Tag Archives: gymnastics

Thoughts About What Scoring Will Do in Beijing

So there has been a lot of talk lately about over/under scoring going on in the US, plus claims of this and that person won’t score blah, blah, blah internationally.  But I wonder what will really happen.  Because when I think about it, there have been instances where people actually got higher scores at the Olympics.  Let’s take a look at some examples.  (By the way, I am absolutely excluding the American Cup from this discussion, that is the most extreme case of over scoring and I don’t care to include it).

Terin Humphrey–  In Athens, Terin got her highest scores EVER on bars, thus she did win a silver medal.  During 03′ and 04′ Nationals I always thought she was underscored, getting like 9.3’s and during the Olympics she scored a 9.625, 9.575, and a 9.662.

Oana Ban– I think she was underscored A LOT during international competition.  In the 2003 World Championships she received a 9.400 during AA on floor.   I thought that should have been more in the 9.6 range.  Low and behold during the Athens prelims she does in fact score a 9.6.

Carly Patterson–  Carly’s highest score on beam in the 2003 Worlds was a 9.612 for a pretty flawless routine and the only visible deduction came from a hop on the landing.  Whereas in Athens she scored two 9.725’s, 9.612 (including a couple of bobbles) and a 9.775 (prefect routine, small hop on the landing).

It is important to note that each competition seems to have their own range.  In the 2003 Worlds I thought the scores were generally a bit lower.  There were very few scores above a 9.6 until finals.  For the 2007 Worlds we have to consider the B-Panel scores.  And very few people hit above a 9.3 B-score.

A good example is the difference of B-scores on floor between the 2006 and 2007 Worlds.  For 2006 here are some examples:

Cheng Fei– 9.475 (15.875) (6.4)- FX Finals

Beth Tweddle– 9.425 (15.450) (6.0) – FX Finals

Jana Bieger– 9.250 (15.550) (6.3)- FX Finals

Vanessa Ferrari– 9.350 (15.450) (6.1)- FX Finals

So now here are some of the highest scores on floor for 2007 Stuttgart…

Now as far as B-scores go, Shawn Johnson received a  9.225 (6.2)  during  AA, and a  9.150 during Finals.  Alicia Sacramone scored a 9.125 during finals, 9.175 during prelims.  Even the awesome Cheng Fei scored only a 8.975 during prelims (uhhh, what did she do wrong?  Am I blind?)

For the entire 2007 Worlds, B-scores were pretty low.  Nastia Liukin got the highest B-score for uneven bars final of a 9.2.  And really none of the events scored much higher than that at all.  a 9.1 or 9.2 was a really good score.

So I have to wonder what the Olympics are going to do.  Where will their B-panel lie?

And what about the A-panel?  Shawn is going to have a hard time getting credit for the Amanar, and the whip to triple (based on Trials and Nationals).  On Day 2 of Trials that Amanar was not all the way round.   And what about the connections for Nastia’s uneven bar set?  Her botch on the Lin (I think it is a Lin) should have lost connection value.  And I can’t see her double turn on floor getting credit when she hardly does a 1.5.  I am not here to attack, and don’t want to start up more heat, but seriously everyone, what is going to happen to America’s top two gymnasts in Beijing?  Because we can’t take Nationals/Trials scores as what to expect in Beijing!!

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What’s Going on at the Moscow World Cup

Here are some reports (mostly scoreless) from the qualifying rounds of the 2008 Moscow World Cup. You can also youtube it up here.

  • Sui Lu fell on both beam and floor. I believe she still qualified to beam finals though. I think the score was in the 15.100 range. I wonder if this hinders her Olympic chances. Her beam was solid though other than the fall which I think happened on a flipflop-layout.
  • Deng Linlin also fell during her beam routine. On a side-somi. Everything else looked pretty good. She still got I believe a 15.425.
  • Lauren Mitchell lead the qualifications on beam. 15.700. Nice. She got a 13.925 on floor.
  • Ksenia Semenova is 2nd on beam with a 15.500. I like that girl. I think she is going to end up in the beam finals in Beijing.
  • Anna Pavlova did well. From what I understand she qualified into both vault and beam finals. Supposedly didn’t want to do floor because she didn’t like the way it felt. Her beam was nice. I watched it.
  • Dasha Joura supposedly got a 14.550 on floor. I wonder what went wrong there.
  • Jade Barbosa– 15.250 on beam and a 13.950 on floor. I believe she still qualified even with that score.
  • Ksenia Afanasyeva got a 14.125 on floor.

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Thoughts and Answers to Some of the Comments on this page

There’s been some questions and thoughts on the comments of this blog (which I love, love, love!)  and since I have nothing particular to share I thought I would elaborate and what not.

