Things Are Happening – October 25, 2019

Because it’s been a while.

A. Simone’s First Pitch

You know, obviously start with the most important news. Simone did a first pitch, electing to go for the back full in jeans, which puts it pretty high up the rankings right there because of her D score. You know she’s pissed that she landed it kind of short though.

Ideally, you would like to see your gymnastics first pitch take place in a single sequence and show good rhythm in connection. I’m not wild about how she had to wait for her Mistress of the Robes to deliver the ball to her after the back full, but we can work on it. She’s still got a year until she has to do her post-Olympics first pitches.

And pretty solid pitch as far as gymnasts go. I mean, she’s obviously never thrown anything in her life before, but we’ve seen it go a lot more tragically. And if you thought I was going to pass up any opportunity to revisit this…

I’ve truly never been happier. (See: Gymnastics First Pitches — A GIFstory)

Additional bonus points are also awarded to Simone for the use of hilarious height discrepancy.

B. Cottbus Nominative Roster

The 5th apparatus Olympic qualifier will be upon us in less than a month now, and the nominative roster for Cottbus has been released.

Post-worlds, we’re seeing those who are now in “Oh crap, I need this” mode kick it into gear, with Epke Zonderland on the list for high bar—along with Hidetaka Miyachi, as those two battle it out for the HB spot, currently tied on 85 points. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to see both of them get to the maximum of 90 points and have to go to a total score tiebreaker.

Tomas Gonzalez is also attending his first qualifier to do floor (going to be tough because Rayderley Zapata has that one nearly sewn up at this point, and is competing here). Gonzalez is currently 2nd alternate for the all-around spots from worlds, and his best path to the Olympics is likely two people ahead of him getting injured and not being able to go to Tokyo—or not being sent by their NOC.

The Chinese men are going ALL IN on an apparatus Olympic spot, and they’re definitely going to end up winning a couple of these events and heading to an intra-country tiebreak since each nation can earn only one spot per gender through apparatus world cups.

You Hao currently leads both rings and PBars, but he’s on the list to compete only PBars, so it looks like the strategy is to have him go for that spot and let Liu Yang go after rings (currently ranked 3rd there). Though Ali Zahran and Courtney Tulloch are both going after that rings spot as well, and are both competing at Cottbus, as is Eleftherios Petrounias. Now. After he didn’t get a spot at worlds. And he’s of course very capable of running the table at the remaining events if his arms are still attached.

The US has elected not to send any athletes to Cottbus. I could have seen the men sending someone who didn’t go to worlds like Colin Van Wicklen—it’s highly unlikely that the US men will get an Olympic spot this way, but why not.

For the women, the only one who’s going this route is Carey, and she was just at worlds, so if you’re skipping out on an event, this one makes sense to skip out on. She’s not in a position where she has to go to all of these. Though it is worth noting that she will need to go to some. At least one. Carey doesn’t have maximum points yet, so there’s nothing stopping Maria Paseka from going to the remaining events, racking up maximum points, and passing Carey on vault. For example. The US would need to send Carey to some of the remaining events to prevent that from happening—or a similar situation on floor, where Mori and Ferrari sit just 8 points behind Carey. Paseka, Mori, and Ferrari are all on the roster for Cottbus.

Also interesting, China has not put Lyu Jiaqi—the current leader on bars—into this event, but they are sending Fan Yilin, who is currently in 2nd place. Looks like she’s the chosen one for that spot? Also keep an eye on Li Qi, who is currently 2nd to Emma Nedov on beam. Both are attending this event. (As is Jia Fangfang, our tumbling world champ turned floor secret weapon.)

This Olympic qualification is getting exciting. If you’re into that kind of thing.

I have updated the full 2020 qualification page with the teams and gymnasts that have already qualified as well as the current standings of the apparatus world cup series.

C. Developments in Crazy

I have a firm, blanket belief that everyone involved in every aspect of the US women’s program is crazy and a psychopath and would run a suicide cult if not for their involvement in gymnastics. Nothing that has happened over the last month has done anything to dispel that belief. That is all.

Anyway, the Maggie Haney case appears to be on hold because they literally can’t find a single Team USA athlete willing to be involved with any of you people. HMMM A CLUE.

Also word on the street is that Svetlana Khorkina gave birth to a human baby. I have my doubts.

In different-type-of-crazy news: Fusuke Maeda went and did a triple back over the high bar and everyone was like, “Ahhhhh” and I was like, “Do a quad.”

D. Other Meets That Exist

Aside from Cottbus, we’re moving into the “fun” portion of the season, the one with a bunch of meets in central Europe where you compete in mixed pairs slash don’t always have to do all the events if you don’t want to.

On Saturday, the Netherlands is hosting the Brabant Trophy, a mixed pairs event featuring Melnikova, Stretovich, Regini-Moran, Bart, and Casimir, among others, and the Swiss Cup is coming up on November 3rd.

But basically, yeah, you’re in the wilderness until Cottbus. Time to get excited about NCAA? Time to get excited about NCAA.

E. Retirement-y Things

Tutya Yilmaz posted that she has retired from gymnastics. She competed at worlds this year, but her 48.265 was third among the Turkish gymnasts and saw her per-country-ed out of the Olympic qualification spots.

Rianna Mizzen also announced her retirement following injuries. We last saw her compete at worlds on Australia’s 2017 team, and while she’s competed here and there since then, she hasn’t been healthy for any spell.

