The second day of podium training at the 2017 Words was full of surprises and exciting routines. Here are some of my notes for each country that I could follow:
For Romania Larisa Iordache had a mixed podium training experience, as she described it herself. She started the floor routine with Silivas (double double), spotted by the coach, continuing with three good passes: full in, 2 ½ to punch front and triple full. On bars she showed confidence but untidy execution; she missed only one element, a Fabrichnova (one of three attempts, the other two were successful). Her Yurchenko double full looked very high and confident, but with the usual small execution errors. She did not work beam for too long but of the three full twisting saltos she attempted she could not stay on the apparatus.
Catalina Ponor showed that she wants to fight for finals on both beam and floor. Her floor started with a full in layout (with untidy legs), her other tumbling passes were double layout, punch front to double pike and 2 ½ twists. On beam she had some wobbles on the layout mount and the ring leaps but the rest of the routine was solid. She did a timer for full in as her dismount.
Among the Romanians, I feel like Ioana Crisan showed the most polish. She worked well on floor with clean landings; on vault she did a Tsuk full and an Yurchenko 1 ½. On bars she was tidier than usual, hitting the handstands or a better handstand position, while her double layout dismount demonstrated a better stretched position. On beam she hit the layout to two feet but fell on a double back tuck dismount. In the mixed zone she said that she got used fast with the time difference, that the bright lights in the arena did not bother her and that she felt confident overall.
For the Netherlands, Sanne Wevers trained beam and bars. On beam she mounted with a layout stepout (she said the new Onodi mount is not yet ready). Her targeted D score will be a 6.5-6.5. She said she also does bars although she doesn’t have hopes of a final because she simply enjoys competing and training that apparatus. Her sister Lieke introduced a back handspring mount on beam and looked at ease practicing her beam routine. Some wobbles, no major drama.
Eythora Thorsdottir will only compete on floor and beam due to an injury (she fell on her ribs in practice a few weeks ago). She was able to do a full floor routine although she confessed in the mixed zone that landings are still painful. That is an improvement compared to a couple of weeks ago when sneezing was a problem. She also did a good beam set with a few missed connections. Her ring leaps looked a bit too cautious but the 2 ½ twisting dismount looked easy for her.
Tisha Volleman did a nice whip to immediate full in on floor but she also had a couple of stumbles out of the tumbling passes (even fell once). Her Yurcheno double full looked good and the second vault looked more like a Podkopayeva.
France started on bars with a characteristically pretty rotation. Their all arounders will be Melanie de Jesus Dos Santos and Marine Boyer. Melanie started with a nervous bars routine (break on Pak salto, stumbled out of the layout full dismount). On floor she unveiled a new pass, a full twisting double layout, followed by a full in. Beam was the most problematic event for her, not managing to hit her back handspring to layout. On vault she did a good Yurchenko double full.
Marine Boyer had a productive training session with clean work on bars, a floor routine with hit pirouettes, while on beam she managed some interesting connections – with switch leap to switch leap 1/2 to split jump ½ and side aerial – leap – side somi.
Lorette Charpy hit her bars routine with a pike Jaeger, Pak, van Leeuwen, full turn and double layout. On floor she started with a double front (rolled forward), followed by double tuck and front full to stag jump. Coline Devillard will be competing on vault: in training she did an Yurcheko double full and a Rudi. The second vault looked a little bit better despite some mess legs.
In the same subdivision, Germany had a relaxed and efficient training: the two all arounders, Seitz and Alt started on vault with Yurchenko full and Yurchenko double full respectively. They continued on to an amazing bars rotation. Seitz with Downie, van Leeuwen, Pak, toe-on full turn and Alt with toe-on full to Maloney to Pak, van Leeuwen Zuchold full, pike Jaeger and front half dismount.
On floor both looked very good but did not show a lot of difficulty: Alt has a full in, punch front to double back tuck and double pike; Seitz has a routine with punch front to double back tuck, double full and double back pike.
On the final event, balance beam, Tabea Alt struggled a bit with her flick layout stepout-layout stepout series.
Kim Bui looked excellent on bars with pike Jaeger, Bhardwaj to low bar and full in dismount. Pauline Schaffer was a bit wobbly on beam but her signature element side somi with half turn looked great. On floor she seems to have new music (it was striking enough to notice a change anyway) but the tumbling looked as solid as always: double layout, front double full and double pike.
