Wednesday, 2 October 2013

2013 World Championships: Qualifications Highlights

The gymnastics World Championships only happen once every year, and the gymternet always explodes with live hits, blogging, tweeting, you name it! This year is no exception, where competition is in the beautiful city of Antwerp, Belgium. Although I am not there to see the action myself, much  information from numerous bloggers is available; The Couch Gymnast, the Gymnastics Examiner- Blythe Lawrence and Gymnastike among many! Thanks in advance for the great work that you always do! Here I have outlined some of the highlights from the Qualifications round.

9- Chuso (Oksana Chusovitina- GER) On Vault
Ok, this woman is amazing. She has been competing at the international level since before most of her fellow competitors were born, and she's still producing vaults like these to qualify for World Championships vault finals- respect. 

Chuso, the gymnastics legend! Qualified 6th into the VT final

8- Mustafina's Bars (RUS)
Aliya, the most decorated gymnast of the Russian Olympic Team in London had a very rough qualifying round (although somehow managed to qualify for BB final with a very sub-par routine). She somewhat redeemed herself on bars by pulling off this excellent routine, complete with a daring new transition from low to high bars. Let us hope that she gets it together for the AA final. I have faith that she will, because she is Mustafina.

I could watch her on bars all day. Qualified 5th into the final

7- Ellie Black's Floor (CAN)
Really enjoyed this Canadian's floor routine, a very polished performance with great expression, music and tumbling to match. Thankfully we will get to see it again in the finals, Ellie qualified in 8th place! Team-mate Victoria Moors sadly faltered on her new I-rated (read: impossibly difficult) double-twisting double layout, and did not advance to finals. We will see both Ellie and Victoria in the AA finals.

6- Iordache on Beam (ROM)
Come on, you know you love her! After an extremely long wait on the podium, Iordache went up and rocked this beam routine. I love watching Romanians on beam, you can really relax and enjoy the routine! She is one of my favourites both for the AA and the beam and floor finals. I wonder if she will add a full-twist to her layout for finals...

Very confident performance from Larisa on beam- top qualifier to the beam final

5- Best Newcomer- Roxana Popa (ESP)
Roxana Popa, a Romanian-born gymnast who cpmpetes for Spain has been on the radar for a while as a Junior gymnast. She delivered today to qualify in 10th position for the all-around final. I'm pretty sure this is the highest a Spanish gymnast has finished for a while, she is a great hope for the country! I particularly enjoyed her floor routine, where she shows a real flourish for matching her dance with the music. Tumbling is pretty great too! 

Popa's great floor routine today, contributing to a good all-around finish

4- McKayla Maroney is back (USA)
An unsual choice for the US to compete McKayla Maroney as an all-arounder, nevertheless she did well apart from a fall on beam. Interesting to see her on other apparatuses besides vault, which she is still amazing at by the way. I am sure that she will successfully defend her World Championships title on vault this year.

Freaking incredible. Do the triple already! Top qualifier to vault final (only final due to the 3 per country rule)

3- Duo from Great Britian in Bars Final!- Ruby Harrold and Becky Downie
These two gymnasts from GB have both had trouble with their bar routines this year, but both pulled out excellent routines to qualify for the bars final! This is a great achievement for Team GB and we wish both girls all the best for finals!

Becky on bars (4th place qualifier)

Ruby qualified in 7th place, love her unique transitions!

2- Izbasa (ROM) and Yao (CHI) doing what they do best
Beautiful music, beautiful choreography and beautiful tumbling from Romanian veteran Sandra Izbasa. She will be looking to medal on floor after a disappointing mistake during the 2012 Olympic Games on floor. She is a real treat to watch on this event, and this very well may be the last we see of her :(

So elegant, so Sandra, love it!

What would a World Championships be without the Chinese on bars? Beautiful routine from Yao Jinnan (3rd qualifier to all-around), who qualified in first place AND is capable of adding the Mo salto to her routine (wonder if we will see it in competition?). Would love to see her win the bars title in Antwerp.

1- Simone Biles- A name to remember (USA)
This bubbly first-year senior powerhouse from the US will be World Champion on Thursday if she hits 4/4, which she is certainly capable of doing. She also qualified to ALL FOUR event finals. Think Shawn Johnson in 2007, she is hands-down the best gymnast in the World right now. Go Simone!

Best event of the day for Simone was floor, it's going to make for an exciting all-around final (floor competed last)

Should be a good World Championships! 

Article by Imogen Browne (Follow on Twitter @IFlip4GymBlog)

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