Georgia Godwin of Queensland started off her week in Melbourne on a high note, leading the senior all-around with a score of 54.500.
The 17-year-old actually had a bit of a rough start, sitting her double front on floor, the first skill in her first routine of the night. She managed to get around her triple wolf turn and hit her double pike to finish strong, and then immediately cleared her mind of the error, hitting a powerful and lovely FTY on vault.
Continuing on bars, Godwin had smooth transition work, and then hit her beam set. It wasn’t her best outing there, but her 13.625 was the best of the day on the event thanks to struggles from the country’s other talented beam workers. She also reached her huge 6.3 start value there, the highest difficulty on any event by half a point! Clearly the disappointment of the past year is pushing her to do great things, and she could be a major player on the international scene for the team this year.
Emily Little opened with a ginormous DTY for a 15.125, bringing the crowd to their feet. She hit her bars and beam, albeit with a few issues here and there, and then went for broke on floor, debuting her full-twisting double layout along with a 1.5 through to double tuck and a double pike. She did have to count a fall in the routine, finishing with just an 11.8 which held her back from challenging Godwin, but she doesn’t regret the effort, stating that it’s necessary to push the limits.
“That’s what you have to do when you’re introducing new elements into a routine,” she told Gymnastics Australia. “But I do need to control myself a bit more, get my nerves down pat, and look a bit stronger and steadier across all apparatus.”
In third place was Madelaine Leydin, who actually had a pretty nice outing aside from floor. She began with a decent beam, just wobbling her side somi a bit but hitting her front tuck to wolf jump, bhs loso series, and double pike dismount with a small hop back. She vaulted a Yurchenko 1.5, though I believe had it downgraded to an FTY, and executed her 5.8-SV bar routine well for a 13.5, second best behind Godwin. On floor, she showed nice work on her double pike and 1.5 to layout, but put her hands down on her double tuck to incur a deduction.
Lauren Mitchell, who began training just four weeks ago, competed just on beam and floor. Her beam was excellent straight up until the fall on her front aerial, which was unfortunate. She did manage strong work on her switch half to back tuck, switch ring, and bhs bhs layout series, though earned just a 12.8 with the error (her start value is just a 5.2 as she works her way back up to full difficulty).
On floor, she looked very clean, earning one of the highest non-vault execution scores of the day and finishing with a 14.075 after hitting a double arabian, double tuck, and double pike. Definitely some work to do there, but not bad at all considering the amount of time she’s been back in the gym.
“Even though it’s qualification, it’s still the first time I’ve been out there on the podium since the Commonwealth Games, so it’s very nerve-wracking,” she said following the meet. “Now that I feel like I’m not going to stand there and just shake with nerves, I can be a lot more confident ahead of Friday.”
Emma Nedov competed just on beam and fell on an acro series for a 13.3, though this still put her in second place on the event just three tenths behind Godwin. If both hit in finals, it could be a very close race, though Godwin definitely has the advantage thanks to her start value.
We also saw some good work from Alexandra Eade on vault and floor. She hit a big and clean FTY for a 14.225, and then had great landings on her 2.5, 1.5 through to double tuck, double full, and double pike on floor, posting the second highest score on the event with a 13.075.
In the junior ranks, Emily Whitehead led the way with a 56.325 followed by Talia Folino in second with a 53.125 and Charleis Kingston-White in third with a 49.450. The juniors compete with bonuses based on their start values, so thanks to Whitehead’s impressive difficulty on beam and floor, she received 4.7 bonus points, and would have finished with a 51.625 without them. Folino was the only other junior with bonus points, earning 1.5 between bars and floor, putting her ‘accurate’ all-around score also at 51.625.
Whitehead vaulted a clean FTY for a 14.05, and then on bars showed tremendous promise with her Maloney to pak salto to van Leeuwen combo, a nice Jaeger, and a double front dismount for a 15.5, or a 13.5 without the 2 point bonus. She’s stronger than nearly every senior on the event, so with a little more attention to detail, could be a real rockstar here in the future. She had some wobbles on beam and a fall on floor, but overall should be happy with her performance.
Folino also had a great FTY, earning a 14.225 for the event high of the day. On bars, she showed some nice work (especially on her big Jaeger) but got lost a little mid-routine and put her hands down on her double pike dismount.
Her beam was a bit low in difficulty, but one of the strongest for the juniors, and included a bhs bhs layout series as well as a huge double pike dismount for a 13.025, and then on floor she earned a 14.05 (which would have been a 13.05 without the bonus) after hitting her tucked full-in, 1.5 to layout, 2.5, and double pike with no major errors. It was the second highest score for the juniors, but Whitehead’s routine had a tremendous bonus, without which Folino is the clear winner there.
Kingston-White had very low difficulty overall, with a 4.9 on beam her highest. Despite the relatively low difficulty there, however, she had one of the most impressive routines of the day, hitting for a 13.35!
Yasmin Collier finished down in fifth place out of the seven juniors, earning just a 48.300 thanks pretty much entirely to bars, where she brought in just a 9.325 to take her out of the running. She had decent work on beam and floor, however, and hit a brand-new FTY for a 13.9, the third best in the junior field.
The competition continues on Friday with a second day of all-around performances, and then event finals will take place over the weekend. Full results are available here.
Article by Lauren Hopkins