My 3rd day at the World Championships is only the second day of podium training in the competition venue.
Again, I saw only the girls today. (Guys begin tomorrow.)
Best link is again Examiner – Quick hits: Podium training, day two
Anne Phillips already has over 160 videos posted on Gymnastike.
I feel Twitter is an idiotic service … except during LIVE events. It’s by far the best way to follow what’s going on DURING THE ACTION.
It became obvious to everyone in the audience that USA and CHN will be the top 2 teams. I’m always surprised when the Chinese girls hit full routines — and I was surprised today. They looked great, overall.
Still, in prelims USA will finish far ahead on Vault. And likely ahead on Floor. I don’t think China can make up that difference on Beam and Bars. (Even though Anna Li was designated “alternate” today, due to minor abdominal injury.)
Details on Anna’s blog.
The USA has more depth than any other team. And has been the most consistent team, so far.
The U.S. model doesn’t deliver ideal body types. (Check the Kazakhstani clones for that.) They don’t have the best technique. Yet the American “system” built the team to beat here in Tokyo. All involved in that program should be proud.
In the Team Final (3 up – 3 count) anything can happen, of course.
If you’ve been following the Russian reports online over recent months you won’t be overly surprised to hear they have been very inconsistent in training. They’re just not ready for this meet though could easily be in contention for the team Gold in London.
Komova is wonderful. But she may not even make the Bar Final with this routine.
Click PLAY or watch it on Gymnastike.
Russian Beam on podium was a complete disaster. I called it zero hit routines for 6 gymnasts. (Right after Rodionenko chatted up the judges.)
Likely Romania will finish 3rd in both prelims and Team final despite their weak Bars.
… So, the real drama at the World Championships will be for the team that finishes 9th 😦 in prelims.
Teams 9-16 must go to London in January for a second “Olympic Trials”. Of those eight – four will advance full teams.
How much money and preparation time will it cost that those nations?
As a fan I like this new selection process. But I’m surprised the member nations of FIG put up with it. How can you budget not knowing whether you must do two Olympic selection meets in 4 months?
South Korea looks very good. I’m liking Japan with a home court advantage. But to finish top 8 in team you need consistency on the day and some depth on all 4 apparatus. It’s going to be a battle.
Australia has looked excellent. Well coached, as usual. But they compete in the 3rd of 10 subdivisions. Will scores escalate? (… perhaps not since the E judges give everyone the same score, regardless.)
Great Britain should finish top 8. I’m not as convinced for Germany.
My guess is that only about half of the girls at this competition will hit 4 for 4 getting the D score they want. FIG rules are too difficult for these athletes. Either the athletes must improve, or the rules should be made easier. … I hope I’m wrong. But be ready for a splatfest.
When girls are still getting spotted for Vault on podium — even one Chinese girl — you know they’re not confident. Marta doesn’t allow that.
Watch the Korean male coach standing in on Beam dismounts though. Smart. He doesn’t touch the gymnasts.
On the other hand, there have been fewer injuries than in Rotterdam, I guesstimate. And fewer athletes are taped and braced than I would have expected. Perhaps the female gymnasts are adapting (slowly) to the demands of the Code.
Best links for today:
• FIG photos on Facebook
Once again, thank-you Japan for hosting this event.
Inside Gymnastics arrived today. Follow on Facebook.
Update commentary from Aunt Joyce:
… In a Pre-Olympic year, the same storyline exists among elite gymnastics that existed back in 1991: the Americans have powerful girls with a weakness on bars, the Romanians are conditioned within inches of their lives and look solid despite a weakness on bars, the Chinese girls have wonderful flexibility and finesse and are hoping to get through the power events, while the Russians pull off tumbling that their girls don’t look capable of merely looking at their bodies. …