Category Archives: 2021 Worlds

Worlds Selection Camp Live Blog

Today’s the day. Ish. There’s also a second day of selection competition tomorrow, but it’s not being streamed. So that’s fun. I’m here for all your live blog needs so you don’t have to subscribe to FLOburger. I’ll be sure to tell you who’s being weird. And maybe also about the routines. Action begins at 5:40ET, 2:40PT.

Our six competitors today are Ciena Alipio, Kayla DiCello, eMjae Frazier, Olivia Greaves, Konnor McClain, and Leanne Wong. The team will be announced tomorrow. With only six people, they’ll all be rotating together in a single group, one event at a time.

It looks like they’re going to start on vault rather than follow the rotation order for qualification at worlds, which will have them start on bars. Not that it really matters. Vault order is McClain, Greaves, DiCello, Frazier, Alipio, Wong.

In case you’re curious, the feed right now is wall-to-wall scoliosis commercials, with people standing around for a sec in between.

We just saw Greaves warm up a DTY. YFull with an extra mat for Alipio. Mostly the scoliosis commercial. Warmup DTY from Wong, a bit short with a hop to the side.

Looks like the pre-meet warmup is over now, so presumably there will be a little break and then intros/start.

National anthem and more scoliosis in between. BUT WHAT ABOUT RESPECT FOR THE MILITARY.

Touch warmup starting on vault now. McClain warms up nice looking DTY with bounce back. FLO thought it was her competition vault. Greaves warms up DTY, DiCello DTY (a little shorter than her usual), Frazier DTY, Alipio warms up a Y1.5 with a lunge forward, and then Wong with a DTY. So, we’re looking at 5 DTYs and a Y1.5.

Rotation 1

McClain – VT – solid DTY from her, good power, a bit of a rebound back, not short, OK direction. 14.500

Greaves – VT – big struggle on her DTY, didn’t get the same block as in warmups, goes off to the side with a large lunge forward and out of the lines, possible hand down. 13.25

DiCello – VT – no trouble with her DTY, has the height, chest more forward/down than McClain, hop to the side. 14.550

Frazier – hits her DTY, hop to the side, a little crooked on her block but ended up with solid direction, some leg crossing. 14.150

Alipio – VT – 1.5 is hit with a fairly sizable lunge forward – nice direction, solid form, just doesn’t have the same D.

Wong – VT – MUCH shorter run than everyone else – a bit short on her DTY and a somewhat jarred landing with a hop in place, has to pike it at the end. Not her strongest but a hit. 14.25.

FLO now tells us that’s there a break in the action and we’ll be back at a time in the past. Good good. If we got a score for Alipio’s vault, I didn’t see it. The twitters say it was 13.900.

Rotation 2

Important rotation for Greaves here. Bars is her event and she’s in a big AA hole after vault, so she has to make her event argument.

Valeri pulling down his mask to spot is a nice touch.

Looks like they have different bars height setups for Greaves/DiCello and the rest on two separate sets of bars.

Greaves – UB – stalder full, cast – stalder shap 1/2 – 1/2 to piked jaeger, good – Downie to pak to van leeuwen is quite nice – toe on – FTDT, hop back. Solid hit. She broke an early connection and had some leg things, but her combo was great.

DiCello – UB – stalder full to maloney to tkatchev, hit – small hesitation in cast – piked jaeger, hit – Church, a bit close, elbows – pak, hit – van leeuwen, clean, legs together – FTDT, small absorption on landing. Good. Didn’t connect everything but didn’t give away a lot in form.

We now have to drag the computer table over to the other bars.

Frazier – UB – Church quite close – pak, lots of legs – toe full to maloney, hit and connected to tkatchev – front toe 1/2, slight struggle – DLO, legs but hit. Won’t be a high E score but through it.

We don’t have any scores for this rotation so far I believe.

Alipio – UB – stalder 1/2 is lovely to piked jaeger, fingertips but got it – pak, some legs – toe full a bit late but connects to maloney – bhardwaj, form gets crazy at the end and while she grasps the bar, she can’t continue, has to support against the bar – resumes, also has a horizontal handstand at the end – dismount just double tuck. Will be very low score.

Trying to follow the scores of a FLO meet. Foolish.

Wong – UB – toe full, some legs into maloney to pak to van leeuwen and falls – resumes with van leeuwen, nice – stalder 1/2 to jaeger – 1/2 turn, solid vertical – stalder – DLO, clean and stuck. Of course the resumption is perfect.