  • First off, why Jana Bieger has a limited chance on making the Olympic Team.  The wide consensus among gymnastics fans and experts is that Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, and Alicia Sacramone are locks for the Olympic Team.  Since the main priority is the Team Final where 3 up 3 count, the selection will cater to those 12 routines needed.  Among the first half of the squad we have:

Vault- Sacramone, Jonhson, GAP

Bars- Liukin, GAP, GAP

Beam- Johnson, Liukin, Sacramone

Floor- Jonhson, Sacramone, GAP

For the 3 remaining spots on the team, we need to fill 2 gaps on bars, and one gap apiece on vault and floor.  So our weakest showing is coming on uneven bars, which unfortunately is not good since that is China’s strongest event and they will gain at least a point on us based off their difficulty in comparison to the US.

The best solution is to put on power event gymnast, a floor and vault worker, for one spot, and fill the two remaining gaps with two bar workers.  Samantha Peszek is the best choice for spot #4 in my opinion, because she is the 3rd best on vault and now holds the highest difficulty (along with Johnson) on floor.  As another person pointed out, Peszek has had some consistency issues, but I would say Nationals/Trials will pretty much let us know.

Bieger simply does not fill any of these spots.  She is a great vaulter, but not difficult enough.  Same with floor, if she had her 2006 form back I would say she has a better shot.  Her bars difficulty is not enough either.  I do think that she is a good choice as an alternate.  I would put Chellsie Memmel in the same boat if it weren’t for the fact that she just showed a 6.9 and 16.0 scoring routine on bars.

With regards to Chelsea Davis, Darling Hill, and Mattie Larson, I would say the same thing.  Larson has a 6.0 on floor, Hill a 6.1 (I am basing these off the most recent Friendly Meet) and we have 6.2’s and higher from more experienced athletes.  Hill stil has only a yurchenko 1.5 which we need doubles at bare minimum.  For bars, we really need nothing less than a 6.7 and realistically 7.0+ is what we REALLY need.  None of these athletes can match this.  (Or can they?  Does anyone know?)  But there is also the experience factor, experienced  athletes that prove themselves have a bigger shot, though that does not have anywhere near as much pull in the decisions as the difficulty/consistency factor in my opnion.  Regardless of anything though, gymnasts may add more difficulty by Nationals.  High difficulty performed consistently throughout June is going to be what matters.

  • The selection procedures allow for more than just the top 12 from Nationals to advance to trials.  Sacarmone will have no problem proceeding to trials.  Remember in 2004, Chellsie Memmel and Hollie Vise only did two events in Trials, and neither competed at Nationals and petitioned their way in.
  • In regards to the Nastia winning the AA.  So many thoughts.  But here is where I am coming from.  I like gymnastics that are “wow” skills.  I like huge tricks performed cleanly.  Whereas Nastia’s bar routine is loaded, even her beam routine I think isn’t so much.  She has no “F” or “G” skill anywhere in her routines.  She mostly loads with “D”‘s.  “D”s are the very middle skill.  Not one of the easiest, not one of the hardest.  But good respectable skills.  (and of course, the triple off beam will add in an “F”)  This is why I like He Kexin, she does amazing releases that nearly no one does.  But she does do some pirouettes.  (Li Ya had an amazing combination of both)  Mo Huilan and Kim Gwang-Suk type routines were what really would thrill me, stuff no one tends to do.  This is why I respect Johnson so much.  Her bar routine isn’t the best, but even there she is capable of something NO ONE else can perform consistently in their repertoire.

With regards to the twisting only elements on floor, it is not that I don’t like twisting combinations, but again, I think to be really good at an event you should show variety.  Nastia does not hold enough variety for me to think she is great at that event.

In regards to the old code, you could get away with scoring too high much easier.  Let’s first establish that regardless of the code, gymnasts with the reputation so very often get the benefit of the doubt.  This applies to a lot of gymnasts.  In the old code you could also get away with only twisting elements on floor.  I realize Nastia had won numerous competitions, but in 2005 Nationals remember her floor on one day was overscored because she was given difficulty not in her routine.  The only competitions I can think of her winning under the new code, were SCAM 08′ and Nationals 06′, which caused a lot of debate because many thought Natasha Kelley should have won.

I am not saying anyone is right or wrong, I just wanted to explain where I was coming from.  I like Nastia, I just don’t think she is the best at the All-Around.  Top Ten, but not top three.  And yes, I do agree, Nastia is better at floor than Sacramone and Cheng Fei appear to be on bars.

