Things Are Happening – September 1, 2017

A. Post Hiatus

First, a little housekeeping. You won’t see any new posts for the next several weeks as I will be gallivanting around England going, “La la la” and not sitting here writing things. I’ll be back in time for a few worlds previews before heading off to Montreal.

This post is a little longer than usual to tide you over.

B. Chinese National Games

Qualification is complete at the Chinese National Games, with predominately the usual suspects doing the usual things. Scoring looks fairly realistic because of domestic Chinese competitions. It’s not crazy tight like it used to be (everyone gets a 7.0 E!), but…normal. Worlds-level scoring. Calmer than pretty much all the other domestic competitions.

In the all-around, the leader is junior Chen Yile, just to establish what the internet is going to be obsessed with for the next year. She’s followed by Liu Tingting, then Wang Yan, Luo Huan, and Shang Chunsong in that order. They’re all quite tightly packed, so this result is not decisive, but it does reinforce the idea that Liu and Wang would be the two AAers for China at worlds. Luo really needs to start beating Wang to make her case since it will be very tough for Luo to get a specialist spot.

On vault, Wang Yan and Liu Jinru qualified 1-2, both performing their Rudi and Tsuk 2/1 combos. (Apparently you guys really don’t like the term Kas 1/1, though it is the more accurate reflection of the technique used. Yes, it’s a MAG term. But…so is Tsuk. I get scolded either way, so I’m not too bothered.)

On bars, Fan Yilin qualified first, well in front of the rest of the group. That’s a critical result in helping to make her case. If Wang Yan is one of the AAers, then China will definitely need to take a medal-contending bars specialist to worlds (because otherwise what’s even the point), and Fan is reestablishing herself as the top nominee.

I heard at nationals that this dismount (which Riley McCusker also performs) has been reevaluated to a D. It used to be an E.

Fan did, however, have a disaster on beam, where Liu Tingting and Wang Yan are sitting 1-2, with Luo Huan just behind them. Again.

On floor, the junior Li Qi qualified first, but the top two seniors were Wang Yan (with a 5.7 D) and Shang Chunsong (with a 5.5 D), both scoring in the mid-13s. Liu TT sits just behind them, but her 5.2 D on floor may be the biggest concern for her international AA competitiveness. She’s giving away at least five tenths there.

In case you’re me and were wondering, Zhu Xiaofang missed on bars, got two-per-provinced out of the beam final, and scored 12.9 on floor, so everything is canceled.

Let’s talk about worlds. Based on today, you could justify a team like

 Liu TT  Liu TT  Liu TT  Liu TT
 Wang  Wang  Wang  Wang
 Nobody  Fan  Fan/Shang  Shang

Or…

Liu TT Liu TT Liu TT Liu TT
Wang Wang Wang Wang
Liu JR Fan Fan Old tire

The AA scores in the 55s from Liu and Wang are not competitive with the scores in the 57s we’ve been seeing lately, and while I’m not sure you can read too much into that because of the large variations in scoring standards, both do have one event where they won’t score among the top AA medal contenders.

There’s a potential argument that China should therefore go the one-AA route, keeping Wang to only vault and floor (maybe beam…?) and opening up opportunities for Shang to do more events at worlds or to shoehorn Luo onto the team. Somehow… We dream… I’m not sold on it, though.

C. Varna

The world cup circuit is also back in business this weekend in Varna, Bulgaria, where the Brazilian team showed up in qualification to go, “We run this.”

On vault, Rebeca Andrade returned to perform both her top-level vaults, including the Amanar, for a very strong 14.725 average. If she upgrades that Lopez at some point this quad—which is very doable for her—she’s going to be a serious vault medal threat. She could be one this year, even with her current vaults, because of the huge number she can get for the Amanar.

Shallon Olsen qualified second on vault, but she did not take Andrade’s lead and did not upgrade to her Amanar. At least for qualification. We’ll see what she does in the final.

On bars, Andrade showed a 6.1 D to qualify ahead of everyone else by a thousand billion points. Thais Fidelis ranks second, followed by Georgia-Mae Fenton and Kelly Simm, who both received E scores in the 6s (presumed falls). It didn’t really matter because scores in the 11s got into the final, but it wasn’t a great day for the Brits. Sans Downies, there’s a bars spot to be won on the British worlds team. No one is really taking it yet.

Andrade’s streak was broken on beam (because she didn’t compete it), with Thais Fidelis qualifying first ahead of Daniele Hypolito. The big surprise there was Farah Hussein of Egypt qualifying in third with a 13.000.

