A. Worlds draw
The world championships “drawing of lots” (just say draw) has been revealed to us lowly peasants, and it’s…fine.
For the women, China, Canada, France, Romania, Germany, Belgium, Australia, and Ukraine were given the first day of qualification, which means that the US, Russia, Japan, the Netherlands, Italy, and GB got the second day. Australia and Ukraine have been placed in the first subdivision, so there’s some hemming and hawing about what that means for Olympic qualification chances. There is, however, not too much actual evidence to support the idea that competing in the first group is devastating in the open code era.
Last year, Belgium, Argentina, and Poland got put in the first subdivision, and Argentina and Poland were both able to qualify teams in the top 24 despite that being a borderline prospect heading into the competition, while Derwael recorded a bars score that held up in first place and an all-around score that held up in 4th place through to the end of the two days, in addition to her making the beam final with the #2 execution score given out across the whole two days. If you have the routines, you have the routines, and the judges have been willing to be there for you, even in early subdivisions. Sure, it’s going to be a challenge for Australia and Ukraine to make the Olympics and will require not counting falls in qualification, but that would be true regardless of the draw.
The US will compete in the final subdivision of the second day, beginning on floor, Russia competes late on the second day, and China and Canada compete in the final session of the first day.
Refreshingly, the top qualifier will go last in the women’s vault, bars, and floor finals, and second-to-last in the beam final, though why we can’t just have them compete in reverse qualification order is still a mystery to me. When the best people go up first, it turns into the most anticlimactic final.
Contrary to the definitive registrations (BUT I THOUGHT THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE DEFINITIVE), Poland is sending two people to worlds rather than one, so we may not face the Pihan-Kulesza/Janik problem after all.
The men’s draw contains 25 teams and not the typical 24 because Australia is also able to send a team to fulfill continental representation despite finishing 25th at worlds last year. Russia is the lone top men’s team competing on the first day, with Japan, China, the US and Great Britain all drawn into the second day. The US and Japan are paired together in the first subdivision on day 2.
B. NCAA transfer window
The hills are alive with the sound of transfers. First, Samantha Sakti has transferred from William & Mary to UCLA following her freshman season. Sakti peaked out at 9.925 on floor, 9.875 on beam, and 9.800 on vault last season. Obviously, it’s going to be quite a bit more difficult to make a UCLA lineup, but she has a high level full-in on floor that should make her at least a legitimate contender for that lineup. Sakti has a reasonable beam routine and good amplitude on a full on vault, so she could see time or be an exhibition/depth option kind of thing, though I’d say floor is the most likely place we’ll see her. Continue reading Things Are Happening – July 18, 2019