A lot of you have said how much you enjoy our weekly roundups of everything going on in the sport, so we’re going to change this little piece from “the weekend competition roundup” to “the weekly roundup.” Lots of meets happened this weekend, so we’ll definitely get into all of that, but we’ll also include the other major happenings in the gym world that we maybe didn’t cover on the site.
More Worlds Teams Confirmed
We’ve been able to confirm 30 teams for World Championships in the past week. Are you keeping up to date with our master list? The big announcements this weekend came from Australia, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, and the Netherlands.
The U.S. will name their team on the evening of October 8, the Great Britain announcement is coming October 12, and we should also hear about Spain, Romania, and Italy following the Novara Cup this weekend.
We also got confirmation of the U.S. girls traveling to Belarus. Most notably, the federation is saying we shouldn’t be upset about this – it’ll only help them in the future because it’ll lead to an Olympic spot which will lead to greater participation which will lead to more funding. If you haven’t already, check out our opinion piece about the situation and meet the girls from Belarus who would’ve gone had this not all went down. I also appeared on GymCastic this week, discussing fact and opinion with Jessica O’Beirne and Uncle Tim.
You guys, France looked AMAAAAZING this weekend. Super consistent, on fire, and ready for Worlds. If you told me a year ago that they would be a major contender for the team final in Glasgow I would’ve laughed…must be nice to not be suffering from thousands of injures? Knock on wood.
The French women finished in the top 6 spots, with Marine Brevet (57.1), Louise Vanhille (56.1), and Loan His (55.85) on the podium. Highlights were definitely Vanhille on bars, His on floor, and Claire Martin on beam…watch the videos thanks to Claire Levy on YouTube. Ana Perez was the top finisher for Spain with a 54.15, and the country finally saw the international return of Maria Paula Vargas, who earned a 53.55. [Results] [Recap]
Netherlands-Great Britain Friendly
Ellie Downie had a fantastic meet here, getting stronger and more consistent as we get closer to Worlds. The new senior finished with a mega impressive 57.75, defeating teammates Amy Tinkler (56.25) and Kelly Simm (53.7) by a huge margin and posting the top score on every last event (though Tinkler did tie her on floor). Overall the team looks a little weak on beam and floor, but with two DTYs and some major bars sets, they are still a team to watch this year.
The Dutch faltered with fall after fall on bars and beam, but they’re so gorgeous when they’re not falling, it makes the falls forgivable. Top all-around scores came from Lieke Wevers and Eythora Thorsdottir, who tied in 5th with a 53.25. [Results]
German Worlds Team Trial
The German women faced one last test prior to the naming of their team, and again it was Elisabeth Seitz, Sophie Scheder, and Pauline Schäfer at the top of the podium. Seitz had a good day for a 56.45 to win the all-around, and her 15.5 on bars was also the best there, followed closely by Scheder’s 15.35.
Leah Griesser placed 4th, and it’s been fun to watch her morph from alternate to team lock over the past year, while Lisa Katharina Hill struggled with multiple falls and placed 9th with a 49.15, though she was still named to the team. In addition to these five, Pauline Tratz will go to Glasgow for vault and floor while new senior Sarah Voss came in as the underdog for the alternate spot, which was supposed to go to Antonia Alicke, though she had much too rough of a meet. [Results]
Poland hosted this meet that also featured talent from the Czech Republic, Lithuania, and Latvia. Marta Pihan-Kulesza came back with a vengeance to win the all-around with a 54.015 and post top scores on beam (14.133) and floor (14.266). Her teammates Katarzyna Jurkowska (53.515) and Gabriela Janik (51.366) rounded out the podium and these three were named to the Worlds team alongside Claudia Chmielowska, Alma Kuc, and Klara Kopec. [Results] [Recap]
23-year-old Lisa Ecker won her second consecutive national title with a personal best of 54.45 after consistent work across the board (she was very excited). Behind her was Elisa Hämmerle in second (52.4) and Jasmin Mader in third (50.95). Ecker also won event titles everywhere but bars, which went to Mader. In addition to these three securing tickets to Worlds, Marlies Männersdorfer, Erja Metzler, and Olivia Jochum also earned their spots. The junior title went to Tamara Stadelmann with a 48.65. [Results] [Recap]
This weekend is the final meet splash before Worlds! The Novara Cup happens in Italy on Saturday featuring the likely Worlds teams from Romania, Italy, and Spain. There will also be the Länderkampf Kunstturnen meet in Germany on Saturday, where the Germans will contend against Switzerland and Brazil to get in some final practice before Worlds. On Sunday, we’ll have the Salamunov Memorial meet in Slovenia, where Hungary will finalize their team.
This happens every year and is nothing new, but the FIG announced that seven of the judges at last year’s World Championships were warned for “scoring irregularities.” The evaluation of the judges led to 14 being seen as appearing biased or otherwise deviating from the judging norms; following disciplinary procedures, half of the cases were released but the other half were warned to “pay closer attention” in the future.
Hey MAG Coaches
I know we are bad at being on top of men’s gymnastics, but is this how you’re supposed to do high bar? If not, someone tell Austria FAST.
Camille Bahl is Superhuman, and Other Favorite Videos
Camille Bahl’s piked Jaeger gaffe gave us a million heart attacks. When she slammed her ankles onto the high bar I thought she was a goner…but not only did she hang on, she also basically almost did a jam to handstand out of it and then continued her routine with nothing more than an extra swing. Okay then.
We also loved this super cool side aerial to Y-scale from Danusia Francis, and Maile O’Keefe bringing 1996 back with her aerial loso loso loso!
Finally, this isn’t really timely, and was filmed when the New Zealand women competed at a trial for Commonwealth Games last summer, but basically the most adorable team ever reenacted Sia’s “Chandelier” music video. And it’s actually pretty good.
The Top Scores in 2015
We tallied up the top scores in the all-around and on every event this year, which you can find here. We also have our updated team averages ready with all confirmed teams listed, using each gymnast’s average scores on each event to determine who will compete where.
Not Going to Worlds
So far – knocking on wood for the second time in this post – most gymnasts have managed to keep from getting injured as we get closer to Worlds, though unfortunately there are two big setbacks for top teams. Julie Kim Sinmon of Brazil is out with an ACL tear while Martina Rizzelli of Italy, who was supposed to be an incredible help with her DTY and excellent bars, has suffered two fractures in her foot and will no longer be in the Italian picture.
Kyla Ross is also out of the U.S. decision, but she withdrew for reasons unrelated to injury. After an uncharacteristic rough season where she struggled to add the upgrades that would make her competitive in this deep U.S. field, she has chosen to voluntarily withdraw, likely to take some time away from the pressure in order to focus on 2016. She has not retired from elite and has no plans to head to UCLA a year early, as some have suggested.
The U.S. is counting an injury from Nia Dennis, who hurt her foot in training, though she’ll still take part in the selection camp, verifying only on uneven bars.
Sabrina Vega Commits to Georgia
Last but not least, Sabrina Vega has announced her decision to retire from elite and go off to college after years of leaving people to wonder whether this would ever happen. Now 20, she wanted to give herself another quad of elite competition to see if she could make 2016 work, but after three years of nonstop injuries and surgeries, it was nearly impossible. She did some very nice work on beam and floor this summer but didn’t have the difficulty to qualify to nationals, so now Georgia – who lack major elite recruits in the coming years – is going to become her home. She’s gonna be fierce in NCAA. We can’t wait.
Article by Lauren Hopkins