The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Live from Worlds – US Women’s Podium Training

For the sake of ease, I’m putting the final podium training session in its own post.

I love that suddenly for the US women’s podium training, they have all the big-screen graphics and the fancy lighting working, which they’ve been testing here and there during the other sessions.

So, apparently “Set New Signs” is also a song. We’re going to hear it a lot. It’s very 19-year-old nonsense about like “hope” and “you can do everything” and whatnot.

Intros done. US women going with your traditional wave.

The sheer number of cameras around the floor for the US. What was a clear view for the last two days is…not anymore.

Simone warms up the 3-2 and gets a huge round of applause. “History has been made, the first triple double at women’s podium training.” LOL. Carol Angela is a true gem, which I have learned this week. She’s just the NICEST possible person you guys.

Kara Eaker will lead off for the US. Good landing on front lay to front 2/1 – 3/1, only a small slide – gorgeous Memmel to double turn of course, just a little leaning out of it – some tucking on 2.5 to front full, kept it in – double pike was really deep with a lunge forward. Otherwise strong.

Up 2nd on floor is Grace McCallum. Double double, bounce back, a little awkward but not the short landing we had seen during the summer. Her full in was very strong, nice secure landing, bounce on doubel pike. Serviceable, a bit better than at nationals and camp.

Up 3rd on floor is Skinner. Moors is controlled into the corner, lots of hip piking – front tuck through to full in, slide back – double double, slight jarred landing back – 3/1, a bit under rotated, bounces back out of it – Laurent hands up to make sure she doesn’t go OOB but she didn’t need it.

Up 4th on floor is Lee. double double, stagger landing and a bit of chest position but good control – DLO, same chest position and same control, only the smallest slide – has to readjust her position before her wolf turn party, but the turns are fine – 1.5 to front full – double tuck, bit of a slide back. Solid routine. She’s ready.

So, does Tom know there are only five members on a team? After reading the selection committee report with those 6/7 member “highest team scores” I’m unsure.

Carey is up 5th – Moors, the knees but well controlled – double L turn borderline – DLO 1/1 with a bounce back and OOB, that’s usually her best controlled landing – double double, fine, bounce back – fornt tuck through to double tuck, bounce. Not bad, some OOB risk, very similar to her selection camp routine.

Simone is 6th – triple full, obvi too easy for her with a bounce back – QUAD DOUBL EOR I’M UNIMPRESSED – Biles is strong – front full to full in, bounce – good split leap 1.5 – double double, bounce back, keeps it int he corner. Normal Simone. She’s ready.

A good floor rotation for the US, only small errors anywhere, really. But no insight into the team, the alternate, or the order. I hope the athletes have been given some kind of indication because it would be very MARTHA HUNGER GAMES DIE FOR YOUR SPOT I WILL ANNOUNCE IT NEVER to keep it up in the air still.

Brazil went on vault, and of course there was always something I needed to write about going on with floor when the good stuff was happening over there. I saw Thais do a full. If that helps. Which it doesn’t.

Anna Li is here on the floor coaching Tan Sze En.

This may be the most intense podium training session I’ve ever seen. There are seven cameras filming the US women sitting around right now. At podium training.

The US is one of the only teams of the two days that just did it’s floor routines and peaced out, not going back up to work individual passes after the full run-throughs.

Rotation to apparatus the 2nd.

Interested to see how Skinner looks here because her vaults in their first training session on the 29th were baaaaaaad. Simone’s Lopez timer is actually hilarious in its ease.

Kara Eaker worked a Y1.5, lunge forward, knees – Lee DTY, steps back. These aren’t their “official” attempts I guess, so they’re not really trying to land. Except for McCallum who nearly sticks. Simone’s now like, “why is this Cheng so easy?”

Thais falls on a Jaeger on her bars.

Real attempts for US now.

Eaker – Y1.5, knees, hop forward, very similar to her previous attempt

Lee – DTY – a bit deep, not too bad, hop back

McCallum – DTY, near stick, good control

Jade Barbosa is on bars – connects a Shap to a bit of a low tkatchev, close catch on Ricna but fine – DLO with hop back. Nice one.

Skinner – 1 – one-arm Cheng and basically stuck. So that works. Honestly one of her best ever.

Skinner – 2 – Amanar, the landing is out of control with a lunge off the mat but still sooo much better than we saw on the 29th.

Flavia hit bars (Flavia style, but hit) while that was happening.

Carey 1 – Her Cheng is also quite strong, small slide –

Carey 2 – large lunge forward on Amanar. The Cheng should be the counting vault for both her and Skinner.

Hit bars for Oliveira. Lots of safe catching-close moments for Brazil in that rotation but a good one overall. Hit routines.

Biles 1 – Cheng with a bounce back, actually the least controlled Cheng of the three, but of course she more than makes it up with amplitude and form.

Biles 2 – Amanar, glorius medium hop forward.

So, um, they’re doing fine. Seems obvious to me that McCallum should be the alternate because she’s not top 3 on vault or floor despite a good performance on both events here, but we shall see.

Simone’s hanging around like she’s going to work on another vault…

She does the Biles! Lands a little short with a slide back, but successful. So are we thinking that means Cheng for qualification/AA/team and then Biles for EF?