McClain – UB – weiler 1/2 to toe on to stalder shap to giant full to giant to very close Church – pak, quite arched – van leeuwen is smooth – good cast hs – double pike with a shuffle back. I have some composition questions but she survived a bars routine.

So now we move to beam. No idea about scores, but I’m sure it doesn’t matter. And now FLO is telling us the action is over.

Well, if the action isn’t over, things are in a rough state for Greaves, Wong, and Alipio for their AA scores after misses, though Greaves should have received a good number for her bars. Wong is going to need hits on beam and floor now.

We’re back for the next rotation.

Rotation 3

DiCello – BB – hits candle mount – (LOL at Tom recording these routines on his phone) triple wolf and double wolf hit well – side aerial, solid – switch to sissone, good positions – bhs loso loso, secure – aerial to straddle to split, slight hesitation but probably gets the combo here – straddle 1/2 from side – long pause before dismount – double tuck was a real adventure but she got it around, chest well down. Solid routine, very secure. She’s right on track.

Frazier – BB – aerial, pause – split jump to straddle, nice positions – front tuck, holds it – split ring jump, check – side aerial, arm wave – split jump 1/2 from side – bhs layout 2 feet, secure – switch ring, arm wave check – double pike, shortish with a hop. Lots of checks but none of them huge. Stayed on. Staying on events while others fall will be her game now.

Alipio – BB – wolf double, hit – side aerial to loso loso is secure – aerial, pause to split jump straddle jump – switch to switch 1/2, short back leg – split leap to side somi, holds it – split jump 1/2 from side, not bad – straddle 1/2, hit – oh a gainer tuck full dismount, stuck. Pretty secure, some form things but held her skills well.

Interesting that they have the choice between AAI and Spieth beams here. Alipio the first to use AAI. I guess with Taishan at worlds they’re like, you could try a tree branch?

Wong – BB – switch to straddle, nice – side aerial to loso, hit, a little low – L turn with a check – switch ring, focuses on back leg closure, a little awkward – side somi, secure – straddle and split 1/2s, not her highest split positions – aerial is pretty – 2.5, a bit short, hop back. Stayed on, back on track.

McClain – BB – back tuck full, nailed – bhs bhs layout and falls – so high – sigggghhh. switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck, connected, small arm wave at the end – aerial to split to straddle, good – side aerial – switch ring , credit but falls a second time – bhs bhs double pike, lunge to the side

Konnor really opened the door for some Tomfoolery with that two-fall beam…

Can we carrier pigeon some scores up in here?

Greaves – BB – wolf triple a little teeter but around – same on double – aerial to split to straddle, conneted, somewhat tight on straddle – bhs loso, secure – switch to split leap to bhs – Nabieva-at-Voronin-Cups out some side choreography – split ring jump , secure – side aerial, hit – double pike, small hop. She has come back well from vault.

OK so that’s three rotations.

Even though we don’t have scores, DiCello is obviously crushing everyone’s face in the AA and should get the automatic spot as long as she doesn’t die on floor.

Rotation 4

Frazier – FX – double double, nicely done, comfortably completed – DLO, hop back – switch ring to split ring 1/2 ish that was well short of split on the front leg (like a ring jump 1/2) – front through to double tuck, shuffle – split jump full – switch 1/2 to split 1/2 – double pike, lunge.

It was a good hit. Her 4-event hit day…I can see being quite convincing to this regime.

Alipio – FX – double tuck, chest down, slide back – doubel L – switch ring to switch 1/2, smooth – double y, falls out at the end but I think she got 2 around – 1.5 to front full, some leg crossing, hit – double wolf, gets hung up a little at the end – double pike, deep but around.

Good final two routines for Alipio but I don’t see her having done enough to make the team today. She needed to make her AA case with all these other people falling, and the bars miss really hurt that.

Wong – double L, pretty but maybe dropped a little early – double double, gets it around, chest down but secure – popa – whip to 3/1, stumble back out of it, stays in bounds but a couple steps – leg up full to switch ring, a little shy on switch ring position – 2.5 to front full is quite secure – double pike, hop back.

Good difficulty, she gave away a lot on the triple full landing but had some other solid ones. It was a typical Wong day where she can’t hit four events at the same time, but I would certainly take her.

Important routine for McClain now.

McClain – FX – DLO 1/1 attempt, well short with a lunge forward, no fall but lots to take on landing – DLO is better, chest slightly down, under control – switch ring to switch 1/2 – back 1.5 to front full, hop – switch leap full was short of position – did not get wolf double around, wolf 1.5 – double pike is a disaster, barely didn’t land on her head and then rolled forward onto it.


