With the world championships just a hop, skip, and a jump away and—some of—the teams actually confirmed, today I’m looking at how the
24 23 (RIP Romania) women’s teams competing at worlds this year rank against each other.
The listed athletes are either confirmed as on their teams or are the best guess right now for countries that have not been selected/confirmed. Each gymnast’s score on each event is their average for the entirety of 2022. So take that for whatever you’d like.
|1. UNITED STATES|
|Leanne Wong for all-around I guess? You wouldn’t necessarily use these specific bold people on each event, but this gives a pretty solid impression of US vault strength and beam…questions compared to the international field, with room to improve on a number of these scores (Jones UB, Carey FX) on a hit day. Depending on how the team ends up, we should view the US women as pre-competition team gold favorites, but definitely not 2014-2019 level locks.|
|Brazil’s 2nd-place position here should tell us that a team medal is actually, truly, real-life possible for the Brazilian women this year because, even though these scores do reflect a completely hit day, none of them are out of the question and some of them can be improved upon.|
|If this is the team of five China goes with, they’ll be top of the heap on bars and beam, with easily the best bars team and the highest beam scoring potential at worlds (should staying-on happen). What’s interesting here is that a team medal looks possible, but not definite, with Yurchenko full scores from Tang and Ou. Hit DTYs from Tang and Ou would boost China to a pretty solid silver medal favorite, but also…remember the Olympic team final. Do you risk it?|
|The injuries to Asia D’Amato and Angela Andreoli have dropped Italy’s score some, but the heartening sign here for the Italians will be that these scores clearly understate their ability in several departments (i.e. the overall scores for beam hits), so you could see a hit meet doing noticeably better than this.|
|5. GREAT BRITAIN|
|The British team’s average scores this year check in a little bit behind the countries in the medal positions—but definitely still within the “if we hit and you don’t” margin.|
|For a pretty new, unheralded Japanese team, a 6th-place finish would be an extremely solid result. I’d consider a team final showing a victory.|
|M De Jesus Dos Santos||10.900||12.950|
|For France, it’s really going to be down to the Melanie Factor. We haven’t seen her on all the events—or with all the hits—so far this year, but she is capable of bringing these scores up many points and getting France into the mix.|
|I didn’t use Georgia-Rose Brown here because she doesn’t have any scores this year, but she’s on the traveling six and could be part of the five. It’s going to be a free-for-all for the last spot or two in team final, but keep Australia in mind. Australia’s team score at the Commonwealth Games would have been a close 4th at Euros.|
|Canada has a secret weapon in its quest to make the team final: the potential for real scores from Ellie Black on vault and floor, which we haven’t seen so far this year. A normal AA score from Black would bump Canada into the top 8.|
|10. SOUTH KOREA|
|Recall that South Korea defeated Japan at the Asian Championships earlier this year by nearly 3 points. They’re going to need performances more like that and less like the final trial in early September—when Lee YS had some misses and Yeo SJ withdrew—but South Korea should be considered among the legitimate team forces.|
|Eve de Ruiter||13.000||10.833||11.011||12.467|
|We’ll have to wait on the status of Sanna Veerman after she suffered an injury at the final trail because the team is really looking for a bars score from her. The surprise of the Dutch team is Eve de Ruiter, who jumped onto the squad after good beam and floor results at the final trial, so we could see her contribute to the team on those events even though her overall averages aren’t up there.|
|It’s now a very depleted German team post-Euros that will likely be eyeing individual event success rather than a team result.|
|We don’t have any scores from Nina Derwael this year, but if Belgium gets a full performance from her and some hits from some others who haven’t been hitting yet this year, we could see a dramatic jump.|
|Spain shouldn’t actually finish this low in real life, but the scores and consistency haven’t been there this year, and there are only four people’s scores to choose from so far (and no Alba Petisco).|
|Ting Hua Tien||11.884||11.783||12.450||12.434|
|Mai Liu Hsiang Han||12.334||12.217||12.442||11.909|
|Lai Pin Ju||12.613||11.558||12.300||12.110|
|Chen Chian Shiun||11.850||10.900||11.950||11.325|
|Wu Sing Fen||0||0||0||0|
With podium training beginning in 10 days and the competition in 12 days, the FIG has released an updated nominative roster for the world championship. So here’s what we learned:
- Kasahara Arisa is gone from the Japanese women’s team. Kasahara won the All-Japan Championship early this year and was 2nd overall at the end of NHK, securing herself one of the automatic spots on the team as part of the process that had originally excluded world beam champion Ashikawa Urara. Now, alternate Watanabe Hazuki (4th place AA after NHK) moves up a spot, and Ashikawa moves onto the traveling team of six by virtue of being the next gymnast who adds the most to a team score. Bringing Ashikawa’s beam into the actual team would indeed add more to the team score than Watanabe’s, but Watanabe also brings a bars routine in case you’re too scared of having to count Miyata—who can score well but is 1-for-4 on bars this year—which mitigates how much Ashikawa is adding.
