Worlds 2014: Previewing Russia and USA’s Qualifications


Tonight, at 9:00 PM Eastern time, Russia will begin its women’s qualification round at Worlds. I will be glued to my computer screen watching the action unfold! I’ve taken a look at their lineups for qualifications:

Floor exercise: Russia will begin on floor, which probably is their weakest of the four events. Their lineup will see Ekaterina Kramarenko first up, followed by Alla Sosnitskaya, Aliya Mustafina, Maria Kharenkova, and Daria Spiridonova. Tatiana Nabieva will be dropped from the floor final. I’m not certain why they didn’t choose Mustafina to be the anchor, considering the fact that she’s a World and Olympic medalist on floor. I think that despite the trouble Russia has had in the recent past on this event, they’ve been improving and should have a nice round.

Vault: The lineup includes Yekaterina Kramarenko again going up first, followed in order by Tatiana Nabieva, Aliya Mustafina, Alla Sosnitskaya, and Maria Kharenkova (dropping Daria Spiridonova). Now maybe I’m just used to the U.S. system, where the anchor on each event is the best gymnast on the apparatus, but again I’m wondering why Maria Kharenkova will be last up. Sosnitskaya, Mustafina, and Nabieva have more experience (and higher start values) than Kharenkova. Russia could be using the system in which they put their best gymnasts on the event up first so that the scores will rise and (hopefully) weaker gymnasts will end up with higher scores. Vault should be a good event for Russia this year, as they will have double-twisting yurchenkos from Mustafina and Nabieva and a brand-new Cheng (6.4 start value) from Sosnitskaya.

 Uneven bars: It seems to be a trend that Aliya Mustafina will be third up in qualifications. The bars lineup follows as: Spiridonova, Kramarenko, Mustafina, Sosnitskaya, and Nabieva (dropping Kharenkova). Bars is where Russia excels—Spiridonova and Nabieva have won European medals on bars, and of course Mustafina is the reigning Olympic champion. This is where Russia will make up a lot of ground, they could potentially have the highest bars total of any country in qualifications.

Balance beam: The lineup on beam will be Kramarenko, Mustafina, Kharenkova, Spiridonova, and Sosnitskaya (dropping Nabieva). Mustafina and Kharenkova have definite finals potential on balance beam, so this round will be a good one for Team Russia.

I am very excited about Russia’s potential, I think they’ve improved a lot since the European Championships in April. I’m looking forward to what they’ll have to offer tonight!


United States

The United States will take to the competition floor at 6:00 AM Eastern tomorrow morning. Having announced their lineups this morning, I’ll take a brief look at their coming qualification round:

Balance beam: The United States will begin on the balance beam, a tricky event to start on. MyKayla Skinner will start them off, followed by Madison Kocian, Alyssa Baumann, Simone Biles, and Kyla Ross. (Ashton Locklear will not be used on beam.) I think it’s a great setup, and interesting that Skinner and Kocian will end up competing all four events. It will be a tough battle for the two U.S. slots in the AA final.

Floor exercise: Madison Kocian will be the first on the U.S. squad to compete floor exercise, followed by Alyssa Baumann, Kyla Ross, MyKayla Skinner, and Simone Biles. Kocian’s choreography is such a treat to watch, she will be a great lead-off athlete for the USA, and of course Biles is the perfect finisher with her immensely powerful routine. The U.S. will likely garner the highest floor total of any country.

Vault: Interestingly, the U.S. order on vault will be the same as floor exercise: Kocian, Baumann, Ross, Skinner, and Biles. Skinner and Biles are both planning to compete two vaults in hopes that they will get into the vault final. Skinner will likely perform a double-twisting yurchenko and a Cheng (5.8 and 6.4) and Biles will probably do her Amanar and Podkopayeva (6.3 and 5.6). Baumann and Ross’ start values are both 5.8, and Kocian’s is a 5.0.

 Uneven bars: In years past, the United States has been noted for being weak on the uneven bars, but those days are history. They have a great lineup this year: Skinner, Biles, Ross, Kocian, and Locklear. The latter three, who will likely be used in the team final, have wonderfully elegant routines.

USA and Russia are very different teams, but their totals shouldn’t be too far apart if things go as planned! However, China is still to come and they are a force to be reckoned with this year . . . stay tuned!

Photo credit: Via FIG on Facebook


  1. Tmoney says:

    China will have the benefit of the scores in China; but you have to hit . And the usa is known for hitting under pressure. Hopefully the scores won’t be a joke. And the usa gets screwed but we can compete with China on bars and bb with vault and floor clearly in our favor remember you have to hit how many times in the past two years has the usa hit hope we don’t see screwe up scores and favoritism

  2. xexeo says:

    Biles and USA dominate first day of ratings
    If the female gymnastics competitions finished this early Sunday morning, Simone Biles become the best American World, leaving behind Shannon Miller and enter the top 10 of all time, in fifth.
    Aliya Mustafina already end with two silvers and two bronzes. McKayla Skinner would get one gold and two silvers. Kyla Ross would get a gold and two bronzes. Black Elsabeth erase the bad result of 2013 and would take a solitary silver medal on beam, breaking a fast of five years for Canada, Ashton Locklear would take two golds. Daria Spiridonova and Alla Sosnitskaya lead one silver and one bronze. The novelty would be the Dutch team take bronze by teams, breaking a fast since 2005, when Suzanne Harmes won one bronze in the floor.

  3. Rien says:

    Mmmmmm Not quite. Shannon Miller has 11 individual world and Olympic medals, in order to pass her Biles would need 11 medals 7 of which were gold. She is nowhere near that. Considering there are only 5 individual events and she only qualified for 4, that is physically impossible even with your assumption that she will medal on every event she qualified for. That being said, if it is impossible for Biles to pass Miller who is # 10 on the top ten list, how on earth is she going to be top 5 ever? Come one now… #5 is Gina Gogean with 16 medals 6 of which are gold. That is probably an impossible task for Biles. Averaging 4 medals per WC she would need to compete next year and Rio and be as successful as she is now, not likely.
    Much more realistically, Musty only needs 2 medals in order to bump Miller out of the top ten, a very easy task for Mustafina!

  4. xexeo says:

    Nanning 2014 will be remembered as the World Simone Biles, who managed, in just one World, which attempted to lead his countrymen in 10, 15-year career and not succeeded – enter the Kabbalistic top 10 of all time, stepped before pantheon only gymnasts from Eastern Europe. But also revealed a dangerous trend – teams of one athlete.
    If Biles not exist, America would not have come to his gold medal teams, size or number of medals achieved. Mustafina, by leaps and bounds, carried once more the Russian team. Larissa Iordache, the same thing, as well as Vanessa Ferrari and Giulia Steingruber. In G4, the only team that acted as a team was China, with a gymnast on a different end – but, unfortunately, lacking a psychological balance, they delivered the 10th competition for the precious.
    With this, the second tier teams that went to the World just to make numbers, climbed important positions and played end as Portugal, India, Mexico, North Korea, Vietnam and Venezuela. detail – not as they had nothing to lose nor was there pressure became Franco-shooters and made ​​history for their country. But “the” time was England, who put the final two members of AA – Claudia Fragapane and Ruby Harrold. For a MIA team last year, is a worthy rebirth of the fenix best.
    We will see a different scenario in 2015, pre-Olympic year?

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