If it were me, I’d still want McClain for potential, but I don’t know how you pick her based on today.

Greaves – FX – DLO 1/1 is hit, some clear piking but landed under control – full in is a huge problem, stumble back and OOB and then sits it down after 58 lunges – front tuck through to double tuck, stagger on landing – switch ring – switch 1/2 – double pike is nicely done.


DiCello – FX – double double hit, a little shuffle – 1.5 to front full, hop forward – wolf triple roll to wolf double, fine – switch ring is nice, split leap full is short – double pike, lunge back, stays in bounds.

So DiCello definitely won the meet, even though we don’t have scores. She’s your lock for the team.

Since they’re SOOOO all-around based it’s tough to know the deal without scores. It would also be nice to know whether tomorrow is being used for realsies or not.

A laptop flashed by the screen and we saw a 13.6 on floor for Dicello.

Greaves had two misses, McClain had 3 falls, Wong and Alipio had 1 fall, and Frazier hit all four.

I could see them going with DiCello, Greaves because of bars, Wong because of beam, and Frazier because of floor. For me, I would still give McClain the chance to see if she could hit beam and floor tomorrow. Because you really do WANT McClain on the team because she has medal potential if she could stay on apparatuses, but she did not earn a spot with today’s performance. Basically you want to find any excuse to put her on the team, but she has to present one.

Scores are out. The big surprise being McClain ending up ahead of Greaves in the AA in 4th despite an extra fall. That’s a big deal.

  1. DiCello
  2. Frazier
  3. Wong
  4. McClain
  5. Greaves
  6. Alipio

Top 3 on bars were DiCello, Graves, Frazier (!). Top 3 on beam were DiCello Wong Alipio. Top 3 on floor were Wong, Frazier, DiCello.

Selection Camp Preview

A sprinkling of gymnasts has blown into Indianapolis for the US women’s world championship selection camp. And by sprinkling, I mean exactly six people. They will spend the weekend trying to cut each other with crystals to earn one of the four spots on the worlds team.

The first day of selection is an all-around competition tomorrow (Friday) at 5:40pm ET, which will be streamed on Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Flo. According to USAG “a competition setting will also be replicated on October 9,” which…wait what does that mean? Typically on the second day of selection, gymnasts compete two important events to try to solidify any position they might have (which is also what the selection procedures say will happen, that the gymnasts will compete some events but not all of them on the second day), so let’s assume that’s what “a competition setting will also be replicated” is. But who can say? Certainly not us because the second day won’t be streamed.

Who’s trying to make the team for Also Worlds? Ciena Alipio, Kayla DiCello, eMjae Frazier, Olivia Greaves, Konnor McClain, and Leanne Wong.

Kayla DiCello and Leanne Wong—Olympic alternates and the lone athletes in this field who made it to Olympic Trials—will enter as heavy favorites as long as they’ve been able to maintain some semblance of their level from the Olympic selection process. Even the performances from their weaker days, like when DiCello was falling all over the place to finish 11th at nationals, or when Wong got an 11.5 on beam on the first day of trials, would probably be enough to make worlds in this field. Officially, only the all-around winner from day 1 automatically makes the team, but this is the Forster Era, so it would be a revelation if the entire team isn’t just the top 4 all-around. (But in a field of just 6, that might—might—also be the team that makes sense.)

One would think there’s been enough time since Wong’s adventures with COVID quarantine in Japan that it shouldn’t materially hinder her performance here, but that will at least be a factor to keep in mind.

After Wong and DiCello on Team Favorite, we have Konnor McClain and Olivia Greaves on Team Wildcard. Because both had to withdraw from the Olympic process with injury (and McClain hasn’t even competed all four events in 2021), their status is a mysterious curtain of mysteries. If they’re both healthy and competing normally, they have great arguments for worlds. In the Before Times, McClain was consistently getting 55s and 56s in the all-around, which is the kind of score that would not only make the worlds team but could win the selection competition outright. Not to be forgotten, the last time Greaves existed she scored 54.650 at the March camp to finish third, right behind…DiCello and Wong. A mid-54 is also a very making-the-worlds-team kind of score.

If single event performances are taken into account (!), McClain has the world-class beam to make the case for herself, even if all four events aren’t up to the level needed for a strong AA score. Greaves, meanwhile, has the bars chops to win that event, or at least place well there (now that DiCello is free from Senoh bars, she could return to getting high bars scores). Since only three athletes from each country are allowed to compete each event at worlds, Greaves’ bars would fit well as a complement to the strengths of other likely team members.

