On the Rise: Mexico

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Elsa Garcia
Source: Record Mexico

A new series looking at countries and athletes that can challenge for medals in major competitions this quadrennium.

If there's one team that I am rooting for to break into the top 12 and qualify a full team to the Olympics rather than an individual, it is Mexico. How can one pick just 1 athlete between Elsa Garcia, Ana Lago and Alexa Moreno? The 2011 Worlds team finished in 17th place and all 6 of the gymnasts are still competing. Both Ana Lago and Elsa Garcia went to the 2012 Test Event and Garcia won the spot for the Olympics after finishing in 17th. Although many were excited for Elsa to compete in the all around and hopefully make the all around final, an injury hampered her Olympic experience and she was only able to compete on balance beam and floor exercise.

Recent Results at Worlds
2008 Olympics - Marisela Cantu 56th AA, 11th VT
2009 - Elsa Garcia 12th AA
2010 - 21st place TF
Yessenia Estrada 10th VT
2011 - 17th place TF
Alexa Moreno 7th VT Rudi and Tsuk full
Elsa Garcia 15th FX
2012 - Elsa Garcia 35th FX

Elsa Garcia
At the 2009 World Championships, Elsa placed 12th in the All-Around Final and won the Prize for Elegance. She's had a career riddled with injuries but has come back time after time. Elsa's a good all arounder but excels on balance beam and floor exercise where she can really show off her great line and performance ability. She recently told I Flip 4 Gymnastics that, "she is currently studying fashion design, and plans to release her own line of leotards." Watch Elsa's FX below. From more recent videos, the routine has stayed the same but she dismounts with a double pike. EDIT 7/1 At a control meet in preparation for the University Games, Garcia showed this floor routine - double layout, full twisting double back, 2.5 punch front layout, and double arabian.
VT - Y1.5 ; UB

Alexa Moreno
Moreno was a member of the 2010 and 2011 World Championship team. She's a great vaulter and finished in 7th at the 2011 World Championships. She's capable of a very nice Rudi (handspring 1.5 - 6.2D) and has upgraded her other vault to a Tsuk 2/1 (6.0D) which should definitely put her in contention for a spot in the vault event finals this year. Moreno has competed a few times on the World Cup circuit and I just enjoy watching her vault each and every time.
VT1: Tsuk double VT2: Rudi UB: Shaposh 1/2, Deltchev (here)
Watch her FX below (13.650 I think)

Yessenia Estrada
Yessenia Estrada has been to the World Championships 4 times and was Mexico's representative in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Below is her 2012 floor routine. At the 2013 Nationals, she showed the same routine with an upgrade - piked double front but, unfortunately, fell forward (here). I think her floor exercise goes on the list of routines you can just sit back and enjoy.

Marisela Cantu is a great bar worker with clean handstands and transitions and a nice rhythm to her routine. Watch her win bronze at the 2011 Pan American Games (at 1:07) here

Karla Salazar was the athlete chosen to represent Mexico at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. At 2011 Worlds, she was one of three athletes that competed on all 4 events for her team - the others being Lago and Garcia. Here she is at a meet in 2011 (BB, VT, UB) here.

Look for Garcia, Moreno, Cantu, and Salazar at the Universiade Games July 7-10.
Young Ones To Watch
Elsa Garcia, Maricela Cantu, Karla Salazar, and Ana Lago all train at the same gym. Two younger girls to watch from their gym include Andrea Gonzalez and Shaila Perez.

Shaila Perez is a new senior who has travelled to meets in the US previously. She came in 7th in the all-around at the Olimpiada Nacional. Here she is at IGI Chicago in 2011 where she scored a 9.2 on beam. link

Andrea Gonzalez is another gymnast we should watch for. She's a Level 2 gymnast which I think makes her a junior. She came in 13th in the AA and 4th on vault. Watch her FX from Olimpiada Nacional here

These girls are in Level 4 so I imagine that's an Espoirs/Hopes equivalent.

Natalia Escalara is taking her division by storm. She won the all around in the 4A level at Nationals along with vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor. Her all-around score is listed as 56.950 but I don't know if there are bonuses included. If not, she would've beaten Ana Lago by 2 full points! Here she is on floor below

Eugenia Barbosa was 3rd on floor exercise. She has a short routine but has some nice choreography including not 1, but 2 seat drops. It seems like the kind of routine that would be fun to watch in person.

Where's Ana Lago? On The Rise: Mexico - A Look at Ana Lago

Check out other posts in the On The Rise Series:
Canada Part 1
Canada Part 2
Canada Part 3