Things Are Happening – April 20, 2021

A. European Championships

The European Championships, which are actually happening, begin tomorrow with Larisa Day Women’s qualification, which will decide which two additional Europeans earn Olympic spots.

One semi-surprise from podium training/start lists was seeing Russia put Vladislava Urazova in the first subdivision with Gerasimova, while putting Melnikova in the final subdivision with Listunova. Melnikova is ineligible to earn an Olympic spot for Russia because she was part of the team that qualified at worlds, so I figured Russia would want to back-load the people most likely to get them an additional Olympic spot in the final group.

So either they’re not super-subscribing to the notion of score building (and Urazova should be able to get a total that holds up from the first subdivision if she does her normal), are supremely confident in Listunova’s ability to shoulder the load from the final subdivision alone, or value getting Melnikova into all the finals over this silly Olympic spot slop.

Regardless, Russia has many nominees who can get their additional +1 from Euros, which would then give them the maximum of 6 Olympians. Wednesday also presents Larisa Iordache’s lone opportunity to get to the 2021 Olympics. She must place in the top 2 among eligible athletes in tomorrow’s competition. Iordache will compete in the final subdivision.

Great Britain is hoping to play spoiler here and get a +1 Olympic spot, though Jennifer Gadirova was forced to pull out for precautionary injury reasons, which hampers their chances to some degree. The onus will now be on Amelie Morgan, Jessica Gadirova, and Phoebe Jakubczyk. Ukraine has Diana Varinska qualified already but could sneak Bachynska or Motak in there, and Italy is putting forward Vanessa Ferrari, who is going to wrench a competitive all-around out of herself in this meet if it kills her, and Martina Maggio.

Italy looks like the one country that really organized its subdivision assignments with the assumption that score building is going to exist, putting the Olympic-qualification-ineligible Giorgia Villa and Asia D’Amato in the first subdivision and the eligible Maggio and Ferrari in the third subdivision.

In men’s podium training news, Nikita Nagornyy did a triple pike on floor. And it was real. Now we know why he kept trying to kill himself during lockdown. It was mental preparation. The Russian men’s team is currently dealing with the news of Artur Dalaloyan’s partial Achilles tear on the eve of the Olympics, which is NOT GREAT.

Reposting the schedule with US time zones for reference. Qualification is all streaming here, and finals are here.

Wednesday, April 21
4:00am ET/1:00am PT – WAG Subdivision 1
7:30am ET/4:30am PT – WAG Subdivision 2
10:00am ET/7:00am PT – WAG Subdivision 3
12:30pm ET/9:30am PT – WAG Subdivision 4

Thursday, April 22
4:00am ET/1:00am PT – MAG Subdivision 1
8:00am ET/5:00am PT – MAG Subdivision 2
11:00am ET/8:00am PT – MAG Subdivision 3

Friday, April 23
7:30am ET/4:30am PT – Women’s All-Around
11:00am ET/8:00am PT – Men’s All-Around

Saturday, April 24
7:30am ET/4:30am PT – Event Finals Day 1

Sunday, April 25
7:00am ET/4:00am PT – Event Finals Day 2

B. Japanese Olympic Team

The process has begun. Always the first to name its Olympic teams, Japan is now the majority of the way there following last weekend’s All-Japan Championships. The two-day competition forms 2/3rds of the selection process, combined with May’s one-day NHK Cup.

The top three athletes in the AA at the end of NHK will be automatically named to the team, and the fourth athlete will be added at the discretion of the selectors from among the top all-around athletes (this is what ruined things for Mai in 2019 because her injury kept her out of NHK, so she wasn’t among those top all-around athletes to choose from).

Thankfully—so far this time—it looks like all the major contenders for the women’s team are among the actual selection pool.

After All-Japan, Murakami Mai currently enjoys a two-point lead over Hatakeda Hitomi, who has a two-point edge of her own over Hiraiwa Yuna in third place. So, Murakami and Hatakeda currently look pretty comfortable to snatch two automatic Olympic spots as long as they are able to compete at NHK.

