2019 Birmingham World Cup Live Blog

Welcome to the live blog for the women’s competition at the 2019 Birmingham World Cup, held in Birmingham, England!

Please refresh your browser every few minutes to see the most recent updates, which will appear at the top of the page.

5:00 pm. Final Standings

1. Aliya Mustafina, Russia, 53.564
2. Riley McCusker, United States, 53.065
3. Thais Fidelis, Brazil, 51.832
4. Carolann Heduit, France, 51.632
5. Victoria-Kayen Woo, Canada, 51.099
6. Leah Griesser, Germany, 49.799
7. Ellie Downie, Great Britain, 49.333
8. Nagi Kajita, Japan, 48.998
9. Liu Jieyu, China, 47.866

4:56 pm. Aliya Mustafina, Russia, FX: Tucked full-in, good, just a step back. Triple spin, shoulders are tight/by her ears, but good finish. High double tuck into a lunge back. Memmel turn, switch ring, to split leap. Her hand waving choreo before her third pass is vintage Aliya. Good 1.5 to front full. Messy double full but stuck it cold. Just realized she swapped the double arabian for the full-in. Also her music is a bizarre dramatic Destiny’s Child remix? BLESS. 12.966

AA 53.564 to take the win!

4:52 pm. Riley McCusker, United States, FX: Big tucked full-in to start, just a little bit of a bounce on the landing. No more Nightmare Before Christmas music. Front double full to punch front to stag, good, and her leaps are fab. Double pike is super solid. Some nice choreo moments in there. Switch ring is gorgeous, to switch full, into the corner before her last pass, double tuck with a hop to the side. Lovely work and our girl’s gonna medal with two falls, casual. 13.366

AA 53.065 puts her into first, Aliya Mustafina just needs a 12.468 to surpass her!

4:49 pm. Carolann Heduit, France, FX: Whip to double tuck, little bobble on the landing. Double pike, lunge back. Super cool dramatic music but I think the choreography could be much more impactful. It’s kind of bland which is so unusual for France. Double L turn. Hit her third pass into a punch front, then kinda fell out of her wild wolf turn. Double full with a step back. Excellent job today, especially considering this is her big senior debut…she’s done a couple of the Top 12 events so far in France this year but this is really IT. 12.700

AA 51.632 puts her just back behind Thais Fidelis

4:45 pm. Thais Fidelis, Brazil, FX: 1.5 through to arabian double front, baby step forward but she’s right in the corner so she goes OOB. Tucked full-in with a hop back. Solid double tuck. Double pike with an excellent landing. I hope she medals, she had a tremendous day…just not as difficult as the three who are above her. 13.100

AA 51.832

4:44 pm. Warmups for the second half of the floor rotation, which will see Thais Fidelis, Carolann Heduit, Riley McCusker, and Aliya Mustafina!

4:40 pm. Victoria-Kayen Woo, Canada, FX: Double layout, little hop back, pretty great in the air. I love this routine and how she performs it so much. Hops around her double L turn. Switch leap to switch full to split leap. A little messy in her triple spin. Front tuck through to 2.5, step forward. Split jump full. Solid stuck double pike. Good day for her! 12.800

AA 51.099

4:36 pm. Leah Griesser, Germany, FX: No more Dexter routine!!!! NOOOOOO. She told me at worlds that she’s super friendly and “hates murder” so she didn’t like that they basically made her a murderer for her routine LOL. Good double tuck. 2.5 with a lunge forward. Switch full. Lovely turns. The Lion King music! Hit her last pass. Lovely work as always. 12.800

AA 49.799

4:33 pm. Ellie Downie, Great Britain, FX: 1.5 through to arabian double front, good! Just a little bounce on the landing. Super open double tuck with a little bounce back. Tour jeté full, solid. Double pike, a bit short, but hops it forward and pulls her chest up to correct. Another good end to the day, glad to see everyone able to come back and finish on a high note. 13.033

