Many name Max Whitlock as the contender with the best chance to upset the greatest gymnast of all time.
Whitlock is honoured to compete against Uchimura but can he actually beat the world and Olympic champion?
“I really don’t know,” he says, with a laugh. “I’d have to have a perfect day but that’s my target. I’d love to be close to the best gymnast in the world. That would be a massive achievement.”
“Last year at the worlds [in Antwerp] I was just a few tenths from a medal [in the all-around competition]. It’s been a massive target of mine and Scott’s to hit the 90-point mark, and to have finally done it twice at the Commonwealths means I’m well happy. I got 90.6 on one of those days – so I only need 4/10ths to get to 91, which is my next goal. If I’d got that 90.6 mark last year I’d have been second at the worlds.” …
In training, China looks weaker than expected. Japan looks great.
As usual, I’ll predict that Japan will win Team. … As usual, many are cautioning me that China always looks bad until it counts. They’ve only lost once at Worlds in the past 20 years, or so. AND they are in China.
Both nations will qualify to the Team final, so prelims priority will be qualifying for AA and Apparatus Finals. Prelim team ranking doesn’t matter.
Japan will win FX as a Team. Be top 3 on Pommels.
China is much stronger on Rings. Much.
Vault is difficult to predict. In a 3-up, 3-count Team final, anyone can fall. Both China and Japan rely on twisting vaults rather than double somersaults, so it’s likely they will be close on this apparatus. If Kohei and Kenzo stick, as they often do, give the edge to Japan.
Conventional wisdom is that China is strongest on P Bars. They are stronger than Japan. But it could be close.
The least impressive event for China is Horizontal Bar. Yet they continue to score well despite low risk routine construction. On the other hand, they had two Kolman releases in podium training. Let’s wait and see if they risk using those in Team.
Japan should be ahead on pipe. The memory of Tokyo 2011 lingers, however. Recall that King Kohei missed Kovacs by a mile in that Team final.
I chatted with Tim Daggett following the Japanese session. Consensus was … the Men’s Team final will be interesting.
Like Gymnastike’s Beyond The Routine (subscription) and the terrific Sports2Visuals documentary series launched May 2013, THE HARD WAY TO SUCCESS (free), Lauren Hopkins and collaborators on The Gymnternet have something exciting coming our way. Free.
In a new and very exciting endeavor, The Gymternet will produce a documentary series about MG Elite’s journey leading up to the Olympic Games.
The series will focus on 2014 U.S. junior national champion Jazzy Foberg and 2013 U.S. junior national silver medalist Laurie Hernandez – two of the biggest junior prospects in the country leading up to Rio 2016
2013 U.S. junior national vault champion Ariana Agrapides, too young for Rio 2016 but training for Tokyo 2020 – will also make appearances throughout the series. …
Our plan is to release episodes online every few months leading up to the Olympic Games, right down to the team being named at Olympic Trials. If Hernandez and/or Foberg are selected for the team that will compete in Rio, we will follow their journey there …
The Brazilian Gymnastics Confederation has released an article about little Flávia Saraiva, who won the hearts of gym fans around the world with her performance at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China last week. …