It’s nervy time for the rest. Hiraiwa has a basically negligible lead over Sugihara Aiko, with Soma Ui, Teramoto Asuka, and Hatakeda Chiaki not all that far behind. Teramoto is the one to be worried about right now, sitting in 6th. She went for her rudi on vault, and it did not go super great, then missed on bars on the second day. She’ll need to have a huge meet at NHK to move into the top 3, or at least show a solid rudi and hits on the remaining events to make a good case for herself for the discretionary spot. Miyakawa Sae, meanwhile, did pretty well on vault and floor but is royally screwed by the emphasis on AA in selection.

On the men’s side, the big news was Daiki Hashimoto, who sat in a very troubling 7th place after the first day but had such an immense performance on the second day for 88.532 that he jumped all the way to first and suddenly looks likely to take his rightful place on the men’s Olympic team, the selection for which is basically just an impossible blender. And that’s not even getting into the issue of one-event Kohei, who recorded a gigantic score on HB, and one-event Minami Kazuki, who recorded a gigantic score on FX. And there ain’t enough individual spots for the both of you.

The one-day NHK Cup will be held in the middle of May. That will come right after we’ll receive our first look at the Chinese selection process at Chinese Nationals, May 4-9. Selecting that Chinese team is going to be monstrous.

C. GymCastic

Lots of final thoughts on Michigan’s NCAA championship win and the entire event. Plus we got a statement from USAG on whether Jade would be considered for the main Olympic team of four despite having an individual spot sewn up.

U. S. World Team Trials: Day Two Final GymCastic: The Gymnastics Podcast

U.S. World Team Trials  Jessica is in Texas watching live. Spencer is at home watching the stream. Here's how to ask questions live. We discussed: The teams!!! Worlds: Simone Biles, Skye Blakely, Shilese Jones, Joscelyn Roberson, and Leanne Wong. Traveling Replacement Athlete: Kayla DiCello Pan Ams: Jordan Chiles, Kayla DiCello, Kaliya Lincoln, Zoe Miller, Tiana Sumanasekera. Individual Qualifier: Katelyn Jong. Non-Traveling Alternates: Alicia Zhou, Eveylynn Lowe, Nola Matthews. The real reason Jade Carey isn't on the Pan Ams roster (she's heading to the Swi$$ Cup) The difference between artistry and execution. Scott Bregman joined the show to provide his insights, including his extra time with Simone. We create our lineups. We discuss who might get a bobble on our World Controversy tree next year. Jessica shares some of the conversations she had with the coaches and athletes. And of course, everything you couldn’t see on the FlipNow live stream that happened in the gym    Here’s how our event coverage works: 1. We give everyone the main headlines in the first 10-15 minutes. 2. We continue our conversation exclusively with our Club members. 3. What if I want to hear the rest of it and all the years of bonus content and interviews? All you have to do is Join the Club. LOGIN FOR BONUS CONTENT    RELATED EPISODES & RESOURCES World Team Trials Day One  2023 U.S. Championships Women's Day Two Meet Report  Women's Day One Meet Report Podium Training Report 2023 U.S. Championships Preview Pre-Championships Power Ranking 2023 Classic: 2023 U.S. Classic Review: GOAT for a reason 2023 Core Classic: Senior Women Session Two  2023 Core Classic: Senior Women Session One 2023 Core Classic: Women’s Podium Training US Classic Preview Classic Video Playlist Simone Biles Interview 2023 Classic Shilese Jones Flight Series Profile Resources & Research Spencer's The Balance Beam Situation  Gymnastics History and Code of Points Archive from Uncle Tim To follow the effects of the Russian invasion to Ukraine at Gymnovosti Score and difficulty ranking from The Gymternet  
  1. U. S. World Team Trials: Day Two Final
  2. U.S. World Team Trials 2023: Day One
  3. Worlds Team Controversy Season
  4. International Report: Steve Butcher Interview
  5. Simone's 8th: The 2023 US Nationals Debrief

71 thoughts on “Things Are Happening – April 20, 2021”

  1. FREE MAI!!! I have lit my candle that Japan makes the correct decision this go around…

  2. With the race to make the woman’s US team so fierce, I’m certain Jade will take the first guaranteed Olympic spot she is awarded. I’m sure the Careys are hoping that she can wait until after the Olympics trials before having to commit to the individual spot but like I said, you don’t give an guaranteed spot in this competitive landscape.

