American Cup – Women’s Live Blog

It appears we’ve gone and American Cupped again.

The original competition start time was listed as 11:00am CT, but it looks like we’re not starting until 11:30 CT now. IT WAS ALL A VICIOUS LIE.

Athletes are competing in two rotation groups (one of 7 athletes and one of 5) (I know…), which will effectively maximize “showing Morgan sitting there while Hitomi Hatakeda goes on bars” time.

And to whoever needs to know this — Italian Federation YouTube stream.

My Situation Room will have the TV broadcast, the NBC web broadcast, and the Italian YT feed, but with audio on the NBC web broadcast in case we get another “we don’t need the Korean” moment. You know, the important stuff.

We’ve still got some time because they haven’t even done the Dance of the Flags yet.

Kind of enjoying this “1080 on N64” soundtrack for the judges walking out. It was really “Ricky Winterborn versus Akari Hiyami.”


Dude, we’ve been over this. Don’t try to do real Chinese pronunciation. Just try to get close enough. When you try to do it real when you don’t speak Chinese it gets….iffy.

Also why is there a show on my NBC affiliate right now about how to do dishes?

Intros and anthem done, marching to events.


Nastia’s post-polo shirt life is truly popping off.

Nastia and Tim commentate together with a very “Dad, I swear you’ll like him, just give him a chance!” vibe.

Rotation 1

Di Cello – UB – toe to maloney to tkatchev with some feet – piked jaeger, hit – good handstand, loses her legs in pak but OK – van leeuwen, nice legs together – short handstands here and there – FTDT, stuck chest down.

Some form things, but strong and solid opening, normal.

Zhang – VT – Tsuk double full, hits it better than some we saw in training, no amplitude, lunge back – chest down, staggered. 14.133

LOL even the Italians are subjected to the NBC shapes on the international feed.

Voss – UB – stalder 1/2 to piked jaeger, nice and high – Church to Pak, good legs together – van leeuwen, good legs together, gienger hit – does her delladio fake-out dismount and stumbles back 150 thousand times on it.

Charpy – VT – Yfull, some piking down, medium bounce back. NCAA 9.750 unless you’re famous, then 9.850.

Nastia fully laughing at how easy a full is? Girl…

Godwin – UB – weiler and weiler 1/2 – maloney to pak to toe on to van leeuwen, a bit of legs at the end not bad – piked jaeger, good – slight muscle in a handstand – sticks her double pike with a lean. Fine.

Black – VT – she goes for the handspring layout full after all, after missing most of them in podium training – she hits it but a very deep landing with a large lunge to the side

We actually saw 6 of 7 routines in the first group of the first rotation, which by American Cup standards is amazing.

ANDREA IS YOUR CORONAVIRUS CORRESPONDENT. “Health and travel concerns” well, that summarized things efficiently.

Oh, Giorgia doesn’t feel like anyone is treating her any different. Mmhmm. How about Jin? How is she being treated.

Varianska – UB – stalder Shap to pak to maloney, gorgeous but then tries a full out of her maloney and is nowehre near handstand and has to come off – of course she would fall on a full and actually hit her tkatchev 1/2 to jaeger. Then gets caught in a toe full, goes halfway and hops off again.

“That’s a little shocking.” Hard disagree, Tim. That is the opposite of shocking.

And no dismount. Just over it.

Hurd – VT – nice landing on her DTY, small hop back, a bit of chest, one of her better ones.

We didn’t get to see Gadirova’s vault, but she got a 14.533 for it. COOL COOL COOL THAT’S FINE.

Villa – VT – huge amplitude on her DTY, small hop back, nice

You had five routines to show, and you managed three of them. That’s the NBC we know.

Guys, Villa got a lower score than Hurd on her DTY. Scam is that you???? Villa has more crossed legs but better amplitude.

Terry giving us the lowdown on the settlement offer, reading the Simone and Aly tweets and multiple word salads from USOPC and USAG at us.

Cool, we didn’t see the routine from the leader of the competition after one rotation. Good. It’s Gadirova, then Hurd, then Villa. You know they’ll show Gadirova’s bars and nothing else and be like, “WHO IS THIS GHOUL???”

Rotation 2

“We’re so sorry Gadirova is in first and not Morgan” – Terry, basically.

Let’s spend this waiting time for Sarah Voss talking about Kayla DiCello

Voss – BB – candle mount, Tim thinks her stag position wasn’t intention, dude it was and it was better than the normal ones – side aerial to loso, very nice – double turn, grabs the beam and can’t save it, fall – back on with a switch to switch 1/2 – aerial, nice and high – 2.5, step

Remember how Voss hadn’t fallen in 85 hundred beam routines and this was a lock event for her to hit? AHHAHAHAHA gymnastics is fun.

