Floor Finalists – Start List, Qualification Scores and Videos, Predictions.


The Women’s World Championships will wrap up tomorrow with the Floor Finals. How this week has flown! You can watch them live here. Event finals start at 8:30am EST.

Here is the start list (the order they will compete in):

170 FERRARI Vanessa ITA
179 MURAKAMI Mai JPN
229 BILES Simone USA
204 IORDACHE Larisa Andreea ROU
218 STEINGRUBER Giulia SUI
205 IZBASA Sandra Raluca ROU
232 ROSS Kyla USA
110 BLACK Elsabeth CAN

This is how they qualified into finals:

  1. BILES Simone USA 6.500 (D) + 8.533 (E) = 15.033 Q
  2. IZBASA Sandra Raluca ROU 6.200 (D) + 8.533(E) = 14.733 Q
  3. IORDACHE Larisa Andreea ROU 6.100 (D) + 8.400(E) = 14.500 Q
  4. FERRARI Vanessa ITA 6.300 (D) + 8.200(E) = 14.500 Q
  5. MURAKAMI Mai JPN 6.300 (D) + 8.166(E) = 14.466 Q
  6. ROSS Kyla USA 5.700 (D) + 8.633(E) = 14.333 Q
  7. STEINGRUBER Giulia SUI 6.100  (D) +8.033(E) – 0.1 = 14.033 Q
  8. BLACK Elsabeth CAN 5.800 (D) + 8.200(E) = 14.000 Q

My Predictions

I think that all of the gymnasts performed well in qualifications. I don’t think there is someone in the field that can do significantly better than they did, and I think the top girls are all pretty solid competitors. So I am actually going to go with the order that they qualified in.

  1. Simone Biles
  2. Sandra Izbasa
  3. Larisa Iordache

BILES Simone USA 6.500 (D) + 8.533 (E) = 15.033 Q

IZBASA Sandra Raluca ROU 6.200 (D) + 8.533(E) = 14.733 Q

IORDACHE Larisa Andreea ROU 6.100 (D) + 8.400(E) = 14.500 Q

FERRARI Vanessa ITA 6.300 (D) + 8.200(E) = 14.500 Q

MURAKAMI Mai JPN 6.300 (D) + 8.166(E) = 14.466 Q

ROSS Kyla USA 5.700 (D) + 8.633(E) = 14.333 Q

STEINGRUBER Giulia SUI 6.100  (D) +8.033(E) – 0.1 = 14.033 Q

BLACK Elsabeth CAN 5.800 (D) + 8.200(E) = 14.000 Q

The Beam Finalists – Start List, Qualification Scores and Videos, Predictions


Tomorrow we see Beam Finals! You can watch here. Event finals start at 8:30am EST.

Beam has definitely been up and down, with some brilliant routines and many falls. Hopefully tomorrow will be everyone’s best. But in a beam final, that is rare. Larisa Iordache leads the pack in difficulty, and will be keen to prove herself after an uncharacteristic fall in the all around on her best event. Kyla Ross will be hoping that her excellent execution will get her on the podium and Shang Chunsong will be trying to repeat her qualifications performance.

Here is the start list:

  • 211 MUSTAFINA Aliya RUS
  • 171 FERLITO Carlotta ITA
  • 170 FERRARI Vanessa ITA
  • 119 SHANG Chunsong CHN
  • 229 BILES Simone USA
  • 232 ROSS Kyla USA
  • 204 IORDACHE Larisa Andreea ROU
  • 210 RODIONOVA Anna RUS

The women qualified in this order:

  1. IORDACHE Larisa Andreea ROU 15.266 Q
  2. SHANG Chunsong CHN 14.866 Q
  3. ROSS Kyla USA 14.566 Q
  4. RODIONOVA Anna RUS 14.466 Q
  5. BILES Simone USA 14.400 Q
  6. FERRARI Vanessa ITA 14.216 Q
  7. FERLITO Carlotta ITA 14.216 Q
  8. MUSTAFINA Aliya RUS 14.133 Q

Beam is a precarious event to compete on and to predict. But I will give it a shot just for fun. It is after all, my favorite event.