  • Lastly, Lilia Podkopayeva was the last triple crown winner: 1995 Worlds, 1996 European and Olympic Champion.  I did think at one time that Shawn would be that if she won in Beijing, (counting 07′ Worlds and Pan Am’s) but when I think about it the Pan Am’s can’t hold a candle to the Europeans 🙂    

I wrote this in a few sections and ran away from the computer a LOT.  So if there are mad grammatical errors or totally incomplete thoughts I apologize.  I don’t have time really to blog, but I really wanted to write a new post.

Thank you everyone for all your comments and opinions.  It’s so nice to hear it all and know it’s all out there.  I think we should make a huge petition to send to NBC that we want more gymnastics coverage, and if you broadcast Beijing even close to the way you did Sydney…a lot of angry gym fans are going to come storm NBC Studios!  🙂

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Memmel Makes her Case Stronger and Some (Finally!) Official Scores from the Friendly Meet

Here are some hardcore facts from the recent Friendly Meet. Go to USA Gymnastics webpage to look up more if you like.

Chellsie Memmel!!!!! She won EF bars with a 16.000 and a 6.9 A-score. I am so excited to hear that. Four hit routines in June will buy you an Olympic spot. Her beam is up to a 6.7 A-score. Floor is only a 5.9? Maybe there was a fall or something.

Ashley Priess‘s mystery A-score on bars turns out to be a 6.6. She scores well though. A 15.750 and 15.800. With Memmel going strong the next two meets, I think Priess and Shayla Worley are fighting over the last spot. I think Samantha Peszek has sold her case as the person to fill in the last spot on FX and VT for team finals.

Ivana Hong has only a 6.3 A-score for bars. I do not think she is going to Beijing. Even as the alternate.

Alicia Sacramone had A-scores of 6.8 EF and 7.0 AA for beam. Wow. You are soooo going to Beijing. Her FX A-score (which is rumored to possibly be watered down) is a 6.2.

So yes, to reiterate, Chellise now holds the second highest difficulty value on bars in the country as far as we know. Even if every other event is not up to par, should this bar routine continue to be performed cleanly, then I can totally see Chellsie going to Beijing even if for only one event.

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Comparing China and USA after Nationals and Training Camp Conclude…

First off, still awaiting some hardcore results from the Friendly International Meet going on at the Ranch.  Supposedly (and I am not sure if this is just Prelims or Finals)  the AA results were:

1) Ivana Hong
2) Ashley Priess
3) Chellsie Memmel
4) Mattie Larson

Notes:  Priess supposedly has a 7.0+ bars score, which as I have said before, she performs that with no errors through Nationals and Trials she will have a ticket to Beijing.  Memmel scored well on floor from what I understand, and no idea what Hong is up to.  Alicia Sacramone supposedly did real well and scored more than a 16 on beam, which I think just further secures her spot.    Shayla Worley is having back issues and left the training camp early, so perhaps her spot is in question.  And again, whoever gets second in bars for the two main deciding competitions, is going to Beijing, USA cannot afford otherwise.

Meanwhile in China, scores are soaring to new levels.  16 is the new 15 over there.  A little inflated of course, but none the less amazing.  Here are the results of China’s Event Finals, courtesy of International Gymnast:

Women’s Vault
1. Cheng Fei 15.812 (Double-twisting Yurchenko, 15.50/Cheng 16.125)
2. Deng Shaojie 15.45
3. Deng Linlin 14.90

Uneven Bars
1. He Kexin 17.325 (7.7 A)
2. Yang Yilin 16.725 (7.7 A)
3. Pang Panpan 16.475
4. Jiang Yuyuan 16.40
5. He Ning 16.075

Balance Beam
1. Sui Lu 16.575 (7.0 A)
2. Guo Wei 16.500 (6.9 A)
3. Zhang Nan 16.300 (6.8 A)
4. Cheng Fei 16.175 (6.8 A)
5. Li Shanshan 16.125
6. Cui Jie 16.050
7. Hu Yuhong 15.500
8. Xiao Sha 15.30

Women’s Floor Exercise
1t. Sui Lu 16.200 (6.4 A)
1t. Cheng Fei 16.200 (6.5 A)
3. Yang Yilin 15.675 (6.2 A)
4. Cui Jie 15.500
5. He Ning 15.625
6t. Guo Wei 15.500
6t. Jiang Yuyuan 15.500
8. Xiao Sha 15.450

The breakdown:  The way I see it, China has one gap (if you can even call it that) on beam.

Cheng Fei, Jiang Yuyuan, Yang Yilin, and He Kexin are all going to Beijing.  And after Nationals I would include Sui Lu into the lineup for sure.  Winning beam is one thing, but to tie Cheng Fei on one of her signature events is a huge deal.   Vault, bars, and floor are covered.  (and if you notice above there is a typo in the floor scores, I am not sure what is actually right.)  For beam Sui Lu and Cheng Fei are good, but who should be in the 3rd spot?  And who for the last spot of the team?  Well, Guo Wei whoever you are, maybe you will be in.  What I would love is to bring Zhang Nan.  That would be excellent, she did get 3rd!  