Chapry – UB – shap 1/2, solid – ouuuuuchhh slams her feet into the bar on a toe half, those bars looked very shaky and not sturdy when she was swining down. That was too loose.

She should be allowed a redo. And she will. Good. The bars were not correct.

Zhang Jin is like…what about that 10 I got????

Terry just asked Tim if he’s ever hit his foot on the low bar. Tim’s like…

We got to see her full re-spraying the bars instead of Godwin’s beam.

Charpy redo – shap 1/2 – toe 1/2 to piked jaeger, no broblem this time – Ricna to pak, hit – van leeuwen, some legs – short cast – a little loose back on a toe full but ends up in good handstand position – double tuck, small hop. Nice.

Varinska – BB – bhs bhs layout 2 feet, leg-up check, possible too much pike down – switch ring, hit – switch to sissone, nicely done – full turn with a check – aerial to split ring jump, a little slow in comb – side somi, solid – split leap to side aerial, hit – 2/1, large bounce.

A hit routine!

Black – UB – maloney to hindorff close but hit – very close on Shang but hits it again – piked jaeger to pak with a large leg break – hits van leeuwen – full to toe tuck 1/2, hop back. A messy one but stayed on the devil bars.

Ellie’s magical American Cup bars scores strike again with 13.800 for that.

Gadirova – UB – van leeuwen, hit with a leg break – blind to piked jaeger and falls. Sigh. We knew this one was going to be a struggle. Redoes the element and hits it – pak, good legs togehter – toe shoot, hit – giant full – blind to double front, step back. Just the one fall, which is kind of a victory…?

A little interruption with the Olympic Channel AA series, which…you know…you should definitely watch.

11.366 for Gadirova…

“Speaking of reading…MORGAN HURD KNOWS HOW”

Hurd – UB – stalder shap to stalder full to piked tkatchev, hit – Downie to pak, clean – perfect 1/2 turn on low bar NOTE – finishes toe full, a little late to FTDT, small hop. Good one. #ButHerInbars. But a pretty routine.

14.100 for Hurd. I have some comments about her E score on bars being only .2 better than Black.

Villa – UB – stalder Shap to tkatchev to pak, hit, some legs on pak – crazy short hs – shap to bhardwaj – hit – van leeuwen – another really short cast hs – tries her front giant full, can’t get it back to handstand and comes off –

GIORGIA. skadfjasl;kdfj;laskdf/

Di Cello – BB – hits candle mount – wolf triple, smooth – wolf double, also hit – side aerial to split to sissone – switch, nice, good toes – bhs loso loso, right on – aerial to split ring – really tentative split position on split 1/2 from side, but secure – bhs bhs double tuck, strong landing, chest well down.

Nearly her “here’s my beamer! *smack* next beamer! *pinch*” moment.

Petisco was going well on the devil bars but then just couldn’t cast up to handstand and had to rest against the bars.

13.466 for DiCello on beam. Best so far.

Rotation 3

Charpy – BB – large break on loso mount but keeps it on – solid amplitude on bhs loso series – wolf triple, hits – wolf double was a little shakier but also hit – side aerial – switch to split leap to korbut, connected smoothly enough – split jump 1/2 from side, tentative with a lean – aerial to split jump to bhs, some short split positions in here – double pike, chest well down, step, but a survival.

Godwin – FX – wolf triple, smoothly hit – front lay to double front, hands down and OOB, LIFE WHY – double tuck, large bounce back – hits double Y spin – switch to split leap full – front full – double pike, super deep knees on landing. Oh Georgia this is supposed to be a good one.

Black – BB – switch mount is hit – double turn with a lean but holds it – bhs lay 2 feet, solid work – switch to switch 1/2 to bhs, pretty tentative in those switches – side somi, solid – front layout full dismount, stuck. One larger break but pretty much great. Ellie is on track. 13.166

Varinska – FX – double tuck first pass, bounce back – double L? attempted triple I think but nowhere near the third one – 2.5 to front tuck, some crossed legs – split leap full – switch ring to split ring leap – falls out of triple Y attempt but much closer – 2/1, stuck.

More Gadirova erasure as we don’t see her beam routine on NBC, but at least we do on the world feed.

Gadirova – BB – candle mount – switch to switch 1/2, pause before back tuck, some feet on the switch 1/2 – switch ring, hits with a check – bhs loso loso, such smplitude, leg-up check – aerial to split jump to straddle – has some leg position on the dance elements and some checks but staying on well – HUGGGEEEE full in and hit with chest up very well, step back

Hatakeda – FX – high full in, lunge back – held leg double turn – 2.5 to front tuck, small bounce up in place – switch full, pretty good 180 there – wolf double was a little short of second rotation – double y spin also drops a tad early, so watch the D – double pike, hop back. Good tumbling work. She’s having a strong down – split leap full, well under 180 there.