  1. Larisa Iordache
  2. Kyla Ross
  3. Anna Rodionova

I think Larisa will fight back and take her best event. She really is the beam queen. I think Kyla’s consistency and execution will win out over everyone else. With so many Chinese falls, I am not willing to bet on Shang this go around. Bronze really could go to anyone, but I am going to go with Anna just because her beam is so wonderful to watch.

1 204 IORDACHE Larisa Andreea ROU 6.400 (D) + 8.866 (E) = 15.266 

2 119 SHANG Chunsong CHN 6.100( D) + 8.766 (E) = 14.866 Q

3 232 ROSS Kyla USA 5.900 (D)  8.666 (E) =14.566 Q

4 210 RODIONOVA Anna RUS 5.900 (D) + 8.566 (E) = 14.466 Q

5 229 BILES Simone USA 6.100 (D) + 8.300 (E) = 14.400 Q

6 170 FERRARI Vanessa ITA 5.700 (D) + 8.516 (E) = 14.216 Q

7 171 FERLITO Carlotta ITA 6.200 (D) + 8.016 (E) = 14.216 Q

8 211 MUSTAFINA Aliya RUS 6.000 (D) + 8.133 (E) = 14.133 Q

Kyla Ross Soars to Silver


The Uneven Bars Final was packed with talented girls and difficult routines. Unlike the vault finals, a number of different outcomes seemed likely. In fact, the only thing I got right on my bars predictions was Kyla Ross in silver.

Gymnastics Coaching tweeted: “looks like I’m going to be eating my words. … I’m the guy who said Kyla couldn’t medal on Bars.” And then I remember that I was of the same opinion earlier this year. I couldn’t be happier to be wrong. And I need to remember to wait til closer to competitions to form those opinions! Especially because Simone Biles almost medaled in bars!

The Final started off with Yao Jinnan. This title was hers to win or lose. If she hit, it was unlikely that anyone could beat her. But as has so often been the case with the Chinese in finals, she fell. Granted, the skill she fell on is crazy hard. But she has hit it again and again. It was so disappointing. She held herself together well until the finals were over, when she burst into tears.

Huang Huidan was up next, and put up an excellent routine. One Chinese coach has said in the past, if one of us falls, we all must fall. She seemed to break that tradition by staying on the bar and hitting a clean routine.

After her came Rebecca Downie. With high swinging bars and an innovative routine, Rebecca is a crowd pleaser. However, she too succumbed to the pressure of a World Championship Finals and fell off at the end of her routine.

Sophie Scheder followed with a clean, beautifully swung routine. She has such great lines on bars! She is a pleasure to watch, but was not able to challenge for the top spots.

Simone Biles came up next. I am still getting used to the fact that Simone qualified for a bars final. And she lived up to the spot, hitting her routine!

Kyla Ross followed Simone, putting up her ever consistent, ever beautiful bar routine. She bested everyone except Huang. Going into the last two gymnasts, could it be that America would go two, three; that Simone would medal on bars?

Not if Aliya Mustafina had anything to say about it. Aliya threw her heart into it. It was enough to overtake Simone, but not Kyla and Huang.

Last up was Ruby Harrold. Ruby has an innovative, interesting routine! She performed it well, but it was not enough to change the medal standings.

In the end it was Huang, Kyla and Aliya. Kyla and Simone both talked to the press in the mixed zone about being pleased with what they did and how they needed to go back and rest up for tomorrow.

McKayla is Not Impressed. She is Delighted!


McKayla was not impressed on the podium, she was delighted. At the end of an exciting vault final, where McKayla was really challenged by others, she seemed to drink in the experience while the anthem played. Her eyes sparkled as she smiled a deep smile of contentment and a little giggle.

This was a great vault final, opening up with two beautifully executed, stuck vaults from Giulia Steingruber from Sweden. These were the same two vaults Alicia Sacramone won her world title with.

Next up Yamilet Pena survived another handspring double front attempt. She did not however, get it to her feet. It is a bit of a mystery. She always looks so upset that she didn’t make it, as if she really thought she had it. Yet we rarely actually see her make it. She falls on her second vault as well. Not a happy camper.

Oksana Chusovitina completes two clean vaults with some not so clean landings. But seriously, the fact that she is still competing and making finals is just mind boggling. Phan Thi Ha Thanh followed her with a fall and near knee injury. After her was Chantysh Netteb who fell on her vault and did injure her knee. Her vault was super high and clean, so this was surprising, and so sad.