    Jade making the 4-person team will spell doom for gymnasts like Mykayla and Jordan who are hoping to get in through their vault and floor.

    Jade making the 4-person team would be the best news for a gymnast like Riley who would only be needed for bars and beam at that point.

    Sunisa and Simone will be able to carry the all around in team finals leaving just 4 routines for 2 gymnasts to cover.

    1. Carey would be screwing another US gymnast totally out of a spot. SINCERELY doubt a) she gets on the four team b) even that moron Forster would allow it. She ain’t looking that good lately or haven’t you noticed?

      1. Would Carey be screwing another gymnast or would be another gymnast be screwing Carey over? If Carey is scoring higher and earning more medals than a gymnast on the team, then wouldn’t Carey be more deserving of a team medal? If Carey is medal worthy on floor, vault, AND AA then it would just make logical sense to add Carey to the team rather than a 2 event filler gymnast.

      2. Carey is not doing any screwing over of anyone. The screw-er, so to speak, is completely the selection committee. It is their job to develop procedures, understand the qualification process, and communicate it out to coaches. The failure to know whether or not declining an individual spot is possible is on their shoulders, and the failure to account for that possibility in the US selection criteria is also theirs.

        Put the blame where it belongs. But also, if Jade manages to grab 2nd at Trials, everybody fell all over the place except her, and maybe they should take her.

      3. @Anonymous 10:55 PM Nope. Carey (and her daddy) found a loophole and exploited it. Yes, the selection committee is fucked more than it ever has been, but that doesn’t absolve her/her parents of some of the blame. They knew exactly what they were doing from the get-go. And, by the way, Carey finishing top two AA is an absurd fantasy that is nothing but a stupid waste of time.

      4. @Anonymous 11:53 pm There was no conspiracy. Other gymnasts in the US had the same opportunity Jade did. Gymnasts from Russia, China, Italy, Japan, many countries competed in what you call this loop hole. Jade and her “daddy” were so confident that they actually went out and competed. Regularly. Jade went out and showed that she can be a consistent and reliable competitor. She wanted to go to the Olympics and actually did something to make it happen. Why didn’t others from the US? If you think she’s so terrible, watch the Winter Cup 2021 and a few training videos, then get back to us.

      5. @1:06, I think part of what helped Jade here is that (1) she’s coached by her dad and (2) Arizona Sunrays isn’t a gym that’s been a player in the elite world (and they may not aspire to be one post-Jade). What he did was professionally a risk — in 2018, USAG was in a ton of turmoil and there’s no telling what the philosophy of Tom and other leadership would be regarding embracing individualism over the team. I can’t see the likes of Sarah Jantzi or Kim Zmeskal going out on that professional limb. But the risk was worth it for Brian Carey, and it worked out for him — USAG was afraid of its own shadow and didn’t account for this scenario until it was too late to say no to the Careys.

        Is Jade’s pursuit of a team spot selfish? Yeah, kind of. But that’s been the case this whole time and it’s been working for them, so why stop now?

      6. @anon 2:38 no, they wrote criteria such that only a very small number of gymnasts were allowed to try for an individual spot. The ones who were allowed to try were Simone, Aly, Laurie, Jade, Morgan, and Suni.

      7. Not 8:05, but USAG crafted a very narrow “this is who can take the individual route” rule AFTER Jade declared she was doing it. It was very much a mitigation move designed to discourage/outright ban anyone else from trying. The Careys caught USAG asleep at the switch.

      8. Anonymous@ 1:06 The full story is rehashed by several other commenters in this thread, so I won’t bother with any more attempts to penetrate your thick skull. The point is that Carey and Daddypoo are selfish, exploitative, and were ALLOWED a loophole to which others had no access. I omitted all the gory details because they were so obvious, but clearly I overestimated your stupidity. In another commenter’s exactly correct phrase, ‘the Careys caught USAG asleep at the switch.’ USAG’s incompetence and corruption do NOT excuse the Carey’s manipulative maneuverings.
        As for Carey’s Winter Cup performances and training videos, every other contender for this team looks as good and in most cases better than Carey–including Memmel at times.