AA 49.333

4:28 pm. Nagi Kajita, Japan, FX: I thought she was wearing an Apple Watch but it was just a dark square on her hand guards. 1.5 to Rudi, good! Mustafina turn. 2.5, some knee form. Double turn in front attitude, little stumbly. Switch ring to tour jeté half. Low double tuck, buckled with a hop forward on the landing. 12.833

AA 48.998

4:25 pm. Liu Jieyu, China, FX: Triple full, a little deep, step forward. 2.5 to punch front, not bad. Switch half is fine. Double tuck, also a little deep, step back. Clean stuck double full to finish. Ending on a positive moment! Riley going out of her way to reach up and high five her is beautiful. Riley is a queen. Jieyu is a queen. 12.700

AA 47.866

4:23 pm. What I could see from warmups went well but as we’ve learned all competition long, life is meaningless.

4:20 pm. QueenCam

Screen Shot 2019-03-23 at 4.18.20 PM

4:16 pm. Rotation 3 Standings

1. Aliya Mustafina, Russia, 40.598
2. Riley McCusker, United States, 39.699
3. Carolann Heduit, France, 38.932
4. Thais Fidelis, Brazil, 38.732
5. Victoria-Kayen Woo, Canada, 38.299
6. Leah Griesser, Germany, 36.999
7. Ellie Downie, Great Britain, 36.300
8. Nagi Kajita, Japan, 36.165
9. Liu Jieyu, China, 35.166

4:13 pm. Nagi Kajita, Japan, BB: Off on her mount. What a meet. The rest had some bobbles and little fights to stay on, 2.5 with a hop to the side off the mat to finish. 11.366

4:09 pm. Riley McCusker, United States, BB: Her hair is so big and perfect and full of secrets. I LOVE IT. Triple wolf turn, the third rotation is a little slow but mostly great, and then the double is perfect. Split leap to front aerial to straddle jump, excellent. GOD HER TECHNIQUE. UGHHHH and then she comes off on a bhs loso. Pretty sure she was meant to do two layout stepouts, but she was pretty crooked from the start, and came off on the first one. Switch leap to switch side, misses a foot and stumbles. Side aerial to split jump to back tuck, now the nerves are here, big wobble. Solid double tuck, little hop in place. Shame about the fall but I don’t think she’ll get a score in the 11s like the other routines with falls here because her technique is so great elsewhere…but then she did have two significant wobbles as well. Well, it’s the best “routine with a fall” score, 12.166. SHE TURNS TO THE CAMERA AND JUST SHRUGS, what a gem.

4:06 pm. Thais Fidelis, Brazil, BB: I wasn’t typing at first but she nailed her triple flight series and leap series, and basically everything else early in the routine. SHE HAS NOT FALLEN TODAY! Side aerial and punch front, both good. Good double pike with a hop back. That was excellent compared to everything that came before her. She’s in her own world today. 12.933

4:02 pm. Ellie Downie, Great Britain, BB: I LOVE this leo. Wobble on the switch leap mount but good control. Side aerial, good. Switch leap to switch half, solid. Ugh, off on the punch front…looks like she has it but there’s a bounce to her landing and it unfortunately takes her sideways instead of forward. Big wobble on her double spin but she saves it. Solid on the bhs loso. Dismounts with a 2.5, really deep but she lunges out of it to stand it up. 11.5

4:01 pm. Touch warm-up just wrapping up! Onto Ellie Downie now.

3:56 pm. Victoria-Kayen Woo, Canada, BB: Back dive to chest stand mount, a little hollow but I guess that’s a preference thing? Super solid on her bhs loso. Front aerial to split jump, a bit shy of 180, double spin with a little adjustment, and then another check after her side somi, just a bit forward. Short on her transverse split jump half, but she’s fighting well. Side aerial. Good leap series. 2.5 with a step. Well, she got through her weak event! 12.600

3:53 pm. Leah Griesser, Germany, BB: Crowed loved her split mount. Off on her flight series. Switch to switch half with a little stumble. Split leap to front aerial, bobble, deep side aerial, wobbles through but gets it, short on her side somi but again fights and stays on. Hit the dismount. Has literally everyone fallen at least once today? I’m pretty sure. 11.300

