All posts by balancebeamsituation

World Championships Qualification Preview

Presenting far more information than you need about every subdivision of women’s qualification at worlds.


Subdivision 1

October 27, 2:00am ET/11:00pm PT

Team Belgium
Team Argentina
Team Poland
Team Latvia
Individuals from Algeria, Philippines, Guatemala, and Jordan

What to know
Team Belgium: After Belgium’s performance in qualification at the European Championship—defeating Great Britain and the Netherlands—it would be foolish to discount this Belgian squad’s chances to make the team final here, but it will be a difficult climb.

From the perspective of a neutral, having Belgium in the first subdivision is excellent because the team score will provide us with a team final cut-off standard as we watch the later contending teams compete. Any contender must beat Belgium’s score to be in with a shot.

The primary individual priority for Belgium will be getting likely gold medal favorite Nina Derwael into the bars final. Derwael and Axelle Klinckaert are both solid picks to make the all-around final, and Klinckaert has an outside shot at the floor final depending on how the days play out.

Team Argentina: Argentina has come on fiercely in the last year or so, turning itself into a team contender on the back of new senior Martina Dominici.

We haven’t typically given much time to Argentina’s team chances, but this year, the squad is very much in contention for a top-24 place (to advance as a team to 2019) with a solid qualification day. Still, Argentina is a cusp team, so it’s going to take a better-than-average performance. If Dominici is on, she’s also in the mix for making the all-around final, which would be a thing.

Team Poland: Poland is in a fairly similar position to Argentina in that a top-24 place is very possible, but definitely not a given if the team doesn’t hit the majority of its routines. Depth will be a concern as Poland is sending just four competitors, but with Janik’s all-around, the beam and floor of Pihan-Kulesza, and the beam of Jurkowska-Kowalska, the routines should be there for a competitive finish.

Team Latvia: Latvia is sending just three competitors. That would still be enough for a team score this year should they all compete the all-around, but it’s unclear whether the squad will actually do that. New senior Elina Vihrova hasn’t competed the non-bars events since last December.

Individuals: Jana Mouffok, whom we’ve seen at domestic French competitions before, will be representing Algeria for the first time here, Corinne Bunagan from ENA Paramus will be representing the Philippines once again, and Jordan is slated to send a competitor in Ruba Aldaoud. Ana Palacios of Guatemala finished 9th on floor at Pan Ams, breaking 13.


Subdivision 2

October 27, 4:00am ET/1:00am PT

Team Japan
Team Australia
Team South Korea
Team Costa Rica
Individuals from Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan

What to know
Team Japan
: Despite the absence of Sae Miyakawa, Japan is fully expecting to make the team final here and contend for a team medal. Based on the scoring shown so far this year, Japan should have ample room for mistakes in qualification while still advancing to the team final.

Individually, Mai Murakami is quite possibly the best non-American contender in the all-around field and will be going for the medal that eluded her so heartbreakingly last year. Murakami should be joined in the AA by another top-10 qualifier from her own team, the question is, who? Who gets to do the all-around in the first place, and who will win the intra-Japan battle for the second spot in the final? My money is always on Asuka Teramoto, but Aiko Sugihara took 6th place in last year’s final, and Hitomi Hatakeda could be in there if she’s given the chance to do all the events instead.

On the apparatuses, Murakami will expect to make the floor final and can medal there, and it wouldn’t be worlds without Asuka Teramoto sneaking into the beam final even though you kind of forgot her there.

Team Australia: We’ve been patiently waiting for the triumphant Australian reemergence into the realm of the world’s best, but it looks like that will have to wait. This current Australian team is extremely injured, and the squad will be without Georgia Godwin, Rianna Mizzen, and Talia Folino in Doha—last year’s three worlds competitors. Australia is likely now just looking to make sure everything goes to plan so there’s no risk of being slammed outside the top 24, as well as getting Georgia-Rose Brown into the AA final, which is a possibility. Continue reading World Championships Qualification Preview

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World Championships Viewing Guide

Let this be your one-stop post for life planning.
(Streaming information is for people in the US.)

I’ll keep this linked on the top menu for easy reference once this post starts getting bumped down by all the live blogs and daily reviews.


