Sunday 19 August 2018

US Worlds Team

So after a very interesting Day 1 of Nationals and before Day 2, September camp and's definitely time to start picking the worlds team.

Simone Biles

Well, duhh. She was on this team when she announced her comeback. While I expected her to be at her typical level at Classics and Nationals, I didn't expect her to be better than Rio. Unlike others who make comebacks who might just do one or two apparatus at first at lower difficulty it was no surprise at all that she jumped in to the all-around but it's the difficulty that's shocking, to be doing more than in Rio right away. I've said this before but aside from being gobsmacked at seeing her stick a fabulous Cheng and land the best Moors there has or will ever be, it feels like a privilege to witness her in action, the greatest of all time. Especially that I have seen her live in Antwerp and Glasgow and hopefully again at Dortmund next year.

At worlds she will obviously do the AA in quals. If she can produce that same bars routine there as she did on Friday night then she should easily make bars finals. I'm very curious about where that routine would stand up's smart and short so she doesn't stay up long enough to rack up a large amount of deductions while the upgrades will bring up her score. On the other hand, although she is not exactly a natural bars worker, the field is not at its strongest internationally so she could make inroads into the medals especially if there are mistakes. I would still be shocked if she took a medal there though unlike every other event where I'd be shocked if she did not get gold. She looks to be a sure bet for gold AA, floor gold, vault gold, very confident for beam gold, and a possible bet for a bars medal. Beyond impressive.


Morgan Hurd

Morgan looks better than she did in Montreal. I'm glad the Moors is shelved at least for now, as she said herself it is not worth the difficulty advantage if it's outweighed by execution deductions. Her floor is a joy to watch, she has a great connection to the music and sells it so well. On beam she took out the front pike which she will no doubt add back in in time. The reigning world champion is more sure of herself now, she has more confidence and poise in her routines and it shows especially on beam, very crisp in her movements. 3rd at Classics but it was clear once she hit to her ability she would be second and she will retain her position as second all-arounder to Simone. She is good bet as a potential beam medallist, with the added boost of knowing that she scored well under the severe Montreal judges on that event so her routine will serve her well this year too. Her bars are so clean but the difficulty is not quite up there with the top so although I could see her maybe making the final depending on how others do, it would be very hard to medal in it.

TF - (VT maybe), UB, BB, FX

Jade Carey

Unlike the other two, Jade still has a bit to prove to make this team. The reigning silver vault and floor worlds medallist has not looked her true self this year on vault, possibly hindered by injury. Her floor is only a few tenths in difficulty behind Simone's with some seriously impressive tumbling and will score high even taking a hit on the artistry as her choreo is still fairly lacking. A good bet for silver/bronze in the floor and vault finals and can be relied upon to deliver in the team final. After struggling with the amanar, she did the DTY and Lopez on day 1. Unfortunately for her, Jordan Chiles has got the amanar. Both girls need the 2 events to be taken so both have work to do but Jade would be in the lead by a mile if she get a safe and consistent amanar back. I'm delighted she is making progress in the AA too, her bars and beam already look neater than before and it's always good to be a back-up.


Riley McCusker

Riley has made a remarkable comeback from injury after missing last year and is certainly doing well to place 2nd at Classics and 3rd so far in the AA rankings. Morgan is the stronger bet for AA at worlds so Riley would be a focus on beam and bars to complement Jade and try to make finals there as well as being a back-up AA gymnast if needed. Her bars have improved a lot form-wise but after some mistakes on day 1 she will want to hit it perfectly to prove her worth on that event.


Trinity Thomas

The AA is covered, and TF is covered. All that remains is quals line-up to figure out - potentially giving someone else a shot at event finals. Ragan is too injured, Emma, Maile and Gabby are injured and unknown quantities at this point. Jordan's strengths are covered by Simone and Jade and there is enough back-up for the AA already included. There is no true standout gymnast they can bring for bars, and while they could bring Kara Eaker for beam her connections and leaps are sadly likely to be eaten alive by the Doha panel. Enter Trinity. She's got a fabulous beam with connections and leaps that should be able to score higher than Kara. Her floor and bars too are valuable routines to have up their sleeve.

QF - UB, BB,
TF -BB, FX if needed to rest another gymnast, UB if needed

Alternate - Grace McCallum

This team barely even needs an alternate they have so many back-up routines as they are all all-arounders now even Jade. They've got the TF figured out beautifully, AA is sorted, and plenty of shots at EF medals - Simone for all, Jade for floor and vault, Riley for bars and beam attempts, Morgan for beam and possibly floor and Trinity to attempt primarily beam.
With no standout gymnast on bars, it makes sense to bring someone for beam when the power events vault and floor are more than adequately covered already. Kara's beam is very dodgy in terms of international scoring and Riley is quite stiff and slow on some of her connections at the moment so if anyone is to challenge Morgan and Simone for a place in the final while also providing solid AA cover if needed, Trinity is the best bet.

For alternate, Grace is super impressive with her consistency and ability to deliver a clean, solid routine on all events. Ideal.

Of course, there are a lot of variables with this team other than the two all-arounders. If Jade does not get the amanar back and Jordan gets her floor under control, I'd bring her. If Trinity decides not to attend selection camp, I'd bring Kara. There are so many amazing gymnasts - even without all those out with injury - that would be snatched in a second by any other team, but who unfortunately do not fit into this one.

Who's on your team? Or will the vicious subteweeting bring down this team before they even get to team finals? 


  1. I like your team. If Ragan was healthy, I originally had her on the team, but after night 1 it's clear she needs to heal. Poor thing - I'm very confused by the coach plan here with her. Anyways, back to the world's team, I think Emma is still a possibility for the unknown spot but I like Trinity there. Or Jordan to just kill it on vault with Simone, Jade and Jordan in the TF. I also noticed you didn't have a fourth FX in qualifications, if Trinity went, I'd have to do that in qualifications to protect Riley as her floor isn't very strong and her first two passes seem an injury waiting to happen. Or maybe to counter the vicious subtweeting, they should just bring Marz to be the leader and have her do floor in qualifications! I'm excited to see what happens.

  2. After night 2, this is my team or at least 4 of 5 members:

    biles, hurd, mccusker, carey.

    Now all you need is an ub/bb beam person that just have to be better than carey at those two events and can still contribute a decent DTY and fx if really needed

    with those 5, then you might not even need a 6th alternate but then they will probably select an AA anyway for that... why not right?

    This team would have back ups on back ups and would be untouchable at worlds and hopefully keep the no fall record going.

    Carey ub/bb can actually get even better from what she shows so far. I think she definitely have more potential.

    biles, hurd, mccusker will obviously do AA. US always have the maximum number of people do AA... if they could have 4 people doing AA in qual, they even if it means bringing up an FTY, ie see 2014....:)

  3. The composition of the PanAm team also tell me they are using it as an international test for carey with her back up ub/bb as well as possibly bringing back her vt as well as international test for eaker, trinity, and mccallum....