US Classic Podium Training

The routines are here! The routines are here!

Item 1: Miss Simone. Simone began on floor, and we’re first of all absolutely going to need to talk about how her routine ends with her blowing a kiss to the crowd, obviously an important throwback to Khorkina in the 2004 team final when she was wearing the candy-cane-grams leotard, but this one comes complete with an aggressive kissy-sound inserted into the end of music. You know how that thrills me.

Like her past floor routines, this one is also pretty much just a vehicle for tumbling. So let’s get to that. Outside of the dance-through, Simone showed the double double layout, which is more laid out than any other attempt we’ve ever seen, and is planning to connect jumps out of both the front full + full-in and the Biles.

A comparison:

Simone Biles – Floor
2016 2018
Double layout 1/1 – H Double double layout – I
Straddle jump 1/1 + Stag jump – C+A Front 1/1 +(i) Full-in + Split jump – C + E + A = 0.3 CV
Double layout 1/2 (Biles) + Sissone – G + A = 0.1 CV Switch leap – B
Front aerial – A Split leap 1.5 – D
Wolf turn double – D Double layout 1/2 (Biles) + Stag – G + A = 0.1 CV
** (see comment from Chris)
Switch leap – B Wolf turn double – D
Split leap 1.5 – D Switch leap 1/1 – D
Double-twisting double tuck – H Double-twisting double tuck – H
Switch leap 1/1 – D
Full-twisting double tuck – E
CR – 2.5 CR – 2.0
Acro – HHGE – 2.8 Acro – IHGEC – 3.2
Dance – DDDC – 1.5 Dance – DDD – 1.2
CV – 0.1 CV – 0.4
Total D – 6.9 Total D – 6.8

So she’s basically already back to the 2016 difficulty even without the extra 0.5 in CR from last quad. This will be a theme of the routines Simone showed today.

On vault, she performed her Cheng, as promised.

It will be interesting to see if they stay with this as her primary vault. It is worth 0.2 more than the Amanar this quad, which makes the Cheng the obvious choice if they’re both executed at the same level, but Simone’s Amanar is Simone’s Amanar.

On bars, we’re seeing some big changes at the end of the routine, including the Van Leeuwen and Fabrichnova. The video below was the stronger of her two full bars routines form-wise, the first being pretty ragged in a first-routine kind of way. But…the earliness of the completion of those two twists in the dismount, you guys. That header image for this post is of the second twist. And the tight tucked shape. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Simone Biles – Bars
2016 2018
Weiler 1/2 + Toe-on Shaposhnikova – D + D = 0.1 CV Weiler 1/2 + Maloney + Tkatchev – D + D + D = 0.3 CV
Toe-on 1/1 + Tkatchev – D + D = 0.1 CV Toe-on 1/1 + Tkatchev piked + Pak – D + E + D = 0.3 CV
Tkatchev piked + Pak – E + D = 0.2 CV Van Leeuwen – E
Cast 1/2 + Toe shoot – B + B Fabrichnova – F
Toe-on + Full-twisting double tuck – C + D
CR – 2.5 CR – 2.0
EDDDDDDC – 3.2 FEEDDDDD- 3.6
CV – 0.4 CV – 0.6
Total D – 6.1 Total D – 6.2

So, her intended D score on bars is even higher than it was last quad. At worlds in 2017, the medalists on bars had D scores ranging from 6.3 to 6.5.

USAG hasn’t put up a video of Simone’s beam on YouTube yet, presumably because she was the most podium-training-y there, not really killing herself to save skills when she was a little off, and didn’t get through a full hit set. She did struggle with that damn barani on her later bits and pieces, falling about three times. If you were sick of me complaining about that damn barani in 2016, just get ready for this quad. That damn barani.