- A Canadian women’s roster shakeup has seen Commonwealth bronze medalist Emma Spence move onto the team in place of national champion Rose Woo. So now that’s the US champion, the European champion, the All-Japan champion, and the Canadian champion out of worlds. Spence is probably the better like-for-like replacement for Woo than the listed alternate Laurie Denommée (Spence adds a few more tenths to the team score than Denommée), so I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Spence move all the way onto the team.
- The German women have made their team official with Elisabeth Seitz, Pauline Schäfer, and Emma Malewski joined by Anna-Lena König and Karina Schönmaier in the wake of Kim Bui’s retirement and Sarah Voss’s injury (and Seitz having only competed vault and bars so far this year). Schönmaier’s Yfull got the highest vault score at Germany’s worlds trial, and König’s 12.733 was the highest floor score, which are largely the results that got them onto the team, but we’ll probably see quite a bit of both of them at worlds given the event limitations of everyone else.
- The Belgian women have also made their team official with Nina Derwael, Maellyse Brassart, Noemie Louon, Lisa Vaelen, and Jutta Verkest as the five and Ylea Tollet as the alternate. We have not seen Derwael compete since the Olympics (she was a late scratch in Paris), so podium training should be interesting.
- The British have now placed Poppy-Grace Stickler in the alternate position rather than Ellie Downie, who was listed as the alternate on the first roster.
- Italy has added Caterina Cereghetti as the 6th member of the team, replacing the injured Angela Andreoli, though an official team announcement has not yet been made following this weekend’s national championship. There’s not really anyone left who would contribute counting scores to the D’Amato/Maggio/Villa/Esposito/Mandriota team even if one of them goes down, so the alternate positions is sort of…who wants a tripppp?
- Paulina Vargas has been replaced on Mexico’s team of six by Valentina Melendez. Switching out Vargas with original alternate Cinthia Ruiz only costs the team a couple tenths (and Ruiz can increase the vault score a little), so this shouldn’t change overall expectations much.
- Nicole Diaz of Puerto Rico will take the all-around qualifier spot vacated by Tyesha Mattis.
- Malva Wingren replaces Maya Staahl on Sweden’s team of five. I was a bit surprised to see Staahl on the original team because the addition of Wingren adds more than a point to the potential team score. We’re all surprised and glad Sweden is actually sending a full-size team.
- Rings specialist Ali Zahran has appeared on Egypt’s updated team in place of this year’s African pommel horse silver medalist Abdelrahman Abdelhaleem.
- The Chinese men have moved Asian champion and 2021 PBars bronze medalist Shi Cong onto the squad in the 6th position, replacing national floor silver medalist Su Weide. Both are still part of the traveling training squad with a final decision yet to be made. The Chinese women’s team remains unchanged with Tang Xijing, Wei Xiaoyuan, Zhang Jin, Ou Yushan, and Luo Rui as the five and He Licheng as the alternate, but all six and Sun Xinyi still remain in the mix.
- Yunus Gündogdu has been added to Turkey’s team in place of Kerem Sener. Gundogdu’s best asset is that he could provide a rings score in the absence of the injured Ibrahim Colak, though Turkey’s team plan will basically be to get everything they can out of Önder, Asil, and Arican.
- Iran’s Mahdi Ahmad Kohani is out of the men’s all around, replaced by Lais Najjar of Syria who was the next in line from the Asian Championships.
- Ireland’s Ewan McAteer is now in the all-around, replacing teammate Daniel Fox who had originally qualified. McAteer was one-per-country-ed out of the worlds spots at Euros.
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|
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!