Well first I’ll state the obvious…Mustafina’s injury is incredibly disappointing. What a tremendous loss to the gymnastics world if this turns out to be something serious, like an ACL tear. I don’t even know what to say other than unfortunately that is the nature of our sport. The higher the level the skills you perform, the greater the risk for injury, and she consistently performs the most difficult skills in the world on all four events. Even if it does turn out to be serious, I don’t see why she wouldn’t be able to do at least bars at the world championships this year. I’m sure the Russians would be more than happy to have her score on that event alone.
I do think Dementieva was the deserving champion, but I actually believe the difference between her and Elisabeth Seitz should have been smaller. Seitz was fabulous, and quite a nice surprise to see her emerge as a new all-around contender. I felt her vault was severely underscored…it was very clean, high, straight body, straight down the middle, and with just a small hop on the landing. She lost about 1.2 in deductions!!! Where in the world you can find those deductions is completely beyond me…I just have no idea how they score vaults these days. Vault was obviously the weak spot for Dementieva, although she did have a little more power than we’ve seen from her in the past. She’ll definitely need to try and learn a double full by worlds this year if she has any hope of contending for an all-around medal. With Mustafina potentially out she really can start realistically thinking about being one of the two Russain all-around finalists.
The highlight of the meet for me was Elisabeth Seitz’s floor. What a great choice of music, and perfect to get her home crowd involved the entire routine. I thought her score might have been a little higher here as well (felt like a 14 but she received a 13.725), but overall what a clutch performance in what has to have been the meet of her life.
Dementieva’s bars is definitely improving. I thought her bars at worlds last year was quite weak and couldn’t believe she was used in the team finals, but now that she’s added the toe-on Khorkina it’s a different routine. Her line really is quite nice, and she has one of the coolest hop fulls ever. Perhaps she could add more in-bar skills for more difficulty points.
Dementieva’s beam is very nice, but I always feel it’s scored just a few tenths too high (at least relative to the other routines…she scored a 15.15 here). She does have some slight wobbles and slight knee bends on her walkover skills, and that triple full should be hit pretty hard. Like Mustafina, I wish she’d change that triple full to something else because it always lands a bit awkwardly and isn’t complete. She does have a great elegant look and beautiful toe point though, so I suppose I should applaud the judges for rewarding that.
Racea and Chelaru are both improving and should be contenders for both worlds and the Olympics next year. I particularly liked Chelaru’s floor routine and Racea’s beam. I could see Chelaru learning an Amanar on vault as well, as that DTY had plenty of rotation and she did open out of it slightly. I think Romania might need a bar worker more than ever before though…aside from Porgras they have NO ONE on this event.
It was great to see Ferrari’s intensity still there. Sometimes I wonder if she’s going to retire, and then she’ll come back and look to have that competitive fire again. Although she’s not the gymnast she was 4-5 years ago, she did seem to have more of a spark at this competition. Perhaps she was a bit pushed by her new teammate and first-year senior Carlotta Ferlito, who finished one spot ahead of her both in prelims and the all-around finals.