Qualifying has concluded at Baku, the 3rd event on our 8-event Olympic apparatus qualification world tour. This event proved a much deeper competition than Melbourne a few weeks ago in that we saw enough gymnasts compete on every event to actually earn all the ranking points on offer. Cool.
I’m going to talk a lot about standings and ranking points, so check out the current qualification standings heading into Baku, with an explanation of the rules and the various places where the FIG seems to be ignoring the rules. I’ll update the standings at the conclusion of finals.
On the women’s side, Jade Carey introduced her Cheng to the world and qualified in first place on vault.
Carey has 2nd-place points from Cottbus already on her ranking, so victories at Baku and Doha would put her in very good stead—especially because Andrade, who finished ahead of Carey in Cottbus, is likely to qualify to the Olympics as a member of a team anyway and therefore would not pursue this spot.
The two currently leading the qualification standings on vault are Oksana Chusovitina and Alexa Moreno, who qualified in 4th place and 2nd place respectively and are likely to remain ahead of Carey following Baku because they have competed in all three meets so far. Dipa Karmakar qualified in 3rd and already has third-place points from Cottbus, so she should stay close to the leaders after this event as well if she can mimic that result in the final.
The wildcards are Maria Paseka and Coline Devillard, who qualified in the next two positions in their first competitions of the series. They won’t be up toward the top of the rankings after Baku because they don’t have enough points from other events, but with Paseka’s Amanar and Devillard’s rudi, they should both be significant contenders for the big-money points as we go. Vault gettin’ good.
Bars had been the Team China Show up until this point with Lyu Jiaqi and Fan Yilin (not competing in Baku) dominating the standings, but here we have Anastasia Iliankova leading after qualification, followed by Jonna Adlerteg and then Lyu Jiaqi. On the strength of her previous performances, expect Lyu to continue leading bars after Baku, but Iliankova absolutely has the ability to win the series if she continues attending these events. Because Adlerteg and Diana Varinska (qualified in 4th) also have points from previous events, expect those two to rank quite well as long as they hit in the final.
On beam, it’s still very much a free-for-all because there has been little consistency in terms of the competitors from event to event so far, but Emma Nedov is looking good following her 2nd-place performance in Melbourne. She managed to qualify in 1st place here, outpacing the favorites Marine Boyer and Li Qi, who qualified in 2nd and 3rd. Boyer has some points from Cottbus to boost her potential total after Baku, while Li Qi is looking for her first points of the series (and it should be a lot of points if she hits in the final). Mana Oguchi also qualified for the final here after placing 3rd in Melbourne, so she’s making a sleeper case for herself.
But overall, the beam Olympic spot still looks open to be won by about 5500 different people.
Following qualification on floor, we have Jade Carey sandwiched by two Italians, with Lara Mori taking the first spot, Carey in second, and Vanessa Ferrari in third. Ferrari won the title in Melbourne, so if she finishes anywhere near the top here, she should retain the Olympic lead over the other challengers. Mori and Nedov have 4th-place points from previous events, and Carey has 5th-place points from Cottbus, so they should move up the standings here but still have some work to do to make up ground on Ferrari. Continue reading Things Are Happening – March 15, 2019