October 21
2:00am ET/11:00pm PT – Men’s Podium Training, Subdivision 1
Russia, France, Romania, Uzbekistan, Peru, Singapore


4:30am ET/1:30am PT – Men’s Podium Training, Subdivision 2
Netherlands, Belgium, Belarus, Croatia, Finland, Austria


7:30am ET/4:30am PT – Men’s Podium Training, Subdivision 3
Switzerland, Israel, North Korea, Norway, Lithuania, Jordan, Dominican Republic, Slovakia


10:00am ET/7:00am PT – Men’s Podium Training, Subdivision 4
Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Jamaica, Iceland, Bulgaria, Philippines


1:00pm ET/10:00am PT – Men’s Podium Training, Subdivision 5
Ukraine, Spain, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, Qatar


October 22
2:00am ET/11:00pm PT – Men’s Podium Training, Subdivision 6
Japan, United States, Colombia, Armenia, Serbia, Malaysia, Thailand

Streaming: USA Gymnastics YouTube


4:30am ET/1:30am PT – Men’s Podium Training, Subdivision 7
Turkey, Taiwan, Mexico, Australia, Ireland, Cuba, Guatemala, Chile


7:30am ET/4:30am PT – Men’s Podium Training, Subdivision 8
Germany, South Korea, Greece, Georgia, Iraq, Slovenia, Ecuador, Trinidad & Tobago


10:00am ET/7:00am PT – Men’s Podium Training, Subdivision 9
Great Britain, Italy, Vietnam, Cyprus, Denmark


1:00pm ET/10:00am PT – Men’s Podium Training, Subdivision 10
China, Brazil, Hungary, Argentina, Hong Kong, Portugal, Syria


October 23
2:00am ET/11:00pm PT – Women’s Podium Training, Subdivision 1
Belgium, Argentina, Poland, Latvia, Algeria, Philippines, Guatemala, Jordan


4:00am ET/1:00am PT – Women’s Podium Training, Subdivision 2
Japan, Australia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan


6:30am ET/3:30am PT – Women’s Podium Training, Subdivision 3
Germany, Hungary, Ukraine, North Korea, Portugal


8:30am ET/5:30am PT – Women’s Podium Training, Subdivision 4
Netherlands, Colombia, Austria, Belarus, Sweden Israel, Qatar


11:00am ET/8:00am PT – Women’s Podium Training, Subdivision 5
United States, Slovakia, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Chile, Ireland, Cyprus, Peru

Streaming: USA Gymnastics Youtube


1:00pm ET/10:00am PT – Women’s Podium Training, Subdivision 6
Italy, Norway, Iceland, Jamaica, Vietnam, Bolivia, Cayman Islands


October 24
2:30am ET/11:30pm PT – Women’s Podium Training, Subdivision 7
China, Romania, Finland, South Africa


4:30am ET/1:30am PT – Women’s Podium Training, Subdivision 8
France, Canada, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore


7:00am ET/4:00am PT – Women’s Podium Training, Subdivision 9
Russia, Great Britain, Brazil, Turkey, Denmark


9:00am ET/6:00am PT – Women’s Podium Training, Subdivision 10
Spain, Mexico, Switzerland, Egypt, Serbia, Syria


11:30am ET/8:30am PT – Women’s Podium Training, Subdivision 11
Czech Republic, Greece, Taiwan, Slovenia, Croatia, Georgia


October 25
2:00am ET/11:00pm PT – Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 1
Russia, France, Romania, Uzbekistan, Peru, Singapore

Streaming: NBC Sports


4:30am ET/1:30am PT – Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 2
Netherlands, Belgium, Belarus, Croatia, Finland, Austria


7:30am ET/4:30am PT – Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 3
Switzerland, Israel, North Korea, Norway, Lithuania, Jordan, Dominican Republic, Slovakia


10:00am ET/7:00am PT – Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 4
Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Jamaica, Iceland, Bulgaria, Philippines


1:00pm ET/10:00am PT – Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 5
Ukraine, Spain, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, Qatar


October 26
2:00am ET/11:00pm PT – Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 6
Japan, United States, Colombia, Armenia, Serbia, Malaysia, Thailand

Streaming: NBC Sports


4:30am ET/1:30am PT – Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 7
Turkey, Taiwan, Mexico, Australia, Ireland, Cuba, Guatemala, Chile


7:30am ET/4:30am PT – Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 8
Germany, South Korea, Greece, Georgia, Iraq, Slovenia, Ecuador, Trinidad & Tobago


10:00am ET/7:00am PT – Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 9
Great Britain, Italy, Vietnam, Cyprus, Denmark

Streaming: NBC Sports


1:00pm ET/10:00am PT – Men’s Qualification, Subdivision 10
China, Brazil, Hungary, Argentina, Hong Kong, Portugal, Syria