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26 thoughts on “Things Are Happening – October 25, 2019”

  1. Mildly surprised Yilmaz isn’t continuing to train up to the Olympics in case one of her country-mates gets injured and has to withdraw, but I suppose that isn’t much motivation considering the work involved.

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    1. Well, both Savranbasi and Üctas Sanli would have to be injured. Pretty unlikely, I guess she doesn’t think it’s likely enough to make it worth it.

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    1. Quote from ART OQ Tie-breaking Rules: “… if an athlete qualifies on more than one apparatus, the following procedure will apply to determine which quota place will be earned:
      1. The highest average World Cup points on the respective apparatus from all competitions attended in the series prevails
      2. If they remain tied, the best average rank on the respective apparatus in the Qualifications of all competitions attended in the series prevails”
      Translation: If he or she has participated at more than counting three World Cups, points from all attended World Cups are taken into consideration, averaged and compared. If that does not help, rankings in qualifications are considered.
      For example, if Jade would take part at just one more World Cup, get another 30 points in both VT and FX and thereby maximum 90 points in both, she would get a VT spot, because her average points per World Cup in VT would be (3×30+25)/4=28.75 against (3×30+18)/4=27.

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    2. Actually, the calculation might be incorrect here, as the FIG is being inconsistent in their use of the terms “World Cup points” and “Olympic Qualification Ranking List points”. They should mean the Olympic Qualification Ranking List points.

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  2. Also MyKayla Skinner is getting married and I can’t recall when the US last had a married national team member…I’m so happy for her though! I am a newlywed and really enjoying it and I wish them all the very best.

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      1. Not sure if in 2000 Shannon Miller was on the National Team but at Olympic Trials she was still married to her previous husband.

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      2. And Hatch was a vault silver medalist at the Olympics! I feel like her story (well really all of the good stuff from 2004 beyond Carly Patterson) gets less remembering than it should.

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  3. I thought that Tom had offered the US alternates a “fall european meet” or something like that? which meets were being referred to? Any news on whether Morgan or Liane are going? Obviously Mykayla is too busy getting hitched in <a month to be going to a european meet. Unless she is tacking her honeymoon on with it? LOL

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    1. Many folks have pointed this out elsewhere but Mykayla is LDS and their weddings tend to be very low-key compared to the average American wedding – I’m sure she won’t be taking time off of training for wedding stuff. If she doesn’t go to a “fall European meet” it’s probably because she decided it wasn’t worth it.

      I do think it is odd that Jade is going to Swiss Cup – I don’t remember the US sending gymnasts there, particularly because it’s an entertainment/gala-type meet more than a real comp. Possibly Mykayla was offered that and turned it down? I thought Tom was referring to one of the fall/winter world cups (in 2013 Brenna was offered those as a consolation prize and in 2015 Mykayla was), but maybe he got confused and thinks Swiss Cup is a real meet.

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      1. Mykayla’s fiancé said something on social media about getting out 450 invitations so it doesn’t appear they are doing a “low key” wedding.

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      2. “Low key” can take a lot of different forms. That one Duggar kid, for example, had like 1000 guests at her wedding but the “reception” consisted of ice cream in the church parking lot, so from the family’s perspective it was cheap and easy to plan.

        I think that’s what the previous poster was getting at. Just because you have a lot of guests doesn’t mean the wedding is a lavish affair, and my understanding is that LDS weddings generally aren’t lavish affairs. Like, just the fact that MyKayla and her fiance were like “send us your address if you want an invite!” suggests that they’re not shelling out major buck$ on a reception.

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    2. MyKayla was offered one—I think it was Swiss Cup—but declined due to her wedding. I have not heard of any one else being offered one, I thought it was only for the traveling alternate. (Though as she declined, perhaps it will be offered to a non traveling alternate)

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    3. no real point going to another event immediately after worlds right now.. it’s not like any of them really need more practice and competition at this point… i think they all need some rest regroup upgrade and polish to start 2020 in good health

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  4. I’m confused. Colin Van Wicklen posted on Instagram that he’s been “selected to compete at Cottbus” and Jake Dalton even commented on the photo that it’s a “fun one.”
    Why isn’t he on the roster?

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    1. The draw will take place within 2 weeks from the deadline of Nominative Registration, which was October 18. Until then it is possible to enter more competitors than initially registered number. Meaning, you can still register, if you did not register at all. The fines are applicable though. Missing or late provisional registration 500 CHF, missing or late definitive registration 750 CHF, missing or late nominative registration 500 CHF.
      I am not sure whether the US registered their participation provisionally. I guess not, since they did not register anyone by the time of definite registration. Anyhow, if they pay 1750 CHF for late registration fees, they can still enter competitors until the draw. After the draw you cannot add gymnasts any more, you can only withdraw.

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  5. No, she’s already professional and cannot give up that status and back track. It also doesn’t mean you can accept money before NCAA competition.
    The ruling will be for current NCAA or future NCAA athletes whose image and likeness is used for profit by the NCAA. Pretty much this is narrowed down to football and basketball as those are the only two sports where this is done as far as I know of. So for example, there are NCAA basketball and football video games. The student athletes names, stats, and images are used for the games. NCAA profits from this, but the student athletes see no monetary compensation for having their image used. The ruling will mean that these athletes will receive a compensation for being in a video game.

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