Tag Archives: Zhang Nan

WHO WILL GET THE LAST SPOTS? A Look at the US and China

So a few of the Olympic teams have been announced. And I know everyone in the gymnastics community is debating over the “who will be number six” for the US. I am also checking everywhere constantly looking for information on the Chinese squad. So one spot for the US Team and in my opinion, two spots left on the Chinese team, I thought I would again take a look at who I think will be in these spots…

BTW- gymnast.com has a great rundown and a “virtual meet” which is definitely worth looking at.

First the US team:

In addition to Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, Alicia Sacramone, Chellsie Memmel, and Samantha Peszek, here is each athlete in the running:

Jana Bieger

Positives- Outside of her routines, Jana has everything you want out of an athlete on the Olympic Team; she is consistent and handles the pressure well. She also is known on the international scene and is a triple silver medalist.

Negatives- She has a lower start value than others do that are competing for this very coveted spot. And she also is questionable in the B-score area in the opinion of many. (Which is the main reason some of that scoring drama irked me, we don’t really know where she stands internationally)

My Overall Opinion- I don’t know if I am being sentimental over my recent encounter with her, but I think she will get the spot if Shayla Worley is still too injured. I think Jana can be counted on to do her very best, which is really important because I believe the US can’t count major mistakes to beat China. (Unless the Chinese count like three falls but that is another story). Furthermore, if Jana were to eek out just two more tenths on her A-score (making it a 6.8) I think she has the spot without a doubt.

Shayla Worley

Postives- Shayla has World Championship experience and we know she can score well internationally. She can also bring in an A-score as high as 7.0. (At least I want to say I heard that).

Negatives- Others have said it and so will I; Shayla may be the Hollie Vise of 2008. Taking a chance with an injured athlete is NOT what the US wants to be doing that this point. Better to have a 15.6ish score from Jana than to count a fall.

My Overall Opinion- If Shayla’s health is in much better condition and she HITS at the Selection Camp, I think she will be taken over Jana. Every tenth counts, and Shayla has the potential to bring in bigger numbers than Jana.

Ivana Hong

Positives- Ivana has very pretty form and extension.

Negatives- Unfortunately, the negatives really outweigh the positives here. Ivana hasn’t been incredibly consistent (when compared to Jana, and has a lower A-score. More importantly though, after her bar routine being ripped to pieces in Stuttgart last year, we don’t want to take those chances again in Beijing with her new routine.

My Overall Opinion- I think Ivana may be an alternate, but I do not see her as part of this team.

Bridget Sloan

Postives- Bridget has a very decent A-score, and when she hits she scores quite well.

Negatives- She doesn’t have a lot of international experience in my opinion. She was the alternate and didn’t compete in Stuttgart. She also had a poorer showing at Trials, scoring lower both nights than she did at Nationals.

My Overall Opinion- She only has a tenth more in A-score than Jana, and her performance I think is a bigger risk than Jana’s will be. However, I think that she is absolutely going to be at least a traveling alternate.

Keep in mind that I believe that this 6th spot is solely based on bars. Whichever athlete gets this spot will only be going to count a good bars score in the Team Final. I really think it all depends on performances between Jana and Shayla at the Camp.

Why I believe Spot #5 is taken by Samantha Peszek:

With super strong floor showings from Chellsie, Samantha, and even Nastia on Floor at Trials, I think this spot is for the 3rd best vaulter. Peszek has that sealed. She is consistent and I really believe the best overall. Although I have heard that Corrie Lothrop is working on an Amanar, I don’t think The Powers That Be want to take that chance. Shawn is one of the most consistent athletes in the world and look how long she has been working to get that vault right. And Lothrop is an unknown and has little experience internationally. Although Ivana and Sloan have DTY’s Peszek is the most consistent. One more note, although I love Mattie Larson, I think she may be a good alternate for her vault and especially floor status. But I just don’t see her getting the spot over Peszek.

And now onto China…

It is assumed that the locks for the Chinese Team are Cheng Fei, He Kexin, Jiang Yuyuan, and Yang Yilin, which leaves two spots open. Let’s look at their gaps:

Vault- Cheng, Jiang, Yang/He.

Bars- He, Yang, Jiang

Beam- Cheng (I really think she will be used here), GAP, GAP.

Floor- Cheng, Jiang, Yang

Overall Analysis: Look familiar? China’s got almost the same problem on beam that the US has on bars. So with two spots open, I think it is quite likely that these spots will be determined by beam. Here are the possibilities:

Li Shanshan

Postives- Li has the highest start value in the world on beam (or at least as far as I know!) She was on the World Championship Team last year and is won the silver medal in Event Finals WITH A FALL. That is when you know you are good on an apparatus; although there have been AA wins with a fall, she is the only one to medal in EF with a fall.

Negatives- Li is not known for her consistency. A fall is is bad for the morale of the team and with no major errors China will win the Team Final.

My Overall Opinion- They have to take her. Even with a fall she can post one of the highest scores in the world. At this point, I would put her on my team.

