The FIG has released the nominative rosters every nation submitted for this month’s (!) world championships, so now it’s time for us to tear them to pieces. Not really. But also kind of.
Who’s on these nominative rosters? Who should be on the final team? Who actually is on the final team? What expectations should you have for those teams at worlds? I’ve got you covered.
For the nominative rosters, nations were able to submit six names (five team members and an alternate). In most cases, the person listed last on the nominative roster of six is the intended alternate, which I have noted in parentheses. But, these are only nominative rosters, so don’t freak. These things will change, and in some cases they really need to.
I have also included a peak scoring chart for each team using the same principles from the National Team Rankings (but occasionally reaching back further in time to get scores if necessary).
Nominative: Simone Biles, Morgan Hurd, Riley McCusker, Grace McCallum, Kara Eaker (Shilese Jones)
Having already dispensed with the Jade Carey drama, let’s move on to what the actual, real-life US team could and should look like in Doha.
The gymnast benefiting the most from Carey’s self-removal is Grace McCallum. Without Carey, the US is left looking for a team final-worthy vault and floor score to supplement the main three. McCallum’s 14.000 on floor from Pan Ams and her perfectly acceptable DTY seem to set her up as the likely choice to fill that role. It’s not a given—others can get bigger vault scores and what happens on floor at the selection camp will be vital, but for right now, McCallum seems like the front runner, as is reflected in the nominative roster.
Kara Eaker’s abilities on beam have also kept her in the forefront of the conversation—this McCallum-Eaker team is probably also what I would select based on what we’ve seen so far. The complication: Biles, McCusker, and Hurd are all quite good on beam, so bringing an extra beam score from Eaker may not be viewed as the most pressing addition to the team, especially because she’s much more likely to go lower-mid-14s than into the 15s the way she did at that one elite qualifier. Eaker needs to be more than a tenth or two ahead of Hurd’s beam score at the selection camp to keep this spot.
Meanwhile, a vault lineup of Hurd, McCallum, Biles would score well, but isn’t a fully OMGWHAAAA vaulting team the way we’ve come to expect from the US. That’s why we’ll still have to keep on eye on whether Jordan Chiles is busting out her Amanar consistently (or even if Shilese Jones’ DTY proves a multi-tenth improvement over the others, that could be significant). If Chiles has that Amanar, I’d take that over a beam routine.
There’s also the Ragan Smith wildcard. If she got foot-replacement surgery since nationals, she’s capable of changing presumed lineups on beam and floor, which could upset both the McCallum and Eaker spots. Still, exactly nothing can be assumed in that regard right now.
| UNITED STATES – 176.917
Semi-official: Du Siyu, Zhang Jin, Chen Yile, Liu Jinru, Liu Tingting (Luo Huan)
If China intends to bring Du Siyu to worlds over Luo Huan (both appear on the nominative, but Luo is listed last), I would count that as a mild surprise because Du hasn’t really been in the main group lately. Both gymnasts are capable of gigantic scores on bars, of course, but Du’s new advantage may be her difficulty. She added a Downie to the beginning of her routine to bring her D up to 6.4 at Chinese Individuals, which now compares quite favorably to Luo’s 6.0 from Asian Games.
Luo, however, has still recorded better overall scores this year than Du because of execution. Luo’s other argument is beam, where she can score quite well even if it’s a little scary. We’ll see if that comes into the decision at all. If China feels really good about Chen Yile, Liu Tingting, and Zhang Jin on beam, the team may not need to bring someone else with a beam score.
So, too many bars workers. #ChinaProblems
The rest of the team seems locked and necessary. China has very limited options for floor and needs all three of Liu Jinru, Chen Yile, and Zhang Jin to compete there as well as on vault. Liu Tingting has been starring on bars and beam for great scores since coming back, and that makes for a clear four team members
Neither Liu Jinru nor Zhang Jin bring a TF bars score, which is why the fifth member the team must guarantee a huge bars score and (perhaps) provide backup options on other events. It’s a risky team because China cannot afford any kind of injury to one of its VT/FX workers, but there isn’t really a safer option for selection. With such limited floor routine numbers, they have to go for risky.
|CHINA – 170.733|
Nominative: Irina Alexeeva, Lilia Akhaimova, Angelina Melnikova, Angelina Simakova, Aliya Mustafina (Daria Spiridonova)
I mean, it’s Russia, so we barely ever know what’s going on, but this team seems likely. It’s basically the same squad that performed so successfully in the Euros team final, except with Mustafina in place of Perebinosova. Mustafina, of course, can deliver her big bars score and hopefully will have a beam routine that the team can use—as long as she has decided to deign to succumb to the concept of an acro series.
It tells you everything you need to know about Russian beam that even with Mustafina’s acro series travails, I still trust her more than any other Russian on beam. Mustafina is always an upgrade (for us as a public, if nothing else), so this team seems like a solid call to me. In general.
