Emily Little Leads Abierto Mexicano, Popa Injured

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Australia’s Emily Little is currently leading the all-around at the 2014 Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco, Mexico with a score of 27.6.

In her first international meet since the Olympic Games more than two years ago, Little started off strong with a hit DTY on vault, earning a 14.65 with her execution knocked down slightly due to a big stumble back on the landing. She then hit her bar routine capped off with a double layout dismount (which looked stuck) for a 12.95; it looked a bit easy but was relatively solid, including a Jaeger and bail to toe shoot. It was a solid effort considering her lengthy hiatus and the fact that it’s not her best event!

Poland’s Marta Pihan-Kulesza is in second place with a 27.25 at the moment, hitting a mostly clean bar routine in the first rotation. She arched over a bit on her bail, but hit a nice clear hip half to straddle Jaeger and blind full to double front with just a step for a 13.6, the highest bars score of the meet. She followed up with a super solid handspring front pike on vault for a 13.65.

Tied in third are Enus Mariani of Italy and Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan, there with coach Svetlana Boginskaya who is also being honored as one of the guests of the Mexican federation.

Beginning on vault, Chusovitina competed a handspring front layout full, which looked a bit messy and piked, but she landed well for a 14.7, the highest score on the event (though she was awarded just a 5.8 difficulty instead of a 5.9). She fell on her bars release, however, and earned just a 12.3 there.

Like Little, this competition marks Mariani’s international comeback, and it was mostly a good night for her, despite not hitting her bar routine. She had a very clean FTY on vault with just a small hop back to earn a 13.95, and though bars didn’t go quite as planned, she still managed a 13.05 thanks to her solid difficulty.

Also competing in Acapulco this evening were Angelina Kysla of Ukraine (in 5th with a 26.8 after hitting bars but coming up a bit short on her FTY landing), Amaranta Torres of Mexico (in 6th with a 26.45), Helody Cyrenne of Canada (in 7th with a 26.35; of note, Cyrenne was a last-minute replacement for teammate Victoria-Kayen Woo), and Karla Retiz of Mexico (in 8th with a 25.65).

Roxana Popa of Spain was expected to compete but she injured her knee on bars during today’s morning training session, according to her mother when we talked to her via Twitter. Very unfortunate news, as Popa was the strongest gymnast in attendance and could have had a landslide victory had she been well, though the injury doesn’t look to be serious. We will update with her status when available.

The competition continues tomorrow evening at 8 pm EST with the women competing on balance beam and floor exercise.

Current Standings

Rank Athlete Nation VT UB Total
1 Emily Little Australia 14.650 12.950 27.600
2 Marta Pihan-Kulesza Poland 13.650 13.600 27.250
3 Oksana Chusovitina Uzbekistan 14.700 12.300 27.000
Enus Mariani Italy 13.950 13.050 27.000
5 Angelina Kysla Ukraine 13.550 13.250 26.800
6 Amaranta Torres Mexico 13.800 12.650 26.450
7 Helody Cyrenne Canada 13.800 12.550 26.350
8 Karla Retiz Mexico 12.700 12.950 25.650

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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