For Italy, Vanessa Ferrari looked calm and collected, ad much more consistent than I had expected. On beam she did stepout mount, series of pirouettes, flick-flick – full tuck, switch leap ½. Her dismount is a double pike.
Her floor routine is on Carmina Burana: whip full in, double layout, double tuck and front full. She left us wondering by throwing a double double after the routine had finished.
Lara Mori will compete all around for Italy here in Montreal. She looked confident on all four events with highlights on bars and beam; unfortunately she does not have enough difficulty to challenge for finals on those two events.
The US gymnasts started with a beautiful vault rotation: three Yurchenko double fulls in a row from the start, for Hurd, Smith and Carey. Jade should be a favorite in the vault final showing a Kazamatsu double (Tsukahara double) with minor for breaks and an Amanar with a slight hop forward.
On bars, Morgan Hurd was first to compete, with stalder full to Tkachev, Ricna to Pak, Ray, stalder full to full twisting double back dismount; she showed impeccable form and lots of confidence.
Ragan Smith had a fall on her routine (Ricna): inside stalder, inside stalder full, inside stalder ½ to Jaeger, pike Tkachev, Ricna, Pak, full in in dismount. She later repeated the routine without the fall.
Ashton Lockear was the picture of bars execution (although there will be no inbars at there Championships) toe on full to stalder, Shaposhnikova to Pak to Maloney to bail, half turn to Jaeger, full twisting double step forward. Ashton said in the mixed zone that a nagging shoulder injury prevented her from re-adding the inbar elements. She also tweaked her knee at camp but she felt she had recovered on time for Worlds.
The US beam rotations went without major hiccups: Hurd hit her routine cold (the standing full looked especially great). Ragan Smith hit her back handspring layout to two foot series and the standing back tuck 1/1 but fell on a punch front. Ashton Locklear was solid but her flick saltos looked quite messy.
On floor Hurd mounted with a double double tuck out of bounds followed by a full in pike with two steps back, possibly OOB again, layout double full nicely landed and a double pike, this one stuck.
Smith started with a good double layout, 1 ½ to triple twist (hop), double Arabian to stag jump, good height on her leaps, double wolf turn, and ended with a double pike.
Jade Carey, brought here as a vault/floor specialist impressed with huge tumbling: double double with chest up, full twisting double layout, front double full, a bit flat and a satisfying full in to dismount.
Floor aside, Morgan Hurd was the top US gymnast on the day. Rumor has it that she won the all around competition at the US selection camp as well. Her overall performance so far supports that possibility. In the mixed zone she talked about her floor routine, in which she is a bird that shuts the door on a zombie worm. She also talked about the fact that she feels much more confident in her routines than she felt at Nationals, because she had the time to get more numbers in.
China looked amazing on bars but I felt that on the other three events they did not show enough to form a picture of their overall potential. In any case, Wang Yan looked solid on her favorite events, vault and floor and did her job nicely on bars. Another top 8 all around finish will be easy for her.
Liu Tingting seems to plan to compete on beam only (although she did a floor dance trough). On beam sbe practiced a lot her aerial to punch front series (looked very inconsistent).
Luo Huan looked really good on bars but on beam she didn’t show much, falling a lot on her layout to two feet.
Fan Yilin had an amazing bars set with inside stalder full to Komova II to Pak to stalder to Shaposhnikova to Ginger, inside stalder blind to Healy, Healy to Barani in back tuck out dismount. The best bars of the day.
For Japan Murakami and Teramoto will compete all around. Mai Murakami should be a medal contender here (if she hits!): on floor she did a double double, double layout with a hop back, 2 ½ to front full. She had a huge Yurchenko double full, hit her bars set and then showed some great flick -layout stepout-layout stepout on beam.
Sae Miyakawa presented lots of difficulty on vault, with a Rudi and an Yurchenko double full, but her E score might not be as impressive as the landings were a bit low. On floor, she brought her best tumbling: front layout to double front, full twisting double layout, double double (low chest), and then a double layout with a small hop for the last pass.
Article: Bea Gheorghisor