Russia will miss the bars score from, say, Ilyankova. Or, say, Komova. Irina Alexeeva is good on bars and will keep Russia among the best-scoring teams there, but it’s not the same. Also, Spiridonova is the alternate? Valentina things? I didn’t even know that was still an option. Spiridonova has not been among the top scorers this year and hasn’t hit 14 on bars since 2017.
Like the Euros team, this group is loading up on vault and floor with its best possible roster on those events, bringing a good bars lineup but not the very best the nation has to offer, and then…beam is beam.
This beam team is scary, but no beam team Russia could come up with would be any less scary. I don’t absolutely hate this team, is what I’m trying to tell you, even if I also maintain that Komova was unnecessarily shunned from a squad she could absolutely have helped on bars and beam.
|RUSSIA – 170.630|
Official: Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos, Marine Boyer, Louise Vanhille, Lorette Charpy, Juliette Bossu
France does not enjoy the same luxury of depth among its first-tier elite ranks that the other top countries do, which means that…the team is the team. There aren’t a lot of decisions to make, and when Coline Devillard went down with injury, the obvious choice to replace her was Louise Vanhille. Vanhille doesn’t have a clear event where she massively improves the TF score, but neither does anyone else, and Vanhille has useful backup 13.0s on multiple pieces.
The successful European Championship from the French created some buzz about a potential upset here to win a team medal. Without Devillard’s vaulting, that’s probably too much to ask against the big three, but do keep France in mind as a favorite to make the team final and a potential spoiler should things go just right.
|FRANCE – 168.449|
|M De Jesus Dos Santos||14.666||14.500||13.600||14.200|
Nominative: Lorrane Oliveira, Flavia Saraiva, Jade Barbosa, Rebeca Andrade, Thais Fidelis (Daniele Hypolito)
The main decision Brazil will have to make is whether to go with Lorrane Oliveira for her bars routine or Daniele Hypolito for her beam and floor.
Saraiva and Barbosa will contribute 3-4 events as needed to lead the team. Andrade is essential for vault and bars. Even Andrade’s comeback Yfull was a top-3 vault score for Brazil, and we know she’s capable of a lot more. Plus, she has the lone legitimate 13.9 on bars on the team. Fidelis is critical for floor, and you really want her on beam if the consistency is there. Overall, that’s an excellent group of four.
With those four, the question left to grapple with is—which routine are you most afraid of, Barbosa on beam, Fidelis on beam, or Saraiva on bars? If you’re afraid of bars (and I am), you want Oliveira as an option there, allowing Saraiva to take a break from her nemesis in TF. If you’re afraid of beam (and I am, but I’m afraid of everyone’s beam), you might want Hypolito as an option there. That’s the argument in Hypolito’s favor, but…does she actually bring anything that Saraiva, Barbosa, and Fidelis aren’t already covering?
Either way, this is a very good Brazilian team that I like to qualify to the team final.
|BRAZIL – 168.049|
Semi-official: Nagi Kajita, Aiko Sugihara, Asuka Teramoto, Mai Murakami, Hitomi Hatakeda (Yuki Uchiyama)
Japan announced its worlds team 700 years early, as usual, but the withdrawal of Sae Miyakawa has disrupted things. Japan doesn’t have an obvious replacement for Miyakawa’s scores on vault and floor, and the next-best options for those events (Hatakeda on vault, Sugihara on floor) were already on the team anyway. It’s one of those situations where the team is mostly set with Murakami, Teramoto, Sugihara, and Hatakeda, and those four could very well cover everything in the team final.
For that fifth spot, it looks like the original alternate Nagi Kajita slots into the team and Yuki Uchiyama becomes the new alternate. The most likely event either would contribute is bars. Kajita has a Nabieva, and Uchiyama has gone 14 on bars this year but is inconsistent. So, we could see an additional bars routine from the fifth spot, but it’s not an obvious upgrade.
Where I’m really worried about the main four is beam, but I wouldn’t put Kagita or Uchiyama on beam in a team final over a Sugihara/Murakami/Teramoto lineup. Where is Natsumi Sasada when you need her? That’s my question.
|JAPAN – 168.012|
I’ve spent much of the year discussing how this could be Japan’s time to supplant China and win a team medal. This could still happen—there’s so much good on this team—but the absence of Miyakawa’s vault takes the expectations for Japan’s scoring down a notch.
Official: Ellie Black, Brooklyn Moors, Shallon Olsen, Ana Padurariu, Laurie Denommée
So…we need to talk about this. The surprise on Canada’s worlds team is the inclusion of Laurie Denommée, who would have been considered a dark horse at best to make the team coming into 2018. The decision is most surprising to me because Denommée’s best event by far is floor, an apparatus on which this Canadian team should already feel more than comfortable because of Black, Moors, and Olsen. Floor isn’t really where Canada needs a boost.