Simone Biles – Beam
2016 2018
Wolf turn 2.5 – E Wolf turn triple – E
Barani – E Straddle jump + Pike jump – B+A
Back handspring + Layout stepout + Layout stepout – B+C+C = 0.2 CV Barani – E
Front tuck + Sissone – D+A = 0.1 CV Back handspring + Layout stepout + Layout stepout – B+C+C = 0.2 CV
Switch leap + Switch leap 1/2 + Back pike – C+D+C = 0.2 CV Switch leap + Switch leap 1/2 + Back pike – C+D+C = 0.3 CV
Front aerial + Wolf jump – D+A = 0.1 CV Front pike – E
Back handspring + Back handspring + Full-twisting double tuck – B+B+G = 0.1 CV Front aerial + Split jump – D+B = 0.1 CV
Back handspring + Back handspring + Full-twisting double tuck – B+B+G = 0.3 CV
CR – 2.5 CR – 2.0
Acro – GEDDC – 2.3 Acro – GEEDC – 2.4
Dance – EDC – 1.2 Dance – EDC – 1.2
CV – 0.7 CV – 0.9
Total D – 6.7 Total D – 6.5

Simone has added the triple wolf and front pike on beam as promised, which means she’s right in line with her past D score here as well. The code switch benefits Simone’s beam quite a lot because it rewards those difficult dismount combinations much more, as well as her mixed series.

If she were to get credit for everything she showed today, Simone would have a combined four-event D score of 25.6. As a reminder, Morgan Hurd won worlds last year with a combined D score of 22.1.

But let’s talk about Hurd because Team Moors doesn’t just include Simone. Morgan Hurd brought one out as well:

In the race for the Aly Award (best of the non-Simones), Hurd having a Moors on floor could be quite significant as that difficulty would help her get closer to that coveted 14 zone more consistently.

On beam, I saw Hurd going with the double pike dismount, which is probably a solid choice for all of us and our mental health after what occurred at Pac Rims.

Let’s see, what else happened? I saw a couple DTYs each from Chiles and Carey. Chiles is supposed to add a Patterson to her beam routine but I haven’t seen it yet. Somethimes you miss things. Or she’s really saving it for the competition.

Also, did I spy with my little eye Emma Malabuyo with an inbar Shaposh? It was far away on the stream, and you never know with those US inbars sometimes, but that’s what it looked like. Ragan Smith did her expected composition on bars and beam. I didn’t see anything new there. She too dismounted beam with a double pike. Apparently, she’s holding off on upgrades until nationals.

Riley McCusker trained all four pieces, including getting a pretty solid DTY around, which was notable because that has been a struggle skill for her at times in the past. The bars dismount situation turned out to be a little fraught. She missed her first three attempts at it (hands down), but hit the subsequent three with lunges forward. Yeah, she did a lot of bars dismounts. Maybe it was because we didn’t see her bars routine from American Classic. She’s like, “You want bars? Here’s your stupid bars.”

In other news, it seems some USAG coaches have trouble with reading comprehension.

This is wrong and nothing. The only way the Olympic individual-qualification rule influences the US women is that the members of the 2018 worlds team (should the US qualify an Olympic spot this year) won’t be able to compete at the 2020 Pan American Championships. Which…who cares? Saying you don’t want your athlete considered for worlds 2018 because of 2020 Pan Ams would actually be the stupidest…

Competing at 2018 worlds won’t impact any US gymnast’s chances of competing at the Olympics in any way.

You can read up on the whole process here.

Also, Emily Lee has pulled out of the senior competition and Vika Smirnov and Annie Beard have pulled out of the junior competition, according to the latest start list.

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22 thoughts on “US Classic Podium Training”

  1. I actually screamed when I saw Simone’s dismount on bars. This is the double-double dismount that I did not believe could exist – it’s so high. It’s so tucked.
    With every other double double, I’m used to a lot of fairly open tucks and twists that finish incredibly close to the ground. Not with Simone.
    She twists twice, and then she drops out of the sky.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. the team that matters is the one that gets the olympic spot. which for the americans will be this year’s team because the world would cease if they didn’t medal at TF this year lol.

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      1. OK, just reread Spencer’s linked write-up and you’re right.

        In which case I actually disagree with Spencer’s analysis. If I’m an athlete (or a coach of an athlete) who could pretty handily win an event world cup series, and don’t have any faith that the 2020 USAG will be any particular way (similar or dissimilar to the current USAG), I think asking to stay off the 2018 team is entirely reasonable.

        That preservers me the ability to go earn my own spot in 2020 should that be in my interest. Though I assume USAG still has to agree to send me to the Event World Cups.

        What happens if you qualify more than 2 individual spots to the Olympics? I assume nominative would trump non-nominative, which means the U.S. probably wouldn’t want to send me to the Event World Cup. But probably increases my desire to go.

        Oy the politics.

