Stuff Happens – July 12, 2022 – The Balance Beam Situation


A. The American Pan Am Team Named

Last week, the United States named the women’s teams for the Pan Am/”this time matters” championship, with a senior team consisting of Skye Blakely, Lexi Zeiss, Elle Mueller, Zoe Miller and Kayla DiCello.

It marked the first selection decision of the new era of leadership, and we’ve seen some encouraging signs here, that this team isn’t just the general standings printed with a sticker of a duckling shouting, “I’m I made a charlatan! at the top.

Kayla DiCello placed 7th all-around (!) on day one after missing both vault and balance beam, meaning she wouldn’t have made an AA-ranked team. But, her bars and floor scores nonetheless place her in the top-scoring five-team in a 3-stroke format based on that first day of selection competition. This team with the highest score is the five that were finally named.

Skye Blakeley 14,000 13,400 14,300 13.550
Lexi Zeiss 13,700 13.450 13.250 13,700
Kayla DiCello 12,550 13,700 11,300 13,700
Elle Muller 13,600 12,250 13,350 13,650
Zoe Miller 13,300 13,900 11,850 12,350
41,300 41.050 40,900 41.050 164.300

Now, that being on the team with the highest score was the real reason for DiCello’s selection or if it was just “duh, it’s Kayla DiCello,” we couldn’t tell. But, the team having obtained the best score on the basis of the first day of competition was indeed the group selected for both seniors and juniors. Addison Fatta, who placed third in the all-around but did not consider the highest-scoring team, was named the senior alternate.

So this selection is approaching a very good sign. Except that there was also a second day of competition, which made things go up. On Day 1, athletes compete in the all-around and on Day 2 they compete in two apparatus – a vestigial check camp format from yesteryear. This time the athletes only competed on bars and beam on Day 2. No one – senior or junior – vaulted or floor, even those who could have benefited from a chance to improve their results on vault or on floor from day one.

What we saw on Day 2 was a victory on beam for Ciena Alipio which changed the scenario with the highest score and would have placed her on the top performing team (using either the average score over both days, whichever is the higher score on either day). So I would say that Alipio has the best argument to be had here, and that begs the question: what is this second day? Are the scores taken into account for the selection? Otherwise, get rid of her. And if they are, it seems like there should be a day off in between so that everyone is encouraged to participate in the events that could help their team the most.

B. Global Qualifiers

The African Championships came to an end over the weekend, with Egypt taking the only available team berth at the men’s and women’s world championships, beating the South African women’s team in the showdown session. ‘event. Caitlin Rooskrantz of South Africa won the all-around title and will be joined by fellow Olympian Naveen Daries at the world championships, as well as new senior Fatma Boukhatem and veteran Lahna Salem of Algeria.

Here are the updated qualification tables for men and women:

WOMEN Teams Versatile
August 11-14
13 23
July 15-17
5 11
Asia China
South Korea
Aida Bauyrzhanova (KAZ)
Rifda Irfanaluthfi (INA)
Milka Gehani (SRI)
Dildora Aripova (UZB)
Nadine Joy Nathan (SGP)
Ominakhon Khalilova (UZB)
Korkem Yerbossynkyzy (KAZ)
Sasiwimon Mueangphuan (THA)
Africa Egypt Caitlin Rooskrantz (RSA)
Naveen Daries (RSA)
Fatma Boukhatem (ALG)
Lahna Salem (ALG)
Oceania Australia Keira Rolston-Larking (NZL)
Reece Cobb (NZL)
MEN Teams Versatile
August 18-21
13 23
July 15-17
4 6
Asia China
South Korea
Carlos Yulo (PHI)
Mahdi Ahmad Kohani (IRI)
Abdulla Azimov (UZB)
Khabibullo Ergashev (UZB)
Yogeshewar Singh (IND)
Gaurav Kumar (IND)
Africa Egypt Hillal Metidji (ALG)
Abderrazak Nasser (MAR)
Oceania Australia Mikhail Kudinov (NZL)
William Fu-Allen (NZL)

C. Pan American Championships

The next step in the qualifying journey is the Pan American Championship, and WONDER OF WONDERS, it will actually be streamed, with options from the Brazilian federation on Youtube and the Pan American Sports Channel. The live score is here. Juniors will start Thursday with qualifying, followed by senior qualifying on Friday, junior event finals on Saturday and senior finals on Sunday.

It is important to note that the World places for the teams are determined by the results of Friday’s qualifiers, and not by the ranking of the team final on Sunday. The American women compete in the first subdivision on Friday, while Brazil, Canada, Mexico and Argentina all go to the fourth subdivision. For men, the United States and Canada rank in the third subdivision, and Brazil in the 5th. The Friday schedule is here (Rio time):

The senior team finals on Sunday are at 10:00 a.m. for the women and 4:00 p.m. for the men.

It will be worth watching how a first-choice Brazilian team of Rebeca Andrade and Flavia Saraiva (although now absent Jade Barbosa, who has retired) will face this American team which has big names but is absent from the University Olympians and McClain. I’m also curious how this Brazilian team’s scores compare to what we’ve seen from Italy, China, France and Great Britain so far this year to gauge what the team final might be for. and maybe the medal hopefuls. this group. We’ve only seen limited devices from the top Brazilians in 2022, so there’s not much basis for comparison yet.

For the five team spots available for the women, the United States, Brazil and a strong Canadian squad (despite the absence of Ellie Black) will easily make it to the world championships. We haven’t seen much of Mexico this year, but the quality of the athletes sent should come into play, and then we can see if it’s more of an Argentine year or more of a Colombian year. Could Cuba’s team of mostly never-before-seen gymnasts turn out to be amazing? Always possible.

With only four team spots available for the men, the USA, Brazil and Canada trio don’t leave as much room for others, where Colombia have recently been the region’s second-best team, but we’ll see if Mexico or the United States. Argentina can fight.

D. French Championship

Carolann Heduit won the all-around title at the French Championships over the weekend, edging out Aline Friess by just a tenth, with Heduit having the first day far superior when Friess fell on the vault, but Friess righting the ship on the second day for the highest score in the all-around.

De Jesus Dos Santos, Charpy and Devillard were all absent for this championship, so this doesn’t necessarily provide the most comprehensive overview of what a five-member French team could look like this year, but it’s worth noting Marine Boyer has finally hit the beam on day two for a 14,000, a top score you’d want on a world team, which we’ve seen from her so far this month. In fact, Boyer also beat Heduit in the all-around on the second day of competition.

E. American Classic

Everyone fell for everything and only four seniors competed, but it was a streaming gymnastics encounter that happened.


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