Breaking Down the 2013 World Championships (Plus US Team Predictions)

28905_412775208813763_658985593_nNow that the 2013 Elite season is firmly underway in the US, many are asking questions about the end goal of the season – the World Championships. Here is the breakdown for you.

The 2013 Artistic Gymnastics Championships will be held in Antwerp Belgium. They will begin on September 30th with an Opening Ceremony. Men’s and Women’s qualifications will take place from the 30th to October 2. Men’s All-Around finals will be on the 3rd, Women’s on the 4th and then Event Finals will be help on the 5th and 6th.

The year after an Olympics, there is no Team Finals competition at the World Championship. Each country may bring four gymnasts, and two per country may qualify for each final. The top 24 all-around scores will go to the All-Around Finals and the top eight will move on to each Event Final.

Most countries will be looking to bring the combination of gymnasts who will win the most individual medals. After each meet, I like to take stock and say, if I had to name a team today from the US, who would it be. So lets take a look at the possibilities in the US. All scores from below are taken from Uncle Tim’s awesome post.


Kyla Ross -By John Cheng

Simone Biles and Kyla Ross have pulled the top two all-around scores this year. Simone scored a 60.4 at the City of Jesolo (the highest all-around score in so far in the world during 2013) and Kyla scored a 59.3 at the GER-ROU-USA Friendly Meet. Close behind are Katelyn Ohashi with a 51.199 at the American Cup and Elizabeth Price with a 59.165. If either of them are healthy enough to return before the selection camp, they could definitely play into the picture. Especially if Simone does not show consistency and the ability to hit when it counts at Nationals.

Simone Biles -By John Cheng

However, in addition to being a top all-arounder, Simone has put up some of the highest scores in the world on Vault and Floor. She is second only to McKayla on Vault and to Ksenia Afanasyeva on floor. This makes bringing her especially appealing as she has the ability to take home three medals. Lexie Priessman did not compete all-around at the Secret Classics. Her performances earlier this year looked a little lackluster, but she is the reigning US National Champion. And her performance on the events she DID do in Chicago showed only good things to come. So we shouldn’t count her out quite yet.

Event Specialists


McKayla Maroney has put up the highest score on Vault this year at the Secret US Classic, and seems a very likely candidate to be brought along for an event specialist medal. MyKayla Skinner will be working hard to overtake McKayla as she actually has more difficulty. However, she will need to make some major improvements in execution for that to happen.

Uneven Bars

Kyla Ross has the most potential to make the Uneven Bars final, and has actually put up the second highest bar score in the world this year (a 15.4 at the Friendly meet compared to Aliya Mustafina’s 15.5 at the Russian Nationals -though Aliya was doing a watered down version of her previous routine). Katelyn Ohashi is in the top 6 as well.

Balance Beam

Katelyn Ohashi has a monster beam routine, and has put up the top score in the world for beam so far. She scored a 15.8 at the Woga Classic to Larissa Iordache’s 15.65 at Anadia. Simone and Kyla rank in the top ten, but are unlikely to be up to the podium level unless Kyla brings a lot of upgrades (she watered down her routine at Classics).


Simone put up the second highest floor score in the world with a 14.9 in Jesolo behind Ksenia Afanasyeva’s 15.166 at the European Championships. Just behind her is Lexie Priessman with a 14.8 at the Secret Classic. 

So what does all that mean?!?

At the current state of competition readiness and health, Marta would most likely send Kyla Ross (AA, UB), Simone Biles (AA?, V, FX), McKayla Maroney (V, Fx?) and Lexie Priessman (Fx, AA?). If Katelyn comes back healthy and ready to compete, she could definitely take one of those slots (FX, BB, UB?). Though there are a number of other talented girls that could come into the mix (Peyton Ernst, Brenna Dowell, Abigail Milliet, MyKayla Skinner, and Elizabeth Price) all of them would have to put up higher all-around scores or a much higher event score than they have currently.

P&G US National Championships will shed more light on the team selection. But as there is likely to be another selection camp in September after Nationals, it definitely won’t tell the final story!

6 thoughts on “Breaking Down the 2013 World Championships (Plus US Team Predictions)

  1. Thank you very much for your insightful analysis and prediction.
    I would like to point out that although 4 gymnasts per country are allowed, only 3 can actually perform on each apparatus.
    Which means that minus the 2 All Around gymnasts, Team USA can only field one more athlete on VT, UB, BB and FX. This format can definitely complicate matters especially for other gymnasts who are NOT event specialists particularly on bars.

    Let’s say for example that Kyla and Simone gets the 2 AA spots and Maroney is awarded the VT/FX specialist spot, that leaves only 1 other athlete to do Bars and Beam. Unfortunately, aside from Kyla (and the injured Ohashi), Team USA doesn’t really have a Bars and Beam specialist.

    However, if the other AA spot is awarded to Dowell or Priesmann, then Biles will either do VT/FX or UB/BB. In this scenario, I don’t think Marta will send 2 VT/FX specialist (if Maroney is selected).

    Which is why the composition of the team for Worlds this year will be very difficult to figure out because majority of our gymnasts are excellent on VT/BB/FX, but lackluster on FX.

    Finally, I believe that Kyla Ross with her 6.4 difficulty and excellent execution on bars is undeniably a medal threat on this apparatus. It’s safe to say that Mustafina and Komova/Grishina, together with the 2 Chinese are expected to battle for Bars gold and Kyla belongs in this group. She has scored a 9+ Execution 3 times this year so far (Jesolo, Germany, Classics) and if she manages to connect the pak salto to the Shaposh 1/2, then her odds to win the gold increases exponentially.

    1. Well, it looks like Ross is in even greater contention for a bars medal now since Grishina most definitely is not on the team (after she pulled out of the Russian Cup, Rodienko openly stated that they were unhappy with her attitude and she would not be considered for the Worlds team), and it is less likely every day that Komova will be healthy enough in time to compete.

  2. This is especially interesting now given that Kyla Ross also scored a 15.5 on bars Day 1 at Championships, which ties Mustafina, and that Maroney has now gotten the highest floor score with 15.25 on Day 2. They’ve also both proven their consistency and have left very little room for deductions–even on an international stage. I think Ross may end up AA champ given her consistency, excellent execution and overall difficulty level. She is generally scoring as high or higher than Mustafina, and her improvement on her DTY and FX has really given her a huge leg up. Plus she has been knocking beam and bars out of the park. She will also be scored well on an international stage, as she has great lines and has really improved her artistry. I think Mustafina should watch out. One thing that may hold Ross back is if Mustafina upgrades her bars to her Olympic level. Biles has the difficulty, but lacks some of the execution and consistency Ross and Mustafina have. I also don’t think she’ll score as well with international judges. We’ll see what Simone shows up when the time comes–the incredible Biles or the timid one. Also, Maroney is just getting stronger and stronger every time she performs. Definitely in contention for that FX gold, and if she hits vault like she has been, nobody will be able to touch her there–including Biles. Biles does not have the difficulty on the second vault.

    I can’t wait to see what happens!!

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