13.933 for Gadirova on beam and up into 2nd currently. GET IT.

Hurd – BB – back full, very strong – side aerial to loso, hit, small lean adjustment – aerial to split jump to split ring jump, super solid – switch to straddle – switch ring is tentative, no credit for the element, and a check on it – full in dismount, goes for it and hits it – hop back. The switch ring was a problem and probably won’t get a couple combos, but strong work.

Morgan’s recomposing her routines right now and she’s my hero. That conversation she just had with Slava is my spirit animal.

13.733 beam for Hurd, she has nearly a half point on Black. DiCello still to go on the high-scoring ones.

Villa – BB – loso mount, slight wobble – tuck full, no chance, way off line and falls. Well, everything is terrible, there’s the update.

DiCello – FX – solid landing in DLO 1/1, quite a bit of shape but solid – double pike second pass, hop back – wolf truple was a little wobblier than her usual – hits double as well – back 1.5 to front full, legs but solid landing – split leap full, good – no correlation of music to movement, especially before last pass – double tuck is quite short with a lunge. Not her biggest or strongest. Fine but not huggeeeee. 13.400

Did we know about DiCello to Florida? If not, Terry just poiled it.

Petisco with a large break on her loso mount on beam but keep sit on – some lovely positions on dance elements but wobblies – bhs bhs loso, leg-up check – switch to switch 1/2, some small checks and back leg split jump 1/2, solid – side aerial, check – double tuck, lunge back. Stayed on.

Tom doing his best to tell you that Trials will be the top 4 AA without saying it. JUST SAY IT.

Voss – FX – back 1.5 to front full with a hop – 3/1 is pretty nice, good position, small step to the side with some chest position – double pike, well short wihth a lunge – 2.5 and falls. I thought she was going to be more solid today.

Zhang – BB – switch ring to split ring jump to korbut, gorgeous and smooth – bhs bhs layout 2 feet, small check, best 2 foot layout of the competition, easily – aerial to split jump to straddle – switch to sheep with a check, a couple short legs on the easily split elements – split jump 1/2 from side looked fine, small lean afterward – no one moved the springboard and it’s killing me – double full, step back. Good comeback hit.

It’s Hurd then Black then DiCello after 3, but DiCello is close enough that going to vault means she’s right in it to win.

Rotation 4

Black – FX – front full through to double pike, bounce back – front 2/1 to to front tuck, hit well, some legs in twisting – straight jump full through to a switch full, short of split there – 2/1, small hop –

She came through with a good hit day. Ellie Black. We shouldn’t have doubted.

Gadirova – FX – FINALLY! – hugeeee double double, small hop – switch ring and split leap full, very high and well done – front full through to double tuck, strong – split jump full, some knee but again great height on all these leaps – 2.5, nailed it – Excellent routine.

Hatakeda, just a FTY on vault, not a lot of amplitude or distance, good lay out, hop back.

13.700 for Gadirova! She goes ahead of Black. Wow.

That moment when she realizes she’s really good.

13.600 for Hatakeda, goes ahead of Gadirova. Going to see weird but we didn’t see her good events.

DiCello – VT – another solid DTY, some chest, hop back, good.

Hurd – FX – double double a little short with a small hop – beginning of the floor music is representative of how Chinese gymnastics team performances make you feel inside – front 2/1, hit – switch ring and split leap full are beautiful – full in with a slide back – double pike, good, small hop.

Really important, very solid competition for Hurd.

Hurd will win the competition with 55.832, Di Cello will go 2nd with 55.132.

“That was my actual start!” Lol.

Giorgia Villa falls on her opening full in. This is significant for Italy’s Olympic spot chances because if Villa had performed to her capability, they were legitimately in this. But now it’s a hole to get out of.

We’ve ended up with a very odd rotation order where all the currently top-ranked athletes have already competed in the last rotation, but we have another warmup group still to come. Usually they do that thing where the best-ranked athletes after 3 events go at the end of the final rotation, but maybe they can’t with two rotation groups.

Petisco – FX – full in, nice height, small slide – double arabian and well short, sits it down – whip double tuck, well short and a stumble forward – double pike was stronger

Zhang – FX – falls out of quad turn attempt, I’d say triple – whip 3/1 to punch front, lands it, short landing on her front with a step back – lovely switch ring position – 2.5 to front tuck, short and sits it down – double Y – double pike, large stumble back, OOB. Not getting back into China’s first tier with this meet.

Godwin – VT – really solid landing on her Tsuk full, nearly stuck it, small lean. Definite NCAA 9.9

Chapry – FX – finishing it out, NBC is like “we’re done with this meet bye never mind” – and for good reason – double front, huge stumble forward, down on her hands and knees and somehow continues lunging OOB.

