The world cup circuit takes a short break this weekend before resuming next Thursday with Baku, Stuttgart, Birmingham, and Doha all in a brief bim-bam-boom run of about nine days. And I’m sure someone from USAG will be arrested for double homicide at the same time, so no one will know where to look. Because that’s just how things go.
But for now…Gymnix.
The annual Canadian international thingamajig that brings Canadian elites together with French-speaking Europeans and Americans who don’t want to travel that far is upon us once again. This year, the competition will be conducted in two divisions: The Challenge, and the Junior International Cup—followed by apparatus finals.
In the challenge division, gymnasts may compete for their clubs, so while USAG isn’t sending an official team because everything’s on fire and there’s no money, it ends up that more US gymnasts will be competing at Gymnix this year than ever before, sent by their clubs—WOGA, Hill’s, Cincinnati, Everest, Buckeye, etc.
A number of the Canadians will also compete (duh), and I’ll be paying particular attention to Isabela Onyshko since she was named to the Commonwealth Games team. We haven’t seen top-level, healthy gymnastics from Onyshko in quite a while, so this competition is fairly critical in terms of gauging her progress.
The challenge competition is split up into three subdivisions, but the majority of the top Canadian seniors and all the US gymnasts (featuring Davis, Alexeeva, McClain, DiCello, Lippeatt) will be competing in the first flight: Friday at 6:45 ET on FLO. Event finals follow at 1:25 ET on Sunday.
In the junior cup, the competitors are grouped as national teams (of four) and will go at 6:30 ET on Saturday, where the big-four Italian juniors will hope to fend off a Russian team made up of the best of the babies (three 2004s and a 2005), as well as the Canadians and Japanese. The Italian juniors (Villa and the D’Amatos) just destroyed the Italian seniors (Mori, Meheghini, Grisetti, Carolfiglio) in the all-around standings at Serie A last weekend, providing more evidence that it’s going to be a complete national team refresh in 2019. Just get through 2018 first.
Giorgia Villa did an internet in training this week by connecting all the skills ever invented on bars.
Scores will be here. Just be sure to select the right seance.
You may know it as the British Championship, but us cool kids just call it British. Women’s and men’s senior all-around competitions will be held this Saturday, followed by event finals on Sunday. You can stream it here.
On the women’s side, the story is who won’t be there: Fragapane with her Achilles and now both Downies, Ellie and Becky each needing more time to get back from their injuries. That opens things up for Tinkler to be the clear all-around favorite, followed by Fenton, Kinsella, and Simm looking to snatch those podium finishes. Kinsella just received the musical-chairs place at the Birmingham World Cup to join Tinkler (remember when it was supposed to be Downie and Fragapane?), so she’ll be looking for a second-place finish here to prove that she’s really a top-2 AAer right now.
Of note, Danusia Francis will be competing as a guest in the first subdivision as part of her quest to continue representing Jamaica at international events. This also marks the final competition for Charlie Fellows, who is retiring from elite following the championship.
Here’s your time schedule if you’re in the US and planning to follow along:
Women’s AA Sub 1, Saturday: 9:35am BT, 4:35am ET, 1:35am PT
Women’s AA Sub 2, Saturday: 2:25pm BT, 9:25am ET, 6:35am PT
Men’s AA & EF, Saturday: 2:25pm BT, 9:25am ET, 6:35am PT
Women’s senior EF, Sunday: 1:40pm BT, 8:40am ET, 5:40am PT
Junior competition for the women has already concluded, a.k.a. the chance for NCAA coaches to watch greedily from afar and see if they can try to convince any diamonds to make the move. No surprise that the AA champion is 2019 senior Amelie Morgan, who has the difficulty edge on everyone and defeated the field by a casual two points, ahead of Annie Young in second and Ondine Achampong in third.
Tiny baby Alia Leat won the espoir division, and you’re already obsessed with her.
C. The bell is Penging
So, some sort of farewell floor celebration goodbye In Memoriam performance on Tuesday? Because of UCLA? I’m there for it. I really want it to be presented as an actual official exhibition routine so the judges have to score a floor with no tumbling or skills and music with words. Why not? You get a 0. But also like a 10.0.
There’s a lot of senior-day-ing to watch out for this weekend, like the Oklahomies, the Florida seniors (watch out for a Kennedy-Baker-crutches moment—maybe she’ll throw them off and do a one-foot Dos Santos), and Elizabeth Price, and you’re not emotionally ready for that. Stanford fans especially, I’m very worried about you. Remember, abduction is a crime.
This week, Jessica, Uncle Tim, and I take a deep dive into all the goods and bads from American Cup—including who broke which bones, why the PA announcer is accidentally a racist, and that Kerry Perry commercial—then turn to all the latest lawsuit and USAG-on-fire news. We need each other in these fraught times.
E. Beam routine of the week
Because we’re on an end-of-the-Peng theme this week, here’s one of her last elite beam routines—Pac Rims in 2012—a routine that features a lot of the skills and choreographical swishes we’ve come to know over the last 6 years in NCAA but also the back full and barani that you might have forgotten about.
Also, remember when Christine was happening? Girl, you Peng.