But…what was a Canada to do? Presumed favorite for the team Isabela Onyshko has been struggling quite a bit lately and got outperformed on every event, even bars and beam, by Denommée at Szombathely a couple weeks ago. If you’re going by results, Denommée earned this spot and no one else did. Denommée is also healthy and brings possible routines on all four events. With the injuries and absences and “I’m not doing all the events yet” going around, that’s significant.
On the other hand…bars. Given this five, one of Olsen, Moors, or Denommée is going to have to provide a countable bars routine. Olsen is never called upon to do bars because it’s her weak event, Denommée has a sub-5 D score and has put up 9s and 10s at times this year, and while Moors has a ton of talent on bars, she always scores 11. I’m terrified about bars. I also think this team could have used another vault to go with Olsen and Black, but mostly bars.
The problem is that Onyshko could have been that third bars routine, but she hasn’t been hitting, and including both Onyshko and Padurariu on the same team would be risky for the leg events. Beyond Onyshko, there really isn’t another choice for bars, unless you suddenly want to bring Jessica Dowling to worlds, which I would totally support by the way.
I don’t see an obvious snub. Basically, this was the year of all years where Canada really, really needed Brittany Rogers to fill those vault and bars gaps. Because of course it was.
This is still a TF-capable squad, but things have to go right. The margin to eat a bars disaster is nonexistent.
|CANADA – 167.332|
Official: Kim Bui, Elisabeth Seitz, Leah Grießer, Sarah Voss, Sophie Scheder (Carina Kröll)
Paulina Schäfer has withdrawn from the worlds team because she’s currently not able to do her best events. As such, it makes more sense to bring Grießer, who can potentially deliver something close to a 13 on beam and floor.
With Grießer having to replace Schäfer, and with Seitz and Scheder also jusssstt coming back from injury, I have a ton of questions about whether this team will be able to perform at full strength at worlds. And just a ton of questions about beam. Euros is too fresh in the mind.
|GERMANY – 165.049|
Official: Ellie Downie, Georgia-Mae Fenton, Kelly Simm, Alice Kinsella, Becky Downie
It wouldn’t be a British team if we weren’t left going, “But wha…I’m not…does…?” This year, most questions surround the status of Ellie Downie because we’ve seen her on only bars and beam so far in her return from injury.
If you look at the scores below, this team is absolutely stacked on bars—as we would expect—and is among the deeper beam squads GB has taken to a major event in a while. I’m not saying beam will be relaxing, but there are more than the usual 1.25 options.
Vault and floor, on the other hand, are worrying. With this group of five, Ellie will need to add back vault and floor for GB to have a great shot at making the team final because you don’t want Fenton having to count on vault and you want the boost of Ellie’s tumbling on floor. The status of those routines remains a mystery for now but will ultimately tell us a lot about whether this team makes sense or not.
Comeback status question marks are why I don’t really begrudge the inclusion of foundational all-around gymnast Kelly Simm (over someone like Lucy Stanhope who can deliver a bigger number on vault but doesn’t have the other scores) because Simm covers the bases and can provide a usable score on any and all events at any moment, rather than someone who’s just covering a single event and would leave the team at sea if there’s an injury.
|GREAT BRITAIN – 164.682|
Nominative: Nora Feher, Zsofia Kovacs, Dorina Böczögo, Boglarka Devai, Noemi Makra (Dalia Al-Salty)
The important lesson we learned at Euros was not to count out Hungary, even when Zsofia Kovacs is injured. Well, now Zsofia Kovacs is healthy again, so expectations should be even higher. Challenging the likes of typical European powers like Germany might be a step too far (unless we have another Euros), but I easily expect this Hungarian squad to best 2015’s 18th-place finish, the strongest recent showing for the Hungarian women as a team.
Dalia Al-Salty has replaced Sara Peter as the alternate on the latest roster update, which pretty much answers any questions we might have had about where Peter was a higher-scoring choice for the team. Looks like she’s out.
|HUNGARY – 163.250|
Nominative: Emily Whitehead, Rianna Mizzen, Georgia-Rose Brown, Alexandra Eade, Kiara Munteanu (Talia Folino)
The absence of Georgia Godwin hurts. She has clearly emerged as Australia’s strongest gymnast in the last year or so, and you worry about the team’s 3-routine competitiveness without her. Whitehead and Eade were the only ones who scored higher than 12.750 on floor on either day of Australian Classic, and Brown was the only one named in the nominative roster who scored higher than 12.675 on beam. There must be another competitive routine on those events if Australia is to get back to challenging the perennial TF favorites, of which it used to be one.