And then there’s Team Upset: Ciena Alipio and eMjae Frazier. These two have shown lower all-around scoring potential, with Alipio peaking at 53.450 and Frazier peaking at 53.300 this year, which means they’re most likely hoping team selection isn’t based on the all-around this time, and/or that McClain and Greaves are not back to their full competitive level, opening up a slot or two for them to sneak up the ladder.

For Frazier, I’m looking to see whether she throws out some second vault. The vault field at worlds this year is deep at the top (Andrade, Melnikova, Murakami, Devillard, maybe Qi) but drops off quite significantly after that, meaning there will be opportunities for some unexpected people to get into that final. It may not take a hugely difficult second vault to make a mark this year, and if Frazier’s looking to make an event argument, that’s the best place she can. There’s also room for her to increase her D on floor to start building that score (and placing top 3 on floor here is doable), but everyone should have been humbled by the scoring at the Olympics enough to…not assume an E score in the 8s.

One of the tough things for Alipio is that her best event, the one where she might make an apparatus-specific argument, is beam. If DiCello and Wong are indeed looking like two strong all-around choices, and if McClain is doing McClain things on beam (or looking like an all-arounder), Alipio will find it hard to be one of the top three beamers. Basically, Alipio needs this thing to be a splatfest bloodbath where others are not performing up to their peaks so that she can rise to the top four.

The final team will be announced on Saturday after they…replicate a competition setting or whatever.

World Championship Rosters Released

The FIG released the nominative rosters for worlds today, which is probably a good thing because podium training begins in a cool 9.25 days. Might want to know who is going. Ish. I mean, it’s just nominative.

Case in point, the US women’s team, which won’t be selected until this weekend. The US nonetheless must submit placeholder names for the nominative roster in order to avoid a late-entry fine that exists for actually no real reason but is the same amount as the prize money for a bronze medal.

So we end up with a nominative roster submitted by someone in the US women’s program (Tom? Annie? A roomba with a little hat on?) that includes Shilese Jones even though she is quite definitely on tour right now and will be doing a double double off a rod floor in Chicago when the US women’s team is competing in qualification. So…we know this thing will change. Although, the roster does—by process of elimination—list Cecile Landi as Jones’ coach now instead of Christian Gallardo, so perhaps we got something useful out of it regardless. Skye Blakely also appears on the US nominative roster but will not participate at the selection camp, which will have just six competitors aiming for the four spots: Ciena Alipio, Kayla DiCello, eMjae Frazier, Olivia Greaves, Konnor McClain, and Leanne Wong.

You know that if this were the Martha era we would be like, “It’s a mind game! She’s saying to the other athletes, ‘I prefer someone who isn’t even trying for worlds over you.'” But in the Tom era we’re like, “Does Tom even know who Shilese is?”

Here are some of the other developments of note from the roster release. You can find the full rosters by subdivision in the worlds HQ.

  • Currently there are 115 women registered for worlds. This would be the smallest world championship field since just 97 women competed at 2005 worlds in Melbourne.
  • Great Britain will not replace Fragapane on the team and has registered just 3 women for worlds: Becky Downie, Georgia-Mae Fenton, and Ruby Stacey.
  • Uzbekistan is not sending any athletes to worlds. No wonder Chuso has to come back for the 2022 Asian Games.
  • Italy’s women’s roster features the return from injury of Desiree Carofiglio and Elisa Iorio, who were both in-progress coming back when the Olympic team was picked but ran out of time to get fully back. They’ll prospectively be joined by the D’Amatos on the team, which will make for a pretty strong contingent that can make some finals in this field.
  • Brazil’s men’s nominative roster includes both Arthur Zanetti, who was not on the team announced by the federation, and Luis Porto, who has been removed from Brazil’s team as of today. So it seems that despite registering four men, Brazil will have only Nory and Souza joining Andrade.
  • The Romanian women have elected to send only Maria Ceplinschi, who recently won the beam and floor titles at the Mersin World Cup. Injury and illness have ravaged the Romanian senior women lately, which is a shame because this would have been a great opportunity to send Silviana Sfiringu and Ioana Stanciulescu to a world championship.
  • Diana Varinska does not appear on Ukraine’s roster, but Ukraine is sending a deep men’s gang with Olympians Petro Pakhniuk, Igor Radivilov, and Ilia Kovtun all going.
  • Yeo Seojeong does not appear on South Korea’s women’s roster, though the presence of Lee Yunseo provides an opportunity to right the wrong of Olympic qualification. And while the women’s team may be lacking in the vaulting department, the men are sending a simple two Olympic vault champions with both Yang Hakseon and Shin Jaehwan on the team.
  • Other Olympic event medalists taking a pass on worlds include Tin Srbic, Artem Dolgopyat, Artur Davtyan, Lee Chih Kai, Rayderley Zapata, Lukas Dauser, Eleftherios Petrounias, Ferhat Arican, and Max Whitlock, as well as the Chinese and Russian medalists.
  • So what I mean to say is that Hashimoto Daiki, Kazuma Kaya, and Shin Jaehwan are the only Olympic medalists slated to compete at worlds on the men’s side. For the women, Angelina Melnikova, Vladislava Urazova, Rebeca Andrade, and Murakami Mai are the athletes bringing their Olympic medal energy to Exhaustion Worlds.

