Things Are Happening – September 13, 2019

A. Worlds Roster News

B. US Women’s Worlds Camp

C. Bruno Grandi

D. This weekend…ish

E. Szombathely World Cup

F. GymCastic

A. Worlds Roster News

We’ve had some developments. First, Germany announced its final women’s team as Seitz, Bui, Scheder, Petz, and Voss—with Schäfer as the alternate. An interesting and unexpected choice. If everyone is healthy and hitting best-case-scenario routines, your highest-scoring German team would have Petz as the alternate, but Petz has been in form lately and hitting at the selection meets while others have been falling or not at full strength due to injury, so I can see it.

Schäfer had a weak beam routine at the recent meet in Worms, but she also scored 13.850 on beam at trials, and if anyone missed out because of a weak performance in Worms, I thought it might be Bui.

The named team is truly excellent on bars but concerns me re: beam because now you’re tasked with hoping the scores from Scheder, Petz, and Voss are all countable. (Seitz will also go on beam in qualification but she hasn’t scored a 13 on beam in 2.5 years, so you’re going to want to drop her score.). All three counters can be good—and Voss has emerged lately as a truly solid beamer—but the hitting concerns me enormously.

After pretending like it was going to send only one person to worlds, and then registering two, Poland has gone back to its original decision and opted not to send Marta Pihan-Kulesza to worlds for unclear reasons.

Dear Polish gymnastics,

You dumb? Do you fall and smack your head on something? Do you not want Olympics? Even with a bad day at Euros qualification this year, she scored 48.232, a score that still would have been high enough to place among the Olympic qualifiers had that been decided at last year’s worlds. So, address yourself.

Sincerely, me

Rounding up some other things: Anina Wildi has had to withdraw for Switzerland and will be replaced by Anny Wu. Peru’s team was not available at the time of the initial nominative roster release, but it has now been announced as Sandra Collantes, Ariana Orrego, and Fabiola Diaz for the women and Daniel Aguero, Arian Leon Prado, and Jesus Moreto for the men.

We also got an actual REPORT from the men’s selection committee discussing how they came up with the team they did, using actual spreadsheets, which is significant. We’ll always have disagreements over teams and the reasons those teams were selected—that’s the nature of the beast—but for a selection committee to clearly express its methodology and how it arrived at the decision is an encouraging step in indicating that national teams might be managed with a bit more professionalism and clarity going forward.

The women’s team is now required to release a report as well following its camp, so that should be fascinating. I’ll be impressed if there are team comparison spreadsheets included in that one. As long as it’s not just the words “RANK ORDER” scrawled in crayon, we can probably work with it.

For your next assignment, please imagine Martha having to write up one of those reports about her team selection.

B. US Women’s Worlds Camp

Speaking of camp, USAG announced that selection competition for the US women will be held on September 22nd and 23rd. Once again, only the AA competition on the 22nd will be streamed, and not the two-event competition on the 23rd (unlike the men, who streamed both days of competition), so…what continues to be up with that? It’s weird, right? I mean, you’re already there streaming the routines from the day before.

Post-nationals, we had sort of been able to piece together the invitees to the selection camp, but the roster wasn’t officially released until today. Everyone who placed in the top 14 in the AA from nationals, plus Riley, got an invite. So…nearly everybody.

I’m fine with that. It looked for a while like we would have an artificially limited group (last year’s selection camp had just 9 attendees), which didn’t seem necessary in a squad this deep with so many different options, especially when the Pan Ams team was given an automatic pass to selection camp.

Now, with a whole 15 people being invited, we have gone the opposite direction to some extent with a few gymnasts attending this selection camp who have an exactly 0% chance of making the worlds team, but…the more the merrier I suppose.

C. Bruno Grandi

Grandi’s dead. So…um…happy trails? Take it easy? I saw him speak once a couple years ago, and it was long.

D. This weekend…ish

First, we’re giving lots of bonus points to the Italian federation today (there’s a first time for everything) for live streaming nationals this weekend. Women’s competition began today, men’s starts tomorrow, and then finals are on Sunday. In the women’s AA today, Asia D’Amato reigned as the only one of the ’03 quartet to hit beam, which allowed her to take the national title, just head of Desiree Carofiglio, who had an excellent day to shut me up about the worlds team. I mean, this was her Dowell:

(Although she did only tie Mori on FX at 13.650 and that was with Mori struggling on her final double pike.)

Villa fell on her tuck full on beam and had a near-disaster on her 3/1 on floor going 800 miles OOB to place 3rd (still only 0.5 out of first place though), followed by Alice D’Amato and then Elisa Iorio. Will be interesting to see who gets to do the AA in qualification at worlds.

Meanwhile, the Paris World Cup runs Saturday and Sunday (qualification Saturday, finals Sunday), and a solid field is expected featuring most of the best Frenchies, and also Ellie Downie, Petrounias, Tomas Gonzalez, Rhys McClenaghan, Chuso, and Varinska and Bachynska. The Olympic Channel is streaming finals on Sunday at 1:30pm local time.

The Dutch women are back in action on Saturday, hosting a meet against Spain, Hungary, and Switzerland beginning at 11:00am local.

The senior women will compete at the Australian Classic on Monday and Wednesday, with 20 WAG athletes scheduled to compete, including the whole nominative worlds roster.

