Late this evening, which was early Tuesday morning in Australia, Gymnastics Australia tweeted the announcement of their 2015 world championships team.
The team includes 2012 Olympians Emily Little and Larrissa Miller alongside Georgia-Rose Brown, Georgia Godwin, Madelaine Leydin, Mary-Anne Monckton, and Kiara Munteanu, nearly all of whom have experience on the major international level.
One major exception would be Godwin, who despite winning the all-around title at last year’s Australian Championships was not named to either the Commonwealth Games team nor the worlds team, as the objective was to maximize individual event medals (which they did, especially at Commonwealth Games). This year, however, Godwin was hard to pass up, as she has proved to be consistent on all events, again becoming Australian all-around champion in addition to winning the event title on beam with a 14.4.
Leydin is also quite new to international competition, having done the more minor Jesolo meet last year, but not much else. She has improved tremendously since 2014, and has finished with two bronze all-around medals this year, both at Championships and at a friendly meet with China. She has solid work on all four events, though can be a bit inconsistent on beam; the rest of her events, however, should be a big help in competition as the women try to qualify for the team final in Glasgow.
2012 Olympians Little and Miller are back to showcase their top skills, with Little most impressive on vault and floor while Miller is outstanding on bars…and she actually was a bit of a surprise for the floor final at worlds last year, so she could possibly strike with a big routine again there as well. Little has spent her time since last November’s Mexican Open slowly getting back into the swing of things after not competing for over two years, and should actually be the squad’s biggest all-around hopeful, but we haven’t seen Miller since worlds so it will be great to see her out on the competition floor again.
The team is rounded out by Monckton, Brown, and Munteanu, all of whom played an integral part in qualifying the team into finals over favorite Germany. Monckton excels on beam and has received a 15.05 there this year; you’d never know she spent much of 2015 coming back from injury! She also has a dependable bars set and could help out there as well. Brown has had some struggles this year on beam and floor, but otherwise looks good and should put up some solid work on vault and bars, while Munteanu – who stepped in last minute for an ailing Lauren Mitchell at last year’s worlds – could go up anywhere with solid results, though she tends to do especially well on bars.
Most notably missing from the picture is Emma Nedov, a member of last year’s worlds team with a standout beam routine (she actually tied for 8th on beam at last year’s qualifications, but missed out on finals due to an unfortunate tie-breaker). This year she’s been all over the place with her scores, getting a 14.8 one day in Jesolo but only a 12.733 in event finals at Universiade. Her scores are all over the map there, and she doesn’t really have the scores to contribute elsewhere, so it’s likely they went with a stronger all-around presence, as they have beam taken care of by other athletes.
The Australian women will once again be in contention for a team finals spot, and are known to always do their best work when it counts. As we’ve mentioned with other teams, it’s going to be a super tight race this year, but if they don’t make it into the final they will without a doubt end up at the test event and will likely not miss out on qualifying a full team to the Olympic Games.
Article by Lauren Hopkins
Photo thanks to Gymnastics Australia