Top 4 teams preview: Floor

As with beam, Romania are well out in front. They actually have five TF worthy routines, and are likely to bench a world and European individual medallist. The other three are all sporting a quite weak third routine.

Unlike the bars lineups, the floor order/selection for the top 4 teams is a little more tricky and less definitive. Floor scoring tends to be lower and tighter, and we certainly wouldn’t want to be any of the teams anchor-gal.

Romania

Like beam, Romania should win this rotation. You know your team is deep when you have Chelaru as your bench warmer in prelims. My initial 3-up 3-count lineup was Bulimar, Ponor, and Iordache, but Izbasa showed up in Bucharest looking better than expected.

I like the music selection probably better than Clara does, though I do think someone like Afanasyeva or Grishina could do a little more with the choreography. The tumbling is quite ambitious – we’re thinking she’ll ditch the third pass if it isn’t completely connected, but the 2 1/2 + front 1/1 is super difficult to end with. I highly doubt that they’re going to leave the defending Olympic floor champ out of the lineup, so it looks like Bulimar gets the axe even if she’s capable of a near-15.

Also, the Romanians can leap. Ponor, Izbasa, and Iordache are 3 of very few that should receive credit for their Gogeans. If you’re thinking the American contingent will be receiving credit for those 1/2 arsed attempts, it might be time to reconsider and remove the blinders.

I’d probably sandwich Sandy between Ponor and Iordache in the rotation.

Lineup — Ponor, Izbasa, Iordache

China

Sui Lu and Yao Jinnan are definites for this rotation, and both capable of very big scores. Where they could definitely lose some ground in this rotation is with their lead-off. Both Huang Quishuang and Deng Linlin are relatively weak in comparison. HQS is probably the better choice – potentially – but she needs to get to upgrading those passes (i.e. slap a front full onto that first pass).

Starting from a 5.6 isn’t quite up to scratch. There’s whispers that she’s increased her difficulty, and she’s quite lovely here if she can make it through unscathed. Clara predicted that she’ll headcase one event in London, and went with bars, My money is on floor. I’m gonna say she’ll botch a tumbling pass.

Lineup – Quang Quishuang, Sui Lu, Yao, Jinnan

Russia

Even with the reigning World floor champion on board, this event could be a weak link for Mutha Russia – mainly because the status of Afanasyeva and Grishina’s most recent injuries have been shrouded in such mystery, that we’re not certain exactly how they look. These two are my Russian picks for floor event finals, so I find it impossible that they won’t be in the floor rotation. Afanasyeva indefinitely, floor is the main reason her London ticket was punched.

We have yet to see Afanasyeva’s new routine, but I’m banking on it being a beauty – her problem is often not the tumbling, but her two spins and the Gogean. At least one of them usually falls short of receiving credit.

Grishina’s floor is my current favorite, and capable of a high-14, but her second pass is always a nail biter. She ditched the double arabian that gave her a shitload of trouble for the 2 1/2 + 1/1 combo that isn’t always kind to her either. And to this day, I still don’t understand why they’re having her do a Memmel turn that she never gets around when she had a perfectly lovely (and complete) triple turn.

Do you think she’d think it rude if I flew to London and told her to change it back?

Mustafina or Komova will anchor the rotation – my guess is whoever is better in preliminaries.

Komova tends to get more tired (especially on floor) as the competition drones on, so they might have her sit this one out. Though floor is historically one of Komova’s weaker events, I don’t want to judge her current set based solely on her recent efforts at Russian Cup – it was her first meet back on floor in a long while, and I think she’s capable of much more.

As always, Mustafina is the most reliable. Whether we go with Aliya or Vika as the anchor, one of the two is going to have to compete all 4 in team finals anyway we slice or dice it. I’ll go with Komova as the anchor just so we’re forced to see Aliya’s helicopter legged triple twist as little as possible. But I bet the coaches will go with Mustafina, the rock. Skanky twisting or not.

Lineup — Komova/Mustafina, Grishina, Afanasyeva

USA

Another team where there’s a toss up for the lead-off. I’ve seen a few gymternet arguments of Maroney vs. Douglas for this position, and would prefer it not turn into that here. There’s pros and cons in using either; for Douglas (Wieber & Raisman too), it’s the not-creditable-outside-of-the-US-Gogean (and double L-turn)  I mentioned previously, and for Maroney that shiteous third tumbling pass that doesn’t seem to be going away.

But I must applaud McKayla for her originality with the gainer double tuck. Last time I saw something so unique it was Greg Louganis smashing his noggin off a diving board.

Though McKayla’s style and choreo is more on par with mine, I’m taking Gabby as my floor anchor. For some reason, I’m thinking the London arena will eat up her heinously bad choice in music.

The main reason Aly Raisman is on this team besides her seemingly unwavering consistency is her floor. Much to Stoi!’s horror, it’s more than possible that she’ll be our Olympic floor champion. I’m not expecting her to get gifted 15.5’s, but a 15.2/15.3 isn’t entirely out of the question.

