The Royal Dutch Gymnastics Federation (Koninklijke Nederlandse Gymnastiek Unie, or KNGU) announced the women who have been named to their World Championships team this morning.
Missing from the team is Noel van Klaveren, the 2013 European silver medalist on vault who tied for the bronze this year but was left off the podium due to a tie-breaker. While she was on the nominative list, a sub-par performance at the most recent trial likely led to her lack of inclusion. She earned just a 49.45 in the all-around this weekend, showing some decent work on vault and floor, though she was outscored on the latter by Volleman, who would end up nabbing that final team spot (likely the alternate position).
I think even with her relative weakness, had van Klaveren been at full potential on vault, she would’ve still been an option. But instead of the DTY and Lopez she has in her arsenal, van Klaveren currently is only managing an FTY, something everyone else on the team possesses as well.
In addition to van Klaveren, Celine van Gerner and Maartje Ruikes are the other big names left off. Van Gerner, who started out the season looking incredibly strong (especially on beam), has been dealing with injuries and pulled out of these trials while Ruikes doesn’t have a standout event where she’d be a top selection, though she was named the reserve gymnast who will step in if needed.
“Rarely has it been so difficult to make a choice,” national coach Gerben Wiersma said. “The differences between the gymnasts are small, and our average level is higher than before. I am confident that these seven gymnasts can achieve our goal of reaching the top 16.”
Wiersma went on to say that they hope van Gerner and van Klaveren can be back in full form for the Test Event to help the program qualify a full team to the Olympic Games. Resting them now is thus the right decision, as they need to be at their best for the final test in Rio.
Without van Gerner and van Klaveren, this team should still be in the market for their goal of making the Olympic Test Event…if they hit. Their performance at this weekend’s friendly meet put them at just 213.05, less than last year’s qualification score of 214.662, which had them in 10th place in a very tight-knit group (the teams in 10th to 13th were all within half a point from one another). The score they earned this weekend would’ve had them in 14th at last year’s Worlds, so clearly they’re in no position to make even slight mistakes. Over the weekend, the team looked very shaky on bars, the event on which they’ll begin in qualifications in Glasgow, and on beam, the latter of which saw falls from nearly everyone. With hit routines they could be close to the top of the pack, but if they perform like they did this weekend at Worlds, their Test Event chances could be tenuous.
On the bright side, they do have some beautiful work being done on beam and floor from Eythora Thorsdottir and Lieke Wevers, while Lisa Top has incredibly powerful floor tumbling and a solid vault as well. The team’s floor overall should be a highlight of the meet, as they are technically strong and show beautiful artistry. The potential of this team is very strong, so hopefully they’ll be able to put everything together when it counts.
Article by Lauren Hopkins