Team USA: Medal Count

11:04 AM Arabian Punch Front 7 Comments

Credit: USA Gymnastics on Facebook


The USA will be sending 4 gymnasts to the 2013 World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium: Simone Biles, Kyla Ross, McKayla Maroney, and Brenna Dowell. Elizabeth Price was named as the non-traveling alternate. Although the team is named, we still do not know who will be competing what events. It seems most likely that Biles and Ross will compete in the all around, McKayla will compete vault and floor, while Brenna rounds out the group competing uneven bars and balance beam.

A lot of people are questioning Brenna's placement on the team since bars and beam aren't her best events. To be honest, there aren't many girls in the US that can call themselves bars and beam specialists. Madison Kocian had a shot at making the team after night 1 of Nationals but then succumbed to injury. Abby Milliet and Peyton Ernst are both strong beam workers with bars that can do the job, however, performances at both Nationals and camp meant that they were not placed on the team. Even Price, the alternate who would have likely been used for her bar work, is more a vault and floor exercise specialist. When you look at the big picture, we didn't have many bars and beam specialists to pick from in the first place. In this individual worlds, it worked out that a gap was left in the puzzle on bars and beam so our options were to pick strong all arounders who may not excel on those 2 events specifically, but who can compete strong sets and are still amongst the strongest in the USA.

Now, don't forget that although the team was chosen, "camp" hasn't ended. The athletes are still training and proving their place, and potential lineup, to Martha Karolyi. Perhaps McKayla Maroney has proven her all-around potential or at least enough to do more than the 2 events. Maybe Brenna Dowell is consistently hitting her Tweddle to straddle back combination on uneven bars and improving her all around potential in the process. Maybe it's enough to bump Kyla to the UB/BB specialist spot. Maybe Simone's consistency has become a question or her ankles have become an issue again, enough to warrant reshuffling of the lineup. We don't know. Yet.

Will Graves threw out a medal number of 4, Scott Bregman said 5, and Nancy Armour outdid them both and said 6. Honestly, I couldn't get pass 3. Where do you put Team USA in medals?

For the purpose, I'm assuming a lineup of Biles and Ross AA, Maroney VT/FX, and Dowell UB/BB.

AA - I can see both Biles and Ross medaling here. Although Ross doesn't have the difficulty, she does have the execution over many athletes that will compete in the AA. Biles has the difficulty and, as one of the power gymnasts, is very aware of her lines and how to play to her strengths.

VT - Perhaps vault is more of a sentimental issue for me. Maroney will medal. What she will get, nobody knows. I would be lying if I said Biles couldn't medal. She may not have the most difficult vaults but she's clean. Her Amanar doesn't have the same exclamation point that Maroney's has, but she vaults in a way that forces me to scrutinize Maroney that much further. Also, Biles has been training the Cheng - a round off half on, 1.5 twist off while Maroney's second vault has one half twist less. Should it be competition ready, she'll have one of the highest D-score averages in the world. The reason it's sentimental is because of athletes like Giulia Steingruber and Noel van Klaveren. There are only 3 medals! (If there's a tie for 3rd place...)

Now, we get to the other events and nothing quickly jumps out at me.
FX - Maroney has one of the highest floor scores in the World right now of athletes that have been chosen to World teams. Athletes with comparable D-scores or total scores are Sandra Izbasa, Larisa Iordache, Mai Murakami, and teammates Simone Biles and Brenna Dowell who probably is not competing on floor. Can Maroney win a medal on floor? Sure, why not! But, in my eyes, she's not a favorite in the way she's a favorite on VT.

UB - We're looking at Simone Biles, Kyla Ross, and Brenna Dowell. Only 2 will make the finals. Biles and Dowell aren't UB specialists by any means but let's not forget that Jordyn qualified to the UB EF at World Championships in 2011. Both girls have the D score and relatively clean execution of their skills, however, there are big names to watch on this event. China will have some combination of Yao Jinnan, Shang Chunsong, and Huang Huidan - all of whom have D-scores of 6.6 and above. Ross is the highest in the US with a 6.4. Also of note is Olympic Uneven Bars Champion Aliya Mustafina and her Russian teammate Tatiana Nabieva, who was the silver medalist at the 2011 World Championships. Great Britain will also have strong bar workers in Ruby Harrold, Rebecca Downie, and Rebecca Tunney. On UB, it's hard to say with any confidence that an American will be on the podium.

BB - For the USA, this one is a crapshoot because any of the 4 athletes could compete this event but we'll assume it's Ross, Biles, and Dowell. Biles has the highest difficulty score while Ross has the highest total score of these 3. Beam is where Zeng Siqi of China shines - provided she remains on the team and isn't swapped out for Sui Lu or Tan Sixin. China also has Shang Chunsong who has a 6.5 difficulty score. Romanian Larisa Iordache boasts the highest D-score in the world with a 6.9. Aliya Mustafina also makes the list for potential to score high. But, alas, this is the balance beam where a hop, missed connection, and a fall can change anything.

So, after all this analysis, where am I? I'm still at 3 medals - 2 AA and 1 on VT. Fine. 4 medals to give a 2nd medal on VT. Beyond that, it will be a matter of first qualifying to the finals and then hoping all the cards are in the right place on that day.

What do you think of Team USA's medal count?

Source: Uncle Tim's UTRS as of 9/9

7 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. Wow! I'm saying 3/4 and you're at 7! No UB medals and who do you think will get that BB medal?

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    2. I'm reaching for the stars! hahahahaha
      I think Kyla will grab a bronze if there is a fault in the competition.

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  2. 1 AA (don't trust Kyla to get through floor on the same day Simone goes 4 for 4), 2 Vault (it actually seems like this is one of the deepest vault fields as of recent), 1 ub/bb I think that in one of these finals enough people will mess up that Kyla will be able to pull out an individual bronze, and 1 floor (likely a bronze, again Mac and Simone's consistency and ability to hit here is questionable)

    So that's 5 total with the possibility of 6 grabbing a second AA medal. The AA field is pretty shallow so I could see Simone and her high D scores medaling with a major mistake. Not sure Kyla has that luxury.

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  3. For me USA gonna grab 1AA and 1VT thats it...USA sucks on bars and balance beam way too competitive ,floor exercise is a romanian thing maybe they could get a bronze there..who knows

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  4. LOLOLOL!!! Mckayla Maroney & Simone are going 1st & 2nd on vault. Unless they fall they are taking two AA medals. Both Mckayla & Simone can medal on floor. Kyla has only scored lower than 15.4 once on bars this year. That is by far the most consistent of the top bars girls. Beam will be the hardest spot for them to medal. They still have a shot at one though. This team would be insane if Katelyn Ohashi wasn't injured.

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  5. I think that both Kyla and Simone could grab all around medals, but I don't know of what color. McKayla and Simone are, in my opinion, both going to get a vault medal. Kyla could win a medal on either bars or beam, possibly even both. McKayla and Simone could also get floor medals.

    At most, the USA medal count is
    AA: 2
    BB: 1
    UB: 1
    FX: 2
    VT: 2
    8 medals! That's if they all hit, and the other top runners falter. It's unlikely, but 8 medals is POSSIBLE for this year's worlds.

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