The first day of podium training at worlds is in the books, and here’s what we’ve learned:
- No AA for Murakami. Murakami Mai trained only beam and floor on day 1, sitting out vault and bars (which also takes her out of medal-favorite status on vault). She said expects this to be her final competition. Do not recognize, do not accept.
- While Rebeca Andrade has not done her podium training session yet, she has confirmed that she will not compete floor at worlds, which takes two of the three pre-meet medal favorites out of the all-around. Now, Melnikova looks like the one to watch for the world title, with Kayla DiCello moving up the ladder as her most compelling challenger, and the medal outlook improving for Wei Xiaoyuan and, dare I say it, Leanne Wong if she can hit four events on the same day.
- The United States didn’t officially give anything away regarding its lineups by having all four gymnasts train all four events in their podium session. But, with McClain leading off the group on bars and floor and Frazier leading off on beam, it did seem that the first athlete up in PT would be the one to sit on that event in actual competition. Which would mean that DiCello and Wong would compete the all-around—an actual…sensible and logical team decision from the US? I don’t know where I am.
- China had only two athletes—Wei Xiaoyuan and Qi Qi—perform floor in podium training, which would indicate that Wei will be China’s only all-arounder here. They’ll then have Qi aiming for vault and floor medals and Li Shijia and Luo Rui aiming for bars and beam medals. At this point I pretty much expect to see every member of China’s team make at least one final as long as bars and beam aren’t splatfests, which I wouldn’t say about any of the other countries (at least those that brought full squads).
- Here’s an updated look at the pre-worlds AA rankings, now removing the athletes whom we believe won’t compete the all-around:
Updated World Championships All-Around Rankings
|VT Peak||UB Peak||BB Peak||FX Peak||TOTAL|
|Vera Van Pol||NED||14.500||13.633||12.900||13.550||54.583|
- Chances having improved dramatically for people like D’Amato (actually both), Hatakeda, and Heduit, with very realistic spots in the lead group in the AA final up for grabs, and potentially even medals depending on how things go in the falls department.
- In other news, Elze Geurts did in fact perform two vaults. Given the depleted vault field, she seems a solid choice for the final, where Andrade, Melnikova, Devillard, and Qi will be the front runners and any manner of things could happen after that.
- In conclusion, Becky Downie trained a 6.6 D score on bars
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