      9. I don’t get the “Carey screwing USAG” narrative. At the time the new Olympic qualification guidelines and methods were announced, USAG was at peak turmoil. USAG wasn’t going to be able to have anything formally organized to address gymnasts who wanted to go this route.

        If I was training a gymnast with the ability to guarantee herself an Olympic spot, I’m going to pursue that opportunity instead of waiting for a fractured organization to get its head on straight. If you recall how confusing the qualification methods were/are, you would have never trusted USAG at the time to be able to figure out a process for seeking out those spots.

        I thought more people in the gymnastics community were for young women empowering themselves. Is there anything more empowering than earning an opportunity that you are eligible for and capable of earning?? Would we all be happier if Carey waited until the 7th World Cup event when USAG could get around to saying it’s ok and screw herself out of a spot??

        And with the remaining individual spot NOT locked up yet, would we really want USAG to only have 4 spots guaranteed at this point instead of the 5 we have now??

      10. I don’t get the “Carey is a marvelous deserving enterprising young thing who is a fabulous go-getter and really WANTS to be on the team, unlike those other lazy slugs on the US national team who just sit lazily around waiting for their governing organization to do its job. Weak. Sad. Clearly they don’t WANT to be Olympians” NARRATIVE. Gee, there’s nothing more ’empowering’ than having Stage Daddy from Hell masterminding an end-run around the rules, is there? Teaches such terrific values and such admirable moral high ground. Because of course nothing matters more than Jade getting on the team. Murkan exceptionalism uber alles.

      11. I think both things can be true: you can think the Careys were opportunistic and self-interested, but also that they were very smart to seize the opening USAG (unintentionally) gave them.

      12. Also: I cannot fucking wait until we don’t have to talk about Jade Carey anymore.

      13. Very smart? Cunning in a weaselly sort of way.
        Don’t want to talk about Carey? Stop posting on the subject 😁😁😁😁

  3. Everyone has been grumbling about Tom (most likely) picking the top 4 AAers from Nats/Trials. If Jade participates in Trials and places top 4, this may force him to deviate at choose the highest scoring team for 4-3-3, assuming she still has her WC earned berth by then.

    1. Yes, consistent like when she fell at Worlds and twice at Nationals last year.

      I don’t mind Grace, but her reputation as being consistent is overrated.

    2. Grace is consistent! But only on vault and floor. But she is definitely one of the favorites to make the team, after all she is the reigning national bronze medalist

      1. @Anonymous 1:32 PM: LOTS of bars/beam girls throughout gymnastics history. McNamara, Frederick, Vise, Liukin, Komova, Mustafina, Kocian, McCusker, Eaker, just for starters. Long list.

    3. @Anonymous 1:32 PM: LOTS of bars/beam girls throughout gymnastics history. McNamara, Frederick, Vise, Liukin, Komova, Mustafina, Kocian, McCusker, Eaker, just for starters. Long list.

  4. It was real with flexed feet and spread legs. Simone, that triple pike AIN’t. Liukin’s triple tuck was better thirty years ago.

    1. this is just, like, factually incorrect

      also i am uncomfortable when we are not about simone much?

      1. Nope. Biles has better technique, although she doesn’t do a triple back. She has neither the flexed feet nor the separations. I saw Liukin’s triple back. I’m certain you did not.
        And you’re, just, like, incoherent and incapable of constructing a grammatical sentence? LMAO!

  5. In regards to Russia, Urazova had a rough podium training and is downgraded on bars and floor. Meanwhile Listunova upgraded floor by adding the double layout. So I think the Olympic spot is fully on Listunova’s shoulders which is why Urazova is up first.

    Also, I would expect Jade to be harshly judged at Olympic trials to prevent her placing top 2. Tom will do as much as possible to prevent her getting a team spot. Even if she’s 3rd I expect him to pass her up as only the top 2 are guaranteed positions.