US Men’s Worlds Team Named

Following two days of selection camp—contested by nearly 4 and a half gymnasts—the US men have named their team for the World Championships of Exhaustion, set for next month in Japan. Making the team were Yul Moldauer, Alec Yoder, Stephen Nedoroscik, Donnell Whittenburg, Alex Diab, and Brody Malone.

The only two athletes who competed at the trial but did not make the team were Cameron Bock and Akash Modi, who will default to non-traveling alternate status.

Since we’re all far too burnt out from the controversy of the various Olympic team selections, I found it very considerate that the US men’s program selected an utterly non-controversial team here, at least given the collection of athletes who appeared at camp.

Moldauer qualified for the squad automatically by winning the two-day all-around standings, defeating Bock (the only other person who attempted the all-around) by a bit under a point and a half. Moldauer had been trailing after day 1’s human tragedy of gymnastics where everyone fell 16 times on every single routine and Bock won with a 76, but both athletes pulled it back on the second day, with Moldauer’s 83.250 enough to give himself the win.

Also qualifying automatically were Alec Yoder and Stephen Nedoroscik through their pommel horse performances. Any athlete automatically made the team if he achieved a one-day score on any event that would have won a medal at the Olympics (yes, we all acknowledge that these scores were in no way comparable to Olympic scoring), and Yoder’s 15s both days and Nedoroscik’s 15.5 on the second day both achieved that.

In the burnt out minefield of fatigue that was this selection camp, the excellence of Yoder and Nedoroscik’s pommel horse work on both days stood out.

A fourth automatic spot, and the surprise of the group, went to Donnell Whittenburg thanks to his day 2 vault performance. The first day was disastrous, with Whittenburg falling on floor for 12.000 and then going on to miss both of his vaults. If he had repeated that performance on the second day, I imagine Bock would have made the team in his place. Instead, Whittenburg elected to focus exclusively on vault for day 2 and hit both his Ri Se Gwang (6.0 D) and his Roche (5.2 D) for an average of 14.800, which was just enough to get him on the team automatically.

Alex Diab only barely missed automatic qualification with his very strong rings performances, particularly on day 2 when he stuck his dismount, so it was a no-brainer that he would also be selected by the committee for one of the two remaining non-automatic spots.

Brody Malone competed only high bar here, hitting on the first day and falling on the second, but as he broke 14 on the first day and, you know, spent the whole summer earning his spot on every team, his selection to round out the six seemed a similar no-brainer.

Ultimately, Bock missed out because he wasn’t able to defeat Moldauer in the all-around and didn’t show any events that would be competitive to make a final at an individual worlds. As for Modi, he competed only pommel horse and scored 12s both days, though even with his best horse routines there wouldn’t really have been an avenue to select him for that event from this camp since only three people can compete on each event at worlds. If you have Moldauer doing the AA and Yoder and Nedoroscik…the positions are filled.

The only real issue at this selection camp—aside from Dry Erase Marker-Gate from day 2, never forget—concerned who was not in attendance. Quite controversially, the limited group of 12 competitors that was named for this camp following Olympic Trials did not include Allan Bower, Paul Juda, or Riley Loos, despite Bower being an Olympic alternate and Juda and Loos representing the future of the US men’s program and the kind of athlete that might greatly benefit from the experience of this post-Olympic worlds. So things have been weird since June. (Of 1976.)

This scenario was rendered yet sillier given the withdrawal of several athletes who originally qualified for this event—Sam Mikulak, Shane Wiskus, Brandon Briones, and Gage Dyer. The idea that there was no mechanism to replace them with the next athletes in line is pretty self-sabotaging and unhelpful and led to a camp where just 8 athletes were competing for 6 spots, even when there were other athletes who could at least have been competitive for a worlds position who weren’t invited. We end up in a situation where we watch Riley Loos show better gymnastics at the Koper World Cup than a solid half of the routines we saw at this camp. Hrm.