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      2. if i understood it right from the comments of that post, spots are awarded in chronological order, so the order is, if it follows a normal year, all-around cups, challenge cups and continental championships.

        and as you said, the u.s probably won’t send people to challenge cups in 2020 because those spots are nominative and they don’t want that and they can easily win two non-nominative spots.

        so i actually agree with spencer – it makes no sense to not go to worlds this year because while you can’t EARN the spot you can still have it given to you if it’s non-nominative anyway, which they definitely will be for the u.s.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. If the US women place top 3 at the 2018 World Championships (which they will), any of the 5 members on that team cannot be used to earn any of the 2 available individual spots at the other qualifying events. I believe some coaches are concerned that their athlete might make a 5-person World’s team but not a 4-person Olympic team and that they will have to rely on another athlete to earn a potential qualifying spot for their 2018 World’s team member athlete.

    As of now, we aren’t certain which events the US will use to earn their two additional spots, but it’s very likely it’ll be the ones with non-nominative places. This means there’s a good chance whoever earns those additional spots won’t actually be selected by USAG to go to the Olympics.

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    1. Exactly, I’ll be a millionaire before USAG lets anyone go for a nominative spot. They’ll want to be able to select the gymnasts who are going as “specialists”

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      1. I think this depends on two things. 1. The exact order of the qualifying events in 2020 and 2. what happens if you triple-qualify (which spots count).

        If Pan Ams is the last thing, after all the World Cups, do you really think they’ll risk having no one qualify? Especially if they are a different format? (e.g. AA only with a max of 2 per country or something like that)

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      2. If I was Jade Carrey in particular, who has almost no shot at a AA spot and a very good shot at a FX/VT medal, sitting out 2018 Worlds (especially when I’m starting college) may be my best way to have a chance at the 2020 Olympics. Or that’s my read on it anyway.

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      3. Individual medalist from Qualifying teams DO NOT get a nominative spot. Thats only for gymnasts on from countries who do not qualify a team in 2018 or 2019!

        The only nominative spots that gymnasts from qualified team countries are the apparatus world cups.

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      4. @Anon: understood, should have been clearer, “have a good shot at winning VT/FX apparatus world cups if permitted to go” is what was in my head. Not medals. My mistake.

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      5. I totally understand! Its so confusing! I would say the US doesnt try for them though because the are nominative. Only can be that individual. If you want them on the team your forfeit the spot (ie a Jade Carey with strong VT/FX and a decent 4th BB/UB by 2020 could get onto the team), if they get hurt you forfeit the spot, etc. The US is basically guaranteed the other two non-nominative spots w/ Pan Ams and the all around world cups.

        — Plus for Pan Ams I could see them sending all the new seniors. Think in 2016 sending Laurie and Ragan + other 2000s babies to that comp (I think that would have included Christina Desidero, Marz, a few others). The would 100% qualify a Pan Am spot (if you took out the Americans above them, Laurie & Ragan could have finished 1-2 at the Olympics lol). Anyway under the rules, any of the top-top gymnasts from Canada, Brazil, etc wouldn’t even be competing against them for the spot because they likely would have been on the countries qualifying team (or have already qualified a nominative spot at Worlds). The US just has such depth, that this really isnt a problem for them.

        Sorry it was long but thats how I think of it!

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  3. A note about Biles’ FX and D score calculation. The split jump and stag jump are in the same box with an asterisk and therefore can receive DV/CV only once and in chronological order. So she cannot get CV for both the full-in split jump and the Biles to stag jump.

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  4. Also, Spencer, you’re the best, and I understand that a toe-on shaposh and a Maloney are the same thing, but comparing Biles’ 2016 bars and 2018 bars by saying “in 2016 she did a toe on shaposh but now she does a Maloney” is super confusing.

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  5. Wait…. did Ragan Smith say she has 3 bars upgrades for championships?!? Girl! Like you could barely do bars 3 years ago and shes probs gonna be pushing a 6.3-6.4 d score!?!

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  6. I think I don’t really like shaposh to tkachev combos. Both Simone and Aly do it with a really hard back swing out of the shaposh to get enough momentum for the release, and they always split their feet to do that. Totally see why and imo it looks amazing and powerful but doesn’t it incur a deduction?

    Also, my sneaky wish for Simone is just bigger non-connection skills, like a hindorff or Shang or something. She looks so freakin good and clean and amazing but I’m greedy…

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  7. Trying to figure out if there is a free way to watch the seniors tonight? Does anyone know if there is a charge to watch it on the NBC app?

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