Lots of withdrawals in this subdivision, so the mixed groups are going through super quickly.

On to rotation 3,

After the little warmup, we’re onto the “official routines”

Skinner and Carey went (I thought these were still their little warmups, the distinction is minimal in podium training, but Carey and Skinner went and hit with theri usual formies).

Eaker – Church to Pak, laurent spots – large arch on handstand on low bar and has to add an extra swing – Shap 1/2 with some legs – clear hip full – toe 1/2 and can’t get over the bar, hops off. First fall of the day for the US.

McCallum – Weiler 1/2 to Shap to tkatchev, close but hit – Downie to a straddled Pak – toe shap 1/2 – toe on and misses her toes and has to extra swing – and….now the exact same problem as Eaker, tries her toe on, can’t get over the bar, and falls.

Biles – weiler 1/2 to toe shap to tkatchev – full to piked jaeger to pak – van leeuwen – double double tuck, she’s not happy with the landing, a little out of control with a lunge off the mat.

Lee – Nabieva to pak to Maloney to bhardwaj, just a little close on the bhardwaj but no real trouble – van leeauwen – 1.5 to piked jaeger – very short on final cast handstand and decides to bail out of her dismount and not do it.

Next time through the order:

Skinner – weiler 1/2 to toe shap to tkatchev, knees, but caught, short hs – Ray was super close caught which meant the pak was a little more ragged than usual, straddles van leeuwen – double double dismount was the best we’ve seen it from her, landed upright, just a hop to the side.

Jade just saluted the wrong direction before this routine.

Carey – Ray, caught close – Yezhova, pretty clean you know, toe shap to bhardwaj, leg breaks on that and van leeuwen – very short vertical – giant full – FTDT, good dismount, hop on landing

Eaker – Church to pak is better this time, clean – Van leeuwen, only a bit of feet – clear hip full toe 1/2 to piked jaeger, nice – DLO, short with a hop back, but that was the good one. That’s the one she wants.

McCallum – weiler 1/2 to Maloney to tkatchev, hip angle but caught – Downie to pak is better on both counts this time – nice legs together on van leeuwen – FTDT, hop back.

Eaker and McCallum saved it with their second routines.

Biles – weiler 1/2 to Maloney to tkatchev, solid – toe full to piked tkatchev to pak, legs togehter throughout – van leeuwen, just a touch of foot form – double double was a ton better this time, small hop.

Lee – nabieva (better feet) to pak – Maloney to bhardwaj, pretty – van leeuwen with a bit of leg break – she doesn’t do the 1.5 this time, giant full and then blind change into the piked jaeger -FTDT this time, good landing.

Asked Jessica for the review on Brazil’s beam: “Everyone hit but Jade.” Yeah. Not a new story. Crying emoji.

Rotation 4

Jade Carey comes off on her layout-pike, well off line and no chance to save. Another fall right after. Double tuck dismount was nice.

Jade Barbosa falls on double pike final pass on

Skinner – totally missed on her back tuck full, barely anything touches the beam, scrapes her leg along the side of the beam on her way down – split jump 1/2 from side position is well short of position – full in dismount is fantastic though. Just a small hop.

Sorry about the weird formatting and missing a little for a second. I met Olly for the first time and got distracted, you know. Priorities.

McCallum – hits her wolves – just a check on her loso loso series – aerial, solid – double pike, hop back.

Flavia does indeed show her upgraded whip to DLO on floor. Full in is landed, a bit of an awkward stagger. really nice split leap 1.5

Lee – aerial, pretty – bhs bhs layout, right on – switch to switch 1/2, check, back tuck, another check – side aerial to one loso, check – double tuck, hop

Eaker – switch mount to split ring – Y spin, overturned a little – aerial to split ring to back handspring, very smooth – everything is lovely and no checks at all so far, one of her routines where you’re just like, “Oh, she’s perfect”…until her switch side which was a little off this time, short of split and a check, 2.5 dismount, hop back.

Biles – aerial to split to straddle – bhs loso loso, super secure – switch to switch 1/2 to back pike, strong – side aerial, hit – split jump 1/2 from side position with a big wobble, bend at the hips – double double dismount was fab, just a little hop.

A thing here and there, but a good day for Simone. She loked really strong. The US had some really rough moments on bars and beam, but the key routines were well hit. We knew this was a team that left no room for error, where the three routines (or two in the case of bars) have to be THE routines.

Carey and Skinner both go up again after their trouble sets and fix the problems from the first time around.

McCallum had the third-best day of the US athletes here overall, but as I said before, she’d be my alternate because I don’t see where she fits in the 3-count lineups. The only complication would be Tom’s AA fetish, because she had a super clean and confident day today.

And if you’re dropping Skinner instead, then this team really doesn’t make sense because the whole argument for this team was that you’re making up for what you lose on bars without Hurd (or beam without Wong) because you have Skinner’s vault to lift the team score (nearly) equivalently.

The US not finishing early in this rotation, using all the time to go back and work individual elements. Simone is working on her combinations and the rhythm in them and redoing the side jump a few times. It’s causing her some trouble but the third one was good. The double double dismount is getting better and better.

%d bloggers like this: