USA: Perform. Hit. Repeat.


These girls looked just like last years World Championship team during podium training. Moving calmly from event to event, hitting routine after routine. Oh wait, they basically ARE the same team, plus Kyla who fits in like she has been there all along.

They trained in Olympic order, starting on vault. The live stream was not up, but according to twitter, they put on quite a show- “The Amazing Amanar Stars.” They hit vault after vault, with an almost stuck and then a stuck vault from Jordyn, the best Amanar Aly has ever done on the world stage, two vaults with a small step from Gabby and business as usual for McKayla (big step out, higher than should be possible). Kyla did beautiful DTYs that would anchor most teams’ vault rotations but won’t even be used in qualifications on this vaulting team.

Then they moved on to bars. Gabby was a flying squirrel, Kyla was the queen of clean, Jordyn muscled through but made it just fine. Business as usual. However, Aly came out strong! Blythe from the Gym Examiner said “She looks pretty good up there. Normally that’s prefaced with “for Aly” but I mean that as a general statement.” 

The girls moved on to beam. In what has become true USA all business fashion, someone is mounting the beam while the previous gymnast is still in the air from their dismount. This gives the USA time for two routines per gymnast. Craziness. Some bobbles here and there, a few missed connections and a split the beam fall from Kyla. Overall though, a decent beam rotation with lots of shining moments. Kyla hit her front tuck sheep jump on the second set, Jordyn’s second pass is more closely connected than ever, and Aly almost stuck two Pattersons. Everyone did a great second set, with lots of stuck landings.

The big news on floor is that it appears McKayla is not doing it. Kyla is in instead. This is assumedly because of whatever is bothering her about her toe. McKayla’s routine is more difficult than Kyla’s and more beautiful than the rest of the teams’, but it isn’t vital for the team and she is not going to make floor finals. But her vault is. So they are resting and protecting her toe, saving her for vault.

The floor rotation went well. Gabby and Jordyn looked great. Jordyn stuck or connected her first three passes. Aly was not quite up to her normal tumbling par, but nothing to cause concern.

Overall, it was a dominant, hit performance, boding good things to come. They look just like the machine of last year. Perform, Hit, Repeat.

To watch the whole podium training, follow this link and start at 44 minutes.

gymnastics-podium-training-u-s-women.html

USA Team Chances in London


What are our chances in London?

The US won the 2011 World Championships by a huge margin. We have incredible depth in the all around as well as a large advantage on vault. There’s this magical vault called the Amanar that has an extra 1/2 twist than the vault most gymnasts are competing. It adds .7 to the start value (the D Score of vault). Most countries are struggling to have any gymnasts that can currently perform the vault. The US will perform an amanar for every vault counted during the Olympics.  That ends up being a 2.1 advantage over most other countries in Team Finals if they aren’t able to put up Amanars. But there are a lot of Amanar rumors going on from other countries. In addition, the US has been weak on bars. The US has great chances. But the competition will be fierce this year.

Who is our team competition?

For a deeper run down, check out my post Who’s Who in 2012: The Team Contenders.

Russia was incredibly strong in 2010. The USA dominated in 2011. Russia’s amazingly fierce and talented Aliya Mustifani was out last year and their other top gymnast was not at her peak. With both of them back, plus a strong new senior there is every expectation that they can bring a battle for gold. Romania has come from behind and is putting the pressure on. They beat Russia at the European Championships this year and just keep getting better. China continues to be strong. Not as strong as they looked in Beijing, but they still factor in to the mix.

Check out these posts if you are interested in Who’s Who in the all-around or on vaultbarsbeam or floor.