It’s time to tackle one of the big dogs, the glorious and legendary bouquet of beam dance elements that is the nation of China. Since every other team has been overshadowed by the Americans this quad, it’s easy to gloss over the fact that China has quite successfully rebounded from the disappointing batch of taped-together injuries and comebacks that characterized the 2012 Olympic team to regain its place as the clear second-best team in the world, winning silver at the last two world championships.
This Chinese team does not boast the remarkable stature of the 2008 squad (no one would expect it to), and while increasing concerns over injuries and depth have introduced more doubt about that second-place status, it would be rather alarming if China were to leave the Olympics without a team medal. And at this point, that medal should be silver.
Fan Yilin – 2015 world bars champion, potential D of 7.1, how bars handstands should look
Mao Yi – 2016 Chinese silver, keeping them afloat on vault and floor, a 3.5 + front pike on floor that you won’t even have to cry after
Shang Chunsong – 2015 & 2016 Chinese champion, obviously the best one, could win an AA medal even with a yfull, the one who was malnourished as a child so you can’t make fun of how young she looks anymore
Tan Jiaxin – Quad stalwart, replacing Liu Tingting, helps China’s scoring potential even though she’s less exciting than Liu, DTY and 6.7 D on bars
Wang Yan – The one who’s powerful even though she’s 2’3”, vaults a Kas 1/1 and rudi, you’re worried about her consistency on beam and floor, has that upsetting Adi Pop butt wiggle choreo this year
Projected Olympic lineups
Vault – (Shang) Tan, Mao, Wang
Bars – (Wang) Tan, Shang, Fan
Beam – (No one?) Wang, Fan, Shang
Floor – (Tan) Mao, Wang, Shang
There shouldn’t be too much drama in China’s lineups, although more drama is being injected by the day. Fan Yilin doesn’t do vault or floor, which makes that easy. On vault, Shang’s full will be used in qualification to get her into the AA while the TF lineup will be a DTY, DTY, Kas 1/1 for 5.8, 5.8, 6.0.
On floor, Tan has a viable mid-5s routine to use in qualification (she went in the TF in 2014), but Mao, Wang, and Shang are the clear floor standouts and have worked the code to get themselves up into the 6s, boasting what should end up being the second-highest floor D in the competition.
On bars, Tan, Shang, and Fan are the obvious team final gymnasts. Neither Wang or Mao excel on bars, but Wang will be the pick in qualification to get her in as China’s second AAer, especially if Mao really doesn’t end up competing beam in qualification.
On that issue, Tan Jiaxin doesn’t do beam at all, so that lineup seemed very straightforward (Mao in qualification only, the rest in TF) until word came that China may use only three on beam in qualification. For China’s sake, let’s hope Mao is the one not able to do beam—or just being held off beam for reasons of general mysteriousness—because anyone else would be catastrophic. If Mao doesn’t do beam, there would be exactly no point to put her on bars since she wouldn’t in contention for the all-around anyway. Continue reading Olympic Preview — Team China