Streaming: NBC Sports


October 27
2:00am ET/11:00pm PT – Women’s Qualification, Subdivision 1
Belgium, Argentina, Poland, Latvia, Algeria, Philippines, Guatemala, Jordan


4:00am ET/1:00am PT – Women’s Qualification, Subdivision 2
Japan, Australia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan

Streaming: NBC Sports


6:30am ET/3:30am PT – Women’s Qualification, Subdivision 3
Germany, Hungary, Ukraine, North Korea, Portugal


8:30am ET/5:30am PT – Women’s Qualification, Subdivision 4
Netherlands, Colombia, Austria, Belarus, Sweden, Israel, Qatar


11:00am ET/8:00am PT – Women’s Qualification, Subdivision 5
United States, Slovakia, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Chile, Ireland, Cyprus, Peru

Streaming: NBC Sports


1:00pm ET/10:00am PT – Women’s Qualification, Subdivision 6
Italy, Norway, Iceland, Jamaica, Vietnam, Bolivia, Cayman Islands


October 28
2:30am ET/11:30pm PT – Women’s Qualification, Subdivision 7
China, Romania, Finland, South Africa

Streaming: NBC Sports


4:30am ET/1:30am PT – Women’s Qualification, Subdivision 8
France, Canada, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore

Streaming: NBC Sports


7:00am ET/4:00am PT – Women’s Qualification, Subdivision 9
Russia, Great Britain, Brazil, Turkey, Denmark

Streaming: NBC Sports


9:00am ET/6:00am PT – Women’s Qualification, Subdivision 10
Spain, Mexico, Switzerland, Egypt, Serbia, Syria


11:30am ET/8:30am PT – Women’s Qualification, Subdivision 11
Czech Republic, Greece, Taiwan, Slovenia, Croatia, Georgia


October 29
9:00am ET/6:00am PT – Men’s Team Final

Streaming: Olympic Channel


October 30
9:00am ET/6:00am PT – Women’s Team Final

Streaming: Olympic Channel


October 31
9:00am ET/6:00am PT – Men’s All-Around Final

Streaming: Olympic Channel


November 1
9:00am ET/6:00am PT – Women’s All-Around Final

Streaming: Olympic Channel


November 2
9:00am ET/6:00am PT – Event Finals Day 1

Streaming: Olympic Channel


November 3
9:00am ET/6:00am PT – Event Finals Day 2

Streaming: Olympic Channel


 

Things Are Happening – October 16, 2018

A. What a Bono

How’s a person supposed to preview worlds sufficiently when things keep happening?

Anyway, to the surprise of no one, USAG’s interim disaster Mary Bono resigned today as CEO, not quite four days after being hired. Although, the announcement came late Friday, and the next two days were weekend days, so we’re looking more at 1.33 business days at best (no credit as a wolf double). That means there’s still some discrepancy over whether this counts as defeating MLT’s short-tenure record or not. Thoughts and math welcome.

In her resignation statement, Mary spares a thought for the real victim in all of this—herself. For how dare she be forced to suffer at the hands of her own thoughts, words, and actions. Charitably, she also spares a thought for the secondary victim—us—for not getting to experience the wonder that is her. I guess.

The second paragraph is probably my favorite. “I had a storyline to roll out, I tell you! A storyline! Look how calculated to garner sympathy and deflect criticism it was!” That storyline, and the lack of understanding that we the public are looking for qualifications not storylines, is probably what accounts for the board making this bizarre selection in the first place. Continue reading Things Are Happening – October 16, 2018

Things Are Happening – October 13, 2018

A. Take Out the Trash Day

If you thought your paying-attention duties had ceased after the naming of the women’s worlds team, you neglected the importance of the patented USAG Friday night news dump.

In it, USAG revealed several things it hoped you were already too drunk to pay attention to closely. First, the humble peasants were allowed to see the selection procedures that govern which gymnasts will be allowed to take the Jade Carey Route through apparatus world cups to gain personal qualification to the 2020 Olympics. Basically, it’s Jade Carey and no one.

First, to be eligible, you must meet at least one of these criteria:

You’ll note the words “current national team member” cropping up in all of them. You’ve always had to be a national team member to get international assignments, so there’s nothing new or particularly onerous or unreasonable here, but these requirements do signal a desire to narrowly limit the number of people who can try for this. It tells me they don’t really want people with past elite success like Ashton Locklear or MyKayla Skinner just popping up and yelling, “Send me to Azerbaijan!”