Then the competition heated up with the top three gymnasts all at the end. Simone Biles threw a powerful and clean Amanar apart from her ankle cross. Almost sticks it and then has to take a hop back.

Her second fault was a thing of beauty. Great height and distance with perfect form! This most definitely put up a huge challenge for McKayla.

Next was Hong Un Jong. She had submitted the TTY to be named after her, so speculation was rampant. She hadn’t actually done one in Antwerp, so it seemed unlikely that she would throw it at the finals. If she was going to win gold, she needed to throw it. But she was almost assured a medal if she stuck with her Amanar. And to the relief of American fans everywhere, she stuck with the Amanar. After all, if she competed it, it was not likely to be a great TTY, and it just feels “right” that it should be called a Biles or a Maroney. (Won’t that be interesting if that is determined soley by competition order in prelims next year? How do they decide that?!?). Anyways, Hong did a powerful Amanar with lots of power to spare, but a huge bounding step forward. Not enough to surpass Simone.

And as we all assumed it would, in the end it came down to McKayla. But this year, she had to have two great vaults to win. And that she did. She did a gorgeous Amanar that just barely landed out of bounds.

And a great second vault as well with just a small step to defend her World title.

The American team really has become something special in their bond to each other. A huge hug between McKayla and Simone, lots of laughter and smiles as they walked to the awards podium. What a great pair.

Step One on her four year path to Rio and an Olympic vault medal is complete. And done in the ever impressive Maroney style.

The Bars Finalists – Start List, Predictions, Qualifications Scores and Video Roundup


Here are your 2013 World Uneven Bars Finalists. They will compete in the Saturday morning event finals session, starting at 8:30am. You can watch it here.

The gymnasts will compete in this order:

  1. 118 YAO Jinnan CHN
  2. 121 HUANG Huidan CHN
  3. 145 DOWNIE Rebecca GBR
  4. 150 SCHEDER Sophie GER
  5. 229 BILES Simone USA
  6. 232 ROSS Kyla USA
  7. 211 MUSTAFINA Aliya RUS
  8. 148 HARROLD Ruby GBR

The qualified in this order:

  1. YAO Jinnan CHN 15.433
  2. ROSS Kyla USA 15.133
  3. HUANG Huidan CHN 15.133
  4. DOWNIE Rebecca GBR 15.100
  5. MUSTAFINA Aliya RUS 14.900
  6. BILES Simone USA 14.800
  7. HARROLD Ruby GBR 14.600
  8. SCHEDER Sophie GER 14.566

My predictions for the podium….

  1. Aliya Mustafina
  2. Kyla Ross
  3. Rebecca Downie

The Chinese are without a doubt the leaders. But I just have a feeling they will both fall. I hope not!!! I think Aliya will pull an Aliya… come out super fierce for finals. But this one is pretty wide open. If Yao Jinnan hits, she will win it.

Here were their routines in qualifications:

1 YAO Jinnan CHN 6.700 (D) +  8.733 (E) = 15.433 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JM2FniCtrys
2 ROSS Kyla USA 6.400 (D) +  8.733 (E) =  8.733 15.133 

3 HUANG Huidan CHN 6.600 (D) +  8.533 (E) =  15.133 

4 DOWNIE Rebecca GBR 6.600 (D) +  8.500 (E) =  15.100

5 MUSTAFINA Aliya RUS 6.200 (D) +  8.700 (E) =  14.900 

6 BILES Simone USA 6.000 (D) +  8.800 (E) =  14.800 

7 HARROLD Ruby GBR 6.300 (D) +  8.300 (E) = 14.600 

8 SCHEDER Sophie GER 6.400 (D) +  8.166 (E) =  14.566

The Vault Finalists – Start List, Predictions, Qualification Video and Score Round up


Tomorrow (Saturday October 5) are the first two event finals of the World Championships. You can watch live in the US here starting at 8:30am EST.

