A few updates on what you might have missed in the world of elite competitions this week as we all try to brace ourselves for NCAA conference championships tomorrow. And by we, I mean me.
In what was either the miracle of all miracles or an aggressive signaling of the end of days, Angelina Melnikova hit an entire all-around competition—including her layout on beam—to win the Birmingham World Cup title.
No one knows what to do with this information because it might all be just a hallucination Valentina had after taking “mama’s special pills,” but Russia absolutely needs Melnikova to be a real person on all four events this year following the injury to Best Child Elena Eremina. That’s a ridiculous proposition obviously, but the group of healthy Russians is pretty specialist-heavy right now, so someone who can realistically do all the events while definitely contributing TF vault and floor is essential.
A solid, hit competition put Marz Frazier into second. She did not have the D score to match Melnikova, so she was probably going to need Gelya to Gelya in order to win, but some execution issues on bars and beam (as well as an uncharacteristically short landing on her DTY) made Frazier unable to capitalize on Melnikova’s own execution problems and near-falls on bars and beam.
Everyone else had varying levels of disasters on at least one event, except for Alice Kinsella, who hit a full all-around competition for bronze, a result she should be very pleased with. The fact that both Kinsella and Simm appear to be rounding into AA form is essential for England’s CWG hopes because…
B. The England Broke
Amy Tinkler had to withdraw from Birmingham during warmups because of an injury to her ankle ligaments, an injury that will also force her to pull out of the Commonwealth Games. Every week a new one goes down. Remember when we thought the team was going to be Tinkler, Fragapane, Downie, Downie, Fenton?
Anyway, now it’s Fenton, Simm, Kinsella, Stanhope, and TBD. At this point, the maybe-unretired-maybe Charlie Fellows looks like the next best choice for the team because she can fill a number of roles in a team scenario and was the strongest of the remaining options at the British Championship, though Taeja James made a very good argument for herself with her qualification floor performance in Doha, placing first with a 5.4 D. She also attempted enough difficulty on beam that she got away with a mid-12 even though it didn’t come off. At this point, England would kind of take a mid-12 on beam. Continue reading Things Are Happening – March 23, 2018