Possible American Cup replacements for Price & Iordache


Here is our first article by new Full Twist contributor Anna Rose Johnson. We’re delighted to have Anna on board and are very much looking forward to her future contributions to Full Twist.

The 2013 American Cup field lost two of its competitors when Elizabeth Price and Larisa Iordache recently withdrew. The remaining roster consists of Olympic champion Kyla Ross, world champion Vanessa Ferrari, world medalist Koko Tsurumi, European medalist Elisabeth Seitz, world finalist Asuka Teramoto, and Olympian Victoria Moors.

At this point, it’s merely speculation as to who will take Price and Iordache’s slots in the Cup, which falls on March 2nd. This year, the American Cup competitors are based off the Olympic all-around standings, but Olympic alternates, such as Elizabeth Price, are allowed to compete if necessary. Sarah Finnegan, another London alternate, would be a likely choice and one who would definitely challenge for a medal in Worcestor.

The decision on which American will compete will be announced following the next U.S. women’s national team training camp, which is scheduled for February 23rd-26th. To me, this suggests that Martha Karolyi, the national team coordinator, might have the last word on which gymnast fills the void.

Of course, if a gymnast who did not make the Olympic all-around final competes at the American Cup, it won’t be a new situation. In 2011, Jordyn Wieber was given the green light to participate in the American Cup because Great Britain’s Nicole Hibbert withdrew, even though Wieber had not competed in the 2010 world all-around. And when Iordache won the bronze at last year’s Cup, she had not competed in the previous world championships.

If this scenario happens again, a likely candidate for the second U.S. slot would be 2012 Pacific Rim Championships winner Katelyn Ohashi, who will turn 16 on April 12th.

But if you look at the current U.S. national team, there are several options, health permitting: Kennedy Baker (8th all-around at U.S. nationals), Brenna Dowell (2012 Mexican Open champion) and Sabrina Vega (2011 world champion). Now, I’m not absolutely sure whether or not any of those three gymnasts are planning to continue in the sport, I’m only assuming since they are all young and looked good in the 2012 Olympic selection process.

Other standout juniors who could be chosen include Lexie Priessman (2012 U.S. national junior champion), Madison Desch (2nd all-around at U.S. nationals), and Simone Biles (3rd all-around at U.S. nationals).

More possibilities include six-time world medalist Rebecca Bross and Olympic champion Jordyn Wieber. While Wieber has committed to training for the 2013 U.S. Championships, she hasn’t revealed when her first meet of the year will be. It hasn’t yet been confirmed if Bross is still training for competition.

Larisa Iordache’s replacement is even more uncertain, because (to the best of my knowledge) it is indefinite whether or not her replacement will be another Romanian. If the replacement is to be a Romanian gymnast, a logical choice would be 2012 Olympian Diana Bulimar. I read that their Olympic teammate, Sandra Izbasa, is deciding this month if she will continue.

However, if Iordache’s replacement is not a Romanian, it’s really anyone’s guess as to who the final competitor will be. I would love to see a Russian compete–it was so exciting in 2011 when Aliya Mustafina participated. If it is going to be a Russian, some options are Anastasia Grishina, Tatiana Nabieva, Yulia Inshina, and Ksenia Afanasyeva. They were either Olympians or Olympic alternates in London. Anna Dementyeva won the recent Mikhail Voronin Cup, but she was not on the Olympic training squad.

It’s definitely fun to think about! Who do you think the replacements will be?

Image via Getty Images


  1. Cordelia Price says:

    The only senior level (according to FIG rules) gymnasts not injured, not still recovering from an injury, trained and ready for a competition, and showed up at January camp are Kennedy Baker, Brenna Dowell, Sabrina Vega, Katelyn Ohashi, Lexie Preissman, and Simone Biles. Elizabeth Price’s replacement is most likely one of these. Sarah Finnegan is an unlikely choice because she is just getting back into the gym after not having trained for months. According to FIG rules, FIG offers the World Cup slots to the first 8 finalists in the Olympic all-around. When they decline they then offer it to the next four finalists. If they still do not have a total of 8 gymnasts, they go back to the top of the list by country and each country then can send any gymnast who meets the criteria up to a maximum of 2 per country. Looking at the results from the Olympics the first 7 and the 12th declined and 8-11 (Iordache, Ferrari, Seitz, and Teramoto) originally accepted. At that point they had 4 gymnasts on the roster to compete. To get to 8 competitors they then go back to the list of countries in the team competition in order of finish in the team final (US, Russian, Romania, China, Canada, Great Britain, Italy, Japan) and invite those federations to send a gymnast. The US being first can then decide to send anyone USA Gymnastics selects and the US selected Kyla Ross and Elizabeth Price. Now there were 6 competitors. Going down the list they pick up a second person from Japan and a gymnast from Canada which would have brought the roster to 8 but then Iordache and Price withdrew leaving them back at 6. The replacement for Larissa could be from Russia, Romania, China, Great Britain, or a second person from Italy or Canada. Each World Cup host federation (US, GBr, Japan, Germany) is now required to send at least one gymnast to each World Cup which explains why the US is now participating in all the World Cup events. Since GBr is a host federation for the Glasgow World Cup I would expect that last slot to be a gymnast from Great Britain.

  2. Cordelia Price says:

    Apparently the last slot will be filled by Gabrielle Gupp from Great Britain as I said I expected in my earlier post.

  3. sherajn says:

    Finnegan is injured.

  4. Admin says:

    thanks both for your comments!

  5. Ryan says:

    The Texas dreams girls are looking Phenomenal!! especially Bailey Key hmmm I wonder if Marta will send a junior it’s been done before with Wieber. Peyton Ernst is lovely on floor and beam and Kennedy Baker is looking strong.

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