3:48 pm. Aliya Mustafina, Russia, BB: Switch half, a bit awkward on the landing, but nice in the air, split ring-ish jump. A little tentative on the side somi. She’s playing it slow and steady which is what she needs to do. Bhs loso, leg up wobble, double turn, a bit too off to the side, fall. Switch to side aerial, front aerial, a bit deep, bobble but saves it. Split jump, misses connection so doesn’t bother with a second jump. Thinks about it for a minute, then does a switch leap to wolf jump. Smarty pants. Overtime. Looked like her feet were a bit off when she punched into the double back dismount, but mostly good, bounce on the landing. 11.866

3:44 pm. Liu Jieyu, China, BB: Back dive mount to chest stand, nice, switch ring, back foot is a bit flexed, bhs back tuck for her series, a little check at the end, front aerial to split jump, not at 180, double spin, walks out of it to control the finish, transverse split jump half, a little bobble but split in the air is decent, switch leap not quite at 180 to wolf jump, double full with a step back. 12.200

3:41 pm. Carolann Heduit, France, BB: Hit her mount and then saved a leg-up wobble on her side aerial to layout stepout. Leap series into a back tuck, stumbles, then puts her hands down and falls. This meet so far is the anti-Stuttgart. Wobble forward on her double wolf turn but fights and stays on. Switch ring, couldn’t really see the back leg or split angle from here, front aerial to split jump to back handspring, nice, the split jump was lovely, big double pike, two steps back. 11.666

3:35 pm. Rotation 2 Standings

1. Aliya Mustafina, Russia, 28.732
2. Riley McCusker, United States, 27.533
3. Carolann Heduit, France, 27.266
4. Thais Fidelis, Brazil, 25.799
5. Victoria-Kayen Woo, Canada, 25.699
6. Leah Griesser, Germany, 25.699
7. Ellie Downie, Great Britain, 24.800
8. Nagi Kajita, Japan, 24.799
9. Liu Jieyu, China, 22.966

3:33 pm. Riley McCusker, United States, UB: Stalder full, a little late, to Maloney to big Tkachev, a little close but still nice. Ricna to Pak, just slight leg separation, LOVELY van Leeuwen, toe-on to blind change to front giant to the half-in double back dismount, some leg form as she releases the bar to go into the first flip, but it gets cleaner as she continues on and the landing is solid. GOODNESS her technique on most skills is impeccable, she just has those little tiny mistakes…very similar to Fan Yilin honestly, where technique is flawless but the little adjustments add up a bit. 14.400

3:30 pm. Thais Fidelis, Brazil, UB: Maloney to Pak, a little messy, van Leeuwen, blind change to piked Jaeger, very nice, slow and controlled handstand into her big Tkachev, blind change, a bit short, then a blind full, just a double tuck dismount, very clean in the air and a solid landing. 12.233

3:25 pm. Ellie Downie, Great Britain, UB: I still haven’t had a chance to watch her British routines yet so I’m VERY excited for this!! Toe full, ughhhh, halfway through her body bends a bit crooked and she starts to try to muscle it up but can’t do it. Fall. 😦 😦 😦 Back on and does it the second time, then a Maloney to Hindorff, good. Blind change to piked Jaeger, releases the bar far too early and doesn’t have a chance of getting any height, still goes for the flip but she’s too low and far…actually weirdly similar to how she came off the table on vault. UP UP UP needs to be going on in her head from this point forward. She looks SO mad. Huge piked Tkachev to Pak, gets the van Leeuwen, big double layout with a little hop. Well, that was a bummer. At least she still has a smile. She’s only JUST gotten back, so. She has time. 10.5

3:23 pm. Victoria-Kayen Woo, Canada, UB: Beautiful shaposh to clear hip full, a bit late on the pirouette, toe-on to bail, some leg separation, to toe shoot, clear hip half to piked Jaeger, oof, close, and she loses leg form a bit on the catch. A nearly horizontal handstand when she gets her direction back to go in for her giants, double layout, looks like it’s gonna be good but then she takes a hop forward and pulls her chest forward as well to save it. 12.033

3:19 pm. Touch warm-up for the second half! Will update with any notes. Riley looked good from what they showed on the screen.