We saw much of the same on floor, with Thais Fidelis qualifying in first easily ahead of Hypolito in second and Shallon Olsen in third, but with just a 12.8.

D. Worlds teams

Speaking of Brazil, here’s something weird. Brazil announced that it will be sending only Thais Fidelis and Rebeca Andrade to worlds this year and not using the other two women’s spots it had previously registered.

This tells us first of all that Flavia Saraiva is too injured to compete at worlds because otherwise she would be here. But also…just two? Daniele Hypolito is literally competing right now in Varna. Yeah, she’s not going to make any finals, but she’s competing international-level routines and is clearly capable of going. Plus, she could really use the international experience. Those 12 worlds she’s been to are fine, but it’s that 13th one that would solidify her mentally. Chuso will be heading to her 15th worlds this year, which means Hypolito is going to start falling too far behind to catch up if she doesn’t go this year.

Or even just throw Carolyne Pedro a bone or something?

France also made its worlds announcement this week, selecting MDJDS, Boyer, Devillard, and Lorette Charpy. The first three were givens, with MDJDS and Boyer as France’s clear top-two AAers right now and Devillard as European champion on vault.

I would have expected the fourth spot to go to one of the bars specialists still competing this year like Lepin or Vanhille (the selected group of four is an oddly pedestrian bars team for a great bars country), or if not them then Bossu for floor and overall competitiveness on the other pieces. Instead Charpy gets the call and Bossu is the alternate. Quelle surprise.

Canada also confirmed that its team for worlds will be the prospective team: Black, Onyshko, Olsen, and Moors. Rogers needed that bars routine at Universiade, but it didn’t look EF ready.

E. National championships

Another set of national championships will take place this weekend including the Romanian women starting tomorrow, the Italian championships scheduled to feature Ferlito and Fasana, and the Swiss championships that are basically the Steingruber comeback championships.

F. Selection camp roster

The US announced the roster that will compete at selection camp (Sept 18-22) without incident, inviting the 8 national team members named at championships (Smith, Chiles, McCusker, Thomas, Frazier, Hurd, Carey, Locklear) and adding the next two in line in the all-around (Gaskins and Shchennikova) for good luck.

…or in case of bad luck?

G. NCAA schedules

Georgia kinda-sorta announced its schedule for the 2018 season this week, and then removed it, and then reposted it, and it was weird. But anyway, here it is.

It’s a deep and difficult schedule. You’ll note there’s no competition for Georgia on the first weekend of the season as Georgia recently elected to pull out of a scheduled visit to UCLA.

Georgia will also compete at an Elevate the Stage meet on podium on March 2nd. Previously, the Elevate the Stage meet was limited to an annual Alabama/Auburn clash in Birmingham, but this season the competition is expanding to four NCAA meets across the country throughout the season.

Elevate the Stage
January 14th – UCLA, Utah, Washington, Stanford – Reno, NV
February 23-25th (TBD) – Michigan, Denver, Utah State, Bowling Green – Toledo, OH
March 2nd – Georgia, Nebraska, Illinois, Stanford – Augusta, GA
March 9th – Alabama, Auburn – Huntsville, AL

H. Pretty sure the mascot at rhythmic worlds stole a baby

I. GymCastic

We venture out of our USA bubble this week to assess Larisa Iordache’s victory at the Universiade, a successful and relatively non-dramatic Russian Cup (where are you Nabz…..?), and the world of magical, hilarious falls.

Back in the US, we take a deep dive into rating the wolf turns of nationals, talk Katelyn Ohashi, and give play-by-play on the spiraling drama that is Geddert’s Twistars.

J. Beam routine of the week

Apparently I’ve never made Kui Yuanyuan my beam routine of the week. What?!?!?! An oversight that must immediately be remedied. She’s only the best beam worker of all time.

I was thinking about this routine most recently because of my criticism of the Iordache layout full on beam. Basically, if your layout full doesn’t look like this, then don’t.

I know it’s all about the layout full, but that double stag is my actual hero.

K. Discussion section

Skills invented by/named after Russians are overvalued in the code of points relative to skills invented by everyone else.

Citations for this argument have included the Nabieva being two tenths more than the Church and the Komova II being the only Shaposh variant that is given E value. Your in-class essay assignment: support, refute, or qualify that statement.

