The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Things Are Happening – October 13, 2022

A. US selection camp

Today, USAG released the roster for the women’s world championship selection camp, at which 11 athletes will contend for the five team spots and one traveling alternate position on the worlds team.

Selection Camp Roster
Skye Blakely
Jade Carey
Jordan Chiles
Amelia Disidore
Addison Fatta
Shilese Jones
Katelyn Jong
Nola Matthews
Marissa Neal
Leanne Wong
Lexi Zeiss

In addition to Konnor McClain’s withdrawal announced last week, this roster also confirms the absences of Zoe Miller (back) and Kayla DiCello (Florida), both of whom would also have been in serious contention for the worlds team if available.

Also missing are national team members Levi Jung-Ruivivar and Elle Mueller, and we can assume they must have declined positions at this camp because…they’re on the national team, and camp is what the national team does. It’s surprising not to see Jung-Ruivivar here after she just competed in Szombathely 30 seconds ago.

So it’s a pretty sparse group, but unlike the US men’s selection which intentionally limited the size of the size of the roster and didn’t invite some theoretical options, the women’s roster seems to be…just the ones who are left standing.

The selection competitions are held October 21 (7:00pm ET) and October 22 (5:50pm ET) and streamed on FlipWallet. We’re probably entering the fray with a default team in mind of Jones, Chiles, Carey, Wong, and Blakely, with the traveling alternate position totally up for grabs—or even a fifth team spot if someone in the five botches the competition.

B. Italian Championships

The injuries keep piling up for the Italian team. Following the European Championship injury to Asia D’Amato, now Angela Andreoli has withdrawn from this week’s national championship with an injury, putting additional strain on the Italian worlds team that for most of the year looked like a major medal favorite.

In better news, Giorgia Villa returned to the all-around on day 1 of nationals, and Alice D’Amato added back beam, which she had not competed yet in 2022, a critical development for an increasingly depleted team.

It now seems obvious that nominative roster members Manila Esposito and Veronica Mandriota will round out the team of five for Italy since there’s no one else very close to them. Alice D’Amato, Maggio, and Villa will have to do almost all the work in every phase of the competition at worlds, but there’s also still a need for someone to step in on vault and floor. Even though Villa is now back on those events, it’s not for the highest difficulty—and probably an unnecessary strain to have her do a bunch of vault and floor numbers at worlds so soon after bringing those events back. Esposito’s scores on day 1 of nationals were encouraging in that regard.

Overall, the absence of both Asia D’Amato and Angela Andreoli drops Italy from 2nd to 4th in terms of average scores in 2022, now behind the US, China, and Brazil. Still, the margin behind China and Brazil is not large, and neither of those these teams are exactly known for their amazing hit meets in critical team situations lately, so Italy will continue to entertain the possibility of a team medal this year despite the injuries, even though it’s going to be harder now. At the same time, this also brings the remarkably intact British team and a Melanie-d France closer to the medal pack as both teams now have a clearer pathway to pounce for a top-3 finish.

Broadcast notes for tomorrow’s women’s AA final (turns out no VPN required):

C. Worlds Teams

The second team registration window closes on Friday at midnight, so hopefully on Monday we’ll get a big update on worlds teams (because some of those currently registered teams are definitely not happening).

Still, we do have a confirmed team from Brazil, which is the expected five of Andrade, Saraiva, Soares, Oliveira, and Pedro. Christal Bezerra is the alternate, and it’s sort of either-or between her and Pedro, a spot that will probably only be asked to contribute a team final vault, where they have very similar scores for Yurchenko fulls. In her corner, Pedro did have a much better South American Games this week and is the more reliable option if you need her to, say, go instead of Flavia on bars. Of note, the men’s team does not include ringifier Arthur Zanetti, while the confirmed Swiss men’s team does not include Christian Baumann, both of whom were on the original nominative lists.

Until the next roster update!

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