The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

World Championships Nominative Roster News

Today, the FIG released the “definitely entirely meaningless but won’t stop me from talking about them” nominative rosters for the world championships, whereby countries submit the names of up to six athletes (five team members and an alternate) as placeholders to confirm that they do intend to send some athletes in those spots to worlds, even if not necessarily these exact individuals. So let’s get into what we “learned.”

  • The US women won’t conduct their selection camp until October 21-22, so for this list, they just submitted six gymnasts in all-around order from nationals: McClain, Jones, Chiles, Carey, Blakely, Zeiss. The only noteworthy part here is that they skipped over Kayla DiCello in that list of all-arounders, which one might decide to read as a tell regarding her intentions re: going for worlds.
  • The US men will conduct their selection camp this coming week on October 3 and 5 and submitted a nominative list that includes specialists Curran Phillips and Stephen Nedoroscik.
    • The other roster names are already confirmed team members Brody Malone and Donnell Whittenburg, along with Asher Hong and Colt Walker. That team of Malone, Whittenburg, Hong, Walker, Nedoroscik was the highest-scoring team based on the average of the two days of nationals (without bonus). “bUt WiLl ThEy TaKe A oNe EvEnTeR??????” – Me, all of next week.
  • Romania, see me after class. Despite qualifying a full team to worlds, the Romanian women have submitted just two athletes: Ana Barbosu and Andreea Preda.
    • Because Romania confirmed their team presence in the original allocation conducted after Euros, there’s now no mechanism in the rules to replace the Romanian women with the next team in line, which would be the Czech Republic. Instead, confirmed teams that end up not declining to send a full team receive a maximum of two athlete positions.
    • The Romanian men are like, “Look which side is suddenly the less disastrous one…”
  • Tyesha Mattis of Jamaica, who originally qualified her AA spot through the Pan American Championship, does not appear on the roster. Instead, there is a TBD placeholder spot for a replacement athlete from Pan Ams. Next in line for that spot would be Leyanet Pruna of Cuba.
  • Tran Doan Quynh Nam of Vietnam has not taken her vault and bars specialist spots. On vault, she is replaced by Mali Neurauter of Norway, which means Norway now has five women qualified to worlds but did not qualify a full team. Because there was literally no one left on bars (Tran had originally qualified as a bars specialist with a score of 0.300), her vacated spot goes unfilled.
  • Adam Steele of Ireland was originally confirmed for a floor specialist spot but does not appear on the nominative roster. He is replaced on floor by Niklas Syverhuset of Norway. Norway definitely gets the “hacked the system” award this year by getting 8 total athletes to worlds despite qualifying zero teams.
  • Leo Lehtinen of Finland, the #8 qualifier on high bar, did not take his spot. That instead goes to Rasuljon Abdurakjimov of Uzbekistan, who was already qualified for PBars and now has two events.
  • In noteworthy team submissions, Germany still has Sarah Voss on its nominative list, but she has been ruled out of worlds with injury. With that on top of Kim Bui’s retirement, Germany is pressed for depth as they wait for next year’s new seniors to save the day. On this nominative list, Anna-Lena König and Lea Marie Quaas appear alongside the obvious Seitz, Schäfer, Malewski group, though really, Germany’s best possible scoring plan would be to get Seitz and Schäfer back in the all-around.
  • Italy has listed Veronica Mandriota and Manila Esposito among its six—along with the obvious available four of Villa, Maggio, Andreoli, and Alice D’Amato. So right now the fifth spot looks to be between those two, which is about what we expected.
    • If you’re Italy, you basically want all your actual, real team final routines coming from the main four anyway, so it shouldn’t matter that much—except, we haven’t seen Alice D’Amato do beam this year, and you never know when Andreoli is going to fall 8 times, so I’d sort of want the fifth member to be able to have a team final beam if needed. Which is to say, I’m torn. Mandriota is elegant as the day is long and the better VT/FX complement to Villa’s UB/BB to make a well-rounded team, but if you want a beam score specifically, Esposito’s potential is probably higher.
  • Nina Derwael does indeed appear among Belgium’s six athletes. She was slated to return at the Paris World Cup but was a late withdrawal.
  • China has listed Tang Xijing, Wei Xiaoyuan, Ou Yushan, Zhang Jin, Luo Rui, and He Licheng as its six—six of the eight I’d have in major consideration, along with Wu Ran and Sun Xinyi, though given Wu Ran’s injury and Sun Xinyi’s beam specialist status, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see them miss out as we see on the nominative list.
  • Spain’s submitted six does not include their current best gymnast Alba Petisco, who was 12th AA at Euros and made the beam final. So that would not be ideal.
  • The Japanese men threw in 80-million-time medalist Kaya Kazuma as the alternate along with the already-named team. Must be nice. Kaya finished 4th AA after NHK and was not named to the team.
  • Ellie Downie, only recently back, is listed as Great Britain’s alternate alongside the Euros five, who have been announced as the team.
  • Eythora Thorsdottir is listed among the six for the Netherlands pending their upcoming selection competition. Watch that space.
  • Georgia-Rose Brown returns as part of the Australian women’s squad, and she is confirmed as part of Australia’s traveling six that will be winnowed to five after arriving in the UK.
  • Veterans Benjamin Gischard and Christain Baumann are part of Switzerland’s listed men’s team after being absent at Euros. The Swiss men haven’t missed a worlds team final since 2011.
  • Abigial Magistrati, Argentina’s best finisher at this year’s South American Championship, does not appear on the nominative list.
  • Carina Kröll, an essential part of Austria’s worlds qualification performance, does not appear on Austria’s list. She is replaced by Berta Schwaninger.

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