Andrea: “Morgan this is the best we’ve ever seen you.”

Morgan: “DUH BITCH.”

1. Hurd – 55.832
2. DiCello – 55.132
3. Hatakeda – 53.799


Big competition for Hurd. She looked strong on four pieces and more comfortable with her routines than pretty much any point last year. The score will still need to keep improving over the year because 55.832 is expected from the top US all-arounders, but it’s a strong showing.

DiCello was good, but she also could have won this competition. Didn’t show a huge lift in difficulty compared to last year, and had that problem landing on floor.

Hatakeda was presumably excellent on the routines we didn’t see. Big podium result for her, and an equally significant 4th place for Gadirova despite a fall on bars. She won vault and floor and proved our hype right.

Black not bad coming back from injury, but somewhat surprising to see her down in fifth. The difficulty isn’t quite there yet and she’s not comfortable with the vault landing.

Disappointing for Villa, who is basically in “WE WERE ROOTING FOR YOU WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU” territory. Did you know you had a chance to win this competition? The remaining Italians are going to have to work out of this. 7th place with three falls. Hit those routines and it’s at least third place, if not second.

113 thoughts on “American Cup – Women’s Live Blog”

    1. that’s probably gonna be the highest vt score or highest e score vt for the day

  1. So we miss the current competition leader (Gadirova) and Hurd’s bent armed vault beats Villa?

  2. Man has gymnastics dropped off the planet when gymnasts are doing double tucks and pikes at major events….

    1. … When have they not? Specially in March? It’s American Cup? Difficulty whiners are so annoying I swear lol

      1. When have they not? Try 2000 to 2017 or so. Pretentious morons are so annoying I swear. ROTFLMFAO

    2. Nastia did a (horrendously cowboyed) double tuck and took bronze in the ’08 floor finals. So.

  3. What did the Brits do to NBC that they skipped her bars as well as vault?

    1. Outscored the two Americans on three events I guess.
      Too bad she had an intentional dismount on bars- she could have made the podium but it was still a huge breakout event for her, and I can see her mopping up the next quad.

  4. What the heck happened to the equipment to get a redo? Did a cable/link/anchor fail? Bar height and distance are locked in at FIG events, leaving only cable tension for coaches to adjust — but if that’s what slipped, or if coach adjusted it and didn’t actually tighten it, that’s in control of athlete(coach) and not eligible for redo?

    (BTW – can’t thank you enough as always for the live blog.)

    1. It was the distance thingy. One of the metal bars that keeps the bars apart (all these words and I can’t think of a synonym for that) was definitely in the wrong place at the beginning, and when she cast to handstand it massively slipped and brought the bars closer together, causing her legs to hit the low bar when she swung down.

      1. Not sure what supplier they’re using, but on the Gymnova bars at our gym you have to very carefully check that both sides are the same pitch or they go loose, and also it isn’t always clear when the distance adjuster is clicked in. Bit of a flawed design (otherwise they’re great bars and the elite clubs who rent us love them), so if you don’t know that quirk it would be easy to miss.

  5. Ellie Black 13.8 on bars compared to Morgan’s 14.1. Hahahahaha you are serious judges?

  6. Does anyone else find themselves gasping and cringing at these bar sets? Elite gymnastics is so weird. It’s like chuck as many skills and releases as you can, however you can. These routines are not pretty.

  7. DiCello looks solid on beam but a LOT of knees on her losos and bhss :/

  8. I had hoped with this being an Olympic qualifying event we’d finally see quality gymnastics at this event. Instead it looks like the gymnasts are about as in shape as an post-Olympic tour. As usual. Ugh!

    1. The fact that it’s an Olympic qualifier doesn’t make it any less March 7

  9. Cannot decide if the bar release crazy legs or the beam wolf turns are more hideous!

  10. Georgia Godwin’s floor music/choreography is giving me serious NCAA vibes!

      1. Oh interesting! I don’t know what it was, but as Godwin was going I pictured a bunch of teammates next to the floor doing her choreography along with her!

  11. Double pikes and double tucks in elite international floors in 2020? As first or second passes? Hell, NCAA is better than this.

  12. YASSSS Gadirova. I honestly think there are no locks for the GB Olympic team right now apart from maybe little Downie. There’s so many hungry first and second year seniors staking claims.

    1. The Olympic picture is actually kinda clear for GB. If Ellie doesn’t die she’s making it. Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I felt Gadirova was a lock since last season’s junior world showing and it seems that she’s confirming it here. I think Becky Downie is going on the team. She’s back in the all-around so if she stays healthy there’s no way they won’t take her. And then probably Kinsella, nothing flashy but she’s generally consistent and can provide usable, decent scores anywhere. The only spoiler I can see is Fragapane (big maybe with constant injuries and what not) and there’s a slight possibility of Fenton/Becky being interchangeable with the latter being only if they get a fifth spot which I don’t see happening.

