A few things we liked from last weekends busy meet schedule.
- Anastasia Grishina at Jesolo.
She’s steadily shown improvement from the Test Event, to Russian Nationals, to The Jesolo Cup.
Her new floor exercise might be my favorite current Russian floor routine.
Though I love Mustafina/Komova/Grishina (almost) equally, there’s a certain sparkle, a certain razzle-dazzle about Grishina that I can’t quite describe. She’s a dream from the tips of her fingers to the tips of her Volcan-esque bangs. I’d like to take certain aspects from each of their gymnastics and create one perfect gymnast. I’d call her Vikastasia Mustagrishina. It has a ring to it, right?
Some will criticize her for tumbling 2 double backs in one routine, especially back to back. Though I concur that it’s not 1988, the quality of her dance is leaps and bounds above her competitors. Therefor, I have no problem with her playing it safe, and sucking up the rewards of clean execution versus mass difficulty. If she can get that Memmel turn around, and code-whorishly add a leap to a tumbling pass, she can bump her d-score up a bit without having to change anything major.
Her DTY is looking better and better. I’m not sure that it’s upgradeable, but stranger things have happened. Recall her anemic looking vaults at the Test Event in January here and here. We’re quite impressed by the rather rapid rate of her improvement. Though the thought of her as a possible vault medalist at Europeans is rather humorous, it’s not entirely impossible.
After going 0 for 3 on beam at Nationals, she hit a lovely looking set last weekend.
As always, her switch ring looks much better as a screencap :
It still might be risky putting her up on beam in a team finals type situation, but I think for her, that’s what she needs. I think for Grishina, it’s all about putting in the numbers during practice and building confidence.
She seems like the kind of girl who works very hard in the gym. I’d be willing to bet that she cries a lot during practice. And that she probably still carries a Hello Kitty lunchbox.
- Maroney’s Amanar at Jesolo.
True to form, she was rather lackluster everywhere else, but showed us again why she’s the reigning World Champion on this event. The Gymnova table adds a little extra bounce to your step (they’ll be using Gymnova equipment in London), not that she needs it.
- Kyla Ross at Jesolo.
Nothing about her all-around win last weekend was especially spectacular, but neither is her gymnastics.
Kyla is pretty to watch for the most part, and steadily pleading her case to Marta. One can’t ignore a 15.5 on beam.
That was a veteran like performance, and she’s surely (hopefully) working on upgrades.
Though the stepping down (oh so junior) into her transition (and the transition itself) makes me want to lose my lunch, there’s no doubt she can swing some bars, and has potential here. I’d have her on bars in Team Finals before Wieber in a pinch.
- Diana Bulimar : A Romanian bars routine that doesn’t totally suck.
I predicted awhile ago that she should be one of the 3 Romanians up on bars in team finals. Sure, her routine only starts out of a 5.7, but she doesn’t give all that much away in terms of execution. I mean, it still sucks, but keep in mind that anything above a low-14 is a decent enough score for a Romanian bars routine.
Her routine in qualification was much better, but this will serve ok for now :
I adore her floor routine, and mega bonus points for being such a cutie.
I want to wait until Europeans to decide upon the best possible floor lineup. As of now, I’d probably go with Bulimar, Ponor, and Izbasa. Iordache could possibly/probably outscore any of them, but we’ll let her rest one event to prepare for All-Around finals.
Again, her routine was (much) better in qualifications, but hat’s off to her anyway. She’s up to a 6.9, but home team advantage in London isn’t going to help those iffy handstands, or help her to surpass Mustafina.
- Brenna Dowel’s tumbling at Jesolo.
Though her front handspring technique is rather peculiar (a finger away from tinsica-territory), she’s a front tumbling machine. A powerhouse for sure.
A piked double front? And with good form? Fuck yeah.
We’ll wait until our second installment to comment on everything else.
Baby steps, Aliya. Baby steps.
As our dear friend Brigid from TCG points out, she looks to be in a bit of pain (@ :28), but at least she’s standing it up.
She’s competing the most difficult bars set in the world right now, but she needs to be up to snuff (if not spectacular) everywhere else if she plans on taking the Olympic crown – especially if she’s not vaulting an Amanar. Which we’re not ruling out just yet.
It’s Mustafina. I have a feeling that she’ll chuck an Amanar whether it’s absolutely necessary for the team or for herself. Even if she has to leave the arena on a stretcher.
She’s looking quite tired in that video. You’d think she’d at least slap some glitter on for a TV interview.
I absolutely beg to differ that this beam routine deserved a higher execution score than Grishina’s (Ferlito = 9.1, Grishina = 8.75), but I’m a biased bitch. But apparently so are the home team judges.
Nevertheless, I like her, and I like this routine. Minus the sheep jump, and the Nabieva-esque twisting form on the dismount.
A potential beam medalist at Europeans, I never mind a youngin’ stealing some thunder from teammate Ferrari either.
- Sarah Finnegan’s floor.
Forget that the rest of this routine is excellent, the main question is : So that’s what Lauren Mitchell’s turn is supposed to look like?
- The Jesolo judges finally rewarding Aly Raisman with the execution scores she deserves.
Had this meet been held in New York (or even in Boise), Aly’s vault would have scored a good .5 higher. Kudos to the judges for recognizing a problem (and potential injury) when they see it.
But low and behold, it’s actually worse from this angle :
One of her steadier beam routines, this camera angle allows us to see exactly how absolutely tragic (that stank tour jeté 1/2 in particular) her leaps are :
An 8.15 in execution for a “hit” beam set? Marta can’t ignore that.
Before we get chastised for random acts of Aly-hate, let’s close today’s blog with something positive.
I can’t get into NCAA gymnastics because a) I’m a gym snob, and b) I usually end up in fits of laughter.
Ms. Kondos would leave a skidmark from here to Tallahassee if she saw this.
To quote our dear friend Dave, “I cannot.”
I’m suddenly in the mood for a protein shake.
Bronwyn (and Clara).
PS – Hopefully Clara will take a break from her busy breast pumping schedule to post a follow-up to this. I told the girl that you’re supposed to wait until after the baby is born to breast pump, but you just can’t reason with her!