E. Szombathely World Cup

Last weekend’s Szombathely Challenge Cup can best be summed up in a series of GIFs (what can’t?)

F. GymCastic

We’re back this week with a deep dive into men’s selection camp and the departure of Dennis McIntyre, plus thoughts on Dutch things.

19 thoughts on “Things Are Happening – September 13, 2019”

  1. Pauline Schaefer belonged on that team which is now too bars heavy and too light on beam (and vault, but Petz has been doing a handspring lay 1/2 as a second vault lately, so…?). I see a valid case for leaving each of Petz, Bui and Scheder as the alternate over Schaefer, with the latter making the most sense to me at the moment, but one of them should have been left out for Schaefer. They need that beam routine, even if she missed it once or twice this year, and that vault outscores a FTY most of the time.

    1. Most countries aren’t great on beam right now. Germany isn’t that much worse than most other countries on beam. Unless they have another Euro 2018 Beam rotation meltdown (truly the worst beam meltdown I’ve ever seen). However, the German 3/3 bar lineup of Bui, Scheder and Seitz is Ahh Mazing! Those ladies almost always hit their bar sets and score in the 14’s. Germany has been using that bar lineup for about a decade to great success.

      Germany is taking a solid bar lineup that will easily outscore any potential beam lineup they could put together right now. Of course if they get Schaeffer and Griesser back at full strength then it’s a different story.

    2. If Schäfer would have been at her best, she definetely belonged on that team. But she didnt even make the beam final at German Championchips. Plus she almost never hit floor, where she is usually pretty strong as well. On vault Petz gets about the same score as Schäfer. Sadly Schäfer only had that one good beam routine. I wish she was at her best! But I can totally understand their decision. I hope they can get through beam! Three of them are at least capable of a 13.

      1. The thing is that Schäfer only would be good for beam. On vault, Petz is same or better and with Voss and Seitz having a DTY it’s a good combination. The solid FTYs of Bui und Scheder are not much behind Schäfers vault. I also thought that Bui would be the alternate but it seems to me that she is needed for the floor line up.

      2. Floor would have made her case stronger, but she didn’t need it to make the team when her case could be made without it. Domestically those FTYs may scote similarly to Schaefer, but the way vault scoring goes at worlds, none of the FTYs will achieve that (last year, no FTY broke 9.1 E and only very few harder vaults had enough errors to be outscored by FTYs), so unless Petz makes the lay 1/2 her first vault, Schaefer’s own lay 1/2 is an asset.

        As for beam, Schaefer is 2-for-4 so far this year, and those 2 hits were scores nobody else in Germany can deliver, one of them in an international meet. A team without Schaefer has to put up Scheder in TF, who isn’t exactly more reliable and the score potential isn’t as high. As for bars, Petz has started getting high 13s and got a 14 on bars at German trials, so the team IMO wins more from a potential beam hit from Schaefer (who might be more reliable than Scheder to hit anyway) and her vault than from a fourth bars routine it doesn’t necessarily need.

  2. Also Amoree Lockhart changed her commitment from OU to Denver which starts to help sort out Oklahoma’s 2021 verbal class.

  3. The funniest thing about the letter and spreadsheet from USAG about the men’s team selection is that only Sam and Akash were on all top 5 team choices. Akash <3

    1. Top 2 team variations: 258.683 vs 258.599, only difference? Yul on 1, Allan on 2. Yul beat out Allan for a team spot by 0.084.

      That’s probably a revelation for many people.

      1. Yul’s been injured with back or elbow issues for six months now, literally. There was also something cryptic said on gymcastic about that’s all that has been publicly stated, suggesting there is something else known but not disclosed.

        What’s another two weeks? And if his 80% is better than everyone else that could step up, if, he, his physician, coach and USAG are willing to risk it, then…I guess that’s their call. I think Yul has no chance at medals, nor does the men’s team in finals, and they’ll qualify for Olympics no matter what so it’s an unnecessary risk.

        It makes me question everyone’s judgment or it’s just an outdated excuse for performances, it has to be one or the other.

      2. Given how injured Yul has been this year, I agree that it’s an unnecessary risk. I like the suggestion that was made very briefly on Gymcastic (I think by Kensley) to save Yul for PanAms and the extra non-nominative spot. If he were at his best now, I don’t think it would be worth it but when he is struggling this year and the difference between Yul and Allan is negligible, I think it is a strategy worth considering.

  4. I’m trying to imagine Martha doing a selection report.



    1. Bars! We brought Gabby for bars!

    2. Each committee member was then asked to nod their heads in unison. The Independent Observer was then allowed to leave her assigned observation seat, staring through a pinhole in the wall from the opposite room with a cup to her ear, and come inside to validate the selection process.

    I confirm that to the best of my knowledge, this report accurately reflects the Juy, 2016 meeting of the Olympic Selection Committee.


    Random USAG Intern

  5. New layouts! I haven’t checked them out on a laptop yet, but on my phone it looks like comments are now numbered but no longer nested. Is that what others are seeing?

  6. Sorry to be so late to the game, but is “top 3” average of best 3 or something else in the men’s selection report? I’m having trouble interpreting “top 3” vs “top 2”.

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