much of Kyla Ross and hearing that she was quite rough, I won't exactly seek out footage of her either. Sad to hear she seems to have tweaked an ankle but she's still doing bars and beam so thankfully it can't be that serious and she can prove herself in the AA at Nationals. I can't wait for this Bhardwaj!
Gabby Douglas was painful to watch at times. Good DTY but I wouldn't be confident in the reports of an amanar coming soon. Bars were a struggle and a half, so much so that I don't see it coming together for her tonight either, but hopefully they do. I expected beam to be better than it was, or at least show more ease. She has time, but can't help wondering what she would look like if she had stayed at the gym that made her a superstar.
I had thought Bailie Key was finally moving in the right direction on floor music and choreography wise but there has been a clear regression. Techno-Viking weird battle music, odd music changes AND she starts swimming of all things...this routine has got it all. I'm definitely not on board with it but hopefully with tumbling added it will distract me from the bad things. Sadly, I don't think we will ever see her beam improve. The "layout" looks like it's here to stay and she lacks lift on all of her elements, including the dismount. I'm very curious to see all of her routines together, and how she will score against Aly for instance.
Very sad to hear of Felicia Hano's injury on her second vault. I'm a little puzzled as to why she is even training one...both of her vaults would need to be high difficulty to be worth doing a second one at all. Hopefully she is back to business soon.
I haven't seen enough of anyone else to form any semblance of cohesive thought. It's such a pity Kyla is out of the AA, her scores against whatever Bailie and Aly can put up. The identity of the second all-arounder at worlds is still very much open I think. I'm excited to see Ashton back in action, and Maggie who has very exciting routines and upgrades. Her bars at Jesolo were so fabulous, looking forward to seeing them again and the debut of her amanar...although I heard that was a little rough. I did see a bit of Mykayla and Sabrina on beam but nothing of Brenna...another interesting bunch to watch! Not to mention Nia Dennis who has had an interesting few weeks. And Lauren Navarro, who I still think could surprise.
And that's just seniors. I deliberately am avoiding even news of the juniors, I want to be surprised. I think it will be a battle between Jordan Chiles and Laurie Hernandez but I really want Deanne Soza and Morgan Hurd to be right up there also. It will be an interesting meet now that Nia Dennis and especially Bailie Key have moved up. I'm also rooting for Olivia Dunne, Elena Arenas, Colbi Flory, Christina Desiderio, Maile O'Keeffe...the list goes on.
What are you most excited to see? Will Simone break 62? What will the margin be on floor between her and Aly? How many juniors could you pick out of a line-up? How many gross leotards will there be? Do you feel sorry for those of us watching in GMT? You should. Seniors won't end until 2:30 AM and that's without being drunk dreaming of bad Chinese takeaway food to keep me awake.