Day one of the 2017 World Championships, and it was round one, first up for the British WAG. Alice and Amy competed AA, Claudia on beam and floor, and Georgia on bars.
A very very long wait to know which finals were made, qualifications unusually spread over two days, here not finishing until the early hours of Thursday morning UK time.
Firstly apologies for not having the report out sooner, I have been battling with my internet provider for several weeks now, and am having huge ongoing problems which make it incredibly difficult to bring you my usual level and speed of coverage. Frustrating at any time, in World Championships week its a nightmare.
A big thank you to GBGymnasticsFan and Moomin Whiskey for sending video, sharing information, and keeping me updated so I could do as much as I have.
Starting on floor, Alice up first with her new routine, and two new opening tumbles. She has actually used the one and a half to triple twist before, at Elite Massilia last year, but it wasn’t quite round there, and we hadn’t seen it since. Good to see her with the upgrade fully ready to go in. It was important that it was ready, as Alice then used a new two and a half to punch front second tumble, so couldn’t risk getting the triple downgraded, and the following two and a half not counted!
The angle isn’t great in this video, but it looks as though Alice may have pushed through her front foot better to get a higher lift and stronger kick into her leaps here, she then made her Memmel turn, and went into the third tumble. Double tuck as we’re used to seeing from her, she had kick back on the landing which will have cost her, then her final tumble the double pike she needed a couple of paces back to control it, but a good start to her AA competition. 12.966 (5.3D, 7.666E)
Amy next, and all credit to this tough gymnast. After the elation of Rio, she’s had a more difficult year this year, a calf injury at the beginning of the year, then surgery just seven weeks ago on her ankle meaning she had no chance to come here with the full upgraded difficulty she’d have liked to, or the time to get numbers in that you would want before the big event. She has then been unwell for the last week, and yet here she is, out on the floor giving the best she has. Was it Amy at her absolute best? No, but it was Amy a hundred times better than you or I would be under the same circumstances.
High snappy Popa jump to open, then a great full twisting double straight, one of the better ones we’ve seen from her. Back with the double double, a little low in the chest still yes, but its been getting better and better since she recently put it back in that second line spot. Through the dance passage, change through to split full leaps, then third tumble straight front to straight from full, and typically it was the easier place holder tumble that caused her a problem. Almost too much power, had she had the training time we’d have seen something bigger here, but she took a big pace out, and stepped out the floor. Split leap full, and Amy’s leaps look good in range and extension here, and photo’s of her snapped mid leap back that up. Double pike with a hop to finish for 13.333 (5.5D, 7.933E)
Claudia came here to compete on beam and floor, but she came for floor, she came for a spot in the final, and she came to fight for a medal. She’s into the final, if she’s at her very very best she could definitely take home a medal. This was a great routine, full twisting double straight to W jump, double straight to stag jump, although not in control of the jump today, so opportunity to go even higher in finals. Change to W jump, split leap full to a tidy jump full turn, expressive dance, then change half well extended. Big double Arabian with a tiny hop, split leap one and a half, double pike, and a delighted smile to finish. There’s only one way to deal with being in the first subdivision, throw down the gauntlet to your competitors, and challenge them, Claudia did just that. 13.933 (5.7D, 8.233E)
On to vault, Alice up first, and bringing her upgraded DTY to major competition. She didn’t get a huge amount of block today, and came in quite low to land causing her to step to the side for a 0.1 neutral deduction, but the new vault is out there now, and she will have another shot at it on Friday night. 13.666 (5.4D, 8.366E)
Amy scored well for her double twisting Yurchenko, tidy with a small pace back for 14.366 (4.8D, 8.8E). She hit her Tsuk full (will the WAG code recognise the Kazamatsu soon?) with a bounce back for 13.600 (4.8D, 8.8E) and average of 13.933. No vault final this time, but great to see her out there vaulting twice, and this looks like a plan for an Amanar and Tsuk double by Tokyo, and that’s the sort of plan I love.