Xiao Sha

Postives- She has international experience and has a 6.9 or 7.0 A-score.

Negatives- She is also known to have consistency issues.

My overall Opinion- She is the other athlete I would add. A fall would still put her above a 15 I think.

Sui Lu

Postives- Very high A-score on beam (6.9).

Negatives- Very little international experience and has not been consistent in international competitions.

My Overall Opinion- I wouldn’t take her. Good alternate because she has a great SV on Floor as well.

Deng Linlin

Positives- Deng has a high A-score on beam (6.9-7.1) and she recently did quite well at the Moscow World Cup in May, winning both beam and floor showing that she can be a reasonable backup on floor as well.

Negatives- Doesn’t have as much international experience as some, and isn’t known for her consistency either.

My Overall Opinion- I think this spot is between her and Xiao Sha. I also don’t know whom to pick between the two.

With Pang Panpan and Zhang Nan I am not even sure what their A-scores are on beam right now. Anyone? I really like Zhang because she is a sentimental favorite and she has more international experience for everyone in the running for these two spots. I also think beam is her best event. And overall, I think China just needs decent A-scores and a solid score to stay ahead of the US.

So what does everyone else think? Who would you put in these spots?

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Results from the French Nationals Event Finals

First off, how excited is everyone that there will be FOUR HOURS of Olympic Trials coverage this week? Actually there is more if you include Men’s Artistic. Before we get to the subject of the post here is a schedule of Olympic Trials on NBC (Eastern Time. And I always check tvguide.com).

Saturday, June 21st. Men’s Trials; 4:30-6:00pm. Women’s; 8:00-10:00pm.

Sunday, June 22nd. Women’s Trials; 7:00-9:00pm. Uhhh, did I miss another Men’s?

And now to the conclusion of the French Nationals! Here are the scores from Event Finals…

Vault- Cheng Fei was first with a 15.275, this includes a DTY and the Cheng. Jiang Yuyuan was 3rd with a 13. (???) Both vaults appeared to be a 5.8 SV. I have no idea what is going on with that. EDIT- She performed two DTY’s thus earning a deduction, she did score around a 15.

Bars- Of course the awesome Yang Yilin won this event with a score of 16.825. Jiang Yuyuan was second with a 15.275 (according to the source, this was a 7.2 A-score, a tenth lower than yesterday.)

Beam- Marine Petit won with a 15.350 (6.3) and Sui Lu followed with a the same score (6.9). Marine Debauve, making a comeback was in 3rd with a 15.325 (6.4). Way to go for her. Yang Yilin produced the same score with a 6.5 A-score.

Floor- Jiang Yuyuan won the event with a 15.425 (6.3). Cassy Vericel followed with a 15.000 (6.4) and I hear she is doing some great tumbling, including the piked double arabian. Yang Yilin must have had a fall as she ended up 6th with a 13.000.

So what does this mean for the shape of the Chinese Team? I would say that Sui Lu is putting herself out. She just doesn’t seem to be consistent enough. Yang Yilin is not really affected (but I would say to the AAers of the world LOOK OUT!) Assuming everyone is back to full difficulty (notably Cheng and Jiang), then here’s what we have for the Team Final:

VT- Cheng, Jiang, Yang, He Kexin

UB- Kexin, Yang, Jiang

BB-???? Cheng. Who else?

FX- Cheng, Jiang, Yang?

China’s hole appears to be balance beam. Assuming Cheng, Jiang, He, Yang are all going, they need two beamers. Isn’t this getting ironic? The US team was looking to fill their last two spots for bars and now the Chinese appear to be doing the same thing. The US has a 6.6-6.7, a 6.9-7.0, and 6.8-7.0 for beam. THis may be the spot where the US can gain some ground on China. Who can fill in these beam spots for China? For all of you who comment and have continuously stated that Li Shanshan will be on that team, you may be right. China will need some good scores there. So I think those last two spots will be between Li, Xiao Sha, Pang Panpan, Deng Linlin, and yes oh yes, Zhang Nan. How awesome would it be to have Zhang Nan on the team? That would make my day because she was one of my favorites.

What does everyone else think? I REALLY think beam is the short spot on the Chinese team, and I think the last two spots will be determined by that event. Who do you think will get those spots?

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Results From Some Meet in France = More Analysis on China’s Olympic Team

So thank you to David who always makes EXCELLENT points on this page, I have pulled up the results from Qualifications from the French Nationals (??? Don’t get the title of the meet because some of the Chinese are competing)  Here are the results

1.  Yang Yilin– 62.700

VT- 15.125

UB- 16.650-7.7

BB- 15.750-6.6

FX- 15.175-6.2

Notes:  Yang is establishing herself as quite the All-Arounder!  She is maintaining good consistency, and she maybe able to be used for team finals on floor!  I am quite impressed with her.  She is an obvious lock to the Chinese team.

