The seventh subdivision for women’s qualifications includes the Italian and British teams, and then individuals from Vietnam, Bulgaria, Uruguay, India, and Norway.
We have two big hitters in this rotation. Both Italy and Great Britain failed to qualify teams to the final last year, but they’re coming back stronger and ready to challenge to sneak in over some of the top programs. The Italians have a completely brand-new team featuring the Brixia Four, who have been tapped to be this country’s 2020 Olympic team since they were all 13-14, while the Brits are largely the same team as last year but just in a better place in terms of health and overall readiness, so I think we’ll see them increasing their scoring potential by a lot, barring any meltdowns.
Giorgia Villa, the Italian program’s star, will contend for a finals spot alongside Asia D’Amato and Elisa Iorio, with Villa pretty certain to make the final though the other two could be hit or miss. I’m bummed to see Alice D’Amato, who outscored all of the Brixia girls at Euros, not considered for a spot, but the hole for this team has always been beam and floor, which is where Desiree Carofiglio will fit in to hopefully increase their potential, and assuming Alice has been the weakest on these events in recent weeks, it’s a smart strategy.
For Great Britain, Ellie Downie will be a sure bet for the all-around final with a hit day, and then both Alice Kinsella and Georgia-Mae Fenton have been strong this year on all four events, so I’m really hoping they can pull off strong scores to make the final as well.
None of the individuals here are real contenders for the final, but a few will factor into potentially qualifying for Tokyo, including one of the Norwegians — Julie Erichsen and Julie Søderstrøm both have a 48+ capability internationally — as well as two Americans representing international programs, with Laney Madsen hoping to earn a spot for Bulgaria while Tienna Nguyen is in the mix for Vietnam. Madsen and Nguyen have both struggled on international stages, but they’ve also both come up with really good days, so I think they could be borderline for Tokyo.
Ellie Downie has been training two vaults, and I’d be really interested to see if she finally debuts the Cheng here, while Asia D’Amato will be competing a DTY + Lopez combo that could also put her solidly in the mix.
Becky Downie has an epic routine, which she got through successfully at Euros to become a medalist, so I’m crossing my fingers for her to finally get an individual worlds medal here. Fenton should also be a standout for Great Britain on bars, and then for the Italians, they have four potentially huge routines from Villa, Iorio, and the D’Amato twins, though they tend to get a bit hammered on their E scores, so they could qualify two into the final, or they could qualify no one. It’ll all just come down to how today goes.
On paper, Villa is a huge beam threat, and she’s had some insanely great performances there this year, but she’s also a little inconsistent. I also love Iorio on beam, and then for the Brits, Kinsella is always an incredible talent.
Ellie Downie will be crucial in this lineup, and should make for a huge finals threat, and the team also has Taeja James coming in with a huge routine here. The Italians are weak on this apparatus, though I’d love Carofiglio to end up pulling it off and getting in.