Ever since tearing her ACL at the 2011 European Championships, there’s been something missing from the 2010 world all-around champion’s gymnastics. Although she still managed to win multiple medals at the 2012 Olympics and 2013 world championships, Aliya Mustafina has never quite shown the same fierce competitive confidence that allowed her to dominate the world in 2010 …
With some recent upgrades at this weekend’s Russian Cup, a more confident look on balance beam, and some cleaner tumbling on floor, the Russian just may be inching closer to reigning world champion Simone Biles …
Here’s an event-by-event look at the best difficulty scores put up recently by both of these gymnasts – using scores from the P&G Championships for Simone Biles and the Russian Cup for Aliya Mustafina …
Both meets were somewhat over-scored so we may be able to compare apples with oranges this time.
Simone = 25.1
Aliya = 24.4
Ross = 23.3
Both Simone and Aliya could upgrade. Mustafina will almost certainly up her Bars start score, though perhaps not until Apparatus Finals.
My advice to Valentina :-), however, would be to ask Aliya to go clean. Try to stay within 1 fall of Simone’s final AA score. Simone may not be able to win with a fall in 2014. She finished 0.9 ahead of Kyla in 2013.
Ashton’s been astonishingly consistent. Her ticket to Worlds is pretty much a lock at this point.
She’s improving, as well.
Recall her 9.1 over-scored execution routine from the Secret? (VIDEO)
Today’s Final is far cleaner, though she still has conspicuous deductions.
Let’s assume there are 2 Chinese gymnasts and 2 Russian gymnasts in the World’s Bar final.
Four spots are left open?
Will Ashton get one of those?
It’s certainly possible. There will be quite a few gymnasts with the goal to qualify for the Bar final in Nanning. The top 2 American routines will be in the fight.
But … sooner or later judges are going to stop rewarding routines composed mostly of Shaposh variations and Stoop Stalders. Truly harder routines will be scored higher, IF the gymnasts hits. Two somersault releases or more. Rebecca Downie (VIDEO), for example.
Gymnasts who use a wide variety of types of skills to achieve their start score should be rewarded. Nastia in Beijing, for example.
FIG WTC should count only 1 Shaposh variation in the next Code. Perhaps devalue the Stoop Stalder, as did MAG years ago.
As she keeps performing the way she is and gaining that confidence in her routine I think she could be a major player on bars at worlds. In terms of difficulty she has skills she is not using and this routine probably will be different come 2015. Check out her Ricna at 3:38 of Everest’s Workout Wednesday.
Jason tells that Ashton trains plenty of routines with the 2nd release. I’m hoping she’ll use that when she needs it. Possibly in the Worlds Bar Final.