The WAG Qualification round brought us many surprises pleasant, and not. We take a look at our highlights below with Full Twist’s newest contributor AC giving her input.
All Around Highlights
It’s very exciting to see the USA qualify three gymnasts in the top 10, especially since 2 are continuing to compete at the World Championships following an Olympics. McKayla Maroney’s AA performance was a pleasant surprise, she proved herself to be quite the gymnast scoring 57.149 for 6th place in the AA, just under Olympic AA bronze medalist Aliya Mustafina, who did not have a good day’s competition.
We’ve been following Giulia Steingruber of late who posted big scores at the recent Swiss National Championships. She qualified through in 9th place with 56.465. With the huge scores from Biles and Ross it’s unlikely that Giulia could make the podium but is sure to finish with a strong result, likely within the top 10 on Friday.
Another gymnast who placed well in AA qualification is Italy’s Vanessa Ferrari, the 2006 AA World Champion and 2007 bronze medalist. She qualified in 8th position with 56.915, more on Vanessa later.
A mention must be given to Simone Biles. Worlds is her Senior International debut. She is likely to take the AA title if she carries on strong like she performed yesterday. Not only this, she qualified to all four event finals. An amazing achievement for the small, powerful 16 year old.
Notable mentions through to AA include Victoria Moors, Jessica Lopez and young gymnasts Ilaria Kaeslin, Roxana Popa and Ruby Harrold. A very special mention goes to host Nation Belgium who, for the first time ever, have qualified 2 gymnasts to the AA final –Gaelle Mys & Laura Waem. (FT)
Biles performed an almost perfect 1st Vault with a huge score of 15.900. The Amanar has a D score of 6.30 and Biles managed to get only .4 in execution. This contributed to her top AA score of 60.133. She then competed a round off, half on, front layout half, off which gave her a score of 15.200. Very clean vaults performed by this young USA gymnast. She is certainly giving Maroney a run for her money. We look forward to see what else she has to offer at the 2013 World Championships! (AC)
Maroney’s Vault was once again stunning. In her first international competition since the Olympic Games, some may have wondered might a repeat of the Olympic final happen again. It appears Maroney is determined for this not to happen again. Two massive vaults from 2 US powerhouses, sure to take gold and silver this weekend.
It wouldn’t be a Vault final without 9 time World Vault medalist Oksana Chusovitina. You’ve got to hand it to Chuso, at 38, she’s doing well at the top of the Vault ranks with those 20 years younger than her.
Great to see 2011 World Vault bronze medalist Phan Thi Ha Thanh back in the Vault final again. At Full Twist we’re all about the smaller gymnastics nations making it on the World stage. She competed a clean DTY and a Handspring Front 1 and half, it was stuck but with a deduction for a low landing chest.
Finally we’re thrilled for new senior Chantysha Netteb of the Netherlands, the 2012 Junior European Vault Champion. She qualified in 8th place at her first World Championships to the final.
A fantastic variation of Nations will be represented in the Vault finals. (FT)
Romania’s Larissa Iordache stole the show on beam, the only gymnast to score above 15 on the apparatus. She shares a 6.4 D score with China’s Yao Jinnan who is first reserve but the only gymnast to have a higher D score was Zeng Siqi. Unfortunately, even with her D score of 6.5 she did not make the beam final. Iordache performed an exquisite routine, full of difficult elements and performed an excellent round off 3/1 dismount.
Italy 2 strongest beam workers made the cut, Ferrari and Ferlito. Ferrari is solid and Ferlito is elegant. In fact Deagostini placed 11th, so the Italian had 3 gymnasts in the top 12, very impressive. (FT)
When Anna Rodionova was announced as a replacement for the dwindling Russian selection, many were wondering what it was that she could contribute to and why not 2005 European bronze medalist Anna Pavlova who always appears to be rejected when it comes to internationals. Anna performed a beautifully choreographed beam routine. It contained a mixture of high value acro elements with solid dance connections and spins. With a solid double back dismount she received a score of 14.466 putting her in 4th place in Beam qualifications. (AC)
It’s hard not to name each and everyone of the bar finalists in our Bars highlight, there were some exquisite routines with beautiful form – very few un-pointed toes to see!
Yao Jinnan competed an outstanding bar routine, putting her in first place on bars in qualifications. Packed with a number of release moves and beautifully controlled turns, the highest start value bar routine got a score of 15.433. (AC)
Fellow Chinese star bar worker Huang Huidan also impressed us with her 6.6 SV routine.
With the absence of Beth Tweddle, it was unsure if Great Britain could be represented on Bars. Both Becky Downie and Ruby Harrold did their country justice, qualifying 4th and 7th respectively. Harrold’s routine always excites with her Zuchold-Schleudern.
I very much loved Kyla Ross‘ bar routine. Her height appears to make her seem more elegant with elongated lines in her handstands and giants. She had a small hop on the double layout dismount but other than that there was little to deduct. She qualified in second place sandwiched between Huidan and Jinnan.
Whilst Aliya Mustafina did her new move which she has submitted for evaluation for the CoP, I wasn’t impressed with her 5th place bar routines. There is no excuse for sloppy legs in a giant. Aliya was having an off day, lets hope she tidies up for finals.
Sophie Scheder barely qualified to the Bar final at her first World Championships, congratulations to her for doing so. Not a bad result for a 16 year old.
It’s not all about those who qualified to the Bar final. McKayla Maroney performed an excellent routine for someone known as a Vault and Floor specialist. She placed 11th, higher than second and third reserves Seitz and Sasada who placed 12th and 13th.(FT)
McKayla Maroney competed an extremely confident and well finished floor routine. Her tumbling elements were very well executed. She got a score of 14.333 which put her in the top 5 on Floor in qualifications. Very strong Floor routines by the American gymnasts, Biles, Ross and Maroney all in the top 5! Ross and Maroney tied with a score of 14.133 but due to tie breaking rules, Ross will go through to finals. Biles posted the highest start value of the competition on Floor with 6.5, with only Vanessa Ferrari and Mai Murakami close with 6.3. (AC)
Speaking of Ferrari, she pulled an amazing performance out of the bag. There were a few small deductions here and there but these ironed out, she could definitely contend for a place on the podium. She’s been around for a while but great to see that she’s still got it.
Sandra Izbasa is back to claim redemption. The 2008 Olympic Floor Champion lost out in London at a chance of a medal and wants gold. I think it will take a major error from Biles for Sandra to take gold, but who knows!
Giulia Steingruber continues to impress us with her beautiful new floor routine, she’s a power house but with a start value of 6.1 it’s hard to see her making the podium.
Honorable mentions must go to reserves Hungary’s Noemi Makra and Venezuela’s Jessica Lopez. Whilst their difficulties are not huge, Lopez’ being the lower of the 2, their routines brought much light to the arena. Makra’s routine lacked artistry, in fact, it almost looked like my attempts to choreograph my gymnasts routine when the choreographer is on a day off but wow, her tumbling is impressive. Aside from the tumbling the overall presentation was not great but once she matures (she is only 15) and brings both choreography and her tumbling together, we’ll be seeing her on the podium in years to come.
Rumour has it that 27 year old Venezuelan star Lopez performed a routine that she choreographed herself. Massive congratulations to her for this. You can watch the routine here, the uploader has embedding disabled. (FT)