Clara’s podium :
- ANNA DEMENTYEVA
- ANA PORGRAS
- A UKRAINIAN
Bronners knows loads more about this one than I do – beam as an event has got away from me a bit recently.
As usual, this is a strong event for Romania. We’ve heard that Romania is only sending 3 to Euros – Izbasa, Porgras, and Chelaru. But we’ve also heard that they’re sending Racea. We still don’t know. Racea could be a possible medal threat, but Porgras is the obvious class of the field. It would be good to see her take the title this year because of her bad luck in Birmingham – an injury sustained dismounting beam in TF’s kept her out of the final.
And she was the best on paper last year, by far. Additionally, Izbasa is an experienced beamer with a slew of World and European finals berths under her belts, not to mention a couple of medals many moons ago.
We’ve not seen much from Romania recently – they (possibly sensibly) chose not to send anyone to Scam, and they were a late withdrawal from Cottbus. But it’s hard to imagine that Porgras won’t at least be a contender; she fell in finals at Bercy, but has upgraded.
If Ukraine are to get a medal, this is their best chance, but I’ll leave that to Bronwyn to expand on.
Looking to Mother Russia, the three beamers in prelims will be Mustafina, Dementyeva and Belokobylskaya. Interesting that they chose a virtually unknown athlete rather than Pavlova, who has been doing some very strong beam work lately. But I digress. Belokobylskaya doesn’t look like she’s going to set the world on fire, so I predict that it will be the other two who makes finals. Dementyeva will hit, Musty won’t. You heard it here first.
As usual, this is a weaker event for the Western European teams. Someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this may be the only event at Euros never to have been won by a Western European team. This is one where the ex-commies still have it. The last Western European medallist was Debauve in ’05. Note that even in the context of a ludicrously successful Euros for Team GB last year, beam is the only event they didn’t get a finalist in. And Ferrari never medalled either, even when she was a world beater.
Preziosa of Italy is rather lovely, and it would be great to see her challenge for a medal if she’s there. A routine of her 2009 World EF quality would put her in the running.
Mention must go to Celine Van Gerner, who barely missed the podium last year, and spinny Sanne Wevers has an interesting set. Hannah Whelan and Ariella Kaeslin are both capable of scores in the 14’s when they feel in the mood, which is likely to be enough to make the final in this depleted field. Danusia Francis has some good work, if she can patch things up with the British coaches – and the talk of her going to compete for Poland instead has been put on the back burner. The French have had a few 4th places in recent years, although I’ll be totally honest and say I only really know Youna and their ’96 girls.
But I think this event is likely to be an all Eastern European podium.
Brownyn’s podium :
- ANA PORGRAS
- ANNA DEMENTYEVA
- YANA DEMYANCHUK
I prefer Komova to Porgras on beam, but she isn’t here. And she has the tendency to shake more than my Pappy Sanders when he had Parkinson’s. No Vika in beam finals should open the door for Dementyeva (she’s added a switch ring to her set btw), or even Mustafina. Though highly upgraded and super-risky, Aliya’s current beam routine, to me, still seems like a work-in-progress.
Let’s take a looksie.
They gave her a 6.5 in qualifications from Bercy (same as Porgras), and a 6.3 here. She’s been working on connecting a bhs to the arabian, which would take that d-score up even higher. Mustafina, not a master of connections, has 3 chances here – the arabian + bhs, the Onodi to the front aerial, and the side aerial to the front aerial (though all 3 in the series should be connected for max bonus). She’s very clever and seems always to have a backup plan here. It’s miraculous that her d-score is potentially so high, as pre-Worlds it was hovering somewhere in the 5’s.
But to me, it looks as if she’s trying a little too hard to connect things; she’s even going for the switch leap after the side aerial. And the switch leap is lacking in split as a result of little setup (one step). My prediction is that she qualifies for beam finals (possibly even in first), and has a fall in finals. Rotterdam part deux, if you will. She can’t ALWAYS win, can she? Though her most improved event, beam is still to me, her weakest event.
It’s a longshot, but 2009 European beam champ, Yana Demyanchuk, could bring a much-needed medal home to Ukraine. Her last 2 trips to a big event final – last years Euro’s, and Worlds – were a major letdown, so let’s hope her third time is a charm. She scored in the low 15’s at Ukrainian Nationals a few weeks ago.
I have to give it to Porgras here, though. I love the way that she floats from one end of the beam to the other with typical Romanian beam fierceness. She’s added a front aerial + 1-arm bhs + loso to her set.
Though Clara and I agree that it takes a chip out of her lovely choreo, doesn’t this usually happen when you replace a line of arm flapping with a tumbling line? It’s clear to me that Ana & Aliya are steadily working towards their prospective beam sets come-London.
Ms. Smileypants, Ana Dementyeva is lovely here; and looking longer and leggier than in Rotterdam. Some call her choreography and movement “precise”, but to me, it’s a bit too choppy for my taste. She often looks on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and balance checks galore. Her two biggest nail-biter moments come on the illusion turn and the layout (though she fell on a silly aerial in Rotterdam); once she gets those out of the way, it should be smooth sailing. We’d like to see her get an individual medal of her very own, preferably gold, and this is by far her best shot.
It’s sad to say, but she, Mustafina, and Porgras could probably all qualify to finals with a fall.
Clara mentioned Sanne Wevers. Homegirl does the Double-L turn better on beam than most gals do it on the floor.
2 complaints : Her Yezhova-esque (fug) technique on her “full” (3/4) twisting elements drives me bonkers. Surely she’s getting hit with a (small) precision deduction there. And the dismount. Someone with such a high skill level really needs to upgrade the double twist. I thought I was at an NCAA meet for a minute.
The most impressive thing about Belokobylskaya to me is her last name.
This isn’t really up to scratch :
It looks as if she just learned that arabian yesterday, and the Russians really have a penchant for teaching fugly “triple” twists off the end. I would have given Pavlova the extra ticket to Berlin for beam and floor. And not for your typical/sentimental reasons.
But this is an individual competition – she’s still a kid. The experience might do her nice.
<3, Bronwyn & Clara