The Race to Tokyo – The Bubble Teams

Now that we have nominative rosters for the world championships, it’s possible to play around with scoring permutations and team rankings with a little more confidence and realism than when we didn’t know which random local urchins were going to make up these teams.

So, to the hierarchy. As it currently stands, I have USA, China, France, Russia and Italy as a top 5 teams, with Canada, Great Britain, and Japan rounding out the team final, and Germany close but just missing out. That’s just a very rough sketch of this step pyramid as I see it in present day, and it will be refined as we get closer to worlds. Many previews in our future.

But for the moment, I simply establish that hierarchy to say that if you favor those 9 teams to advance to Tokyo—as I currently do—then we have three Olympic spots left for the remaining teams. And those are the teams I want to deal with today.

Using each team member’s best score recorded on each event in 2019, here’s how those remaining teams rank in the race for those final spots. (And of course, those teams that haven’t been officially named yet are subject to change.)

10. NETHERLANDS – 165.666
Eythora Thorsdottir 13.767 13.866 13.800 13.666
Naomi Visser 13.800 14.333 13.467 13.200
Lieke Wevers 13.867 14.200 12.466 13.500
Vera Van Pol 14.167 13.400 11.633 13.033
Tisha Volleman 14.133 13.533 13.300 13.367

165.666

42.167 42.399 40.567 40.533
Things have looked a little tenuous for the Dutch at times this quad, but if Thorsdottir, Visser, and Wevers are all competing well, the Netherlands should be able to qualify a team to Tokyo with too much drama. Right now, I’d classify this team as the leader of the bubble group—and closer to a team like Germany than to the drop zone—but the situation not safe enough to be complacent or be able to afford multiple counting falls in qualification at worlds.
11. BRAZIL – 164.448
Flavia Saraiva 14.600 13.266 13.833 13.900
Lorrane Oliveira 13.167 14.000 13.067 12.933
Jade Barbosa 14.233 13.650 11.833 13.733
Thais Fidelis 13.700 12.950 13.133 13.300
Carolyne Pedro 13.733 13.150 12.233 12.933
164.448 42.566 40.916 40.033 40.933
The injury to Andrade knocked Brazil down from that group of team-final favored teams right into the bubble zone, and we now have a team that’s going to have to count a Yfull and potentially going to have to count Flavia’s bars score. That opens up the possibility for a lower team total—as we see even in this projection assuming those…pretty high floor scores.
12. BELGIUM – 162.931
Maellyse Brassart 13.800 13.300 13.166 12.900
Nina Derwael 13.566 15.300 13.800 13.066
Jade Vansteenkiste 13.733 13.100 11.333 13.500
Julie Vandamme 13.450 13.250 10.850 12.050
Margaux Daveloose 12.700 13.400 13.050 13.250
162.931 41.099 42.000 40.016 39.816
I’m a bit more concerned about Belgium’s prospects for Olympic qualification following the meet in Germany last weekend than I was before. There were some serious issues with hitting and wayyyy too many counting 12s. Now, I would still swap in either Senna Deriks or Fien Enghels for Julie Vandamme on this nominative team, which would help increase the score a little—and I’m still putting Belgium in my 12 at the moment. But, a performance like that repeated at worlds would not necessarily stay ahead of a hit meet from a team like Australia.
13. AUSTRALIA – 162.299
Georgia-Rose Brown 13.775 13.650 12.975 12.850
Talia Folino 13.875 13.200 12.125 12.150
Georgia Godwin 13.875 13.675 13.266 13.750
Emily Whitehead 13.633 13.375 12.833 12.600
Emma Nedov 13.875 13.350 14.100 13.033
162.299 41.625 40.700 40.341 39.633
Australia is still on the outside looking in (and I think a couple of the higher-end domestic scores included here are not too realistic), but Australia also has to be encouraged by looking at the totals for a team like Belgium and seeing itself not too, too far behind that. At least, I would put Australia in “on any given day, it could happen” territory.