Likely outcome —

1. Romania

2. USA

3. Russia

4. China

– Bronwyn (& Clara)


16 responses to “Top 4 teams preview: Floor

  • Stoi!

    To answer a few of the points:

    – Russiangymnastics, nobody is saying the US won’t score well on floor. but they won’t score anything like as well as they have domestically. If they do, it’ll be because judging is lenient all round so everyone else will get like 0.5 higher than they ought to as well. Trials scoring in particular is irrelevant. There’s nothing sinister about this, it’s just how the US do things. This has also been true in years when they’ve been world champions: most of their routines have been scored lower than they were at home. Because they’ve barely competed internationally this year, it’s harder to predict what they might score than it is for others.

    – Ponor’s triple twist is, like Raisman’s horrendous choreo, a fault that doesn’t prevent her from scoring well internationally. I wouldn’t expect a repeat of her Doha score for a Doha style routine, but she has upgraded. Actually though i wonder if they’ll use her. It’s possible she’ll only be the 4th best.

    – Raisman and Iordache both have the highest D scores going into this so should score well. Indeed I’ve got a bet on both of them for the EF. I think one of them should do it! However, if that someone is Raisman then it’s virtually certain not to be a fair win, because it’ll involve vast swathes of the deserved artistry deductions not being taken.

    – Euros scoring is typically quite reliable, if anything more stringent than worlds/Olympics. So the fact that Romania scored so well there is a pretty good indication of how they’ll be treated at the Olympics. Equally, while I’m less pessimistic than some about Gabby, it is a bit concerning that the international judges really didn’t like her on the one occasion they saw her. i do think 14.5 for her is a realistic possibility, but would rather that 8.033 hadn’t happened.

    – regarding the EF, we’re aiming to have specific predictions up for each event in due course. This series of posts is just about top 4 lineups, hence we exclude lots of potential individual medallists. Mitchell, Tweddle, Chusovitina, Dufournet et al will be covered later on.

    C

    • russiangymnastics

      Thank you for the reply. Btw, great article as always.
      -No, you did not say that US won’t score well, but you did say that Romania was well out in front and I replied that US could score as good as Romania. They have high D- scores and good landings.
      – I did not say that Ponor’s form on her triple would prevent her from scoring well, I just mentioned her form for the sake of fairness because you mentioned Aliya’s helicopter and everybody mentions it but Ponor’s similar form is being kept quiet.
      – If Raisman competes like at trials and Iordache like at the last friendly meet (where she scored 15,3 but some people calculated her score and got 14,7), I think it would be fair if Raisman scores higher. But that is just my non-expert opinion.
      Looking forward to your new posts!

      • monagym

        Larisa’s floor at the last friendly meet was not very good, I’d say it was one of her few unsuccessful routines. So let’s not compare the best Aly can do with the least Larisa can. Because in London things won’t be the same. Hopefully!

  • Alison Clements

    Don’t forget Lauren Mitchell will also be aiming for a medal in the floor final. I really hate her 2011 waily music and all accounts suggest she hasn’t had the sense to pick something new for London, but maybe as she isn’t doing the AA she’ll have upgraded enough to give Raisman some competition.

  • russiangymnastics

    I agree with D! I don’t see why Raisman, Wieber and Douglas wouldn’t score as high as Ponor, Izbasa and Iordache on floor. Btw, Ponor also has helicopter legged triple twist. Everybody is saying that USA won’t get high scores internationally. Hello, they are the world champions, what are we talking about?! And, I am not a fan of Raisman (or any other US gymnast) and never was but I have nothing against her winning the gold on floor, as long as it is fair judging.

  • christina

    I’m curious to see what happens with Gabby’s floor. I have no doubt the crowd will get crazy but I’m not sure about the judges. She only got a 8.033 E score last year at worlds with a decent routine and without the double L and the gogean her difficulty is onlt 5.9 I think. We’ll see
    Sui’s floor is still a questionmark since she’s been competing watered down routines at nationals (and her new choreo doesn’t suit her at all) and we haven’t seen Yao’s floor this year. China is being really secretive.
    Right now I’m dying to see Afan’s new choreography, I’m sure it will be a masterpiece.
    About floor, I think there’s only one person who can beat Raisman and this is Larisa so I’m rooting for her like crazy

  • A

    I bet Afanasyeva’s brewing up a delightful Chas n’ Dave number to win over the natives.

  • D

    Very detailed prediction. The only thing i would say is that I think the USA might sneak past Romania on this event. Ponor scored around a 14.6 for a hit routine at worlds last year, since she upgraded her difficulty she will score a few tenths higher. Even so, I think that if Weiber and Douglas hit, they will both score higher then Bulimar and Ponor, and the international floor judges seem to love Raisman and I wouldn’t be surprised if she scores close to or better then Iordache. I could be completely wrong though! We’ll have to see after prelims how they score everybody, it could go either way.

  • Julia

    I will never ever recover if Aly becomes the first ever American Olympic floor champion. Save us, Larisa!

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