Kiara Munteanu’s was the surprise inclusion on the nominative roster to me. She finished 7th AA at Australian Classic and was stuck in the low 12s on bars, beam, and floor. Absent on this list in Emma Nedov, newly returned from injury, who could boost what looks like a stress-worthy beam lineup. It’s just a nominative list, so we may see some changes. Including Folino in the main five may be another option to boost vault, though she did not compete at Australian Classic.
|AUSTRALIA – 162.883|
Semi-official: Vera Van Pol, Naomi Visser, Tisha Volleman, Kirsten Polderman, Sanne Wevers (Sanna Veerman)
The Netherlands has some replacing to do because both Celine van Gerner and Eythora Thorsdottir will be unavailable for worlds. That’s why, despite the Netherlands’ strong bronze-medal team performance at Euros, I’m not quite sold on TF prospects in Doha. There are still strong routines on this team: Wevers will have beam medal hopes of course, and Volleman and Van Pol can lead the way to a solid overall score, but expectations will be muted because of NED’s having to use a few replacement routines with which we’re just not all that familiar.
Polderman and Veerman both appear on the nominative roster, and I would favor Veerman because scores-wise, she has shown the higher potential over the last couple years and has a very believable bars routine that earned her silver behind Van Gerner at Dutch nationals. At the same time, Visser is the one who competed at Euros on vault and is probably most likely to be called upon to replace the routines Van Gerner would have provided, rather than one of the new members.
|NETHERLANDS – 162.715|
|Vera van Pol||14.067||13.400||12.666||12.900|
It’s interesting that Elisabeth Geurts never seems to be considered for competitions outside the Netherlands, as I’d want her possible vault score in the 14s.
Official: Senna Deriks, Nina Derwael, Axelle Klinckaert, Maellyse Brassart, Rune Hermans (Julie Meyers)
Belgium’s team is Belgium’s team. If everyone is healthy and Hermans is back, this is the clear five. Occasionally, it’s the only five.
Belgium did exceptionally well at Euros to qualify third, ahead of both Great Britain and the Netherlands, even without Hermans. Ideally, Hermans adds multiple tenths to the team’s scoring potential on most events, particularly with what can be a high 13 on bars and another 13 on floor to help out Klinckaert. So if she’s back to competing, expectations for Belgium’s performance should be even higher at worlds than they were at Euros.
Thing still have to go just right, like Brassart getting a 13 on beam again, and other nations not running up the totals on vault to make Belgium’s fulls non-competitive, but this Belgian team is good and should have high expectations.
|BELGIUM – 161.665|
Official: Frida Esparza, Alexa Moreno, Nicolle Castro, Victoria Mata, Paulina Campos
I would recommend tempering expectations for Mexico because some of the scores noted below don’t look super worlds-realistic to me, but this is a surging Mexican side, probably the deepest group they’ve had post-Elsa Garcia. It’s a team that can expect to make the top 24 and advance to next year—even without a star like Ahtziri Sandoval.
|MEXICO – 161.400|
Nominative: Lara Mori, Martina Rizzelli, Sara Ricciardi, Caterina Cereghetti, Irene Lanza (Elisa Meneghini)
If you’re worried about Italy right now, correct.
Pretty much all of the best senior options are out with injury, the latest being Francesca Linari—who originally appeared on the nominative roster. There just aren’t many healthy, internationally competitive gymnasts to choose from right now despite Italy’s relatively hearty depth. Without Maggio, Basile, Carofiglio, Grisetti, and Busato, it’s tough to come up with a team.
The presence of Lara Mori is restorative. She could make the floor final again this year if things go well, but based on recent performances, expectations will be fairly low for this Italian team as a whole. I’d say finishing in the top 12 would count as a very solid result, and team final expectations probably have to wait until the glory of the 2019ers.
On the latest update to the nominative roster, Irene Lanza has replaced the injured Linari, with Meneghini still listed last in the alternate-ish position. We’ll see. Lanza hasn’t been close to teams for Italy in the past, but she has thrown up some useful bars numbers in Serie A, and those scores would currently be countable on every piece in the chart below. I’d still think you prefer Meneghini for floor, but only if she’s hitting floor.
(Scores from 2017 have been added for Rizzelli to provide a complete picture)
|ITALY – 161.100|
Nominative: Jon Jang Mi, Kim Su Jong, Pyon Rye Yong, Ri Su Ryon, Kim Won Yong
As became apparent at the Asian Games, this North Korean team is quite good and is about one routine per event away from being truly exceptional.
The North Koreans probably don’t have the depth to make a huge push in the team standings this year, but qualifying in the top-24 and advancing to 2019 really should happen if they perform near the level of their Asian Games showing. Kim Su Jong is on track for NK’s best AA showing in more than a decade and certainly has the chops to make the final.
|NORTH KOREA – 161.041|
|Pyon Rye Yong||14.300||0.000||12.750||12.450|
|Kim Su Jong||14.300||13.500||13.400||13.025|
|Ri Su Ryon||0.000||0.000||11.333||12.766|
|Jong Jang Mi||13.300||14.200||12.450||11.850|
|Kim Won Yong||13.500||13.100||13.750||12.400|
Nominative: Carmen Ghiciuc, Laura Iacob, Nica Ivanus, Denisa Golgota, Maria Holbura
Being without Ocolisan for worlds stunts Romania’s scoring potential on vault quite a bit, but either way, we have to settle into the new normal for Romania, where the conversation is not about making the team final but about making the top 24 and qualifying to 2019. That’s the goal for this event. Getting Golgota into an event final would be bonus.