    1. Carey would never make top 2 now. She’d be lucky to make top 5 on her fucking best day ever. That said, yes, Forster would do anything to prevent her fucking the team up even further. She probably won’t even medal other than in the team, given everyone else’s recent upgrades. She’s never been THAT good.

      1. Eh? She won two World medals on vault, beat Simone in qualifications at their most recent meet, and is ranked #1 in the World Cup.

        She’s definitely in it on vault.

      2. Carey’s vault medals were two and four years ago. Biles had a bad day (for her) in qualifications that particular meet, and Carey has never fixed her landings, particularly the Amanar.

      3. So who has a more recent medal on vault than two years ago?

        I’m hardly a Carey stan but to say she’s not one of the top vaulters in the world is just not true. She is absolutely a top contender for a vault medal.

      4. So do you know every single potential vault upgrade which may be in the works? I didn’t think so.
        The point is not that there was no Worlds last year. The point is that things have changed since Carey was the default bridesmaid for lack of anyone better/anyone who could hit vaults without landings involving a broad jump. It’s one thing for Biles to hop on landings. Carey’s never had control on hers.

      5. @Anom 9:49 I don’t know why you’re so hostile about Jade Carey but she 100% is still one of the favorites for a vault medal…I mean look right now how weak the competition is at Euros, Steingruber is the only one who could even think about making a final. The other contenders are all the exact same one who Jade beat in Stuttgart: Downie, Seojeong, Chusovitina, Moreno, Olsen, Qi Qi, etc. The only new vault contender we have seen so far is Murakami with her Rudi + DTY. Miyakawa doesn’t look like she’ll make it to the Olympics.

        So Jade is definitely still a medal favorite regardless of whether she ends up on team or in individual

      6. @Gym Fan I don’t know why you’re such a hardcore Carey stan (are you one of Daddy’s employees?) but Downie, Seejeong, and Moreno (at least) are serious competition; Chuso has proven she can never be totally counted out; and Murakami’s vaulting looks remarkably improved in recent months. Steingruber could upgrade. Carey may be one of the leading contenders for a vault medal but why don’t you hold off on awarding her the silver just yet, given that Tokyo is several months off?

  6. USAG can earn a sixth spot through the PanAm Games. Two spots up for grabs there. A good all arounder like Jordan Chiles who was not on the 2019 team (a must) is more than capable of placing top two there. If so, Jade’s decision to go for the team or not will be inconsequential.

    1. I thought that for WAG, the US has already earned their 6th spot as a result of the World Cup (WC) AA series being cancelled and the FIG awarding those three spots to US, CHN and RUS. So 4 for the team, +1 (Jade’s nominative spot from WC EFs) + 1 for the cancelled AA series. They can’t earn what would be a 7th spot at Pan Ams just in case Jade turns her EF spot down.

      1. That’s what I thought too. It’d be 7 spots. Valentina would hemorrhage blood from every orifice. Actually, now that we mention it…

    2. They cannot earn a PanAm. If Jade is awarded the spot she has to take it or leave it. If Jade decline then USA will only have 5 spots. There is no back and fort with spots.

  7. I don’t know if you follow live but Gerasimova fell on beam multiple times and got an 11.6 in quals… we hoped she would be the most consistent russian beamer and now that illusion is gone:(

    1. I’m afraid this ruins her chances of making the olympic team but I really don’t want Akhaimova on that team

      1. Bad Gateway Error 🤬

        (Anger is at the organizers, not at the helpful person who provided the link)

  8. What strikes me reading these comments, is that the “Olympic Dream” for gymnasts starting on the elite path is basically dead. The odds are miniscule to begin with, but with the teams shrinking in size through the cycles, then the pushback of Tokyo (I still have serious doubts it will go ahead at all, or if it does, with a lot of countries unable to go, either by choice or because of a surge in infections). Then you have to be on the right form at the just the right time – several GB girls who were potential locks not that long ago are out of the picture or are highly unlikely. You probably could get better odds of going into space than being an Olympic gymnast. The narrative needs to change, perhaps with the aim being more towards being an international. Otherwise I fear for the mental health of these gymnasts when the inevitable disappointment comes.