2.  Jiang Yuyuan– 60.675

VT- 14.575

UB- 15.800-7.3

BB- 15.025- 6.4

FX- 15.275- 6.3

Notes:  It does not look as if Jiang performed her Amanar.  Only an 8.5 from the B-panel on bars, hmmm.  Is that a fall?  I am sure she will be on the team, but she needs a little more to be in the running for a podium finish for the AA in Beijing.

Cheng Fei

VT- 15.200

BB- 15.550- 6.6

FX- 14.275- 6.2

Notes:  Ahhhh!  What’s going on?  I am thinking she only threw a DTY for vault, fine, she does that a lot in the smaller competitions.  But an 8.075 B-score on floor?  I am not really worried, I just not only want her difficulty back up but I want to see her strong in Beijing!

Sui Lu

UB- 15.125- 6.3

BB- 13.725- 6.7

FX- 14.700- 6.4

Notes:  I think Sui Lu is sealing her Olympic fate here.  Beam and floor need to be a lot higher scores.  7.025 B-score on beam sounds like she fell multiple times.  She also went fully out of bounds on floor.  I don;t know if I would take her!  She seems to pose too much of a risk!  Sheesh, take Zhang Nan!  Maybe you will only get a 15.4ish on beam, but at least you won’t have a 13!

Sorry to skip over the French Girls, I am so very interested in analyzing the Chinese!  At this point, I would consider taking someone like Zhang or Pang Panpan.  The Chinese need solid scores.  Even if your A-score is so high a fall will score higher than a gymnast with a hit routine of sub-par difficulty, you don’t want falls!  Falls can hurt the mindset of the team and add too much pressure.  The Chinese team will have quite enough pressure.

Anyway, more thoughts to come though after the Finals of this competition.  Wow, only a few more days until Olympic Trials begins!  I hope I can get some info at the podium training.  Also, for those of you that don’t know,  Shawn Johnson‘s gym is flooded!  I heard she may have moved over Iowa State to train.  I feel bad for Chow.

Less than two months to Beijing and counting!

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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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Chinese Nationals -Team Finals Results

Ok, I have NO scores.  But here is what I witnessed via youtube….

Jiang YuyuanJ‘s Amanar is GREAT!  She took a small step, that was it.  Floor was solid too (fell out of triple spin)

Cheng Fei‘s new FX music is not my favorite.  I think she had watered down tumbling.  Did well on beam.

He Ning fell off beam, so did Deng Linlin

Zhang Nan did good on beam and floor

Sui Lu has sold me.  They need her scores, and that little girl looks confident

He Kexin rocked her UB set.

Yang Yilin‘s new bar set is pretty cool.  LOTS of pirouettes.

Li Shanshan had a solid beam routine.

These are appearing by the minute.  These videos can be viewed here

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News on China!

Ok. This information was received through message boards and usually this stuff is right in my experience. So here is what was received in a recent Internal Chinese event…

  • Jiang Yuyuan is competing the Amanar. On day 2 she received a 15.700. She placed 2nd on floor. She had some mistakes on uneven bars.
  • He Kexin got a 17.00 on uneven bars!!!!
  • Cheng Fei got a rumored 9.6 B-score on her Cheng vault. Her beam was very solid but only did a 2.5 twist dismount.
  • Deng Linlin won the AA and has a 7.0 start value on beam. I am thinking that she is definitely earning an Olympic spot if she scores consistently here on out.
  • Xiao Sha won beam, couple of problems on bars and vault, but placed 2nd or 3rd in the AA. I think this girl is totally going.
  • Yang Yilin only did bars due to her recent foot injury at Cottbus, but she did great and placed 2nd to He Kexin.
  • Li Shanshan had the highest start value on beam (7.3) but had lots of wobbles. I am thinking if she continues to perform like this she may miss the Olympic team as she is pretty much a beam specialist and China has A-scores out of this world.
  • Sui Lu (whoever that is) had start values of 6.4 (!!!) on floor and 7.1 on beam. She supposedly placed top 3 on those events. Consistency could definitely put her on the team as that is a much needed floor score.
  • He Ning, Zhang Nan, Pang Panpan, and Zhou Zhouru were all there but lacked difficulty. Pang scored 4th in the AA. These may represent the alternates.

Overall, China will knock USA out of the park on their A-scores for bars and beam. Also, they are now ahead on vault as well. Hopefully, Samantha Pezseck will bring forth the rumored Amanar, which would but USA slightly ahead. China may even have the start value advantage on floor as well. If China hits, I think they will probably beat the USA.

A revised look at who will compete for China:

Cheng Fei, vault, floor, (beam)

Jiang Yuyauan, vault, floor, bars

Xiao Sha, beam

He Kexin, bars, (vault)

Deng Linlin, beam

Sui Lu, beam, floor

I am missing a 3rd spot on bars there. Hmmm, Yang Yilin I would probably take over the spot of Deng Linlin. And actually, I just read that Yang’s possible UB score was 16.800….that would definitely buy her a spot on the team.

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