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13 thoughts on “Things Are Happening – September 1, 2017”

  1. I’m cool with the Nabieva being worth 0.2 more than a Church but only if they’re really strict and only credit a Nabieva if it’s fully laid out all through the release – not like those crappy MAG tkatkev ‘layouts’. Also because Church herself actually laid out the skill & just piked it at the end, so if that’s how the Church is then the Nabieva has to be like … ready for the wake laid-out

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Daniele Hypólito is not going to Worlds because she will be on a reality show in september. Flavia is injured and the rest of the girls are note fully prepared for the Worlds.

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  3. Russian skills are not overvalued. First of all, there is no precedent for other Pike vs Layout Tkatchev skills, so this doesn’t necessarily imply that the Nabieva is overvalued. The difference in hight needed to pass over the bar in a LO vs. Pike shape is greater than difference of Pike vs. Straddled. So despite the fact that there is only a 0.1 difference between the Church and the Ray, a 0.2 difference between the Nabieva and Church is justified due to the larger difference in height/difficulty. Commonality of the skill is also indicative of its difficulty. There are countless people that perform Churches, but only 3 gymnasts, since its debut in 2010, have attempted the Nabieva, and only 2 have successfully gotten it credited. Compare this to the other G+ skills like the LO full on beam, the Patterson, Silivas, FTDLO ect. The skill’s scarcity speaks to its difficulty and, even if overvalued, the skill certainly isn’t overused.

    On the Komova II, this is relatively simple. While the Komova II is the only Shaposh skill without any turns to be an E, its root skill is also the most difficult. All other close-bar skills are C value (Clear hip, toe-on, stalder) the in-bar is a D skill. This trend is also consistent with other skills. The In-bar 1/1 and 1/2 are both 0.1 DV higher than the other close-bar analogs. In fact, should this trend be conserved, the Komova I, which is a Russian E skill (the same as other shap halves), is undervalued due to the cap on transitions.

    In all actuality, skills pioneered by the Russians tend be very unique, innovative and often rarely performed. While not necessarily 100% correlated, rarely performed skills are often rare because they are riskier than they are worth. Just going through the code of points, some D+ valued Russian skills rarely done: Zamolodchikova vault (this is relative to other similarly valued vaults performed by top contenders), Khorkina on UB (A true clear-hip Shap 1/2), the Ezhova (particularly relative to the ubiquitous Pak), Komova I, Mustafina, Zamolodchikova beam mount (the mount version of a Teza), Kolesnikova, Kochetkova (compared to the Onodi), Khorkina dismount, and the Semenova (compared to the Memmel or Double L turn).

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  4. Another really exciting routine from the Chinese National Games is 13-year-old junior Yu Linmin did a powerful DTY and Cheng! Execution of Cheng is much better than what Peseka did this year, and unlike most Chinese VTers, her amplitude is great as well. However, because of the ridiculous evaluation of E score, she just qualified 3rd into the VT EF. There’s a sport news clip showing her performances, but I’m not sure if someone uploaded the clip onto the internet.

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  5. Daniele Hypolito is not in the running for the other spots to compete at the worlds. She accepted the invitation to participate in a reality show in october due to financial problems. And I also agree that those other spots should be given to someone (at least another AAer). Flavia Saraiva and Jade Barbosa are still injured.

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  6. please completely abolish the use of tsuk in your blogging when discussing vaults. even when a gymnast actually does a tsuk. just out of spite. you would be justified with how the comments handled this non-issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. In spite of the showings at Chinese Champs, I would take Liu TT and Shang as AA, Wang as a VT/FX specialist and Fan as an UB/BB specialist. Wang could also do beam instead of Fan.
    Wang is always an AA final contender but she doesn’t contend for medals. Shang has shown otherwise.

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  8. I believe there are plenty of incorrectly valued skills in the Code of Points (mostly undervalued, but a few overvalued), but there isn’t any across-the-board overvaluing of Russian-named skills. It would be easy if laid-out skills were always worth 0.1 more than piked skills and piked skills were always worth 0.1 more than tucked skills, but that wouldn’t be a fair formula to apply across every apparatus for every type of skill.

    The issue with many groups of skills is that they are arbitrarily capped:
    D for floor leaps (probably a good thing)
    E for floor turns
    E for beam leaps and turns
    E for bars pirouettes and transitions

    FIG has limited the F and higher skills to the “big, high-flying” skills: acrobatic mounts, dismounts, release moves, and saltos. As a result, many new, tricky skills get stuck at the E-ceiling while other skills have plenty of room in the F, G, H, and I space.

    I believe most skills in the F to I range are correctly valued (the double-double [should be a G] and double front dismount on beam [should be a G] being the 2 main exceptions) but many skills that were given an E are undervalued.

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