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.
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
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
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
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 —
– Bronwyn (& Clara)