      1. Amelie Morgan can maybe get them a fifth spot at Euros, but she can also definitely play spoiler to Kinsella. I agree that with the debut of Gadirova and Becky Downie back in the AA, Simm, Fragapane, and James are not in the running.

    2. Nah, I think it’s fairly simple now.
      No way are they leaving Ellie or Becky behind- potential medalists on VT and UB.
      Gadirova is a lock right now- potential finalist in AA, BB, FX and she’s training a 2.5Y, a moors and a bunch of other things that may or may not be ready by summer, but either way she’s the perfect compliment for Becky in a TF.
      That leaves one spot, which IMO is between Alice, Amelie and maybe someone like Simm or GMF (although GMF would have to make a huge case for making the team IMO as she’s been far from consistent and I think Simm would have to have some pretty big upgrades).
      This is, of course, without seeing many senior routines so may change after British Championships, but right now I think the core of the team is 2x Downies + Jennifer.

      1. Oh yeah, I completely forgot about Amelie! I think Kinsella would still be ahead, but she’s the most likely spoiler if she stays healthy and has a good season.

      2. GMF and Fragapane have too many consistency issues to be worth the risk I think. Simm is the go-to when people are injured, but the team is fairly healthy at the moment. The most interesting thing about both Gadirovas and also Achampong is their beam – we actually have some great beamers coming through now, alongside Kinsella who is the least fallsy of the older set.

      3. I think the only one who is a lock is Ellie. I think Jennifer has just made her case which leaves 2 other places out Alice, Ameile, Ondine, Lucy, Beckie, Kelly. Not added Georgia or Fragapane as they are too inconsistent. I would love Ameile & Ondine to be the other 2 as they are true all rounders and beautiful to watch, it would make one of the more artistic British teams for a while. I think Beckie (if she has 4 apparatus back) might just sneak in as her bars score would be a real boost. Find Alice uninspiring but think she will go due to politics & consistency. Don’t know much about Lucy other than she is off to AA world cup (which was surprise perhaps she has some big upgrades) and Kelly always seems to the reserve.

      1. Both give serious “I just took an ambien, here’s my final floor routine before I pass out vibe.”

  13. This “sail through the Confederacy!” cruise sounds like my personal hell.

  14. Ellie Black is such a freaking boss. Shoutout to her ankle and her surgeon!

  15. LOVE Hurd’s new choreography–all of it. Her port de bras are vastly improved as is her body line.

  16. well, that was the best result US want in scam cup. 1 2 finish and no fall.
    glad morgi got her rhythm back

  17. It really kills me watching Villa knowing her potential. 3 falls (on every event but vault) is weird. I really hope we get to see her hit a whole AA competition this year. She is one of my absolute favorites but it is so exhausting to root for her.

    1. Now that the final scores are in: Taking away 3 points of fall-deductions she would’ve ended up third (and that’s not adding back other deductions that came with the fall)

    2. Yeah, i keep telling myself to be patient and wait for Tokyo. She is gonna have a stellar olympics.

  18. This competition is an embarrassment. How many freaking falls?

  19. You know it was bad when NBC is trying to end the broadcast while the event is still going on.

    1. It was fair- she fell on bars and still came within .5 (ish) of bronze. You can’t count an 11 and expect to podium. However I think if GB can work out how to get her bars consistent and score more than a 13, she’ll be a threat.

      1. Not really fair, no. Hatakeda is mediocre on all events. She has no dazzle and no amplitude. Gadirova is already dazzling on three events. Also, her bars score was lowballed even given her fall. This is the triumph of mediocrity–and by the way, honey, ‘podium’ is not a verb. Fixed it for you!

      2. @gadirovawuzrobbed I loved Gadirova too but they didn’t show Hatakeda’s UB/BB which are definitely her best two events. Gadirova’s D score on bars was also a 4.7 so get out of here with your lowballed comments.

      3. @Stefy I not only saw Hatakeda’s bars and beam, I’ve seen them before (which is no doubt more than YOU have) and my comments on all her routines are correct. Gadirova’s planned difficulty was somewhere in the low 5s, not 4.7, so she was dinged for more than the fall. You can get out of here with your uninformed remarks.

  20. Yay YAY Morgan!! #redemption

    Good job by Kayla too. She is solid, but seems a bit robotic? (Is it just me? I just don’t get the hype…would love to see some personality/passion.)

    1. Watch Kayla’s nationals Day 2 last year especially her FX there to see the hype. She would have beat Gadirova with that kind of performance I think, it does seem that Kayla’s not in top form yet.

