Saturday, 25 July 2015

Classics - 4 and a half hours til Juniors!


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.


  1. i think the margin between simone and aly will be slim, both have enormous difficulty but i hope simone pulls ahead of aly because she has more unique skills and better dance skills. hopefully we'll see those dance upgrades.

  2. I have to kinda wonder about Aly pulling all her skills out now. I've never really had a grasp on the mechanics of peaking but Marta's interview helps, is it going to be hard for Aly to maintain this level of skills up until Rio? She seems to be maxing out on floor adding the dos santos punch front, same with beam and bars. And if she does the Amanar that'll pretty much be her routines for 2016.

    Is it better to have it all now, or slowly build as the year progresses?

    1. I believe that Marta meant the way the gymnast performs the skills should be at 80% not necessarily the type of skills they're showing. Does that make sense? I think Aly's right on track for where she should be in training for Rio b/c she'll want to make the world team this year in the lead up where as someone like Gabby doesn't seem to be quite there. (At least based on Podium Training - let's see what we get tonight!) Though of course anyone could get injured.

  3. Ok so Classics are over and I could not wait. At World it will be domination! Maggie Nichols is a butterfly, she has risen to the occasion and is definitely a contender now. Aly looked fabulous even with the fall and its just classics so I'll give it to her and when she gets more consistent she will be great. Gabby looked good but I'm sorry to say I felt she was over scored, especially on floor and I don't dislike her I'm just being honest. With saying this I felt like Bailie Key was good today but could have been better on every event except maybe bars. I actually thought she was scored kind of low on beam even with the little breaks. Ashton Locklear and Madison Kocian were both exceptional on bars.

    Now for the bad, poor poor Kyla. Those falls were not encouraging. She proved herself once again to be a fighter by getting back up twice and hitting her beam set. Luckily for her her reputation will cushion this little set back. Mykayla Skinner is not looking likely to earn herself a spot to Worlds based on her performance today. She looked lackluster and did not look like she could deliver on any event except vault and with the way the top girls are looking they wont need her. Alyssa Baumann was decent but I was sad about the fall on beam. That is where she shines.

    I have soooo many questions and I hope P&G Championships can answers them. I can see the team going one or two ways and it will all depend on Marta. Do you take 5 all arounders and a specialist or do you take 4 and 2 two specialist. Or better yet wouldn't it be amazing if she shocked the world and brought 6 all arounders to worlds to show how far the divide truly is between USA and the rest of the world!!Just think the top 5 today can all be 60+ gymnasts. That's not even counting Kyla It would be a fight in itself! who would be the second all arounder? Who would be up on what events in team finals? But the biggest question I have at this point is who gets left behind?!!! This is just worlds so the selection next year will be torture.

    If I was forced to choose a world team today I would go with

    V- Aly,Maggie,Simone
    UB- Maggie, Bailie, Ashton
    BB- Gabby,Aly, Simone
    FX- Bailie, Aly, Simone

    Gabby could take Maggie's bar spot but I have to see how consistent she is.
    ( It's hard to leave Kyla off but I don't see her being better than anyone on the list to take them off unless Marta will take a lower bars score from Kyla because her beam is more solid then Ashton's). Thoughts anyone?

    1. Ashton's bars at Classics was 6.1 tho so I doubt she'd bring her and I don't get the Bailie hype. I think the top 6 at nationals should go to worlds, its not like the top 5 at classics need any help

    2. I actually thought Gabby scores were pretty much fair compared to the others who were overscored, she was extremely solid on all 4 events. particularly on beam to me she was more solid than both Aly and Simone who both had a huge wobble and balance checks, yet they all had similar e-scores. and Simone Barani should not be credited because the skill is cheated. you are supposed to do the front tuck then twist, she is twisting way early. other than that it was a very good competition.
      In terms of the team I would not put Maggie anywhere near bars, she will get hammered internationally. too much legs separation deductions. and her routine only adds up to 6.0. Gabby's is a 6.4 without her upgrade of a chow half. Ashton routine is also only a 6.1 and her coach is still spotting her on the routine.Kocian bars is gorgeous and stunning. that will be the choice if you taking a bar specialist.

    3. I agree with everything you said, except I would put Gabby in for UB. Also, The USA wouldn't go 1,2,3,4 etc at worlds in AA. They aren't that dominant. I hope you realize that NONE of these gymnast would have scored above 60 EXCEPT Biles if they gave these exact Preformances at worlds. Larisa and Mustafina would break into these spots and If Komova can continue her comeback momentum so will she. Never the less, I am impressed with the American team. Very good team even though their scores, as always in national competitions are really over scored.

    4. Looking at her d score, I'm not sure Simone was credited with a grigoras, if they gave her the front pike+jump conection then they credited her with a tucked produnova, worth an E value. I think that's most likely what happened since that skill is clearly not a grigoras.

    5. I don't think Bailie is overly hyped I think she is as Catherine once said, " A better version of Kyla". To me she is the gymnast where Kyla meets Aly. She is a mixture of power and perfect form ( excuse the layout). She is the girl that can truly be placed anywhere on any event. She is a complete gymnast which is hard to find. She has a reputation for winning so the hype she gets to me is deserved and usually backed up in competition.

      I do think Gabby was great and I do think she was great in beam, bars, and vault. What I really thought was overscored was the floor routine. It looked weird and incomplete to me. It looked kinda like a walk through routine with casual pauses and tumbling skills. To me it didn't seem put together but maybe its just me. It is new and can improve by worlds. The tumbling was fine just some of the choreo and finer points seemed off. That's what I meant about an overscore on floor. Also I put Maggie on bars as the safe routine because before the competition no one thought Gabby would hit or weren't sure based on training so if she isn't consistent Maggie is a safe bet. There is no doubt Gabby has the potential to be better.

