Trials Eve

Are there times when you wish you were a only a casual gymnastics fan? I do right now. Then, I would be going into Trials not knowing who the team might be and wondering what kind of exciting gymnastics I’m going to see. We spoil it for ourselves sometimes.

Examiner Blythe quotes Martha as saying what we already know. “Really, very honestly, I have one ideal team in my head. I still have the same team in my mind as I did two months ago.” So do we, Martha. So do we.

I don’t follow MAG as closely, but it seems like that race is a little more open, at least for the last spot. People who follow it obsessively may already know the team, but I don’t, so I have that exciting, casual feeling going into those Trials.

Women’s podium training yielding nothing much new. Nastia completed a bar routine that looks like it’s going to be 50/50 for hitting in competition. Regardless of the hitting, the difficulty is just 6.5, which is not high enough for a specialist.

Many of the veterans are going through the motions when it comes to interviews about how they fit into the team, but you can tell that they know the game. I don’t see a ton of delusion from those on the outside, which is nice. They can go out and enjoy their final elite competition, and we can enjoy watching them for the last time.

As we turn to evaluating how the group might fare in London, we need to look at a few specific routines. Unfortunately, the necessities of the five-member team leave few questions as to who will compete what in Team Finals (except perhaps floor), but the decision as to who will be the All-Around gymnasts could be made based on performances this weekend, so that will be fun to watch. The team is brimming with Amanars, but how people hit them at Trials will help determine lineups, so watch that. Martha loves Aly Raisman’s sturdiness, which makes me think Aly is still in it for an AA spot, but the tide certainly is moving the other direction. If she scores lowest of the main group on vault and bars (quite possible), how can she be kept in the AA? Expect Douglas and Wieber to go 1-2, but watch the fight for third. Ross beating Raisman could seal that.