      1. I was super unimpressed with DiCello. She looked very capable and calm, but had a fair amount of form errors and was really boring to watch.

        If you are going to be a snooze, you should at least be an immaculate snooze (Kyla Ross).

  21. 55.832 would have put Hurd 7th at Worlds last year, behind Biles, Lee, and McCallum. It was beautiful, but if she can stuff a new bars dismount in there and add the double lay back on floor, she’s 100% in there.

    1. Tom Forster said she was 2nd AA behind Simone at the last verification at camp so…. she’s 100% in there!

    2. Yeah. If you look at her difficulty, she’s exactly the same as US Championships day 2 last year except increasing floor by 0.1.

      It’s great that she went clean, but there’s 5 US girls with better AA difficulty than her that are reliable and can execute highly too.

      Keeping eyes out on difficulty for Simone, Suni, Grace, Riley, Leanne this spring for maintaining their difficulty, maybe adding in more.

      Morgan has her work cut out for her, but this was a good start.

      1. Hey, 5 U.S. AAers ahead of her is still her competing at the Olympics, assuming U.S. gets its 6 spots.

      2. AnnieA — the 6th spot is Jade’s, she won’t even compete at our Olympic Trials. If she’s injured, it’s just gone, we wouldn’t be allowed to qualify another through Pan Ams. It’s either 4 team +1 off team + Jade off team or 4 team +1 off team. Coming in #6 in AA = no spot.

        Morgan needs consistency and a couple of the other girls to falter, because difficulty wise, she’s at a disadvantage. Last year was the same, combined with her untimely mistakes. We’ll see everyone’s upgrades in May, it’ll just be a mind game after that.

    3. Once Morgan adds the Van Leuween in she’ll have:

      Chow (D) + Stalder 1/1 (D) + Piked Tkatchev (E)
      Downie (F) + Pak (D)
      Van Leeuwen (E)
      Toe-on 1/1 (D) + Full-In (D)

      which is a 6.2

      If she adds the Fabrichnova which I’m not sure she will, then she could do something like:

      Chow (D) + Stalder 1/1 (D) + Piked Tkatchev (E)
      Downie (F) + Pak (D)
      Toe-on 1/1 (D) + Van Leeuwen (E)
      Fabrichnova (F)

      which would be a 6.4. But even if she stays at a 6.2 it will still be a great and competitive set. On beam her Switch Ring wasn’t counted so she ended up with a 5.7 instead of a 6.0 fairly easily. I do admit that FX is a problem right now: she needs to upgrade the combination pass, the form on the full-in isn’t the best, and her Gogean rarely gets credited. I hope they change up the leaps so she is doing a Ferrari instead which she has better success with, and that she does the DLO and the upgraded combo pass which will get her around 5.7. Ultimately I think her FX is less important this year and it’s really going to come down to her UB/BB vs. Riley’s.

      1. If you’re looking at individual events for a highest team max score, you’d need to add Leanne as well as Riley as her direct competitors for UB/BB team events that wouldn’t likely end up in contention for event medals.

        Leanne brings higher VT/BB, but a consistent low 14s UB, which is still strong; Riley’s UB+BB are better, but her consistency is questionable.

        The popular opinion is that AA placement at Olympic Trials will determine all. Looking at individual events might determine who gets on the team versus the individual spot, but I agree, you must hit top 5 AA on the day or you’re out.

  22. NBC, like the rest of amurrIKKKan media, is beneath contempt–and thanks SO much for omitting Gadirova’s vault, *SSWIPES!

  23. In theory Kayla would have a hard time making the Olympic team, with relatively lower difficulty across the four and needing to prove worth on floor and vault where the US is stacked and DiCello not being undeniably better than the rest of the field, but knowing Forster none of that matters because rank-order.

    1. well, there’s no strategy to it but i think everyone pretty much know the exact goal to hit now. Top 4 AA at trial and that’s it. I am surprised he even just say top 2 AA are guaranteed spots…. He shouldve just say top 4 AA are guaranteed spots. because that’s what it is.

      1. There’s absolutely a strategy here. It’s “I have a new high-profile job and want to piss off as few people as possible with minimal consequences.”

      2. I meeeaaan to be fair the guy’s following a highly criticized era of zero transparency and extreme favoritism. I’m sure he’s looking after his own ass to some degree but it’s clear that he’s reacting to what’s come before him and trying to do better by the gymnasts and coaches. If the gymnasts are happy, he deserves some credit for that.

  24. Top 2 AA will absolutely make the Tokyo team, top 5 AA will either be on the team or get the 5th off team spot. The 6th is already Jade’s. That’s how that’ll go down.