While things are certainly rough for Romania these days, advancing to 2019 is a more-than-manageable prospect and should happen. This team is certainly talented enough for that, but it can’t be taken for granted. A repeat of those 10s on bars from Euros would put the Romanians in a very precarious position without the depth of DTYs to save the overall score as they’ve had in the past.
|ROMANIA – 158.499|
Nominative: Aneta Holasova, Lucie Jirikova, Dominika Ponilizova, Kristyna Brabcova, Eliska Firtova (Sabina Halova)
The Czech Republic is a borderline case to make the top 24 at worlds this year, but it could happen. It’s very reasonable to see CZE finishing in the lower 20s. That will be the goal for a team that’s much deeper and stronger than it has been in past years but doesn’t have individual threats.
The only possible change from the Euros team looks to be the inclusion of Firtova instead of Halova, but since Halova didn’t end up competing at Euros, it’s not much of a change. Mostly, the Czech Republic has a big four right now, and they’ll do the work.
|CZECH REPUBLIC – 158.400|
Nominative: Ana Perez, Cintia Rodriguez, Helena Bonilla, Laura Bechdeju, Paula Raya (Andrea Carmona)
For its worlds team, Spain appears to be mostly repeating the squad that successfully reached the team final at Euros, but reserving the possibility of using Laura Bechdeju on floor instead of Andrea Carmona. Beyond Perez and Rodriguez, Spain doesn’t have a raft of options for its third-best floor routine, essentially the lone missing piece on the team, so it’s basically just whoever is looking more mid-12 at the moment.
As for these scoring numbers, to me they understate Spain’s potential right now. Spain shouldn’t be in any danger of missing out on the top 24. I’d expect it to be a pretty comfortable road.
|SPAIN – 158.166|
Nominative: Diana Varinska, Angelina Radivilova, Valeria Osipova, Yana Fedorova, Alona Titarenko (Kateryna Shumeiko)
You’ll notice that many of these teams have a clear four gymnasts, and then the fifth athlete mostly seems like a bonus. That’s an advertisement for the four-member Olympic team format that I don’t appreciate in the slightest.
Ukraine is led by Varinska, will get useful routines from Osipova, Radivilova, and Fedorova, and then will decide if it needs to use Titarenko at all. She did not end up competing routines at Euros in that 5th-place finish that stoked a lot of optimism about Ukraine’s chances to make the top 24 here. Ukraine is definitely in my 24, and Varinska is a borderline but believable contender for an event final.
Other countries certainly have their ridiculous domestic scores, but Ukraine’s are so over the top that I feel like I need to make two charts, one with all scores and one that eliminates those insane scores.
|UKRAINE – 166.433|
The one without domestic scores underrates Ukraine relative to other teams (whose domestic scores are still included), but it’s a closer approximation of what can happen at worlds.
|UKRAINE – 158.000|
Nominative: Kim Jury, Yun Narae, Ham Miju, Yeo Seojeong, Lee Eun Ju (Yang Semi)
South Korea’s secret weapon this year is Yeo Seojeong and her vaults. Making the vault final and contending for a medal is a realistic prospect for Yeo and will be one of two significant goals for the South Korean team this year, along with advancing to 2019 worlds as a squad.
Advacing as a team is doable for the South Koreans, another team that these scores might underestimate because they’re not poisoned by ridiculous domestic numbers. Right now, I have KOR in my 24, but it’s close.
|SOUTH KOREA – 157.400|
Nominative: Martina Dominici, Agustina Pisos, Ayelen Tarabini, Mayra Vacquie, Camila Klesa
Argentina is on an upswing this quadrennium thanks to the emergence of Martina Dominici, whose competitive scores on all four events make Argentina a much more threatening team prospect. Argentina’s hopes of making the top 24 will rest on her and veteran Tarabini showing up with high 12s. If they’re on, I like Argentina for the top 24, which would be a major improvement over recent quads, when Argentina wasn’t typically fielding a team that came close to qualification, or fielding a whole team at all.
|ARGENTINA – 157.133
Official: Caterlina Barloggio, Ilaria Käslin, Leonie Meier, Stefanie Siegenthaler, Anina Wildi
No two ways about it, Switzerland will have a tough job this year at worlds without Giulia Steingruber. I’m a little worried. The sans-Steingruber team did OK at Euros, and a repeat of that performance would be enough to get by in Doha, but this team is depleted enough that it cannot cruise through and expect to make the top 24. It will take a good day and not counting any major mistakes.
