Team Line Up and Event Qualifier Predictions


With podium training already in the books and a few days left before qualifications, the time to speculate is ripe. After looking at the line up and performances in podium training, here are the likely line ups for Team USA in qualifications and team finals and predictions on event finals qualifiers. There aren’t a lot of surprises here, but one point of speculation is how much the US will use Kyla Ross during team finals.

The US team is likely to be very dominant in the team competition. Ross has the capability to not only contribute on every event in team finals, but also to win a silver medal in the all-around and event medals on beam and floor. In order to give her the best chances of individual success, resting her injury would be wise. However, Marta Karolyi tends to put the focus of the needs of the team first. It will be interesting to see if she decides to rest her or use her on all four events.

What are your thoughts?

Vault

Qualifications

  1. Madison Kocian
  2. Alyssa Baumann
  3. Kyla Ross
  4. MyKayla Skinner
  5. Simone Biles

Team Finals

  1. Alyssa Baumann or Kyla Ross (If they decide to rest Kyla Ross for individual finals
  2. MyKayla Skinner
  3. Simone Biles

Event Finals Qualifiers

Simone Biles

Simone Biles on vault in podium training.

MyKayla Skinner

MyKayla Skinner on vault in podium training.

Bars

Qualifications

  1. MyKayla Skinner
  2. Simone Biles
  3. Kyla Ross
  4. Madison Kocian
  5. Ashton Locklear

Team Finals

  1. Kyla Ross
  2. Madison Kocian
  3. Ashton Locklear

Event Finals

Madison Kocian

Madison Kocian in podium training.

Ashton Locklear

Ashton Locklear in podium training.

Alternatively Kyla Ross will be right on the heels of these two. If either of them falter, she will be right there to jump into event finals.

Kyla Ross in podium training.

Beam

Qualifications

  1. MyKayla Skinner
  2. Madison Kocian
  3. Alyssa Baumann
  4. Simone Biles
  5. Kyla Ross

Team Finals

  1. Alyssa Baumann
  2. Simone Biles
  3. Kyla Ross

Event Finals

Simone Biles

Simone Biles in podium training.

Kyla Ross

Kyla Ross in podium training.

Alternatively, Alyssa Baumann can easily sneak into finals if one of these two falter.

Alyssa Baumann in podium training.

Floor

Qualifications

  1. Madison Kocian
  2. Alyssa Baumann
  3. Kyla Ross
  4. MyKayla Skinner
  5. Simone Biles

Team Finals

  1. Alyssa Baumann or Kyla Ross (If they decide to rest Kyla Ross for individual finals)
  2. MyKayla Skinner
  3. Simone Biles

Event Finals

MyKayla Skinner

MyKayla Skinner in podium training.

Simone Biles

Simone Biles in podium training.

All photos by John Cheng via USA Gymnastics

Kyla Ross Pushes Through Injury


Podium training today held an unusual sight, that of Kyla Ross all taped up. Though Ross has battled some back injuries this year, she is not a gymnast you usually see with a lot of tape on her body. Not so today. “I’m kind of held together by tape right now,” Ross said in an interview with Inside Gymnastics. “The last few days at the ranch, I think I kind of overstretched it doing a few leaps. It’s my hip, groin and hamstring – that whole area.”

Kyla Ross on floor during podium training. Photo by John Cheng via USA Gymnastics

A few of Ross’ leaps on beam looked a little tentative, not hitting her normal full split. Despite the injury, she looks more polished and precise than she has all year on beam. She did a great floor routine, dynamic and poised, however without her upgrade of a whip to double arabian from earlier in the season. Vault was not her normal clean DTY, however Inside Gymnastics reported that she hadn’t been training vault much throughout the week. She did a beautiful bars set, but with some small form issues. All in all she did four clean, solid routines. If they weren’t up to the normal Kyla Ross standard, they were definitely within reach.