14. UKRAINE – 161.880
Valeria Osipova 13.933 12.450 12.266 12.400
Diana Varinska 13.800 13.966 13.100 13.266
Anastasia Bachynska 14.000 13.566 13.533 13.200
Angelina Radivilova 13.900 13.050 13.333 13.033
Yana Fedorova 13.650 12.800 12.000 11.850
161.880 41.833 40.582 39.966 39.499
I will admit to cooking the books a little bit here and not including scores recorded at meets within Ukraine. The reason: I want this to be at least a somewhat reliable picture of national quality, and…no Yana Fedorova is not going to score 14.500 on beam at worlds. Putting that score in here would just be comical. Even without those bonkers scores, Ukraine should consider itself in the hunt as long as Varinska and Bachynska deliver in qualification. I look at this Ukrainian team as being on par with these other “next-closest” countries.
15. HUNGARY – 161.649
Dorina Boczogo 13.750 12.650 12.400 13.400
Bianka Schermann 13.550 13.900 12.700 12.850
Zsofia Kovacs 13.933 14.000 13.450 13.000
Sara Peter 14.166 11.100 12.100 13.000
Noemi Makra 13.050 13.000 13.350 13.000
161.649 41.849 40.900 39.500 39.400
I don’t have the individual event scores from Hungarian nationals, so those are not included here, but we’re nonetheless seeing a team that has enough spot routines to be a thorn in the side of the favorites At least, as long as they get three beam hits in there since that’s Hungary’s least-competitive number.
16. SPAIN – 161.267
Ana Perez 13.867 13.767 13.567 13.700
Alba Petsico 13.600 12.850 12.367 12.867
Marina Gonzalez 13.300 12.900 13.200 12.866
Roxana Popa 13.433 13.550 11.667 12.333
Cintia Rodriguez 13.333 13.500 13.350 12.733
161.267 40.900 40.817 40.117 39.433
The scores tell us that Spain should also be competitive with these outsider Olympic spot contenders—just a point back from Australia—though I have a little more skepticism about some of these scores and Spain’s likelihood of getting that close to Olympic qualification. Realistically, I’d put Spain in the next tier down.
17. SOUTH KOREA – 160.366
Lee Yunseo 13.166 14.100 13.100 12.266
Eom Dohyun 13.100 13.250 12.400 12.400
Ham Miju 13.600 12.200 12.900 12.650
Yeo Seojeong 15.100 12.150 13.800 12.350
Lee Eunju 12.100 13.000 13.033 13.167
160.366 41.866 40.350 39.933 38.217
Keep in mind that South Korea finished 14th at worlds last year, so this is not truly a team on the deserted outskirts of Olympic qualification—even though they compete at fewer meets as a group and therefore have a lower profile. I don’t think the four-event scores are really there (floor is going to be a problem for competitiveness), but KOR can put together another solid finish.
ROMANIA – 159.897
Ana Maria Puiu 13.600 12.300 13.233 12.900
Iulia Berar 13.266 12.950 13.500 12.050
Ioana Crisan 13.200 12.500 12.850 12.200
Denisa Golgota 14.366 12.966 13.700 13.866
Maria Holbura 13.233 12.300 12.533 13.050
159.897 41.232 38.416 40.433 39.816
Romania did place 13th at worlds last year, just one position out of the Olympic spots, but the outlook is not auspicious this year despite a largely intact team. Even these current scores, which I think are quite charitable in some places, put Romania down in 18th.

There’s also North Korea, which qualified a team to compete at worlds this year after finishing 16th last year. As always, we have basically nothing to go on about that team. 

To me, we still have a collective of 12 clear teams—the same teams that finished in the top 12 at worlds last year, and the same teams that qualified to the 2016 Olympics—but there’s quite a bit of parity among the next-best countries, so if one of the favorites falls apart, it’s suddenly a wide-open race.

Advertisements