An interesting factor will be the return of Barloggio. We haven’t seen her in 1000 years, but she recorded counting scores on UB/BB in Switzerland’s 16th-place finish at 2015 worlds and a counting UB score in Switzerland’s 19th-place finish in 2014. Those 16th and 19th finishes were both teams that included Steingruber, which is partially why I’m entertaining concerns about Switzerland being top 24 this year without her.
(Scores from 2017 have been added for Barloggio to provide a complete picture)
|SWITZERLAND – 156.900|
Nominative: Nancy Taman, Farah Salem, Farah Hussein, Mandy Mohamed
Egypt will be encouraged by its prospects heading into worlds this year, both because the new generation led by Farah Hussein has been recording very competitive scores at world cup events over the last year or so, and because of the continental participation rule. That rule ensures that a team from Africa will qualify to 2019 worlds (which could mean 25 teams advance instead of 24, if no African nations make the top 24).
As the current best team in Africa, and one of only two African nations bringing an eligible team, Egypt is well positioned to qualify a team to Stuttgart even if it doesn’t place in the top 24 here.
|EGYPT – 154.600|
Nominative: Sani Mäkelä, Siiri Saukkonen, Enni Kettunen, Maija Leinonen, Helmi Murto (Rosanna Ojala)
Veteran Rosanna Ojala also appears on the nominative roster, someone who could deliver a bars score that outpaces the current team, so she should be entertained as a possible member of the five. But is it worth giving up scores on the other events?
Finland is probably on the outside of the top 24, but it’s close enough to keep an eye on and close enough to go for. This team did very well at Euros, and even if the top 24 doesn’t happen, the potential for the moral victory of finishing as the best Scandinavian side is very alive.
|FINLAND – 153.199|
Nominative: Goksu Uctas Sanli, Tutya Yilmaz, Demet Mutlu, Ilyada Sahin
Don’t forget about Turkey, another potential spoiler for the top 24 if the team manages a better performance than during Euros qualification. Turkey has some exceptional, if inconsistent, routines from Yilmaz and Uctas Sanli that can deliver the kind of scores that qualifying teams record, but depth is a question. Unlike Euros, I’d expect Turkey to use Sahin in Doha to put up a backup score, but there’s really very little safety net should one of the critical routines be a miss.
|TURKEY – 153.000|
|Goksu Uctas Sanli||14.050||11.100||13.050||13.050|
Nominative: Dayana Ardila, Ginna Escobar, Angelica Mesa, Erla Vera Sanabria, Laura Pardo
In 2014, Colombia came so close to qualifying a team to the next year (25th place) and did so with many of the athletes expected to bring the scores on this year’s team, including Ginna Escobar and Dayana Ardila.
Those twowill contribute most of the counting routines again this year and might get very close again this year, especially because of vault and floor. It’s the tendency toward too many 11s on bars and beam that concerns me. In the latest update to the nominative roster, Laura Pardo replaced Melba Avendaño. Your ideal Colombian team has both of them, but if Pardo is available to compete, that’s an upgrade for Colombia.
|COLOMBIA – 152.683|
|Erla Vera Sanabria||13.400||11.333||12.533||12.033|
Semi-official: Jasmin Mader, Bianca Frysak, Alissa Mörz, Elisa Hämmerle, Marlies Männersdorfer (Christina Meixner)
The big story for Austria is recent injuries to their two best gymnasts, Marlies Männersdorfer and Jasmin Mader. Männersdorfer got injured mid-Euros qualification, but is expected to be fine for worlds, while Mader had to pull out of a recent world cup event with a foot injury, also in the midst of competition.
Thankfully, both appear on Austria’s nominative roster, and you hope for Austria’s sake that they’re able to go because the scores would get really rough without them. Austria hasn’t yet confirmed who will be the alternate, but I’d take Mörz over Meixner because she’s more likely to provide a countable vault score and is an option for beam. But, both may be needed if Mader is unable to go.
|AUSTRIA – 152.417|
Nominative: Julie Søderstrøm, Julie Erichsen, Thea Nygaard, Sara Davidsen, Edel Fosse
Norway appears to be repeating the exact team that finished 21st at European Championships, electing not to go with Juliane Tøssebro who took silver on beam and gold on floor at the recent Norwegian Championships, but who finished 6th in the AA behind the selected group of five. Norway always gets pretty good beam scores at home but then shows up to worlds and the judges are like, “Mmmm…1.1” so I’m interested to see what happens this time.
|NORWAY – 151.850|
Nominative: Beatriz Dias, Filipa Martins, Mariana Pitrez, Mariana Marianito
Portugal surprised some of us with a 14th-place finish at Euros, ahead of the Czech Republic, Finland, and Turkey. It’s a performance that, if repeated, should put the Portuguese at least in the conversation for the top 24. Sending just four athletes, however, does mean there will be fewer options and less margin for error.