3:16 pm. Leah Griesser, Germany, UB: Toe full, almost vertical, to Maloney to bail, short, to stalder full, late and rushed, to toe shoot, stalder to toe half to piked Jaeger, a little low, blind change to front giant to double front, a little cowboyed with a bounce on the landing. A good fight through that…she just had quite a few issues with her swing not being entirely in rhythm. 12.566

3:14 pm. Aliya Mustafina, Russia, UB: Her eyes just burned holes through my soul. I would NOT want to ever be in a fight with her. Stalder full right on the bar to Maloney to Pak to van Leeuwen, excellent. Nice handstand before the stalder full to piked Jaeger, clean, toe full, maybe a tiny bit late, into a tidy full-in, little bounce. I had a bad angle for handstands but you can tell she’s REALLY fighting to get every single handstand and pirouette perfectly vertical. 14.366

3:09 pm. Liu Jieyu, China, UB: Maloney to clear hip full, a bit late, to Tkachev, can’t get her hands around, fall. Back on for a hop change to piked Jaeger, super close there and another fall. Up again, does a clean Pak, nice handstand before her van Leeuwen, toe-on, and then a full-in with a step back. 9.933

3:06 pm. Carolann Heduit, France, UB: Get ready for what should be a huge routine! Inbar full to Maloney to Ricna, slightly flexed feet at the end there, Galante to Pak, legs go a bit wild right before she catches but she gets it, van Leeuwen, blind change to piked Jaeger, a little low but not too bad, then just a little step on her double front. Excellent work and great fight to get through the moments that could’ve been a bit slippery. 13.900

3:03 pm. Nagi Kajita, Japan, UB: Nice handstand before her Nabieva!! A little bit of pike down in her hips but it was pretty clearly meant to be a layout. Pak, some slight leg separation, a little crooked on the van Leeuwen, stalder half, muscled through it but got it into the piked Jaeger, ugh, then bent her knees in handstand and had to hop off. Gets back on for a stalder to stalder full, a little rushed and then late coming out of handstand, deep full-in in dismount with a step back. 11.766

2:58 pm. Touch warm-up on bars is good so far. I’ll add little updates if anything exciting happens. Okay, nothing super exciting. Aliya looked like she was really trying to focus on details.

2:55 pm. Rotation 1 Standings

1. Aliya Mustafina, Russia, 14.366
2. Ellie Downie, Great Britain, 14.300
3. Victoria-Kayen Woo, Canada, 13.666
4. Thais Fidelis, Brazil, 13.566
5. Carolann Heduit, France, 13.366
6. Leah Griesser, Germany, 13.133
7. Riley McCusker, United States, 13.133
8. Liu Jieyu, China, 13.033
9. Nagi Kajita, Japan, 13.033

2:54 pm. Thais Fidelis, Brazil, VT: Clean FTY with a tiny bounce, didn’t get quite the amplitude Woo got but still very nice, I’d say second-best to Woo’s. Judges agree! 13.566

2:52 pm. Ellie Downie, Great Britain, VT: DTY, gets huge distance but not a ton of height so she goes a bit low and long, and then takes a HUUUGE hop back…like four or five feet. SO MUCH POWER. Mostly clean in the air, though. 14.300

2:50 pm. Victoria-Kayen Woo, Canada, VT: Beautiful huge FTY, the best one so far both in the air and on the landing. She had a very NCAA vault in a field full of junior elite vaults. Literally just some slight leg separation right when she comes off the table. Otherwise fab. 13.666

2:49 pm. Leah Griesser, Germany, VT: Handspring front pike, loses some knee form in the air and doesn’t get a huge block but SUPER solid on the landing and her foot form is gorgeous. 13.133

2:45 pm. Moving into the touch warmup for the second half of the vault rotation! Aliya currently has a full point lead. Riley’s fall honestly won’t even be that problematic for her all-around score in this field given that she basically got the same score the FTYs are getting here, and the only other gymnast here who can vault is Ellie Downie. She’ll still be solidly in place for a medal if the rest of her day goes well.