The 2013 WAG World Championship vault finalists in the order they will compete (start list) are:

  1. 218 STEINGRUBER Giulia SUI
  2. 133 PENA ABREU Yamilet DOM
  3. 233 CHUSOVITINA Oksana UZB
  4. 238 PHAN Thi Ha Thanh VIE
  5. 191 NETTEB Chantysha NED
  6. 229 BILES Simone USA
  7. 200 HONG Un Jong PRK
  8. 231 MARONEY Mc Kayla USA

Their qualification scores were:

  1. McKayla Maroney USA 15.641
  2. Simone Biles USA 15.550
  3. Hong Un Jong PRK 15.249
  4. Phan Thi Ha Thanh VIE 14.966
  5. Giulia Steingruber SUI 14.799
  6. Oksana Chosovitina UZB 14.750
  7. Yamilet Pena DOM 14.683
  8. Chantysha Netteb NED 14.516

The general predictions (and I agree) for this event finals are pretty easy. The top three will finish the same way they qualified:

  1. McKayla Maroney USA
  2. Simone Biles USA
  3. Hong Un Jong PRK

The plot twist will be an possible half twist. Hong Un Jong has submitted a Triple Twisting Yurchenko to be named after her. If she is able to add a half twist to her amanar and stay on her feet, she will undoubtedly win. We have yet to see her do the vault, but anything can happen in a World Championship Final!

Check out each of their qualification vaults!

McKayla Maroney USA 15.641 
6.300 (D) + 9.550 (E) = 15.850

6.000 (D) + 9.433  (E) = 15.433

Simone Biles USA 15.550
6.300 (D) + 9.600 (E) = 15.900

5.600 (D) + 9.600 (E) = 15.200

Hong Un Jong PRK 15.249
6.300 (D) + 9.333 (E) = 15.633
6.400 (D) + 8.566 (E) – 0.1 = 14.866

Phan Thi Ha Thanh VIE 14.966
5.800 (D) + 9.066 (E) =  14.866
6.200 (D) + 8.866 (E) = 15.066

Giulia Steingruber SUI 14.799
6.200 (D) + 9.166 (E) = 15.366
5.000 (D) + 9.233 (E) = 14.233

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCM9MLHo4OQ

Oksana Chosovitina UZB 14.750
6.200 (D) + 8.800 (E) = 15.000
5.500 (D) + 9.100 (E) 0.1 = 14.500

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcwJ7OJlxKE

Yamilet Pena DOM 14.683
1 7.000 (D) + 7.900 (E) =  14.900
2 5.800 (D) + 8.666 (E) = 14.466



Chantysha Netteb NED 14.516
5.800 (D) + 9.133 (E) – 0.1 = 14.833
5.200 (D) +9.000 (E) = 14.200

The Empress of Elegance Wins the Longiness Prize for Elegance


Kyla has put a great deal of time and effort into the artistic and dance performance aspects of beam and floor. Not only did this pay off in the scores on these event, but in winning the Longiness Prize for Elegance. This is an incredibly prestigious award that goes to the athlete who demonstrates the most remarkable elegance during the all-around final of an international competition at the world level.  Winning over gymnasts such as Mustafina is quite a feat, and shows just how much Kyla has improved in this area.

In years past, Kyla was always known for her clean lines. But this could not exactly be described as elegance. This past year she has put in a good amount of time with Dominic Zito, a noted choreographer who has worked with many elite gymnasts over the years, working on the artistic aspect of her gymnastics. That plus the experience and poise she has developed in her Olympic experience and the 2 inches she has grown has led to an incredible elegance that was not formerly present in her gymnastics.

And so I am so excited that all her hard work has paid off and that she is being recognized internationally for her elegance. Great job Kyla!

All photos by John Cheng from USA Gymnastics

Kyla Ross Sparkles in Silver


Kyla Ross joins the distinguished company of gymnasts Carly Patterson, Nastia Liukin, Jana Bieger and Rebecca Bross as World Championships All Around Silver medalists. Kyla put in an incredible all around performance, counting only small, tiny mistakes in her performance.

Kyla has put a great deal of time and effort into her artistic and dance performance aspects of beam and floor. Not only did this pay off in the scores on these event, but in winning the Longiness Prize for Elegance. This is an incredibly prestigious award that goes to the athlete who demonstrates the most remarkable elegance during the all-around final of an international competition at the world level.  Winning over gymnasts such as Mustafina is quite a feat, and shows just how much Kyla has improved in this area.

Kyla started off the competition with an almost flawlessly executed vault. She didn’t stick it, but it hardly gets better than this. She has a lower difficulty vault than only Simone, but scored the highest execution score of the competition.