    Which means if you don’t have strong events that are needed on the team but make top 5 AA, you’ll still get to go, just not perform in the team qualifications or team final. You can qualify for everything else and hope to not get 2 per country ruled out – an “Olympian” regardless.

    If we’re being blunt, if you don’t have a top 3 event, there’s no sound reason to put you on the team, regardless of your AA score. A lot of good AA’rs fall in the mix there, including Morgan and Kayla.

    1. I think Morgan’s bars put her in contention there. She’s one of the best in the country, probably third after Simone and Suni. Maybe Riley is ahead on a good day but she’s inconsistent.

      1. So a team spot for 1 event that she virtually ties for 3rd best with Riley? Also Riley is top 3 on beam, so there goes the tie. Sorry, I have to disagree.

        In my opinion, the only way Morgan gets to Tokyo is getting a top 4 AA score and they put her in the off team spot. Tom already said that off team spot will be an all arounder that can be a backup in case of last minute injury by team member.

        It’s dumb and unfair to specialists, but so is USAG.

      2. I think anyone who helps the US earn the sixth spot but finishes outside the top 4 AA will get it. Dance with the one who brought you, and all that.

      3. @Anon2:18pm: Then the team would already be picked by who they named to the cups half a year prior to the Olympics. It’d be Morgan, Grace, Suni and Simone. That’s not a bad team, but definitely wouldn’t be the best based on recent competitions.

      4. That’s not what I meant. Top 4 AA at trials clearly will be the team unless something weird happens with Simone. I think #5 AA probably gets the individual spot, but if say, Wong gets 5th and McCallum gets 6th, I could see McCallum leapfrogging her for the individual spot under the logic that she helped earn it.

    2. It’s impossible to say who has a top 3 event right now, because gymnasts have upgraded, gymnasts may fall at Trials, etc. Claiming that Riley has a top 3 beam and Morgan doesn’t is nonsense since the season has only just started, we haven’t seen Riley since mid-2019, and neither of them (but especially Riley) are rock-solid-consistent on beam. Not to mention that new senior gymnasts are in the picture.

    3. 5th will be someone strong on BB. Biles has all four event final berths all but locked up barring fluke falls. Carey is going and taking VT and likely FX, Suni might also make FX in addition to UB. So up for grabs is BB. There are still two slots in the team plus the +1. I can see T.F. picking Eaker for the other +1 spot just to try for BB if she can sort her routine out. The alternate is likely going to be the 5th ranked AA at Trials. Hurd, McCallum, Wong are likely those so long as they place well in the AA. It will be interesting to see what happens with McCusker.

      1. Man I hope they stop giving Kara chances with that beam routine. She’s had A LOT of chances already.

        (For her sake, I hope she and her coaches come up with something better that she can actually do.)

      2. Chances like Kara’s gold medal at Pan Ams last year with a 15.266? I agree it needs to be reworked a bit, but she has had success, even when she has problems it’s still a strong score.

        I’m fine with top 5 AA plus Jade. It’s what Tom has told them to focus on and should be honored. That could be any combination of 10 girls depending on the day. Other than Simone and Jade, it’s all about trials.

      3. No, chances like two straight years at Worlds with no individual medals.

        They can send her to all the Pan Ams and Pac Rims and Jesolos they want. Just don’t give her more precious spots at Worlds or the Olympics based on a beam routine where she has to rely on poor judging in order to “hit” it.

        If she can get into the top 5 AA without relying on getting credit for elements that she doesn’t actually do, then I am all for Kara Eaker getting a third chance at a beam medal. She is a very good gymnast.

      4. Eaker’s had too MANY chances with that beam routine, and the fact that they didn’t fix it twelve or eighteen months ago tells you all you need to know. She is long and skinny, so she looks good on beam–otherwise, she is an average perhaps top-fifteen or -twenty elite on other events and does not need to be taking up space on a team with ludicrously restricted spots when there are so many gymnasts vastly superior to her (Biles, Lee, Wong, McCallum, Hurd, McCusker, Carey, diCello…the list goes on.)

      5. Grace also has had no individual medals at the past two worlds. Add her to your hate list of TOO MANY CHANCES?

        Just call the team 5 months early since no one else’s opinion is valid anyway. Clearly it’s impossible for athletes and their routines to evolve in any way.

      6. @the Anonymous without a clue: How many times did McCallum fall on her best event (or other events) at Worlds? How many reasons were there to take McCallum as opposed to reasons to take Eaker at all, ever? How many major medals on beam has Eaker EVER won? How many years would you like to give her to fix that routine? Your stupidity beggars description!

  25. I am 99% sure Hurd and her coach were discussing what passes to do in the touch warmup, not in the actual routine.

    There were way more pleasant to watch, engaging, to-the-music floor routines today than I feel like we usually see in elite. Hatakeda, Gadirova, and Hurd all had some actual vivacity and musicality.