Only three seniors currently meet these standards: Biles, Hurd, and Carey. Because we expect Biles and Hurd to compete at worlds this year with the team, that would leave only Carey able to go this route. But, these rules do not specify junior/senior, so by my reading, Sunisa Lee and Leanne Wong would both also be eligible for those early 2019 apparatus world cups (once they turn senior) through criterion 2, should they want that.

I don’t think that will happen because both will probably still see themselves as AA, team-spot contenders at this point, but it should be possible. Continue reading Things Are Happening – October 13, 2018

US World Championships Team Named

USAG announced the women’s team for the 2018 world championships today with relatively little associated drama or outrage. What is even going on in the world?

That’s what happens when you open the doors on the selection competition—everyone is less surprised by the actual team because…yeah, we saw the routines too.

(BUT MARTHA’S A GENIUS HER EYES JUST KNOW…)

The six traveling to Doha will be Simone Biles, Riley McCusker, Morgan Hurd, Grace McCallum, Kara Eaker, and Ragan Smith.

-Who’s in this photo?
-Only Simone. Bye.

No official alternate has been named yet. It’s not unusual for the US to wait to differentiate the five on the team and the traveling alternate for a worlds team competition until the last possible second (or how about just never tell anyone, including the athletes, and wait for the Christmas morning of start lists—FUN GAME!) Continue reading US World Championships Team Named

Selection Camp – Live Blog

This is some new territory. A live stream of selection. Nowhere to hide now. If you make a BS, insane selection for the worlds team, we’re going to know about it, selection committee.

To review, nine gymnasts will compete today:

Simone Biles
Morgan Hurd
Riley McCusker
Grace McCallum
Kara Eaker
Jordan Chiles
Shilese Jones
Ragan Smith
Alyona Shchennikova

The first five comprise the nominative team, and the remaining four have to do something today to change minds.

Name VT UB BB FX AA
BILES 16.000 14.750 13.850 15.100 59.700
HURD 14.500 14.300 13.550 12.900 55.250
MCCUSKER 14.350 14.950 14.100 13.850 57.250
MCCALLUM 14.500 12.950 13.650 14.300 55.400
EAKER 13.950 12.350 15.150 13.550 55.000
CHILES 14.700 13.600 13.200 13.200 54.700
JONES 14.750 13.850 12.650 12.800 54.050
SMITH 14.600 12.850 13.950 13.650 55.050
SHCHENNIKOVA 13.900 14.600 12.900 11.950 53.350

 

Continue reading Selection Camp – Live Blog

Things Are Happening – October 9, 2018

A. US worlds selection camp

The US will be streaming a worlds selection competition for the very first time on Thursday at 3:00 ET. It seems like USAG is actually doing something right, so I’m off to sit in a small box and be shocked for 16 hours. I’m sure something will go terribly wrong like there won’t be scores or they forgot to invite the gymnasts, so don’t worry.

No official time has been given for the announcement of the team (there’s our USAG!), but it’s going to be sometime later on Friday.

By way of a preview, here’s what those camp attendees who weren’t named to the nominative team need to do at the select camp to change the default outlook.

Jordan Chiles – Hit an Amanar every damn time she even looks at the vault. If she’s not hitting an Amanar, she won’t disrupt the nominative team. If she is, she has an excellent argument to go to worlds to deliver one event, likely in place of Kara Eaker.

Ragan Smith – Score 14+ on floor and 14.2+ on beam. Smith will need to have magically gotten healthy since nationals, of course, but if we see 2017 Smith show up, you start entertaining the possibility of replacing the McCallum-Eaker duo with Smith and a vaulter.

Shilese Jones – A good all-around competition probably lands her the alternate spot at this point, but she could improve the nominative team’s scoring potential on vault, so outscoring the other DTYs by multiple tenths and going 14.8+ is her best route. It would also help Jones if Smith has a good competition since Jones and Smith complement each other well (Jones could be the vaulter named above, but would need Chiles not to be hitting an Amanar).

Alyona Shchennikova – Her argument is all about bars. She would need to score a 15+ on bars and beat Hurd by multiple tenths there to make a useful one-event argument similar to the one Eaker is trying to make for beam. Basically, Shchennikova needs to beat Hurd on bars by more than Eaker beats Hurd on beam to say she’s the one-eventer of your dreams. Continue reading Things Are Happening – October 9, 2018