China’s Li Qi Impresses in Australia

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The Australian women were victorious over a young Chinese B-team in Western Australia this weekend, but it was China’s Li Qi who stood out as she captured the all-around, beam, and floor titles.

At 13, Li is strongest on vault, beam, and floor, though her bars are also quite strong, if a bit easy at this stage in the game. She hit all four in the all-around competition, earning a total score of 56.225 to finish over a point above 19-year-old Emma Nedov.

Nedov also had a good day, especially on beam, where she hit an excellent set for a 14.525 to help her to a 55.05 total. Right behind her with a 54.5 for bronze was Madelaine Leydin, who looked good nearly everywhere, though did make some mistakes on beam. Their teammate Georgia-Rose Brown was fourth with a 53.425 after falls on beam and floor.

The remainder of all-arounders were all young Chinese gymnasts, including Hu Mengyao in fifth with a 53.375, Zhao Lili in sixth with a 49.55, Yuan Xiaoyuan in seventh with a 48.725, and Sheng Jingyi in eighth with a 47.725.

Mary-Anne Monckton of Australia doesn’t compete floor, but had an awesome day on her three events, hitting her FTY, earning a 14.05 on bars, and then nailing an incredible set on beam with a 15.05, not bad considering she’s only recently back from ankle surgery. Alexandra Eade also competed three events, and looked great on vault and beam, but had a fall on floor and got only 12.375 there.

Other Australians to compete included Kiara Munteanu, solid on beam and floor, Rianna Mizzin with a decent set on bars, and Aimee Warnock with a nice floor routine.

In event finals, it was Li who was at her best, posting a 14.125 to win beam gold and a 14.5 to win floor gold; she also notched a 13.625 to earn the silver medal on bars. Her floor was a bit easy, though beautiful and flawless, though beam is astonishing. She did have some little wobbles here and there, but her set is incredible for her age, and includes a switch to back tuck, gorgeous bhs bhs layout, front aerial to wolf jump to split jump to Onodi to sheep jump (!!!!!), full L turn, side aerial to sissone, and double pike dismount. Just…breathtaking. Her skills are impressive enough, but she also has the fluidity and extension to match making it a routine that could get her very far in the national program.

The runners up on beam included Eade and Nedov with scores of 13.9 and 13.8, respectively, while Leydin earned floor silver with a 13.775 and Hu was the bronze medalist there with a 13.575.

Yuan won the vault title as one of the only gymnasts to perform two vaults from different families, averaging a 14.012 and showing very clean work. Leydin got the silver medal here even with a 2 point penalty for performing an FTY and Yurchenko 1.5, but both were SO strong – her FTY got a 9.4 in execution – that her average of 13.3 was more than enough to finish on the podium. Eade was in a similar boat, performing an FTY and a Yurchenko layout, incurring the 2 point penalty but getting a 9.35 execution on both of her superb vaults to average a 13.05 for bronze.

On bars, Brown won the title with a 14.1 for her sweet, easy, and clean set, followed by Li with a 13.625 for silver, and Monckton and Hu tied with a 13.3 for bronze.

The friendly meet was held from August 7-8 in Leederville. Full results are available here.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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