      As for the girls I mentioned in the post I know they might not all always get 60+ at Worlds but each have the potential to get there which few nations can say. I'm just talking about the sheer face that you can be 15+ on an event like say vault for Gabby and Bailie and still not make the rotation or even bars or floor for some girls. What I'm getting at is that they are true all arounders with no real weakness. They have strengths but don't really have bad events and I meant team domination not all around domination. Sorry about that I should have been clearer. You cant really dominate a podium with two per country.

      As for Ashton having a 6.1 I think her and her coach are just getting back into the swing of things. I'm expecting for her to perform her harder routine at P&G Championships but to me she makes sense but I'm not sure she has the edge over Kyla. Maddie was exceptional and if Ashton doesn't show her harder set I do think she is the only competition for a spot outside of the top 5 at Classics and Kyla.

      With the way gymnastics have been looking and based on what I've seen this year I think in qualifications the US could potentially be 1,2,3. Mustafina has looked good but I'm unsure where she might break in and for Larisa she has not really competed since Worlds last year so we do not even know what kind of form she is in to say she could factor to be fair. However if both are healthy and in form plus Vika it would be a much more entertaining World Championships.

      Thanks everyone for the replies I love hearing what everyone thinks.

    6. Biles performed a barani, not a Grigoras (she said so herself). Lauren over at the gymternet explained it to me. So Simone was credited with an E value skill.

  4. Maggie Nichols, like, where did that come from? She looks so confident. Her amanar is a bit problematic but I see potential. Bars are good, it could be better, she would need a little more difficult to be more worth using than Simone. Beam is ok, I never expect her to shine on this event but it's solid and I love the barani. Now floor is really interesting, The double double looks fenomenal and word has it she's gonna replace the tuck full in with a double layout. Great effort for her, but in the form she is right now she could only be used for vault at worlds.

    It's so weird to comment on Simone, she just hit 4 insane routines and I'm just like, yeah cool, cause you always now she's gonna hit. I love the beam upgrades, we sort of saw the tucked produnova(?) coming, but the front pike really surprised me, even more that she leaps out of it, her front tuck was usually really wobbly. I never saw her as a beamer, but she just found a way to work the code to suit her, at this point she has a 6.8 potential d score, she can challenge Larisa, that's also around the score Kaitlyn Ohashi was hitting in 2012-2013 so pretty impressive. Bars were solid. Vault was amazing, but for Simone that's just casual. Now floor, OMG, I'm usually let down everytime someone changes their floor music, but that was incredible, the song just suits her so well even if it sounds a little like something a US junior would use, it's just amazing.

    Now, did Aly really need that amanar? I was kind of mas when she trew that vault, I mean, do you really wana risk injury for a vault at classics? It looks like bars will keep Aly from being a contender for the all around this time around, I don't see much room for improvement in her routine. I love the new floor pass I hope she can pull it off consistently in the future. I was so shocked with the Double L-turn, never saw that coming from her, and it looks really good. Aly's difficulty on floor is getting really close to Simone, and while Simone still edges her on execution, a bad landing for Simone could give Aly a chance at a floor title in Glasgow if she makes it.

    Gabby looks promising, I was never a big fan of hers, but she rocked this meet. Beam and bars were fenomenal, vault looks really good and almost amanar ready. Her floor worries me a bit, I'm not sure she can add the necessary difficulty to contend for an AA medal.
    So Baillie looks worrying to me, everyone though she was gonna be the next it girl, at least the second best to Simone, but that seems not to be the case, and not just looking from classics, her gymnastics seems to be a bit deteriorated. I like the new floor, bars are good, vault is good the beam used to be great but now is just good too. Does anyone know if she'll bring back the arabian? Not much to say about her, I was kid of bored by her actually.
    So, I was REALLY impressed with Brenna's bars. The ezhova and pak look much more smooth now, they looked pretty rough last year, she now looks capacble of hitting them consistently, shame about the fall and I wonder if she still planned on doing the giant full after the maloney, those 2 tenths would really help her. I hope she's ok after that dismount on beam, the routine was ok for her, she'll never have a great beam, but I love the mount and she looks capable of hitting everything. I was so excited to see floor, I hope she doesn't explode out of bounds again if she decides to keep the double layout. And honestly, her only chance to make the world team is to have her amanar, theres no way they are gonna take her just for bars, maybe if her floor is stellar things will change, but I havent seen it yet.


    1. Mykayla had a rough classic, that was expected. I'm pretty sure she'll do better at nationals. Her cheng is starting to worry me a bit, she had issues with it at SCAM and did pretty bad at classics, getting back the amanar would help her a lot too, since she could compete at vault finals at glasgow, which are shaping up to be pretty exciting.

      Nia dennis, didn't see much from her actually, I just really wanna know if she's bringing back the arabian on beam, it's so amazing. I also miss the crazy difficult floor she had in 2013, loved the front layout stepout to double tuck.

      I don't really have coments on the other girls, other than the fact that Kocian might steal Ashton's bars specialist spot.

    2. Bailie is planning to add the Arabian back on beam, her Amanar, and a Downie on bars. She said this in her interview after classics. I can't remember when she said she's adding them though sorry

    3. Thanks for the info, I'm glad she has upgrades in the bank.

  5. I am not sure how much P&G will change things at this point regarding the top 5 which so far has been fairly consistent between jesolo and classics. Sure, anyone can fall at p&g but I think at this point the first five slots for worlds are more or less determined. Injury will probably be the biggest unknown factor that could really shake things up....