I also wonder if we’ll see Martins add back vault and floor. She has competed on only bars and beam lately, but she’s clearly POR’s best gymnast on all four pieces. They could really use those other scores, which could be decisive in the team quest for a borderline country like Portugal.
|PORTUGAL – 151.850|
Official: Dominiqua Belanyi, Thelma Adalsteinsdottir, Sonja Olafsdottir, Agnes Suto-Tuuha, Margret Kristinsdottir
Iceland is still without Irina Sazonova, typically the nation’s best all-arounder, which reduces the team’s scoring potential quite a bit. Overall, expectations are muted for Iceland after a disappointing Euros that saw the team finish 22nd, but the return of Belanyi should boost the scoring potential on all four events. Suto-Tuuha was only able to do vault and bars at Euros as well, so if she’s on all four, Iceland should be far more 11y and far less 9.9y.
|ICELAND – 151.549|
Nominative: Teja Belak, Tjasa Kysselef, Adela Sajn, Lucija Hribar
Praise be! Lucija Hribar has been added back to Slovenia’s roster in the latest nominative update, which gives Slovenia a much better chance of recording an at-least-respectable team total.
|SLOVENIA – 150.849|
Nominative: Marta Pihan-Kulesza, Gabriela Janik, Wiktoria Lopuszanska, Katarzyna Jurkowska-Kowalska
Poland is planning to bring the same group of four that competed so well at Euros, beating Portugal and the Czech Republic and challenging Romania. Repeating that performance, Poland can absolutely be in contention for the top 24.
It will, however, take a fully hit day from a team that does not have countable backup options to lean on if someone misses. Deeper teams benefit from the 4-up, 3-count format in qualification because they might have a fourth-best score that can still count if something happens. Poland is not one of those teams. The three best scores must be the three scores.
|POLAND – 159.732|
I did a little “removing the domestic scores” experiment for Poland as well, and the difference was significant enough that I’m including both of them here for reference. As with Ukraine, the comparative truth with respect to the other countries is probably somewhere in the middle.
|POLAND – 150.764|
Nominative: Caitlin Rooskrantz, Angela Maguire, Naveen Daries
South Africa is bringing just the three athletes, which is enough to get a team score at worlds now since only the best three scores count in qualification. Because of that format change, we should see a few more countries trying for team scores than we did in the past.
But, it’s so tough to get a solid total with all scores having to count, one of the main reasons Egypt is heavily favored to take the African qualifying spot.
|SOUTH AFRICA – 150.250|
Nominative: Fang Ko Ching, Chuang Hsiu Ju, Ting Hua Tien, Wu Sing Fen, Lai Pin Ju (Fu Chih Yi)
Taiwan is intending to bring a full team, which should provide a leg up over some of these other lower-ranked contenders that will be more reliant on hitting all of the routines. Taiwan can throw in a weird beam 7 and not have to count it.
|TAIWAN – 150.200|
|Fang Ko Ching||13.950||12.150||12.150||12.700|
|Chuang Hsiu Ju||13.150||12.000||11.800||11.200|
|Lai Pin Ju||13.000||11.450||13.000||12.400|
|Ting Hua Tien||12.300||12.050||10.250||11.550|
|Wu Wing Fen||13.300||8.450||10.700||11.050|
Nominative: Chiara Bunce, Viktoria Vydurekova, Veronika Vlastiakova, Ema Kuklovska, Karolina Takacova
The injury to star Barbora Mokosova has made life very tough for Slovakia. The team is still diligently plugging away to try to show a full squad of five at worlds even without her, but I don’t see much chance of Slovakia scoring with the nations challenging the top 24 absent her scores.
|SLOVAKIA – 148.516|
Nominative: Farah Ann Abdul Hadi, Yueh Tan Ing, Ang Tracie
Malaysia should be one of the better countries that’s bringing only three because these are three strong athletes capable of multiple 12s. It’s also worth hanging onto the small shred of hope that Hadi could make the AA final. If she repeats what she did at Asian Games, it’s a possibility.
|MALAYSIA – 147.800|
|Farah Ann Abdul Hadi||13.550||13.200||12.300||12.800|
|Tan Ing Yueh||13.300||12.400||12.200||12.600|
Official: Argyro Afrati, Ioanna Xoulogi, Evangelina Monokrousou, Vasiliki Millousi, Evangelina Plyta
I’m a bit disappointed to see new senior Evelina Magia relegated to alternate status here because she showed some really solid scores earlier in the year, definitely top-3 numbers in the nation on beam and floor.
