The Chinese Youth Games, held over the past week in Fuzhou, saw many talented junior gymnasts take to the stage, but no one could hold a candle to Liu Tingting, the 15-year-old who is eligible to compete in Rio next year.
Liu had a massive four-point lead over second place Wang Cenyu, posting a 56.35 after steady performances on all four events. Wang had a 52.6 for her performance for silver while Lu Yufei came in for bronze with a 51.5, a score that matched Luo Huan, but because qualification results also came into play, Lu edged Luo out for the podium.
In addition to her all-around win, Liu dominated in event finals, winning the gold medals on both bars and beam for excellent hit routines, earning scores of 14.367 and 13.967, both of which probably should’ve been a bit higher were it not for China’s extremely tough home scoring when it comes to execution. Her difficulty doesn’t quite match the current seniors, with a 6.2 on bars and a 5.9 on beam, but with some work I could see her potentially contending for Rio next year.
On floor, she actually had the second-highest score of 13.433, showing low difficulty but clean work, though she did step out-of-bounds on one pass. However, because again the scores tied in with qualifications – where her floor wasn’t quite as strong – she finished with the bronze medal behind Lu Yufei and Gong Kangyi at 13.667 and 13.333, respectively.
Lu also had a successful round in event finals in addition to her floor gold, including placing fourth on vault, where she showcased a rough attempt at a tsuk double full for a 14.067. On bars, she got the silver medal with a 13.7, working with a 5.9 d-score, and on beam she won bronze with a 13.367, showing nice work but on an easy routine, and she went over the time limit to incur a penalty there.
The vault gold medalist was Liu Jinru with a fall on her Rudi for a 13.667 and an awesome tsuk double full for a 14.733, averaging 14.3 for the pair. Yang Haimeng was second with a 14.233 average, showing a DTY and an FTY and looking clean on both. In third was Jing Yang, also with a decent tsuk double, averaging 14.15.
Rounding out the event medalists were Fu Yuyao with a 13.567 for the bronze medal on bars and Wang with a 13.867 for the silver medal on beam.
Full results from the Chinese Youth Games are available here.
Article by Lauren Hopkins