  26. I try to avoid getting hung up on Ellie Black’s bars because, y’know, they’re Ellie Black’s bars and they are what they are. But dude, that scoring… the E judges need to show their work to explain the lack of differentiation between her number and others’. She was really given a gift/the others weren’t given enough.

    I’m very glad to see Kayla DiCello do well here, even if she’s not the most dramatic performer and looked hella nervous throughout much of it. I hope she’ll be able to get more comfortable the more she competes. She looked so grown up compared to the junior field but now that she’s among the seniors it reminds me how young she is.

  27. I am surprised at how many people have come prancing out of the woodwork to insist that Morgan won’t make the team based on a good performance at an early season meet.

    Seriously why is she so polarizing for everyone? You can’t look at things now and KNOW who is going to make the team this year. You can’t. I am surprised though at how many people are like “oh Skinner will get it together, it’s fine” yet Morgan apparently has no chance of adding the last upgrades she’s mentioned or hitting her full beam D, ever. Her score at American Cup is below other gymnasts’ scores at Worlds, a different meet with different judges? That says nothing.

    Just RELAX. You know when you’ll know who makes the 2020 team? At Trials when they compete.

    1. She’s been reactionary to the 2017 AA title as a fluke since day one. Her defense for falling behind domestically has been working on upgrades for literally over a year now. Meanwhile, her teammates left her behind, her D scores are still behind them.

      I’m all for Morgan being in Tokyo, but the media blitz of her comeback based on a decent performance hardly makes that case. She didn’t even take a winter break, whereas almost everyone else did. I’m more concerned about her maintaining to summer and, apparently, Tom is too.

      1. Morgan has remained steady for 3 years. Her AA potential has been, and continues to be somewhere in the 56s which is strong, but maybe not enough for an Olympic spot.

        With that being said, I think this American Cup was quite harshly scored. I feel if Hurd would have had this performance at the 2019 World Championships, she would have scored into the 56s which would have been medal worthy.

        Unfortunately, Tom is not even considering “building” a team, so her beam and bars argument won’t be enough; she’ll need to steadily improve from her strong American Cup performance.

    2. @Anonymous who used the excellent phrase ‘prancing out of the woodwork’ : I agree completely. Did the illiterate and obviously Hurd-hating response to you make it clear what kind of people think they can count her out already? LOL

      1. I don’t understand why they can’t just say “I don’t like Hurd that much, I hope she’s not on the team, and I’m still not convinced that she will be” instead of bending over backwards trying to ‘prove’ why Hurd’s results aren’t good enough by cherry-picking random data from last year (or stuff that’s just made up, like declaring that various gymnasts will have upgrades that they’ve never competed).

        I think it is pretty clear that Morgan has made up some ground on 2019. Whether it’s enough to compete with the other gymnasts absolutely remains to be seen – it’s a tough field.

      2. One person said an off team spot for Morgan, no one else has said she cant make the team nor have they been hateful.

        People have been speculating the Tokyo team since 2017. I don’t think it’s personal if they leave anyone off. Beyond Simone and Jade, it’s just a guessing game.

      3. To the Anonymous not denying facts (the one saying ‘why can’t people just say I don’t like Hurd and hope she doesn’t make the team’) Because they’re the same idiots who think Kara Eaker belongs on the team based on one of the worst-composed and unreliable beam routines of the entire quad (that, and ridiculous fantard US judging of her, which DOES NOT happen internationally as has been proven several times) and who think the disgusting, classless end-run Jade Carey and her parents did around the admittedly bollocks new regulations was just fine. You can’t fix stan TARDS.

  28. I hate their coverage. Both women and men, they focused almost entirely on the Americans or people at the bottom of the standings. Ellie & Oleg seemed to be the only exceptions to that. It’s really just absurd.

  29. Is there a BBS men’s live blog somewhere? I’m not seeing it for some reason.

    1. I really wish. Honestly, I’ve only been following the sport fervently for about 5 years and there is nothing like BBS for men’s.

      Kensley Behel sometimes will live blog as a part of gymcastic, Lauren Hopkins as a part of gymternet. That’s all I know.

  30. Gadirova is impressive. She reminds me of Iordache—aggressive, quick-moving, good amplitude, passionate.

    1. i just hope team GB changes their team strategy because we’ve seen they tend to pick based on “potential” scores and things don’t really pan out for them like they could. Case: Fragapane being used in the AA vs Tinkler in 2016 was a bad choice. It cost GB an AA spot and they were the only major team to not have 2 AAs in the final. The difference between a team like GB and a team like US is choosing by consistency vs what they “may” be capable of. I hope BG leaves Fragpane off the team unless they somehow earn themselves a 5th spot, which i doubt.

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