Lately, Greece has struggled to get out of this lower tier of teams because, while there are very strong gymnasts here, most of them are one- and two-eventers, gymnasts who can maybe throw up something on a couple other events but don’t really have enough pieces to get Greece a competitive team score. I fear we’re in for another year of that.
|GREECE – 146.281|
Nominative: Mette Hulgaard, Emilie Winther, Sofia Bjørnholdt, Victoria Kajø
The absence of Linnea Wang is troubling since she was the only one who went into the 11s on bars and 12s on floor on Denmark’s team at Euros. Denmark doesn’t have many other elites whom we’ve seen appear at competitions, so it’s going to be a team of four this year. Standard-bearer Mette Hulgaard will likely be called upon to get most of the scores once again and needs to be the best on each piece.
|DENMARK – 144.881|
Nominative: Luciana Alvarado, Heika Del Sol Salas, Mariangeles Murillo, Arianna Castaneda
I’m pleased to see Costa Rica sending a group that can get a full score, even with an athlere to spare, the only Central American country to do so.
|COSTA RICA – 143.050|
Nominative: Alina Vihrova, Anastasija Dubova, Alina Circene
It was Tugarinova and Ribalcenko that competed with Dubova at Euros, but they’ll be replaced by Vihrova and Circene at worlds. Theoretically, this is an upgrade. New senior Vihrova is Latvia’s best gymnast, but she hasn’t done the all-around in 2018, so it remains to be seen if Latvia will go for a team score or not.
|LATVIA – 141.882|
Nominative: Isabella Brett, Maia Fishwick, Charlotte Ryan, Caitlin Todd
No Courtney McGregor this year on New Zealand’s team, so it therefore doesn’t count. With four athletes, I do expect New Zealand to be able to put up enough routines to get a team score and successfully audition for the NCAA futures we need them to have.
|NEW ZEALAND – 138.358|
Nominative: Danusia Francis, Mackenzie Robinson, Kiara Richmon, Toni-Ann Williams
Pleasssssssse actually send this team. Please. Please.
I don’t have any scores to use for Williams because she hasn’t competed elite in the 2017-20 code, but Danusia and Toni-Ann are both capable of making the all-around final if things go just exactly right. If they both actually compete (along with one other person), don’t sleep on Jamaica’s team score. It could be better than many other countries that typically attend these events.
|JAMAICA – 135.833|
Nominative: Mariya Lastouskaya, Hanna Traukova, Aliaksandra Natsiazhenka
On the latest update of the nominative roster, Netsiazhenka has replaced Harodnaya. I have no results for Netsiazhenka, so I can’t put together a scoring chart, but it is encouraging progress to see a team of three seniors sent to worlds.
Nominative: Aleksandra Rajcic, Jelena Stemenkovic, Andela Durdevic
I have occasional scores on a couple of events for these three athletes, but we’ll have to wait and see if they go for the all-around. Unfortunate is the absence of Serbia’s best gymnast, Tamara Mrdenovic, who often goes to world cups and whom we know has four event scores.
Nominative: Marcela Torres, Jessica Castles, Jonna Adlerteg
The final team sending at least three athletes is Sweden, though it doesn’t look like they’re going for a team total because that would require Adlerteg doing all four events. It’s frustrating because Adlerteg has a huge bars score, Castles made the floor final at Euros and is very competitive on several events, and Torres always has a competitive AA score and 12s across the pieces.
If they were to bring one more all-arounder like Agnes Akerman or Alva Eriksson to deliver some high 11s or low 12s on VT/BB/FX to fill out the scores, I would entertain Sweden as a serious contender for the top 24. Alas…
The remaining nations are not going for team scores, but we do of course have Chusovitina as an event final and medal hope on vault. Theoretically, Dipa Karmakar is supposed to be at worlds, but the requisite Indian selection drama means we’re not really sure if she’ll end up going.
Mostly, these are nations with one special athlete who is being sent to be special (Rifda!), or where we’re just thrilled that they’re sending a representative at all (Cayman Islands! Syria!)
Nominative: Sabina Turobova, Oksana Chusovitina
Nominative: Aruna Budda Reddy, Dipa Karmakar
Nominative: Aida Bauyrzhanova, Yekaterina Chiukina
Nominative: Marina Nekrasova
Nominative: Tran Doan Quynh Nam, Tienna Nguyen
Nominative: Ana Karina Mendez
Nominative: Ofir Netzer, Meitar Lavy
Nominative: Chan Tsz Sum Elizabeth, Ng Yan Yin
Nominative: Simona Castro
Nominative: Meaghan Smith
Nominative: Rifda Irfanaluthfi
Nominative: Anastasia Theocharous
Nominative: Diana Vasquez
Nominative: Jana Mouffok
Nominative: Laney Madsen
Nominative: Reagan Rutty
Nominative: Ana Derek
Nominative: Anna Subbotina
Nominative: Ana Palacios
Nominative: Ruba Aldaoud
Nominative: Agata Vostruchovaite
Nominative: Corinne Bunagan
Nominative: Jana El-Keky
Nominative: Nadine Joy Nathan
Nominative: Areej Alkhayat