Things Are Happening – March 31, 2017

A. Weekend schedule

Friday, March 31
Scores Watch
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – DIII Championship Team Final LINK FLOG
Saturday, April 1
Scores Watch
4:30am ET/1:30am PT – Jesolo Juniors AA/Team FLOG
10:00am ET/7:00am PT – Jesolo Seniors AA/Team FLOG
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – West Virginia Regional LINK LINK
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Florida Regional LINK SEC+
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Arkansas Regional LINK SEC+
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Illinois Regional LINK LINK – AA
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Nebraska Regional LINK LINK
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Washington Regional LINK LINK
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – DIII Championship Event Finals LINK FLOG
Sunday, April 2
Scores Watch
9:00am ET/6:00am PT – Jesolo Event Finals FLOG

For comprehensive information about all the regional competitions, check out the Regionals HQ.

B. Live blogs

Jesolo is even more firmly barricaded behind the Flo paywall than usual this year, so I’m going to add a live blog of the senior competition on Saturday before the regionals live blog so that hopefully you’re not completely in the weeds.

What more could anyone want than all-day gymnastics? What’s sunlight?

C. Jesolo

And so we arrive at the annual gymnastics flash mob that is the Trofeo Citta di Jesolo. Or, as it is known in the US, “er……Italy meet.” This competition has randomly become one of the more significant events of the gymnastics year, primarily because it allows teams to send several truckloads of gymnasts without any real rules about delegation size. Team of three? Team of twelve? NO PROBLEM. It’s a one-stop-shop for “getting international experience.”

The US has sent its usual squad of…pretty much everyone who’s on the national team instead of in traction. The senior group is Hurd, Locklear, McCusker, Nguyen, Paulson, A Shchennikova, and Thomas, and the junior team is Dunne, Kenlin, Malabuyo, O’Keefe, and Perea.

Thrillingly, other countries have also decided to send real teams this year, so we’ll get a look at Melnikova, Eremina, Spiridonova, Kapitonova, Saraiva, Andrade, Derwael, and Boyer among others. It’s basically worlds, you guys.

Of note, Nina Derwael is doing a Stalder Tkatchev to mixed + Yezhova combination, and it’s the third most important person in your life right now.

Trinity Thomas is performing a switch side + split 1/2 combination on beam, which is pretty cool. (Just make sure not to land your dismount head-first.)

Alyona Shchennikova is working a 6.0 bars routine with an inbar full + inbar Shap + Tkatchev + Pak + Stalder Shap 1/2 combination for 0.6 CV.

D. Doha and British Champs

Last weekend, the Doha World Cup finished with Liu Tingting being all, “Step aside, y’all,” and winning both the beam and floor titles, to join Luo Huan (UB) and Chuso (VT) as the lucky ones who avoid being dumped into the lava for their failures this week. For the second straight week, Emily Little placed second on floor despite showing superior tumbling and difficulty to the eventual champion, presumably losing the execution battle because of leaps.

On beam, Liu took the title with a glorious set yet again that continues being the standard for how to use the current code of points.

The British Championships brought us cameos from a few of the Olympians, with Tinkler competing bars and Fragapane showing two events, floor and emotional trauma. Ellie Downie, however, did compete the all-around and won the title by about a thousand tenths. Really, no one else competing the AA here was going to be able to challenge her, with the new seniors Methuen and Kinsella coming closest, finishing a couple points behind Downie and tying for silver.

Frags did perform a watered-down—by her standards—floor routine (mounting with a double layout? What are you, a level 0?) and used it to take second in the event final.

After gymnasts finish doing their stupid dancing shows, everyone always says, “I wonder how that’s going to translate into her floor routines now????” and it never does even a little bit. But, Frags is really making a point of being like, “I dance now, you guys.”

Ellie Downie won the bars title and Becky finished third (with a fall on her Downie), though it was Georgia Mae Fenton who stole the show with her own Stalder Tkatchev to mixed + Yezhova combination. Do I hear a battle royale to see who can get that skill named after herself between Derwael and Fenton? The Derton? The Nina Mae Fentwael? Rolls right off the tongue. Fenton will have quite the uphill battle to make international teams because she comes from such a deep bars country. *Finds Romanian citizenship paperwork*

E. GymCastic

The best thing happened this week, as Jess and I were joined on the show by the one and only Kathy Johnson Clarke, who previewed regionals with us, interspersed with bunch of delicious stories about her competitive career, her vision for what NCAA judging and the postseason should be (preach!), and her eloquent, knowledgeable, compassionate, and proactive take on the USAG sexual abuse problem.

Seriously, if you haven’t listened, her story about the walk to the podium for the 1978 floor final is more than worth your time. It’s all I’ve ever needed.

F. Beam routine of the week

Since it’s Kathy Johnson week—I’ve decided now—here is her bronze-winning event final beam routine from 1984. I would give her a medal just for 0:50.

Also, a 9.850 for that in Pauley? Would have been a 10 for Peng.

8 thoughts on “Things Are Happening – March 31, 2017”

    1. Love her routine! But had to laugh a little that her biggest bobble happened when she was just turning around.

      So interesting to watch KJC after that tho. NO ONE works with that level of elegance and fluidity anymore. Haven’t seen anyone–even Hong or any of the Dutch or Chinese women–with quite that style. So gorgeous! Hilarious that she got the biggest cheers for the back extension rolls.

  1. WOW, I love EVERYTHING about Liu Tingting’s BB routine! Assuming she’s on the Chinese team sent to Worlds this year, she is going to be a force to be reckoned with!

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