2:43 pm. Aliya Mustafina, Russia, VT: DTY, great power, soft hips and knees throughout and loses the leg form more in the second twist, then takes a step back, but the chest position on the landing is excellent. 14.366

2:42 pm. Liu Jieyu, China, VT: Very clean FTY, knees are better on the landing, but she’s still a little piked. Goes crooked, though, and hops to the side, OOB. 13.033

2:40 pm. Carolann Heduit, France, VT: She’s gone back and forth between a DTY and an FTY over the past year due to injury so we’ll see what she does here…just the full, a bit deep with a step to the side, looks like she was going a little wild on the landing but she gets the control back. Pretty in the air until the very end. 13.366

2:38 pm. Nagi Kajita, Japan, VT: Idk why it took three full minutes to get a vault score in for Riley but alas. Nagi vaults an FTY, a bit deep with a hop. Pikes it down a bit near the end, but clean until that point. 13.033

2:35 pm. Riley McCusker, United States, VT: DTY, crashed it. 😦 😦 😦 Just like in warmups. Well that’s a bummer. The vault actually looks really strong in the air, she just doesn’t have the block to get it fully around in time. 13.133

2:34 pm. McCusker will vault first! Oh, camera’s back on vault, just a timer from Mustafina just now.

2:33 pm. Riley just had trouble with her vault in the touch warmup but that’s really all I saw before they put a graphic up over the warmups.

2:31 pm. Obviously vault will be the first event. Instead of having a light on the entire arena, they just have spotlights on vault which is…kind of crazy? It probably looks darker on TV than IRL.

Living for Riley McCusker’s 80s country superstar hair right now.

2:30 pm. Another weekend, another world cup! Excited for this one especially after Aliya Mustafina really proved herself in Stuttgart last weekend, and then with Ellie Downie also showing off huge routines at British Championships…and then Riley McCusker is always capable of great scores if she hits, and I LOVE first-year senior Carolann Heduit of France.

Also competing here are Thais Fidelis, Victoria-Kayen Woo, Liu Jieyu, Leah Griesser, and Nagi Kajita.


20 thoughts on “2019 Birmingham World Cup Live Blog

  1. Oh Lauren, you save my life with this live blog, the stream does´t work in Germany and I couldn´t find any liveticker or something else and THEN I saw this live blog, THANK YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad to read Riley has new music! Now i dont need to mute her routine.
    This comp evened itself out with all the falls. 😉


  3. Aliya´s tucked full-in and her double arabian seem to be interchangeable as her opening pass. Its honestly really awesome (and it just speaks to how much of a queen she is) that Aliya can casually do either one of these passes after giving birth.


  4. Nice to see the US finally make more trips across the ponds.. A little disappointed to see riley and aliya falls but still early…


  5. Does anyone remember the last time Mustafina won an international AA title?

    Also, I hope the FIG is taking in statistics for how often there are BB falls in major competitions and perhaps could make some changes accordingly…


  6. Lauren, how are you able to watch the birmingham cup? i have torguard as my vpn but not able to watch bbc unless i pay additional extra for a dedicated uk ip. thanks


  7. Does anyone knows if the 2 last spots for Tokyo 2020 that will be awarded at the Continental Championships are a maximum of 1 per NOC or one country (providing they don’t have the full quota) can grab both places (where 2 places are available)? And what will happened in Europe as they do not have in 2020 All-Round competition at Euro (they have team competition) – how would they allocate the 2 places?


    • These are 1 per NOC. Regarding Euros, the UEG will make an announcement soon, maybe even this month, but what I have heard, they will be using the team qualification phase, provided the FIG approves. This has some effect on team tactics/composition, as the NOCs that want to have that spot must include an all-arounder that was not an active member of the team that got them the team spot at the Olympics and let him/her do AA in qualification.


  8. Pingback: Around the Gymternet: Can you ever just be, like, whelmed | The Gymternet

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