She moved on to bars where she once again scored higher than anyone else on the execution score, and posted the third highest bars score of the competition. It was a beautiful, typical Kyla, bar set.

Kyla moved into beam just barely trailing Simone. Simone put up a good set, but not her best. Then two gymnasts before her fell. I was glad to see Kyla turning away from it all, not watching! Kyla went up and did a beautiful beam routine, earning her third consecutive highest E score of the competition, and the highest beam score of the night.

Kyla pulled into the lead heading into floor. She did a beautiful floor routine with an E score beat only by simone. However her difficulty led her to the 7th highest floor score of the night, and ultimately to the silver.

Kyla, like Simone showed incredible sportsmanship and from this unemotional girl, you could really see that she was just enjoying the experience. She was all smiles. What an incredible, consistent all around performance she put on! WHEN she upgrades back to her amanar, she will undoubtedly be in the hunt for the gold.

Kyla Ross has moved from the event specialist to solid USA All Arounder in her second senior year. She has moved from the youngest to the team leader. She is an incredible friend, incredible cheer leader, and incredible gymnast. It is hard not to be impressed with her.

All Photos by John Cheng and Videos by USA Gymnastics

Simone Biles Glitters in Gold


Simone Biles joins a growing rich history of US All Around World Champions. Bursting onto the world scene, she qualified first into the All Around Finals and into every event final. She went on today to dominate the All Around Finals, winning by almost a point.

Simone was a joy to watch on and off the events. She went through this competition with such an obvious joy for gymnastics, enjoyment of competing, and love and respect for her fellow competitors. Though she looked focused, she also seemed to just be doing what the gymnasts always say they want to do but never look like they are actually doing- going out and having fun.

Simone started the competition with her powerful amanar, the only one done in the competition. She wasn’t able to hit her catlike landing, but it was a awesome vault.

She moved on to bars, where she performed  a nice clean set and stuck her landing.

Simone managed to come into this rotation ahead of Kyla. But, I have to admit, Simone’s beam was a nail biter for me. She was a bit shakier than she has been… but she got through it fairly cleanly!

She came out of this rotation .016 behind Kyla, but headed into floor with a .7 advantage in difficulty. She had an awesome floor routine with two big hops on landings but a STUCK Biles on her second pass.

In the end, Simone won the All Around by .884. A decisive win in the sport of gymnastics. What was even more fun than watching her compete to win, was watching her win. What a sportswoman! I saw her reaction before I saw the score and for a moment though Kyla had won. She looked at Kyla and just looked so delighted with KYLA! On the medal podium, she was sure to include Aliya, and helped Aliya turn her medal around before pictures.

Today Simone Biles stepped into the shoes of a true champion. She made winning look easy and effortless. She enjoyed every minute of her victory and the victories of those around her. She was a sportswoman, a teammate, a friend and every bit a true champion. I have to admit, today Simone Biles won my heart.

all photos by John Cheng, All videos by USA Gymns

The Top 8 All Around Finalists – Score and Video Round Up


Here are your top 8 All Around Finalists. They will be competing Friday, at 2pm EST. You can watch here Live. If you haven’t seen all of their performances, each score is linked to a video of their performance. (McKayla Maroney will not be competing due to the two per country rule). Also, for a taste of what’s to come, check out this playlist (or watch it below) of each of the top five gymnast’s qualifications performances back to back in Olympic order.

Rk Name NOC Total Vault UB Beam Floor
1 BILES Simone USA
60.133
15.900 14.800 14.400 15.033
2 ROSS Kyla USA
59.198
15.166 15.133 14.566 14.333
3 YAO Jinnan CHN
57.965
14.766 15.433 14.100 13.666
4 IORDACHE Larisa Andreea ROU
57.865
14.933 13.166 15.266 14.500
5 MUSTAFINA Aliya RUS
57.165
14.966 14.900 14.133 13.166
6 MARONEY Mc Kayla USA
57.149
15.850 14.300 12.666 14.333
7 SHANG Chunsong CHN
56.998
13.966 14.400 14.866 13.766
8 FERRARI Vanessa ITA
56.915
14.366 13.833 14.216 14.500
9 STEINGRUBER Giulia SUI
56.465
15.366 13.233 13.833 14.033