Rio 2016: Talking Team Line Up

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With just ten days to go until the opening of the 2016 Rio Olympics on the 5th on August, and twelve days until the the women’s gymnastics events kick of with quailfications on the 7th, I thought it might be interesting to look at potential line ups for both qualifications and team final.

I’m actually going to start with the team final, as this is the easier line up to predict. With the 5-3-3 format, so three up three to count on each piece, it is very unlikely should everyone remain healthy (and please, please, they are SO close now), that the line up will change at all from the 2015 World Championship team final. The three potential top scorers on each piece are clear, and I would expect to be as follows:

Vault: Claudia, Amy, Ellie

Bars: Ellie, Ruby, Becky

Beam: Ellie, Claudia, Becky

Floor: Amy, Ellie, Claudia

What I wouldn’t like to predict is the exact orders they will go in. Vault if everyone is vaulting double twisting Yurchenkos I think the order will be as above, if for example Amy competes an Amanar, and Ellie does not, then they may swap spots. Bars I think will stay exactly the same as in Glasgow, beam I think Becky will go last, but not entirely sure about Claudia and Ellie for who will go first, and floor I do think Claudia will go last, but again Ellie and Amy could possibly swap.

The trickier to predict is the qualifications line up, the 5-4-3 format of qualifications will mean that as well as the routines we will expect to see in team finals, there is the option for another gymnast to compete on each piece. This means that there is slightly less pressure on the team in the first round of competition (although not individually, as we have several realistic apparatus final prospects), and the option to try and qualify gymnasts for the AA final. As you can see from the team final prediction, I expect Ellie to compete on all pieces, and should she do so successfully, she will take a place in the top 24 AA competition. The question is, who will be the other gymnast/gymnasts selected to compete AA to try and qualify?

Part of the question will be answered with the very first routine on the very first piece. GB start on bars, and if Claudia steps up first, she will have an AA opportunity given that she will compete on the three remaining pieces. If Amy steps up, then she may be given the opportunity, if she also then also then goes up first on beam, then she will try for the AA. Ruby will of course compete on bars, if she then goes up first on beam,  then she also has a shot at the AA given that she will compete on both vault and floor in the first spot.  Ellie will get a shot, then they can either go with Claudia and Ruby competing AA for a spot, or give the chance to Amy, but in that case neither Ruby nor Claudia.
The one remaining and more unlikely scenario is that Claudia takes the fourth spot on bars, and Amy on beam,  but that ensures that only two of three can try for the AA final. Great Britain have targeted two AA spots, the maximum any one country can take, while there should be no problem achieving this, I do think they will more likely try for three gymnasts going AA in qualification to ensure that two go through should one have a rough competition. If that is the case, It will be Ellie, Ruby, and Claudia competing AA in competition 1.

The photo above of the most recent control competition at Lilleshall shows a bars line up of Claudia, Ellie, Ruby, Becky. Potentially it answers the question, however, there are also pictures of Amy on bars and beam on the same day. Of course Amy would be training AA still even if the lineup is set, and this may a photo of one lineup  being tried, not THE lineup, so nothing at all should be assumed.

There is so very little time left to wait before we know, whatever the lineup, all of these brilliant gymnasts will play their part in the strongest team Great Britain has ever sent to an Olympic Games.

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