A. Who’s Going to the Olympics?
The women’s competition at the African Championships finished up earlier today, giving us two brand new Olympians to add to the pile. In an upset, Zeina Ibrahim Sharaf of Egypt won the competition to get an Olympic spot over her countrywoman Farah Hussein, who ended up in second. Both had some strong moments early in the day with Ibrahim looking very poised on beam, and Hussein having to wait 784 hours for her own beam routine before pulling out a confident set without major error. Going into the final rotation on vault, Ibrahim led Hussein by just 0.3, so it could have gone either way, but Hussein crashed her Yfull while Ibrahim landed hers, giving the competition to Ibrahim.
Because it’s just one per country, Farah Hussein will not get an Olympic spot, nor will Egypt’s Jana Mahmoud, who finished in 3rd place. The second Olympic spot on offer from the African Championships instead goes to Naveen Daries of South Africa, who fell on all four routines she attempted to finish 4th in the all-around but nonetheless gets an Olympic spot because no one (who wasn’t from Egypt) did better than her.
For fans of negative scores, we did have some at this competition, but it looks like they just showed up as zeroes on the final standings.
Ibrahim and Daries will be the second Olympians from their countries as Mandy Mohamed of Egypt and Caitlin Rooskrantz of South Africa already qualified at 2019 worlds.
The men’s competition is tomorrow.
This week also brought the announcement of four more Olympians on the men’s side, with Great Britain naming its team of James Hall, Joe Fraser, Giarnni Regini-Moran, and Max Whitlock.
The only member of the 2019 worlds team who did not make this squad was Dom Cunningham, who is understandably having his moment about it, but his results from the various trials this year really weren’t putting him in the highest-scoring team permutations, where Regini-Moran has passed him as the most useful FX/VT contributor, to join their typical top AAer James Hall, PB world champion Fraser, and Whitlock’s pommel horse.
Becky Downie also competed in her individual trial redo. I watch that first bars routine and say, “That’s all I needed. Put her on that team.”Continue reading Things Are Happening – May 26, 2021