A few morsels from the world of gymnastics.
1. At Chinese nationals last week, both team standout Yao Jinnan and Stoi! favourite Wu Liufang were carried out due to injury. Yao Jinnan’s to the knee, Wu Lu’s to the neck/back. Both are supposedly not as bad as they initially looked. We hope so: for both athletes sake, for our sakes in the case of Wu Lu, and for Team China’s sake in the case of Yao Jinnan.
Veteran cheat He Kexin chose the weekend to get through a bars routine again (and to fuck one up also). People are starting to wonder if China will go death or glory and take her to London as a specialist. While we give due respect to HKX for being able to get through a bars set designed for a child whilst carrying an extra two stone, we would much rather Wu Lu get the nod.
2. Both Nastia Liukin and Rebecca Bross have confirmed that they are only seriously training two events. We suspect we don’t need to tell you which ones. This leaves them both going for the same spot, realistically. A five gymnast format combined with Marta’s innate caution and the US attrition rate mean there’s no way two athletes who are unusuable on the same two events can possibly be on the same team.
A shame in some ways, because there are a number of permutations that might work. Imagine Bross and Liukin were both scoring 15.2+ on bars and had a usable beam set between them. Add Wieber, Douglas and Ross and that’s one amazing lineup:
VT- Wieber, Douglas, Ross. Unbeatable.
UB – Douglas, Bross, Liukin. Within a point of Mother Russia.
BB – Wieber, Ross, whoever else does best in prelims. Should be no more than half a point behind Romania.
FX – Wieber, Douglas, Ross. The weak spot, but nonetheless could feasibly be within a point of Romania
Still, it’s not going to happen.
3. WAGs answer to Leon Stukelj, Oksana Chusovitina, says she will retire after the Olympics. This is not the first time we’ve heard this from her. Her retirement is actually one of the signs of the impending apocalypse, according to the Mayans (she was actually competing back then, on the junior circuit). So we cannot help but worry. Her vault in the AA last weekend was the worst thing she’s done in a long time, but EFs proved there’s life in the old dog yet.
We adore this photo from the vault medal ceremony.
Appropriately, the ex-Soviets are making the most noise. They know how to celebrate a legend. She probably gave birth to at least one of them.