Ross has been working hard to shine at these championships and doesn’t want to let the injury get in the way.  “I have the motivation knowing that I’ve been training really hard all this year,” said Ross. “I really want to come out and compete, give it my all and I don’t want anything to stop me.” She will no doubt give it her all in qualifications, and with two more days of training and healing she will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with.

Ross comes into these championships as the defending silver medalist in the all-around, on beam and on bars. She will be looking to defend her all-around title and top the podium with teammate Simone Biles in the all-around. Always consistent on beam, she has a great chance of making finals on that event and trying to win a beam medal. However on bars, she has had to downgrade her routine this year due to her back injury, and topping teammates Ashton Locklear and Madison Kocian will be no easy feat to make it into bars finals.

Here are her routines from Podium Training.

 

 

USA Women are Persistent About Being Consistent


Six serious faces took on the World Podium today as the U.S. Women’s team made their first official foray into the 2014 World Championships. After a week of training and acclimating in Nanning, China, the U.S. women seemed ready for business during today’s podium training. And as has become the norm, they hit routine after routine on event after event.

In 2011, the U.S. women’s program began a new era of dominance in consistency. Podium training, qualifications, team finals, all-around finals, and event finals look pretty much the same. Hit routine after hit routine. Compete, hit, repeat. Of course, there have been a few exceptions, but for the most part, gone are the nail-biting days of wondering if a gymnast is going to fall. Because, they just don’t. Aristotle has said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore is not an act, but a habit.” Martha Karolyi and the rest of the U.S. coaching staff have hit the sweet spot of making a habit of excellence, peaking their gymnasts at just the right time to hit every time on the world stage.

The 2014 U.S. women’s World Championship team contains a number of gymnasts – five of the seven- who have not competed at a world championship level before. Every one of them has competed at an international meet at least once, but in the world of USA gymnastics, many of these girls are virtually untested. Most USA gymnasts begin competing internationally as juniors, and by the time they hit the senior ranks, they have had a number of international meets under their belt.

But you would never have known it from podium training. Each gymnast went out and did what they are trained to do. Hit their routine. There were a few bobbles here and there but only one miss, a fall on beam from Ashton Locklear. Every other routine looked like it was coming from a veteran competitor, and Locklear looked fabulous on bars, the event USA is counting on her for.

Veteran competitors Kyla Ross and Simone Biles have been helping the girls who are newer to the international stage. “I feel like I have helped them quite a bit, me and Kyla have led them through the ropes, and if they are having a down day we know what to say because we have been there.” said Biles in an interview with USA Gymnastics. And though it seems only yesterday that Ross was team baby, she has in fact firmly held the role of team leader the last two years.

Simone Biles keeping things light hearted during podium training. Photo by John Cheng via USA Gymnatics

And speaking of the team, after a year off from the team competition at last year’s championships,  Biles and Ross  are excited to compete with the team. “Having the girls’ support and being able to support everyone else is really fun,” said Ross. And though Biles is defending her World All-Around Champion title, she is here to win a team gold. “Winning a team gold would mean everything to me because I am a team person so I think that would be a lot of fun to do. Last year was individuals so you had to just do it on your own, but this year is team so you can  do it together and just be proud of everyone.” When asked about her individual aspirations, the bubbly teenager cast them aside. “I don’t think I am very pressured, but a lot of people are pressuring me into being the world champion again, but I just throw it out of my head and think of it as a normal competition.”

The women begin their bid for the medal podiums Saturday, October 4th at 6am EST. USA gymnastics will be livestreaming the qualification rounds for USA, Russia, China and Romania/Great Britain. They will also livestream the team, all-around and event finals in conjunction with Universal Sports. Check out the schedule to make sure you don’t miss any of the action. All livestreams, as well as individual US routines will also be archived on the USA youtube channel, where you can already watch a replay of podium training.

U.S. Women’s team poses at podium training. Photo by John Cheng via USA Gymnatics