No, noteworthy elite competition for 2019 doesn’t really get underway for another week with Elite Canada, the Reykjavik Games, and the Buckeye Kristal Uzelac elite qualifier, but we sure do have a lot of roster news to keep us warm until then.
Stuttgart has announced that it is the champion of the AA world cup series this year, getting both Simone Biles and Aliya Mustafina to headline its field that also includes Seitz and Schäfer. American Cup is like, “You win this round, Germany…”
We’re also only about a month away from the 2nd of 8 competitions in the apparatus world cup Olympic qualification series (Melbourne, February 21-24), and we now have the list of competitors, one that is notably rather sparse on the women’s side. Leading the field is the comeback of Vanessa Ferrari, who’s going to be perfectly suited to attempt the apparatus route and depending on her current level, has a series shot at garnering a ton of floor points here. A couple other countries are all in, no regrets with their rosters, but not too many. Of course Australia is bringing its best available competitors, and China too is sending a strong group featuring Fan Yilin. (Recall that Fan fell in the final at Cottbus, so she doesn’t have a useful result from the first stop.)
But beyond that, most of the far-away European countries are taking a pass on this one on the women’s side, providing an opportunity for some unexpected people to get loads and loads of points. The same is not true on the men’s side, where nations like the Netherlands, France, and Great Britain are slated to send some of their most likely qualifiers to try to snatch a good result early in the process. You can check in on the current Olympic qualification standings after one event here.
B. National team camp
The US women are back at it for another national team camp.
The roster here is large, as is pretty typical of the January camp, with all the members of the national team participating, along with other invitees. Not on the roster among the major senior players are Adeline Kenlin, Olivia Dunne, Tori Tatum, Audrey Davis, and Maile O’Keefe.
The roster was also apparently controversial with regard to who was invited or disinvited or told they would be invited and then not invited or originally not invited and then only invited later. Does it sound enough like your seventh grade birthday party yet?
It’s comeback season, apparently. Ashton Locklear talked to Juliette Bossu (#internationalfriendships) about returning to competition in February. We’re all assuming that means she’ll compete at the Biles Invitational since that happens in February and, you know, that’s her gym.
Of note, Locklear says she’s planning to compete floor this year.
I know, perseverance, personal goals, yada yada yada, but also
In other news, Roxana Popa, who basically invented “Spain is good again” before injuries took her out for years and years, is aiming to return to competition this month.
In more other news, Elsa Garcia, who basically invented “Mexico is good again” before injuries took her out for years and years, is aiming to return to competition.
In less fun elite gymnast news, Amy Tinkler continues to be all injured all over the place and is going to miss British and the European Championships. Remember when she got injured last year and we were like, “It’s probably not that bad…”
D. The 10s are speaking
Maggie Nichols and Alex McMurtry accepted their NCAA awards
Like a band-aid. Right off. Here we go.
OK, so, John Engler finally resigned in an 11-page letter like a total drama queen (like, how many words does it take to say, “I bad”) after being aggressively terrible for many months. Phew.
Dan Baker from Stars in Houston got the job as the developmental coordinator (the MLT job). Yeah…
And if you’ve ever seen Maria Paseka drive, this occurrence should come as exactly no surprise.
And USAG is paying all the money to all the wrong people.
This week, it’s an “I CAN’T TAKE NCAA JUDGING ANYMORE AND WE’RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT IT FOR HOURS AND HOURS” edition of GymCastic because we recorded immediately after that UCLA meet and…you guys. On the topic of meet etiquette, we also have some…differing views about how one should behave in the audience at a gymnastics competition. As you might imagine.