Sorry, France and Belgium. The Olympics are getting too close. Podium training begins in three days. There’s still much to do, so since you’re the least likely teams to get medals, you’re getting combined into the same preview. All hail Frelgium!
While making the Olympics is an accomplishment we expect of the French team (though was by no means a guarantee this time around), getting this far is a massive step for a Belgian side that is getting more competitive by the year. Belgium was always going to find it difficult to score with the team final qualifiers, even before the injury to Axelle Klickaert that makes it an even more improbable prospect. Still, Belgium already did the job. The Olympics!
The French are not that far behind those team-final challenging 5-10 squads and could realistically upset one or two of them, though they will have to work with a few more lower scores and would need more help in order to get out of qualification. The most likely outcome does see these teams finish 11th and 12th, but it is by no means a guarantee.
Marine Boyer – 2016 Euros beam silver, 2016 French champion, brings a critical DTY and elegant, high-scoring beam routine
Marine Brevet – 2016 Euros beam and floor event finalist, not actually a brevet judge
Loan His – 2015 French champion, 2016 French bars gold, name is an incomplete sentence, SHAP FULL TO PAK.
Oreane Lechenault – New senior, 2016 Test Event bars finalist, 2016 French floor bronze, did all four events in the Euros team final, that clockwork-robot-themed (?) floor routine
Louise Vanhille – 2015 French silver, 2016 French floor silver and bars bronze, critical piece of Operation Bars
Senna Deriks – 2016 Test Event bars finalist, age-eligible by like an hour and a half
Nina Derwael – 2015 Belgian junior champion, generally glorious and special, bhardwaj, keeping the dream alive without Klinckaert
Rune Hermans – 2015 Worlds AA finalist, very even in all-around and usable anywhere, originally the alternate
Gaelle Mys – Competing in her third Olympics (!), 2008 AA finalist, still as necessary as ever on beam and floor
Laura Waem – 2013 & 2014 Worlds AA finalist, here for bars and beam reasons
Projected Olympic Lineups
Vault – (Vanhille) Lechenault, Brevet, Boyer
Bars – (Brevet) Vanhille, Lechenault, His
Beam – (His) Lechenault, Brevet, Boyer
Floor – (Boyer) Brevet, Lechenault, His
Vault – (Waem) Hermans, Derwael, Mys
Bars – (Hermans) Deriks, Derwael, Waem
Beam – (Hermans) Waem, Derwael, Mys
Floor – (Derwael) Deriks, Hermans, Mys
On the issue of the French floor lineup, Loan His hasn’t been doing floor lately, but she actually has some tumbling difficulty on a team that severely lacks it. France must go all out to try to get a spot in TF, so if at all possible…
Even though Boyer is the French AA champion, she’s clear choice to be left off bars. France doesn’t have the luxury of just throwing someone into a lineup to get her an AA spot (every one of those qualification routines is precious), so instead I’m opting for Brevet and Lechenault in the all-around because that makes the most sense for the team lineups. Continue reading Olympic Preview — Team France & Team Belgium