I’m back! Much has happened since I abandoned you, some of it even interesting, so let’s get into the highlights.
A. Worlds team drama
Finally, the FIG unveiled the nominative roster for worlds, meaning we kinda/sorta/barring any last minute tricks know who will be in Montreal in a week’s time. In case you missed it, I’ve already broken down the US team. Short version: without knowing the ranch scores, it’s fairly easy to justify this as a reasonable team, though one without “everyone here will win a medal” ability, which is a bit of a change from recent years. Much of the dissatisfaction with this team seems to be born of a feeling of “I just wish the options were better,” which is manifesting as “this was the wrong person to take.”
The drama and gymternet betrayals are not limited solely to the US, however, with the international field bringing its own wagonload of sturm und drang.
So, yeah, Italy.
I don’t know either. The play-by-play is that Italy has basically no seniors right now, especially with Maggio and Busato injured, so they haphazardly started dragging Ferrari, Ferlito, and Fasana out of the “grandparents in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” bed that they all definitely sleep in as they recover from their injuries/careers.
Ferlito and Fasana returned to compete at the Italian Championship (Ferlito on beam and floor, Fasana on bars), both looking somewhere in the vicinity of “good progress, but not ready yet.” Following the championship, there was apparently some drama I don’t care about regarding who was getting selected to compete at the final Serie A between Ferlito and Ferrari. Eh.
Ferrari competed at Serie A and was ultimately named to the worlds team for reasons of Ferrari, duh, and literally who else are you going to take? But this is where things get weird. Elisa Meneghini won the senior all-around at the final Serie A, with a score higher than what any of the other seniors recorded there or at nationals. Yet, she was not selected for the worlds team. Instead, Italy selected Mori and Berardinelli for the AA, Ferrari for beam and floor, and Carofiglio for vault and bars.
You might remember Carofiglio for having a deliciously moody, front double pike floor routine, so it makes sense to take her for vault and bars. Good work.
Admittedly, for the final spot on the team, Italy is kind of stuck in a Romania situation where there’s a place open for vault and bars and no one to take for it, but you know, maybe choose Grisetti? She’s the best one remaining on bars, and you’re probably going to need that routine next year in team qualification. I adore Carofiglio, but Ferrari took her spot, and thems the breaks.
Also, can we discuss why Berardinelli is going for the AA? Please explain it to me. If you take her best scores on each event this year, her AA total is still 52.65. If you do the same thing for Grisetti and Carofiglio, their totals are in the 54s, and for Meneghini and Mori, their totals are in the high 53s. Even Ricciardi is in the high 53s. But it’s Berardinelli!
As expected, Russia went on a 360-degree tour of all the Sophoclean tragedies within the span of a single week as a tempest called ILYANKOVA IS TOO INJURED TO GO TO WORLDS NEVER MIND SHE IS A PERFECT PORCELAIN DOLL WHO HAS NEVER SEEN A HOSPITAL rose and fell.
So…back to normal? Great? See you at podium training.
B. Worlds team, less drama
Australia has not officially confirmed its team yet (Mihai learned from Martha), but the nominative roster is Mizzen, Brown, Godwin, and Folino. That seems logical. If you have Mizzen and Brown in the AA, you definitely want Godwin on floor, leaving a spot for bars and beam. Folino is the top remaining option there/the next best AAer who can replace someone if an injury crops up.
If you’re wondering about Emily Little, she is very much out for the rest of the year after that neck-first landing ended up being much more serious than we originally believed.
Romania has decided to send only Iordache, Ponor, and Crisan, and while I loathe when countries don’t use all the available spots, you kind of get it. Who were they going to take? (The answer is Jurca, but whatever…)
Great Britain’s team is Tinkler, Fragapane, Fenton, and Kinsella, and given the Downie injuries, it wasn’t really going to be anything else. We haven’t seen Frags in the AA this year, so perhaps the only question is whether she’s ready for all four, or if she and Kinsella will flip-flop AA and BB/FX duties. Fenton is going in order to get one last chance to hit that bars routine, which has been a real problem.
Nicolle Castro is not on Mexico’s nominative squad, even though she just competed in Paris and is their best one…?
C. World cups
The World Challenge Cups came out from hiding for a three-week tour of Varna, Szombathely, and Paris (the big three) before worlds. Here’s what you need to know.
The Andrad-anar scored a 15.150 at Varna.
Shallon Olsen did not debut her Amanar at Varna.
Chuso should be among the medal favorites on vault at worlds with her typical vaults, but her attempt to upgrade back to the handspring lay full at Szombathely was rough, making the rudi seem doubtful. At Paris, she stepped back down to easier vaults. You don’t bet against Chuso, but there’s not much time left to get those vaults in order.
Devillard won the Paris vault title with a 14.250 average. In the words of Elfi Schlegel, “*snort* it’s beatable.”
Tinkler returned to the AA at Szombathely, most significantly with a 5.6 D score on floor. That’s quite solid, but the 13.5 she scored for it isn’t going to contend for a bronze repeat. Frags got a 13.900 for her own 5.6 routine in Paris, which is more competitive for event finals.
Nina Derwael went 14.9 on bars in Paris to win that title, her best number of the year and one that should be around the score needed to win the title at worlds.
Sanne has been struggling on beam, you guys. Try not to freak out.
Iordache got full credit for her 6.7 D on beam in Paris qualifications. OK…
D. Junior Japan
US worlds team fatigue was interrupted only by the hope for a glorious future coming out of Japan, where many of the world’s best juniors congregated so that Maile O’Keefe could win the all-around title. As it was, as it will be.
Emma Malabuyo took second. As it was, as it will be.
Most encouragingly for China, Chen Yile snatched third and would have been quite competitive with the two Americans if not for a mistake on bars. A legit four-eventer is what China desperately needs right now. The future is soon.
This week, we released our much-anticipated (I’ve decided) interview with Aimee Boorman and Maggie Haney from nationals. A delicious time was had by all, and you’ll have a delicious time listening to it. It’s worth it just for the story about Aimee declining an invitation to the ranch. All elite coaches should put that part of the interview on a loop.
NB: Club Gym Nerd members receive an extended version of the episode with lots of extra silliness, so you should probably do that.
Also, there’s an incident with a potential rogue boob. Disaster was averted.
F. Beam routine of the week
Under the theme “people who make ugly skills look not heinous,” credit must be given to Olga Roschupkina and her two side somis, particularly the first.
Of course, her sissone is also to die. The tuck jump to front tuck is one of those combinations that feels amazing because Roschupkina but you also sort of want no one else to see it ever because it would be dire on 99% of elite gymnasts.