Jesolo Podium Training Report and Predictions – Juniors

Gymnastike has been on the scene and providing video coverage of podium training for the 2014 City of Jesolo Trophy. You can watch here with a Gymnastike gold subscription.

The USA Juniors are doing exactly what you want juniors to do at this point in the quad – get better and better every year. What an impressive group! Though there are some really sharp Romanian juniors, it is hard to imagine that anyone will be able to really challenge this group for the team gold.

Bailie Key on Beam. Photo from USA Gymnastics

Bailie Key is looking even more amazing than last year. Her year of maturing has brought a flow to her movement that was not present before. She seems to be able to let her personality shine through now, drawing you into her gymnastics perfection in a more emotional way. Her new mature floor routine is so much more engaging, and her beam routine is just beautiful to watch. What most impressed me though in podium training was her bars. Her handstands are, in my opinion, the best in the USA. It is hard to imagine that anyone will challenge her for this Jesolo junior all around title.

Nia Dennis continues to impress with her high flying bars, release moves reminiscent of Gabby Douglas. She undoubtedly does THE BEST arabian on beam in the world. Though there was no coverage of her incredible tumbling during podium training, it is a safe bet that she will shine on floor as well. Nia definitely has a great chance at the all around podium.

The other juniors are all looking fabulous as well. Norah Flatley continues to show some of the best beam work in the world. And she looks much improved on bars and floor. However, her lower start value on vault may make it more difficult for her to challenge for the top of the podium over some of her other teammates.

Ragan Smith’s move to Texas Dreams seems to be sitting well with her, and she looks really great out on the floor. She is cleaning up, showing more polish and finesse, and definitely looking ready to begin learning and adding more difficulty. Emily Gaskin is just gorgeous to watch on beam and her new bar routine really has a lot of potential. I look forward to seeing her floor as well in competition!

We only saw a little bit of Jordan Chiles in podium training, but what I saw was awesome! She is improving a lot in her presentation and polish. I can’t wait to see all her events.

One little Romanian junior definitely caught our attention. Laura Jurca does beam, well, like a Romanian, but with a spunk and pizzaz that is all her own. She will definitely be one to watch.

Without having seen a lot from the other countries competing, my predictions for the Junior all around podium are:

  1. Bailie Key
  2. Nia Dennis
  3. Norah Flately

The Italian Federation will not be livestreaming the junior all around and team competition. However, Gymnastike is on the scene and will be providing video coverage as it happens. The competition begins Saturday morning at 5:30 a.m. ET. (That’s just four hours from now!)

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