Alice started things off on bars, and started really well. Her highest score on this piece so far this year. Blind in to clean pike Jaeger, Pak to the low bar, then linking Maloney to high bar, and the shoot half. Tow full linked to the Stalder shoot to high bar, toe on to double pike, safely through, and rightly very pleased with herself. 13.533 (5.1D, 8.433E)
Amy next, and she looked good here. We know this isn’t her strongest piece, but I thought she swung well, looked much cleaner, and had made big strides to her overall work here. When you have to spend a lot of your year off your leg events, you can make great strides on bars! She had to bring the toe full under control, and unfortunately she came off on the Markelov, but she brought it back into the routine, and can have another go at it in the final. Amy scored 13.066 (5.5D, 7.566E)
Georgia had to wait until the third rotation to compete, and to compete in her first huge international event. We know that it has been an incredibly tough year for her, she made it here, now she had to step up and hit.
She did just that, for me her best routine of the year, full 5.9 difficulty awarded, clean and flowing throughout, stuck dismount, she did it, on the biggest stage, she did it. I was elated, my entire twitter feed of gymnastics fans both here and world wide was elated, Georgia was clearly elated, punching the air with joy as she turned away from the judges. 14.533 (5.9D, 8.633E).
So, Georgia is first reserve for the final, and I would be ok with that, if that’s where I though she should be. I don’t, and I’m not ok with it. I’m not a GB blind fan of this sport, I’d have been perfectly happy to see her hit, just miss out, and come back even better next year if that was where she deserved to place. Yet again we saw a disparity between the scoring of the first and last subdivisions, as we saw in Rio with Nina Derwael, and this has to stop. Its not right, and it is completely unfair on the gymnasts who give everything all year round to get to the peak of competition, only to have a random draw decide their fate.
Georgia will be back, she has new difficulty planned that you’re going to love, but she should have got her first taste of a world final this time. She’s not the first, and unless something is done, she won’t be the last.
Finishing on beam, and scoring was brutal, but I am fine with that, in fact I’m happy with that as it encourages even more focus on execution. As long as it’s brutal from the beginning to the end of the competition, you’ll hear no complaints from me.
Alice went up first I believe, she did look a little tentative throughout the entire routine today, perhaps the nerves affecting her. The flick to chest stand mount, so popular among the GB girls, so popular among the photographers too as pictures of Alice doing this skill are everywhere! The double spin was nice, a small plié to control it at the end. Change to change side, then tried to link to the straddle jump. She kept her chest down as she jumped, not lifting off with confidence, and she counted quite a big wobble on landing. The big problem for Alice was the free cartwheel layout(usually layout layout), the series has been quite hit and miss for her this year, when it’s on it’s beautiful, and when it’s off it’s off. Free walkover and a big wobble, but well fought, two and a half twist to finish for 11.200 (5.0,D, 6.2E)
If she can hit, Alice has scored mid to high 13’s on this piece this year, so everything crossed for her for the AA final.
Amy played safe on beam today, she used to two instead of the three layouts, the back tuck instead of the standing full, and a double twist to finish. She stayed on, a little wobble on her layout, and her W full, but she worked efficiently and with confidence throughout. 12.066 (4.9D, 7.166E) may seem harsh for an incident free routine, but it was inline with the rest of the scoring on the day.
Claudia had a bit of a rough outing on beam, a huge shame, as she’s looked good here this year, and has worked well, as we saw at the recent Paris World Cup. No fall, just very wobbly on the day, struggling to get her landings under control, and not awarded her full difficulty. A fighting performance, she fought to stay on, and she did, but I imagine she’ll have been a little disappointed not to have been able to show how much she’s improved on this piece. 11.933 (5.1D, 6.833E) There’s been a crackdown on this piece, only one E score over 8 across the entire five subdivisions, and only 14 over 7.5E in 119 gymnasts!
So at the end of qualifications, congratulations to AA finalists Amy and Alice, to floor finalist Claudia, and to first reserve for the bars final Georgia, some great work.