Let’s Talk Worlds Teams – Netherlands and Italy

On Saturday, the Netherlands invited in Italy, Norway, Sweden, and Elisa Hämmerle for the first of its trials for selecting the world championships team, so I’m going to break down what we learned about those Dutch and Italian teams following the competition.

For the Netherlands, seven gymnasts competed (with Sanne Wevers also still potentially in the mix for worlds but not quite ready yet). Five were part of “the team”—Eythora Thorsdottir, Naomi Visser, Lieke Wevers, Tisha Volleman, and Sanna Veerman—and two competed as individuals, Vera van Pol and Sara van Disseldorp.

Though van Pol was not competing as part of the true team, she ended up placing 4th among the Dutch gymnasts in the AA, with the highest vault score of the whole gang, and definitely stated her case that she should be considered part of the team. This is the highest-scoring Dutch team you could create from the results of the meet:

Eythora Thorsdottir 13.767 13.733 13.800 13.233
Naomi Visser 13.800 13.967 13.167 13.200
Lieke Wevers 13.767 13.800 12.400 13.500
Vera van Pol 14.167 13.400 11.633 13.033
Tisha Volleman 13.833 13.333 12.633 12.067
162.833 41.800 41.500 39.600 39.933

Not part of that highest-scoring five are Sanna Veerman and Sara van Disseldorp. I’d say van Disseldorp’s role in this group is as a backup and that she isn’t in the same position as the other athletes in terms of likelihood to make a worlds team. For Sanna Veerman, it was a truly rough day. She fell on three events and had a major error on bars, undermining a score that should be really significant for her. Veerman is going to need a big performance at the next trial in two weeks in order to make up for this one.

The best performers for the Netherlands were Thorsdottir and Visser, both of whom were locks for the worlds team before this meet and continue to be so. It was nonetheless encouraging to see Thorsdottir go out there and get through four actual hit events, in addition to just generally being a star in every possible way.

Lieke Wevers has been a question mark for me because it’s been so very long since we’ve seen her performing as a full-strength all-around gymnast. That’s why her four-hit competition here was the most significant performance of the Dutch athletes. She recorded the third-best AA score on the team and won floor with this glorious treasure.

That performance allayed some concerns for me, and while beam was tentative on this occasion, she’s still Lieke there. It’s a routine I’d comfortably use.

What that group of three doesn’t have is big vaulting. That’s why van Pol nailing a Y1.5 for a 14+ score makes an important statement—especially with Veerman falling on her own 1.5. The vault need is also why even though Volleman struggled with her DTY landing (she also fell on floor, which is why she didn’t place higher), it’s still a DTY that the Dutch team needs and keeps her in an safer position than she might be otherwise.

Sanne Wevers can still disrupt things. Her beam score is so high, with obvious individual medal potential, that if she comes back at the next trial in two weeks with her normal amazing beam routine intact, I’d still want her on a worlds team. But, she’d have to prove she is truly back at that level.

It’s also possible that Veerman can pull herself back up. If she’s hitting her Y1.5 and shows a good bars routine, she would start to look quite a bit more convincing. Heading in, Veerman was on the default team and van Pol was relegated to individual status, so it looks like they were leaning toward Veerman to begin with.

On to the Italians.

Giorgia Villa won the overall AA title at this meet, and did so with a lower number than her normal on bars, nonetheless going 55.633 for a performance marked by this principessa beam routine that raked in a 14.467.

It wasn’t a perfect meet for any of the Italians, but as a group, their hits complemented their misses so they were able to win the team competition by multiple points over the Dutch. If you were doing a worlds team based on this meet, the team would be:

Giorgia Villa 14.533 13.333 14.467 13.300
Asia D’Amato 14.467 13.667 13.433 12.267
Alice D’Amato 14.633 14.333 13.233 11.900
Elisa Iorio 13.800 14.133 12.300 13.100
Desiree Carofiglio 14.200 14.033 12.033 13.300
166.965 43.633 42.499 41.133 39.700

That 166.965 team score would have placed 2nd at worlds last year (and comfortably so), and while you definitely can’t compete these scores to what would happen at worlds, it’s a general indication that Italy is in fine shape.

What I was saying last week about the Italian team still stands. Typically, you would be fine counting Villa’s bars score, which means Carofiglio is basically in the group for her floor to supplement the D’Amatos—who have tremendous ability but are not so reliable and had misses in this competition. And if you’re bringing someone just for floor, it should be Mori. Still, as we’ve known for quite a while, these 2003 Italians are the real deal, and they basically just need to not implode at worlds. And if they don’t implode, the fifth team member could be a dish towel. Everything should work out. It should. But also Italy.

In addition to that five, Martina Maggio also showed three events, and while she broke 13 on all three of her pieces (VT, UB, BB), her numbers were not enough to get into the highest-scoring group.

Jonna Adlerteg also competed the all-around here and scored 51.068, so deal with that. That’s definitely the kind of performance that would get her an Olympic spot if she did it at worlds. Anyone who scores in the 50s at worlds in qualification is definitely getting a nominative Olympic spot. As long as Sweden decides to send her, that is (#JusticeforVeronicaWagner).

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