    1. Leaving Tokyo aside (I agree with you that folks are way overestimating the odds of it happening), I agree with you about the Olympic dream being dead, and I don’t understand why a good 60 percent of US elites even bother with elite. I get that in other countries, being on the Olympic track confers some real financial and other benefits even if you don’t make it in the end. But what’s the real “win” in being a low-tier elite in the US with no realistic Olympic or professional prospects? You’re basically trashing your body and sidelining your education for the same college scholarship you’d get as a kickass level 10.

      1. Tokyo is happening. There is too much money on the line for it not to happen and there have been tons of other sporting events happening.

      2. Exactly. Before the hell the Karolyis made of gymnastics in amurrIKKKa, when the sport wasn’t FUBAR, when Trials actually determined the team, when there were compulsories and every gymnast did AA and there were six gymnasts on a team and so forth, it was one thing. It’s a vomitous farce now, has been for years, and only gets worse every day. Would love to see NCAA with more low-tier elites, more difficulty, more brilliance–all of which it could have with your suggestion.

      3. You almost have to at least have qualified as a junior elite, and preferably senior elite, or win and event at Nationals and be in the top 6 AA to get the full 4 year offer at one of the top schools. Everyone else gets a “4 year plan” which likely has an out. So going elite, I totally understand. Staying elite when you have no shot? Well a lot don’t which is why at the last nationals there were so few seniors they put some juniors in that session.

      4. @10:24, I think and hope that will change once the last of the “fetus verbals” cycle out of high school. Can’t get that offer at 14 anymore…

    2. Add to that that the vast majority of the world doesn’t have anything like NCAA to aim for, and retiring gymnasts seem to just disappear. This is a big thing in UK sport at the moment (not just gymnastics). Athletes retiring – especially due to an injury – and finding that their lives are otherwise empty. This is bound to be worse in gymnastics where they’ve started so much younger.

  9. Can anyone point me to detailed info on who is competing at the American Classic this weekend? I can’t find any info anywhere, other than the dates and location. Kinda leads me to believe it’s not gonna be worth watching.

  10. So…random thought. What if this “Jade is maybe going to try for the team” thing is a head fake designed to help Riley? I think it’s pretty unlikely, but there’s a non-zero possibility that Jade and her dad are trying to help Riley out by making everyone EXCEPT Riley think there’s an extra person competing for one of the three non-Simone spots.

    1. Lol the girls are going all out anyways because they know it’s gonna be hard to make it

    2. Yes. The possibility is non-zero. It’s .00000001 percent.
      Carey and Daddy don’t give a shit about anyone except the Careys.

      1. Your hate for Jade Carey and her father is beyond disturbing. Seek help. Are you a competitor’s mother possibly? I’m convinced you’re the same person who’s been spewing Carey hate this whole post. Not ok.

      2. @Anonymous 10:58 So sorry, Mommy Carey, but we’re just not THAT into your daughter. Get some Velveeta to go with your box of WHINE.

    3. Anonymous @10:58 PM Your psychotic Carey-stanning is very upsetting. I’m convinced you’re the same troll which has been shrieking praise for the Careys’ maniacal manipulation of USAG’s incompetence for the whole thread, to say nothing of your masturbatory frenzy over Carey’s mediocre performances of late.. Learn something about gymnastics and learn something about the definition of the word ‘hate.’ Therapy wouldn’t actually help you, as you’re a truly haploid moron. Not ok! LOL!

  11. I can’t get any of the Euro championships live streams to work 🙁 🙁

      1. scores are working now…that its over…they did say they’re posting every routine though…but we won’t see Larissa’s reaction to getting to the olympics 🙁

      2. finals better not be like this…their YouTube channel was working for the entire time mostly but live scores where down and they didn’t show some of the most important routines on the YouTube channel (Larissa’s bars, melanie’s beam, Gelya’s floor (or beam I don’t think)…

    1. These are the times I’m grateful for bizarre qualification processes and having the European Championships be an Olympic qualifier…

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