Back to the US…

So again, Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, and Alicia Sacramone make up 50% of the team.  And with how well Samantha Peszek did during camp, providing she continues this path throughout June meets, I think she has made her case.  She has the same A-score as Shawn on floor, which I am guessing is a 6.5.  I think Memmel, Worley, Priess, Hong, and Bridget Sloan, who supposedly has a 6.7 on bars now, are fighting for those last two spots.  Considering every other event for Team Finals is covered, 2nd and 3rd to Nastia on bars is who gets the last two golden tickets.

Now lets look at some difficulty score comparisons… (BTW check out some of the blogs I have links to, and I need to put some others in, because there are some wonderfully written and analyzing things out there)

China:

Vault- 6.5,6.5, 5.8.  = 18.8

Bars- 7.7,7.7, and 7.0 we will say, even though it may be a couple tenths higher.  = 22.4

Beam- 7.0,6.9,6.9 (I am just speculating) = 20.8

Floor- 6.5,6.4,6.4 = 19.3

Total 81.3

USA

vault- 6.5,6.3,5.8 = 18.6

bars- 7.7, 7.0,6.7 (thats being generous) = 21.4

beam- 7.0, 6.7,6.6 (though it may be a couple tenths higher) = 20.3

floor- 6.5,6.5,6.2 =19.2

Total 79.5

That’s a 1.8 difference.  Now, for some of you that may go crazy at that, I am just speculating and trying to be realistic.  I will recalculate again when Nationals comes up OR if I get some hardcore A-score facts.

But as of right now, if China hits in Team Finals they WILL have the gold.  The difference in uneven bars alone is going to be around one point.  But one thing is for sure, this will be good.  I can barely wait.  It has been a looooong four years.

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Some News to Share of Shawn from the US May Training Camp

Shawn Johnson did well at the training camp. She beat Nastia Liukin, Samantha Peszek and Chelsea Davis followed.

Shawn supposedly nailed her Amanar, and is doing the front pike on beam (making a 7.0 A-score). Her UB still have the toe-full bail on UB (which she did do at the Jesolo meet, making a 6.3 A-score). And her whip-triple twist combo got all the way around. Yesssss! Go Shawn.

Nastia stood up tumbling and whatnot, 1.5 yurchenko was performed and supposedly she had a bit of trouble with it. I also hear of ankle problems again. She did hit her bar routine.

Chellsie Memmel supposedly has around a 7.0 on bars! If that is true and she stays healthy and hits, I really think she will be on the Olympic Team. I really hope so, Chellsie is a sentimental favorite.

We will also be seeing Ashley Priess along with Memmel at this upcoming friendly meet.

Can’t wait! That is all the details I have. It will be very interesting to see what Alicia Sacramone and Ivana Hong have in the upgrade department. They will join Priess and Memmel at this meet. For a lot of good interviews and Hong stating her changing of skills on the uneven bars please visit gymnast.com.

Edit to post:  I just read that Shawn actually finished her floor with the full-in and fell on it.  Don’t know if it is true or not…

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Scores from the Chinese Nationals

Ok, some scores started pouring out.  Here’s what I got so far…..

Cheng Fei– on a yurchenko double and the Cheng a 15.5 and 16.1.  FX was a 6.3 and she got a 15.750.

Jiang Yuyuan– 16.100 for her SOLID Amanar, and 15.700 for her FX with a 6.3 A-score. 15.850 on UB, and 15.2 on beam.  I think she will be doing well in the AA come Beijing time 🙂

Li Shanshan– 16.950 for beam!!  That seems a little high, some of these scores do.  I am wondering if her difficulty was back up to a 7.5.  I wouldn’t count her out of the mix yet!

Sui Lu– 16.650 on beam with a 7.1 A-score.  A 15.700 on FX.  I LIKE this girl!  She needs to be on the Olympic team, and her barani Korbut combo on beam is rockin.

Yang Yilin did great!  Stuck DTY for a 15.350, 17.050 on bars, 14.450 on beam, 15.200 for FX.  Not bad!  With a hit BB she is also in the AA mix for Beijing.

Xiao Sha got a 16.300 on beam.

He Kexin not only got a 17.300 on bars but a 15.300 for her DTY.

He Ning scored a 16.050 on bars with a 7.0 A-score.

Pang Panpan is out with an ankle injury.

Who I see on the Olympic Team-

Cheng Fei

Jiang Yuyuan

He Kexin

Yang Yilin

Sui Lu

And the last spot I see as a toss up between Xiao Sha and Li Shanshan.  I really like He Ning though.

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